XB-600 experiences and questions
Okay, so mine arrived after a fairly long wait, but not interminable. Packaging was not super, but surprisingly it all survived without any plastic panel damage! That being said, I discovered a grey, single wire under the dash panel that was severed and disconnected from another single grey wire. No idea what it does, but the scooter seems to work.
It arrived fully charged, so needless to say, I was a bit disappointed to find out after several trips that my charger was dead! It never worked all. After an email or two, x-tremescooters did send out an new charger. I just got it today, so we shall see how it all works.
Question: Can the battery pack be removed and charged on it's own, outside of the scooter? I ask because I am staying in a friend's apartment and I cannot bring the scooter up the stairs to charge, and don't want to risk the charger outside at the end of a long extension cord.
BTW, any things I should do to the unit before I get too far along?
While it is technically possible to remove the batteries to charge them practically speaking it's infeasible. You'd spend 20 to 30 minutes removing them, you'd then have to wire them in series and you'd have to either remove some wiring from the bike to do this or you'd also have to set up the charger with crocodile clips or something similar.
In short, try and find an outside power socket - if it's a large apartment complex they've got to have 'em somewhere!
Seeing as you likely ran your batteries low because of a dead charger you need to charge them as soon as possible.
Oh, I didn't mean remove them individually, I meant the big battery caddy under the foot rest area. It pulls out in like 15 seconds, and has an identical connector to what the charger would plug in. I just wondered if there was some sort of internal circuitry that I wasn't supposed to bypass.
I've wondered about the same thing...with my XB600. But, I don't need to charge the pack outside the scooter so I haven't asked. However, I'd still like to know. Boyelectric is right about the plugs. The charger will physically plug right into the pack cord...or visa versa since the pack cord is the male end. But just because it is the same type plug I still don't know if it's ok to do this. Plugs look like computer plugs...you know beveled in slightly on one side of the plug body so the plug only goes in one way.
So anyway Boyelectric, what do you think about your new toy?
As I've said many times here I continue to be happy with mine...after 3+ months of ownership. Just yesterday my car was acting up and since I work very near where I live I just jumped on the XB and went to work. Ironic too cause I was just thinking more in the last few days that I'm tempted to yank the engine out of my 90 Miata and convert it to electric...like several I've seen online. However, I think I've got to learn a bit more before attempting that....but boy I'd love to do it!
I forgot to answer boyelectric's last question. I can't think of much you need to do except ride your new scooter and have fun! But then you might think about putting a batteq or powercheqs on for battery balancing. I haven't done that to mine cause when I weigh the cost vs. cost of new batteries...I'm thinking I'll just buy the batteries when the original ones go. Now, that is based on my riding which is all recreational pretty much...and very low discharge per ride.
As for Tracey's response to my "electric car" conversion comment....
Wouldn't be interested in off the shelf. I really want to keep driving this Miata. I love the car...and I'd love it too if it were electric. I don't drive it great distances at least since I married a few years back and have a child, etc. I bought the Miata back in my bachelor days and have just kept driving it as a second car...to work and back...around town. I've had it payed for now for over 10 years and have just over 200,000 miles on it...but it still runs great. However, sooner or later...and probably sooner the engine will develop some major problems and that's when I'd like to convert it. Also, I don't want to spend the money that I'd probably have to for a Prius, etc. I just want to make the Miata an electric commuter...but a faster than a NEV. I want my own "custom" electric not something off the shelf. Course that may be asking to much with my limited knowledge at this point!
-- moved to Miata post --
Hey just thought of a question I wanted to ask electricboy...
Does your seat on the XB600 close tight when down? Mine is loose (at the back where the latch is) when it is closed and only gets tight when weight is put on it. It's like the latch is mounted to high so the seat is not resting all the way down in the back when the latch is engaged. No big problem since it fits snug when weight is on it...but I just wondered if other XB600s were like that??? And I suppose I could make an "adjustment" and relocate the latch slightly lower on the frame if I wanted to go to the trouble...
I am a new poster, and just received my XB-600 yesterday. To answer your (really old - from Nov 2007) question, my seat latch was adjusted from the factory to not latch unless you press down firmly on the middle of the back end of the seat. then it clicks and the seat seems tight and stable.
I really appreciate yours and others comments I have read on this site, it was very helpful in setting my expectations about what the quality of the XB-600 would be. I just need to remember that this is a bicycle, not a motorcycle and doesn't need to be up to motorcycle registrable and insurable standards. Not that the quality is all that bad, but if I hadn't known what to expect, I might have been a bit concerned about a few loose screws and semi stripped screw heads. They do use very soft steel in the screws, and I will definitely be going to the hardware store to buy some lock washers for the "billions" of screws that are just sort of tight, with no reason to believe they will stay that way. It does look like they made sure that the "important" screws and bolts are tight, I am thankful for that.
Anyway, let the adventure begin. I have it assembled, and have taken a couple of test rides, and my neighbors are already asking to drive it. My wife even concedes that it is fun to ride. We are motorcycle owners, but I live only one mile from work, and I have to drive several miles out of the way to warm up the bike, to make sure it won't condense moisture while sitting at work. Fortunately there are not concerns about that with the XB-600.
From a performance standpoint, A friend clocked me last evening at 23 mph on a pretty flat road on his motorcycle. I am close to 230 lb., so I am happy with the top speed. On another test ride, I went up a small hill on the way to work, and it does slow down to about 15 mph, so I may eventually consider the shunt mod. As a motorcycle riders, it is pretty scary to be on such a small vehicle, and you really need to keep your eyes open and watch out for cars, they won't always see you, especially since it is so silent.
HEHE, Another future modder! Welcome Tom.
Welcome Tom! Hey that's what this is all about...sharing our experiences and valuable info on these scoots. I think you'll continue to be happy with the XB600. This month is one year that I've had mine....about 1500 miles. Nothing to replace in that time except a tube (flat) and recently the keyswitch went bad. But it was inexpensive and easy to replace. I love riding it just like it is...but I'm still tempted all the time to at least do the shunt mod. Man if you're only riding a mile you'll never even come close to the full range. I know it will go about 30 miles on a charge. I did it but don't recommend it...or not often. They say it will ruin the batteries if you discharge that deeply very much. And I would follow the recommendation to always plug in and charge regardless of the distance you've ridden it...where practical...since the lead batts will last a whole lot longer (desulfecation, etc.). I ride to work everyday which is only 2 miles but immediately plug in the charger when I get to work. If I'm riding around the neighborhood at home...and I stop riding but anticipate I'll ride some more within an hour or so...I don't charge. But if it's going to sit several hours then I charge regardless of how far I just rode. After one year the batteries seem to be about as "strong" as they were from day one...so I must be doing something right!
Anyway, welcome here and enjoy your new ride!
Welcome to XB Land. Yeah, replace the screws and bolts as fast as you can. They will strip the first time you use and electric screwdriver on them. I did and feel much safer for it. Like I said in an earlier post, the guys at the hardware store laughed at the quality of the screws and bolts even before I told them what it was from.
That is pretty good speed from a stock XB. Mine never went over 21 straight out of the box and fully charged.
I would agree the fear factor is there when you drive. Here in California, instead of going around you drivers prefer to "muscle" their way around you by passing as close as possible. You really do have to keep your head on a swivel or you will get blindsided.
Good Luck and Happy Riding!
Not to hijack, but....
Gushar, are you using any type of battery balancing or bank charging on your setup?
I have read alot about killing the batteries early and seeing that yours are still going strong was curious
to hear how you charge.
Nope. No kind of balancing equipment or bank charging used. Just using the stock charger and port. I know many on here say you need the balancing equipment, etc. for batteries in a series...but I just figured I'd replace them when they went since the cost to replace all four isn't that much really. However, like I stated my batteries seem to perform 1 year later just as they did when I got the scoot. Again though....I never leave them "discharged" at any level for longer than a couple of hours. Unless I'm going to be riding again within an hour or so...I always plug in and charge them...no matter how little I have previously discharged them.
Thank you to everyone for the encouraging welcome!
I just got back from my first ride to work, and I parked in one of the internal grassy recreation areas rather than the parking lot, and then I went to the facilities manager to make sure it would be ok. I didn't want to leave it in the parking lot, the XB-600 is just too small and easy to walk off with. The manager came out to look at where I was parked, and he commented that perhaps we should build it a special garage. He was kidding of course, but at least everyone seems to be happy to see someone saving gas. Lets see, now I need to try to calculate how long it will take to pay for itself. Hmm.., It might take me a while, with a 2 mile round trip, even thought my Suburban only gets 10 mpg. Oh, well.
Rick...another word about the battery charging...
One thing to consider is that I also "may" be defeating the purpose a bit...charging this often. You're only going to get so many "charge cycles" and charging often of course means you'll shorten the life as well. I've thought about but I just don't feel good either about leaving it discharged to any point for many hours each day. For example, I ride to work with a full charge...charge when I get there. Then, I ride home for lunch and back to work...charge again. Then, I ride home from work...and maybe some around the neighborhood trips once I get home...and charge in the evening after that. So, I'm charging 3 times a day...usually for 4-5 days a week. That's alot of charges and doesn't include my weekend riding although some weekends I'm busy with this and that ahd either don't ride it or hardly ride any. I only started riding it to work daily about 6 months ago. So it didn't get those 3 daily charges during the first 6 months. Anyway, I guess I'll find out just how long the batts will last with the kind of charging I'm doing! In any event I do like the fact that after a year the batteries are not substantially different in terms of the power delievered. Maybe the max range is down some but I really don't know because I only once rode it till I ran the batts almost empty...and that was for a distance of over 29 miles...when I first got it.
Tom...as far it paying for itself. Like was mentioned here before. Why do we ask that question? If someone driving a gasoline vehicle asks that of me I'm going to say "well not sure, but then you're not getting any pay back from yours are you?!" ;-)
I use the XM-2000 charger on my 60volt conversion and have not scene any problems so far with the batteries. I plug in once a day when I am finished riding. Last time I checked the battery voltage was the same as with the stock 48 volt charger that came with the bike. If you do go 60 volts I would go with the XM-2000 charger it is far superior and more robust than the 60 volt charger I bought from e-crazyman on Ebay. His died in two days but he did replace it. It looks and feels like the stock 48V charger that comes with the XB.
I don't use any battery balancers since putting those in is more expensive than actually buying a new set of batteries in a year or so at least from what I can price out on-line. Also the thought of bank charging turns me off completely. I don't want some Frankenstein set up in my driveway.
Tom and Gushar: Regarding the idea of paying for itself. A few thoughts: I am under no illusion that this is saving me any money. In fact this isn't ever really going to save any money unless I actually sell my car and commit completely to getting around this way. This is luxury item at this point. I think the idea of using this kind of transportation at this time is more of vote for alternative ways of doing things. I think just riding around and being seen by people perhaps opens their minds to different alternatives that are out there.
Gushar and Rick,
Ok, i agree, if I was really short on cash, I would probably sell my Suburban for what I could get for it, and buy something cheap and small. Of course small and cheap don't really go together any more in the car world. I only brought it up because it is conceivable that a scooter as low cost and efficient as the XB could actually pay for itself in gas savings. Normally that isn't something that anyone would actually think about because the cost of vehicles is so high. Anyway just for arguments (I mean discussions) sake I estimate it costs me about $1 a day for gas to go 2.5 miles (a little more than a mile one way, and gas is $4 a gallon). My Suburban gets about 10 mpg. The scooter might cost as much as 5 cents a day to charge, though it is probably a lot less (it seems to recharge in about 4 hours). At, at a cost for the scooter of about $1100 (shipping and all), we are talking about somewhere around 4 years to pay for itself, if it is used 5 days a week. Of course this assumes no maintenance cost on the scooter (silly), and that the cost of gas stays the same (also silly). Finally, most people would take longer to reach the payoff, since most people have cars that get better milage than 10 mpg.
For all you XB-600 owners, this will be boring, but for everyone just considering purchasing a scooter, here is a link to a series of photos of the first part of the unboxing and the start of assembly;
nice pix! Did you not install the mud guard over the front wheel? Did yours not come with one?
It did come with a mudguard, I just hadn't installed it yet. It was one of the last things I put on. It also came with a sort of mini shield that goes in the middle of the handlebars, but I haven't installed that because I didn't feel like taking the speedo cover off.
Oh, by the way, here is a video of my first ride, up on youtube;
Incredible cinematography if I do say so myself!
You are stylin' on that ride Tom :)
I saw that EV GRIN, Tom! LOL. Back to gas savings for a sec. I have a 1994 Ford Crown Victoria. It WAS normal for me to pump $30 into that beast every couple of days. Since getting my xb 600 in April, I'd say it's already paid for itself. I've saved a fortune by not buying any gas. There are some weeks my car never leaves the driveway, and as soon as I find a donor car to convert to electric.... The Crown Vic is gone!
Cheaper than the e-meter, BATman and the others. I'll see how it works.
What are you thinking...installing this right under the charger port so you can see the voltage anytime without having to break out a hand held meter?
Not a bad idea. I guesss you could also install it somewhere up front on the bike.
An LED panel meter might not to be bright enough for daylight viewing, unless you shield it some way.
Just a thought,
Stil! At 25 bucks it's a steal. Price an e-meter or BATTman. This is a bargain.
Tom, I think you should always wear your Harley Davidson shirt when you ride your XB-600! LOL! I really enjoyed your pictures of un-crating the beast and your video. I haven't purchased one yet...I will, just contiplating where to get it from. I have found a varience of roughly $200. Can I ask where you purchased yours and for what price? Because yours seemed to have arrived in good condition and I definitely need that.
Hey there all, I am glad this is here, I just happened on it while doing a search on the XB-600, giotta love the internet.
Ok so I live in Santa Barbara, Ca. Most of the gas prices are $5 a gal I have a ford exploder that gets abt 12 miles to the gallon and thats on the freeway! So needless to say I have given that up and parked it. I also am a student at the local city college, as a student I get a free buss pass but not for long with the economy the local transit system is going to raise the fairs and there goes the bus pass, being a student I live on the bare minimum of things. I also have a 7year old,she goes to 2nd grade, this is where this wonderful bike comes in. I have been searching for a vehicle that would allow me and my daughter to travel arround get to school and not cost us anything. I do have a bike but I hate showing up places all sweat drenched.
I have a few concerns. Mostly about the room availble for the back seat and the front knees, i weigh about 240 and stand 5"11 so my knees might be cramped. My daughter would prolly feel smashed against the back rest and my back. Any idea on if this is suitiable for a second rider?
I just read about the battery issue and being able to charge in APT. I live in an APT as well. Can this be detached and recharged elsewhere, the problem with charging out side is now the APT is paying for the recharge and they are picky about things like that.
Lastly I have been looking for diagrams of the framing of this bike, I plan on creating a back frame with side rails and arm rest to possibly extend the seating room on the second passenger, It looks like from most pics there are some sort of posts that the back of the seat and frame mount on. I am hoping for more.
Any feed back you all might have would be great! I am about 95% sure I am going to buy one of theses bikes and then for sure trick it out for double riders!
Frank, since there is no front storage compartment, the XB-600 has more knee room than most scooters. You might find that the seat is plenty big enough for you and your daughter.
What I would do if I really wanted more seating room would be to replace the trunk with a child's seat. You should then be able to add motorcycle panniers to the back of the bike for additional storage, if the space under the seat is not big enough. Or, for a more economical solution, you could attach a backpack to the back of the child's seat.
The trunk is mounted to a rack, and the rack bolts to the frame. I would mount the child's seat to the rack and the rack to the frame, and I'd use blue threadlocker to make sure the bolts don't loosen over time.
You should be able to take the battery inside to charge it. I usually carry around a small, light luggage carrier (wheels) because the battery box is uncomfortably heavy. But if you can show the apartment manager that your bike only costs a few cents per night to charge, you might get permission to plug it in outside. You will be surprised how supportive most people are of electric vehicles. It helps ease their conscience as they drive THEIR Ford Exploder by themselves to commute to work.
I think thats a good idea about the child seat but be very cautious in california about child seating. The cops do take it very very seriously here in California and my feeling would be that it would get you stopped. I have no evidence of that but it would defenitely make you stand out. I really think there is enough room on the bike for two people. My wife got on it with me and she could fit fine. I would also worry about putting the bike out of balance with someone sitting so far back. You are supposed to keep the weight as far forward as possible according to the DMV books.
The stock 48Volt battery pack does come out but it weighs a ton. Its the heaviest part of the bike. The luggage carrier is a good idea if you need to take it in everyday.
I just got my electrical bill for a months worth of charging and the difference is miniscule. It's not like its going to spike someones electrical bill....its not a hot tub. ;)
Hey there, thanks for all the comments, just what I expected to get , gotta love theses message boards, great!
Well the storage space is of concern because I need to transport several books. From what i could tell I would need to bend some of them to actually fit. But thats not a major issue, I like the idea of a child seat but i agree it would cause attention. I was thinking more of one of those roll bars you used to see on old bannana seat bikes from the early 80's on the back. something like that..
As for the laws I have been doing some research on them and finding very little. California DMV tries to incorporate this bike as a motorized bike but according to the CVC it is not, doesnt go over 20 miles per hour..tire size, and under the alotted engine size. But could not find any laws on child seats other than the helmet law. So I dont know if they will say the child needs to be in a 'seat' or they don't. If you say children can sit behind a rider like on a motorcycle then you turn to those laws, but under the bike laws there really isn't anything on child seats from what I could find. anyone got info on that?
ANy idea on how this works in the rain? not that we get much of that here..lol