They Built a Star Wars Speeder Bike That Actually Flies!

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted October 5, 2022

The speeder bike chase on Endor in Return of the Jedi is one of the most memorable parts of the original Star Wars trilogy.

As a kid, it was a part of the movie I would rewind to watch over and over, if only to hear those speaker-ripping sounds coming out of the old wood-grain console TV that sat on the floor.

I never thought that someone would eventually build one of those bikes in real life. But here we are…

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Say hello to the XTURISMO hoverbike, made by Japanese manufacturer AERWINS Technologies (soon to be listed on Nasdaq under the clever symbol AWIN).

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The XTURISMO made its U.S. debut just weeks ago at the Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle can reportedly fly for up to 40 minutes and can achieve speeds of over 60 miles per hour.

Thad Szott, co-chair of the Detroit Auto Show, was seen flying the vehicle in the image above and said after taking that test ride, “I feel like I'm literally 15 years old and I just got out of Star Wars and jumped on their bike. I mean, it's awesome!”

The XTURISMO is already available to Japanese consumers. And there are plans to retail a smaller version here in the United States next year.

What’s living out your childhood fantasy of flying on Endor going to cost you?

$777,000!

And that’s without taxes and insurance!

But that’s the initial price. Reuters reports Shuhei Komatsu, founder and CEO of AERWINS, says he hopes the company can bring the price down to $50,000 for a smaller model by 2025.

Last month AERWINS announced it was planning on going public via a merger that would result in a combined equity value of $750 million. The company said that merger is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023. And post-merger, AERWINS would be listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbols “AWIN” and “AWINW.’

AERWINS will not be the first publicly traded air mobility company on Nasdaq. In fact, there are quite a few that just recently IPO'd.

Developers of electric vertical takeoff and landing (or eVTOL) vehicles that have gone public since 2020 include Archer Aviation (NYSE: ACHR), Eve Holding (NYSE: EVEX), Joby Aviation (NYSE: JOBY), Lilium (NASDAQ: LILM), and Vertical Aerospace (NYSE EVTL).

Each one of these has its own design.

Vertical Aerospace VX4 Prototype
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Eve Holding Unnamed Air Taxi
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And again, these are just a few.

The XTURISMO is, however, a bit unique among them. First, the company actually has a working prototype. Most of these companies haven't gotten beyond the design stage. The Vertical Aerospace VX4 prototype just completed its first tethered flight last week. AERWINS, on the other hand, actually has something more than a computer-generated image to show off.

But also, unlike other eVTOLs, the XTURISMO is not considered an aircraft, according to reports. That means you don’t need a pilot license to use one.

Yet don’t bet on seeing these flying by you on the highway anytime soon. Chances are eVTOL use will at first be limited to the realm of extreme sports and autonomous vehicles that boil down to flying taxis. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t millions of dollars to be made. Just consider how many Chevrolet Camaros and Ford Mustangs are sold just because of NASCAR. 

Will AERWINS' new non-aircraft XTURISMO be the winner in the race to develop a retail-friendly eVTOL?

Time will tell.

Until next time,
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Luke Burgess

Luke’s analysis and market research reach hundreds of thousands of investors every day. Through his work with the Outsider Club and Junior Mining Trader, Luke helps investors in leveraging the future supply-demand imbalance that he believes could be key to a cyclical upswing in the hard asset markets. For more on Luke, go to his editor’s page.

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