From the country that brought us the fun-looking off-road SHERP…
...comes another ridiculous-looking all-terrain vehicle that provokes a strong desire to try riding:
Inventor Eduard Luzyanin calls it the Homyak (Russian for "hamster"). The vehicle is powered by a 150cc engine yanked out of a Chinese scooter, attached to the drive shaft via a chain drive. The tracks were taken off of a snowmobile.
The steering mechanism is taken off of…nothing, because there is no steering mechanism. The handlebar is just a place to put your hands and has no articulation.
So how do you turn it? According to this Russian blog, turning is relatively easy on "weak soils: Sand, swamp, snow, where leaning is enough to turn."
"It is harder to turn on a hard surface, but there are workarounds: From 'plant a foot down on the side you're turning towards' to 'floor the throttle, then transfer weight while popping a wheelie.'
That sounds dicey as hell (but fun to watch, at any rate).
Rounding out the vehicle are an LED headlight, a 10-liter gas tank, a spare 5-liter jerry can on the rear, two small trunks front and rear, and space beneath the seat as well as on the frame to attach some tools. (Luzyanin tracks around with a hatchet, a folding saw, a compass, a thermos and a 15-meter coil of rope.) There are no functioning taillights, but there is a Minion with unmissable eyeballs.
The top speed is around 43 km/h (27 m.p.h.), but "At this speed you feel very uncomfortable," Luzyanin says. "There is no suspension!" He says 20 km/h (12 m.p.h.) is optimal.
Luzyanin built the Hamster as a one-off for himself, but there are now two in existence. "When a man approached me and asked me to build him one," he says, "I did."