Rider Guide’s Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested more than 100 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.
Gotrax XR Summary
Our Take: Few Features, Low Speed But Good Value
Like the previous GXL Commuter V2, the Xr looks great, has terrific fit-and-finish, and is a fantastic value.
The Ultra has all the needed features that give an electric scooter its most crucial functionality. These features are [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr' spec='tiresize' unit='-inch'] pneumatic (air-filled), a disc brake, a headlight, and a robust folding-mechanism. The new for 2020 Xr has an added safety pin to ensure the scooter doesn't accidentally fold while riding. The Xr has enough speed and range to be very functional, while still keeping the cost under $0.
The Xr is targeted toward new electric scooter buyers -- those who think they will benefit from an electric scooter but don't want to invest too much.
However, purchasers should take note that GOTRAX customer service now seems to be non-existent and we therefore recommend to purchase from large retailers with strong return policies, in case you have an issue.
GOTRAX XR Review
For comparison, a typical electric scooter accelerates to 15 mph in about 6 seconds.
You can compare the performance of the Xr with others we've reviewed on our performance page.
Though 10% grade is reasonably steep, if you have many steep hills in your city, expect to crawl up them. If the scooter has trouble, you can also assist by kicking.
If you want more hill climbing ability or are heavier, you'll want a more powerful scooter. The upgraded Xr Ultra climbed the same hill in [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr Ultra' spec='hillclimb-tested' units='seconds'] at an average speed of [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr Ultra' spec='hillspeed-tested']. The Mi M365 climbed the same hill in [esg_spec scooter='Xiaomi Mi M365' spec='hillclimb-tested' units='seconds'] at an average speed of [esg_spec scooter='Xiaomi Mi M365' spec='hillspeed-tested'].
We test every scooter on the same urban loop with frequent stops and hills, with the same 165 lb rider. The scooter is ridden as quickly as possible in the fastest mode (least energy-conserving).
The Gotrax Xr is powered by a [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr' spec='battery'] lithium-ion battery pack.
You can compare the tested range of this scooter with others on our real-world testing page.
We tested the braking performance of the Xr and got an excellent braking distance of [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr' spec='braking-tested' unit='feet'] from its top speed of [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr' spec='topspeed-tested' unit='feet']. For comparison, we typically see distances of [esg_unit 15 ft] to [esg_unit 25 ft].
Overall, the Xr has a good braking system. Considering the budget price point of this scooter, it is outstanding. The brake lever is sturdy, and braking action is smooth. The disc brake didn't require any adjustments out of the box, and the brake caliper is quiet.
On smooth roads, the Xr is an enjoyable ride. Due to its small size, it feels very nimble. On poor roads, the tires will soak up some of the vibrations, but the ride quality will be rough. We still think this scooter performs better than the more expensive ES2, which has a poor suspension and solid (airless) tires.
For most riders, the air-filled tires will be sufficient for the worst roads they'll encounter. However, if your commute involves a lot of poor roads, you may want to look at scooters with quality suspensions.
These are significantly more costly than the Xr, and you won't find scooters with quality suspension under $700. We think the Horizon is the least expensive scooter that has a quality suspension.
The Xr is about as light as electric scooters come and should be relatively easy for most to carry up a flight of stairs or momentarily lift.
To reduce its size, the Xr has a folding stem. The folding mechanism is simple and quick to operate. Compared to the previous version of the scooter (the GXL V2), the folding is improved. Gotrax added a pin as an additional safety measure to prevent the scooter from inadvertently folding while riding. When folded, the scooter passed our trunk test -- it is small enough to fit into the trunk of most cars.
If you are trying to board a crowded commuter train, the main concern will be the Error: Value not specified. wide handlebars that don't fold. These aren't enormous, but stick out and can get in the way.
Another issue we found is that the stem of the scooter, where you hold it when folded, is somewhat larger. If you have smaller hands, it is less ergonomic to hold onto.
The central element of the cockpit is a large, bright LED display. The LED display shows your speed and battery life. A single push-button controls power, lights, and mode. The scooter has two modes.
The first mode will limit your top speed to around 9 mph and is suitable for beginners or younger riders. The second mode unlocks the scooter to its maximum speed, which we found to be just under 15 mph with a 165 lb rider.
We think the cockpit is nicely put together. The handlebar grips, accelerator, and other controls are rubber and plastic but still feel high-quality.
The headlight is reasonably bright. However, if you're riding regularly at night, we think it's safest to use additional ultra-bright light.
Learn more about riding safely at night.
They also perform well in both wet and dry conditions -- a huge plus. Most airless (aka solid) tires become very slippery in wet conditions. These pneumatic tires provide better traction and performance overall, compared to airless ones.
The size of the tires is also a benefit as it helps to roll more easily over small obstacles or dips in the road.
It's worth noting that pneumatic tires come with the risk of flats. This is a huge downside for many. We recommend using tire slime as a way to both prevent or repair flat tires. Read more about preventing or repairing tires with slime.
This deck is on the smaller side for electric scooters, and if you have broad feet, you may have to hang them off the sides. Because of its smaller size, it won't be quite as comfortable as a scooter with a huge deck. However, the smaller deck size helps keep the scooter compact and portable.
The deck has [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr' spec='deck-ground-clearance' unit='inches'] of ground clearance. This is enough to clear some curbs if you are dropping off of them quickly enough.
The deck-to-handlebar height is [esg_spec scooter='GOTRAX Xr' spec='deck-to-handlebar-min' unit='inches'].
The Xr has an IP rating (water-resistance) of [rg_IPX makemodel=”gotrax xr”]. This means it can tolerate splashes and getting caught in the rain, but not submersion. This is a great feature on a budget scooter -- scooters are costing twice as much that don't have a water-resistance rating.
All parts of the scooter are nicely finished and assembled together well. It strikes us as a very mass-produced model with proper quality control processes in the factory. This is different from other scooters that are less mass-produced and tend to feel "unfinished" or have noticeable variations from scooter-to-scooter. The fit-and-finish is very nice.
Those things said, the scooter has some light plastic parts that won't be as durable as hefty metal ones. We did perform our drop test on the scooter. We knock the scooter over 3 times in a row and check for damage. The scooter escaped unscathed but just based on its build, you'll need to take care of it to prolong its life.
The new scooter comes with a lighter, more visible finish and improved folding mechanism. The Xr delivers decent range, portability, and quality.
If you want more range or power, consider the Gotrax Xr Ultra or the Xiaomi Mi M365. Both scooters are around $100 more than the Xr.
If the GOTRAX Xr doesn't appeal to you, see our alternative suggestions. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.