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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What's the biggest danger of ANY three wheel scooter? Tipping Over...

Enter the 600/700Balance scooter.  Many people are afraid of three wheel scooters because they feel tippy. A Rascal is less so because at 25 inches wide it's wider than many, for instance the Golden Companion is narrower and I personally know of several people who've tipped them over, one guy was still in the cast from breaking his arm. Rascals always came with tip wheels on both sides of their three wheels to help prevent tipping.  I actually talked many people out of a four wheel in favor of a three wheel by standing on one side of the platform and jumping up and down, at the time I weighed over 200 pounds, and rarely could  get the tip wheel to touch the ground. That sold a lot of three wheelers. But, still, if you tried hard enough you could tip even it. This was a concern to Rascal, and the owner, who holds several patents, so he decided to see if he could improve the design, and he did.  They widened the platform slightly, made the tip wheels larger and moved them out to the front corners. They are also magnetically centered.  Now when the scooter turns or tips the front mounted tip wheels touch down and effectively change it to a four wheel scooter. I was given an opportunity to try it out while it was in development and was challenged to tip it if I could, I tried, driving through the building as fast as I could and turning sharp, spinning in circles. I couldn't tip it.  I was told by one of the managers that they had put one of the new B fronts on a rear section that would do 10mph and almost took out some file cabinets but could not make it tip over. 
Last spring it was released as the 600B or Balance. I took one around to the VA hospitals, to everybody that tried it I said, "I have 20.00 that says you can't tip it."  Many of them were good sized, and really tried, but I never had to pay the 20.00.  The owner of Rascal has told us that he believes this design will obsolete the four wheel scooter, by giving the manueverability of a three wheel, and the stability and safety of a four wheel. Now we also have a smaller unit originally called the 300B, now the called the700B, it's 4 inches shorter and even more manueverable.  Here is an overview of the 600B put out by Rascal:

The Rascal Balance 3-Wheel Mobility Scooter

“Ride with Confidence”
The Rascal Company has led the industry in technological breakthroughs in personal electric vehicle technology for 35 years. Michael Flowers founded The Rascal Company with his late father, Francis, and is co-inventor of the original Rascal 3-wheeler. He is also the inventor of the
two vehicle-in-one Rascal ConvertAble√í and the powerfolding Rascal AutoGo.  The new Rascal Balance 3-wheeler features magnetic self-centering, stabilizer wheels.
Remarking on his latest invention, Flowers says: “4-wheeled scooters are stable, but are not
maneuverable and are uncomfortable for larger riders. 3-wheelers can tip sideways in sharp
turns, which is disconcerting and sometimes dangerous. The Rascal Balance is different. It's
comfortable and stable, plus it’s easy to maneuver in tight spots like stores and riding in crowds.
The Rascal Balance makes you feel better and safer!”
The magnetic stabilizer™ is a major technological breakthrough. It is currently offered on 2 new
models in 2 different sizes – 300 B, mid-size, 43” long and 600 B, full-size, 46” long.
The stabilizer technology automatically deploys when the Rascal Balance turns at any reasonable
speed. As the front wheel turns, the outside stabilizer wheel touches down on the riding surface.
The centrifugal force immediately releases the magnetic field holding the stabilizer fork and
wheel in place. At this point, the 3-wheeler becomes a 4-wheeler.
As the Rascal Balance turns, the stabilizer wheel follows the identical path of the steerable wheel.
When the front wheel is turned in a straight direction, the stabilizer wheel automatically returns to
its normal position above the riding surface and the magnets lock the fork and wheel back in
These maneuverable Rascal 3-wheelers also feature a superior frame-forward™ design. This
frame design provides maximum comfort in lower body posture. There is a much larger foot and
leg accommodation range when compared to most other 3-wheelers and especially their 4-
wheeler counterparts. They provide all of the benefits of current Rascal 300 and 600 3-and-4
wheelers combined:
• Safety
• Comfort
• Ease-of-use
• Maneuverability
• Style
No other 3-wheeler provides all of these important benefits in one package! There’s a new
Rascal Balance model that will provide outstanding comfort whether the Rascal rider is 4’6” or 6’6”.

FAQs for the Rascal Balance

1. What is the Rascal Balance?

It’s a highly maneuverable, stable, comfortable and easy to use 3-wheeled mobility vehicle for personal use. The Rascal Balance is The Rascal Company’s solution to having to choose between safety (4- wheelers) and comfort (3-wheelers). Both of the Rascal Balance 3-Wheelers incorporate Frame-Forward™ Design and Self-Centering Magnetic Stabilizer™ Technology.

2. What makes The Rascal Balance different from its predecessor, the Rascal 600T?

The 600T has long been known as the industry leading 3-wheeler for style, comfort, handling, durability, weight bearing capacity and stability. With the Rascal Balance, The Rascal Company has made the best even better with the addition of our unique Frame-Forward Design and Self-Centering Magnetic Stabilizer Wheels.

3. What is Frame-Forward Design?

Frame-Forward Design improves your seated posture because it provides added foot room and comfort for a wide range of customers. It allows leg extension and improves vehicular weight distribution.

4. Why is Posture so Important?

Similar to automobile seating, the comfort of a scooter seat is a direct result of hip, knee and ankle position. Also known as body posture, most people base their buying decision primarily on seating comfort. Anatomical studies indicate the angles at the joints of the hip, knee and ankle should be greater than 90° to maintain a comfortable, seated body posture. Although a couple of degrees may not seem to make a big difference, it may be what causes a person to feel comfortable or become prematurely fatigued or deal with induced pain from poor seated position.  The Rascal Balance superior postural positioning provides users with a minimum of 90° joint angles at the hip, knee, and ankle. This is a direct result of how the ergonomic adjustable seat, the adjustable dash and adjustable handlebar, and the roomy Frame-Forward designs interact with each other to perfectly fit riders of various weights and sizes!

Lee Murray

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