We have driven small motorcycles and it is exhilarating, but can be dangerous. In Asia, about 1 in 10 male motorcycle drivers die from a motorcycle accident if they drive them for 50 years. About 1 in 5 go to a hospital every year to get treatment because of a motorcycle accident. Both brothers, Doug Ballard and Lon Ballard, have had accidents with injuries from motorcycles. We are bringing to the market an alternative with a safer, efficient, 3 wheel 150cc vehicle. We designed Spira with motorcycle hand controls, a safe foot brake, 3 wheel disc brakes, and a foot accelerator. It has exhilarating handling and drives like a cross between a go cart and a motorcycle. When the very first prototype was driven by Mike Hanlon of Gizmag, he said had got more public attention from our unique concept than any of the 1000 vehicles he has tested, including Ferraris, etc. We switched to 3 wheel disc brakes due to of his expert suggestions.
USA patent # 8544585 has been awarded on Spira and other PCT's and patents are pending and in process in several countries. We hope to license our technology and production techniques to others at a low cost to promote safely and to promote safe applications by sharing our trade secrets and test results. We hope to someday affiliate with or set up a nonprofit organization to promote safer auto designs. Smashing a Guinness 555.6 kilometer World record single trip on a single charge by going 775.8 Kilometers proves our light weight technology has energy saving along with safety and strength. We put 50 KWh of Lithium batteries (1,331 pounds or 605 kilograms) in a 594 pound (270 kilo) fiberglass core board/bamboo Spira design for the journey.
Lon Ballard has invented a way to bring safety to both pedestrians and passengers with a revolutionary foam, super light vehicle. Over 6 inches of SOFT foam on all sides provides an estimated 1 billion tiny foam air bags for enhanced SAFEty. The exterior and interior of the auto is primarily composed of foam for pedestrian and passenger protection. SOFT, SAFE, SEXY is Spira’s motto.
Car design has focused on passenger safety while neglecting pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. Pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents and fatalities need more consideration. Some studies show that about one half the auto accident fatalities are pedestrians in urban areas and developing countries.
This is typical for the 3 Billion people in Asia. Many motorcycles in Asia are used for work and some have a side car attached to them for carrying people, children, and supplies. The foam Spira is designed to increase safety for the pedestrian, bicyclist, motorcyclist, and the passenger. Car design has focused on passenger safety and not the total accident and death rate
Spira’s patent pending technology can revolutionize the way vehicles are designed and produced. Spira uses reinforcing fibers and plastic to provide a strong a protective cage covered with soft foam on both the outside and inside. Foam can replace steel in cars for a more cushioned impact just as foam has replaced leather soles on most shoes and sandals. Foam protection on the outside of autos is needed because over half of vehicle deaths in large cities and developing countries are pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Spira is a low cost, simple 3 wheel configuration that achieves about 100 mpg with a motorcycle power plant. Spira is designed to use interchangeable off the shelf reliable motorcycle power plants and parts in initial production. This sleek utilitarian vehicle is a great choice for any commuter along with being a safe alternative for a motorcycle with all-weather protection. Its patent pending technology can make any vehicle safer, more efficient and have less environmental impact. It is hard to believe the first 10 feet long x 5 feet wide x 52 inches tall Spira which seats two weighed only 302 pounds.
Spira is seeking global/ local suppliers, dealers and manufacturers to share in our dream of producing efficient, light, safe, vehicles. Spira has starting production in China due to the wide availability of motorcycle parts. Our business plan is to also license production worldwide to get high local content and to speed market access.
The pointed front decreases air resistance and makes for a small target. In a crash it is best to deflect and roll as in Judo. The design choices were to fit a safe yet efficient shape around the people and mechanics. Styling came secondary to achieve a sleek efficient shape while using light weight, flexible, energy adsorbing, materials. Thought was given to what will happen to the components in a crash.
The millions of air bags in foam offer crash protection and light weight. Some foams are very strong and now are used to replace metal and plastics. 40 years ago who would think that nearly every one would have foam shoes. First came flip flops and then came Crocs.
Up until now drivers had to choose between a big heavy gas hog and smaller, less safe, yet more fuel efficient cars. The inventor has tried to create a safe, ultra-light, and ultra-efficient design. The body is mostly foam and fiberglass. The 6 inches of foam on all sides will give both passengers and pedestrians protection. The sleek shape is similar to the space shuttle to keep down wind resistance.
The first prototype chassis used hand laminated foam employing fiberglass layered within the foam. Production molds have been made to automate the chassis production. The goal of the design is to keep it safe and simple. Spira hopes to be a safe alternative for replacing the millions of dangerous motorcycles in the world. Being aerodynamic and light, Spira achieves the same fuel consumption as motorcycles. The use of a reliable production 150 cc motor scooter power plant that attaches with 3 bolts keeps maintenance simple. Hybrid and electric power is being developed.
The high mpg and low cost should entice drivers to take a step down from their luxury vehicles to save fuel and help the environment. In the future this patent pending foam technology can be used in all sizes of vehicles to improve safety and fuel consumption. The Spira team is seeking manufactures/engineers as partners to buy franchises to produce, help design, and sell vehicles throughout the world.
Every once in a while innovation will spark revolutionary improvements in an industry and our lives. Spira hopes the safety and light weight of foam and composites will make our world safer and greener. The foam and chassis can be easily recycled.