Despite appearances to the contrary, the dominant form of transportation around the world is the motorcycle. This fact led LIT Motors founder Danny Kim to re-think what was required of a car as urban transport, and how to combine it with his other passion, riding a motorcycle.

Based in San Francisco, US, LIT Motors – formed in 2010 – was Kim’s brain-child, an answer to the congested city streets and vehicle pollution created during rush-hour commutes. The fact that the majority of vehicles in cities are only occupied by a single occupant struck Kim as he was nearly crushed underneath a 4WD vehicle he was building.

He wondered why he was building such a large vehicle when most people drive alone. Thus, the LIT Motors C-1 was born in 2013. Starting by going back to school to earn a degree in industrial design and sustainable transportation, the C-1 prototype was a fully-enclosed, single-seat, electric two-wheeler.

Kim recognised the fact that while motorcycles stay upright only by virtue of the rider’s input, this would not be a workable solution for the C-1, which was intended as a replacement for the typical car, and marketed to non-motorcyclists. The solution to keeping the C-1 upright and stable was a pair of gyroscopes.

The gyroscopes keep the C-1 up-right even when unattended, and are spin fast enough to prevent it from toppling even when pulled by an SUV. Steering is by-wire, and uses a car steering wheel. While motorcycles steer using counter-steering, the C-1 uses signals generated by steering movement to turn the motion into counter-steering, letting the C-1 lean into turns the way a motorcycle does.


Powered by lithium iron phosphate batteries, LIT claims the C-1 has a top speed of 160 kmh, while 0-100 kmh is done and dusted in less than 6 seconds, and a range of 320 km per charge. The C-1 weighs in at a hefty 360 kg, due to the battery pack, gyroscopes and full-coverage bodywork.

A mishap in 2015 left Kim bed-ridden for six months, and he has only recently resumed work. In the meantime, the LIT team has developed a new prototype, the EP4, which is under-going development. Pricing for the C-1 was listed as 24,000 USD (RM96,600) during its initial kickstarter campaign, but no word on what current or final pricing is likely to be.