“A monowheel is a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, instead of sitting above the wheel, the rider sits either within it or next to it. The wheel is a ring, usually driven by smaller wheels pressing against its inner rim. Most are single-passenger vehicles, though multi-passenger models have been built.

Pedal-powered monowheels were built in the late 19th century; most built in the 20th century have been motorized. Some modern builders refer to these vehicles as monocycles, though that term is also sometimes used to describe motorized unicycles. Today, monowheels are generally built and used for fun and entertainment purposes, though from the 1860s through to the 1930s, they were proposed for use as serious transportation.

In 1971, an American inventor named Kerry McLean built his first monocycle (aka monowheel). In 2000, he built a larger version, the McLean Rocket Roadster powered by a Buick V-8 engine, which subsequently crashed in 2001 during the initial test run. Fortunately, McLean survived and proceeded to build over 25 different variations of his version of the monocycle, from pedal powered models, 5HP models, all the way up to V8 powered models.

In 2010, Nokia utilized two of McLean's monocycles in their commercials promoting the new Nokia SatNav smartphone. McLean's latest creation, the 2011 McLean V8 Drag Wheel, of which the wheel itself was machined out of a single piece of high-strength aircraft grade aluminum billet, was completed in 2011”. – Wikipedia

Photos: Cycle inventor Kerry McLean poses for the photographer 2000 in Walled Lake, Michigan. The “Monocycle” is equipped with a 40-horsepower engine, 4ft tire and is expected to reach speeds upwards of 100 mph. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Liaison)

02 Jul 2011 12:24:00