British Columbia, Canada (PressExposure) September 05, 2009 -- How far can I go? We hear it asked all the time. For someone considering the purchase of a mobility scooter, it is a legitimate question. As electric mobility specialists, we have always considered the Shoprider product brochure specifications to be The Gospel in regard to scooter travel distance and speed. But were the specs accurate? We decided to find out.
We selected two of the most popular and general duty Shoprider scooters for our test; the GK 10 ($2,995 MSRP CAD) with its twin 35 amp hour batteries, and the SLN ($3,995 MSRP CAD) with its dual 50s. I would pilot the GK-10 with my 195 lbs, and Joel would ride the SLN dragging his 285 lbs (chuckle). We decided on The Lochside Trail to Sidney as our test course. Town and Country Mall was to be the starting point, and the Rum Runner Pub, our finish line. Not leaving anything to chance, we packed an additional pair of 35 amp hour batteries each at our feet for insurance; an extra 60 lbs of payload per scooter. So it was Sidney or Bust here we come!
Having never done The Lochside Trail before, I: must say it was very scenic and interesting. I took in the natural beauty of the lakes and countryside, while Inspector Gadget (Joel) clocked our speed and location by GPS (ground positioning satellite.) Wind in our teeth, we managed a whopping average speed of 6.9 km per hour. That was darn close to the published specs on those scooters, considering payload, hills and how the road surface varied from sidewalk, to pavement, to cedar plank trestle, to gravel trail. As a footnote, The Swan and Blenkinsop trestles were a bit bumpy. So bear that in mind if you have a back condition or suffer from Osteoporosis.
The scooters performed flawlessly. Chair backs reclined, we cruised along as if traveling in motorized lounge chairs. Joel had to throttle back a tad, so that I could keep pace with him in the GK 10. The SLN had the speed advantage on the flats, but I could outperform him on the hills. My flat free tires afforded me travel confidence, while the full suspension SLN gave Joel the more comfortable ride. By the time we reached the Saanich Heritage Acres, of the 8 charge indicator lights on my tiller, I was down 3 and Joel was down 4. We looked at each other in disbelief. Pretty respectable battery performance, considering the distance we had traveled and the load we were carrying!
The last few kilometres were in the bag. We could almost taste that cool one waiting for us at the finish line. Neil checked up on us by cell phone from the office. We gave him an ETA of forty five minutes to destination. He was our ride home, and would join us for the celebration dinner. Joel and I stopped for a couple of Kodak moments before parking our scooters at The Rum Runner Pub. We had traveled 23 kilometres at an average speed of 6.9 km per hour, and a travel time of 3 hours and 18 minutes. I was down 4 of 8 charge indicator lights, and Joel was down 5.
So the next time a customer asks me How far can I go? I can say with confidence, From Victoria to Sidney with power to spare.