Sci-fi motor­cycles take shape in San Fran

If you begin seeing people zipping around the city on sci-fi scooters and motorcycles, thank Lit. Lit is a SOMA-based (where else?) startup focusing on revolutionizing urban transportation.

Their main focus is riffing on the classic motorcycle design to bring us efficient and cheap modes of transportation in an urban environment. The result is vehicles that look one step closer to those cars from Blade Runner.

One of their creations is a combination motorcycle/car — something like a Smart car’s little brother — known as the C-1.

All of the C-1’s features scream safety and prescience. It runs on two wheels but is fully enclosed by steel doors. A balancing act is at play here as well, with two gyroscopes keeping the vehicle upright even in an accident.

In case this doesn’t seem like enough, Lit’s owner Daniel Kim explains the gyroscopes are so effective that “basically you’d need a baby elephant to knock the vehicle over.”

The C-1 is fully electric but can reach a top speed of 125 mph and has a range of up to 200 miles per charge. Kim told Gizmag:

“The C-1 […] takes the romance and the efficiency of a motorcycle and we integrate that with the safety and the comfort of a car.”

Lit is also working on prototypes that will cater to both urban and developing needs. According to Lit’s chief marketing officer Ryan James, a cargo scooter the company is building can transport water in a developing country, or could fit “nine extra large pizzas and a few liters of soda” ready for delivery to a late night stint in a SOMA startup’s office.

The C-1 is expected be available to consumers by 2014. Kim believes that at full production scale, the C-1 could sell for as low as $12,500 in developing countries, but would be a bit pricier here in the U.S. The company says they have pre-orders for 500 C-1’s.