No, this is not about my ego, but my ‘Ego scoota’!

10/10/2008

Hello.

Please let me introduce myself, my name’s Nick, I developed an interest in the concept of electric scooters a little while ago when my brother showed me the ad on Firebox’s website for the Ego scoota. I was starting to feel the effect of the rising fuel price’s (as I have an 8 seater tank!) At first I could not get my head around the fact that a scooter filled with batteries could perform like a gas scooter (it seemed to simple to be true), so I started to read lots of reviews & visited the manufactures website. The Chinese really are into these scooters, they produce a vast range that seem to suit a wide range of usages….. I digress. The Ego scoota, for it’s price, appeared to be the best option available in this country at the moment. I didn’t like the idea of a scooter that only ran at about 15 – 20 MPH (as the really cheap ones do), but that said, 30 MPH still seemed like it would be too slow. My thought was to get the ‘Ego‘ & then contact the manufactures & get the information required to de-restrict the motor.

I bought my scoota about 2 months ago from castletoncarsales in Rochdale (get their info from Ego’s website (they are a dealership for Ego scootas) (that’s right, Firebox ain’t got an exclusive deal with them!) I was offered a pre-registered scooter & I snapped it up straight away, as I was not interested in doing all the registration rubbish. It was delivered in about a week & it really was a pleasure dealing with these guys. I got a much better reception from them then I did with Firebox. I done the usual, charge it up, take it for a spin etc. When I was happy with it, I started to use it for my commute to work (about 6 miles each way), picking my route carefully to avoid the fast roads. It was really strange at first, 30mph is so slow, but I soon got used to it again – (I started on bikes at age 16 so I had a ‘sports moped’ that was restricted).

After running it for a while, I contacted Ego & asked them for the information to de-restrict the scooter. I was informed that it could be done, but they would not tell me how to do it (thanx mates). Really (un) happy with their response, I trawled the net looking for info on de-restriction, to my avail no info was out there. I was starting to think I was on a losing cause. I spoke to friends with electrical knowledge, but they all seemed to think the motor would need replacement to speed to bike up. This, I thought, was a bit drastic!

Being a bit of an optimist I started to take bits off the scooter & “fiddle”. I didn’t take me long to start breaking things though! Lucky for me the guys I got the scooter from keep a vast array of spares (Thank Terry). After a lot of playing about & expense, I came up with the theory that if 48 volts & 36 Amps produce 30 MPH, then additional amps or volts must produce more speed. Even though I had been told this would not work I decided to get another battery & plug it in.

Great, got the new battery, how do I wire it in? Parallel or in series? As the scooters light circuit was prep’d for a 60 volt intake, I decided to go for the ‘in series’ option, taking it from 48 volts to 60 volts. This was when I made a potentially big mistake!!!! I tried to wire-in the battery to the 2 middle-bank batteries ( + to -) without removing a cross-over cable (BANG!) ‘Twat’ was the word springing to mind. I had just arc welded a terminal to the battery bolt! fortunately the battery was unscathed. When thinking about it with a clearer head, I removed the cross-over cable from the end bank & connected the new battery in. I now had 60 volts running through the scoota. Make or break time for my wallet! I flicked the circuit breaker over to power-up the machine & received no nasty surprises (phew). I switched the key on & tried the lights, all working fine’ so I tried the throttle & it worked ok.

Now came the proper test, I donned my helmet & took to the road (giggle). The bike did not seem to have a great deal of gain in the acceleration department, but it was a little better. The important thing though is that I got the bugger up to 40mph no problem at all (light the fire works & smoke the cigar).

I am about 11st (ish) & can now get 40mph from a scoota that was restricted to 30mph for just the cost of a battery (£40) & a couple of bits of wire. As the scoota has a reasonable amount of torque, anybody with a similar weight should be able to get this sort of speed, maybe even more.

The battery charger is not capeable of charging all 5 batteries in series, so I have made a new wiring harness & now charge 4 batteries in the normal way & charge the extra battery with a seperate charger. If any one wants to know how the scoota & its batteries are doing I will post some more info. Laters.

Insurance 2010.

10/08/2010

I have just renewed my insurance. Didn’t bother shopping around this year, as Swinton (Carol (I think)) contacted me with a quote & it seemed pretty reasonable. Was quoted £128 + £25 for legal cover.
I turned down the legal cover to keep the cost down as much as possible, but then Carol chucked it in for free, so I have fully comp + legal for £128.
I did check to make sure that they were still aware that my Scoota was modified & they confirmed & accepted.🙂

A new rider.

31/07/2010

Welcome to the newest Scoota rider, Paul, he took delivery today. He plans on upgrading to 60 volts very soon. You can follow his progress on his blog. The links on the right hand side. He should be keeping it up to date🙂

A noisey front-end.

06/05/2010

A couple of weeks ago I started to notice that after using my front break the throttle was slow to respond. I thought it was down to an electrical fault, maybe the cut-off switch on the front break was playing up. I took it off & had a look, couldn’t find any problems so I gave it a spray of good old WD40 & refitted it. Took the break lever off, cleaned it up, lubricated it & refitted it. None of this made any difference, so I kind of resided with the idea that maybe something was failing within my speed controller.
Now a couple of days ago I started to get an intermittent ‘rubbing’ sound from the front end. The sound got more frequent the higher the speed but was not present at lower speeds. Decided that it was time to strip down the front end.

I started to take the front wheel out & found the spindle bolt was so excessively tight that I needed to stand on the wrench to undo the nut. These nuts should never be that tight! Got the spindle out & found that it had never been greased. Took the break calliper off, these came off quite easily. Noticed that one break pad had worn more than the other, so I took a better look at the calliper. The two pistons had a bit of surface corrosion on them so I cleaned them up with a bit of WD40 & a soft cloth, then gave them a good spray of Wd & pushed them back in & pumped them out etc a couple of times to draw in the fluid. Re-lubricated the sliders & pins & then put it all back together. Also noticed a load of very light scratches on the disc, so I guess that the pads must have picked up some grit & was rubbing on the disc.

I thought that before I put the wheel back, I’d take out the crappy screws holding the front mudguard & replace them with some new bolts. !!!!!!!! There’s a lot to be said about greasing bolts before fitting them! On of them sheared (torqued) off! Had to drill-out the bolt & re-tap the hole.
I urge you all to change these bolts or at least take them all (every bolt & screw you can see) out & put some ‘never-seize’ grease on the threads. This will hopefully save you from having this problem in time of urgent repairs….

Anyway, put it all back together (with fresh grease everywhere) & took it out for a ride….. No more noise & the problem with the throttle response had gone🙂
So…..
The corrosion on the calliper pistons was causing the breaks to stick slightly which was causing the lever to not return correctly & thus causing the poor throttle response due to the cut-out switch staying off until the lever fully returned.
The rubbing noise was caused by debris caught in the pads.

Bare in mind my Scoota has only done 4300 miles, I would suggest that the front end would need servicing at about 3000 miles.

Hope this helps🙂

Battery life.

12/03/2010

Hi.
Just a quick update on things.
My Scoota is just coming up for 4000 miles (speedo reading) & I am really impressed with the condition of the batteries.
I am still charging them every day when I get in from work & they normally require a 4 to 5 hour charge. Just recently I have been using the lights for both the journey to & from work, so the re-charge is about 5 to 5.5 hours.
I’ve had absolutely now problems with them yet & they have been in service since September 2008🙂
I feel that they should be good for at least another 6 months & that will be about another 1200 miles.
This, I feel, is worthy of praise to Saiting for producing a good balance of overall performance.
Thinking about the performance I am getting from my lead-acid batteries, I feel I can’t really justify opting for Lithium batteries next time. The price of Lithium batteries is still far too high compared with lead-acid replacements.

Insurance sorted.

24/08/2009

Well, as promised here is news regarding my insurance.

I tried 4 companies & out of those only 2 were able to quote for electric scooters. Carol Nash & Bennetts still don’t do electric insurance.

I got my renewal quote from my current provider ‘West Humberstone Agencies Ltd’ (AKA, electric scooter insurance) for £143. I thought that was reasonable, but as I have mentioned before, I wanted to declare the scooter modified.
I got in contact with Adrian Flux & explained what I had done to my scooter. The guy I spoke to was really helpful & seemed very knowledgeable. He said that having the modifications was no problem & there are a few underwriters out there that would be able to help, Aviva being one of them. He quoted me £157, which I thought was also pretty good.
I phoned WHA back & I asked them if they could quote for my modified scooter & they said they could. I was quoted the same price (£143). After requesting that they remove the £12 legal cover I got it for £131. They have now supplied me with a letter stating that they know the scooter is modified & are happy with it being at 72 volts.
My situation is: Aged 35. Full bike licence. 1 years No claims.

Sorted. Paid up & legal. 🙂

It’s insurance time again!

18/08/2009

Hi, it’s been a while since my last post as I have not really had anything to add, but now it is the dreaded insurance time….
I have found 3 potential companies & will be checking on quotes over the next week or so.
Will post info as & when I have it. Fingers crossed for a sensible quote🙂

72 volt charger now in use.

02/05/2009

I have just received my 72v charger & wired it into my enclosure. So I now have a charger to charge all the batteries everyday & another 12v charger to give an extra top-up at the end of the week. This should keep all of the batteries in tip-top condition.

& hey, if anyone wants a 48v or 60v charger, I have them going spare. I would be willing to sell them for £15 each + postage.

On a slightly different note; my Scoota has now done 1600 miles (on the clock) & the motor/batteries are still going strong🙂

The instructions are coming.

27/04/2009

The 72 volt conversion instructions are on the way. They should be ready in a few days. Keep an eye on Mike’s site for news.

At long last we have a 72 volt charger!

22/04/2009

Great news for everyone that wants to convert to 72 volts. E-Crazyman has made a 72 volt charger for us. I have ordered mine today, so I should be getting it a bout 10 days.

This should just about complete the list of parts required for a smooth transition to 72 volts.

Sorry to everyone that has been waiting patiently for the details to do the mod. I have not had time to make much head-way due to family comitments. The good news is that Mike has informed me that he is pretty darn close to completing his instructions.

Here is the link for the new charger. I suggest you order one now so it’s ready to use when you do the conversion:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260396669685&ih=016&category=11332&ssPageName=STORE:PROMOBOX:NEWLIST#LIST

Not designed for speed……

19/03/2009

Note to one’s self:

Don’t try & take left-hand corners flat out!

I discovered today, to my dismay, that our Scoota’s don’t like being lent too far on the left. The center stand hits the deck with quite a bang!

I guess that it is only a speed thing, as it had never happened before I got the thing over 30mph. Obviously you tend to take corners a bit faster when you have chance.

Twice today I’ve taken corners above 30mph & the stand has ground across the tarmac, sending me slightly off course.

Higher speeds mean more lean in corners – be careful🙂