Psst! - Easy Rider
David Roth designed the 2000XR Go Motorboard, featuring a low deck over custom twin motors, polyurethane wheels, and Ensolite foam for a comfortable ride.
Talli Song Roth
Wouldn’t it be great if you could carry motorized transportation in your hand or in a backpack and then ride it when you exit the interstate, the bus, or a train?
Well, you can. On a single charge of its nanoscale-technology battery, the collapsible, 16-pound, sexy-looking Go Motorboard can take you five miles (or 20 miles with a three-battery pack) at up to 15 miles per hour.
Or units are about 2 to 3 miles per hour faster than a Segway and cost less,” says inventor David Roth. “Our technology is faster, stronger, lighter, cheaper, and has better range. The only thing we don’t have is [Segway’s] marketing budget.”
Roth and business partner John Lynch recently moved their company, Go Sporting Goods, from Los Angeles to Palm Desert because Roth likes the weather here and they needed space to grow. “I’ve found the business community very amiable,” Roth says, “much more so than in L.A.” (Lynch lives in Carlsbad and commutes three days a week.)
While still enrolled at Columbia University, Roth sold a line of jet-propelled toys to Hasbro and designed a ThinkPad docking station for IBM. Then, after studying industrial design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, he started a company that made new-technology products for Fortune 500 companies.
One of his designs — a motor system for electric cars — led him to develop the prototype Motorboard. “It was the first carryable vehicle that was strong enough to pull an adult up a hill,” Roth says. Go Sporting Goods introduced the 23-pound 1500X Motorboard in 2002, the 19-pound 2000X in 2004, and the 16-pound 2000XR this year. Now in his early 40s, he holds multiple patents.
“To get the weight down, we resized some of the mechanical parts,” Roth says. “Most importantly, we have been upgrading our technology to take advantage of the latest battery tower. The biggest differences in the new model are a reworked electrical system and the switch to lithium [battery] on a nanoscale.”
There are three ways to stop the Go Motorboard: with the hand brake, by putting your foot on the rear wheel, or by simply stepping off.
At its headquarters in a Palm Desert business park, the company also is building tooling to make an electric car. Roth expects to complete a prototype within two years.
Go Sporting Goods already has sold about 15,000 Motorboards. They are particularly popular in New York City and Europe, where residents use them for everyday transportation. Distributors are located in Orange County, New York, and Singapore; and the Motorboard is sold online ($699) at www.gosportinggoods.com.
— Janice Kleinschmidt