Compared to the models that came before it, the GoTrax GMAX Ultra is a big upgrade. Faster with more range, and a host of extra features, it packs a lot into its affordable price tag.
But it’s not perfect – and in a competitive market where the likes of the Turboant V8 and X7 Max vie for supremacy, it perhaps falls short in certain – and crucial – areas. Does this make it unworthy of your wallet? I’ll let you be the judge.
To help you make the right decision, I’ve summarized my full review of the GoTrax GMAX Ultra into key reasons for and against buying it.
7 Reasons to Buy the GoTrax GMAX Ultra
1. First, let’s take a look at stamina. Sporting a high-quality LG battery, it can deliver a maximum range of 45 miles off a single charge or 24 miles under our real-world riding tests. This puts it in the top of the charts for its price class where range is concerned. And, it’ll keep delivering a long mileage even after hundreds of charge cycles.
2. Though GoTrax resisted the temptation to fit the GMAX Ultra with a suspension system, it does feature 10-inch shock-proof pneumatic tires that do an excellent job of keeping the ride comfortable.
Not only do these soak up the irregularities of poor road conditions, but their profile and tread deliver better ride quality than other GoTrax models. This is a result of the enhanced traction that they maintain while weaving from side to side and taking corners at speed.
3. One of the model’s biggest triumphs is its inclusion of both a digital and cable lock. Together, they provide an effective riposte to any would-be thieves. The first applies the electronic brake, meaning it's hard to roll the scooter away, while the second lets you secure it to an immovable object. To have both is a rarity.
4. The handlebars – though quintessentially GoTrax in their functional design – are a couple of inches wider than those found on cheaper models. Not only does this enhance a sense of stability and control, but the ergonomic layout of the main controls further its appeal as a comfortable long-range model.
The handbrake and thumb throttle are intuitively positioned, while the simple arrangement of the plus, minus, and power buttons mean you can quickly switch riding modes without having to take your eyes off the road.
5. Another triumph is its super-efficient folding mechanism. By pulling the lever at the bottom of the tiller, you can have the stem collapsed and hooked into the latch on the rear fender in mere seconds. It’s one of the best we’ve tested.
6. One thing that’s as certain as the sun rising and setting is the durability of GoTrax scooters. The GMAX Ultra embodies this flair for build quality. From the flawless cable management to the tough-as-nails frame and wobble-free stem, everything about it is built to last. We’ve had it for over two and a half years and it continues to perform, despite having been dropped and bashed.
7. Equipped with an IPX4 water-resistance rating, it’s protected from water splashes, meaning it's up to the task of being your daily ride during inclement commutes.
5 Reasons NOT to Buy the GoTrax GMAX Ultra
1. Perhaps my biggest issue with the GMAX Ultra is its disappointedly small 350W motor. While pacier than all the other commuter-style scooters from GoTrax – bar the G4 – its top speed of 20 mph pales in comparison to most other models in its price class.
The GMAX Ultra typically retails for between $649 and $849 – with the latter being the most common price when it's not on sale. Here, the similarly priced, yet far more powerful, SPLACH Twin (28 mph), Mosquito (25 mph), EMOVE Touring (25 mph), and Horizon (23 mph) models all leave the GMAX Ultra in the dust.
2. Hill climbing is also a chore. GoTrax states that it can climb 15-degree inclines. In practice, however, I found that it can only handle hills of up to 8.5 degrees. If you attempt anything more, it becomes extremely sluggish.
3. One factor behind its sluggish pace – alongside the motor – is its weight. It tips the scales at 46.3 lbs, making it the heaviest GoTrax commuter scooter. It does, however, have a thin stem that you can hold with one hand while carrying it.
4. Although it’s equipped with a front electronic and rear disc brake, its stopping distance of 5.3 meters from 15 mph is among the longest in its price class. By comparison, it takes 43% longer to stop than the much cheaper Turboant X7 Max, and 13% longer than the Turboant V8 – two models which are extremely popular among those looking for a safe and reliable budget long-range ride.
5. The headlight and taillight are nice touches but only provide a little reassurance in low-light conditions. You’ll need to purchase an additional clip-on headlight if you want to feel safe while riding at night.
The GMAX Ultra is the flagship scooter of the GoTrax commuter fleet – and that’s why I wish it focused a little more on overall performance as opposed to just range. Sure, its build quality is excellent. It's comfortable to ride. And, its expansive battery power is commonly found on scooters more than double its price.
Problem is, other scooters do it better. Take the Turboant V8, for instance. It comes complete with a detachable battery, a longer 50-mile range, a more powerful 450W motor, and superior braking performance, as well as improved ride quality, and a more effective suite of lights.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a scooter that offers a well-balanced performance profile – including speed, range, hill climbing, shock absorption, and braking – then it may be wise to consider other scooters (such as the ones mentioned in this article).