Electric scooters are fun to ride but deep inside we all wish our scooter would go a bit faster. No one ever said going slower is more run while riding just about anything. How to make an electric scooter faster and more fun? There are a few things you might be able to do to speed up your electric scooter. Let’s explore how to give our electric scooters a bit more go juice and amp up the fun.
How to make an electric scooter faster
Our electric scooters are powered by electric motors. There are some basic physics at work with the motor that governs how fast your electric scooter can go. This also affects what we can do to make a scooter go faster. Some electric scooters have speed limiters programmed into them. Some of these can be turned off to easily make your scooter go faster.
A word of caution. Most things you can do to increase the speed of an electric scooter are probably going to void the warranty. You may also increase the power beyond what the scooter was designed for. This may lead to burned out electronics, going to fast for the breaks, etc… Gearcraver.com is not responsible for any damage you do to your scooter or yourself trying to make your scooter faster.
1 – Remove any speed limiter
Some electric scooters have a wired in speed limiter that can be disabled. To turn off the speed limiter you disconnect this wire. It is usually one of the wires connected to the speed controller. It can be different for every electric scooter. Different colors, different locations, etc.. The below video shows and example of how to disable it on one type of scooter. Search for your particular scooter to see if there is a wired in speed limiter for it.
2 – Change software settings up update the firmware
Some electric scooters have a speed limiter programmed into the software or settings. This can be turned off by a setting in the software. In other cases it can gets turned off by uploading different software into the scooter.
The below video shows how to change the speed limit by adjusting settings in the scooter.
The below video gives and example of how to remove the software speed limiter by uploading a new software version. Every electric scooter is different with regards to speed limiters. Look at the manual for your scooter or search for your specific scooter model to see if you can find a tutorial for turning off the speed limiter for that electric scooter.
Electric motor basics
The hardwired or software speed limiters were the easy ways to get a faster electric scooter. If your scooter doesn’t have a limiter or you still want more speed, there are a few things we can look at. First lets take a look at the electric motor powering your scooter and a few things about it. This will help you understand what is necessary to get a faster electric scooter.
All electric motors have something called a “Kv value” or motor velocity constant. It is labeled in the units RPM/volts. A motor with a Kv of 100 RPM/volt will spin at 1200 RPM when given a 12 volt input. This motor will burn itself up trying to reach 1200 RPM if it has too much load on it to get there. This motor will not spin faster than 1200 RPM with a 12 volt input. The only way it will spin faster is to input more volts. At 14 volts it will spin at 1400 RPM. You can learn more about motor constants here.
3 – Increase motor K-value
To make our electric scooter go faster with the same battery or input voltage we need a motor with a higher kv value. For the same input voltage, we need more RPM. There are 2 ways to go about doing this. A new motor or rewind the existing motor.
Find a similar sized motor that will fit in your scooter with a higher k-value. You might be able to find a similar sized motor on hobby websites, ebay or Amazon. The website hobbyking.com has a gigantic selection of brushless electric motors.
It can be a little difficult to find what the motor constants are for a lot of motors you see for sale. It can be difficult to figure out what the Kv value is for the current motor you have. You want something rated to a higher RPM then what your scooter currently has. This is deep in DIY territory so you may need to experiment to get good results.
The second way to get a higher Kv motor is to rewind the motor you have. All motors have coils of wire wound around their armatures. To get a motor to spin faster, you need fewer winds around the armature. Fewer winds will give the motor a higher Kv value and your scooter will go faster. The downside is that it will also use more current, generate more heat and it will have reduced range. It will have less torque on startup so you will accelerate slower.
The below video shows how to rewind a small brushless motor. This is not an easy or quick task and it’s easy to mess up. This is not something for the mechanically uninclined to try.
4 – Increase voltage – upgrade the battery
The next thing you can do to make your scooter go faster is to increase the battery voltage. There are 2 ways to do this. Add more battery cells, or find higher quality batteries with lower internal resistance and higher voltage under load. Some scooters, such as a few from Segway, have an optional add on battery pack, that accomplishes this. For everyone else, it’s DIY hacking time.
Add battery cells
Take your electric scooter battery out and look at it and see if there is room to add more cells to the battery. Is there space inside the scooter for them to fit? How are the current batteries wired? Are they all in series? Is there balancing circuits for charging?
To get more output voltage you need to add more cells. Each cell will output a given voltage. For lithium ion and lithium polymer batteries that is 3.6 volts per cell. You will get 3.6 volts more total voltage for each cell you can add.
You need to add the same cell type and capacity that is already in the battery pack. You should not mix cell types and capacities inside a pack. This can make charging hazardous do to overcharging potential.
The charger that your scooter came with may be designed for a specific battery voltage. It may not work with a higher voltage battery. You may need to find another way to charge your scooter batteries after doing this.
The motor controller in your scooter may also have a voltage limit it can operate under. Adding more cells may exceed this limit which can cause it to burn out or go into an over voltage or over current shutdown.
Use batteries with lower internal resistance
Higher quality batteries designed for higher current outputs have lower internal resistance. Lower internal resistance means that they will have a higher voltage output under load. All batteries have voltage sag when under high current output. Some have much more sag than others. Using better batteries will give you higher voltage under load due to less sag.
Higher capacity batteries are more tolerant of higher currents with less sag. Switching to higher capacity cells of similar quality will also give you higher output voltage under load.
Open up your scooter and look at the battery pack. Try to find out what type of cells are in the battery pack. Look for any labels with serial numbers or other product identifying number. Then go to your friend Google to try and find that cell and what it’s internal resistance and capacity are. Then try to see if anything better is out there.
5 – Adjust scooter gearing
If your scooter doesn’t have motors built into the hubs and has a chain or belt drive you can change the gearing to go faster. Changing the gearing for more speed will give you less torque. Your tradeoff will be slower acceleration for more top end speed.
Use a larger pinion on the motor
The gear attached to the motor is called the pinion. You want to move more chain or belt with each motor revolution. To do this you need a larger pinion gear. Electricscooterparts.com has a selection of pinion and cog gears for electric scooters. You can measure the gear dimensions and teeth and try looking at hobby websites or industrial supply websites for gears also.
Use a smaller cog on the wheel
The gear attached to the wheel is called a cog. To go faster you want the wheel to turn more for a given length of belt or chain. To go faster you need smaller cogs. This is the same as on a bicycle. The smallest gear in the back lets you go the fastest. Like a bike, the smallest gear is the hardest to spin going slow. Switching to a smaller cog will give you less acceleration but higher top speed.
The below video shows how to make a cog or sprocket gear yourself.
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About the author
My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water. I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions. I decided to start this Gear Craver as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.