GoTrax XR Ultra Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the GoTrax XR Ultra Be a Good Fit For You?
The GoTrax XR Ultra is ideal if you are new to the world of electric scooters and don’t want to spend an absolute bomb on your first model.
Despite its cheap price, it’s reliable and can withstand the test of time.
The XR Ultra’s premium LG battery, pneumatic tires, and quick charging time make it well-suited to commuting as well as leisurely rides. Not to mention that with a relatively lightweight frame and decent top speed, the XR Ultra can be easily maneuvered by teenagers and adults alike.
Pros and Cons
- LG battery for prolonged use
- Dual braking system
- Durable build quality
- Not the best hill climber
- No rear light
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
It’s without a doubt that the XR Ultra offers great value for money.
Although there are one or two areas where the scooter could be improved, like the addition of taillight and better hill climbing ability, the combination of the premium battery, surprisingly comfortable ride quality, and durable build outperform the price tag.
However, if you can afford to splash a little extra cash I highly recommend opting for the Turboant X7 Pro which I have crowned as the best electric scooter under $500. You can see more on this scooter below.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
The centrally located digital display gives the XR Ultra a smart, modern flair. Like other GoTrax models, it allows you to monitor your speed and battery life, alongside having the option to activate cruise control and operate the front headlight. Pretty nifty for $359.99.
The throttle is on the right and you can activate cruise control by holding it down whilst maintaining a constant speed for ten seconds. On the left is the brake and bell, which are both simple to use. Whilst some scooters opt to have two thumb pedals, one for the throttle and the other for the brake, the XR Ultra opts for a hand brake instead. Having the ability to pull on the brakes makes transitioning to the scooter far easier if you are used to riding a bike, whilst the throttle pedal allows for an ergonomic design that is seamless to use.
Let’s face it, most of the electric scooters you’ve seen out and about have a black finish. The XR Ultra changes the game by offering gray, black, and purple – so if you want to stand out from the crowd, an alternative colored frame might be the way to go.
The frame also adorns itself with mudguards to protect you from any debris flicking up from your tires. Have you ever ridden a scooter (or bike, for that matter) that doesn’t have mudguards? Well, I have. And let me tell you – it’s not pretty. So if you’re riding in clothes that you want to keep clean by the time you reach your destination, mudguards are a must.
One design choice that did surprise me was the exposed brake cable running down the stem. It’s not too often that you see this. It doesn’t look bad per se, but it also doesn’t look great. If you’re after a simplistic, stylized finish then an errant brake cable isn’t really what you want from a scooter. Nevertheless, you soon forget about the cable. After all, it’s only a couple of millimeters in diameter so it’s not an eye-sore.
One thing that isn’t conveyed in the product images on the GoTrax website is the thickness of the handlebar stem. If you have small hands it can be difficult to hold. There’s a good reason for the increased size, though. The battery is front-mounted in the stem which means you’re less likely to damage it when riding, compared to if it was within the deck. Aside from making the scooter a little more top-heavy, it doesn’t impact ride quality.
The entire frame, aside from the folding hooks, grips, accelerator, and brake, is made from an aluminum alloy making it durable and resistant to wear and tear. The rest is either rubber or plastic.
The XR Ultra boasts more endurance than its predecessor, but at the end of the day, unless you have a comfortable ride, that extra range isn’t worth much.
For a budget scooter, the 6.6-inch deck is wide enough to get comfortable with both feet facing forward at an angle. Plus, the anti-slip rubber grip material that lines the complete surface surface-area makes you feel in control of your scooter as you glide the streets.
The XR Ultra has 8.5-inch shock-absorbing tires, which are a welcome addition considering that this model doesn’t have suspension.
Pneumatic (air-filled) tires are the best tire type and the GoTrax XR Ultra does not disappoint: its tires deliver a comfortable ride.
The tires can soak up surface imperfections but not much more – it’s worth considering the type of terrain you plan on riding over, especially because you don’t want to be riding a scooter with no suspension over rough terrain. Your limbs will thank you for making sure you purchase a scooter that is fit for purpose. And the XR Ultra is not fit for rough riding.
Sidewalks and smooth asphalt are the ideal riding terrain for the XR Ultra as the shock absorption of the pneumatic tires deals with small lumps and bumps.
Build Quality & Durability
The XR Ultra doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as more expensive scooters but that’s not to say that it’s poorly made. One significant feature of the XR Ultra is the fact that it’s been crafted by aerospace-grade aluminum alloy which is incredibly durable and can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.
The build quality doesn’t end at the frame though, surprisingly, it has an LG Li-ion battery. This is rare for a budget scooter. Many companies that churn out budget scooters opt for cheap Chinese battery cells to bring outlay down, but GoTrax’s commitment to quality is evident in their inclusion of a battery that is set to last.
Weight & Load
In terms of load, the XR Ultra can support up to 220 lbs. This is standard among electric scooters so there’s nothing to write home about but bear in mind that you will get the longest range and the highest peak speed if you are lighter than the max rider weight. If you’re on the heavier side and you ride aggressively, you can expect a 35-40% decline in range. This goes for all scooters and is not unique to the XR Ultra.
Folding & Portability
The XR Ultra is light enough to easily carry in one hand, so you won’t have any problems carting your ride up and down a few flights of stairs, or if you’re hopping on and off public transport.
Its folded dimensions are 44 x 6 x 15 inches and it fits perfectly in the trunk. This also means that you can stow it away without it taking up too much space.
In terms of foldability, the XR Ultra has a similar mechanism to the GXL V2. It’s very secure and super simple to use. However, with the Ultra you don’t have to faff around: the safety pin is built into the folding system (unlike the GXL V2, where you have to manually screw the safety pin in and out, which can become tiresome). There are two major benefits to this – firstly, it means that folding up your scooter is incredibly speedy, but the most important benefit is that you’re in no danger of losing the safety pin in the first place.
Assembly is straight forward.
The Ultra arrives almost fully assembled, leaving the addition of the handlebar and the brake wire.
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 XR Ultra Comfortable to Ride?
GoTrax scooters are known for being easy to ride thanks to their intuitive design and ergonomic throttle and brake combinations.
First-time riders will be able to hop on the XR Ultra and grow accustomed to riding it in a matter of minutes.
The handlebars are a little narrow but still allow you to find a stance that will give you control over the scooter. When it comes to cushioning, the 8.5-inch shock-absorbing tires soak up surface imperfections balancing out the scooter’s lack of suspension and ultimately, make sidewalks and smooth asphalt the ideal riding terrain.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
The guys at GoTrax say that the XR Ultra delivers a top speed of 15.5 mph, which is a standard speed for a budget scooter. I didn’t find this to be totally accurate. Sure, you can hit the top speed here and there, but you can’t ride consistently at 15.5 mph. This isn’t so much an issue with the XR Ultra but more so down to real-life conditions being anything but perfect for maxing the scooter’s performance.
To make the most of the 300W motor, the XR Ultra is at its best when on flat, smooth terrain. It has a mediocre acceleration curve that is perfect for beginners but lacks the thrill that more advanced riders will seek.
The XR Ultra has a range of 16 miles, which is 4 miles more than its predecessor, the GXL V2, and isn’t too far off that of its old brother, the XR Elite.
However, it has something that its siblings don’t: an LG battery. What’s the benefit of this to you?
Firstly, LG is one of the largest tech companies and is highly regarded. Where some scooter manufacturers cut costs by using cheap Chinese battery cells, GoTrax has opted to give you the best. As a result, you can be quietly confident that the battery will keep the Ultra’s wheels rolling for many rides to come.
Secondly, the LG battery is equipped with a battery management system that ensures the longevity of your scooter. In simple terms, not only is your battery going to give you ride after ride but it will hold on to its maximum performance for a long time. For example, as you charge and recharge your battery the health of it deteriorates. This is normal and happens to all batteries. You may have experienced something similar with your phone where over the years battery performance gradually declines. Cheap batteries that don’t have the necessary systems see a much faster decline in performance compared to more expensive, premium ones – like Ultra’s LG.
It’s fantastic to see a battery of this caliber on a scooter this cheap. If you want value for money, the Ultra should be up there at the top of your list.
Although the LG battery is great and all, you aren’t necessarily guaranteed to get the full 16 miles. As with all electric scooters, mileage is based on a best-case scenario which is dependent on two factors:
1. Keeping the scooter in its lowest setting.
2. The weight of the rider. The weight changes per scooter but it's generally around 165 lbs (75 kg).
The more recklessly you ride the Ultra (i.e. putting your proverbial foot down on the throttle), the less range you’ll get. If you ride at top speed, expect around 35-40% decline in range, equivalent to 9.6 to 10.4 miles. If you plan to ride leisurely in the low to medium speed range you’ll get a few more miles.
300W is a fairly decent motor size, which, in theory, means that the XR Ultra should pack an extra punch when it comes to climbing hills.
Although it has the specs to climb 15% inclines (the equivalent to 8.5 degrees), it's important to know that if you ride up inclines towards the upper end of its ability then you should expect to crawl up them.
Climbing a hill with a grade of 10-12% will cause the scooter to slow and chug along at 6-8 mph.
Anything above 12% is a bit of a struggle – you need to assist by kicking.
Overall, the XR Ultra isn’t going to get you up the steepest of inclines but it can certainly scale gradual gradients.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
Despite not having any suspension the XR Ultra does a pretty good job of absorbing the shocks of the road below through its pneumatic (air-filled) tires.
For the majority of riders, air-filled tires are sufficient but if you plan to ride over bumpy terrain you will feel the vibrations.
For a scooter that costs less than $400, I was quite surprised to see that it had pneumatic tires. Cheap scooters tend to opt for solid rubber tires to cut production costs but at the disadvantage of delivering almost no shock absorption. It’s safe to say that the XR Ultra outperforms other scooters in its price bracket, as well as a handful of more expensive models like the Ninebot ES2 and E22.
For those of you who want to ride over roads that are not well maintained or even venture across parks, trails, and other light off-roading terrain, the cheapest model with the best suspension is the Horizon 10.4.
With a dual braking system that combines a front regenerative brake and a rear mechanical disc brake, the XR Ultra is equipped with everything you need to come to a quick and safe halt. It’s another tick on the list.
Surprisingly, some more expensive models don’t offer this level of braking. Whilst the XR Ultra’s braking system targets both wheels, other models only apply the brakes to one wheel. The advantage of the former is responsive and strong braking.
Operating the brake is super simple too. Since the brake is hand-operated, just like on a bicycle, it’ll be second-nature to most. The lever is smooth to pull and the brakes are extremely quiet. However, make sure that you wipe the disc brake from time to time to remove dirt and grime for maximum performance.
Overall, the XR Ultra has a good braking system. Considering the budget price point of this scooter, it can’t be faulted.
The most exciting aspect of the LG battery is the fact it gives you a maximum range of 16 miles, which isn’t bad going at all for a budget scooter. However, what excites me more is the fact that this premium battery only takes 3-4 hours to charge.
The XR Ultra has a simple, yet effective dashboard. From cruise control to speed settings and battery life, it has everything a beginner needs to get to grips with scooting.
Whilst more expensive, premium, models like the Unagi Model One feature beautifully crafted, iPhone-esque, LED display panels, the truth is that unless you’ve got yourself a performance scooter (i.e. one that can be customized to match your desired performance), the dashboard is just good for a glance of your speed, battery, and riding mode.
Electric scooters are made for daily use and nighttime riding is often an afterthought, which, after reviewing 70+ scooters, is evident by the fact that the vast majority have a weak light setup. Equipped with a headlight and front and side reflectors, the XR Ultra sits in the bucket of basic light setups.
Sure, the headlight will project a decent beam of light in front of you that will make you visible to oncoming pedestrians and traffic but it does not suffice when used in extreme low light conditions. For example, in urban areas where there is a flurry of street lights the headlight is fine, but it doesn’t stand up to roads where street lights are far and few between.
Although the Ultra is fashioned with reflectors, it disappointingly doesn’t come with a taillight. For me, a taillight is vital if you’re riding at night. Without it, you are virtually invisible. If you plan to ride at night, I highly recommend purchasing an additional taillight.
When I first started to review electric scooters I considered cruise control to be a luxury, which it was with the old models a few years back, but now, if a scooter doesn’t have cruise control I’m shocked.
Luckily, all GoTrax models come with cruise control, including the XR Ultra. Activating it couldn’t be more simple – maintain a constant speed for 10 seconds and the Ultra will do the rest for you from that point onwards.
Besides it being fun to maintain a constant speed while you weave through the streets, cruise control has a couple of other benefits too. Firstly, once you engage cruise control, you can rest your thumb by taking it off the throttle, making longer rides a bit more comfortable. Secondly, maintaining a constant speed is the most efficient way to ride an electric scooter. Staying in cruise control will help to prolong your battery.
Water Resistance Rating
The XR Ultra has a water resistance rating of IP54 so it can be ridden in light rain, although I wouldn’t recommend it.
While having a water resistance rating may seem like a fairly standard feature, it's important to note that not all electric scooters have one. For example, INOKIM, one of, if not the most respected electric scooter brand, does not certify any of its models with ratings. Similarly, the ferocious, ultra-performance line of Dualtron scooters don’t have water resistance ratings either.
Battery Management System
Arguably the most important feature of the GoTrax XR Ultra is its LG battery. But it’s what’s under the hood that makes it even more special.
The Li-ion unit comes with a stellar battery management system to help protect it against overheating, short-circuiting, overcurrents, and over-charging to extend its shelf life. You’ll be able to put the battery through hundreds of recharge cycles without diminishing its max capacity.
Best of all, it only takes around 3-4 hours to charge.
Some kickstands can be flimsy or too long and make the scooter topple over, but this one does exactly what it says on the tin: props your scooter up.
Specification: GoTrax XR Ultra Review
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support?
The 90-day warranty from GoTrax isn’t the longest that I’ve seen, especially when compared to the likes of Apollo Scooters who offer an extended warranty lasting up to 24 months, but that doesn’t come as a surprise when you consider how cheap their scooters are.
To qualify for the warranty you need to make sure you keep the sale receipt from an approved retail partner. If you have any issues within 90 days of purchase you will qualify for warranty service. It’s important to note here, though, that this limited warranty only covers parts or issues caused by manufacturer defects. Things like blemishes or scuffs aren’t covered but if your motor was to fail this would be.
Although the GoTrax XR Ultra has an IP54 water resistance rating, your warranty will be void if weather-related water damage is determined. I wouldn’t recommend riding in the rain if possible.
Specification: GoTrax XR Ultra Review