How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in China) to get more power, range or speed?

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Expat E-biker
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How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in China) to get more power, range or speed?

I am new to the forum (and e-bikes). I am from the US but I live in China near the city of Taiyuan. Last year I bought a new Wanbaolu (Marlboro in Chinese) "Exquisite Article" (or so it says) scooter. It was one of the largest most powerful ones I could find. The ones sold in the states are MUCH more powerful it seems. Mine has a 500W motor (I'm pretty sure) and I was told that's the biggest they have here. It is a 48V. No idea what kind of batteries it uses but I think it's a step up from the standard ones in China. It is governed at 25mph but feels strong enough to go faster. It climbs hills like a billy goat. I've ridden it into the mountains and climbed about 1,600 feet above my starting point with no problem except that after about 6-8 miles I have to turn around and ride back down because of a low battery. I bought the most powerful 48V I could find and only paid $433 for the bike new so I guess I can't complain much, but I'd sure like to be able to ride around in the mountains, especially on the dirt roads, and have more range, power and speed, but mostly range. The frame it is built on looks like the same stuff exported to the US (looks like a gas scooter with no muffler).

Here are my ideas:
Swap the controller and wheel/motor assembly for something more powerful. It has cable operated drum brakes now.
Keep it 48V but add another battery pack in series for extra range on long trips.

Are these ideas workable? Any ideas on what to do or where to get the parts? I don't think parts to do this are available locally.

Thanks,

Mark

dogman
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in ...

You most likely have sla batteries in the scooter. Switching to lifepo4, or adding a lifepo4 battery would get you a lot more range. You could add a plug to run on the sla for awhile, and then switch to the lifepo4 for more range. Or if a 20 ah lifepo4 is a lot bigger that the sla's you have now, just remove the sla and run the lifepo4. More speed is a lot harder, and there is some risk of smoking the motor if you ride too hard at higher voltage without monitoring temperatures with an infared thermometer, or just a wire sensor thermometer inside the motor. You would need one more sla, and a high amperage 60 volt controller to up the voltage. That should get you into the 30 mph zone, but faster will mean the batterys go less distance.

Do they sell 1000 watt bike kits in china? Fooling around with stuff and increasing performance is a bit easier on a bicycle than on a scooter since there aren't so many added circuits to the controllers for brake lights etc. In the us anyway, lots of higher voltage stuff is avaliable. But we have pretty lax laws, you might be better off just increasing range, than risking a foreign jail.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

Expat E-biker
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in ...

Thanks Dogman! I looked up the lifepo4 batteries online and I think I'll have to pass. I need to keep this thing on a low budget mainly just in case it gets lifted. Bicycles, e-bikes, and even full-sized motorcycles are sometimes hauled off by the truck load by professional thieves and I'd hate to loose the investment. I'm thinking at this point of adding an extra SLA battery pack. Is there a made in China brand that is good that I should try to find here? What kind of amp hour rating is best for a 25mph 500w bike? If I have a higher ah rating will it increase climbing ability?

I've never seen a bike converted to electric but I have seen a bike converted to a motorcycle by installing a chain saw engine. Laws are even more lax here than in the US. There are 2 and ONLY 2 rules of the road here: 1) Don't hit anything or anybody. 2) There are no other rules. Literally just about anything goes, especially if you aren't going to get caught. E-scooters are limited in power by law, but unless you have a suspiciously souped up looking rig in a city no cop would stop you and even then they probably wouldn't. In the countryside most motorcycles don't even have license plates and no one cares. I have thought of doing an electric conversion on a bike here but there are 2 probs: 1) finding a Chinese bike to fit me here (the bikes are small) 2) I can buy 2 or 3 top quality Chinese scooters for the cost of just one really good US conversion kit, not including bike. Remember, the "Exquisite Article" is near top of the line and only cost me $433 new.

Mark

Formerly the proud owner of a Wanbaoulu (Marlboro) "Exquisite Article" model 500W scooter, currently the owner of a Lima 1200W 48V scooter

garygid
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter, more range.

You could add 4 similar SLA batteries, but not in series, but in parallel. Add each new cell in parallel with an old cell, to increase Ah (for rangs), not adding voltage.
Then, all your electronics should continue to work the same, with no danger of an over-voltage "frying" something.

Cheers, Gary
XM-5000Li, wired for cell voltage measuring and logging.

sangesf
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in ...

What's the current AH rating on the battery(s) now? You only have to LOOK at them. The AH is 99.99% of the time written on them. They're proabably 12-15 AH batteries. You can easily find 20 or 30ah. I WOULDN'T add ANOTHER battery (especially in series - because that adds voltage, NOT distance/ah rating, PARALLEL adds AH). I would just get a higher rated AH battery and ditch the old one. SLA's are only rated for about 500 or so cycle, so a higher AH battery would give you more range for TWO reasons. 1.) New Battery has max distance, because it's new and.. 2.) higher AH = farther.

dogman
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in ...

Adding more lead batteries will increase your climbing ablility just like a 30 pound lump of cement would. In other words, heavier will climb worse. Lifepo4, on the other hand, would add a lot less weight. But more lead batteries WILL increase your range. So go for that, and look for ones that match your original ones in size. Typical size for a 500 watt scooter is at least 12 ah, so those are a good size to look for. For info on connecting, try battery university website. Lotsa good info there. You'd need to wire up a pack of new sla's in series, and then connect it in parallel to the original wiring to the controller. That should allow the charger to charge both sets at the same time, though slower. To charge faster, the second set of batteries can be disconnected, and then charged with a second charger. I don't know where to get batteries in china, but here in the states, two places have the right kind. Toy stores that carry electric kiddie cars, and electric wheelchair suppliers both have the right kind of battery for your needs. Don't try to use car batteries, or batteries from emergency power supply. Those kind won't last.

Be the pack leader.
36 volt sla schwinn beach cruiser
36 volt lifepo4 mongoose mtb
24 volt sla + nicad EV Global

Expat E-biker
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in ...

I looked for the ah rating on my batteries a few days ago and it's actually not there. I looked again today and found "6-DZM-20", which I googled and found this link:

http://www.made-in-china.com/showroom/battery6/product-detailPoHJVkmyYgWz/China-Electirc-Mortocycle-Battery-6-DZM-20-.html

This looks a lot like my battery except this one has a lot more writing on it. My guess from this is that, since all 6-DZM-20 batteries I found on the net are 20ah models made in China that mine are the same thing. Is this about the best ah rating I can hope for in an SLA of this size? I think I may spend the roughly $145 for new ones like what I have and strap on the new battery pack when I go for a long ride. For daily use I have plenty of range. It's just when I got out exploring for fun that I run into problems. My area here looks a lot like the mountains around Salt Lake City and I want a way to explore, but my employer doesn't allow us to have a gas powered vehicle here. Electric is ok. Otherwise, even though the ev stuff is cool, I'd just spend $1,000 on a new Yamaha YB125 and be done with it.

Formerly the proud owner of a Wanbaoulu (Marlboro) "Exquisite Article" model 500W scooter, currently the owner of a Lima 1200W 48V scooter

bbouwens
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Re: How can I modify my Chinese scooter (sold and ridden in ...

Indeed 500W is not extremely powerful, also here in NL most Chinese E-scooters are 1500 or 2000W. Anyway: have you considered mounting a 12 or 15 Ah LiFePO4 pack such that you can take it off, thus lowering the risk of theft?
Sure it's still a relatively large investment. It seems typically good batteries are worth more than the rest of the vehicle.

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