Odds are good that you're familiar with the Segway. Back before it went public, it was widely touted as the best thing since sliced bread, with none other than Steve Jobs claiming it would be "as big a deal as the PC." Once it was revealed, of course, the self-balancing electric two-wheeler seemed more novelty than transportation revolution, quickly becoming the butt of jokes for its rather dorky design (and not helping George W. Bush's reputation in the process).
But while the original Segway wound up tied to mall cops and roving packs of tourists in the zeitgeist before eventually being put down this year, the technology behind it has been used to expand the name to all sorts of what people these days like to call electric mobility solutions: kick scooters, mopeds and e-scooters, roller skates, B.C.-meets-The Jetsons single-wheel...doohickies, adorable baby Terminators, even Wall-E chairs.
And, as we just learned, a really cool electric dirt bike.
The Segway Dirt eBike — which actually was revealed late last year, but somehow skirted under our radar at the time — certainly looks nothing like the Paul Blart machines that used to wear the family name. It's a mean machine, an angular skeletal aluminum frame containing a blocky battery (which can be swapped out when it runs down) and packing a full suspension and aggro off-road tires, enabling it to handle all sorts of terrain.
Acceleration is briskly refreshing, thanks to 184 lb-ft of torque, with both the smaller-batteried X160 and larger-batteried X260 zipping from 0 to 31 miles per hour in four seconds flat. (Segway says 4.02, but we round down at that point.) The X160's battery lets it go up to 40 miles and gives it a top speed of 31 mph, while the X260 can knock out trips of up to 74 miles and hit a Vmax of 46.6 miles per hour. Either bike can scramble up slopes of up to 45 degrees, and the battery can charge up in four hours.
Considering how pricey actual e-bikes can get, Segway's Dirt eBike doesn't seem too expensive, either. The X160 starts at $3,500, while the more potent X260 (which we'd probably spring for) goes for $5,000. Either way, though, you can have your off-road fun without expending a drop of gasoline — or having any exhaust fumes block those sweet smells of nature.