Saturday, 15 October 2011

Practicality tends to take a back seat when you combine sci-fi cult status with custom chopper building - and there's no room for a pillion passenger on the Lightcycle. We first spied Parker Brothers Choppers Lightcycle project last year when it surfaced in gas-powered form, now the company has released video of a fully-electric version of the neon-packing two-wheeler in action. The electric motor may be quieter, but this one's still guaranteed to turn heads. 

The lightcycle scene was probably the most memorable part of an absolutely jaw-dropping movie when Tron was released back in 1982. One of the first films ever to use the kinds of computer-generated special effects that later become commonplace, it was a glimpse into a whole new world that left an indelible impression on most that saw it. Now, as Disney prepares to release Tron Legacy, a sequel some 28 years after the original, the lightcycles are back and looking meaner than ever. Built by the same guys that did the memorable Batpod replica, the new lightcycles feature massive dual hubless wheels, carbon fiber/fiberglass bodies and all the lashings of neon that you'd expect. And there's going to be five running models built - all of which are now up for sale on eBay. Check it out! 
The lightcycles are to be built by Parker Brothers Choppers, each will be individually numbered from 001 to 005, and each will come with a different color neon highlight. Only five will ever be built. 
Buyers can specify what size combustion engine they want, or use a high-powered electric motor to really get in the digital swing of things. Special tires are being made up to fit the enormous 22" x 12" hubless rims - and the manufacturer, Hoosier, will make additional tires available if you wear the originals out - because these lightcycles are being built for street use, not just to be shown. 
They're selling for US$35,000 apiece, which is a bit of a steal for something so technically challenging to build - not to mention something that will cause extreme whiplash for the general public, and a stack of dry-cleaning bills for any geek that sees it. 
The Lightcycle is based on the conveyance from 2010's Tron: Legacy and in its latest real-world form it has undergone extensive body reworking as well as getting a 96 volt electric motor and lithium ion battery pack. Parker Brothers quotes an (impressive if true) top speed of in excess of 100 mph for and a range of 100 miles on a single charge with 35 minute recharge times. 


There's no word yet on pricing or availability of All Electric Lightcycle, but the Suzuki 4-stroke driven model is still being sold through Hammacher Schlemmer for an the asking price of US$55K. 
You might not find yourself lane-splitting or scraping the pegs while astride this beast, but - at least until landspeeders hit the market - you'll be hard pressed to find a more radical 21st century ride.

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