Forbes: When F1 Engineers Design A Push Scooter, The $6,500 RBS#01 Results

Forbes: When F1 Engineers Design A Push Scooter, The $6,500 RBS#01 Results

If you want a specialty vehicle like no other, just have the people that design race cars build it. That’s what happened with the Oracle Red Bull Racing RBS#01, a $6,500 limited edition collection of carbon fiber, rubber and technology that tops out at a blistering 20 miles an hour. Yes, twenty mph, not 220 mph.

Clearly a product aimed at those with enough disposable income to watch in person as Oracle Red Bull Racing auteur Max Verstappen dominates F1 circuits, the stunning RBS#01 is more mechanical artwork than daily transportation, although with a claimed maximum range of 40 miles on a charge, it could certainly fulfill that role as well.

Reportedly a beers-and-cigars after-hours skunkworks project by Oracle Red Bull Racing engineers who collectively poured about 2,500 hours into its creation, the RBS#01 is the mundane elevated to art, like a Fabregé egg or “graffiti” by Banksy. Despite the fairly pedestrian top speed, one thing it isn’t is boring. In any way.

Air up the wide go-kart style tires, charge up the 50.4V 15ah/760Wh battery, then hit the button up top that illuminates a racecar-like instrument panel. Give it push while holding down the throttle lever just like on those rental scooters and you’re off like poetry in motion atop 50 pounds worth of sensuous, curving naked carbon fiber and tech tastefully adorned with red racing stripes. Both wide wheels spin on single-sided hubs sealed with sassy red axle caps. They really didn’t miss a trick.

The 750-Watt motor tucked in the rear wheel also makes 80 Nm of torque, so the potential for more speed is there, but the scooter is electronically limited to 20 mph. And despite my ribbing about the top speed (which is Red Bull Racing just following the law in most places) and the wide availability of scooters that can go much, much faster, 20 mph on a scooter is plenty fast, and I say that from experience. Please wear a helmet while riding any scooter, but preferably on made from carbon fiber when on the RBS#01.

The RBS#01 gets to maximum legal velocity quickly, and the single hydraulic disc brake mounted out back has plenty of stopping power. A bright LED headlight and a red LED tail light in a carbon-formed mini-wing/splash guard above the rear wheel signal to traffic you’re coming through. Eventually.

I figured the wide, wide and well-siped tires would make cornering super sketchy, but they have just enough of a rounded profile to carve through turns with unexpected speed and grace. Traction was never, ever a problem, even in the Oregon rain. “For Racing Only” it says on the tires’ sidewalls. Noted.

The RBS #01 makes do with no suspension, allowing for precise feedback through the carbon fiber hand controls, just like in the race cars. Happily, it’s far quieter than the 900 horsepower Honda 1.5-liter V6 howling behind Max’s head while he’s driving the winning Red Bull Racing RB20 F1 machine, but it does emit a pleasant drone as it spools up.

Squeeze the brake and the engagement is progressive and controlled. Grab a bit more and you can slide the rear wheel around like a racetrack hooligan. If you’re actually behaving while riding, a bike bell on the left grip gives pedestrians a cheerful heads up to get clear.

With a price tag that would buy a fair number of motorcycles on my wish list, I won’t be parking the RBS#01 in my garage anytime soon. For those that do pull the trigger, they’ll own one of the most unusual bits of F1-inspired memorabilia ever committed to production - and one that’s a hoot to ride as well. Just remember: Supplies are limited.

This story originally appear on By William Roberson.