Two-wheeler chock-full of features

It is the perfect stepping stone for newbies who are unfamiliar with electric unicycles.
It is the perfect stepping stone for newbies who are unfamiliar with electric unicycles.PHOTO: INMOTION

After failing to conquer the single-wheeled electric unicycle, I resigned myself to never being able to zip around coolly on one of those infernal machines.

The two-wheeled Inmotion V3 promises to be more stable and simpler to learn, but I was still sceptical. Would I really be able to balance myself on that thing? How much easier could it be?

A lot easier, it turns out. With a pair of wheels that run in parallel and an inbuilt gyroscopic stabiliser, the Inmotion V3 can keep itself upright when turned on, making it a lot easier to mount and dismount.

It is the perfect stepping stone for newbies who are unfamiliar with electric unicycles, or people like me who are cursed with a non-existent sense of balance.

In fact, when I brought the unicycle to a friend's BBQ party, most people who tried it out got the hang of it within 15 minutes, although some picked it up more quickly than others.

It is not just ease of use that makes the Inmotion V3 an impressive product.

It is packed with features like an inbuilt Bluetooth speaker system that works even when the unicycle is switched off, as I found out after accidentally broadcasting music from the unicycle to everyone in the office.

The unicycle's Chinese designers also paid careful attention to small details, which makes the Inmotion V3 feel like a polished, well-finished product.

For example, there are two lights at the front and back of the unicycle, which automatically switch between a white headlamp and a red brake light depending on the direction the unicycle is travelling in.

Unlike many other electric unicycles, the sides of the metal foot pedals are also lined with rubber, which means that nasty spills and falls will not leave you with scraped ankles.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $999 from www.thewheelies.sg

    TOP SPEED: 18kmh

    RANGE: 20 to 25km

    WEIGHT: 13.5kg

    MAXIMUM LOAD: 120kg

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 5/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/5

    OVERALL: 5/5

There is a handy phone app that can be paired with the unicycle via Bluetooth, and it can be used to power on and off the machine, as well as see distance travelled and the battery status.

However, having two wheels instead of one does come with several disadvantages.

Turning in a small radius can feel a little precarious, as the outside wheel will lift off the ground.

Also, with two wheels in parallel, going over uneven ground could cause the unicycle to tilt from side to side (for instance, if one wheel goes over a tree root, and the other does not).

At 13.5kg, the Inmotion V3 is quite hefty to lug up and down stairs. Expect to add on another 1kg if you spring for the V3S, which has a bigger battery good for up to 40km on a single charge, versus the 25km of the regular V3.

Fortunately, the inbuilt retractable handle that rests right at the top of the unicycle is sturdy enough for carrying the machine around.

Lisabel Ting

  • Verdict: A thoughtfully designed electric unicycle that is packed with features. The two wheels also make it great for unicycle newbies.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2015, with the headline 'Two-wheeler chock-full of features'. Print Edition | Subscribe