History of Pulse/ Litestar

There were about 347 of these made between 1985 and 1990 in Owosso Michigan by the Owosso Motor Car Company. The first 21 were called Litestars and then the name changed to Pulse. A Pulse is a motorcycle. It rides on 2 main wheels and has 2 outrigger wheels (one on each side). It is classified in most states as a 3 wheel motorcycle. It has a 123″ wheelbase and an overall length of 192″ X 76″ width X 54″ height and weighs about 1000 lbs.

The factory closed in 1990 and no parts are available from OMCC.

The PULSE is a “GCRV”, or Ground Cruising Recreational Vehicle.  This new term appropriately describes the PULSE because the vehicle has the performance and acceleration of a motorcycle engineered into a comfortable weatherproof vehicle with many of the attributes of an automobile.  An alternate term for the PULSE is an “autocycle”.

Its body resembles a high performance jet aircraft, yet drives like a sports car.  The exceptionally long wheel base provides unmatched stability and driving comfort for a vehicle of its weight, class and fuel economy.  It seats two (tandem) and has almost six (6) cubic feet of storage space.

The PULSE has been designed to provide dependable, safe & economical transportation in a brand new form of fun machine.  The 1989 model is powered by a water-cooled 1100cc motorcycle engine.  The Pulse has driving controls like those in an automobile with a manual transmission.

Slide back the canopy and settle into the comfortable cockpit of the PULSE. The full instrumentation is neatly arranged, oil light and temperature gauges & tachometer.  Punch the accelerator, you’re ready for take off working your way through the 5 gears as you slide effortlessly through the traffic or on an open freeway.  The PULSE provides a driving experience unequalled in any other type of vehicle.

The PULSE is a two (2) wheeled vehicle equipped with an additional two (2) wheels, located as outriggers, one on each side.  The outrigger wheels provide balance for the vehicle when it is at rest or in a turn.

As the gyroscopic action of the main wheels increase the outriggers no longer bear weight.  It is impossible to tell which outrigger is touching the ground until a turn is made if the air shocks are at the right pressure.

With no more than three (3) wheels in contact with the ground at any one time, the PULSE is considered a three (3) wheeled vehicle & is licensed as a motorcycle.  In certain states a special category of license has been created, such as in Michigan, appropriate for the PULSE, an “autocycle.”

The frame of the vehicle is constructed of welded steel tubing, which in turn is fitted into the fuselage “shell.”  Steering is accomplished with a standard size wheel with a red PULSE logo in the center.

OMCC used to offer a 1100/1200cc four cylinder horizontally opposed water cooled motorcycle engine that featured a five (5) speed manual transmission coupled with shaft drive, using lead free gasoline. The 5 speed transmission and reverse gear allows the pilot of the vehicle to be in full control, using a ratchet type gear shift lever located in the right side panel.

The suspension is basically comprised of air shock absorbers mounted on rear and specially designed spring-over front shocks.  The front tire is a 13″ automotive tire.  The outrigger tires are smaller 8″ trailer tires.  Brakes are located on the main wheels and are hydraulic disc giving the PULSE exceptionally short braking distances.

The body styling of the PULSE gives it a fantastic futuristic look, at the same time following form with function.  The aerodynamic shape allows the vehicle to cut through the wind and results in unusually high fuel mileage and performance.  The PULSE has ten (10) times less drag than a motorcycle and its rider. The body is also designed in such a way as to increase stability and directional control as speed increases.  The drag coefficient is .193

All you need to know is how to drive a regular automobile with a manual transmission.  Controls are quite conventional.  The shift lever is mounted by your right hand.  Floor pedals are for the clutch, brake and accelerator.  The only driving aspect that differs from a car is that you drive with your body in the middle of the lane of traffic instead of to one side.

The driver of the PULSE does not lean into a turn as with a motorcycle or aircraft, but instead to the outside of the turn as you would expect in an automobile.  This is most easily demonstrated in a low speed turn.  At high speeds, such as when changing lanes, the PULSE seems simply to move sideways with almost no tilt at all.

The most outstanding performance characteristic is high fuel mileage.  Owners report figures of 50-55 mpg when driving normal highway speeds.  One customer claims 70 mpg using an oil additive to the gasoline.  Test vehicles have achieved as high as 80 mpg under controlled conditions.

How safe is the PULSE?  One clear answer is that the PULSE with two (2) roll-bars, front & rear, seatbelts & a steel inner frame construction over a much greater length than can be clearly shown in photographs, plus the outrigger wheels to prevent turnover of the vehicle at normal highway speeds, the PULSE is for certain the safest motorcycle on the road today.  Crash-worthiness is probably comparable to that of a small car.  On the plus side is the fact that the fibreglass body of the PULSE can absorb and dissipate energy.  The roll bar can handle six (6) times the weight of the entire vehicle.  With a carpeted (option) roll bar, you sit within the cockpit and pierce the landscape ahead.  The size of the PULSE is difficult to imagine without seeing one.  It is much larger than it appears in photographs.

The 1100/1200cc engine with 85 plus horsepower adds to the quick acceleration and passing speeds.  Without definite test data at this time, you could be assured of speeds in excess of 130 mph.

Acceleration is brisk.  0-60 in 6.7 seconds. Includes AM-FM radio/cassette, lighting, radar, custom upholstery, air conditioning, a windshield wiper and the PULSE provides a heater/defroster with fresh air vents and pop-up head light with dimmer.

Notice the Litestar Models that were available.
Model 250……Honda 250cc Twin Cylinder…$4,495.00
Model 450A….Honda 450Acc Twin cylinder Automatic….$6,045.00
Model 750….Honda 750cc 4 Cylinder Water-Cooled 5 Speed….$7,695.00

Notice the two recessed headlights and the winglets have a similar appearence to the prototype above. The 15 Scranton built Litestars were produced in 1982 in Scranton, Iowa.

All Litestars manufactured in Scranton had:

2 recessed head lights – each in a tube
plastic front windscreen without wiper
Honda 450A Hondamatic
Small rigger tires
Smooth outrigger wheelpant housing (no bubble)
Turn signal lights (look like truck clip lights)

Owosso Motor Car Company used the dual headlight configuration on all 21 Litestars and on Pulses from #22 to about #182. They converted to a single pop-up style on all the rest of the Pulses, below.

Owosso Motor Car Company used the dual headlight configuration on all 21 Litestars and on Pulses from #22 to about #182. They converted to a single pop-up style on all the rest of the Pulses, below.