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Z-Lightning Test Report (10/12/01)
Another surprise from z-Scooter!
The z-Lightning is exceptionally small, relatively light, and very inexpensive. In addition, it is among an elite group of electric scooters that can boast having a free-wheeling drive system!
The z-Lightning has the shortest wheelbase (axle to axle length) of any scooter I've tested or ridden. It is so short, in fact, that there is a natural tendency for the front wheel to leave the ground during acceleration from a standing start! This tendency to "wheelie" off the line, betrays the low gear ratio found in the free-wheeling drive assembly. Of course, the top speed of this little scooter is restricted to about 13 MPH by the rather low gearing, but when you come to a hill, that gearing pays off.
The scooter is powered by a respectable 230 watt PWM motor (separate controller) with a drive train ratio of ~6:1. This low gear ratio helps explain it's modest cruise speed. It also accounts, in part, for the "not so impressive" range of 7 miles. The other factor effecting range would be the 10A/hr 24 volt battery set. However, given its very small size and ease of carrying, this would make an excellent commuter vehicle.
Some additional features include a fiberglass deck/body, easy to use folding mechanism, large (for the scooter's size) 8" tube-type tires, adjustable locking height steering tube, snap in/out hand grips, handlebar mounted status and on/off switch, twist throttle for complete speed control, and XLR charger port! This last feature means you can use your Soneil smart charger with this scooter without replacing the plug! This can be advantageous when needing a quick charge during a ride or at the office.
All in all, a really excellent little scooter! (particularly, considering the modest cost!)
Below, I've included a few shots of the
z-Lightning next to a Zappy to give you an idea of the smallness of this
scooter. By comparison, the Zappy looks BIG! This particular scooter
For a look at performance comparisons, click here.