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BMW Hal-bo: Hal-f The Wheels, Hal-f The Safety, Hal Hates It

Updated on July 4, 2009

A designer named Pierre Yohanes Lubis recently entered the BMW Motorrad Innovation Contest 2009 with this prototype BMW which unlike other motorcycles is propelled by the front wheel, and can best be described as the world's fastest and deadliest Segway.

The BMW Halbo is powered by an electric motor which drives the front wheel alone. The vehicle (motorcycle? motorunicycle? suicidemobile?) uses its spherical rear wheel for balancing chores alone. The rear of the vehicle is fitted with a type of universal joint so that it can move in unison with the leaning of the front half of the... thing.

Lubis and BMW claim that the vehicle is designed specifically for "vibrant young people in highly populated cities. Mass transport may be the solution for crowded cities, but with this concept, personal needs can be satisfied without putting the environment in jeopardy."

Sure, save the environment but lose your life. I wouldn't ride this thing around the block if there was a million dollar check waiting for me at the finish line. It seems that the BMW designers have completely lost their minds on this one.

Highly populated cities, huh? Let's take an example of a "vibrant young person" who sits his vibrant young butt on that anal spike that passes for a seat and takes off. As he's riding around in his electric powered ecstasy, he hits one of those myriad potholes which dot the asphalt of every highly populated city I've ever been in. What happens then?

Let's just hope and pray that BMW's gyros are a significant step above Segway's Dean Kamen's and can handle the speeds that this little death trap is capable of while still keeping the rider upright in normal riding situations. That may not be the case in a big pothole situation, as the front wheel will dip into the hole, but fortunately it has sufficient radius to make it out the other side while still keeping the rubber side down and the shiny side up. So far so good. Now what happens when the spherical rear whatever travels through the hole? On the way down, the rear will likely be airborne for a fraction of a second, then depending on the size of the pothole may or may not make contact with the bottom. In this particular case, the non driven rear "sphere" will have mismatching inertial velocity to the ground surface, leading to a skid. But that's not even close to the biggest problem. As the vehicle rides (hops... bumps...) up the other side of the pothole, the casing of the sphere may be the first to impact the ragged side of the asphalt which would then feed back to the main chassis, forcing a forward rotation with such impact force that no gyro I've ever heard of could handle: The entire vehicle would pitch forward on its horizontal axis perpendicular to the direction of travel at the speed the vehicle was traveling.

Result? Our vibrant young person does a vibrant young face plant into the highly populated asphalt of the highly populated city and saves the environment by getting run over by a garbage truck, thus no longer being a drain on the planet's resources.

Voila! BMW has single handedly come up with a solution to the problem of environmental impact by eliminating a significant number of individuals of breeding age! The positive impact of this vehicle on the population of the world is inestimable!

Congratulations BMW! Keep up the good work and soon you will be awarded the Malthusian Annual Award For Population Control. If we can encourage all vibrant young people to ride your Hal-fassed Hal-bo Hal-lucination, we can finally eliminate them and drop down the birth rate to a fraction of what it is today!

After all, who needs young people anyway? Youth is highly overrated. Take it from me. Old age and lechery are the most desirable human qualities! The BMW Halbo can't hit the market soon enough!

Hmm... maybe we can turn all the formerly vibrant young people who are now dead young people into Soylent Green... Yum!


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    • profile image

      Raghu India 

      8 years ago

      Its fine it needs some work out to safety.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      ... and jaw-droppingly unsafe! Even with my decades and hundreds of thousands of miles of riding experience I wouldn't touch it! Yikes!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      That is an interesting and ugly machine put together.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Gypsy Willow: Yes, I hope that something else does come out of this, I just hope it's not some crazy killer motorcycle!

      ethel smith: Athletic or not, I've seen my share of motorcycle accidents and believe me, you splat just the same if you're fit or fat! :(

      RVDaniels: It looks like a miniature version of those 19th century bicycles with the huge front wheel and the pedals bolted right onto the front axle!

    • RVDaniels profile image


      9 years ago from Athens, GA

      What an ugly machine!

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      You'd need to be athletic to stand a chance. I agree with Gypsy Willow though that something better may follow on.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      9 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Something else may come out of this very unusual device!


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