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So you've decided for your character's Cool Car to be a motorcycle. But aren't hogs overdone by Hells Angel lookalikes and feeling that the Japanese bikes are too generic? Then lucky for you there exists a type of motorbike called the Monowheel that is essentially a motorcycle IN A GIANT WHEEL.
This type of vehicle is typically used in futuristic or fantasy settings despite it having pedal versions in the late 19th century.
The issue of fast acceleration and sudden braking leaving the rider spinning inside the wheel itself is usually ignored or handwaved.
- In a 2007 television commercial produced for the drink brand Capri Sun, a boy and a girl are both riding in variants which appear to be manufactured vehicles made of metal and fiberglass (up to the point where they are levitated into the air by a CGI effect).
Anime & Manga
- Jack Atlas in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's has one of these as his D-Wheel. A D-Wheel fit for a
- Ray Steam in Steamboy builds a pedal/steam powered one.
- Jean from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water uses one. It even appears in the opening, at least in the French dub.
- Many mobile suits of the Zansacre Empire in Mobile Suit Victory Gundam use Einrads, giant versions that they stand in. They can also fly.
- Some of these eventually show up in the Gantz manga. Although their users tend to die just as horribly as everyone else.
- A chapter of Kochikame has a mad scientist creating cars of the future that uses a renewable energy (mostly unimpressed). Ryotsu is impressed of the monowheel and goes for a joyride. Until the wheel goes out of control when he stops at the red light and knocking him unconcious.
- Amazing Three features three agents from outer space who travel in a tire-shaped vehicle called the Big Wheel, which can travel at enormous speeds on both land and water (and, with modifications, through the air).
- In the OVA series Dirty Pair Flash Mission 3, a young female assassin called Monica drives a Red Futuristic Monowheel.
- In the animated adaptation of Venus Wars, one-wheeled motorcycles are used both in bloodsport and combat.
- In the Blackhawk comics, the Nazis have a superweapon called the War Wheel, which was one of these on steroids.
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew: The Screeching Tire, a War Wheel expy controlled by a talking hamster running in a smaller wheel inside.
- The cleverly named Spider-Man villain "Big Wheel"
- A multiple War Wheels example from Airboy Comics, courtesy of Superdickery's "Weird Science" section.
- Sequential Art solution: 1 running wheel with a crazy humanoid squirrel still inside + 2 shots at the construction holding it in place = 1 improvised light tank.
- In Hex, Reinhold Borsten's forces had armoured monowheels; sort of like minature, one-man War Wheels.
Films -- Live Action
- In Star Wars Episode III, General Grievous tries to escape Obi-Wan by riding a Wheel Bike that also has some legs for those rough terrain.
- Destroyer Droids in all three prequels fold up into monowheels to maneuver around. The Clone Wars animated movie took advantage of the lack of shields in this mode to render them into scrap.
- A Transformers Crossover figure. They noticed that the Wheel Bike looked like Grievous enough to make a figure of Grievous that transforms into it.
- There's a very cool one of these in Iain M. Banks' novel Against a Dark Background.
- Robert Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. While traveling on the Moon, the vehicle the protagonists are in is attacked by a giant Monowheel. It had gunpods sticking out from each hub.
- Stanislav Lem's novel Eden features motorized variants of the monowheel.
- There's a living example in E. E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series novel Galactic Patrol. The Wheelmen of Aldebaran I are literally wheel-shaped aliens, with their heads where the hub would be, and dozen of arms with capable looking hands. They move around by rolling like wheels.
Live Action TV
- One episode of Scrapheap Challenge had the two teams constructing monowheels and then racing them around a test track.
- The Skaven of Warhammer recently got one of these; a weird gunned-up, blade-covered wheel powered by hundreds of running rats.
- Arduin Dungeon #1 Caliban had a magikal construct called a "Warwheel" that ranged from 10-24 feet high.
- The fourth edition of Shadowrun features a monowheel called the Horizon-Doble Revolution.
- Hollow Earth Expedition supplement Secrets of the Surface World. In the Weird Science chapter, the example of the creation process is a Wheelbike: a single large wheel running around the outside of a gyroscopically balanced cockpit and engine.
- In the most recent Dune RTS game, the Harkonnens have the Buzzsaw, which specializes in ruining Spice fields or slicing through infantry formations. No explanation on how the blades stay sharp after traveling over rocks, though.
- One of the enemies in Super Smash Bros Brawl's Subspace Emissary is essentially this. A common Kirby enemy, as well.
- This is one of the party's primary means of transportion in Wild Arms 5. In the penultimate battle, Dean turns it into a weapon. MONOWHEEL TO THE FACE, BITCH.
- Mega Man 4 has the first variant of the "Roader" enemy. The roaders that appear in later games look less like a monowheel, though.
- This is one of the Extreme Gears you can use in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity.
- You can fight some of this in Airforce Delta Strike.
- In Kirby Super Star, the helper from the wheelie powerup is a monowheel.
- In Wild Arms 5 the main character Dean obtains a monowheel for faster transportation around world map areas.
- In Chaotic, the Mowercycle (as pictured above) is this plus some metal teeth that can either be used to climb vertical surfaces and even run across cavern ceilings or be used to vandalize your enemy's city by powersaw-ing through their stone statues.
- An episode of Justice League had Nazis using the War Wheel from the Blackhawks example.
- Similarly, the Big Wheel appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
- The South Park episode "The Entity" has Mr Garrison invent 'IT', a high speed, super efficient monowheel. Despite the control system requiring a joystick up the ass and in the mouth, it's still wildly popular as "it's still better than dealing with the airlines".
- And one can only guess how popular it would have been if they'd figured out that you don't need to use the anal/oral joysticks to move - there are alternative controls on the IT too.
- An early title for this episode was "The Ginger Device." It was making fun of the not-yet-released Segway, which at the time was a closely-guarded secret with lots and lots of wild public speculation.
- Colonel Dirk Courage, The Hero from Spiral Zone, drove the Rimfire, a monowheel with a BFG on top.
- Pre-dating Episode III by twenty years, the Droids cartoon features a monowheel.
- In Wakfu, Nox's Mooks ride such monowheeled vehicles to battle, looking like giant clockwork cogwheels.
- A futuristic version of the monowheel is shown in a few episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003.
- In Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, The Red Sentient Kytren uses The Vyirex which is a gyroscope monowheel (hence the name).
- McLean V-8 Monowheel. Too bad it crashed. Don't worry the driver wasn't badly hurt.
- School project?
- Some monowheel fun, more monowheel fun, and old-fashion monowheel fun.
- This article from Popular Mechanics (November, 1933).
- Behold the gyro-electric destroyer!