Here’s the ultimate buyers guide for our lineup electric scooters including what you should know before buying, resources for how to select a scooter, what the scooter buying process is like, and e-scooter basics so you know what to maintain, how frequently, and where to get replacement parts.
Things to Know Before Buying
- Research Local Scooter Laws
Electric scooters are legal to ride on most public roadways. Different states may apply bicycle and e-bike regulations as well as restrictions to electric scooters such as, carrying a driver's license and wearing a helmet. Some regions apply speed and location restrictions.
- Scooter Maintenance
WarpSpeedScooters has a service center in Virginia Beach, VA send us an email or call to lean more! However, to avoid downtime you can check out our repair videos to perform maintenance, including: bleeding and adjusting brake, changing tire, and changing brake pads.
- Shop the Best Scooters for You
Pick the best balance of performance and portability that you need and are capable of handling. Is your scooter being used for long commutes or short commutes? Do you need to carry your scooter? What is your budget? Are you comfortable and have the physical ability to handle a high-power vehicle? We categorize scooters as Easy Rider, Super Speed and Warp Speed which correlates both to the scooter’s performance and expected ability of the rider.
Electric Scooter Basics
If you don’t speak scooter yet, don’t fret. Most electric scooters have the same main components. The stem connects the deck to the cockpit by a folding mechanism. Most scooters have a single stem but some models have a dual stem. How robust a folding mechanism is greatly affects the ride feel, with unstable mechanisms resulting in stem wobble. Along with the essential components of a stand-up scooter, most include front and rear fenders so you get less dirty while riding, a kickstand to prop the scooter up when parked, and a lighting package that can include headlight(s), deck lights, turn signals, and taillight(s). Here’s a diagram so you know what’s what, and the basics of scooter batteries, brakes, throttles, and more.
Electric Scooter Batteries
Most electric scooters contain lithium ion (li-ion) batteries stored in the deck. The voltage is the number of cells in a pack. The capacity that can be stored is measured in amp-hours (Ah). In general, the higher the amps, the longer the runtime.
Here’s two extremes: the EMOVE Touring has a 48V 13 Ah battery for 624 Wh of capacity or about 30 miles (48 km) of range; the Dualtron X2 has a 72V 42Ah battery for 3024 Wh (almost 5X the capacity) for about 91 miles (146 km) of range. Well-constructed batteries are monitored and regulated by a BMS (battery management system).
Here are some charging don’ts (with do’s)
- Don’t leave the charger plugged in. Plug the charger into the wall outlet, then the charging cable into the scooter. Although keeping it plugged in is unlikely to cause an explosion, it can corrode the cathode and shorten capacity.
- Don’t rapidly charge or discharge the battery within 1 hour. Habitually using a fast charger or riding at max speed until the battery is completely dead will degrade your battery. For best battery health, use the standard charger and try not to burn through your battery in under 1 hour.
- Don’t fully charge the battery before and after riding. Optimally, ride your scooter when the battery is between 30% and 80%. Operating within this range can elongate battery life dramatically. There’s no need to top your battery to 100% if you have enough charge to get where you need to go.
- Don’t charge your battery in freezing temperatures. Charging your scooter when temps are below 32℉ is not recommended as it can greatly reduce your capacity. It’s ideal to charge when the temperature is between 33℉ and 113℉.
- Don’t store your scooter when the battery power is 0% or 100%. Store it at around 40% capacity for best long-term storage results. Make sure to check your scooter periodically if you have electronics that slowly drain the battery (like security features).
Electric Scooter Tires
Pneumatic Tires VS Solid Tires
All electric scooter tires are made of rubber, but some are solid and others are air-filled. The air inside pneumatic (air-filled) tires means they conform to the road and provide great traction, but the interior cavity makes them susceptible to flats when punctured. Solid tires conform much less to the road resulting in poorer traction, but their robust, heavy build means they’re flat-proof. If a scooter has mixed tires, it has an air-filled front tire and solid rear tire.
Because they provide better performance and long-term repairability, you’ll find air-filled tires ranging in diameter from 10” to 15” with a width between 2” to 4” on super speed and warp speed scooters. In general, as tire size increases, so does stability.
The tread and contact patch(surface area that hits the ground) affect how much traction you can get. Off-road tires have taller tread with a wider contact patch for more stable riding on unstable terrain. Street tires generally have a lower tread and rounded profile for nimble, sharper turns on smoother roads.
Inner Tube VS Tubeless Tires
Pneumatic (air-filled) tires come in two main styles: inner tube and tubeless. In tubed tires (inner tube), the air is sealed inside tubing with an exterior tire, while tubeless tires have only an exterior tire and seal directly to the rim. Tubeless tires can include tire sealant to prevent punctures from causing air to leak. These are also known as run-flat tires or self-sealing tires.
Mechanical Disc Brakes vs. Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Disc brakes are mechanical, semi-hydraulic (hybrid hydraulic), or fully hydraulic. With mechanical disc brakes, the physical pressure you apply to the brake levers directly impacts how strong the brakes apply. With semi-hydraulic and hydraulic brakes, fluid inside the brake cables increases interior pressure, making it easier to apply the brakes with less physical effort.
Electric Scooter Suspension
Suspension, along with the tires, helps you maintain grip with the road. Soft suspension will help absorb bumps and dampen rebound more than stiff suspension, but your movements easily impact the scooter’s balance and handling because it’s more flexible. With stiff suspension, the scooter keeps a better contact patch resulting in better handling, and you’ll feel the road’s imperfections more when you hit them if you’re not also responding with your body.
In electric scooters, spring suspension is the most common providing soft response and reasonable handling, usually including springs on both frontend and rear end. Hydraulic suspension provide good cushion, better handling and a medium response. Some scooters use rubber suspension, which is the most customizable but provides the stiffest response out of the box, so excellent handling but sharper rebound.
Electric Scooter Motors
Electric scooter motors are housed in the wheels. Most single motor scooters have the motor in the rear wheel. Dual motor scooters have motors in both wheels, usually with the same power per motor. Measured in watts (W), e-scooter motors range in power from 500W to 5750W, with bigger motors equating to faster speeds.
Electric Scooter Controllers
If the battery is the heart of the scooter, the controller is the brain: it regulates and coordinates the scooter’s motors, battery and electrical components. They're usually housed in the deck but can also be installed in other components. Most electric scooters have square wave controllers, while newer, high-tech electric scooters have sine wave controllers. The controllers deliver power very differently; think of them like types of light switches, with square waves responding like a light switch (all/nothing) and sine waves behaving like a dimmer dial (roll on/roll off). Sine wave controllers deliver power in a gradual pattern, making it easier to modulate acceleration at any speed, but are more expensive so less common.