Still think flying motorbikes are a thing of the distant future? Think again.
For those who can afford it, that's what 2022 has in store: A.L.I. Technologies, a Japan-based startup backed by soccer player Keisuke Honda as well as heavyweights like Mitsubishi Electric and Kyocera, has unveiled its hoverbike, which it envisions as the future mode of transportation. And it wants to persuade wealthy customers to trade in their supercar for the $680,000 (77.7 million yen) hoverbike, which went on sale on October 26.
In a scene straight out of a science fiction film, the startup recently demonstrated the vehicle on a Tokyo racing track near Mount Fuji and showed off its aerial moves.
Meet XTURISMO the hoverbike
Dubbed 'XTURISMO Limited Edition', the hoverbike has a motorcycle-like body on top of propellers that rests on landing skids when motionless. It's equipped with a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors and is capable of flying for 40 minutes at speeds of up to 62 mph (100 kph), Reuters reported.
Due to Japan's strict regulations, its applications will be limited to sites such as race tracks in the foreseeable future, and it won't be permitted to fly over Japan's highways just yet. However, the startup hopes the hoverbike will one day be used by rescue teams to get to difficult-to-reach regions.
One downside is that it is not as quiet as the other electric vehicles on the market, but it's safe to say that it makes up for it with its inventiveness. So, yes, flying bikes are coming, and they are coming with a bang. The company plans to construct 200 single-rider hoverbikes in a limited run for delivery in the first half of 2022.
"Until now the choice has been to move on the ground or at scale in the sky," Chief Executive Daisuke Katano said to Reuters. "We hope to offer a new method of movement."
With Dubai police and the U.S. Army leaders investigating the potential of hoverbikes in the field, a future where they are employed next to other gadgets like jetpacks and flying taxis as a personal mode of transportation seems to be getting closer.