Kaishan K500W e-bike review
I always have a tough time trying to find reviews on all the silly gadgets I collect. Things like gps devices, cell phones, and most especially- electric bicycles. It’s not that reviews aren’t around, it has more to do with the kind of gear I steer towards. My GPS is a Mio hacked to include video, games, contact info and other applications, the cell phone is more like an all in one wifi/bluetooth/3g unit, and my test e-bike is a scooter style Kaishan sport 500. Well, I’m fortunate to have the Kaishan for an extended time while my other e-bike is in the shop, so it’ time to put font to screen and do what I can to review the bumble bee- called this because it’s yellow and black.
Let me tell you I’ve owned two e-bikes and this is my third ride- so I have some history with these machines. My first came from ecycle.ca and it was a skinny tired, tiny torqued, slow moving vehicle that I wound up cursing more than praising, especially on rainy January days in Victoria BC, when the back tire would flatten and I’d have to ask my wife to come and pick me up with the car. These were first generation bikes, and they thumped and rattled over even a smooth road. The brakes would squeal enough that people would plug their ears, stopping distance was unsafe, and I could never adjust the mechanicals to change any of this. I had mixed feelings when it was stolen. Glad to see it go, but mad that my home policy covered bicycles but not ones with electric motors.
Next, or current, was the Motorino from e-ride.ca. A good 2nd generation machine, not without problems, but once mods were added, it got me to work and back with good torque and speed- two qualities that help with the hills in Victoria, and keeping up with traffic when necessary. However, I did get the odd flat until a new tougher back tire was added, and I went for the extra batteries that I really needed to increase the range. But now this bike barely gets me 20km, and I may have to make another decision!
But back to the Kaishan, the star jewel in the collection of bikes I’ve ridden. In a word, ‘oooo’. Let me tell you, e-bike buddies, this may be the beacon that we have been looking to follow. It’s a bit embarrassing to be a reviewer and have few tough things to say. First, and a mantra that I always follow is ‘know thy dealer’. As with dentists and auto mechanics, it’s a trust relationship that will last for years. The seller needs to keep the business going, while the purchaser needs to be reassured in buying out front technology that has yet to become established. I know I’ll turn Todd red by complimenting him but it has to be said- “Your a reputable dealer, know your product, and stand behind everything you sell.” If I were unable to move my bike because of a flat tire, the shop would come around and pick it up. If I was stuck for transportation, I could always take another bike for a short time. When it came time to pay, the price was fair and everything was explained. Even the website (www.scooterunderground.ca), is one of the best I’ve seen for promoting and presenting.
Now to the bike, and I’m going to say all the terrible things upfront. Kind of like eating you broccoli and cauliflower before dessert.
Well, the small carry case on the back rattles when the road gets choppy, but this is a detail that can be solved by choosing a larger optional box. The speedometer is consistent for a given speed but not properly calibrated, the front brake does occaisonally squeak, not overly so, but is noticeable. And this can be adjusted in the shop. All right, there it is. If you’re turned off so far, time to buy that new Lexus with the Advanced Parking Guidance System and heated steering wheel. But this is likely not for us because we love gizmos that are small, efficient and practical!
So with that said, I think the Kaishan is a product whose time has come. Unlike earlier e-bikes, acceleration is brisk, hill climbing phenomenal, the range is impressive, and the fit and finish reveal a quality product.
The controller, or brain (the things zombies like to eat), comes with cruise control that requires a light thumb ‘tap’ to activate, and varies the power level to keep the bike at speed. If climbing a steep hill, the power level will max out, while a light incline will result only in a nominal change, thus the Kaishan is smart enough to have a smooth feel while travelling in the bicycle lanes through fuming SUV’s that are trapped at red lights. To deactivate, tap the cruise button or the brake lever.
And speaking of acceleration, pickup is brisk for 500 watts, the most allowed in Canada. Brushless hub motors must have improved lately- I’ve test ridden a few bikes and nothing is like this. All this power from a motor with one moving part. It’s also worth noting that an average person can continuously produce 100w while a champion cyclist can generate about 400w.
Range is to the point where I no longer worry about carefully nursing the accelerator grip, I just go. I haven’t taken it to the limit but I did go for a long 40km ride and the ‘battery’ gauge still read full when I arrived back home. So I would estimate at least 60km before recharge on the provided 22ah 48v batteries. For added distance there is an economy switch, which basically throttles the top speed to about 20km/hr, as opposed to just over 30km/hr with the normal setting. And for charging I just plug in at night. Below is my 40km+ ride around Victoria, BC.
Hill climbing is also impressive. I was able to slowly travel up the ‘Incline of Doom’; a stretch of road between Peppers food store and the University of Victoria- people who live here will nod to show respect as we can appreciate the difficulty and hopelessness of pedal biking this slope. Although the Kaishan does not laugh at the hill, it does chuckle a bit as it crests the apex. The picture below does not convey how steep this grade actually is, but a guess would be around 8%.
And finally I can mention that the brakes feel solid and secure in all situations. Regenerative braking has given away to higher quality parts and better system of drum/disk brakes, but I do misss regen not for adding energy back into the battery, but rather as a squeak free and brake saving device.
So that’s about it. Twist, go, brake and repeat- so far so good. I’m wondering what people think- I know there’s a lot of resistance to the Chinese bikes, and I’m sure some people prefer a made in USA product. I’m curious myself to know if the bike will last for over three years, a kind of break even point. But I’m less concerned because I have a dealer who delvers after sale service and works with the customer for any parts, mods or changes that the buyer may request. For myself, this meant adding a 12v plugin, a hook to hang grocery bags on, and a cycle analyst electronic meter to measure energy, range and speed. So, with all this said, everything keeps coming back to service and the dealer. As for the bike, it is everything I need except for an advanced parking guidance system and heated steering grips. Dale
UPDATE: Bought the Kaishan, was given a fair trade price for the Motorino, and everything is working well. I did put the bigger basket on, which took away the rattle!
Dave, that's great that you've found an EV that works for you. I think small low-powered EVs make a lot of sense for the range and utility, and reduced cost.
Do you have any way to balance the batteries? Based on a lot of real-world reports, battery strings of 2 or more batteries charged in series tend to die early without any form of battery equalization.
I am seriously considering purchasing the Kaishan K500W Sport Electric Scooter. I was wondering how it is working out for you? Are you still loving it? Also do you know if there is an option to have an additional rider? I would like to be able to have the option to ride with my 5 year old. I noticed on the scooter underground site that they also carry the non sport model as well, do you know the differences? And lastly, it does sound like this is your fave. ebike out there...is there any other out there that are as good or better in your opinion?
I have the sports model Kaishan. The other model, although $100 less, does not have the same ease of balance. This is due to the disposition of the batteries. It has them high under the seat, whereas the sports model has them under platform, giving a lower centre of gravity.
Lacking is an odometer, an essential accessory if you don't want to run out of fuel. Scooter Underground will get you one for 20 some dollars. The gadget, when calibrated, also gives the true speed. This cannot be said for the built-in speedometer which tells lies. The bike obeys the law and keeps to 32 kph, the speedo tries to convince you that you are doing 44 kph.
I like my machine for what it is to me. Economical to buy and run.
Saving the planet is not a factor.
I live in Oak Bay close to a Montessori school, outside which monster SUVs draw up twice a day to disgorge and scoop up yuppy brats. My efforts at greenery cannot compete.
I do know that I am using a lot less gasoline than before.
Thank you for your response to my questions, I will definitely go for the sports model if this is the machine I go for :)
I like my machine for what it is to me. Economical to buy and run.
Do you use yours as your main transportation? I would be, I have been doing the buses for the past year and am frustrated with the system...either they are early or late so in order not to miss them I spend a lot of time at bus stops. Do you feel that this machine would be suitable for small grocery trips? Also I'm curious if any one knows if there is the option for an additional passenger(5 year old)
I use the machine most days. There are two modest storage areas plus a tiny one behind the leg shield. The under seat locker holds a gallon of milk and the pod at the rear is big enough for vegetables. I also use a back pack occasionally. There is a hook in front of the seat intended to hold a shopping bag, but I have never used it.
I wouldn't like to take a child on the back.
We still use the car when we go out together, but I no longer use it when going alone.
Apart from money saving, these machines can be parked anywhere bicycles are allowed, including many sidewalk areas down town.
Certainly they are a better option than the bus.
So.... 7Ah * 51 volts = 0.36 kWh for 18 km == 50 km per kWh
or for the imperialists: 31 miles per kWh
According to the PEGE* website, that's 600 miles per gallon or 255 kilometers per liter gasoline equivalent!
Hi I bought a kaishan k500w about a month a go based on this review.Now I quite enjoyed it, speed is good, needs a bit more toqure uphill but was overall a good bike.I had a few minor issues with it,right mirror fell off ,lens on rear turn signal fell off,front break grabbed and cut power to motor and spedo said 55 when my iphone gps said about 32kph.So While under warranty took it in for repairs.A couple days later got a phone call telling me that a weld on the frame has cracked.Now I am 225lbs And after doing some more research found this is a commom problem with the extreme 508? that is basicly the same bike.Good bike but very weak frame. Am upgrading to a Veloteq commuter so if any one has anythig to say about Veloteq please let me know thanks.
For an impartial review, I'm suprised the price isn't listed (regular model, and also sport model)
Since it looks like a scooter, does it have attachable pedals to allow it to fall into a "loophole" so its legally a bike?
yes it has pedals so it is an e bike for the price it was 1250 cnd.
hi magic found a lot on the Extreme on this site.Quick question how much do you weigh?I'm 6'2 225lbs so I'm probably pushing the weight cure on the bike.
Being a fellow B.C.er (I live in Langley )I used your review as guidance .Again great bike I Loved IT!!.My commute is about 6km each way, with my car it's 10 mins with bike 12mins but I do not spend 5min looking for parking.The hill climbing needed more torque but a shunt mod would do the trick. (Ask Colin if this is possible he is the guru.)If you tried the Veloteq how was it? Did you have a long enough test drive?. Apparently It is adjusted for the hilly B.C. environment.
May I join in?
I found this website for the 508
I too looked at the Veloteq. It may well give better hill climbing as the motor is geared. This is why I rejected it in favour of a hub motor. Simplicity gives a better chance of reliability.
Colin is experimenting , with success I understand, with increasing torque on the Kaishan
Can you tell me the dealer for Xtreme? I have a friend who is interested in the three wheeled mobility version.
veloteq commuter 172lbs
kaishan 145 lbs
The Dealer has a stock of parts ready so all is good .30 lbs difference in bikes.
The warranty is 2 years for frame instead of one for the kaishan.
6 months for batteries and a standard one year manufactures warranty.
Did you try a 2007 or a 2008 model?
Just for general information, I was in the Costco in SW Utah first week in January 2009, and these were being sold there for $899.
Labeled as a "BAJA" 500W @ 48V
Has pedals, so its legally sold as an "electric bike"
Same physical size as Chinese 50cc gasoline scooters.
Single rear hubmotor
Wheels are 3" X 10"
Single front disk brake, rear drum brake.
two headlights, no windshield, comes with small lockable trunk
Claims a 30-Mile maximum range, I recommend for customer satisfaction with battery life, you plan on recharging batteries after 12 miles. Deep discharges rapidly decay batteries.
I've had the Kaishan K500W Sport for just shy of one year and I have to say wow... I rode it to work and back for about 6 months (sannichton to esquimalt) daily back and forth on one charge, by the end of the day back and forth it was still going strong enough to make it out to the store or any other random stops along the way.
Still haven't had to change the brake pads, or battery. Had a little down time due to the snow in the winter there but everything seems to still be holding up great!
Side panel cover for the chain fell off (only plastic though for esthetics no biggy) and the front fender is chipped besides that just had to tighten everything up and lube her up and away she goes ready again for another year. Will for sure take it in for maintenance soon though.
Anyone considering purchasing this bike from Scooter underground I highly reccomend it. i'm 6'2 220p and as you can read this thing is a beast and is still holding up Great for me.
I have one of these and also like it very much.
As soon as the weather warms up it becomes my main vehicle. I live in Winnipeg so I have been able to ride about 7 days so far this year.
I am mechanically inclined so I am going to start modifying it this year. Better brakes, 60 volt battery upgrade, etc.
I bought a Kaishan from scooter underground in the summer of 2008 we actually purchased 2 of them. And i don't think i'll ever buy one again. My scooter had the side mirrors fall off twice and have to be replaced. When i went to use my lights for the first time the plastic switch broke and they were going to charge me to fix it. Then my throttle broke twice once was due to manufacturer the other due to a fall. So i take some blame for the second one but again i was charged for the first one. And not once did they offer to pick it up. My husbands scooter had lots of problems as well and today he had to walk the scooter up cook street after work because it didn't work. they said they don't pick up the scooters that i would have to go check out craigs list. what a joke how did they deliver it in the first place to us. For what you pay for this bike and having them for less than a year and having many problems is ridiculous. i didn't feel scooter undeground helped at all. excuse after excuse the one guy there is great we both got lemons and i used to recommend these bikes and scooter underground all the time. for now i'm not going to i sent a lot of business there way but not anymore i beleive the scooters are a piece of junk for what you pay for them all plastic and loaded with problems. if anyone reads this go buy something else because i will be......and don't listen to what scooter underground tells you they are lies upon lies..........everything they told me they never followed through with. we rely on the bikes to get to and from work and not once did they offer a loner or offer to pick them up. so quit lying and saying that they do......and it looks like the price has gone up over $200 this year. even though parts are harder to get for the motorino i no people who say they are alot better. thank you
” If I were unable to move my bike because of a flat tire, the shop would come around and pick it up. If I was stuck for transportation, I could always take another bike for a short time. This is the quote from the person i based my information on aboutthat they pick up the scooter. Now why would this person say that. Now they say they all use scooters and they can't come pick them up and they use a tow truck themselves if needed. Then they should have said this from the beginning and not lye. That is what i'm angry at the most are the lies they delivered the scooters when we purchased them in a truck. They say all the scooter shops don't have a truck for this use is this true. We got our one scooter back yesterday from scooter underground and it came back with the orignal problem i sent it in for not fixed. They said it would cost 70.00 to get it replaced and when we asked them last week before i wrote the review they gave us a price of $60.00 and insuated that they will not fix our bikes as quickly as before.
That is a threat i have a right to express my feelings on what my experiences have been. And by the way the scooter cost me another $169.00 so that's over $500.00 in repairs since i purchased them in less than a year. Labour has never been covered under warranty like it is with a car warranty. Also water got into a place and blew the circuit. That's not our fault that should have been sealed by them so water couldn't get in. I never hose my scooter i always wiped it down with a wet cloth and dried it off the same. So the only way water could have gotten in there is through rain. I noticed today there is water in my front light on the top. these scooters are not being put together properly and sealed. Which they should be because they are electric. I shouldn't have paid to have that part replaced and moved by them to protect it from water. It should have been covered and done in the first place. I know some may not like this review but that's too bad i have a right to my own opinion.
It's not offend anyone it just makes me angry. I have a very limited income so when i'm at close to $4000.00 that has been coughed up for these scooters and repairs it can make things tough. And now i have to have another expense to pay for labour again for something that was supposed to be done. So put yourself in my position. It took me a while to save that kind of money. And the only reason whay i purchased an electric scooter was because of e-bikes review and scooter underground told me that the scooters we purchased were great and reliable and better then e-bikes and we could get maintance done better, quicker then with motorino. I have fibromyalgia so i rely on my scooter to be working properly. I know everything needs maintance but this is more then just maintance. So the company should be ashamed of themselves
I think you have set your expectations too high. You have to remember that these are $1500 scooters.
You can instantly tell that they have cut alot of corners to get into that price range. The brake handles are plastic and the brakes are drum rather than disk. These are not Honda or Yamaha scooters. They don't have that level of quality or reliability. If they did, they would cost $2500 each
That being said I still love my scooter, but I am mindful that these are $1500 machines and the reliability is not going to be perfect.
I think these are best suited to those people that are "early adopters" and those that are mechanically inclined. The "early adopters", having been through this before, will understand that that these are not yet mainstream products and there will be hickups along the way. MagicBC seems to fit this decription, so he is very satisfied.
These machines are good for the mechanically inclined, because they perform so much better with fine tuning, regular inspections and timely tune ups. So many problems can be caught early before they you stop you. Parts are cheap and they are easy to fix. On Satuarday I spent the day with the wheel hub and drum brake apart because I didn't like the feel of the brakes or the funny noise. Ask yourself if you enjoy that type of work? I think many of the people on these forums do or they are "early adopters" or best of all...both.
I would not recommend these to people who expect a new car experience out of a $1500 scooter. If someone expects to just twist and go for the next 10,000 miles, they are going to be dissapointed. It's very unlikely to happen on a $1500 Chinese scooter. I think these people are better off spending more money on a small car with a good bumper to bumper warranty and roadside assistance.
That is bull, i know a lot of people who own electric scooters from work and are not mechanically inclined and they don't own expensive honda they have ebikes etc. That cannot beleive the problems i've experienced with this scooter so early into the purchasing of it.
And by the way i do have mechanically inclined friends. Who do know what the scooter is about, and they tell me i have been missguided about these scooters. And by the way 1500 for a scooter should still get you at least a year of usage. On line there are scooters priced the same with a 2 year unlimited warranty. So say all you want but i know both of you who wrote these little responses work for scooter underground. Because i realize you have more information then i gave online.
My expectations were not too high by the way. I got more out of my $90.00 bicycle then i have received from something that was 10 times more priced. I knew there was maintenance involved but not having my accelarator fall of the first week i bought it and my light switch snapped off, then it broke again, lost two mirrors that i fixed myself after scooter underground replaced them twice. My replacement that i did has lasted for months. So who is the un mechanically inclined. I do no about brake adjustments etc. I'm no dumby and don't ever insinuate that i am.
And also i know someone who traded back their scooter to the same place due to several problems and purchased something else. Amongst others i know of. Say all you want these scooters were made for everyone not just mechanics. Anyone mechanically inclined would drive a much stronger bike. Not one that goes only 32km an hour.
I've sent these responses that you put here to Kaishan themselves to see what you are saying. They will not be pleased because they sell to everyone to use. You're comments were offensive, rude and degrading.