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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: IT might be great for RV'ers!
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 05:30:41 -0500

Tom J wrote:
> "Deano" <> wrote in message
> news:3dgP7.571$
> > Have my fellow RV'ers checked out the new IT (Segway) motorized
> > "Human Transporter"? I think it might be a great way to get around
> > once you land your "aircraft carrier" at a campground.
> >
> That is the most expensive heart robbing machine I've ever heard
> about, except the auto.  Why can't people walk anywhere any more and
> exercise their body?

Well, let's see.  In my case, I have very little knee joint left in
my right leg.  My dad got his left leg practically blown off in the
Big One and what's left doesn't work very well.  And a buddy who
travels with me on occasion has had a lung transplant.  Funny, all
three of us seem to be quite mobile on our 2-wheel electric

What I can't understand is why there are dickheads in this world
who, apparently failing at minding their own business properly, seem
to feel the need to mind everyone elses' business.  Never have
figured that one out.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: IT might be great for RV'ers!
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 19:08:39 -0500

Hugh wrote:

> Way to go John. In addition, the Segway might save us a
> bunch in commuting costs eventually. I can see a rental
> place, at the mass transit "dumping" zone, where you insert
> your card and wheel out to your work place.

First let me address Segway.  IMHO, it is a non-starter, an overly
complex solution to a problem that either does not exist or is
solved by much simpler and cheaper solutions.  It is too big, too
heavy, too complex and too complicated.  Plus by virtue of using an
active gyro-based servo loop to maintain balance, it is inherently
fail-dangerous.  Anything that interrupts normal operation - be it a
processor crash or simply a loose wire or battery opening up - will
cause the device to lose balance and eject the passenger - that is,
unless the passenger is skilled at unicycle riding :-)  As I noted
in another post, there is a wide variety of high quality electric
scooters already on the market that do everything the Segway will do
but without the cost or complexity.

As you noted, the electric scooter can solve a number of urban
problems that massive public dollars have so far failed to address.
Urban traffic congestion and pollution are just two.  For folks like
me who live in a downtown area, the scooter takes care of 90% of my
transportation.  The only time I crank my car is to go across town,
to go out of town or to make a restaurant delivery.  And I'm
building a powered trailer for my scooter to address most of that
last requirement.  I'm probably more hard core than most folks
because I travel by scooter in all weather except hard rain,
including cold.

An example is my daily commute to the bank to make the restaurant
deposit.  It is one mile round trip.  My scooter uses 2 amp-hours,
48 watt-hours, to do the commute.  I require no parking spaces and
occupy no roadway.  I use sidewalks and alleys and even traveling at
a pedestrial-compatible 5 mph, I almost always beat cars over the
same route.  The energy cost for that trip is 0.18 cents.  My
vehicle cost $179.  I get about 1000 miles to an 8 dollar tire.
I'll replace the $75 batteries after probably 2500 miles.  That's
cheap transportation and is fun as heck to boot.

Even if you live too far away from work to commute on the scooter,
it can still be useful. One way is, as you noted, commuting from the
rail station.  Another is to carry the scooter in your car trunk and
use it to either commute from a satellite parking lot out of the
city core or to run your lunch time errands.  I could have used such
a setup when I was commuting from the Atlanta 'burbs to my high-rise
in the Lenox area.  Just about everywhere I needed to go for lunch
was within a couple of miles of my office.  I hated to crank up my
car just to drive a couple of miles.  Inconvenient, wasted a lot of
time and was hard on the engine.

All this is happening on the left coast and in certain northeastern
cities.  There the scooter culture is booming.  And unlike the
bleatings of the anti-destination leaguers, scooters and pedestrians
happily coexist.

Unfortunately there are too many people in this world like Tom J who
see these things as toys and who hate to see folks enjoy
themselves.  Laws and lawsuits will be necessary to move these folks
out of the way.

A perfect example was a couple of weeks ago over the Thanksgiving
weekend.  we went to the Daytona Turkey Rod Run at the speedway.
Doreen had a cast on her foot.  We both had handicapped placards on
our scooters and yet we were not allowed in the speedway by
security.  After a couple of hours of working our way up through the
hierarchy, I had a heated discussion with the show promoter.  He
said that our scooters "didn't look like assist devices" and that he
was not going to allow such toys in the show.  I pointed out that
the ADA required reasonable accommodations.  No go.  Soooo.  We're
interviewing lawyers for the ADA suit.

If the Segway does anything, it will be to raise the awareness of
the general public to electric scooters and other personal mobility
devices.  Most of the commercial folks on the scooter mailing list
have noticed huge increases in web site traffic since the hype
peaked.  If sales and political change follows, the Segway will be
worth the hype.

BTW, there is an active mailing list on yahoo.  It's the zappy list,
originally started for the zappy electric scooter but now embracing
all sorts of electric personal transportation.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: IT might be great for RV'ers!
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 05:55:37 -0500

Well, it's too big, too heavy, too complicated, too expensive and
too much a power hog but other than that, it's cute.

I've been involved in the electric scooter world for quite some time
(I have 5 currently, not the geezer scooters but high performance 2
wheel jobbies.) and I was so underwhelmed by this thing that words
fail me.

The limiting factor with any electric scooter is energy storage
(batteries) and nothing this whiz kid can do with electronics can
fix that.  What is gadget will do is waste a lot of precious energy
gyro balancing that thing.  Energy that is not available for travel.
And when the batteries finally puke, well, hope you love pushing the
thing.  A conventional scooter (or electric assist bicycle) can be
kicked or pedaled back to home.

One of the best scooters on the market is the Currie Phat Flyer SE.
It weighs about 40 lbs, folds up, has a range of about 12 miles (not
exaggerated mileage like the IT), can have its range doubled with a
battery option and handles like a dream.  It will run slowly enough
to walk beside and yet do up to 20 mph.  There is an optional seat
and basket if you like.  Cost is about $399 on sale, list is about
$500.  I've put over 500 miles on my Currie in the last 6 months.  I
recommend an online dealer,, located in
Warner Robbins, Ga.  Larry's a cool guy and nice to deal with.

Another good one if you want three wheels but don't want a geezer
scooter is the City Shuttle.  Not as fast as the Flyer but more
stable.  It has a unique feature in that the rear wheels are spring
mounted to the chassis which allows the chassis to lean into a turn.

For half of what this IT thing is SUPPOSED to cost if he ever
actually makes any, one can have an eGo, a street-legal licensable
electric moped.  20 mph speed, 20+ mile range (verified
independently on a dyno), comfortable seating and large wheels.

My scooters have changed my life, particularly when RVing.  I no
longer have to worry about parking right next to the shower house in
the RV park.  I can park anywhere and  just scoot there.  And when
we go shopping, I can hop on the scooter and hit all the stores in a
mall without having to walk, something I can't do much of because of
my knees.  At the racetrack I can actually move around and see
things again. Wifey has one so we can travel together.  I fabricated
a little bracket that mounts on the MH bumper and can hold up to 3
scooter (if a guest is along).  I live in downtown Cleveland so I do
most of my running around on the scooter.  I seldom buy gas for my
car more often than once every 6 weeks or so.

Deano wrote:
> Have my fellow RV'ers checked out the new IT (Segway) motorized
> "Human Transporter"? I think it might be a great way to get around
> once you land your "aircraft carrier" at a campground.
> Deano

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: IT might be great for RV'ers!
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 19:29:09 -0500

Don wrote:

<whining snipped>
> >too much a power hog
> ...too much of a power hog compared to what?  How much power should a
> gyro-controled, two-wheeled scooter consume?  What is the standard?
> What committee decided?

Don, I'd normally ignore idiots like you - your comments demonstrate
you don't know anything about PEVs, something that obviously didn't
keep you from posting - but this gives me an opportunity to define

It is generally regarded (note for idiots: by those who use and sell
'em and who get together to talk about 'em) that a range of 12 miles
on level ground is the threshold for usability.  This provides a 6
mile radius plus sufficient reserve to handle hills on shorter
trips.  The holy grail is generally considered to be sufficient
energy to go 20 miles at 20 mph on level ground.  With available
battery and motor technology, we're not quite there yet but we're
close.  Most folks find that a trip of much more than 10 miles at a
time becomes quite tedious on a stand-up vehicle with little or no

Which brings up the next parameter.  It is generally thought that a
scooter should weigh 40 lbs or less.  This is because most people
can lift 40 lbs up over door thresholds, steps and car trunks and
the like.  Heavier scooters are out there (My Badsey Hot Scoot
weighs about 60 lbs, for example) but they are niche products.

Given the above parameters, the final factor is cost.  The market
has said that it wants a scooter that costs less than $400.
Recently a large Currie distributor went bankrupt and their large
inventory was dumped on the market. Various on-line dealers
experimented with different prices and packages, ranging from about
$175 to $400.  The $175 scooters lept off the shelves.  The $250
scooters sold only a bit slower.  The knee of the curve seems to be
around the $400 mark.  Certainly there are more expensive scooters
that sell - Badsey makes a hotrod unit that sells for $3000 - but
the bread'n'butter sales are in the $400 and under range.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Anone have a Scoot-e scooter
Date: Tue, 18 Dec 2001 03:26:10 -0500

FERRETS99 wrote:
>  Does anyone hear have any experiance with a Scoot-e scooter?  Sam's club has
> them for 299.  Is this a good price for the model with a seat and a basket?

That is a very low cost, very low power stripper version that Currie
built just for Sam's.  The price is quite high for what you get.
Currie stripped off the front brake, the nifty folding handlebar and
the aluminum deck in that model.  Unfortunately it is geared the
same as their regular model, the Phat Flyer, which means that it has
almost no hill-climbing ability.

With a little shopping the regular Phat Flyer can be had for that
price or less.  I suggest contacting Larry at as a start.  Back in the fall a major
distributor went bankrupt and a whole bunch of 2001 Phat Flyers got
tossed on the market.  They were selling for $175 or less for awhile
- I bought 4 of 'em.  I'm still seeing prices in the ~$250 range.
Retail is about $500.

IMHO, the Phat Flyer and Phat Flyer SE (slightly larger frame tubes
and slightly stronger motor) are the best scooters in the sub $1000
market segment.  I find the scooter to adequately handle even my 295
lb weight.

If Larry can't help you, simply search the web for Phat Flyer.  Many
other dealers out there.  Unfortunately currie has not updated their
web site in years so it will be of no help.

John, scooter nut

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooter for your RV
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 04:11:18 -0400

On 2 Aug 2003 20:41:16 -0700, (RAKS) wrote:

>Obviously you don't goto the RV shows that much, if you did you would
>find out that the 360's are a consumers choice and is one of the
>hottest wanted scooters on the market. So get your facts together.

OK, let's talk facts.  You're peddling a cheap chinese knockoff just like half
the sleezebag flea market dealers in the world are doing right now, the
chinese having literally flooded the market with the things.  Seems like every
other dealer along the "thousand mile yard sale" on Hwy 127 last weekend had
those things on display.  Most aren't silly enough to slap an "extreme" label
on the product.  I'm sure you can con some folks who don't know much about
scooters into buying this tripe but you won't get away with it here.

Facts: You're claiming to have a blazing 350 watt motor on the thing.  Wow.
Unfortunately for you, I've had one of these scooters in my very well equipped
lab, a lab that includes a motor dynamometer.  I've had a couple of those
motors on the dyno and on my bench disassembled.  Your blazing 350 watt motor
really is blazing, as over 200 of those watts go up in heat, with only about
100 watts make it to the output shaft.  Until I tested one of those motors I
didn't know that a motor could be designed with such inefficiency!

Then let's talk about the batteries.  Of the several scooters I've examined,
none had the same brand, all strange chinese no-names.  In common, all had
high internal impedance.  (If you don't know what a battery impedance meter is
you should learn, being the high, upstanding scooter dealer you claim to be
and all.) None could sustain even a 30 amp discharge rate for more than a few
seconds.  Even conventional non-high-discharge-rated gelled electrolyte
batteries made by reputable companies in the 17AH rating class can do that for
many times longer.  A true high discharge rated battery like the Hawker
Genesis series can sustain over 80 amps continuous and do so until fully

Perhaps we should discuss the controller.  A tiny epoxy potted box (probably
they're ashamed of the electronic design) about the size of a cigarette pack
and wired with 14 gauge wire, as is the rest of the circuit.  About as much
energy is expended heating the wiring as driving the motor.  The controller
would output a mighty 15 amps into a locked rotor motor.  Wow.  My Badsey
scooter controller, with a 1 kw nominal motor will peak at over 300 amps.
That kind of current is necessary to accelerate an adult up a moderate hill.

To compound the under-powered controller woes, it has an intolerable over 3/4
second delay built in to the throttle.  Turns smooth riding into a guessing
game.  Forget blipping the throttle so those mighty 350 watts can ease the
front end over a bump.  For anyone unfortunate to have bought one of these
things, the delay can be removed by removing a capacitor after digging out
some epoxy.  I can post a photo if anyone is interested.

Then we could talk about the "charge meter" LED bar graph that is purported to
show battery charge.  Unfortunately, because of the tiny wiring, the voltage
drop is so high that the gauge drops to 1 or 2 bars when the throttle is
opened even on fresh batteries.

>Oh yeah! how is your Currie scooter site going?

Sorry Bud.  No Currie web site.  I'm in the BBQ and neon business, along with
a little engineering consulting on the side.  I am, however, an e-scooter
enthusiast.  The Currie is simply the best sub-$500 scooter on the market.
For $499 retail, one can get real suspension on both ends, a >1kw motor,
quality batteries and a US manufacturer (the frames are made in Thailand, the
motors in the US by MAC, a defense supplier.)

If someone wants a 3 wheel scooter but doesn't want the bulk, clumsiness or
expense of a handicap scooter, I recommend the City Shuttle.  It has a 750
watt motor, quality batteries in a removable pack and is articulated so that
it leans into turns like a 2-wheeler.

Unfortunately the chinese have knocked off this one too, equipping it with
this same 250 or 350 watt motor (depending on whose lie you believe) plus crap
for build quality and the same crap batteries.  The real City Shuttle is built
in Taiwan, has an aluminum frame instead of the steel of the knockoff, has a
regenerative braking motor controller and weighs only about 40 lbs with the
battery pack removed - light enough to lift into a car trunk.  A key
indication of a chinese knockoff is that the battery pack is not removable.
The real Shuttle should retail in the $900 range.

If you'd like for me to go on I can.  I can post a spreadsheet to my web site
that will allow anyone to use simple physics to compute how much power it
takes to propel a given mass to a given speed.  This spreadsheet will show
your speed claims to be a flat-out lie.  I could also post some numbers I have
generated by my radar gun to back up the spreadsheet calcs.

I could also write about the brakes on your scooter.  How the backing plate
and cable are so flexible that they must be adjusted to drag before any
appreciable braking force can be generated.  And how the scooter has no front
brake, a serious safety hazard since over 90% of the braking on a 2 wheel
vehicle is done by the front brake.

Or I could write about the tipsy handling of this thing, caused by all the
vehicle mass being above the axle centerlines.  Having the floorboard that
high defeats one of the major features of an e-scooter - being able to step on
and off and to put a foot down in comfort and without having to bend the knees
very much.  Bad knees are a feature of the older types you're trying to peddle
to, after all.

I suppose I could write a little article about my personal Currie, equipped
with dual 1kw brushless DC motors and 2 parallel battery sets.  That's what it
takes to propel my 285 lbs plus a 60 lb scooter to 18 mph AND be able to climb
moderate grades.  And the 8" disc brake up front, necessary to provide enough
braking force to bring the front wheel to the threshold of lockup in a panic

Your Play, Burk, AKA spammer.  What other facts would you like to discuss?


FWIW to anyone else reading this, I recently bought my 78 year old mom a City
Shuttle and she loves it!  She covered several miles along the Hwy 127 1000
mile yard sale last weekend, something that would have been impossible
otherwise.  We'd park at some convenient place and then scooter to all the
booths within a couple of miles of the MH.  I could probably have sold a
hundred of either scooter had I been in the business.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooter for your RV
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 2003 16:00:32 -0400

On 05 Aug 2003 12:09:40 GMT, tmarik6440@aol.comnojunk (Tom Marik) wrote:

><< Your Play, Burk, AKA spammer.  What other facts would you like to discuss?
>John De Armond,
>You were too easy on him.
>He should be hung with a new rope just for sale a scooter with no front brake.

True. However, considering that you can probably run faster than these things
will go on any sort of grade, dragging your feet would probably do.

My Badsey has no front brake, something I've flamed them about fairly
severely.  Given that it can do 50+ with the governor bypassed, that is a
serious omission.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Scooters with a RV?
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 17:38:31 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On 11 Nov 2003 14:17:30 -0800, (Seacoast RV) wrote:

>Hey Balmer hows the consulting business going, Now that is a real rip
>off business in itself...hey get the URL right Mr Consulter its
>Hey do you own a RV? Mybe we can sell you a real one, instead of you
>make believing you have one...

He got it right the first time.  You'd think you'd have learned when you poked
your slimy head up out of the ooze back in the summer to spam this group.
You'd think that if you wanted to be in the scooter biz you'd carry a
reputable line instead of that cheap chicom throwaway crap.  Maybe you're just
a cheap hustler and wouldn't know a quality product if it ran over you.

So, should I now expect to get more notices that you've submitted my name to
some gossip snitch site?  That was a riot.

For anyone who is interested in an electric scooter for his RV, one of the
best and most reputable sites on the net is operated by
Scott.  As one can see, he actually dynos the various brands and posts the
results to his site.  I haven't looked lately but I'd just bet that he's
tested some of this chicom crap like Mr. Raksripoffs is peddling.  It'll show
just how bad these things really are.

If you want a real hotrod, take a look at this one:

I sure hope Santa brings me one this year :-)


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooters for RV
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 18:46:04 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 15:52:10 GMT, "Paul T." <> wrote:

>I don't remember who in the group is the resident electric scooter
>expert (Neon John I think), but we are looking at various models and
>would like to know what to look for.  Also which brands are
>Thanks for any and all help.

In a nutshell, for 2 wheel scooters, Currie/Schwinn is the only way to go.
Sam's has a low power Schwinn labeled Currie for under $200.  It has a 500
watt motor.  Adequate for gentle grades and normal size people.  For larger
people, the high end F18 the ticket.  You may have to replace the wheels with
cast aluminum mags from  Good place to buy the Currie.
Scott's an honest guy.

For the person who wants the ultimate,

The 400 amp one is simply awesome.  I'm on the waiting list for one.

For three wheel scooters, the City Shuttle is the best.  This is one that the
chinese have knocked off so one must be careful.  The real city Shuttle is
made in Tawain, has an aluminum frame, has a 1 hp motor, has a lift-out
battery tray, has regenerative braking and has a funnel shaped headlight.  The
price will be in the $800 range.  The knockoffs have as small as 200 watt
motors, non-lift out batteries, no regenerative braking and a steel frame.
The headlight is somewhat bullet shaped.

Here's a photo of my knockoff Shuttle and my latest project, a tiny trailer:

This is set up for car show tramping, with the large external battery and the

I bought the knockoff because I intended on redesigning several aspects.  I
sold my TIG outfit recently and so needed the steel construction for
weldibility.  I've rebuilt the drivetrain with a high power motor and
controller, more powerful than the real City Shuttle, and Hawker batteries
(accept nothing less).  I can either leave the external battery where it is or
carry it on the trailer.

I built this trailer last night and am waiting on the paint to dry.  When it
does I'll mount some of that perforated angle on each side for the bungee
cords to attach to.  I'll also apply anti-skid tape to the surface.

This trailer was built using two 8 ft sticks of that perf angle, a sheet of
thin plywood, a pair of cart wheels from Northern Tools, a 1/2" aluminum axle
and a 1/2" steel tubing tongue with a clevis hitch on the end.  Everything
except the wheels came from Lowe's.  The front of the trailer where the tongue
attaches contains a piece of case hardened angle that serves as a torsion
spring.  The tongue tubing is also case-hardened.  If case hardening isn't
available then use a somewhat larger diameter tube.  The wheels are held on
with hairpin clips.  The trailer can be disassembled in minutes into a very
compact stack that will fit in any trunk or compartment.

One word of warning.  There has been a flood of very cheap chinese scooters
hit the market in the last year.  Everyone from Flying J to the pawn shops are
selling them.  That spammer who hits this group every so often sells them.

They are absolute junk.  The motor is as small as 200 watts and generates
mostly heat.  The controller can't drive the motor to full power.  The wiring
is 14 and 16 ga wire.  The SLAs are junk that will barely survive 50 cycles at
the high discharge rate a scooter requires.  The wheels are very thin cast
aluminum and break easily.

You might want to spend some time on the evdeals website.  Scott actually dyno
tests every scooter he can get his hands on.  He demonstrates the chicom
version of specsmanship, eg, lying.  He carries a nice line of products
including the Curries.

Feel free to ask any other questions.  For me the electric scooter is my day
in and day out transportation.  I live in the back of my restaurant and am
within a couple of miles of most places I need to go.  I only use the car for
out of town trips and when it's raining.  I have put hundreds of miles on my
scooters and so know what the weak points are.  I'm not one of those blinded
by green light, wild-eyed econazis so I won't hype EV BS.  LEVs have their
places in the scheme of things but they won't replace fuel-driven vehicles any
time soon, if ever.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooters for RV
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2003 19:13:24 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 18:46:04 -0500, Neon John
<> wrote:

>In a nutshell, for 2 wheel scooters, Currie/Schwinn is the only way to go.
>Sam's has a low power Schwinn labeled Currie for under $200.

Oops, should be $300.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooters for RV
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 00:38:47 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 19:46:43 -0500, "HocusPocus" <>

>Neon John: Your opine on the Vego 600 please.
>thanks in advance

Just this once I took a look even though you didn't provide me a URL :-)

I don't have any personal experience with this scooter.  However some

A 600 watt motor will not maintain 17 mph on a significant grade with a 200 lb
rider.  I have a spreadsheet that I can calculate the exact data but I know
from experience about this.  I have a total of 1000 watts of power on my
Currie using very efficient brushless DC motors.  I can maintain about 12 mph
on a 4% grade.  I weight 285 lbs so I'm larger than most folks.  Give it a
couple more MPH for someone in the 200-250 lb range.

I do not like cog belt drives.  Cog belts don't last long when exposed to road
dirt and gravel.  One of the common complaints is that a gravel under the belt
will pop it off.  My Badsey (junk) uses a cog belt and I have that problem
fairly frequently.  Like my Badsey, this scooter's rear sprocket is almost the
same diameter as the tire, placing it down in the dirt, so to speak.

Chain drives make a tiny bit more noise but last forever.

The motor mount really sucks.  The entire motor mass is cantilevered off the
front flange.  Badsey made the same foolish design mistake.  The badsey flange
breaks off on the first good bump.  This motor's flange is steel instead of
aluminum but all that means is it'll take awhile longer to fatigue.  This
scooter is worse than the Badsey because the motor is mounted on the swingarm
and is subjected to wheel shock.

This bad design has made for a nice aftermarket for folks like me and Scott at to make better motor mounts.  Here's Scott's:

From the photos I can't really tell whether such a mount could be made for
this scooter.

I can't rationalize the claimed weight with the battery capacity.  If it
really does weigh only 68 lbs, then the rest of the scooter has to be VERY
light indeed.

I think the range claim is a bit extravagant.  With the claimed battery
capacity and speed I don't think it will do it.  That range probably is
possible if the speed is held down to the most efficient, usually around 10

I hate drum brakes.  Bicycle disc brakes are so cheap and work so well that I
just can't see the justification.

The price is IMHO, bordering on outrageous.

I don't like plastic/fiberglass bodies.  They fairly quickly get scuffed and
add little functionality.

On the positive side:

Nice looking
Nice wheels.  The look somewhat stronger than the ones we're using on Curries.
Good tires - the Kendas are what I use.
Free wheeling - extends range by not forcing the motor to turn when coasting.
Lift-out battery pack.  Very nice.
Keylock.  Helps cut down on the theft potential.

Here's a dealer with a good reputation that provides some good info on the

Here is Scott's dyno test of that scooter:

I personally would not buy another scooter with a belt drive and I'd shy away
from drum brakes and polymer bodies for the above reasons.  And I'd not pay
that much money for low speed scooter.  My standards are fairly high, since I
know what I can do with available components.  This looks to be a competent
scooter but it is overpriced, IMHO. I still think the Currie line is the best
bang for the buck in the sub-$600 range.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooters for RV
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 06:22:54 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 25 Nov 2003 07:19:32 GMT, "El Alumbrado" <el*>

>"In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two,
>Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue,
>Divide the Son of a Bitch By Two,
>And That's the Number of Watts in a Horsepower"

Or 746 watts for nerds....

>Ergo, 1000 watts is about 1.25 horsepower, or about 5 times what an
>"average" bicyclist can put out over any distance.

The rule of thumb used in e-bicycle circles is the average human can make a
half HP on a long term basis.  No personal experience, as I don't touch the

>What kind of range have
>you been seeing on your scooter?

That's a hard number to quote because I make battery arrangements according to
what I'm doing.  I only use the 3 wheeler when I'm forced to.  Some car shows
won't allow in 2 wheel scooters even with a handicap placards.  They MUST
allow in the 3 wheelers so that's what I take.  The three wheeler does have
the advantage of allowing you to just step off and not have to put down a kick

I much prefer the Currie.  Much more maneuverable and powerful and can pull
the same trailer.  I need to get up a picture of my Currie.  I've added a
second motor and a second battery pack.  At 10 mph I can get perhaps 15 miles
out of this setup on level ground.  Wide open (currently geared for 18 mph and
good hill climbing) perhaps 8.  Lots of starting and stopping, such as at
shows, much less.

>I go to Oshkosh every summer for the Experimental Aircraft Association
>convention and airshow, and this place is huge (if you have any interest at
>all in aviation, *go*! There's usually about 15,000, yes, "fifteen
>thousand", aircraft there and about a million aviation-minded people. The
>drawback is that the grounds are "enormous". Road-worthy vehicles are
>restricted, so I've been thinking about buying a couple of electric scooters
>to get around (I imagine they'd come in handy other places, too).

Yeah, I really want to go to the Fly In.  Maybe next year.

For large events like that where you'll be stopping and starting frequently
and idling along at walking speed, you have to make some provisions for extra
power. In my case, that is a combination of removable battery packs, extra
batteries, a quick charger and portable generator.

The extra battery is appropriate for when you'll be traveling a moderate
distance from your SBO (scooter base of operations :-) and you know there will
be no shore power available.  removable packs are for when you can branch out
from your SBO in a daisy pattern, returning to change packs as needed.  You
can recharge the packs with your generator or shore power.  You can carry an
extra removable pack just in case.

For long distances where it is unlikely you can get back to the SBO or find
shore power, a cordless battery charger is appropriate.  There are two
approaches.  One involves a quick charger and the smallest conventional
generator you can find, carried on the trailer.

My solution was to buy one of those tiny little 2-stroke chicom 300 watt
inverter generators that Harbor Freight was selling last year.  The whole
thing weighs under 12 lbs.  I removed the inverter and rewound the stator to
generate about 30 volts at full throttle.  It'll do 10 amps at that voltage
which will charge a set of 17 ah batteries in about 2 hours.  Or top 'em off
in a few minutes.  Or supply cruise power indefinitely.

I also HIGHLY recommend a quick charger.  Soneil makes a very good, if a bit
expensive, switchmode quick charger.  The charger is smart so you can charge
at up to about 1.5C if the weather isn't too hot.  The charger is physically
very small.  When you're in a place with widespread power availability, such
as a fairground or expo center, you can stop frequently, plug in and top off
while looking at things in the area.

That's the way I do the Georgia state fair each year.  The fairgrounds are
almost a mile and a half long.  I can go all day running back and forth and
another half mile back to the RV using the quick charger.  There are 120vac
outlets everywhere.

This also works in cities and is known in scooterdom as "leeching".  Outlets
installed for illuminated signs and the like are great leech locations.  Easy
to leech at Wallyworld and the like by pushing the scooter inside, asking the
door guard to keep an eye on it and plugging it in where they charge the
handicap scooters.

A couple of years ago the subject of leeching ethics came up on a mailing
list.  It quickly devolved into the sort of "discussion" that pollutes this
group.  I did some measurements and computations and found that it take about
3 cents' worth of electricity to completely charge my Currie's batteries at
the local rate.  I just can't get cranked over that.  I do try to buy
something from wherever I leech but that's about it.

One other comment.  The 3 three wheel scooter is superior to geezer scooters
in most applications where the rider can walk and has balance, even if only a
little.  It is cheaper, lighter (my Shuttle weighs about 40 lbs with the pack
out), much more nimble (the Shuttle leans in turns) and much faster than the
heavily regulated geezer scooters.

My mom, who has emphasema, has a Shuttle.  She's not capable of walking much
more than to the mailbox and back.  She enthusiastically rides her Shuttle.
The extra speed (about 18mph at her weight) really makes a difference even
when traveling the short distance between the parking lot and a store.  I had
a hard time convincing her that spending $400 out of pocket was a better
solution than insurance paid geezer scooter she almost bought.  Now she'd
never go back.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Electric Scooters for RV
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 17:33:12 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 25 Nov 2003 15:07:19 GMT, "Frank Howell" <>

>I looked into the City Shuttle, because of my 2-wheeled challenged wife, and
>the importer at Sarasota, FL stated that
>the City Shuttle was discontinued, due to high manufacturing costs. They did
>have the 4 wheel City Bug, but I passed on it.
>Another trend I noticed was stale web sites. Most notable was sites
>advertising HYC Excaliber scooters. The Excaliber looked good to me, but
>after calling 4 or 5 sites about availablity, I found
>out HYC was out of business. So Currie it was.
>Frank Howell

That's the aggravating part of e-scootering.  The market hasn't yet hit a
critical mass so the dealers and even manufacturers are tiny, hang on by
threads and come and go all the time.

the story I got on the Shuttle from a dealer in the midwest was that the major
importer had quit importing the real shuttle because of the cost.  I have
heard that someone else picked it up but I haven't looked too hard to find the
info.  I'm going to try to run into a major dealer while in Daytona this year.
he had a boatload of real Shuttles last year.  Maybe he'll have some this year
or will know where to get them.

I'm giving very serious thought about putting together a retrofit kit that
will bring the knockoffs up to the standard of the original.  This would
include a more powerful motor and controller and some sort of removable
battery pack.  That would bring the cost back up about that of  the real
Shuttle but it would be worth it for people who actually use their scooters.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Scooter is the Plan
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 15:42:50 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:02:54 -0400, Harry <> wrote:

>> The Zappy eXpress is the latest ZAP Advanced Transportation vehicle. You
>> wont find a better all around scooter than this. This scooter is foldable so
>> you can easily store it or throw it into your trunk. The 350 Watt motor is
>> surprisingly powerful and it even handles inclines like a champ! If you're
>> looking for a portable, quiet, speedy electric scooter, the Zappy eXpress is
>> perfect. The Zappy eXpress features a supportive seat, spring-loaded
>> kickstand, adjustable-height handlebars, a fold-down feature, and a
>> convenient carrying pack. Everything you need to enjoy this scooter comes at
>> the price below.
>Tell us more about this Zippy. Do you sell them? How long have you had
>yours? How about getting parts? How about if you weigh 210 pounds? what
>is the Zippy company like? any service available? Do you take this in
>your car? What kind of battery? Please review the performance.

Hi Harry,

I've been using electric scooters for in-town commuting for >5 years
now.  I own several and have owned several more.

This is my current one:

This is the biggest and baddest electric scooter out there right now.
It is also the only one I've had that could reliably handle my weight
(265 now, 130 lbs more a couple of years ago) I have done a few things
to make it even more powerful.  Better wiring and a more powerful
controller, to name two.  I've had this scooter for about 3 years and
have put several thousand miles on it without any significant
problems.  I carry this one in my motorhome by simply wheelie'ing the
front wheel into the door and then lifting the back end up.  It fits
perfectly.  It will recharge either from the generator or my inverter.

In the class scooter that the Zappy falls into, about the best one out
there is the Currie/Schwinn F18.  Currie developed the design
and licensed it to Schwinn.  Sam's Club sells a down-powered version
of the Schwinn that is a good value.  The motor is a little weak for
use in hilly terrain but it is useful for getting around an RV park or
shopping center.

Another good one in that class is the Great White  Not as sophisticated as the F18
but not as costly either.

The best in class and also the most expensive is the GoPed ESR750ex.
This is a sharp looking and running scooter.  It has enough range and
power to be useful and yet can be lifted by one person.

Let me say here that the minimum power for an adult-ridden scooter is
about 750 watts. The chinese junk in the 350 watt and lower class is
just that - junk.

A step up to street legal is the class of scooters roughly based on
bicycle parts.  Probably the best is this one:

The eGo is very highly rated by everyone I know who has one.  While
street legal, I'd consider that status only for keeping the cops off
yer tail.  I would NOT go out and road warrior against the cars. The
scooter just isn't fast enough.  Handy for neighborhood roads and on
bike lanes where permitted.

The next step up are the Vespa-like Escooters.  I'm not familiar
enough with that class to advise.

I rode a Currie Phat Flyer for several years and several thousand
miles.  A superb little scooter.  The only problems I had related to
my weight, which was far in excess of the scooter's rating.  When I
got the GoBig, I'd upgraded the Flyer to mag wheels, dual batteries,
dual motors and disk brakes.  Pretty much to the quality and features
of the F18 out of the box.  It was and is a surprisingly fast and
nimble little scooter.

Scott at is a good guy to buy from.  Ornery and sometimes
snippy but always honest.  A rare commodity in the scooter biz,

Oh yeah, I'd not take anything Zappy offered even if it were free.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Scooter is the Plan
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 14:45:37 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 27 Sep 2005 14:38:59 GMT, Jud Hardcastle
<> wrote:

>Electric scooters designed for handicapped users (Pride, Rally, etc) and
>powered wheelchairs are a totally different thing--they're allowed just
>about everywhere even on the "multiuse" trails.  But they are so much
>heavier and bulkier than the others not to mention about 5 times more
>expensive unless you have a prescription for one and get Medicare to
>pick up most of the cost.

Not really.  Mom's geezer scooter cost about $1200 from Sam's Club.  A
good 2 wheeled scooter will run $500 or more.  The geezer scooters
have many flaws.  One is that many are limited to 5 mph.  Easy enough
to fix on hers by reprogramming the electronic controller.  There is
usually a large delay in the throttle response, again fixed by
reprogramming.  The small tires and low ground clearance catch on all
sorts of outdoors obstacles.  And, of course, they're clumsy.

BTW, the only way Medicare or insurance will pay for a scooter is if
the patient is incapable of moving INSIDE HIS HOUSE without
assistance.  If the patient can stand up on his hind hooves and walk,
even with a walker, then he isn't eligible for government or insurance

I spent a lot of time investigating this.  At mom's insistence, I even
talked to a couple of those outfits who advertise so heavily.  The
approach was the same, they'd refer her to one of a list of docs who
would certify her as immobile.  In other words, FRAUD.  Regardless of
whether the patient does it on his own or has the assistance of one of
these scooter promoters, if one isn't practically bed-ridden, getting
some doc to say so is fraud.

All I would have had to do was say the word and to have hauled Mom to
one of their patsy docs to get Medicaid to pay.  I chose to
investigate carefully and picked out a reasonably priced scooter with
wheels large enough to be useful outdoors.  She had tried one of the
inexpensive 3 wheeled scooters and could not balance it adequately.

>The bans here are general cross-the-board rules that affects everyone
>even though the stated goals was to "avoid problems caused by
>irresponsible riding by minors" or some such verbage.  I guess they
>think that'll be easier to enforce than putting age restrictions on
>them--in the year or two before that I never saw an adult acting
>irresponsible with one.  Probably because they valued their $400-$600
>investment--it wasn't until the cheap junk scooters and micro-bikes
>started appearing that officials started panicking.  And I'm not saying
>without some reason--I saw a woman buying one of those micro-bikes the
>other day for her little boy who couldn't possibly have been over 4--in
>this price range people think of them as a toy.  It was a sit down
>type--he would be next to invisible behind a parked car to an oncoming
>motorist.  But I sure wish they had went to a age restriction method--
>and as Bill says it's still early--they may relax the rules in time.

Oh how awful, giving a 4 year old a scooter.  Imagine the horror of
the 4 year old class at the local motocross track.  They're actually
racing against each other, usually with a parent running along side.
Don't you agree that it's none of the government's business how a
parent raises her kid?

These knee-jerk bans happened in a lot of places, promoted,
unfortunately by that Kamen guy who invented the Segway.  He put
enough money into the effort that he got laws passed in almost all
states giving the Segway favorable treatment at the expense of all

We (a loose alliance of scooter users on the Internet) have had pretty
good success in getting these laws and rules overturned either by the
political process or via the courts.  The ADA is a powerful law to use
against them if you have a handicap.

There are some silly restrictions on  Electronic personal assistive
mobility devices (EPAMDs), what the ADA calls geezer scooters.  These
can mostly be worked around.  But the big hammer is the "reasonable
accommodation" provision.  One can beat the petty fascists over the
head with that one.  Within very broad boundaries, the handicapped
person can specify what reasonable accommodations he need.

In my case, my blown knees qualify me under the Act.  My reasonable
accommodation is to use my electric scooter for personal
transportation.  I backed down the Georgia park service in a direct
confrontation over the  use of my scooter in state parks.  They didn't
want the lawsuit that I threatened.

In another instance at the Daytona Speedway, they allegedly would not
let in 2 wheeled scooters (though I photographed dozens in use inside
the track) so I dashed out and got a set of training wheels from the
nearby Toys R Us and mounted them so as not to touch the ground. After
a very tense standoff with the head of security and with my finger on
the speed-dial on my cellphone to my lawyer, they backed off.  This
one was especially offensive because my wife was in a foot cast and
obviously handicapped and yet he told her she'd just have to walk.  If
I'd had a tape recorder, I'd have sued them till their balls turned

There has been no problem here in Cleveland.  There are only a few
scooters in town and we ride them conservatively.  I've been stopped a
couple of times but only because the cop wanted to find out more about
my scooter and try it out and because he recognized my restaurant
shirt :-)

Pretty much anyone with age-related problems is protected under ADA.
All it takes is some hard pushin' and shovin' to get the petty fascist
bureaucrats out of the way.  I'm hoping that one of the handicapped
advocates will push a class action lawsuit against some state or city
government that will set the precedent for the rest of us.

I'm one of those folks who doesn't want anything from the government
other than to be left alone.  This is a perfect example of where
leaving me alone works perfectly.


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Small homemade charge controller
Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2008 17:09:15 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 12 Apr 2008 12:52:00 -0700 (PDT), wrote:

>First time using Google groups.  Hope this works.
>Anyway, I recently upgraded my recumbent trike to an electric vehicle
>and want to take advantage of regenerative braking to extend the range
>of the batteries.  The motor is brushed, so it should act like a
>generator during coast mode.  I was thinking I could just use
>something like an LM338 voltage regulator adjusted to about 28 volts
>and have it switch on to provide power to the 24 volt batteries when I
>turn off the motor.  Comments, links to schematics, or suggestions are

My experience with many years of working with electric scooters and bikes of various
sizes is that regen isn't worth the effort and cost.  It basically doesn't have any
material effect.  The vehicle/rider is too light to store much energy plus very
little time is spent braking vs coasting or accelerating.

A brushed motor is particularly bad because the brush timing is wrong for generating.
Much of the energy is dissipated as heat in the motor because the brushes are
shorting commutator bars that have voltage between them.  Commutation should occur at
the neutral field point when the voltage between the bars under the brush is zero.

You will get much better results with an over-run clutch that free-wheels when the
motor isn't powered.  This lets the motor and gearbox (if present) stop turning,
removing that drag.  That's the approach Currie and then Schwinn take.


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