The first computer bike in the world the Raleigh 'Vektar' is launched in Dublin.
The ‘Vektar’ is the world’s first high-technology bike, developed at the cost of more than £500,000 and the successor to the best selling ‘Chopper’. Revolutionary features include a radio boasting three channels, a sound synthesiser programmed with eight re-set high-tech sounds and a computer equipped to calculate speed, distance and time of journeys.
The bike when fitted with all the electronic gadgetry will cost around £300. This price however does not include lights. Managing Director of Raleigh Ireland John Beatty explains this is because the target audience for the bike is the 7-12 age-group. These children would only be cycling during daylight hours. However lights can be fitted.
The ‘Vektar’ is designed for road use, but it is as strong as a BMX and it will stand up to all sorts of punishment. The bike was subjected to ‘sever vibration impact and fatigue tests’ by children from the east end of London. It was tested in 100% humidity, temperatures of up to 40 degrees centigrade and the electronics were frozen solid and thawed out again.
Raleigh donated the first ‘Vektar’ as a raffle prize for the ‘Dublin Taxi Drivers Special Childrens’ Outing’ held at Leopardstown Racecourse. This event has been taking place for children with special needs since 1960. The drivers are hoping to raise £10,000 to buy equipment for the 23 hospitals attended by the children.
An RTÉ News report by Kieron Wood broadcast on 17 September 1985