MonoWheel Madness – Absurdist Vehicles In Second Life

Oh but I love absurdist vehicles – things that when you look at them, you’re first thought is “that’s pure madness, somebody is going to kill themselves with that.”

 And I love the fact you can build these absurdist creations in Second Life without taking the years out to learn engineering skills and have a garage large enough to build them.

So here’s one of my faves – the MonoWheel – a motorcyle with only one wheel. These things are inherently dangerous and unstable, which is why they haven’t ever caught on – all though they do look decidely cool.

The main problem with them is the tendency they have to rotate the inside around the wheel  – a particular problem when braking, as you tend to end up spinning round like a demented hamster in its wheel.

There’s a video of some crazy who built a V8 powered MonoWheel – caught right at the moment when it all went wrong….

So I’ve built my own version of it – and true to the original it handles like a greased pig. This may be due to the off the shelf script that runs it – it was just a freebie one I found in my inventory – but I suspect it’s because of the uselessness of SL physics. If anybody out there has any decent bike scripts that might run it better I’d be glad to hear about them, as driving it is so unrewarding that I don’t feel inclined to waste any more time on the scripting – life’s just too short.

Here are the pics – spot the sculpted prims – the handlebar grips came out well. Click through for bigger versions…..

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~ by slconceptual on May 27, 2007.

7 Responses to “MonoWheel Madness – Absurdist Vehicles In Second Life”

  1. Very cool Mono Wheel. I am in the middle of creating one myself, Was searching for more reference art and found this. I guess someone has beat me too it hehe. I will still make mine though because it will be a slightly different style ( Based on Kerry McClean’s creations instead).

    I like those curved pipes alot, Did you do those with scuplted primes? I have had trouble doing cylinders with bends. They always look very wrong in game. Using lightwave3d/blender/winds3d in every way possible but having no luck unless I stick to simple cylinder based designs with no bends or reworked spheres.

    What are you using for your sculpted prims? And are those pipes sculpted prims?


  2. To answer my own question. I found out that I can export from Rhino, which is something I use already everyday. The pipes I lofted from there look perfect in game 🙂

  3. The pipes on mine are sections of a torus or cylinders – not sculpted at all. And do you know you can pick up a free monowheel at the Nissan islands? Let me know if you get yours to handle decently n- I couldn’t.

  4. Thanks, I just got that nissan one. It handles very strangely to me. I created some quick code for mine and it feels much easier to control to me then theirs does. It’s almost like that nissan one wants to fly up in the air or something.

    Mine does not jump but I can easily cruise small streets and doge obstacles with no problem. I made it so that It cannot leave the ground though, It might start acting weird once I allow it to hit ramps or something and get air.


  5. Oh BTW I just reread your original blog post and noticed that you were interested in bike scripts. I am a bike/motorcycle enthusiast and also a programmer by trade. I am in the middle of creating a set of true physics based vehicle scripts. The monowheel was going to be the testing project since it has a alot of center of gravity issues that would help show any errors.

    I’ll let ya know if anything comes of it. so far My mono wheel tends to flip if I brake too hard, I think that is an expected reaction though 🙂

  6. Thanks Tim – I’d love to test out your scripts. And the flipping when accelerating or braking is known as “Gerbilling” in monowheel circles (imagine a gerbil in his wheel!).

  7. Well, there are at least a few people who have the same idea 🙂
    I built one too, using a script that i got somewhere
    It is a mixture of Mcleans Wheel with a V-Twin and large Pipes that could be out of a “Werner” comic. It doesn’t have those fine details
    like rippled metal part because i’m not going to spend money for uploads :/ But i think i looks ok for the third evening that i spent my time there.
    Great job on your Wheel

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