You want a Sur Ron light motorcycle battery and power specs but put on a $1,549 kick scooter with an optional seat that makes it look like a mobility scooter on steroids? Today’s your lucky day…
The pitch went something like this:
ZonDoo: “Would you review our electric kick scooter?”
Me: “Don’t think so, there are hundreds out there. What makes yours unique?”
ZonDoo: “Ours is AWD, over 7.5 horsepower and goes highway speeds, shipping now”
Honestly, I’d never heard of ZonDoo before the inquiry, but it is a relatively established brand of Chinese scooters. Most of its products look like higher-end scooters you might have seen other brands selling as well.
But not the ZO03.
This foldable scooter with 11-inch pneumatic off-road tires is the scooter you’d design if you were immortal and safety wasn’t a concern.
Let’s start with the drivetrain:
You’ve got not one, but two (!!) 2.8kW motors, one on each wheel for a total of 5.6kW or 7.5 horsepower from 60V 45A controllers. That means we’re talking about 10x a typical scooter/legal e-bike power limit in Canada and a little more or less in Europe and the US. It almost doesn’t even compute. That’s like putting a 2000 horsepower motor on a Chevy Bolt.
But, this thing is more than just speed. It is off-road capable with those big knobby tires, significant front and rear suspension, and AWD. It also sits about 8-inches off the ground.
That battery runs at 60V and contains 38Ah of 21700 cells for a total of 2.28kWh. The side of the battery says a little more and the specs page on ZonDoos site says slightly less, so let’s just go with that. That’s 6Ah bigger than a 60V Sur Ron battery, and it just might beat one off the line with the chirping AWD. Charge time is about six hours from dead with two separate chargers via charging ports on the right side of the pack/deck. ZonDoo says you will get over 60 miles of range, and that’s not hard to believe if you are riding at a normal speed.
However, this thing is not normal. It goes nearly 55 mph and, frankly, depending on aerodynamics can go beyond 62 mph (99 km/h). How do I know? It wasn’t from riding it that fast. Lifting both wheels off the ground and hitting full throttle got the bike up to 99 km/h in an instant so that’s the theoretical limit.
One thing I do know is that if you hit the throttle at 10 mph, I can still chirp both wheels on dry pavement. ZonDoo says you can go up 50% grades, and I’d confirm that if the only hill graded like that near me wasn’t full of ice and loose dirt. The knobby tires lost grip before the torque of the wheels gave out.
Speaking of riding this thing, I’m not immortal and I have a wife and kids to provide for so I only took this thing up to about 40 mph before chickening out. Even with a full face helmet, riding on a mobility scooter seat was harrowing. One thing that gave me some confidence however is the Zoom hydraulic brakes, which were fantastic at stopping this monster in its tracks.
ZonDoo says this thing is rated for 440 lb., which is about double my size so I guess I could invite another me to ride on the back. Too bad I don’t have a conjoined twin. The question begs to be asked: What do you do with all of this power and capacity? My son said I should rig it to pull a boat.
ZonDoo ZO03 Extras – Lights! Everywhere!
Not only does this thing have two bright front LED headlights that light up the ground in front of you making driving at night easy, but it also has RGB light bars on the side and bright red lights in the rear. The front lights are bright enough to play a game of night wiffle ball in front of it and also have a flashing mode for day riding that will alert others that you are coming. That’s hardly necessary however because both sides of the platform have blinking red green and blue lights.
I pulled into my neighbor’s driveway just after dusk and he thought the cops had shown up, coming outside with his hands up. Maybe a disco ball would lighten the mood?
Bonus: This thing has front and rear turn signals actuated by a button on the left thumb area. The only problem is they get drowned out by the other lighting on this thing. You can, of course, adjust what lighting you want based on your needs and applicable neighborhood decency regulations.
It also has a great folding mechanism, loud AF horn, keyed starter, voltage readout, strong kickstand, and rear mudflap – not that you should be riding this in any kind of bad weather.
It folds down pretty tight, and it easily fit in my Tesla Model 3 trunk all folded with 52″ x 26″ x 24″ dimensions.
A seat turns this into a different experience
I should mention that I rode with the optional seat, which is probably the lowest-quality part of this whole apparatus. But it also feels a little more stable when riding (vs. standing) and gives the feeling of connecting to the scooter in a more meaningful way than standing. I was hoping for a Vespa scooter type experience, but it was not to be.
I should be clear, the base of the seat pole was strong and secure. The seat post itself was less so – and with its extremely loose suspension and aluminum pipe, it felt unstable. My immediate gut reaction was to look around for a better bike seat – Probably one with a longer, stronger pipe without suspension because the ZO03 has cushy pneumatic tires coupled with great suspension already.
That said, I felt comfortable enough to hit the roads sitting on the seat, hitting about 40 miles per hour before chickening out.
The ZonGoo ZO03 Drive
To be clear, I have no idea if this thing is legal for street use anywhere (Narrator: “it isn’t”). I can’t imagine it is in many jurisdictions in its full power mode anyway. Of course there are buttons to neuter the power and make it behave like a normal scooter. The sticker on the side of the ZonDoo says its top speed is 25 km/h so you can show the authorities that (then chirp out at triple that speed).
But that’s not fun and we live back in the woods, so I took this for about 20 miles of on- and off-road experimenting. It handled its business – mostly. It has three power levels (along with an eco/rear wheel drive buttons) ,and I can say that the second setting scared the crap out of me. It was easy to spin the tires, even when already rolling along at a good clip. You will throw yourself off the back without careful throttle manipulation. I tried level 3 but it just felt like I was trying to hard not to throw myself off of the scooter to be fun. I got used to 2.
The throttle itself is a finger throttle, and I think perhaps this could have used a twist throttle more like a motorcycle. It was tough but not impossible to operate both the brakes and the throttle with one hand, especially in cold weather.
We have a significant 800-ft. high hill not too far from us, and the ZonGoo rocketed up that thing faster than some Vespa-type scooters I’ve driven. I really can’t get over the power on this thing.
The downside was that seat post with also the folding, adjustable handlebars both felt a little wobbly, and with the short amount of time I’ve had with this, I just didn’t feel confident about turns. I almost always slowed down to about 20 mph before attempting anything more than a subtle turn.
Off road, you’ll want to ditch the seat post and keep your speed reasonable. It fares as well as you could hope motorized 11-inch wheels could do, and I could easily see a 10-mile commute on a dirt road with this thing. Bend those knees!
Or… okay, what’s the point of this thing? It is more than double the power that anyone should have on an electric kick scooter. But if you want relatively unlimited power and off-road capability and the ability to beat cars off the line, look no further. With its huge 2.25kWh battery, you can go weeks without charging this thing (ZonDoo recommends charging it weekly). And the sticker on the side says 25 km/h, with metric system alone enough to throw off most cops.
ZonDoo’s ZO03 is a ton of fun. You will have the most powerful scooter on the block (and likely in the state), and if you are careful, you can probably avoid serious injury. $1,549 at Amazon or on ZonDoo’s website.
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