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Old 09-19-2008, 07:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sterling, VA
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BORK! - '89 Volvo 240 DL Wagon
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Xtreme XB-600 (electric scooter mods)

I live all of 3 miles from work. I could walk or bike, but I have arthritis and on many days of the year I just can't manage exercise of any kind.

Last year after researching the DMV laws for my state and discovering that anything under 1,000 watts does not have to be titled, insured, or licensed. That's much more generous than the 750 watt restriction of the Federal law.

I poked around and decided on the Xtreme XB-600 mainly because it was really cheap at the time ($800 shipped) and offered pretty much the same specifications as other models. It's now priced at $975 shipped through

I was previously managing okay with a scooter that had only 10 miles in range and a max speed of 16 MPH, but got tired of that one not being able to climb the hill inbetween home and work.

Photo from November 07

Modification #1
The first problem I had with it was that the fuse for the 12Volt system kept blowing out really easily whenever the scooter drove in even a light drizzle.
And the fuse in question was shoved up into the middle of the front wheel well and had to be changed blind with one hand.

I later traced the short to the exposed connectors in the rear wheel well. So I bundled them together and sealed them into a modified rubbermaid container.

A few weeks later I get pulled over by a cop in a really foul mood. I show him a print out of the DMV code after handing him the ID he requested and he called in and was really disappointed to hear he couldn't ticket me over anything. He scolds me driving on the sidewalk, which I explained I don't really have any alternative because I can't maintain the speed limit and having cars try to pass me on a two-lane road in a 25-mph zone is dangerous.

Modification #2
Not wanting to be mistaken for a normal scooter again and being unhappy with the location of the fuse I end up removing all of the cosmetic body panels. I relocated the charger receptacle and motor controller to the seat bucket, replaced the stock headlights with a single headlight on a custom bracket, trimmed the rear mud guard, and cut down the back of the front column. Couldn't get rid of it because it also acts as a mud guard.

I also relocated the horn, fuse, and all of the excess wiring from the front column into the dash clamshell, which was surprisingly empty. While doing this I found a single gray wire that connects to the speedometer. When connected it limits your top speed to 20mph in order to comply with the Federal law. When disconnected your top speed can reach up to 26mph on a slight downgrade.

It could be wired to a switch, but I just leave it disconnected.

Photo from March 08

And the problem I had most recently is that after several months of commuting back-and-forth the underside of the seat bucket broke open and the seat was no longer firmly attached to the frame. I went about replacing the seat bucket by making a bolt-on frame extension out of scrap aluminum found at work. Then secured and enclosed the controller, cabling, and charger receptacle.

Motor: 48V 600watts ?hp
Batteries 12v 20ah x4
Top Speed: 25 mph
Range: 24 miles

There's a great deal of empty space now. I'm thinking about adding another set of batteries to increase the range.
I'm also mentally toying with the idea of adding a second motor and controller which I could drive the rear wheel with through the axle that optional pedals are supposed to attach to. If I were to use the in-wheel motor for acceleration I could gear the secondary motor for higher top speed and theoretically be able to top out at 50 mph using only a 48V 3.2 HP Golf cart motor.

Biking is very popular around here because of the W&OD trail, which I could even drive this on if I simply get a permit to do so. So if I were to add another set of batteries to this I could also use it to get all the way to a Metro station and back on a single charge.

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