What to Do With My Lepton?

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I have a 2001 Oxygen Lepton SLA model, bought unopened in 2002. I am the only person who has ever ridden the scooter, except for letting a woman ride it around the block in Eco mode, once. It has never glitched or thrown an error code, never broken down, never given me any trouble at all except for the mirror, which I didn't tighten properly at first. Eventually I got on both ends of the bolt and tightened it correctly. The scooter still runs fine, on the original batteries, so that tells you how I've treated it. It has 1668 miles on it, IIRC. It's got new gear oil in it. I had it up for sale all last Spring and Summer, and even tried an Ebay auction. No bites. The is a fantastic scooter for low-speed commutes in urban areas, and is also fine for long country rides at modest speeds, something I used it for a *lot*. Compared to Chinese scooters, the build quality is amazingly good. (It was made in Italy, 25 miles from the plant that makes Vespas, and the body is essentially a Vespa clone.) I'd like to find a good home for it, but need to get some cash for it. As I see it, here are my options:

* Try again to sell it as-is in the Spring, asking $895 and being very open to lower offers. The current range is probably 4-10 miles.

* Replace the aged batteries with Greensavers or gel cell batteries and try to sell it for about $1200.

* See if anyone here wants to buy it for $500 to convert to Lithium (LifePo4) power. Since it's SLA without an onboard charger, and has a roomy battery compartment that's fantastically easy to access, I think this would be a neat, relatively easy project for someone, keeping in mind the top speed limitation of 28MPH - 32 or so running downhill. The only way to make it go faster without over-revving and burning out the motor is to maybe use a taller rear tire. Opinions?

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CHL lithium battery's picture
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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I have exprience on oxygon scooter when I worked on TS battery,our 40AH48V battery is exactly the same size !oxygen.jpg

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I've decided to put new, inexpensive but non-crappy batteries in the Lepton before I try to sell it again. What's a good source for 40-50AH gel cell or AGM scooter batteries? I'd like a set that will fit without modifications to the scooter and cost $75-$100 each, max.

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I took the Lepton for its first long ride in almost two years this evening. I've taken it for short spins and kept the battery bank charged, but since the other two scooters have problems (the ZEV's too severe to even consider riding it) I decided to go for shorter range and no bleeping mechanical problems.

The Lepton is louder than the hub drive scooters, and I think the bearings were a tad dry at first, but after about a mile the bike was going full speed and making its usual "Jupiter 2" whine. I started off in Eco mode, switched briefly to Sprint (you have to stop the scooter to do this) and then went for about an 8 mile ride in the country in Eco. This included several steep but short hills and one real Monster called "Pudding Hill". (Before they re-graded and paved it for use as part of a highway, I can remember, as a kid, sliding down it on my bicycle, rear wheel locked.) When I got back to the suburb I was amazed to note that I still wasn't getting the first range warning, and the autonomy indicator, which has to be read sort of like tea leaves, was still saying I had 27km left - meaning about 6-8 miles at most. So I switched back to Sprint Mode and ran about a mile at top speed and acceleration before I got the first range warning and parked it. Total ride length: 9.3 miles - on 11 year old batteries. It could have gone another 3-4 miles.

THIS is what scooter build quality should be like.

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I too have a 2001 era Lepton that has been basically rock solid. The only trouble I've had was with a conversion LiFePO4 pack before using a BMS was routine. I don't have enough technical knowledge to repair it myself and the only local friend who did has moved away. I may just go back to SLAs so I can keep using it. Just hate to go back to the weight etc. I've always enjoyed the Lepton, its range and speed are fine around here, and I'd much rather keep using a well built piece of older technology instead of dealing with fancier, more touchy, or less proven replacements.

I wonder how many of these scooters are still in use now?

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

It's hard to say, because most of them seem to have been sold in Europe. I was surprised to see that the company is apparently still in business, and making cargo and regular scooters with a new look. I was even *more* surprised to see that they still have that 28MPH top speed, albeit with more range...

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I suppose the type of use situations they focus on don't need a lot more speed. Crowded surface streets not highways.

Around here I don't really want to be running much faster anyway. We have a lot of big bad tempered wildlife I don't really want to sneak up on and make panic stops for.

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

LeftieBiker wrote:

I was even *more* surprised to see that they still have that 28MPH top speed, albeit with more range...

28mph = 45km/h is the (completely brainless..) speed limit for Europena L1e class vehicles such as scooters. This class is exempt from registration, taxes and motorcylce driving licence, and they can be operated with any normal car driving licence. Only insurance is required. That is why these 28mph/45km/h scoots are so popular around Europe. In West Germany the limit was 40km/h, later extended to very logical and safer 50km/h (as that is the maximum speed in city driving). In East Germany it was even 60km/h, but they had to come down to 50 after reunification.
Apparently other European countries still had just 40km/h in place when negotiations started for a pan-european vehicle classification. That is how this very strange class of 45km/h came about, as a rather impractical and highly unsafe compromise... But the police (at least here in Germany) will usually say nothing even if you go 50km/h :-)

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

In Sweden we only had 30km/h for mopeds. Here all 45km/h vehicles needs registration, thought it was the same in all EU....

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

MEroller wrote:
LeftieBiker wrote:

I was even *more* surprised to see that they still have that 28MPH top speed, albeit with more range...

28mph = 45km/h is the (completely brainless..) speed limit for Europena L1e class vehicles such as scooters. This class is exempt from registration, taxes and motorcylce driving licence, and they can be operated with any normal car driving licence. Only insurance is required. That is why these 28mph/45km/h scoots are so popular around Europe. In West Germany the limit was 40km/h, later extended to very logical and safer 50km/h (as that is the maximum speed in city driving). In East Germany it was even 60km/h, but they had to come down to 50 after reunification.
Apparently other European countries still had just 40km/h in place when negotiations started for a pan-european vehicle classification. That is how this very strange class of 45km/h came about, as a rather impractical and highly unsafe compromise... But the police (at least here in Germany) will usually say nothing even if you go 50km/h :-)

We have a similar class here - the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle, AKA "NEV". They never proved popular because they are too slow for 90% of the riding and commuting we do here. The actual top speed, BTW, is about 25MPH, which qualifies them (Leptons) as NEVs, but the lowest common speed limit here is 30MPH. So I had expected at least one model that would do 45MPH...

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I sold the Lepton today! Or at least got a deposit on it. A firefighter wanted to get his Italian American wife a Vespa for her 40th birthday, and after seeing the price those go for, he spotted my Craigslist ad and was immediately interested. He came over this evening, we went for a ride, with me riding the XM3000, negotiated a bit, and he left a deposit. The scooter will be going to a home in the country, with a garage, a female rider, and new batteries at the end of this season. I got $800 - a bit less than I'd like, but enough. That's only a bit under half what I paid for it in 2002, and with no repairs needed and only gear oil for maintenance, that seems a good deal. He was impressed with the power it has in Sprint mode, and he arrived on a BMW K-1100, or something similar. That leaves me with the XM3000, still needing a front caliper spring or assembly but ride-able, and the ZEV, still waiting to be made roadworthy.

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

The buyer I had lined up couldn't, after two weeks, get transportation arranged, and backed out. So the scooter is now up for auction on Ebay. Here is the listing:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120924262695&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

It's been a great scooter for me. The only problem, literally, I ever had with it was initially getting the mirror to stay tightened. I fixed that in roughly 2003 and it's been fine ever since. They don't make them like this in China!

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

The auction for my Lepton ends Thursday night at roughly 11:30PM EDT. I have lowered the Buy It Now price to $849, and my reserve is significantly lower than that. In addition, Amazon.com now has a listing for Apex 50AH batteries for the Lepton on sale for less than $134.00, with free shipping (according to Amazon). Feel free to check it out!

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

Hi: I've been reading all your comments in this forum. I've been on the fence in buying another scooter. My 1st venture into EV was with a 500w Wildfire folding bike was was great except for comfort. Because $ were tight I saved and won an auction for a closeout 1500w 48v38ah GreenSaver batteries Thompson branded scooter (same setup, body as alot of others) It was wonderful but decided to upgrade to Lifepo4 for extra range and climbing ability. Again I saved and saved and bought a 48v 40ah duck tape pack with 15A super fast charger made by CoddPower, TOOK THREE MONTHS, Ugh! I assumed, in hindsight now, that everything would work great! It of course did not. Battery box was 3/4" too small so I had a local autobody guy weld a new box to fit. He also reconnected the system without using one of the connections (unsure of location) and it worked great. We both assumed maybe this was the speed limiter since the scooter really had some extra pep and climbing capability. I know the reduction in weight most likely was the reason for this but it felt wonderful that my 1st EV modification (I know this for you is a no brainer, but for me, WOW!, what can I try next!!) Since I am fairly mechanical but NOT electrical, (learning as I go!lol) My problem, on the third charge after only 80 miles upon plugging in the charger and turning around to walk away I smelled smoke and immediately unplugged it from the wall, BMS in plastic box taped on top of battery, still smoking, started on fire as I was trying to pull it off, I managed to yank it off. NOW WHAT TO DO!
I do not have anyway of testing the battery for damages and finding someone local that can repaie and replace the BMS (on order & shipped, just found out this morning that it really is coming from China, thought it was a US company as it has a USPS mailing notification, yet another who knows when it will get here! lol) I am totally afraid of ruining a $1000.00 battery by trying to recharge with the 15A charger although from threads I have read, again I can follow directions but am a TRUE beginner when it comes to most of the threads), I concluded that its possible to recharge without the BMS, not the best choice since I'm not sure exactly how to do this and in fact if I damaged the pack during the 30 seconds or so it took me to pull it off)

The reason for my email is twofold. 1st I really like the 2001 Lepton you have been talking about and am watching your auction, I have been debating for three days on what to do since I really really need transportation. I'd really the retro look and would be able to utilize the Greensaver batteries I have which should fit perfectly according to the CHL thread. I would like to make an offer if it doesn't go too high as I will have to pay someone with a truck to drive me to pick it up.

Also if anyone local to Mass, RI or Southeastern CT can test, rebuild the pack if necessary and add the BMS.

Thanks for any and all assistance!
Ann

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I just lowered the reserve (now less than $700) and the Buy It Now price is now $799. That's the best I can do. Bid on the scooter and you may get it for less than $700, plus shipping, although I'm hoping for a bit more. If you are in Mass., you can rent a U-Haul trailer to pick it up for much less than truck shipping costs.

Better hurry, though: the auction ends tonight.

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

The auction ended with no winner. Before I send a second chance offer to the highest bidder, I'd like to make this offer here:

$615 for the Lepton (the $15 is for Ebay fees), payable through Paypal or some other *safe* payment method, within the next 5 days. I have to have a commitment within the next 24 hours. The highest bid was $630 (sadly, I had set the reserve in the last half hour to $631) but the final fees for a second chance offer are substantial, so this is a better deal for both me and a buyer. The guy who wants to trade his badly-running Vespa-Piaggio to me for my scooter will be all over me today, so please act quickly if you are interested. If I can fix the other scooter, it's worth about $1k. I just don't like carb work and don't want to have to do it. PM me here or email me at leftiebiker@gmail.com

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I finally sold the Lepton today...to a girl who showed up on crutches! But she had researched the scooter, has a less than 3 mile total commute, and is interested in EVs. She took a ride, with me accompanying her on the XM, and she seemed to like the scooter. She came with three male friends who loaded it on a big pickup truck, using a plank ramp (yikes!) with me offering Sage Advice. I wish I'd gotten more than $500 (actually $600, counting the deposit I ended up keeping from another guy, but will probably return if he asks for it) but hopefully it's going to a good home - if they survive each other while she gets accustomed to the scooter. I hadn't known she was on crutches, only that she had an injured foot, so I hadn't thought to mention the lack of a side stand. Has anyone ever attached a side stand to a Lepton...?

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I placed 16 thundersky 40ah cells into my Lepton, but it does not want to start:it turns on, i see on display CODE, then 000000, then STDBY, then right red light starts blinking... and that's all! Keeping button pressed does not make the scooter start, light keeps blinking!
What could be the cause? All cells are charged at 3.3, and I tried with 15, 16 and 17 cells.

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Re: What to Do With My Lepton?

I placed 16 thundersky 40ah cells into my Lepton, but it does not want to start:it turns on, i see on display CODE, then 000000, then STDBY, then right red light starts blinking... and that's all! Keeping button pressed does not make the scooter start, light keeps blinking!
What could be the cause? All cells are charged at 3.3, and I tried with 15, 16 and 17 cells.

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