1480W Scooter Motor Guarantees Head Trauma

[Jerome’s] been working on some improvements to an electric foot scooter he picked up from a friend. He ordered up a powerful brushless motor and some lithium batteries. His system uses a belt drive and at 33 volts it can reach 25 miles per hour.

He had some problems with too much torque when the motor was first started. This resulted in unintentional wheelies, which sounds really cool if you’re not the one trying to hang on to the scooter. [Jerome] is using an Arduino to control the system so he built in the ability to gradually ramp up the speed of the motor and also added the ability to control the speed via remote control. You should note in the video after the break that [Jerome] is test-piloting his build sans-helmet.

So, we spend a lifetime and countless sums of money filling our noggins with knowledge. This is a precarious investment since a rather small bump to the melon could corrupt all of that data and end the once spectacular cognitive power. If you’re smart enough to build a foot scooter that can go 25mph, be smart enough to wear a helmet when you ride on it!


79 thoughts on “1480W Scooter Motor Guarantees Head Trauma

  1. Mike is very wise. Ask your local ER doctor about head injuries without helmets. After you vomit and then cry yourself to sleep, you’ll find yourself reaching for your helmet without even thinking about it.

  2. A teacher of mine felt of her bike while not wearing a helmet. She didn’t drive fast, but felt in a very unlucky way. Even before the medic arrived she was dead.

    If you’re in bad luck it doesn’t need top speeds, crazy stunts or a car hitting you to get serious injured or killed.

  3. very cool, but how useful would this really be? going 25mph on any paved surface with wheels that small and the smallest stone or crack will send you flying.

    this is an awesome alternative to a segway. i have seen segways on the road and its the most moronic thing. inside they are too big, so, this would be a perfect (and cheaper) solution

  4. “If you’re smart enough to build a foot scooter that can go 25mph, be smart enough to wear a helmet when you ride on it-”

    -indoors in a narrow underground corridor lined with jagged pieces of metal while being remote controlled by your drinking buddies.

  5. wow, you guys are lamers.
    good advice, sure, but jerome’s a big boy,
    and so is everyone else here. why admonish and
    baby him? is that what he gets for sharing his
    work with you rubes?
    most people reading this have probably already
    decided for themselves if they like to wear
    helmets, seatbelts, etc or not.

  6. synth, you’re an idiot. People like the guys work, and want to see him live to Hack and Make another day. It’ll be tough for that to happen if he wins a Darwin award in the process. People are “rubes,” for giving a damn? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Maybe a few of us feel responsible for pointing out, “a helmet at a time like this is a good thing.” The, “lamer,” would be the self righteous snot that points out caring about your fellow Maker or Hacker and reminding them that they are following a self injurious path is in any way a bad thing. Bad Troll !

  7. Put those motors in the center of roller blade wheels . Use them as the front wheel on the roller blades. Jet Set Radio for real anyone? Maybe retrofit a mountain board and have a hellacious urban assault vehicle.

  8. @Hackius: Sure, there’s the bus for that as well, assuming you live in an area that transit runs.

    My point is that the cheapest solution is usually the one that doesn’t require batteries or gasoline, and usually has collateral benefits to boot.

  9. They should make it slightly longer to make it more fit their adult size, I’d say 20% to 35% maybe,
    And the handlebar should be slightly higher too, unless the plan is to give it to some kid.

  10. People should be free to do what they want until my taxes or insurance payments go up because I need to take care of the vegetable they have become. Wear a damn helmet!

    I work in EMS in an area with lots of bikes. I’ve seen too many people end up dead or worse from “little” crashes.

  11. “Oh and a simple mercury switch to cut throttle when it angles too much might be an idea?”

    I wonder how good the throttle control is, maybe an accelerometer would open up the possibility of endless wheelies.

  12. @noOne: I call bullshit, or at least unintended consequences. “People like the guys work, and want to see him live to Hack and Make another day.” So to live a peaceful life without fear of constant nagging, one should live a life of mediocrity or brilliant silence?

    You like the guy’s work, then shut the hell up and stop offering unsolicited offtopic advice.

  13. Damn, people are waaay, waaay, too risk-averse these days, and far too puritanical about it as well.


    If you want to live in a nice, fluffy, risk-free world, where you’ll never get hurt, you don’t go around building 35mph electric scooters and having your *friends* decide what speed you’re gonna go down small concrete corridors.

    He’s also only wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and no gloves. If he falls off, he’s gonna get hurt. His skin, his decision as to the trade-off between risk and looking like a cock.

    It’s a cool thing the guy has made. Nicely implemented, too.

  14. I grew up in the 80’s. Kids didn’t wear helmets back then. If you grow up flipping, you learn how to land or you GTFO. Simple as that.

    On a side note, some people can build stuff and some people can type. This guy is very good at building stuff.

    He should gusset the back though, so he can jump and shit. haha.

  15. Boo hoo hoo, cry me the Amazon River. If all you guys are thinking of now is “OH MY GOD HE’S NOT WEARING A HELMET [AND THE WALLS ARE NOT FOAMY AND PADDED]”, then what a gelatinous society we have become.

    If all you are able to cogitate is how someone’s incrementally different behavior will affect your damned health care rates, and gloss over the spirit of independent engineering and heaven forbid, RISK-TAKING, then may your soul find solace in your own safe, infant-proofed, lead-free, over-insured body; maybe then it’ll leave the rest of us to have some damned fun.

    To horrify the ambulance crowd some more, here’s some more DIY electric fun!


  16. You guys are such debbie downers, lighten up. If you didn’t know already, people have this thing called “free will,” and these guys are using it. If you cant handle some dudes putting motors on scooters, remote controlling the speed, and not wearing helmets, please avert your eves, its that simple.

    Bottom line? Grow a pair, you have free will, exercise it. noone is forcing you to do the same thing so chill out.

  17. @moofmoofmoof, Mr Foo I call bull shit. I didn’t say he should, “live a peaceful life w/o the fear of constant nagging…” I said he should take ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY and stupid risks. Mr. Foo, the jump to the idiocy of, “won’t someone think of the children,” was cute but pointless, as that wasn’t stated anywhere. “People should have a right to exercise brute stupidity,” is exactly what hacking and Making stand against. Open it, mod it, own it. But don’t stick your hands in to electronics while wearing jewelry unless you’re a n00b, don’t put up antennas at night, and near power lines, and for damn sure where a helmet when traveling at 25 miles an hour and your head has a good chance of being stopped by concrete.

  18. Honestly…I’ve ridden BMX off and on for 12 years around extremely busy roads with borderline retarded drivers – without a helmet on. Some people can just manage their own safety better than others. It seems apparent though that many feel they should try to manage everyone else’s safety for them(wonder who they voted for?XD). Sure, I had a couple close calls over the years(chain break caused close call w/ curb stop etc), but I’ve mastered pavement tumbling and never hit my cranium or broken any limbs.

  19. “He had some problems with too much torque when the motor was first started. This resulted in unintentional wheelies” The wheelies look intentional to me. Apparently no one here has ridden a motorcycle. Taking risks is living. We are all on a count down to death anyway, why not have a little fun along the way. We are really becoming a generation of pussies.

  20. I want to buy more hack reporting and less hack opinions by the reporters.

    honestly I could give a damn what the reporters think.

    you have a great website, but every time I read the commentary of someone who posted the story I debate on coming back here or not.

  21. >Is there a brake? it doesn’t look like it.

    Sure… just jam it in reverse!

    >Oh and a simple mercury switch to cut throttle when it angles too much might be an idea?

    It would be uncontrollable as the mercury switch would make/break several times a second from any vibration.

    As for the helmet debate; as a Libertarian I would highly recommend that they wear a helmet, but would not impose that decission on anyone.

  22. lol dozens of outraged comments.

    It doesn’t seem to make much acceleration before wheeling. Maybe stick the motor in an xkcd-style electric skateboard, so you can lean farther forward… or just make it front wheel drive.

  23. I’ve had 2 bangs to the head, one time wearing a cycle helmet which split into two pieces and the other time I wasn’t protected and hit the back of my skull directly onto the pavement.

    The first one knocked me unconscious and I still have memory amnesia regarding that, the second one caused my entire body to buzz with pins and needles along with all of my muscles stiffing up – I couldn’t move for a few moments.

    I have no idea what damage that caused but I find learning a lot harder than I used to.

  24. What, no regenerative braking yet? More practical with larger wheels and bias runners on the belt, but my scooter pizza-and-quickrete delivery team salute his efforts to make scootering more awesome without Vespa-whine.
    He can land on any 25MPH-rated mode he can choose; maybe he’s a 4-Dan (Aikido-belt wise.)

  25. nice mod/hack. not sure how you could improve the power to weight ratio any further, save for using a smaller test dummy. with those tiny wheels and low ground clearance, i don’t think the scooter has enough lean angle or centrifugal force to properly negotiate turns at those speeds. i would prefer slightly taller rubber wheels with a little give in them.

    i wonder what the battery life is like with a rider his size?

    from what i can see he uses his foot on the back tire as a brake, similar to the stock design.

    that said..

    intelligent people have just as much fun and take just as big of risks as the darwin crowd. the difference is the smart people assess and understand the risks and consequences and manage them to the best of their abilities. granted, life is not fair, shit happens, and if it is your time, it is your time. that is no reason to be your own demise though.

    how many of the anti-risk-management crowd have a firewall on their network/computer? or scan for virus or malware before running a file? or have a password on their email? or make backups? or lock their doors? or keep track of where their house/car keys are? or wear a condom? or use wpa2 and/or a vpn? or have insurance for themselves or their property? or touch ground before installing their new video card or building their new system? or think before they speak?

    it is selfish and ignorant to ignore obvious and manageable risks. however, that is your right, if you so choose. at least sign your living will and save your friends and family some grief. we will enjoy your video on liveleak later i’m sure. ;)

    by the way, 60-minutes did an excellent episode about concussions, if you need ‘hitting your head is bad’ spelled out.


  26. Test driving makes it all the more important to be protected. I can tell you, with a fair bit of certainty, how the motorbike will behave. If I were driving something for the first time, there’s no telling what little things might crop up that you didn’t think of.

    1. @Peter,
      If your comment has more than 2 links, it goes into a bucket for approval. I try to get to these as fast as I can (they’re usually the ones with good info). If your comments were hateful, beyond an acceptable level, they were simply deleted. I don’t recall right now, we had some nasty stuff coming through in some other posts, so I can’t recall all the stuff I’ve had to delete this weekend.

  27. >Also: wtf, why did my other two comments get eaten (moderated?)
    >and this one go through instantly.

    I’ve had that happen before with no explanation either (however, it may be that *IF* it has links to other Web Pages, it will get moderated.)

  28. Welcome to healthaday.com!

    BTW, in that video I was not able to 25mph. I was going ~ 12mph. That video was my first test.
    Now, I have throttle and was able to reach the top speed of 25mph. That is not a speed that I will reach everytime I ride the scooter!

    @Hackius and The DON,

    YES there is a break on this scooter! I would not ride a 25mph scooter without brake :P

    This scooter is not very useful for the moment because of the plastic wheels and missing a wheelie bar.

    @Wwhat The STOCK scooter is design for kid and not adult. YES the scooter needs at least 1 more feet. The handle bar was lowered simply because it was more stable, I was lowering my center of gravity. The smaller I was on the scooter, the more stable and safe it was.

    I also did think about the mercury switch for temporay use. I did not test it. In the future controller I will use accelerometer to measure acceleration and angle of road to log all that info.I might use the same chip to prevent to wheelie. I could also make a wheelie bar. I could even use PID to get max acceleration fast without popping wheelie.

    It would be uncontrollable as the mercury switch would make/break several times a second from any vibration.

    Not really, Instead of having it horizontal.
    I would tilt the mercury swith at around 30 degree. When I pop a wheelie, it would move the switch horinzontal, thus activatin the swith.

    I will be making a new video of it going faster!

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