Revenge of the Electric Car The electric car is not only back from the dead, it's inevitable

Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

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Recently had to replace the drive motor assembly, old one seized up solid. Also had to replace the batteries. Now it won't run. When I twist the throttle I get a short duration growl then nothing except a short jerk as if the motor is trying to run backwards. I switched the wires and it ran bacwards OK.
I am looking for a service manual for this machine.
Anyone out there seen one?

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Bob Robinson

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Sadly, the BE500 is just like many other e-bikes out there..... no support from the chinese manufacturer, and even less help from the people that imported them, or any distributor that placed them in retail businesses. You are sort of on your own, to a degree. Dont let that stop you. I cant remember where, but, there are some posts about diagnosing motor/controller/hall sensor wiring issues. First off, the juice in these things can seriously hurt or kill, BE CAREFULL. Always disconnect the battery, I mean, take it out of the bike to work on even one wire. If the part was an exact replacement motor, then it may be as simple as figuring out the hall sensor wiring. A bad controller in some cases can mimmick a bad motor, how did you determine which you had? Also possible is , the contorller is shot too. Switched wires? which wires did you switch? If the motor responded perfectly, aside from direction, its just a matter of finding the right combination of phases on the hall sensors to get you going forward,,, maybe.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Glad to see your post, but have little help to offer. Working on a BE500 project as well. Not much to report as yet. Need batteries to test the unit/electronics before spending too much money for new battery packs. Good luck.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

New Here

Found a Baja BE500 in my area in almost perfect condition with only 135 KMh on it, the guy had no charger so it was a "roll the dice" situation

After getting it home i quickly made up a list of what i would need, mirrors, new charger, new blinkers, new ignition (the guy had drilled out the old one) so i got all the parts and spent a day wiring blinkers, relocating them to a better part on the body, putting mirrors and switches on, and then a long wait while the batteries fully charged, then came the moment of truth, put the key in and away i went,

Today i took it out for its first "real" run, 7.3 mile total trip, everything went good as i made my way up into wine country and up some hills (doesnt do very well on hills at all!) and it was a great ride, through some farm country back to the main road, i turned left onto the main road and then got over in the bike lane, i was crusing along about 25 mph when the bike jerked, no noises the motor just cut out, i thought it was a fluke until i noticed that every 3 seconds it would cut out (causing me to coast) then cut in again, this kept up for a couple miles, i stopped at a store and let it sit for five minutes, i got back on the road and it ran ok for a few minutes and started to cut out again, the strange thing is it did this all the way home, im no stranger to scooters or mechanics but im new to the whole "electric" thing i confess, i am hoping thisi s something simple, i dont think its batteries since when i got back i had used 25% of its charge, and the lights never dimmed when it cut out, so i think this is a "disconnect" between the batterie and the motor

Any idea where i should start to check, i put some money into this thing and dont want to give give up this easily

Any ideas Anyone?

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Sounds like a pretty ambitious trip for your ride!

I'd say you were just hitting the low voltage cutout (LVC)
The gauge is usually just a good guess at battery condition.
If its been unused and uncharged for a while, give it a few charge/discharge cycles on the batteries, they might come back to life a bit and give you more range. I noticed it on my SLA battery scoots just after sitting for the winter. After a few trips to and from work, they would usually be back to normal.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Sounds like a pretty ambitious trip for your ride!

I'd say you were just hitting the low voltage cutout (LVC)
The gauge is usually just a good guess at battery condition.
If its been unused and uncharged for a while, give it a few charge/discharge cycles on the batteries, they might come back to life a bit and give you more range. I noticed it on my SLA battery scoots just after sitting for the winter. After a few trips to and from work, they would usually be back to normal.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Teamslacker

I spoke with a company here in california (electricscooterparts) and they said the same thing (incidentally he wants close to 300 bucks for the new batteries)
as soon as i mentioned the symptoms the guy immediately said it was probably the LVC, he told me to take a ride and try to duplicate the condition with an OHM meter hooked to the charging port, i bought the OHM meter (digital) and some alligator test leads but it has been raining for 9 days straight here, he says if the LVC is activated it will need new batteries, if the ones in it are original they will be quite old, now not being to familiar with electric batteries i cannot be sure if that is the issue, the scooter was "born" in 2008, it first hit the road in 2009, i bought it with 374 km on it (OOOPS i went back and looked at the original pics when i bought it ) , so if we break km to miles it comes to

374 km to miles =
232.3 miles used DIVIDE by
30 mile range per charge =
8 charges or so

so if it only had say 7-8 charge cycles that would make the batteries "new" but the fact is it is close to 5 years old by age now, so i wonder if the batteries could be "bad" just from sitting,

I am going to try to duplicate the ride today now that the rain has stopped with the OHM Meter attached, if it trips the UVC does this mean i need new batteries, what is your suggestion

I don't mind buying brand new batteries as the investment will pay off but if they are not needed its an expense i would rather not incur,

Ill post the details of the trip when i get back, for now here is a pic of the ride (taken on its first trip)

Photo Feb 03, 4 39 46 PM.jpg
Photo Feb 03, 4 40 07 PM.jpg
Photo Feb 03, 4 56 08 PM.jpg

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

I had one of the baja's, it was my first E scoot.

You can hook your meter up to the charge port, set it to read voltage, the pack is 48v so set it to whatever the next step above 48v is.
If you watch the voltage on the meter as you drive, I'm just guessing the LVC is set to around 9 or 10v per cell * 4 = 36 to 40volts.
If you see a voltage in that range (36-40v), and the motor cuts out at the same time, then you know you are hitting LVC.
The pack in the baja is all in a plastic case under the seat. There is 4 12v 18ah batteries in the pack. They are a fairly common size battery that you should be able to find at your local battery store for around 50-75$ each = about what the scooter shop quoted you.

The 'problem' that comes up with most of the early Chinese electric scooters, is the batteries are all in series, and are charged as one series pack. Even 4 brand new batteries wont charge and discharge at the same rate, so they end up at different voltages. You'll find many methods and examples here from the way others have dealt with this. Me personally, I'm on my 4th e scoot now (just been upgrading to bigger ones), every one I've had I wired up balancing harness. IE, I could access each battery individually to charge. I did this on my lead acid batt scoots, and built a bank charger that charged them all individually. Now on my lithium powered scoot, I also have a harness. I will usually charge with the serial charger, and then use the individual taps and top off each cell so they all stay fairly balanced.

It's possible, from sitting, that just one of your batteries is bad. Before you spend the money for all new batteries, I would open the battery case, charge each battery individually with a 12v 1-2amp or so charger. And then take it for a ride.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Team

Yeah the guy said the LVC is around 44 volts, he said brand new batteries would be getting about 48-55 volts out of them
I found the battery packs thats what made me know what charger to get, strange thing is i didnt find 18ah batts in there, ill post a pic of what i found when i took the casings apart, and yes they are all in a series, what the shop qouted me for 4 new ones was super high, i can get factory spec batteries that fit perfectly for 160 for a pack of 4 and thats with free shipping in 3 days, i think because its a california shop they jacked the price way up

Ill take the ride in a few and post results, if the LVC doesnt trip on the ride then im left scratching my head for now, there are only so many things it could be on such a simple mechanical machine, with no cam or spark plug or coil or filters or any of that normal gas scooter combustion jazz the problem solving and troubleshooting gets cut in like 3 with this thing

FYI i have never seen batteries like this before but then again i dont deal with electric to often, most i did with my gas scooters was put the 12v on a trickle now and then

Photo Jan 24, 9 04 46 PM.jpg
Photo Jan 24, 9 07 13 PM.jpg

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

All the talk about the electrical stuff although interesting does not help me. I need some troubeshooting ideas. How do i go about testing the electrical systems to find out which is working properly and which is not?

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Bob Robinson

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Ok well i got the info, though i dont know what the info is, i hooked up the alligator clips to the scooter and got a reading of 53 Volts DC, as i took it for a ride with the clips attached (I duplicated the EXACT route that i did the first time)i saw the battery gauge (meter) on the dashboard go from full H to E as i twisted the throttle once again as i backed off the gauge popped back up, as i kept driving the meter kept reading between 47-44 Volts DC, (reading close to 50 coasting back down the hill) when i got to a little more then halfway through the ride ALMOST AT the EXACT spot it happened last time the lurching off and on started, i looked at the meter and it was reading between 43.0 VOLTS DC and 42.6 VOLTS DC, i think the LVC is tripped right below 43.0 VOLTS DC, as the engine kicked in and out the volts jumped up then dropped again, i stopped at a store and flipped the master switch off, waited 5 minutes and saw the meter go back up to around 47 VOLTS DC, after limping back to the garage i took one of the battery cases out of the scooter and took the cover off, i measured 12.47 VOLTS, on the twin that was in the same case i measured 12.63 VOLTS, to save time i pulled the other pack out and measured at the power connector to the case, i got a reading of 25 VOLTS DC exactly, so

12.47 V +
12.63 V +
25.0 V =

50.1 VOLTS DC

so i also noticed that the leads on these battery packs are soldered not screw type, not sure what that means for any replacements, its my belief that unless i havent been informed about a component of the electrical circuit these batterys are just tired and need to be changed out, i saw a video of one of these years before i bought mine, the guy was going like 25 on the street and the meter on the dashboard of his scooter was at almost full even with the throttle almost wide open, i think the fact the meter goes right to E when i twist it is a sign of weak cells, i guess right now im more of just trying to talk myself into shelling out money for new packs,

here is a link to the purchase i am considering i know nothing about whats in there, but these seem to be a step up, if they are running 18AH (guessing amp hour) by factory, and they have a 20AH in there now, would putting a 22AH make it better, these are questions i would love to know the answers to, also my hope is by my contributing to this post and thread that one day someone who buys another Baja BE500 Electric Scooter may benefit from the knowledge i have to give

UB12220 4 PACK

thanks for all the help everyone

Photo Feb 10, 4 57 51 PM.jpg

READING AT START OF RIDE

Photo Feb 10, 5 11 48 PM.jpg

DRIVING AT START OF RIDE

Photo Feb 10, 5 39 15 PM.jpg

READING OFF OF BATTERY PACK 1 (CELL UNIT 1) END OF RIDE

Photo Feb 10, 5 44 01 PM.jpg

READING OFF OF BATTERY PACK 1 (CELL UNIT 2) END OF RIDE

Photo Feb 10, 5 49 52 PM.jpg

READING OFF OF BATTERY PACK 2 (BOTH UNITS MEASURED)

Photo Feb 10, 5 39 46 PM.jpg

VIEW OF BATTERY TERMINALS

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

You're right about the on-board voltage meter being a good indicator of the problem. People dismiss those meters as useless, but once you learn to read them correctly they are quite handy, actually. Try charging all the batteries individually again, then check the rest voltages for each one, after they sit for a few hours. They should read right about 13 volts each. You will either have one bad battery and three good ones (best case), a mix of bad and good, or all marginal batteries. Larger batteries can easily last longer than 5 years - I just sold my 2008 X-Treme XM3000 with the OEM Greensaver batteries in great shape. Little batteries like yours, though, are strained much more by even normal riding, and will fail much earlier. Try using the largest size (AH) that will physically fit in the scooter. Not only will they have less voltage sag under load, they will also last longer if not abused. Speaking of the XM3000, your scooter appears to use many of the same body parts as the XM3000, for future reference.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

leftie

thanks for the great advice, i will try what you said i have the batterys on the charger, I CANNOT charge them individually because they are all in a SOLDERED strip, i do have my 48 volt charger plugged in and will leave it in till it switches off and check the voltage in the morning

If this doesnt work i think a set of 22AH batterys for 165 bucks with a 2 year warranty is a good deal, i want to be able to ride more then 7 miles round trip on this thing

ill look up that model bike, i want to get that front kick panel (where the glovebox molding is) replaced but baja looked at me like i was on crack lol

I think they wanted 250.00 for the leftover molding they had in gartners warehouse, a bunch of crooks

as for the meter WHENEVER ANY METER goes all the way to the left its never a good sign lol, so its like an empty fuel tank, i shouldnt be getting 44 volts while riding thats already lower then the 48 nominal needed for the motor to operate

It may just be time for new batteries and if that is the case that is ok with me as long as i have explored all options in repair

EDIT: Just checked 22AH is the largest my scoot can handle, it says i get 30 miles with NEW 18AH batterys, so im thinking the 22AH shuld take me closer to 40 miles, not sure how that all works out!

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Those range estimates are, if not just invented, best case numbers. I think that 20-25 miles is more realistic, given mostly flat terrain with a few modest hills. If it's all flat where you live, maybe 30 miles. Remember, though: when you go to the limits of lead battery capacity, you shorten their life. XM3000 parts may be hard to find, but at least there were a fair number sold, and it's a good bet that most have been scrapped by now. Try the national Craigslist search engine.

EDIT: you may have better luck with XB500-502 parts. Try here:

http://www.x-tremescooters.com/electric_bicycles/xb-508/parts.html

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Yes, you can still charge them individually, even though they are soldered, just clip the charger to the exposed leads of each individual battery.

If you dont know how to solder, find someone that can help you solder in the new ones if you go that route. However, the new ones might have (nut/bolt) terminals, so you will have to make a new wire harness, or crimp terminals onto the existing wires.

Leftie, I didn't mean the onboard meter was useless except for this case with someone with a new scoot, and no 'reference' as to what it should read. I use mine all the time, but I know how far it drops under acceleration load, and where it will be after sitting, where the needle will be pointing at LVC, etc.

If it were me, I'd just replace all 4 batteries for the $165 and be done with it. Yes you can test the ones in there. I have with all of mine, but the tester I use cost $160
http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=cba4

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Yeah i think after doing some more testing i am just going to throw a set of 22ah batteries in there, i was dissapointed to hear the range may have been off but then again i am not surprised that they hyped it up, tbh i never hear of bikes going more then 20-30 miles on a electric charge without a recharge anyway,

As for the new harness yes the replacements are all nut bolt, so a new configuration will have to be setup, i do know how to solder though i think a nut bolt wil allow for more versatality in the future

My guess is the manufacturer (baja) didnt think the scooter would outlast the batteries and with the quality of baja products i tend to understand this

I emailed the parts team at that parts site about a new dash panel, but have not heard back as of yet! They have the entire molding for like 52.00 if it matches its a good deal to look at down the road, once i fix this "LVC" gremlin

Even with the estimates of range being off i am thinking there will be an improvement with the 22ah VS the 20ah that was in there, after all 22AH VS 20AH is what like 8AH more?

This thing is too cool to just give up on so i will move forward!

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

heard back from the xtreme parts dept, they said the bike that has that part is discontinued, so that part is no longer available, they are going to try to help me locate similar bikes that might work tho, as for the scooter everything is fully charged up and showing 54.9 volts on the charging port

so

yup yup

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Here is a place that seems to have everything in stock. http://www.partsyahoo.com/BE500-s/1508.htm

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

dynosaur wrote:

Here is a place that seems to have everything in stock. http://www.partsyahoo.com/BE500-s/1508.htm

HOW you EVER found that i dont know, you must have owned one previously, they even have my old baja SC150 (labeled as a 125) on there, the prices are pretty cut-throat, but then again what can you do, i like how they charge 8 bucks for reflector, and only like 20 for a full set of seat plastics, some stuff is a good deal though, the batteries are highway robbery and i wont be going with them for that selection, but this site is awesome hands down cool, i love how they have a part for 25 and the shipping (UPS UGGHHHH) is 20 bucks lol

anyway what can you do, i need to remember that in restoring this scooter that the batteries MUST come first as a 7 mile range is worthless lol

thanks again so much dynosaur!!!!!!

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

TeamSlacker wrote:

If its been unused and uncharged for a while, give it a few charge/discharge cycles on the batteries, they might come back to life a bit and give you more range. I noticed it on my SLA battery scoots just after sitting for the winter. After a few trips to and from work, they would usually be back to normal.

Very interesting point, i noticed tonight when i took it out for a quick trip to the store i had fully charged it from the other day when it started hitting LVC again, I drove it off and the first thing i notice was about a half mile into the ride the voltage (meter) on the bike went up to half and stayed there while i was at full throttle, normally its all the way in the red when i have the throttle wide open, on the way back it did the same thing, this thing likes to run fast and problem free at night,

Im not letting this convince me that this issue is solved, i just wanted to point out on the 1.4 mile trip down and back no issues, i know this is a horrible guide considering thet rip i failed on with LVC was 7 miles total, but this thing adores little trips, not so good on long range trips, it would NEVER make it downtown!

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Here is another gem for ya

http://www.ebay.com/itm/UPG-4-Pack-Baja-BE-500-12V-22Ah-Electric-Scooter-Battery-upgrades-6-DZM-20-6D-/190952320736?pt=US_Rechar...

164.00 for 4 22ah sla not bad....

Also I just did a complete tear down of my BE500 so feel free to ask questions. Bought mine on craigslist for 150.00 spent 300.00 on batts and other junk. so far im ahead...

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Yeah if you looked back in the thread i found those two weeks ago, thats the ones im probably going with

thanks for seeing that though, when you say teardown can you elaborate?

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

Well everyone i finally bit the bullet and ordered that 4 pack of batteries, i called the company directly and they gave me 5% off for dealing with them and not ebay (Ebay totally rips people off), came to like 8 bucks off, then i ordered the expedited shipping and even with that added i still ended up paying only 160.31 for the pack,

Also today i stopped the pedals from moving with a trick i learned on a thread on this forum, and recently i rebuilt the trunk mounting hardware with the help of some folks at a local hardware store

I am hoping that with the 22 AH i can get up to the 30 mile round trip range

Thought i would add my installation, pedals successfully leveled, total cost 2.99,

Photo Mar 03, 11 13 45 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 03, 11 14 23 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 03, 11 14 39 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 03, 11 14 50 AM.jpg

Trunk reinstalled

Photo Mar 03, 11 19 15 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 03, 11 19 20 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 03, 11 19 26 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 03, 11 19 37 AM.jpg

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

The new batteries will have less than full capacity at first - they need to be broken in. If the instructions say anything about cycling them to empty a few times, *ignore that* and just ride normally, expecting lower range. Even when they are at full capacity, I suggest you only use the full range if necessary, not regularly. When you start getting a lot of voltage sag, it's time to immediately recharge.

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

i would hope that after getting brand new batteries i could get better range, i was skeptical when i got this machine about 30 miles, but i would like to know i invested in something that could go more then 6 without messing up, i mean i can mountain bike further then that

I would be happy with 20 miles optimal, downtown is 7 miles away on a fairly level grade, with the exception of one slow hill, if i could go downtown without having to worry about getting stuck that would be fine, otherwise i just spent some more money on another one of bajas jokes

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

well the batteries did finally come in it took about two hours to refit the scooter, the old batteries for some reason had MELTED to the plastic casings, i guess i ordered new ones just in time, below are some pics of the process

Photo Mar 13, 8 46 58 AM.jpg

Heat got to the batteries or something, total meltdown

Photo Mar 13, 8 47 22 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 13, 8 55 59 AM.jpg

Was able to pry the old melted batteries out of the casing, now i just have to switch the harness out

Photo Mar 13, 8 56 08 AM.jpg

Photo Mar 13, 8 56 23 AM.jpg

New pack waiting to go into place

Photo Mar 13, 8 58 29 AM.jpg

Out with the old!

Photo Mar 13, 9 46 48 AM.jpg

Conversion in progress

Photo Mar 13, 10 01 59 AM.jpg

Up close of the modifications to the harness

Photo Mar 13, 11 11 30 AM.jpg

Perfect Fit so far

Photo Mar 13, 11 18 19 AM.jpg

Ready for recycling ( took these to a local lumber store and they recycled them properly)

Ready to go into scooter

Well thats all to report on my rehab, with the new batteries ill be anxious to see what they can give me, with the exception of the cracked housing that isnt really affecting the scooters use this is pretty much a restored scooter now

Photo Mar 13, 11 18 26 AM.jpg

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

In accordance with the laws around here i ordered a new helmet and took the scooter for its first (ride) since the new batteries were put in, nothing major only a 5 mile round trip to the local wal mart, some pics below

Photo Mar 13, 4 59 27 PM.jpg

Trip To Wal Mart

Photo Mar 13, 5 43 46 PM.jpg

New Helmet

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

UPDATE (APRIL 5th 2014)

Sorry its been awhile right after i got the new batteries i went to phoenix for two weeks, ive taken the scooter on a few quick half mile rides to the local store off and on, today however i decided to really stretch the legs, i took it to the local wal mart and then i took it waaaaay out into the wine country on a scenic trip, the ride was around 15 miles total trip, at the end i noticed the voltage gauge all the way in the red when under load, however when the throttle was not pressed i still showed half power on the gauge, so while my ride was over i have no idea if i could have gone further, tbh if 15 milesi s all i can get im happy iwth it, though it shows how much of a lie the marketing of these things can be (the website states " GAS TANK CAPACITY
Max Range 50km / 30 Miles" so 15 miles is half that, i had a couple hills to go up and she does not like hills at all, still overall i think this could get me downtown and back no problem, that test will be coming up tomorrow, i also got rid of the racing mirrors i ordered and bought some standard convex scooter mirrors, i liked the racing ones but there was something weird about the way you saw things in them (on a side not i have some BRAND NEW racing low profile mirrors 8mm for sale if anyone wants them super cheap) so im much happier with the new convex style

FYI a few observations about this scooter i have made

1. EVERYTIME i pass someone (a car, person on foot, or even a bicycle) and i look in my mirror they are ALWAYS looking back at the scooter, this thing is a real head turner
2. No matter where i go someone is always offering to buy it off of me, some offers are reasonable, some are just silly
3. I have seen, passed, and had several cops in the traffic near me and have not been pulled over yet, (i have not however had one sitting directly behind me in the traffic yet)
4. you almost forget your on electric when the wind is in your hair, i love pulling into gas stations and not having to go to the pump
5. The horn on this thing is super loud for such a tiny scooter
6. the versatility of being in the traffic lane, then hitting a sidewalk or bike path is real nice

here is a couple pics from my ride today

Photo Apr 05, 6 23 57 PM.jpg

California Beauty

Photo Apr 05, 6 24 35 PM.jpg

On The Road

Photo Apr 05, 6 49 01 PM.jpg

After 15 mile ride this was the volt meter, as i said before i have no idea if i could have gone further i think i could, i experienced no cutoff or problems on the ride

mpatoday.png

My full ride map!

I hope this thread is read by people who like these things, i would be happy to entertain any questions or comments

thanks again

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Re: Baja BE500 Electric Scooter

From what you describe, you took the batteries *way* too low. It's ok to have the voltmeter go into the Red under load, but it should always go back to Green under no load. It's time to stop and recharge when any load at all takes it from Green to Red. Once it stays below Green all the time you have done at least some damage. I'd say that on your terrain, with your weight, you have a safe range of about 10-12 miles. You may have gotten a bit more range as the batteries 'wore in' but now I'm not sure that will happen...

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