One of the coolest human-powered water toys we had the fortune to look at in 2022, the French-developed Jetcycle is a recumbent hydrofoil water bike that soars over top the water via human leg power. Jetcycle seems to have realized not every potential water-cyclist is up for the task of vigorously pedaling over the water's surface. It's now adding a second model that kicks in some electric assistance to ease the burden on the rider's legs. The new E-Jetcycle also features a pair of stabilizing hulls around the main cockpit, further softening the learning curve for foil-cycling.
Jetcycle's sit-atop kayak-like recumbent layout always seemed like a less intimidating way of trying to balance a pedal-powered vessel atop the water than the bike frame-inspired (or even integrated) designs we've seen from manufacturers like Manta5. But kayaks aren't always so easy for novices to balance, either, and having to continuously pedal to enjoy the foiling action also seems likely to prove daunting for the type of beginner who might otherwise be interested in taking a Jetcycle for spin.
Jetcycle has designed the E-Jetcycle to address those problems and better appeal to the large percentage of the world's population that's never tried to pedal on – or above – water. It starts off by widening the platform into a trimaran setup for better stability and easier boarding and disembarking.
The E-Jetcycle's main central hull appears to be quite similar to the original Jetcycle, measuring the same 11 feet (3.4 m) long and housing a padded bucket seat, steering controls and a position-adjustable pedal box. While the left and right side hulls give the Jetcycle a heavier, more intimidating appearance reminiscent of a sci-fi fighter jet, they add stability and make the boat more user-friendly overall. The wide arms that connect the side hulls to the center hull double as swim platforms, allowing the rider to easily jump off into the water and climb back on.
The E-Jetcycle's electric system is integrated within the pedal box and offers up to 200 watts of motor assistance. The rider can select from different levels of e-assist, and the battery is designed for up to three hours of runtime meant to ease the burden on the rider and/or allow them to explore farther and longer on the water. As on the original Jetcycle, side levers provide control of steering and foiling action.
The Jetcycle will glide forward atop the water's surface up to a speed of 5 knots (9 km/h), at which point it will start to rise and propel above the water on its carbon fiber-winged foils. Jetcycle lists cruising speed at 8 knots (15 km/h) and top speed at 10 knots (19 km/h).
The E-Jetcycle weighs in at 121 lb (55 kg) and spans a width of 7.5 feet (2.3 m). It has a draft of 2.5 feet (75 cm).
Jetcycle is preparing to launch the E-Jetcycle at this month's Düsseldorf boat show. At €19,990 (approx. US$21,900), the light-electric watercraft is double the price of the manual Jetcycle. Hopefully the company will be able to get some E-Jetcycles out to rental operations so that people can give them a try before committing high-end jet ski money toward buying their own.
You can see the E-Jetcycle in action on some beautiful waters in the short video below.