Slower and slower XB-600
Help! I got my XB-600 on Thursday, put it together (no small spacer for the front fork, but I installed te wheel without it anyway... it looks centered, the wheel rotates without rubbing anywhere and the brake works fine, but I'm ordering a replacement spacer anyway). Rode to work on Friday: 15mph top speed on the way to work (stop & go... no big hills). Rode home: windy, and top speed dropped from 15mph to 12mph. Battery still read half-full so I rode it Saturday: top speed of 10mph (on flat surface... no wind). Charged battery overnight (8 hours). Sunday morning: power meter reads full power.
TOP SPEED: 12mph!
I checked the grey "governor" wires: they were disconnected so I tried connecting them: TOP SPEED 5mph! Disconnected them and the top speed went back up to 12mph.
Headlight, horn, blinkers and brake lights all work.
What could be causing this poor performance?
Any and all advice is welcome.
Try putting the scooter up on the jack stand and spin the rear wheel. Mine spins easily with little resistance, but does not continue to spin very long. Get someone to sit on the scooter toward the rear so the front wheel is off the ground and do the same thing to the front wheel. Check to make sure the chain it not too tight. I have mine adjusted so it has about half an inch of play when you push the chain up and down from the middle. After riding for 5 minutes, stop and put your hand on the chain side of the motor and feel how hot it is. It should be no more than mildly warm. If it is hot to the touch, you probably have some high rolling resistance. Check to make sure the rear chain sprocket is tightened all the way on the wheel.
The batteries could be another source of the problem. I was having a low speed problem with my XB-600 right out of the box. My problem turned out to be the governor wires were connected. Before figuring that out with the help of this list, I went through the process of diagnosing this with X-Treme. The first thing they suggested was replacing the batteries. They sent new batteries. In my case the new batteries did not seem to make much difference; however, a guy at X-Treme told me that all 4 batteries that I returned which originally came with the scooter load tested either bad or nearly bad. Since the batteries are in series, it would only take one really bad or shorted battery to leave you with only 36 volts, which could explain your symptoms. Try checking the voltage on your battery pack.
I tested the bike on the stand and it showed no improvement. I will check the voltage. I did notice that applying pressure (up or down) to the throttle had a minor impact: it increased the speed by a discernible amount (maybe 1-2mph). But I took the speedometer assembly off, as well as the throttle and the wiring looked good... no crimps, bare wires or other signs of catastrophe, so I'm digging out my old multimeter...
Thanks again for the help.
Voltage checks out at 48volts when I test it at the port for the charger (seat removed). Guess I'll have to just start replacing stuff with X-treme...
I know this isnt solving the problem but with Sealed Lead Acid batteries, it is best to charge them as often as possible... you mentioned you didnt charge since they were half full, but discharging below 50% on SLA batteries is supposed to damage the battery... also you go faster if you're fully charged (but it shouldn't make that much of a difference... theres obviously something wrong)
Thanks for the input. But I think you're right... there's something wrong here. I do hear a "grinding" in the rear wheel. The front wheel spins freely... the rear wheel does not: it'll rotate half way around and then stop. I suspect the rear wheel has an internal problem.
I'm totally bummed because my company has told me that I can park it indoors and charge it while I'm at work... guess I'm back to taking the shuttle for the near future.
Check to make sure the chain is not too tight. I have mine adjusted so there is a half inch of play in the middle of the chain. Also, check that the rear chain sprocket is threaded all the way onto the wheel. If the chain it too tight, the friction in the rear sprocket can cause it to untighten until it starts rubbing against the swing arm.
The only other thing you can do is try to see if you can detect if anything that moves on the back wheel is making contact with any stationary part of the scooter. If the rear wheel has any significant resistance to turning, that could be whole problem. Another tip off would be if the motor is getting hot. If you ride it for 5 minutes any put your hand on the motor cover or touch the axle with your finger, it should be no more than very mildly warm. It should not be at all hot, in my experience.
Check your rear brake to make sure it is not adjusted too tight. You could try disconnecting the rear brake cable completely and if the wheel spins freely then. If so, the brake cable is adjusted too tight.
I've touched the rear wheel every time I've ridden it... it is warm, but not hot. Where do I adjust the rear brake? The brake cable is threaded into a nut but I see no way to immobilize the cable while loosening the nut.
Ok... with perseverence (and a little help from the wife) I was able to adjust the rear brake cable. The grinding sound has stopped but there is no improvement in speed... still 10mph. The rear wheel will spin. Is there a way to bypass the throttle? There are three wires coming out of it... green, black and red. If I connect the green and black will that bypass the throttle?
OK! I think I've got it figured out! Riding home tonight (at the blinding speed of 7mph!) I happened to kick the left side of the bike next to the pedal just as I was turning into the apartment complex where i live. Holy moly! The bike sped up to 15mph for a few moments... so I took the plastic off around the area where i kicked thinking maybe there was a wire that had gotten pinched or grounded or something...
Fiddled with the wires (after clipping off one of the zip ties that holds them tight to the frame), turned the throttle and the bike (with the wheel off the ground) registered 15mph! Figuring I had solved the problem, I proceeded to re-install the plastic and tried the throttle again... 10mph. How could the plastic affect the performance?
Took the plastic off again, but no amount of wiggling would restore performance above 10mph. In a gesture of frustration, I whacked the controller with the butt end of the large screwdriver I had been using to take the plastic off and put it back on.
Tried the throttle, AND THE BIKE CRANKED ALL THE WAY TO 20MPH! Reinstalled the plastic and the bike achieved 20mph for several minutes before dropping back down to 10mph. Took the plastic off and WHACKED THE CONTROLLER AGAIN! Sure enough... it climbed back up to 20mph.
Put the plastic back on and drove a good 2-3 miles at about 17-18mph (with the lights on). When the speed started dropping below 15mph I'd stop, pick up the front of the bike and drop it back down... back up above 15mph!
So! I think that's my problem: either a loose connection in the controller box, a cold solder joint on the circuit board, or a broken wire at the point of entry/exit to the controller box. I'm going to ask X-treme to replace the controller assembly under the warranty.
I gotta say that this website has helped me immensely! Thank you all for your help, both direct and indirect.
Looking forward to riding to work tomorrow... no matter what happens, because now I know what the problem is and how to fix it.
Great to hear :D