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MoRad 1500 Electric Scooter
The Mo-Rad 1500 is a streetwise performer that isn't all that pretty but seems to get the job done for our author.

MoRad 1500: Urban Tough

It's big, heavy and isn't all that pretty, but it works.

By Seth Dallob

I took delivery of two MoRad 1500s on October 10, 2002 from Rad2Go in Oceanside, CA. After an hour of organizational problems (they really weren't set up for someone to pick up a JC Penney catalog order directly), they loaded the two bikes in the back of a U-Haul and I was on my way.

First, the bad news:

This is definitely a Chinese-built and Chinese-quality scooter (according to the ignition key, it is manufactured by Zhengdong -the charger is from Hangzhou Power Supply Co.). One of the scooters front left plastic fairings cracked in the U-Haul - overall fit and finish is, well, bad. The rear view mirrors are absolutely useless for someone of my height (6') - they only let me see the tires of the car behind me as they are very low. The battery charger is an ugly, heavy (~ 9lb.), loud fanned, and EXTERNAL box. This is an inconveinence as charging on the road means taking a bulky box in your backpack. The "luggage rack" on the back isn't fit for holding much of anything - maybe a couple of books with a bungee cord, but that's about it.

Now for some "neutral" comments:

This thing is HEAVY. 285 lbs., half of which is batteries directly under the seat (and relatively high up) means you won't be lifting this up even a single stair. I couldn't push it up the ramp to the back of my condo - I had to ride it up the ramp and through the door. This really isn't a "negative" per se, but my 130 lb. friend had trouble pushing the bike around initally.

The actual moving parts seem to be fairly well put together, unlike the cosmetic parts, though they are all "off-the-shelf" parts. There is a drum brake in the front and a hydraulic band brake in the rear which stop the scooter very effectively.

Now for the good points:

The performance is absolutely amazing. I weigh 200 lbs. and this thing took me 35 mph without blinking -and I hadn't even floored it. I went 20 miles, and according to the meter, the batteries were about 50% full. I think I could have gone 30 miles without a problem. This was "real world" driving on slight hills in Pasadena, CA city traffic with lots of stops and starts.

The other nice thing about it is the absolute (and I mean absolute) silence. The loudest noise is the sound of the brake pads dragging on the wheel when you brake. No chain noise, no motor noise, no controller noise...nothing. It makes my Currie Phat Flyer (electric scooter) sound like a diesel truck. It is quieter than my Xootr kick scooter.

Another good point is the CA regulation of it. It "should" register as a "motorized bicycle" because it is solely electrically powered and cannot go more than 30MPH on level ground. Registration is pending at this time. If it does register as a motorized bicycle, you need no license, or insurance - just a bicycle helmet and you need to be 16 years old. I would really recommend a motorcycle helmet though when riding it.

Overall - bad cosmetic build quality, cute if a bit "chubby" appearance, heavy,great performance.

Price paid - $1749 each (bought from JC Penney Catalog with a 30% off coupon).

Times Article Viewed: 5834
Published: 01-Nov-2002

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