Xtreme XM-3150 Review
I too was recently bitten by the electric vehicle bug. I began spending most of my time reading about them on the Internet. I live four miles from work and the terrain (near Houston) is flat, and the fastest road I have to handle is a short stretch of 45 mph so a small electric scooter looked very feasible. The ZEV 400 LA would have been my first choice, but it was out of my $2000 budget.. Next I looked at the Zapino but it looked like they were trying to discontinue them so I began looking at the Extreme line up. The XM-3000 series had a bit of a rough reputation but the latest revision (the XM-3150) promised (of course) to be much improved. Even though I couldn’t find any recent reviews of this model, I bit the bullet and ordered it online from Advanced Electric Scooters (dot com), for $1999, which included free shipping to my door.
I ordered it on a Thursday evening and immediately received a confirmation e-mail along with another one the next day from Green Max also confirming the order. On Monday, UPS Freight called to set up a deliver date for Wednesday between 5 and 7 pm. While I was still at work, the truck driver called to ask if he could drop it off early (3:30 pm) and I took off work a little early to meet the bike.
The driver already had it in my driveway when I arrived and I was glad to see it was in good shape. After I cut away the carton I saw that the metal crate was the same cheesy quality as the one that brought my generic 150cc GY6 scooter in 2008, but this time they used lock nuts and strapped to a real live wooden pallet. The result both times was no damage. The manufacture date was 3/10/2010
I plugged the charger in while I figured out a way to get it out of the crate, which I eventually did by myself. Thank goodness the welds are cheap and most can be broken with a claw hammer. I got the feeling they were made by elementary school children learning to weld with Harbor Freight cracker boxes. Anyway….
My patience lasted until the 85% charge LED was lit before I ventured out for a test ride. My first impressions were very smooth, quiet, and powerful. The infamous 2 speed “power/economy” switch (which was not mentioned at all by the manual) was located under the seat nearby the circuit breaker and the charger port. It is a three position rocker switch labeled I, O, and II. I is low speed, II is high speed (I haven’t tried ‘O’)
After a full overnight charge, Day two observations are that, while it is still smooth, quiet, and powerful, it handles weird and takes some getting used to. Despite adjustable (for ride height) shocks, it still sits relatively high on the lowest setting and might benefit from some shorter shocks. Of course, that might make the steering even more heavy, who knows. Be sure and check your tire pressure - mine came with 58 psi in the front and 68 in the back. I dropped mine to 38 front, 40 rear.
The other issue is throttle sensitivity - Acceleration is so strong and the fly by wire twist grip is so light that it is hard to regulate over bumps. I’m starting to wonder if it has a problem. Also, my range is not looking too great. It seems to need an hour of charge for every five miles that you travel. My first trips were only 5,5,& 10 miles while I attempt to ‘condition’ the batteries. Along with a cable driven odometer / speedometer, it has an analog voltmeter with only green, yellow, and red areas to monitor charge. I’ll know more as I gain experience. The one area that doesn’t need improvement is performance. This thing is fast. It’ll blow my 38 mph 50cc Yamaha Vino in the weeds. Be careful who you let drive it. Power is strong and can be abrupt even on the low setting..
Fit and finish are generally great where you can see, but if you poke around underneath, not so much. It has a few nice un-advertised features like a turn signal beeper. Also included are some LEDs. The red one indicates that ‘power is on”. There are two more little blue ones. The left one comes on anytime the brake or kickstand is activated. The right on comes on if the motor is overheated. The left one is so laser bright that it will blind you at night when you put the brakes on. The charger looks like it has been upgraded. The way the manual reads, the builder is obviously proud of its advanced capabilities, however the translations still have a long way to go.
Overall, I’m very pleased. it’s a lot of electric scooter for $1999. I think I’ll put off that 72 volt mod and look for some shorter shocks. And of course we’ll have to find a way to enable that regen! Sparc5, do you know how?
I'm not sure what you mean about 'trying to condition' the batteries, as this uses sealed lead-acid (SLA) batteries like my XM-3000, and they just need a few normal cycles to reach full capacity. I guess it's a big improvement over mine, though, in that it arrived in working order (I had to have the hub motor replaced, and had the ECU done at the same time, even though it was probably ok. The accessory wiring was also completely screwed up). However, having the power selector switch under the seat isn't just stupid, it's dangerous. Like my Lepton, these scooters have too little acceleration from stop to quickly cross a busy intersection in Low. Unless maybe they really upped the power in Low on yours, in which case the range claim would be completely bogus... I hope that they also fixed the center stand, which on my model will attempt, very seriously, to kill you if you try to raise it while actually on the scooter.
A word of advice on the batteries: don't discharge them below 50% if you can possibly avoid it (that would be just into the yellow at half throttle) ans *always* fully recharge them immediately after riding.
I too was recently bitten by the electric vehicle bug.
Welcome to the club - the EV bug can be a very powerful thing! I bought an XM-2000 as my first EV.
Overall, I’m very pleased. it’s a lot of electric scooter for $1999. I think I’ll put off that 72 volt mod and look for some shorter shocks. And of course we’ll have to find a way to enable that regen! Sparc5, do you know how?
From reading your review it sounds like you've got a realistic set of expectations and a good technical / "hands-on" bacground. That alone will go a long way to increasing your odds at having an overall positive experience.
Do you know how long it sat in a discharged state before you bought it? If I were you, here's what I'd do...
1) After your next 5 or 10 mile ride use 5 chargers and charge each battery separately. Make a note of the time difference between when the first one registers full vs. the last one. This will tell you the relative state of health of your batteries (i.e. if one or two are weaker than the rest - they'll all age differently).
2) On an ongoing basis my preference is for 5 separate chargers. But I know Leftie has achieved great results with the stock charger.
3) Consider investing in a Kill-A-Watt meter. Keep an eye on the amount of watt-hours your putting into the pack. That's just for info purposes - the efficiency of the bike won't change dramatically (unless you change your riding habits). However, you can see when the batteries start accepting less charge.
4) If you're a geek (like me!) then check out something like this: http://www.ladyada.net/make/tweetawatt/
Welcome to the EV owners club! And above all else - have fun!
I thought that the xm-3150 was Lithium. No?
I have 3160 miles on my xm-4000li and it did take several charges for the batteries to condition. Initially, the battery strength indicator would go into the red and flash under acceleration even under full charge. After the first 500 or 600 miles, she ran much stronger and didn't even come close to the red under strong acceleration, or even drop below half. My best range to date is 47.5 miles, but that was after 1800 miles and several charge sequences.
In my opinion, the quality of the xm-4000li is outstanding. Incredible power. Silent and smooth.
throttle sensitivity - Acceleration is so strong and the fly by wire twist grip is so light that it is hard to regulate over bumps.
I felt that way too with my XB600. I have gotten used to it now (it took about a week) and it seems normal now.
As to handling, the weight is VERY much over the rear wheel, with predictable results. I would check the steering tube bearings to make sure that they are properly tensioned; if there is ANY slop, it can be a deathtrap.
If you're willing to take the time, I really think setting up a series / parallel charging setup is worth it. You get the best of both worlds: balanced charging and easy hookup.
The specs I saw in an online ad for the XM3150 say it has "silicone" batteries, which means lead-acid gel cell type, with the silicone being the gelling agent. Just like my 3000. If that's the case then the five charger idea is fine - if you have five good, preferably identical chargers! You can also use one good charger five times, and note how long it takes each battery to charge, and what the beginning and end voltages are for each.
Remember to disconnect them from each other first. ;-)
@Leftie - you don't need to disconnect the batteries from each other to use 5 separate chargers. The potential difference still ensures that the current flows in the right direction...
I’m still wondering why the rear end sits so high.
I think it's really just lack of attention to detail. Most of the import scooters seem to suffer from really stiff rear-end shocks and most of the 3150 size of bikes from most manufacturers seem to sit unnecessarily high. Let us know how those 10" shocks work out for you. I might replace mine.
The only clearance issue is one of the tangs for the left ‘swing arm cover’ interferes with the controller. I’ll probably lop it off with the cut off wheel - I never liked the looks of the swing arm covers anyway. I never did mount them. Anyway, I’ll let you know how that works out.
Yeah, I never fitted those dopey swing arm covers either!!!
The jerky throttle is still an issue. If I put it in econo mode, then I can just ride around the neighborhood wide open no problem but then I have to stop and change it over to get on the boulevard. It makes me wish the mode switch was still on the handlebar.
It should be pretty easy to put a switch on the handlebar for the econo-mode - you can just get an appropriate switch from Radio Shack.
Does anybody have the straight skinny on these throttles. Most of them seem to be called ‘hall effect’, but I thought that type of sensor was for on-off stuff like camshaft position sensors. It seems like a potentiometer (like a throttle position sensor) would be more suitable. Its got three wires. My guess one is +5v, one is ‘ground’, and the other is the signal return (0-5v). If I get a chance, I think I’ll look at them with the voltmeter. Or maybe I could just try another one from a different source - they’re cheap enough.
Essentially the hall sensor throttle will behave just like a potentiometer. "Hall effect" is based on moving a magnet relative to an electric field and is supposedly more reliable than a standard potentiometer. (That's my understanding anyways). So, it really is a Hall sensor - and you're dead on about the three signal wires.
I wouldn't bother replacing the throttle - I bet the issue is more to do with the controller programming (which can't be changed). I also think you'll get used to it. However, test the throttle and see if it seems like a linear response. If the throttle's OK then to "fix" this you'd have to put something between the throttle and the controller to give you the throttle response you want. I *think* the latest Cycle Analyst has this feature?
Thanks for your choice of Efun products,XM-3150 is all the same as 2008 Zapino with 5 pcs BB Lead-acid batteries,not "silicon"batteries.
Please keep on charging in time after every discharging,battery cells will be activated.
Take care if the motor/controller cables(in a narrow space between battery-box bottom and swing arm) are always well or not after your replacing with the 10 inches shocks? Any more questions,pls feel free to contact with me:firstname.lastname@example.org
Also congratulations Pete,did you purchase XM-4000Li from BEST BUY store?http://www.bestbuy.com/site/X-Treme+-+Luxury+Electric+Moped/1259665.p;jsessionid=9BE71127557CC295AEDFD385F9E3233D.bbolsp-app04-48?id=1218255653003&skuId=1259665
Well done,John.Thank you!
Xiamen, any comments on the apparent lack of any best buy stores carrying the 4000? I check 3 locations. Store pick up only yet no stores seem to carry them.
Dear Jason Taylor,more informations about XM-4000Li in which BestBuy store,please contact "Greg GreenMax Dist" or from the website:http://www.x-tremescooters.com/electric_mopeds/electric_mopeds.html.
I took one of the shocks off and it dropped the rear ride height about 1 ½ inch.
Do you mean you took a shock off one side of the scooter's swing arm? If you did, you are putting a hell of a bending moment (and torsion at the pivot point) on one of the swing arm legs that it was never designed to take. You might soon find the rear wheel cocking over sideways, and the scooter going out of control, next good bump you hit...
Nice review of the scooter Chasbro. I just got an XM-3150 a few weeks ago as well. I found this while searching for some of the issues I've been having.
My throttle is the same way. It's really annoying. its almost like an on/off switch. I'll turn it and turn it and nothing happens, then turn it 1 degree more and the bike takes off at full speed. If i'm driving down the street trying to keep it at 25mph i have to pulse the throttle on and off.
I also get have similar issues with the battery. I charge it up over night so it's 100% full. I drive it to work and back which is a 3 mile trip and when i get home the charger says it's at 50%. I hope it get's better after charging it several times, but right now I'm wondering if there's a bad battery in the scooter. It's running down to 50% after 3-5 miles and dropping below 30% after about 10 miles. Also it acts really weird after I drive it 2 or 3 miles. I'll come to a stop at a traffic light and when it turns green i hit the throttle and the bike goes for a second and then dies. If i let go of the throttle and hit it again it'll go for a sec and then die. I have to start it rolling with my feet and then apply the throttle to get it to go. Once i'm going its fine it just wont start from a standstill. It seems like it's not getting enough power and overloads and cuts out.
It looks like you have one defect that may be endemic to this model (a too-touchy throttle, even worse than the one on the XM-3000), one defect that may or may not be similar to one on the XM series (that 'stall' in high power mode. Mine does it too, but I don't have to roll the bike to get it going, just close and open the throttle again) and one problem that possibly isn't, by itself, a problem. The High power mode really eats up battery reserves, so if you are running with mostly wide open throttle in High, the range you are seeing may be a function of that. Try using Low power mode (I do it most of the time now, saving High for only when I need the extra speed) and see if the range dramatically increases. If it does then you just need to be able to better control your throttle action in High. I find that even running at full throttle almost all the time, Low gives the scooter fantastic range (I estimate nearly 40 miles), and since I'm used to running flat-out at 28MPH on my old Lepton, 28MPH doesn't really seem slow to me - unless I have cars behind me on a city street who want to go 30 or 35... Anyway, I'd ask for a new throttle first, and if that does no good, then either most of those throttles are bad or you have a borderline-bad ECU, IMO. If it's the throttle on your model you might want to try the one from the XM-3000. It isn't great, but it isn't as bad as yours!
Thanks for the reply leftiebiker. I guess that makes sense. Since the throttle is so ultra sensitive it's basically a switch so I always have it either full throttle of off. I guess that could be draining battery faster. I'd think though that even with full throttle in high power mode I'd get more than 3 or 4 miles to hit 50% battery.
I switched it to economy mode on my way to work this morning and didn't notice any difference in the throttle. The only thing I noticed was that it capped out at around 32mph on a flat road where it'd usually top out at 45. I'll try economy for a few days and see if i get a noticeable improvement in the battery. So if I understand it correctly it just cuts in half the max voltage that the throttle can send to the ECU? It'd be nice to have that switch on the handlebar since I drive in traffic all the way to work and I don't want to annoy all the cars on the road by going 25mph. Though I guess if the throttle had a smooth transition it wouldn't be necessary as you could use the throttle to keep it at 50% power.
The stalling is probably the biggest concern. Several times I've been stopped at a red light at a busy intersection and when the light turns green I start to go and just just stalls and stalls and stalls so I have to stand up and walk the bike across a major intersection.It seems to happen only when the battery is around 50% or lower. but since that's normally after 3 miles I hit that point every day on my way home from work so the stalling happens to me every afternoon. I emailed the place I bought the scooter from to see if they could advise me about fixing it but I haven;t heard back. Will X-treme work with you even if you didn't buy directly from them?
I bought mine from a dealer on Ebay who pressured API / X-TReme to send me the parts I needed, so I don't know how well you will do.
I've read that the scooter's range (mine) using High only, at full speed, is only about 10 miles, so I still think that may be the problem. If using Low doesn't solve it, though, then it isn't just high power consumption. I'm surprised that using Low doesn't solve the 'stalling' problem, as mine is MUCH smoother in Low. BTW, the handlebar-mounted Power switch comes mounted on a little separate ring that also has the headlight switch on it, IIRC. You should be able to wire it to the existing switch wiring using long jumpers.
To get some perspective on the"50%" problem, get a Kill-a-Watt power meter. That way you'll be able to monitor how much electricity is needed for recharging. Remember that you will be monitoring power INTO the charger, so the amount actually seen by your batteries is about ~80% of that.
You can calculate the theoretical maximum power in your pack by multiplying the pack voltage by the AH rating on the batteries. Remember that the AH rating is generated at a 20hour rate, while you will be using the pack at a ~1 hour rate. Thanks to Peukert, you will get far less power at the rate you are actually using.
Finally, your "stall" problems may be the low voltage cutout activating as the voltage sags at startup. As you've discovered, gently accelerating will avoid this (and the twitchy throttle will make this worse). This is either because of discharged batteries or (very common) loose terminals. Try putting your hand on each terminal just after a heavy current draw. ANY warmth or looseness in a terminal means a loose connection and a source of resistance.
I think Mark is right. The stalling is caused by the low voltage cut off of the controller. Try to make the same thing happen and measure the voltage when the scooter is on the main stands. The controller of my scooter is allowing only for smooth acceleration when leaving from a stand still. If the controller of your scooter is different it will allow the huge amount of current to be drawn from your batteries, this way activating the low voltage cut off.
I replaced the malfunctioning throttle of my scooter with this one. It is cheap, easy to do and it works.
Just a general advise: always keep the batteries as charged as possible. Even after a 6 miles tour, do recharge. NEVER leave the batteries standing in discharged condition.
I opened the scooter to be able to get to the batteries individually. I connected thin wires (2,5 mm2) to the battery poles. That made 5 wires for 4 batteries. This way I am able to measure the individual voltage and if neccessary charge the batteries individually. Just an advice.
I charged up the bike all weekend long and drove it to work today in economy mode. When I got home the charger showed 30%! Strange since the meter on the bike was almost pegged to the top of the green bar. So one of the meters is not correct...I suspect the charger would be the one to believe. I guess I'll have to break down and buy a kill-a-watt to verify how much it takes to charge it up.
I think the stalling was indeed due to the bike drawing too much power since it has never happened in economy mode. I think like you guys were saying, since the throttle is so finicky its jumping straight to full power from a stop and on a low battery it hits the low voltage threshold. I guess I should look into getting a replacement throttle and also find out whats up with the battery charge. I'm going only 4 miles in economy mode on flat ground and it's dropping to 30%. Is there an easy way to access the batteries or do I have to take apart the entire back of the bike?
I contacted the vendor I got it from and they said they opened a service ticket with X-treme but I haven't heard anything back yet...
If the 3150 is built like the 3000, you can access at least three of the batteries by removing the underseat compartment. I wish my charger showed state of charge, but OTOH it's been reliable, which matters more to me.
Just to show how much range you are losing: I rode my 3000 for about 40km yesterday, all in Low power mode. Going by the gauge it was at or just below 50% when I was done. Call it 40%. This included climbing hills. It may be that the gauge is optimistic, but I now know that I can ride at least 25 miles, and probably 30 with a little less throttle when I don't need it wide open.
I've been emailing back and forth with X-treme. They had me check a lot of things to find out if anything was wrong with the bike.
First, like was reccomended here was just checking the fully charged voltage of the batteries. I charged the scooter up for 2 days. I unplugged it and dismantled it and read the batteries after 1hr, 2hrs and 3hrs.
battery 1h 2hr 3hr
1 12.95 12.92 12.92
2 12.93 12.89 12.89
3 12.92 12.89 12.89
4 12.92 12.89 12.89
5 12.91 12.90 12.89
total 64.5 64.4
Then since they checked out ok I did a load test on the batteries. They started out at 12.8v and dropped to 11.2-11.4 under load. I also checked the output of the charger while it was charging the batteries and it was at 73v.
The motor seems fine since I can go 30mph in economy mode and 45+ in fast mode. I figured the only way to really tell how far the bike can go on a charge is to drive the bike until it stops.
I took the scooter out on a weekend and drove it until it wouldn't go anymore. Actually it would still go just very very slow and stuttered when I'd try to accelerate. I got almost exactly 30 miles. It was just me (165lbs), the bike was switched to economy mode, and i tried to keep it on a flat road but there were 2 or 3 very small hills. It was also a little windy and I was in the city so there were quite a lot of traffic lights.
The dash meter was just into the red and the charger showed <30% when I plugged it in. It took 6 hours to charge back up. I put a kill-a-watt meter on the plug and it showed that it took 1.87kwh to recharge the bike. I believe that should be pretty close to full use of the batteries since 5 batteries at 12v rated 35Ah should be 2.1kwh total...if I'm doing the math right.
From what I can tell the bike seems to be running great now. It has definitely gotten much better after passing 200 miles on the odometer. Perhaps the batteries needed some breaking in or conditioning.
I know they say it can go 50 miles on a charge but I think that's under perfect conditions. Does 30 miles sound pretty normal?
One new problem I've noticed is that the brakes squeak a lot and most times they'll pulse when I apply them, kinda like the rotor is warped though I can't see any distortion of the rotor. I can feel on one spot on the rotor it's like it has extra friction and grabs at that spot. not sure what that means...
I hope that those weren't lead-acid or lead-acid-silicone batteries you ran that low. That won't kill those, but it will shorten their lifespan. As for the brake rotor, that seems to be a known issue. You could try having it shaved at a cycle shop, but since the problem seems to be caused or at least aggravated by heat, having a thinner rotor would probably result in it warping again. I try to use the front brake only when I really need to on my 3000...
Great to hear of such a successful (yet arduous...) controller conversion! The 6-phase Efun motors have both windings in star configuration, but they differ in the number of turns. One is a high torque / low rpm winding with more turns, the other a low torque / high rpm one with less turns. Usually those scooters have an additional switch somewhere around the underseat compartment with which the controller is either limited to the low speed winding for 40 to 45km/h (25...28mph) top speed, or to the high speed winding and possibly a combination of both with some speed-dependent switching point for the "open" version.
Most hub motors come with only one winding and work, too, so your motor should be fine while using just one winding. But it might be interesting to feel/measure the differences between the two windings, powered by the same controller.
It seems I can't create a new post, so i'll reply here since it's somewhat related...hopefully.
The other day I was driving my XM-3150 and I was trying to get over a curb. I guess it was too much for the motor because it just squealed a little bit and then died. I checked the circuit breaker inside the seat and it had tripped. I flipped it back on and when I turned the throttle the motor moved for half a second and tripped the breaker again. from that point on the breaker wouldn't ever click back into the on position. I took the breaker out and tested it and it wouldn't pass any current even if I held it to the on position. So I went ahead and ordered a replacement breaker. I got it in today and installed it and the bike kinda works now. it'll go but the motor stutters pretty bad, especially when it starts from a standstill. once i get up to 20 or 30mph its just a hum but starting up it it pretty jerky. It doesn't really seem to affect the speed since I got it up to 45mph but obviously something is wrong. It seems like maybe only 2 of the 3 windings on the motor are being used? I don't know if thats a sign of a problem with the motor or with the controller. I suspect the controller since after I drive it I can smell a burnt electronics smell coming from the controller box...though it's not abnormally hot.
Any advice would be appreciated. and if it is a bad controller where the best place to get a replacement.