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Katrina Gets a Scooter!

Sounds like a great movie doesn’t it? OK OK. I have been riding my brother’s Ezip 1000 scooter a lot recently and like everyone else who sees it, have been drooling all over it. Now 1 scooter divided by 2 people and 8-10 hrs. to charge just doesn’t work. Aside from the enormous pleasure of riding and being able to explore trails previously denied me due to physical limitations, it has come in extremely handy for trips to the store, fetching gas for the car (don’t ask), picking up mail, etc. When my brother has errands to run in the city, we fold down his scooter and pop it in the back of the car then drive him up to the bus station. He had to get the local transportation authority to approve it as a handicapped mobility device but now he can hop any bus or local train with it to get around the city all day then I pick him up at the station at the end of the day. I just had to have one of these.

scooters002

The first scooter I tried was an Ezip 900. It has the same speed and range as brother’s scooter but no rear suspension so it is lower and more comfortable for us shorter folk. I can sit on it and put my feet on the ground unlike his. It is also 20 pounds lighter which makes it much easier for me to lift up into my SUV by myself. I do wish it were the same 12 inches wide as his for my feet. The 900 is 9 inches wide which is adequate but not quite as comfortable. We bought the 900 at a local Pep Boys on a really great sale. Assembling it was very easy since it only involved the front wheel and seat. Inflating the tires was problematic. The rear tire filler tube is angled but the front tire is straight so I could not get my air compressor on it easily. Tubes with angled fillers are available but it really ought to come with those on both to begin with. Unfortunately, we quickly found that the batteries were no good. When we hooked up the charger to it, the light on it never went to red. It stayed on green as if it were fully charged when it was not. The scooter never moved. Somewhere on the scooter we found that though we had bought it new, it had been manufactured 3 years prior and been sitting in a warehouse. The batteries had sat too long without being charged. After much back and forth and attempts to find another one at Pep Boys that worked (all failed due to batteries), we returned that scooter and got my money back.

At the same time, I had spotted a Schwinn S500 scooter in a thrift store. The Schwinn S500 won’t do steep hills like the 900 or 1000 nor does it have the extra suspension, but it does do the same speed and distance and is made by the same company as the Ezip. Such a sighting of scooters at any thrift store is rare but that day they had 4 scooters of various sizes, mostly kid scooters. For only $20, we pounced on it even though it was not working and bought it. I will say we should have inspected it more thoroughly though even if we had seen the broken throttle or bent wheel, I still think we might have bought it. Parts can be found easily over the Internet and wheels can be banged out to some degree. I did calculate in the $90 cost of batteries that pretty much any used scooter will need now or soon. Besides, fixing up things and restoring life is fun. These little scooters are very simple in design and easy to fix. We ordered in the new throttle from TheSuperKids. I found a 2amp charger for it very cheap on Amazon. The 12V 10Ah batteries we picked up locally at Batteries Plus. Of course, we also changed the stock seat on it to the Schwinn No Pressure Seat or as I call it, noseless fat butt seat, from Wal-Mart. I hear the Vitesse Deluxe Cruiser Seat there may also be pretty good or possibly better but we like ours for scooters.

 

scooters001

After a very noisy test run and adjustment of the drive chain, I am now the proud and wind-blown owner of my very own scooter! Today we took both scooters out for a ride. We discovered that my chain-driven scooter is actually faster than brother’s direct drive scooter. Woohoo! I think I will have to change my name to Earnhardt or Andretti now. And best of all, both scooters will fit in the same space as 1 wheel chair scooter or we can put 1 in the SUV and one in the trailer next to my bed or even both next to the bed one behind the other.





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