GoTrax GKS Review
Stylish, sturdy, and above all, safe. The GoTrax GKS is one of the best kid’s scooters on the market. Easy to assemble and a breeze to ride, the GKS is perfect for 6 to 8 year-olds – although, kids up to 12 years of age can enjoy it too. Parents, meanwhile, will have plenty of their own to enjoy – namely, the $99.99 price tag that just happens to make the GKS one of the cheapest scooters on the market.
GoTrax GKS Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the GoTrax GKS Be a Good Fit For You?
Although the GKS is aimed at children aged anywhere between 6 and 12, it’s best-suited to younger riders – specifically, those in the 6 to 8 bracket.
That’s because GoTrax GKS has all the ingredients to make it an ideal scooter for first-time riders – doubling down on the safety features while cutting down the price.
Its Safety Start technology and braking system work together to help your kid take off with ease, and stop with confidence. Plus, its sturdy frame and 154 lb load mean it’ll stand the test of time and growth spurts – though, it’s not recommended for riders with a height of 5 feet or more.
The GKS’s five funky color schemes also make it an attractive choice for the youngsters.
Sure, as your child gets older, they’ll want to eventually progress to something with a little more ‘oomph’ than the 7.5 mph top speed of the GKS. But considering the amount of fun your kid will get out of this scooter – and that it’s available for the extremely budget-friendly price of $99.99 – the GoTrax GKS is the perfect place to start.
Pros and Cons
- Cheapest kids scooter
- Comes in a range of vivacious colors
- Safety Start Technology
- Lightweight design
- Durable frame
- Simple assembly
- Long charge time
- Doesn’t fold
Is the GoTrax GKS Comfortable to Ride?
As with almost all kids' scooters, you’re not going to find advanced shock absorption systems that deliver buttery-smooth riding, but young riders will benefit from the scooter’s solid 6-inch rubber tires as they glide over asphalt and concrete.
The GKS can also tackle grassy surfaces but the areas need to be well maintained. This is ideal if your child is still learning the ropes – you can take them to the local park and give them close supervision as they learn to ride.
The GKS isn’t quite as comfortable to ride as models like Segway’s ZING E8 or E10, both of which boast shock absorbers over the front wheel. But, those models both cost well over double the GKS’ price.
The GoTrax GKS’s handlebars don’t try to be fancy. There’s no embedded LED display, they don’t fold inwards, and surprisingly, there’s no thumb throttle or handbrake. So, how do you ride the scooter? Well, the GKS uses a safety start technology operated from two pressure sensors on the deck – more on that later (skip ahead to the ‘features’ section if you want to find out more now).
Despite the pared-back design, they are clad in a grippy, colorful rubber that’s in-keeping with the two-tone palette of the deck and wheels.
Whilst the rubber grips are a small piece to the overall GKS puzzle, it’s important to note that they are easy to grab onto and can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. This is especially positive for a scooter that is so cheap, considering similarly priced no-name brand models sold on Amazon have foam grips that deteriorate over time.
The GKS’s frame is made of sturdy steel – which, as you bike enthusiasts out there will know, makes it very durable.
That said, while it’s certainly not the heaviest scooter out there, the GKS’s steel frame doesn’t quite offer quite the same experience as an aluminum scooter does – mainly because it doesn’t share the rust and corrosion-protecting qualities.
Is the GKS missing a trick here? After all, the GoTrax GKS’s older sibling – the GKS Lumios – is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, as are the models of Segway-Ninebot’s ‘ZING’ line.
My view is that, ultimately, this trade-off can be accounted for in the price.
With the GKS, you won’t be getting that added dash of quality a good aluminum frame offers. But you’ll also be paying a bargain-basement price to snag a scooter that’s still tough as nails – just make sure you keep it out of the rain and store it in a dry area.
The GoTrax GKS isn’t built for durability alone. It’s built for safety, too – and its deck is ‘Exhibit A’ as to why.
Home to the two pressure sensor ‘buttons’ that power the unique Start Safe technology – plenty more on that later – the scooter’s deck is where you’ll find its best feature. It’s also quite low to the ground, giving the scooter a low center of gravity that’ll help your young rider control it with ease.
Plus, even from a purely visual aspect, there’s a lot to love about the deck. Rendered in an arrowed, optical illusion-inducing pattern, it is sure to resonate with younger riders and adds to the style that goes hand in hand with all that safety.
My only gripe with the deck is that it is lined with a thin layer of grip tape that is almost sandpaper-like. I would have liked to have seen rubber used instead since it typically provides more traction and makes for a more stable riding experience. Nevertheless, it doesn’t impact ride quality too much and we can let this slip considering the cheap price tag.
The GoTrax GKS sports a pair of 6-inch rubber tires.
Though they’re solid – which isn’t always a good sign – the GKS’s tires will be a breath of fresh air for young riders and their parents alike. How come?
They are extremely low maintenance. Unlike pneumatic (air-filled) tires, there is no risk of flats meaning your child will have control over the scooter’s steering and handling at all times – a feature that’ll come especially in handy when they’re pushing the speedometer close to the GKS’s top 7.5 mph speed.
Build Quality & Durability
As previously mentioned, the GoTrax GKS boasts a robust steel frame that stands up to wear and tear.
Although it comes with a very basic level of waterproofing, the GKS isn’t fully water-resistant. As we’ll explore later, any rain damage to the scooter won’t be covered under warranty – so it’s best to keep this one indoors on wet days. This is especially important given the lack of corrosion-protecting qualities.
Another somewhat glaring hole in the GKS’s blueprint is the lack of LED lighting.
You can easily remedy this with the purchase of separate, attachable lights and reflectors, though (and it goes without saying), this is not a deal-breaker since the majority of kids electric scooters don’t feature a full set of LEDs (aside from the Hiboy S2 Lite).
Overall, the GoTrax GKS has a solid, no-nonsense approach to design. You won’t find any claims of fancy, NASA-utilized metals or alloys when you open up your new GKS – just a dependable, durable scooter that’ll offer your kid a safe, comfortable ride.
Weight & Load
The GoTrax GKS weighs in at a lightweight 17.8 lbs. Bar one scooter (the Segway Ninebot ZING E8, which, at 17.6 lbs, is just a fraction lighter), this makes the GKS almost the lightest electric scooter that money can buy.
Unlike the ZING E8, though – which supports a maximum load of just 110 lbs – the GKS can support an impressive rider weight of up to 154 lbs. That means that the GKS’s load-bearing capacities trump not only those of the ZING E8 but also the E10 and E12 (Segway’s scooters for preteens), despite them being made for an older demographic.
As we’ll soon see, weight and load are just a couple of the ways the GoTrax GKS holds its own against scooters that cost well over double its price.
Folding & Portability
Somewhat frustratingly, the GoTrax GKS doesn’t fold. Naturally, this means the scooter isn’t well-suited when it comes to slotting into the trunk to take on vacation – it’s more of a ‘keep in the garage when not in use’ kind of job.
Don’t get me wrong, though – there are plenty of positives. As we’ve just seen, it’s one of the lightest scooters around. So, even though it’s not quite as portable as other scooters, your child should at least have no trouble carrying it around – and certainly no issues when it comes to maneuvering it while riding.
A Guide to Foldable Electric Scooters (Lightest & Most Compact)
The GKS requires more assembly than any other scooter I've reviewed.
First, you’ll need to attach the front wheel component with the deck by tightening the screws with the 5 mm Allen wrench that’s provided.
Then, you need to take the ‘tiller’ (also known as the stem), and slot it into the tube above the front wheel and screw it into place.
You’re almost done. The last step is screwing the handlebars to the top of the tiller – ensuring all screws are tight in the process, of course – and your brand new GoTrax GKS is ready to ride.
Now, all that’s left to do is charge the scooter and have your young explorer take it for a spin.
All in all, it takes around 15-20 minutes to assemble.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
The GoTrax GKS’s 150W motor allows it to reach a top speed of 7.5 mph.
Now, this doesn’t exactly make the GKS an adrenaline-charged thrill ride. Even compared to other scooters that are aimed at a young audience, the GKS is slow – and, if we’re splitting hairs, it’s just about the slowest electric scooter on the market.
But should you care? Nope.
That’s because speed isn’t intended to be one of the GoTrax GKS’s selling points. Safety, yes. Style, definitely. Speed? Nope. The GKS is for your kid, after all, and its purpose is to help younger children build up their confidence on an electric scooter – not to go so fast that they end up with grazed knees.
When it is time to graduate to something a little faster – or if your young one is already showing an insatiable need for speed, then check out the Hiboy S2 Lite. It costs more, and is targeted at slightly older kids than the GKS’s demographic, but comes with a zippy top speed of 13 mph.
The GoTrax GKS has a maximum range of 4 miles. When out on the asphalt, this translates to around 40 minutes of actual ride time – although this will depend on whether your little daredevil is maxing out the GKS’s speed, as well as on the type of terrain they’re traversing.
If you’re thinking 4 miles isn’t a huge distance, you’re right. And the truth is, if you’re looking for a kid’s scooter with more mileage up its sleeve, you’re better off going with something like the trusty Hiboy S2 Lite. It’s more than double the price of the GKS, but sports a mileage of up to 10.6 miles.
But remember, you’re not choosing the GKS for its range, or its top speed. You’re picking it for its safety and style features… not to mention its price tag.
Plus, if the battery does give up the ghost in the middle of a ride, it’s not the end of the world; the GKS can still be used as a regular kick scooter, even without the added juice of the electric motor.
It was clear GoTrax’s engineers had several things in mind when designing the GKS. Safety, style, ride quality, and ease of use. Hill climbing, though, is not one of them.
The GKS is made for adult-supervised rides on flat, well-paved, urban surfaces. Unlike the Segway Ninebot ZING E8 – a scooter capable of tackling inclines of up to 7% – the GKS simple doesn’t have the power to scale challenging inclines. However, it must be said that most slight, gradual inclines in your local neighborhood should be manageable.
That doesn’t completely mean your kid won’t be able to take on some of the neighborhood’s more moderate slopes, though. It just means they’ll have to do their fair share of kicking to get up them.
Electric Scooters For Climbing Hills: Breeze Up the Steepest of Inclines
Shock Absorption / Suspension
The GoTrax GKS doesn’t come with any suspension.
There isn’t anything resembling the 40 mm front shock absorbers you see with Segway-Ninebot’s line of kid’s scooters, which means the GKS isn’t meant for rough terrain.
Don’t stress, though – you (and your child’s knees and ankles) can rest easy because the GKS wheels provide at least a basic level of shock absorption when ridden on well-maintained roads and sidewalks.
The GoTrax GKS relies on a friction brake located over the rear wheel. While it doesn’t boast any of the same bells and whistles as more advanced scooters (there’s no regenerative braking system here, I should add), this foot brake will still do the business.
Perhaps the only annoying thing about the GKS is that there’s no handbrake. Understandably, this might make it hard for younger children to get used to at first – particularly if they’re already accustomed to a hand-operated brake from their bicycle.
However, this is where GoTrax's Safety Start technology comes into play. There are two buttons on the deck and once they sense pressure the motor will engage and the wheels will gradually turn. To slow down, your child simply needs to take their foot off the back button and the motor will automatically disengage – making it incredibly easy to control the speed of the scooter, especially when the rear fender is stomped on.
If the lack of a handbrake is a dealbreaker for you, I’d recommend taking a look at Segway-Ninebot’s ZING E8 – its triple braking system isn’t to be missed.
There are many reasons to invest in the GKS, but its 5-hour charge time isn’t one of them.
There’s no sidestepping this one. 5 hours is a long time, particularly considering the relatively limited 4 mile range. Plus, this charge time looks even longer when you compare it with Segway’s line of kids scooters that are equipped with Smart Battery Management Systems that aid a charge turnaround of 4 hours in return for 6.2 miles. Similarly, some adult scooters, like the GoTrax XR Elite, which boasts 18.6 miles, take just 3-4 hours to charge.
Charge this one overnight, or expect to have some inpatient nippers on your hands.
Safety Start Technology
Coolness and safety don’t necessarily always overlap. That’s why it’s a pleasant breath of fresh air that the GoTrax GKS’s innovative Safety Start Technology manages to buck the trend, providing both style and security in spades. Let me explain.
As previously mentioned, on the GKS’s deck there are two evenly-spaced pressure sensors – basically, big buttons. One is located towards the front of the scooter, and the other to the rear. To begin their ride, your kid must simply place one foot on the front button and kick to go. Simple enough, right?
But here’s where the magic happens.
To engage the motor, your child has to place their other foot on the rear button.
What makes this technology perfect for beginners is that there’s no chance that the scooter will zoom without your child being ready. Your child can only begin to use the electric motor to accelerate when they’re balanced in a safe riding position.
This savvy safe-start system will also help your child come to a safer, more comfortable stop. Removing their rear foot from the pressure sensor kills the motor. So, by the time your child goes to use the rear fender brake, the motor’s already been disengaged, and the scooter is already losing pace.
You don’t see this kind of feature everywhere – in fact, this technology is unique to GoTrax’s GKS line.
Understandably, then, it’s one of this scooter’s top selling points. If you’re investing in your child’s first foray into the exciting world of electric scooters, you can’t go wrong with the GKS.
Available in a Range of Colors
Let’s face it. When you’re buying a scooter for kids, it’s not the features – and certainly not the technical specs – that are going to sway them. It’s the colors.
Here’s where the GoTrax GKS comes into its own. Available in five different two-tone color schemes, there is something for everyone. Your kids will each get a color scheme that best reflects their unique style and personality, while you’ll avoid the stress of having to sort out fights over which scooter belongs to who.
So without further ado, let me talk you through each color.
First, you’ve got the GKS’s flagship design – a slick, midnight-black body, with electric blue accents making the scooter’s deck, wheels, and handlebars pop.
Next up is a striking bubblegum pink that’s sure to be a hit with your little girl. This one trades the blue accents of its boyish counterpart for a white trim, giving the scooter a cutesy, marshmallow vibe that emanates fun.
The GKS’s third and fourth variations let your kid choose from a black frame with either eye-popping red accents or zesty lime green highlights. Both are sure to appeal to young adventurers of all ages.
And, finally, you’ve got my personal favorite; a black frame with grey trim. This a more understated, stripped-back design and will no doubt strike a chord with youngsters who want a ‘grown-up’ scooter.
Your kid will be spoilt for choice.
Specification: GoTrax GKS Review
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
It’s a resounding yes from me.
I mean, come on – as the cheapest scooter on the market it would be hard for this thing to not be worth your $99.99 investment.
Sure, the more modest range of specs means your kid won’t be breaking the land speed record any time soon. And its 5 hour charge time and 4 mile range might be potential snagging points for some parents. But, you’ll be paying at least double for any other kid’s scooter worth its salt.
Even if you use the GoTrax GKS for the sole purpose of getting your child comfortable with their first electric scooter – before soon upgrading – it will have still been worth the money you paid.
If you do invest in the GoTrax GKS, it’s highly unlikely you’ll want to trade this one in anytime soon. With safety features, durability, and style in abundance, this scooter is worth every dime.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
The GoTrax GKS comes with a 90-day warranty. If anything goes wrong, you can simply get in touch with the GoTrax support team with the sales receipt from an approved vendor. However, there’s a couple of catches you should know about…
Firstly, the warranty only covers issues related to defects that are the fault of the manufacturer.
Secondly, any damage deemed to have been caused by the weather won’t be eligible for replacement under warranty.
The GKS isn’t water-resistant, so it’s best to keep the scooter indoors on rainy days (or go for the ZING E8, which boasts an IPX4 water resistance rating). You’ll also get no coverage for damage related to exposure to the environment, such as sea breeze. Perhaps it makes sense to rethink that beachfront ride?
Thirdly, the GKS’s warranty doesn’t cover cosmetic damage that’s a result of regular use – in other words, ‘wear and tear’. This includes any surface issues that are the result of the scooter aging – such as the paint fading, rusting, and the deterioration of the GKS’s rubber, plastic, or plated surfaces.
Finally, the warranty is void if there are any signs of neglect or misuse of the scooter. Just another reason to encourage your kid to keep their prized GoTrax GKS in perfect condition.
GoTrax has an extensive array of support resources online, which you can access via its website. Among these are an FAQ page, as well as information around warranties and return policies. Here’s where you’ll also find digital copies of the GKS’s manual, in case your paper copy ends up lost.
The GoTrax website also contains backups of the GKS’s assembly instructions, as well as a guide to replacing the scooter’s battery and circuit board, should you need to.
For any issues that fall beyond this remit, GoTrax’s support team is available over the phone, between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm CST. The number’s easy to remember, too – it’s 844-4GO-TRAX.
If you’re not feeling chatty, you can get in touch quickly and easily via a contact form on GoTrax’s website.
Introducing the GoTrax GKS
Take a look at the best kids electric scooter in action.
*Photos courtesy of Envy Ride
Specification: GoTrax GKS Review