Bizarre Bikes is a segment that looks into an alternative kind of motorbike to understand why it was created. Designing futuristic vehicles is common practice for marques, with an extreme example being the Peraves MonoTracer. The MonoTracer is a type of cabin motorbike that looks as if it was crossed with a car. Cabin motorbikes have been around since the 1920s, with the MonoTracer being one of the most recent examples.
The beginning of the MonoTracer goes back to an earlier model called the Peravas Ecomobile. Created by stunt aircraft designer Arnold Wagner, the Ecomobile came out in 1974. It had a design that was similar to a traditional motorbike, with two wheels and handlebars. The water-cooled 4-cylinder BMW K series allowed the Ecomobile to go from 0-60 in six seconds.
Like a car it featured back support, a headrest and a seatbelt. The low centre of gravity provided good stability, while the enclosed nature of the Ecomobile provided safety for the rider. When the Ecomobile was released, the Swiss government thought it wasn’t safe for the road, which led to Wagner campaigning for it be made legal. He got his wish in 1985, when the Ecomobile became street legal without the need for a crash helmet.
In 1991, the Ecomobile was allowed to be sold in the EU for the first time. The updated versions came with air conditioning and CD players. Even from the early days, the Ecomobile cost a lot of money, making it a niche product.
In 2007, it was decided the Ecomobile would be modernised. Spearheaded by a Swiss designer called Tobi Wuelser, the new MonoTracer improved on the original model. It came with an updated Kevlar monocoque body and improved aerodynamics. The MonoTracer also boasted a 1.2-litre BMW 4-cylinder engine and featured optional equipment like climate and electronic stability control.
An electric-powered version can also be purchased, offering 200 hp and improved performance. The MonoTracer brings together technology from two different vehicles to create a unique machine. If you know someone who owns one, we’d love to see pictures that can be posted to our Inside Bikes Facebook page.