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The Pros and Cons of Electric Scooter Speed Limiters

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Key Takeaways

  • Removing an electric scooter’s speed limiter can increase top speed but comes with risks.
  • Benefits include saving time, more fun, and exploiting full riding potential.
  • Risks involve legal issues, faulty electric components, higher accident chances, and affected stability.
  • Unlocking speed may lead to a faulty controller, lower top range, and potential safety hazards.

If you have been following the electric scooters topic lately, then you may have noticed that some e-scooters can go for a top speed of say 20mph for some riders while the same model can go for less than 15 miles per hour for another individual.

Why could that be the case? Well, it all narrows down to one thing – an (un)locked speed limiter. 

An electric scooter speed limiter sometimes referred to as the electric scooter speed governor is a wired software created to cap speeds to either attain the legal speeds or save the scooter from excessive power that could otherwise make the motor and batteries wear out faster. 

Are there any benefits of a speed limiter?

You could be thinking: it’s fun to go at high speeds (provided there are no chances of an electric scooter accident occurring).

However, a speed limiter is not just there to regulate the supposedly fun speeds but also for more functions as we will see below:

1. Safety

While riding an electric scooter, your safety as the rider and other road users is paramount.

Most electric scooters with speed limiters don’t have a high top speed and this makes controlling the device easy in case of any distractions. 

Since most e-scooters with a speed limiter have their top speed averagely capped at 30km/h, then braking is efficient as there won’t be much struggling at those speeds. 

2. Legality

While electric scooter laws vary, some of the countries in Europe define the legality of electric scooters by the top speeds. 

That’s why some electric scooters such as Xiaomi come with their optimum speeds capped at say 25km/h. 

Without the speed limiter, then it’s illegal to sell or even import electric scooters without speed limiters that cap the speeds at the stipulated speeds.

Who wants to have their gadget confiscated, anyway?

3. Saving the electronic components

Arguably,  most electric scooters without speed limiters tend to have some of their components such as the motors and batteries burning out faster than those without the speed limiting wires. 

If those scooters go higher than the manufacturer’s limited speeds, then it makes controlling the devices harder, which makes the components wear out faster or even get fried within a short time. 

Besides, the brakes may wear out faster owing to braking at higher speeds than recommended.

As such, there is a higher cost of replacing braking components every short while. 

Some riders remove their electric scooter speed limiters

Removing an electric scooter’s speed limiter is factually an easy way to increase its top speed.

We have created an entire blog post to help you know how you can remove the speed limiter on your electric scooter. 

Removing an electric scooter speed limiter to up the top speed should be taken with a grain of salt.

This process has a couple of benefits and a myriad of risks. 

Under most circumstances, those who prefer to remove these speed governors aren’t affected by the legality, but would just prefer to go at higher speeds like their counterparts owning higher-end electric scooter models. 

The benefits of removing an electric scooter speed limiter

1. Save your time

If you have a deadline to beat, going at a higher speed is an added advantage.

If your electric scooter has a top speed of 25km/hr and after unlocking it you go at a speed of 40km/hr, then you would have saved a lot of your time if you opt to go at that unlocked speed. 

2. More fun

It absolutely sucks to lag behind as your allies enjoy riding sessions.

If you remove a speed limiter from your electric scooter, then it means that you will be enjoying riding even further. 

3. Exploit the full riding potential

The full potential of your electric scooter can be fully determined when everything is unlocked and the absence of a speed limiter is one sure way to enjoy better riding performance.  

The risks associated with removing a scooter speed limiter

1. Clashing with the law

If the electric scooter laws in your country advocate for a top speed of 25 km/h and you unlock your electric scooter limiting wire to reach more speeds, then you may find yourself arrested and fined or have your electric scooter confiscated from you. 

For the sake of your peace of mind, don’t remove the speed limiter if there is a maximum-speed electric scooter law in your country. 

2. Faulty electric components

There is a high chance to have the wires in your electric scooter fried when you remove the speed limiter. 

Removing the speed limiter means more power is drawn from the battery, which ends up burning out the controller and the motor faster than expected.

While we agree that the speeds will be better, you shouldn’t overlook the short-term gain.

You may be forced to replace the most expensive equipment (battery) in the long term. 

3. Higher accident chances

Due to overheating from more power getting absorbed from the battery to the controller and the battery, sometimes the brakes may fail to function optimally since the power and heat is too much for the components to handle. 

Faulty brakes will definitely mean that should the urge for sudden stopping or slowing happen, then their failure can lead to a fatal accident. 

4. Affected stability

When an electric scooter is designed to go for a top speed of 25 km/h but gets unlocked to go for say 45km/h, then it means the stability at that full speed is highly affected. 

Should there be a need to avoid a distraction such as a pothole, then there are high chances that that scooter will leave the way and could lead to a crash.

That very crash would mean that functional stuff such as the bearings and suspension would be significantly affected. 

5. Faulty controller

electric scooter speed limiter in controller

One of the main ways to unlock an electric scooter speed limiter is by flashing its firmware. 

However, bypassing some of the critical steps could lead to making the controllers faulty.

You could be forced to repair those controllers or even end up spending a good fortune while replacing that specific part. 

6. Lower top range 

When you go at full speeds, one thing is certain – the top range will be lower than if you went on with the limiter. 

If you are willing to sacrifice the range for speed, then your reason for removing the speed limiter may be justified.

But don’t forget that the juice in the battery will run out faster, which could translate to not only lower riding distance but also faulty battery cells. 

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