GoTrax GXL V2 Review
The best budget electric scooter under $300. There’s a reason why the GoTrax GXL V2 is the best-selling cheap scooter – it has everything a beginner needs. With a sturdy build, decent top speed, and well-rounded rider comfort, the GXL V2 is built to take the stress out of the short journeys. It’s the perfect scooter if you want something no-nonsense to get you from A to B. Plus, it outperforms its cheap price tag.
GoTrax GXL V2 Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the GoTrax GXL V2 Be a Good Fit For You?
If you’re new to the world of scooters and want to test out whether the scooter life is right for you, the GoTrax GXL V2 is the perfect fit. It’s reliable, quality-assured, and offers everything you could need as a novice.
When electric scooters first came on the market, finding a cheap one that didn’t have a sub-par construction causing it to rattle after a few rides or waiting less than 12 hours for it to charge for 30 minutes of ride time was almost impossible. But then came along the GoTrax GXL V2. Cheap no longer meant sacrificing a few bucks for shoddy workmanship but instead bridged the gap between cost and quality.
Not only is the GXL V2 super affordable, it has a decent top speed of 15.5 mph, a range of 12 miles, and additional features like a dual-braking system and LED light setup that are often found on more expensive models. Best of all, it takes just 3-4 hours to charge. The combination of its lightweight (26.4 lbs) and simple to use folding mechanism also makes it extremely portable.
Pros and Cons
- Extremely good value
- Dual braking system
- Durable build quality
- Cruise control
- Pneumatic tires
- Comfortable ride quality
- Mediocre acceleration curve
- No rear light
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
The price point of the GXL V2 is something worth shouting about. It is a bargain. From the durable frame to the air-filled tires and dual-braking system, not to mention cruise control, your jaw is sure to drop upon receiving this beauty. This is why I’ve rated it as the best electric scooter under $300.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
As with all my scooter reviews, let’s start from the top and work our way to the bottom. With that being said, let’s take a look at the handlebars.
All in all, they are pretty basic. They don’t lack any features that I otherwise would have hoped for and they don’t over-deliver either. They strike the perfect balance between ergonomic functionality and the necessities needed for a budget electric scooter.
As with the majority of budget scooters, the GXL V2 has a simple LED display that is perfect for glancing at your speedometer, battery life, and riding mode. You can even operate your headlight and choose the riding mode from the small red button located directly below the LED display.
On the left side of the handlebars, you’ll find the hand-operated brake that will be second-nature to use for new riders that have ridden a bike. You’ll also find the bell which you can easily ping with your left thumb.
On the right, the ergonomically designed thumb throttle is smooth to rotate and doesn’t get stuck like I’ve seen with cheap no-name brand scooters.
The matte black finish has become synonymous with electric scooters and for many, like myself, it is the color of choice. The GXL V2 doesn’t disappoint, it bolsters a black frame that adorns the GoTrax logo wrapped around the handlebar stem and boasts bursts of red on the carrying hook and brake wire. For those of you that like to mix it up, you can even get it in silver and pink, although I have to say that over the past couple of years I’ve hardly seen these color options available. So, if you spot that GoTrax has your choice of color in stock, I’d snap it up pretty quickly. Luckily, black seems to be available all year round.
Whilst the GXL V2 looks good, it’s what’s under the hood that counts. Thanks to the aerospace-grade aluminum alloy used to construct the frame, the V2 is surprisingly durable making it ideal for daily use. The assembly of each part is also particularly good. It’s clear to see the stringent quality control that GoTrax prides itself on. Often, poorly made electric scooters can become rickety making them unsafe to ride, especially when the handlebar post becomes wobbly.
Although the GXL V2’s frame is secure and sturdy, riding it over rough terrain and attempting jumps on it will put it through its paces and can cause the scooter to become loose in places. However, if you stick to recommend use (i.e. gliding over urban roads and sidewalks without putting it through the battlefield) the GXL V2 holds up just fine.
The GXL V2’s deck is 18.6 x 6 inches in size and coated in anti-slip rubber, which is pretty standard among city slicking scooters. It’s not too big and it's not too small, meaning there is enough space to find a comfortable stance. To put this into perspective, I wear size 10.5 shoes and I can easily fit both feet on the deck with my left foot facing forwards at a slight angle and my right foot almost perpendicular to it.
The GXL V2 also has a low centre of gravity with just 4 inches of ground clearance. You don’t want to be jumping up or off curbs.
The GXL V2 is equipped with two reasonably sized 8.5-inch pneumatic (air-filled) tires. What’s the benefit to you? Well, there are three reasons why having air-filled tires is so great.
Firstly, pneumatic tires take the crown for the best tire type since they act as shock absorbers eating up surface imperfection to make your riding experience more comfortable. This is especially important as they are the last line of defense against the terrain underfoot as the GXL V2 has no suspension. If the GXL V2 had solid rubber tires it would be an entirely different story – the ride quality would be bumpy, uncomfortable, and tiring.
Secondly, pneumatic tires perform much better in wet weather than solid tires do. Solid tires get slippery, whereas pneumatics maintain more traction.
Thirdly, it's common for cheap scooters and even some more expensive models, like the Segway Ninebot ES4, to either have two solid rubber tires or just one at the rear so the manufacturer can cut production costs and increase profit margins. With the GXL V2 having both tires air-filled it bucks the trend of cheaply made scooters and the quality control that GoTrax prides itself on continues.
Build Quality & Durability
I’m a big fan of the GXL V2 and that’s not just because it’s kind to your wallet. Alongside its features and performance, the durable aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, grippy pneumatic tires, and sturdy construction make the GoTrax GXL V2 the best electric scooter under $300.
It doesn’t try to look more premium than it is and it doesn’t have a surplus of superfluous features either. It does exactly what it says on the tin and it does it well: a reliable, well-built electric scooter that is the perfect entry to the world of scooting.
Weight & Load
In comparison with the lightest electric scooter, the Unagi Model One, which is three times more expensive, it weighs a mere 3.4 lbs more (26.4 lbs in total). The lightweight construction of the GXL V2 is where it comes into its own. It’s hard to believe a scooter exists that is so cheap yet keeps ticking all the boxes. Portability? Check.
Although it may be light, don’t let that deceive you, like all scooters made by GoTrax, it can support riders up to 220 lbs. This is fairly standard, but it’s worth pointing out that if you are closer to the max weight you will inevitably slow the scooter down.
Folding & Portability
The combination of the light 26.4 lbs frame and folding mechanism make the scooter easy to carry.
Although the scooter folds into a relatively compact package, it doesn’t have the most simple folding mechanism that I’ve reviewed.
To fold the scooter, you first have to manually unscrew the safety pin that locks the folding mechanism into place and then pull down on the red folding lever at the base of the handlebar stem. The handlebar stem will then collapse over the deck.
Other GoTrax scooters like the XR Ultra, come with the safety pin built-in meaning you aren’t left with a metal pin to put in your pocket while you carry your scooter. Nevertheless, considering the price of the GXL V2, this is one drawback that can be accepted. After all, it's not a deal-breaker – the scooter still only takes 5 to 10 seconds to fold.
Despite the handlebar grips not folding in parallel to the frame, the GXL V2 is compact enough to store under your desk at work, in the hallway closet, or even in your trunk.
Everything you need to assemble your scooter comes in the box.
The scooter arrives 90% assembled, leaving just the handlebars to be screwed into place and the brake wire hooked in.
Connecting the handlebars is a simple process of removing the carrying hook located towards the top of the handlebar post, pushing the handlebars into the stem, and then fastening the hook back into place using the Allen wrench provided.
Next up, place the brake wire into the brake barrel and clip the loose wire into the fastening hook on the side of the stem. And that’s it, you’re good to go.
Is the GoTrax GXL V2 Comfortable to Ride?
The GXL V2 is fun to ride. Despite its cheap price tag, its 8.5-inch air-filled tires go a long way to deliver a comfortable riding experience as they soak up small potholes and uneven surfaces.
The ride quality isn’t as buttery-smooth as more expensive models that have suspension but if you plan to ride in urban areas that have relatively well maintained roads and sidewalks then the GXL V2 will serve you just fine. When you start to venture off the beaten track it can be quite jarring and uncomfortable as your body vibrates to the rugged terrain underfoot.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
The GXL V2 doesn’t have a zero-start, meaning you’ll have to kick it into action. Once you get up to about 2 mph the motor activates. This is fine if you’re riding on flat ground or a slight decline, but if you’re on the ascent then it can be a bit of a hindrance.
Kickstarting is pretty common among budget electric scooters. It also means that if you are a new rider you’re not taken by surprise as the scooter doesn’t jerk forward without you being ready.
Whilst the acceleration curve isn’t the fastest that I’ve reviewed, the 250W motor packs more than enough power to get you up to the maximum speed of 15.5 mph which is ideal for busy inner-city areas.
The range on the GXL V2 isn’t as great as other GoTrax models, but that’s hardly surprising when you consider how cheap it is.
The V2 is perfect for short commutes and the 36V battery can keep you out on the road for up to 12 miles on a single charge, or at least that’s what the specs say … in realistic conditions you’re more likely to see around 10 miles and if you are on the upper end of the 220 lbs weight limit riding the scooter to its max, then you can expect around 7 miles. Nevertheless, if you do find yourself short on charge, the quick recharge time of 3-4 hours won’t disappoint.
There are also two ride modes, so if you’re concerned by the range you can pop the scooter into the slower first gear option and use optimum levels of battery juice by riding economically. If you fancy putting your pedal to the metal, you can shift up to the second gear, which enables you to ride quicker – but it does drain your battery.
As I’ve seen with a lot of budget electric scooters, they can climb hills on paper but when put to the test they don’t perform as you may expect. The GXL V2 is no different. GoTrax states that the GXL V2 can climb hills with a 14-degree incline. What I think they really mean is a 14% grade. This is an easy mistake to make but one I see all too often. 14-degrees isn’t too far off Filbert Street (17.5-degrees), the steepest hill in San Francisco and the GXL V2 certainly can’t climb hills of this caliber.
The stats used to market the GXL V2 may have been mixed up or lost in translation somewhere down the line but, the actual hill climbing ability is on par with pretty much all electric scooters under $600.
Sure, it can climb up hills up to 14% but be prepared to ride at a snail's pace on those steeper inclines. It’s also worth reminding you that the more you weigh, the more the GXL V2 will struggle on ascents.
All in all, the GXL V2 will serve you just fine providing you don’t live in an area dominated by hills.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
The GXL V2 doesn’t come with inbuilt suspension, which means you’re reliant on the pneumatic tires. They do a pretty decent job to deliver a smooth ride on well-maintained surfaces but you do need to check out the routes that you’re going on to avoid bumpy and rough terrain, otherwise, your wrists and knees will take a bit of a battering.
Finding a dual-braking system on a scooter under $300 is like sifting for gold and finding a big, chunky nugget. This is why you're about to smile from ear to ear when I tell you that the GoTrax GXL V2 delivers on the goods.
The rear disc brake and front regenerative electric brake work together to give you total control of the scooter. Pulling on the brake level will bring you to a smooth stop, even when riding at peak speed.
This dual-hybrid system gives you so much more control over your ride compared to other models, like the E22 (which is almost double the price), that rely solely on electronic brakes and rear step on fenders.
Clocking in at a respectable 3-4 hours to fully charge, the GXL V2 impresses once again – especially considering some lesser quality scooter (cough, Razor!) can take upwards of 12 hours to charge.
The LED dashboard delivers on its promises. Need to have a glance at your speed? Not a problem. What about the battery level? Sure. Riding mode? You guessed it.
Thanks to its pared-back minimalist design and bright illumination, you have everything you need to monitor straight in front of you at all times.
You can even turn your headlight on and off, as well as choose the riding mode from the small red button located directly below the LED display.
The GXL V2 comes fitted with a headlight and rear reflectors.
The headlight is fine to use in well-lit areas but not strong enough for streets that have sparse lighting. I’d recommend purchasing an additional light if you plan on riding your scooter at night.
I’d also recommend picking up a taillight to make sure that you’re visible from behind. It’s better safe than sorry, especially when riding inner-city routes. Alternatively, you could opt for either the GXL V2’s older brothers, the GoTrax Apex, and XR Elite.
Who would’ve thought a scooter that is so kind to your bank balance could still offer you cruise control? Well, the GXL V2 offers exactly that.
All you need to do is hold down the throttle for 10 seconds, maintain a constant speed, and cruise control will kick into action. All that is left is for you to lift your thumb off the throttle and enjoy cruising.
For the more safety-conscious of riders, it’s also equally as easy to disengage cruise control. A quick squeeze on the brake will disable it, allowing you to control the scooter as and when you need to.
Water Resistance Rating
The GXL V2 is not 100% waterproof but it does have an IP54 waterproof rating, which means that it can withstand water spray from any direction.
However, I wouldn’t advise riding in the rain since your warranty will be void if weather-related water damage is determined.
The kickstand on the V2 is the same as others in the GoTrax range – it’s simple to use, feels sturdy, and allows you to prop your scooter up. I know this may sound like a given but some kickstands can be too long and make your scooter topple over, which can be incredibly annoying.
Specification: GoTrax GXL V2 Review
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support?
I would describe the warranty for the GXL V2 as ‘adequate’.
There’s some amazing post-purchase support out there but it doesn’t surprise me that for this model it’s not all-encompassing. But don’t worry too much: if you make sure to keep your sale receipt from an approved retail partner, you can qualify for warranty service if you have any issues within 90 days of purchase. This is only limited to parts or issues caused by manufacturer defects, though, so it’s not a 90-day free pass to try some potentially damaging tricks on your brand new scooter.
Specification: GoTrax GXL V2 Review