Review of XTreme XB-700Li

6 replies [Last post]
Heman B.
Offline
Joined: 05/18/2012
Points: 102

Hi all,

I know this forum is not often used, but there are about 2 forums where I can write about this bike.

First of all, I wanted to tell you that this bike is a great bike!
The battery life is a little short though (it rides ~22MPH, and 35-45MPC (Miles Per Charge); that means this bike is only going to drive you around town for 2 hours!
That is not very much!

Secondly, when the batteries are fully charged, I can get a top speed of 23.6 MPH out of it! I'm a skinny guy; and mainly live around flat land, so the torque of this bike is more than enough!

The top speed is very limited! At 23MPH, I can still drive on 30MPH roads, but will have to drive on those roads with lots of stop signs, at every corner.
At lower than 23MPH, even on 30MPH roads with lots of stop signs, cars are passing me by.

I added a secondary battery in parallel.
I did so by plugging it in the primary battery's charging input.
It keeps up the voltage a bit longer.

The spring system of this bike, is really bad. It's way too hard for a guy like me, and driving over railroads at full speed, makes the front wheel jump!
The back wheel spring system is set too hard as well. It works nice when my wife joins in.
Our combined weight is ~300LBS.
So this bike is either for an overweight person, or two skinny people.

However, when my wife is with me,the brakes of the bike don't work very well! I would opt for better brakes, especially when you want to mod this bike to go faster than 20MPH!

This bike has regenerative breaking! (unlike what others wrote online)
When releasing the throttle, the bike reduces speed ~1MPH/s. When pressing lightly the brakes, after 1 second, regenerative breaking kicks in, and operates best, when driving fast. It operates all the way to ~2MPH, after which regular brakes will do the rest.
Regenerative breaking works simultaneously with regular braking, both on front and rear brakes. It works best when pressing the brakes lightly, so that less energy will be lost in real braking, and more energy will be absorbed by the motor/battery.
You can see regenerative breaking operating when looking at the fuelgauge. The fuel gauge will actually go up when braking (from a position which it would be in stand still).
The generated energy gets loaded in the battery, and in the stop light of the bike.
This probably could become an issue, as Lithium batteries are not really meant to be charged this fast.
On average the 700W motor would be generating almost 14 amps of power!
This power would be distributed to the stop lights (using ~40W each, or a good 1-2Amps of power. The remaining goes to the capacitors in the controller, and the battery.

This could be an issue, seeing that the battery only charges upto 700 times, meaning every time you brake, you are using up these cycles somewhat.

Putting a battery in parallel makes that it absorbs the power much better, and much more effectively will handle the regenerative energy.

Aside from these issues, the mirrors of this bike are also complete crap!
Every time I hit a pothole, the mirrors flap upward, and I always have to re-adjust them, even while driving!

Also the front windshield is pretty useless. It only covers upto the chest, and the bottom of the windshield is re-molten plastic; that is very brittle! When installing the windshield it's inevitable that you damage (crack) the windshield; just to install some rubber sealings! This is unacceptable!

Aside from that, this bike is ok in the city-city, meaning right downtown; but not good for the suburbs.
In Florida electric bikes are allowed to go upto 30MPH (probably because of so few accidents with them), in other states you are limited to 20MPH.
Taking a sharp corner at 20MPH is really dangerous, as the bike is not very maneuverable at these speeds.

The good thing is that they made the pedals very removable! They used some locking mechanism, that by force of hand, one can easily, and quickly remove the pedals.
In South Florida, cops don't really care about the pedals. And for your own safety it's better to just stow them in the helmet compartment in case you ever need them; but on average, it's better to get rid of them; as they are a danger when making corners.
This bike is not an exception. Nearly all electric and gas scooters that have pedals, the pedals are a constant danger when turning. They touch the road while cornering, and could cause some nasty falls!

The bike has some nice storage space, but could have gotten a little more. On the sides of the back wheel, there's still too much unused space, that could have been converted to storage space.

If it was upto me, I'd get rid of the dual shock system on the back, and install an adjustable single center spring/shock system like with modern motorcycles.
The spring in the place of where the controller is built now, and put the controller just like on the 3000/4000/5000li bikes, on the side, just as if it was an exhaust.
I would also build in the charger, as a digital charger does not weigh a lot.

I would also use more space on the bottom (where the battery is located) to store more batteries.
Lower center of gravity is good for this bike, as because it does not feel very solid and stable when driving slow.

The tires that come with this bike are very nice looking, but have almost no profile on them to exit the water.
I suppose it's ok for 20MPH travel and basic peddles; the bike does not go faster anyway.

For the rest, this bike looks good, and when the batteries are fully charged, makes for a nice ride in a nice breeze!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
PzlPete
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2009
Points: 157
Re: Review of XTreme XB-700Li

I rode the 700li for a year and a half and 3500 miles, before upgrading to my 4000li which has 12,153 miles on it. Brand new, my 700li would do 35 miles on a charge. A year and a half later, my LiMn batteries were good for maybe 12 miles, max. The mirrors really are crap, and the suspension is pretty harsh. I am not sure who told you that it didn't have regen...it definitely does. I weigh 225, and my max speed was around 20mph, flat and level. Hopefully the LiPo batteries you have will hold up much better. The 4000li and 5000li are an entirely different breed. I am impressed beyond impressed with mine.

Heman B.
Offline
Joined: 05/18/2012
Points: 102
Re: Review of XTreme XB-700Li

To a person owning both,
would you say the 700Li is a larger bike than the 4000/5000 size-wise?

Also, if you had the choice between a similar gas powered scooter, or the electric 4000, which would you choose?

The benefits of gas scooters are that it can be fueled in 1 minute or two, while the electric takes a good 4 to 6 hours to charge!

Then there's also the range, gas powered scooters are in the 100+ miles range (some even going as far as 300 miles on a tank)!

The con is that gasoline is more expensive, driving 20 miles per day costs about 10ct on electricity; or a good $30 per year.
Gasoline at the price of $3,75/gal costs about $800 per year.

Casual electric riders would have ~$10 per year;
gasoline ~$300.

Then again, add to the electric, a new $700 battery every four years, so the annual price for an electric is more like ~$200 per year.

So price wise gasoline and electric are nearly identical (give or take).

Gasoline has some oil, and filter maintenance, electric has charger replacement (I already replaced my first charger).

For the infrequent rider, the choice is easy; gasoline makes sense, because of the batteries depleting over time.

Considering all this, it would be very hard for me to make a choice to buy an electric bike!
I most likely will stick with a gasoline scooter; even if the refueling/charging time, and range per tank/charge where the only benefits of gasoline scooters...

PzlPete
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2009
Points: 157
Re: Review of XTreme XB-700Li

Well you pose some interesting questions. First, the 700li is considerably smaller at 150lbs, and the 4000li weighs 295 lbs. (I weighed them both). The 4000 feels larger on the road, in part due to the larger wheels and tires. It rides very differently, and the suspension is softer than the 700li.

The 12,193 miles I have driven my 4000li would have consumed 975 gallons of gasoline in my 12.5 mpg Escalade. At $4 per gallon, that equates to 3,901.76 in gas costs alone over 18 months in the gas hog SUV. I only paid $1900 for my cycle, so as you can see, it has paid for itself twice. And it has cost roughly $25 in electricity so far, much of which was paid for by other establishments where I plugged in while having dinner or watching a movie. The Escalade is 85 per month to insure. The cycle costs 12. And you cannot even begin to compare maintenance costs and depreciation. I drop $1100 or $1200 on an Escalade repair bill for a new water pump or valve cover gaskets. Insanity.

Battery replacement costs. Very valid concern. My cells are still under warranty for another 6 months, and as that end nears, I will take her apart and measure each cell and send the bad ones in for warranty replacement. If I had to outright purchase the entire battery pack, it would cost probably $1300, and yes, that is a daunting expense for a scooter. Having a 2 year warranty is very important. Some only come with a 1 year warranty now.

And gas scooter versus electric. For me, no comparison. I love riding on trails and back roads where the silence is absolutely golden. I can talk to my passenger. I can ride places gas ones couldn't possibly go. It is amazing how nobody complains when you make no noise. I can park my cycle in my living room to work on it, since it has no gas, oil, or antifreeze, and change a tire in the 75 degree air conditioning, as opposed to my 110 degree garage. And my 40 mile range is more than sufficient. And for the rare times that it is not, I stop for dinner, movie, or gym, plug in for an hour or two, and I am good to go. I walk down to my garage every morning and she is full of fuel and ready for another 40 miles, and that is the only vehicle in my garage that I can say that about. And lastly, the 4000li has only one moving part. The hub motor. Which to this point, has been just unbelievably reliable. Consider the moving parts in a gasoline engine, and it stuns this mechanical engineer that we are even still using them.

Heman B.
Offline
Joined: 05/18/2012
Points: 102
Re: Review of XTreme XB-700Li

Noise levels on gasoline scooters are extremely low, funny but true, the higher the cc, usually the lower the noise.
50CC scooters whine, with that annoying whine. The higher the cc's, the lower the whine. At 250cc you can talk of 'putting' (like a 'put-put' sound), rather than an old nagging schoolteacher's 'eeeuw' sound when driving.
Also, the higher the cc's, the more expensive the bike, and the better they are equipped with sound mufflers.

Not to mention the faster they go, and the more torque they have!

Compared to a 50cc scooter, my 700Li has less torque. For a skinny person they're quite equal, but having 2 people on the bike (or one heavy person) I can clearly see the 50cc overtaking me at a streetlight go.

The only reason I have the 700li is because I don't have to have a license,and insurance!

50cc scooters are also easier to 'upgrade'. Some can go as fast as almost 50mph; usually 40-45mph by just removing the limiter; unlike the 700li, which is very hard to get to go over 25MPH; 30-35mph with overvolting!

but my main concern was the 4000Li! From the photo it looked like the 700li was going to be bigger than the 4000li (the 4000 looked like an upgraded 500/610 bike, like those smaller rental scooters from the beach).
I personally like a bit of bigger looks on my bike.
I'm a tall guy, so the decision was easy, when comparing the xb-508/610 to the 700li. The 700li won hands down due to being larger.
But now I'm looking into getting a motorcycle endorsement, and getting insurance; to buy a bike where i can go on the 30 and 35mph roads; as in the suburbs, I'm very limited to backroads (with stopsigns on every street corner, which is a real pain to drive)!

For that I've been looking into the 4000li, as well as the BMS TBX EFI 260, it's an upgraded bike from the stock chinese bikes, goes for $2600; has upgraded shocks (and manually adjustable spring setting) etc...

Compared to that, the 4000 uses almost the same spring system as the 700li, only due to the added weight it feels softer (the 700's spring system is made for 2 people, or one overweight person, not for one skinny guy like me).

So, now I'm torn between the 4000 (which is almost twice as expensive, and can be gotten for ~$4350k, or the $2,6k chinese scooter (I could also get $1600 chinese scooters if I really wanted to save money, but would be sacrificing riding comfort for that price).
as a casual rider (doing about 50 miles a week), and with price of gasoline at $4/gal, it would amount to $160 per year on gasoline.
add annual maintenance and a battery replacement every 5 years, and the price would be less than 250 per year!

The $1700 savings alone of initial purchase price, would take the electric bike years to pay back, and gladly I'll give up the 'noise' benefit that comes with electric bikes. Those gasoline scooters with automatic transmission can be driven at low rpm's where they make very little noise to the environment (almost as if the bike was running idle, only in 3rd or 4th gear, traveling ~25-35mph)!

I'm not here to advocate against electric bikes, just trying to make up my mind of what best suits my personal need; and as much as I would like to have an electric bike like the 4000li, it just does not make any sense from a financial point of view to buy one.
Neither from riding comfort, as the BMS has an adjustable spring system, which the 4000 does not have; neither for mileage (the BMS can do long trips of 200 miles per tank, and can be fueled in a minute, only to do 200 more!

I guess it makes sense for a cruiser bike to be cruising around locally, but for the occasion where I want to use it for long distance cruises, the 4000Li falls out of the picture...

I won't even go into the 5000li, which IMHO is priced way too high at $6k!

PzlPete
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2009
Points: 157
Re: Review of XTreme XB-700Li

Personal preference. You either love electric or you don't. I plan to get an electric airplane one day. I love the simplicity and the reliability.

From an engineering standpoint, the gasoline engine is crap technology from the early 1900's. Hundreds of parts including gaskets, valves, pistons, clutch, very complicated transmissions and clutches, and multiple points of failure. Gasoline, oil, antifreeze....junk science.

This Mechnanical Engineer loves the simplicity of one moving part...a hub motor. You simply cannot beat it. Granted, we have spent a hundred years and billions of dollars making those crap gasoline engines reliable, but they still fight themselves as they build up heat, must dissapate it, lubrication is needed to keep the stupid thing from melting itself, and 85% of the energy in a gallon of gasoline is lost to heat, noise, friction...again, we are talking about garbage technology here from an engineering standpoint. 15% resulting efficiency is pathetic.

One electric wheel with a hub motor powered by lithium cells running 90+ % efficiency is outstanding in my opinion. On 7 cents of electricity, I can travel 45 miles. Or in a gas powered scooter, I can travel 45 miles on three dollars of gas. Pretty big difference there alone. Yes the gas ones are pretty quiet, but mine is silent. And when I go up to the mountains, I can park it in my cabin where it is safe from theft and out of the weather. Try that with a gas one.

PzlPete
Offline
Joined: 06/22/2009
Points: 157
Re: Review of XTreme XB-700Li

Oh, and the 4000li is light years from the 700li...trust me. I own both. It is almost twice the size. And rides like my cadillac, only smoother.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Short URL

High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug In the Auto Industry A behind-the-scenes look at the robustly competitive race to dominate the market for electric cars.
Simply Car-free How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life
Customize This