My Experience with Long Rides on EKS
More than a daily work horse, I also use my EKS to ride out of town. I use it to explore places I’ve never had time to visit before, places that I only see in my grade school Social Studies textbooks, and places that I’ve visited by car before but want to visit again. This is the freedom that no other form of transportation can give to me.
Because of my love for long rides and random adventures, I became a part of the Electric Kick Scooter Philippines Adventure Team (EKSPHAT). What we aim to do is to show people that EKS is more than capable of what is written on its specification sheet. We create routes from Manila to different parts of the Philippines so that others may one day follow them and show people that these rides are doable.
So the question on everyone’s mind now is how can you ride your EKS 300+ kilometers? For beginners, it would be good to have a car with you so when there is a problem, you can just fold the scooter and put it in the trunk of the car. For the EKSPHAT, we always want to ride with our scooters only but this method can only be done with the right experience and mindset. The simple answer to finish the ride is to know your scooter very well and be prepared.
Knowing your scooter means literally knowing everything about it, just like how much you know about your best friend or your partner in life. You have to know how fast or how slow it can get, how much battery it consumes per kilometer, its different settings and the impact of those settings.
In my case, I use a Dualtron Ultra. It carries a 60v 35ah LG battery and is propelled by dual 1200w brushless hubs. I’ve converted its tires to run flat 11” CST donut tires which are ideal for city riding. During long rides, I play with my P7 (throttle delay), P8 (Max Power Output), and P9 (Battery Save) settings.
Ideally, I would want to go at an average pace of 40kph and gun for a distance of 80km before charging. This means that if I have a 240km ride ahead of me, I would be plotting 2 charge stops. This formula works if the roads I’d be tackling are mostly flat. Uphill roads change the computation completely and experience will be your teacher to tackle those. The next thing you need is technical knowledge to know what is wrong with your scooter and how to fix it.
My scooter’s tire still has an inner tube and unfortunately, it isn’t possible to convert to tubeless so I have to know how to fix my tires. Even if my tires are run flat, I would still have to change it at the next available stop because flat tires cause the hubs to heat up faster and adds to the scooters' battery consumption. Admittedly, I still lack the know-how in this area so I always make sure I ride with someone who is a technician to get things done.
After knowledge comes preparation. This step usually starts a week before the actual ride. The first step is to make sure that the scooter is in its top condition. Some things I usually check are brake pads being at least 80% thick, tires not having any significant signs of wear and tear, and scooter wheels freewheeling properly when lifted.
The second step is to gather all the tools needed just in case anything unlikely happens. This is where the megabox tied to my scooter comes in. I would make sure I have a pair of brand new interiors with me and the necessary tools to change my tires. Sometimes, I also consider bringing an extra hub and controller just to be sure. Fortunately, I have only had to deal with flat tires with the many rides that I’ve done with the team.
The third step is to make sure I have all the chargers for the gadgets that I need during the ride. Usually, charge stops will only give 1-2 power sockets so I try to make sure I also have power bars with me.
The fourth step is to plot the route and see where is the best place to stop and charge. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere not knowing how or where to charge so I try to plot everything ahead of time.
The final step is to prepare your mind and body for the ride. I’d want to get a good 8-10 hours of sleep before the ride so that I have the energy to push myself physically and mentally just in case anything happens. I also think of the ride in segments so that I wouldn’t feel overwhelmed with the distance. Being with a team that you trust also helps a lot. It’s always good to have a feeling that whatever comes in the way, you know that your team can handle and overcome the challenges.
Now that you have the basic idea of how to ride hundreds of kilometers with your EKS, get out of your couch, your bed, or wherever it is that you are right now and start planning. Form your small team and get that ride done. It would be nice if you can post and share about your experience at the EKSPH Facebook group page so that others can also learn and enjoy the experience with you. For any questions about your adventure, feel free to message us in Scooterdex or send me a ping - firstname.lastname@example.org. Ride safe and enjoy the freedom!