GoTrax GMAX Ultra Review
Looking for a great budget scooter but don't want to miss out on premium features? Then the GMAX Ultra could be precisely what you're looking for. For their latest model, GoTrax has moved away from its standard budget style and upgraded several crucial components. The result is a scooter that provides enhanced build quality, a smoother ride, excellent range, a digital lock, and a handy built-in cable lock system. Disappointingly, the GMAX Ultra's motor is on the small side compared to other scooters at this price. However, it comes with an LG battery that gives you up to 45 miles of uninterrupted riding per charge. This superior battery power combined with solid design, 10-inch air-filled tires, and intuitive controls means that the GMAX Ultra offers more than enough to justify its price tag.
GoTrax GMAX Ultra Review: Packed With Stand-Out Features
Who is it Best For?
Will the GoTrax GMAX Ultra Be a Good Fit For You?
At first, it might seem difficult to pinpoint who the GMAX Ultra is best suited to. It's not as cheap as some budget models and it weighs 46.3 lbs, which is heavier than most commuter scooters.
The answer lies in its build quality, extra features, and excellent battery life. Despite my usual recommendation that commuter scooters should weigh a maximum of 42 lbs, the GMAX Ultra is one of a few exceptions. In a single charge of 4 to 5 hours, it can travel for up to 45 miles which makes it ideal if you have a long commute or can’t recharge it every day.
As well as suiting commuters, this scooter is ideal if you're a beginner who wants more features than most budget models. You won't break any speed records with the Ultra, but you will experience a smoother ride and excellent maneuverability from the rounded profile of the pneumatic tire edges.
Pros and Cons
- High-quality LG battery cells
- Good build quality
- Easy to use one-click folding mechanism
- Intuitive controls
- 10-inch shock-absorbing, air-filled tires with a rounded profile
- Front headlight and rear taillight
- Built-in digital lock and cable lock
- IPX4 water-resistance rating
- Similarly priced scooters outpace it with their larger motors
- The headlight and taillight aren't bright enough for night-time riding
Value for Money
Is the Price Tag Worth it?
The GMAX Ultra is significantly more expensive than the G4 from GoTrax (which tends to fluctuate between $500-$650). At $849, the GMAX may cost more than you’re willing to spend on a budget scooter. While this means that it's not a great deal for everyone, for me, the enhanced design, extra features, and awesome battery life mean it's well worth the extra money.
If you're on a tight budget and looking to pick up your first scooter for some recreational rides, you'd be better off looking for true budget models like the Turboant M10. Still, the Ultra is a great option if you've got further to go, want the smoothest ride for your money, and don't mind a slightly smaller motor.
The GMAX Ultra also comes with lots of extra details that add value; for example, the LG battery is a vast improvement on those used in other GoTrax models. Plus, in this regard, it offers better performance than any other scooter at a similar price.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
GoTrax uses a strikingly similar design for the handlebars in all their electric scooters. They're comfortable, functional, and set in a perfectly straight line. As with the GoTrax G4, they measure 17.9 inches. This is slightly wider than the other budget GoTrax scooters, including the GXL V2, Apex, XR Ultra, and Elite. The additional width provides just enough extra functionality and stability to provide enhanced control and safety.
The handbrake and thumb throttle are intuitively positioned, so it's easy to remain in complete control and make last-minute adjustments. I found this essential when I was getting used to the controls; the simple arrangement meant that I could feel my way to the necessary buttons without taking my eyes off the road ahead.
In the center of the handlebars, you'll find the LED dashboard. It's the perfect size to not get in the way but large enough to allow you to take in any necessary information in a single glance. Here you can disable the digital lock and view essential details about your speed and battery life.
GoTrax has an excellent track record of making budget scooters look like something much more expensive; the GMAX Ultra is no exception. The matte black frame picked out in metallic cyan creates an eye-catching finish. The design is almost identical to the GoTrax G4 and the XR Elite. Still, by using only one color for the highlighted sections, the designers have created an understated appearance that gives the impression of something sleeker and more powerful.
As with the G4, the GMAX Ultra has a relatively slim stem that blends smoothly into the large LED dashboard. In addition, the majority of the cables are neatly tucked away inside the frame, only leaving them exposed where they join the brakes and the brake lever.
While the Ultra doesn't have some of the touches applied to more expensive models, GoTrax has done a great job of creating a budget scooter that's more than capable of turning heads. If you want to save money and look great while doing it, then the GMAX Ultra might be the scooter you're looking for.
The rubber deck of the GMAX Ultra is grippy enough to hold your feet securely in position as you ride. I also found that its width gave me enough space to comfortable place my feet. This is particularly important if you want to make full use of the incredible 45-mile range.
Because the 36V 17.5Ah LG battery is stored in the deck, the center of gravity is low, giving you better control and a sturdier ride. Also, because it's in the deck and not in the stem, GoTrax was able to keep the frame narrow. While this positioning has several positives, it does mean that some of the scooter's most vulnerable electronics are under your feet and close to the road. You'll need to resist the urge to bunny hop up curbs or do anything that risks causing any impact on the lower side of the deck.
Also, while the GMAX has an IPX4 water-resistance rating, it should not be ridden through water or used in wet conditions. Water may affect how grippy the deck is and could cause damage to the battery.
Because the GMAX Ultra doesn't come with any suspension, the wheels have to do all the work of smoothing the ride. To ensure that they're up to this task, GoTrax has provided 10-inch pneumatic (air-filled) tires with a rounded profile. As long as you keep them pumped up to the recommended pressure of 50 PSI and stick to roads and smooth streets, you'll experience a comfortable ride.
Air-filled tires provide extra traction but require some additional maintenance and may get punctures. However, the thick walls of these tires mean that punctures are less likely unless a long sharp object is driven directly into it.
What makes these tires special is the rounded profile. At first, this may not seem like much of a bonus, but when you're riding along, the curved tire edges allow you to carve from side to side and take the corners with ease. The width also adds extra stability and prevents you from feeling like you will wobble off over every bump.
Build Quality & Durability
Because GoTrax is known for its cheap scooters, you might think that they have taken shortcuts with the build quality, but that's not the case.
The frame isn't light enough to make up for the battery weight, so you do get a reasonably weighty scooter at 46.3 lbs. But while it's not a featherweight, the manufacturers have more than made up for this with the build quality and durability.
When riding the GMAX Ultra or clicking it into its folded position, it feels firm with no worrying wobbles. The build is solid, and if you should find anything that seems too loose, GoTrax has provided detailed instructions on which screws to adjust to maintain complete structural integrity.
By storing the battery under the deck, GoTrax has created a streamlined appearance and reduced the need to have cables running externally along the deck or stem. This is often overlooked and bad cable management can lead to accidents since they can become caught while riding – there’s no risk of that with the GMAX Ultra.
During our test rides, I found it more than capable of taking a few knocks. But this is not a rugged all-terrain scooter; it will take care of you as long you take care of it. You must prevent anything from colliding with the underside of the deck where the battery is stored.
Weight & Load
It weighs 46.3 lbs, making it the heaviest of the GoTrax electric scooter range and 10.3 lbs heavier than the G4. The additional weight comes for a very good reason, though. By adding a bigger and better quality, albeit heavier, LG battery, GoTrax has significantly increased the range and provided a more reliable power source with a longer lifespan.
As well as the battery, the weight of the GMAX Ultra is also down to the sturdy frame, the wide handlebars, and the comfortably sized deck. If you want all these things to come in at a lower weight, lighter materials would be required, which would significantly drive the price up.
The weight of the GMAX Ultra might put you off if you're looking for something lightweight and ultra-portable. Still, if your priorities are range and durability, you can likely overlook the additional weight.
When it comes to rider weight, the GMAX Ultra can handle up to 220 lbs. That's the same as the GoTrax G4 but significantly less than the SPLACH Turbo Plus (265 lbs) and the Turboant X7 Pro (275 lbs).
Folding & Portability
One of the stand-out features of the GMAX Ultra, and most of the GoTrax range, is the no-nonsense, single-step folding mechanism. By pulling the lever at the bottom of the tiller, the stem collapses, and the folding latch just below the handlebars can be hooked into the folding buckle on the rear fender.
Although the 17.9-inch handlebars don't fold, the overall size of the GMAX Ultra shrinks enough to get it into most standards trunks. Because of its weight, stashing it in your trunk is a better plan than trying to carry it for long distances.
Unlike several of the other GoTrax models, which can be a little finicky to assemble (the Apex being particularly tricky), the GMAX Ultra arrives pretty much fully assembled.
All you have to do is unfold it and insert the handlebar console into the top of the tiller, tucking away any exposed cable as you do so. Then, it's simply a matter of tightening up a couple of screws. The tires come pre-inflated, but it's always worth checking the air pressure and topping them up if necessary.
Is the GoTrax GMAX Ultra Comfortable to Ride?
The GMAX Ultra offers good ride quality for a scooter with no suspension. The chunky, shock-resistant tires do a lot to keep the ride smooth, and the deck is spacious enough for you to stand comfortably. However, as previously mentioned, this is an urban scooter and isn’t suited for going off-road or venturing onto uneven surfaces.
The brake lever, thumb throttle, and LED display are ideally placed to feel intuitive. Even during your first ride, you'll find it easy to make adjustments and check the display. Some displays can be challenging to read while riding, but GoTrax has done an excellent job of ensuring that you can see the key details in a single glance.
The low center of gravity gives extra stability when moving from side to side and the additional weight low down helps when it comes to braking; if you need to stop suddenly, the heavy base means you feel extra secure.
Overall, the GMAX Ultra stands alongside the GoTrax G4 and the Turboant X7 Pro where ride quality is concerned. However, one scooter that it doesn’t go toe-to-toe with is the SPLACH Turbo Plus. The 22.8 inch wide handlebars, kickplate, and dual swingarm suspension system deliver superior handling.
Performance & Safety
While the GMAX Ultra by no means matches the speed achieved by some performance scooters, as a premium budget scooter, it performs well. With a top speed of 20 mph, it stands with the GoTrax G4 as the fastest scooter in the GoTrax range. It's significantly quicker than the GXL V2, Apex, XR Ultra, and Elite scooters which all failed to break through the 15.5 mph speed barrier.
If you were hoping for a scooter that can deliver higher speeds, you would be better off considering the SPLACH Turbo Plus. For $150 more than the GMAX Ultra, it will take you up to 26 mph, has a superior acceleration rate, and a respectable range of 33 miles.
Speed vs Price Comparison
Taking the GMAX Ultra's $849 price tag and placing a $500 range around it, there are 22 comparable models. When it comes to speed, the GMAX Ultra takes a mid-place ranking.
It doesn't rank higher because its 36V 350W motor is on the smaller side. The SPLACH Turbo Plus leads the pack thanks to its 48V 600W motor that provides a top speed that is 30% faster than the GMAX.
If you're looking for a scooter that can reach 20 mph, the Turboant X7 Pro and Turboant M10 both have the same 36V 350W motor but are available for far less ($299 and $399 less, respectively). The only drawback with this swap is that you'll miss out on the GMAX Ultra's incredible range.
Speed vs Weight Comparison
Disappointingly, the GMAX Ultra doesn't perform well compared to the 19 other models of a similar weight (41.3 – 51.3 lbs). Most of the other scooters in this bracket sport larger motors forcing it to take the penultimate position.
The clear winner here is the Dualtron Mini. The Mini weighs only 1.7 lbs more than the GMAX Ultra, yet its single hub motor provides an impressive peak power output of 1540W, which far surpasses the GMAX. The Mini's motor also operates on 52V vs the GMAX's 36V, providing more torque and a faster acceleration. Despite the Mini's clear win, it costs $650 more than the GMAX Ultra at $1,499.
For me, the SPLACH Turbo Plus represents the best all-around option; it has a telescopic stem, foldable handlebars, well-rounded performance and at $999, it is much closer to the GMAX Ultra in price.
Unsurprisingly, the GMAX Ultra sits in last place when it comes to acceleration. Thanks to its more powerful 48V 600W motor, the SPLACH Turbo Plus is 49% faster to 15 mph. Even GoTrax's cheaper model, the G4, is 19% faster.
|Scooter||0-15 MPH (Seconds)|
|SPLACH Turbo Plus ($999)||4.1|
|GoTrax G4 ($649)||6.5|
|Turboant X7 Pro ($550)||7.3|
|GoTrax GMAX Ultra ($849)||8.0|
The GoTrax G4 and the Turboant X7 Pro both share the same size motor as the GMAX Ultra, but they accelerate faster because they're significantly lighter. The G4 can also outpace the Turboant X7 Pro because its motor is rear-mounted, giving it a noticeable advantage off the mark. The Turboant X7 Pro's front-mounted motor is still quick, but that positioning is enough to make it accelerate 0.8 seconds slower than the G4.
As with all the GoTrax scooters, the GMAX Ultra requires you to push off from the ground as you engage the throttle. This means that the initial acceleration needs a little help and may not be as fast as you'd like.
The GMAX Ultra has a maximum 45-mile range when ridden in its slowest speed setting on flat terrain by a 165 lbs rider. Under realistic conditions and riding at full throttle, you can expect 24 miles.
But how does it compare? Let's find out.
Mileage vs Price Comparison
This is where the GMAX Ultra comes into its own. In a $500 price range with $849 in the middle, there are 22 comparable scooters.
It takes the top spot, with its closest rival, the Hiboy S2 Max achieving a range of 4.6 miles less. However, the GMAX's battery holds 13% more energy than the Hiboy (630W vs. 557Wh) and the higher-quality LG battery not only provides it with a chart-topping range but also delivers enhanced performance over the long term.
Mileage vs Weight Comparison
Let's take a look at how the GMAX Ultra compares to all the models that sit within 5 lbs on either side of its 46.3 lbs weight (41.3 – 51.3 lbs).
Once again, the LG battery steals the show carrying it to the top of the chart. The Ultra can even stand up to the more expensive INOKIM Quick 4 ($1,499). But when you look closely at the data, there's more to this comparison than first meets the eye.
The INOKIM has a 52V 16Ah Samsung battery compared to the GMAX Ultra's 36V 17.5AH. The 52V battery stores 32% more energy (832Wh vs. 630Wh) than the Ultra's 36V battery. While many factors affect the performance of each, the available information does suggest that the INOKIM should be sitting at the top of this chart.
It's hard to tell whether INOKIM was modest with their maximum mileage or GoTrax was generous with theirs. However, what we can tell you is that the INOKIM delivers 28 miles of real-world usage compared to the GMAX’s 24 miles. Nevertheless, the GoTrax still packs plenty of value and its LG battery remains as one of its most impressive features.
GoTrax states that the GMAX Ultra is capable of climbing 15-degree inclines. In reality, I found that while the 350W performs well on the flat, in practice, it can only handle hills of up to 8.5 degrees. If you attempt anything more than that, it becomes sluggish and hard to control.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
If you're familiar with any of the GoTrax line of budget scooters, you'll know that one of the ways they keep the prices down is by forgoing any form of suspension. The same is true of the GMAX Ultra; while this is disappointing for their premium model, the shock-proof pneumatic tires do a good job of keeping the ride comfortable.
These 10-inch chunky tires provide reasonable protection against minor bumps and protect your knees and ankles from the vibrations and small day-to-day impacts you experience on most journeys. However, to get the best from the GMAX Ultra, you must stick to well-maintained roads and sidewalks.
As we've come to expect from a GoTrax scooter, the GMAX Ultra relies on a dual-braking system. This is made up of a rear disc brake and electronic brake that kicks into action once the brake is pulled.
The brake lever has a traditional design similar to that you would find on a bicycle. This gives you reflexive control over the brakes allowing you to come to a halt safely.
From a speed of 15 mph, the braking system can bring you to stop in 5.3 meters. This is adequate for a scooter of this power, and it's enough to respond effectively to most situations. However, because the brakes are only applied to the rear wheel, they're not as effective as they could be if they were used on both wheels. For example, the AnyHill UM-1, another excellent budget scooter, uses a rear disc brake – like the GMAX Ultra – but channels its electronic brake to the front wheel to deliver an impressive stopping distance of 2.2 meters from 15 mph.
The 36V 17.5Ah LG battery can reach a full charge in 4 to 5 hours, which is a good turnaround for the size of the battery. Moreover, due to the quality of this battery compared with those in other GoTrax scooters, you can expect it to provide peak performance for longer.
The central LED console gives you complete control over all the scooter functions in one place. The large display is relatively bright and shows your speed, distance, battery life, and cruise control status. It also lets you apply the digital lock and controls the front and rear lights.
Everything on the LED display is controlled using two simple + and – buttons and the throttle. The simple design is ideally matched to its use, allowing you to take in all the necessary information at a single glance.
In the past, when reviewing the G4 from GoTrax we noticed that the battery bar display was often misleading and would suddenly drop from nearly full to only a quarter full. While we've not noticed this yet with the GMAX Ultra, the console systems are identical so we recommend ensuring that the battery is fully charged before each use.
Headlight and Taillight
The headlight and taillight are nice touches but are only really suitable for providing a little extra reassurance in low-light conditions. For me, they weren't bright enough to make me feel comfortable riding at night. If riding at night is a must, you'll need to purchase an additional headlight to make sure you can see where you're going and increase your visibility.
As well as the lights, the GMAX also has several reflective strips placed around the deck and frame. This is a helpful touch, but I also encourage you to use high-vis clothing and additional lights if riding your scooter in low light.
Digital & Cable Lock
One of the stand-out features of GoTrax’s premium scooters (G4 and GMAX Ultra) is the inclusion of a dual locking system. The first is the digital lock that disables the wheels by engaging the electronic brake so it can’t be rolled away. This locking system can be set and disarmed via the central console via a unique digital code. The second part involves a built-in cable that detaches from the main stem and can be secured to a bike rack or similar structure.
The inclusion of these anti-theft features is not common among scooters of its class and are nice value adds for commuters or anyone who may need to leave their precious scooter unattended in a public space.
IPX4 Water-Resistance Rating
An IPX4 water-resistance rating means that the GMAX Ultra is splashproof and won't be damaged by small amounts of water. However, it's not waterproof, and GoTrax says that you should avoid riding in the rain or through puddles since the warranty does not cover water damage.
Specification: GoTrax GMAX Ultra Review
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
GoTrax's warranty is notoriously more restrictive than some of its competitors. With the GMAX Ultra, you get a 6-month warranty that is activated as soon as you receive the scooter. It covers the replacement of any defective or damaged component unless it was the result of user error. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover any cosmetic damage to the scooter or your basic ‘wear and tear' – surface blemishes, rips, scratches, etc.
The GoTrax GMAX Ultra is a well-built scooter that will give you many years of fun, but it needs to be looked after and maintained. If you follow the suggestions in the user manual and treat it with care, it's unlikely you'll need to claim on the warranty.
When it comes to post-purchase support, you can either call the team between 9 am and 5 pm MST Monday to Friday or get in touch via their support email or the contact form on the website.
The GoTrax website also hosts a generous range of support resources, including FAQs, manuals, and ‘how to' guides that are usually enough to answer most questions.
Specification: GoTrax GMAX Ultra Review