In this comprehensive GoTrax XR Elite review, we will go over every single detail of this strong budget choice, every feature and parameter, every scenario, and see when is it a great option, and when you should look for alternatives.
Should you buy the GoTrax XR Elite?
The GoTrax XR Elite is certainly in the top few budget electric scooters available in North America, and for some use cases, it’s even the single best choice.
The price of the scooter is very low, considering the performance and the quality the scooter provides.
The scooter comes with a motor with 300 Watts of power that provides a 15.5 mph / 25 kmh top speed, a 36 Volt battery that gives it a great range of 18.6 mi / 30 km, a good climbing angle, good water protection, and comfortable yet durable air-filled tires. All of that makes it an excellent choice for first-time owners and beginners, commuters, young professionals, but also casual riders looking for a scooter that simply brings a smile to their faces.
In short, if your budget is between $350 and $400, and you’re looking for a well-rounded, well-designed, and well-crafted electric scooter, then yes, you should definitely consider the GoTrax XR Elite.
Where to buy the GoTrax XR Elite from?
The GoTrax brand
GoTrax is arguably the best ultra-budget brand of electric scooters in North America. Some of their models are available in Europe too.
The evolution of the several GoTrax scooter lines is very exciting to watch. They keep releasing scooter after scooter that simply keeps pushing the envelope and challenges the established dogma of what a budget scooter should be able to do. Pretty much every single one of their models can be considered the best in its price category, and that’s the case for the GoTrax XR Elite as well.
Ordering, shipping, warranty, returns
You can order the scooter from either the official GoTrax store, or Amazon. In both cases, the scooter shouldn’t take longer than 3-5 days to arrive at your home, and you will not have to pay any additional shipping or other costs.
If you need help with the scooter, both before and after buying, the GoTrax support team, based in Texas, is available during working hours from Monday through Friday. Phone, email, contact form, live chat, social media, simply pick whatever method of communication works best for you.
Unboxing and assembly
The scooter arrives in a plain brown box, but it has a lot of protective coverings and styrofoam, so damage on delivery is rarely an issue.
The box contains:
- the GoTrax XR Elite scooter
- user manual
- hex key for the assembly
- tire pump valve
There will be some minimal assembly required on your part, as the scooter’s handlebars are not installed (that’s to reduce the package volume but also protect the scooter while it’s being shipped).
You need to first remove the hook first and take off the top of the stem, then connect the cables from the handlebar to the cables inside the stem, and then install the handlebar inside the stem and screw the screws. You also need to install the brake cord. The entire procedure takes about 5 minutes.
After your scooter is assembled, it’s best to also do a quick inspection before you start riding. Go through the following checklist and make sure that:
- the battery is full
- all the other screws are tight and secure
- the tires are sufficiently inflated
- the brakes are fully-functional and sensitive enough for your preferences
- the electronics of the scooter work properly
After that, you are ready to start riding.
There’s only the power button to control the scooter, and that keeps things very simple. A single 1-second press turns the scooter on, while a 5-second press turns it off. When the scooter is on, a 1-second press toggles the headlight.
One of the most interesting, boldest engineering choices that the team behind this scooter has made, is giving the scooter just one speed mode.
If you’ve read some of my other reviews of scooters with 2 speed modes instead of 3, you probably already know what I’m about to say – that is the way of the future! Fewer speed modes mean simpler control of the scooter, with fewer things that can go wrong. I don’t want to assume that every scooterist is like myself, but I’ve only used the slowest speed mode like 2 times ever, and I’ve literally never used the in-between speed mode except to try it out. A lot of other scooterists are like this as well. In my view, speed modes in electric scooters are redundant, and the 1-speed scooter is the equivalent of the car with no gears, so I believe we will keep seeing more scooters like this very soon.
The Elite comes with cruise control, which turns on after accelerating for 10 seconds, and cuts off when you use the brake.
Folding and unfolding
Pretty much every GoTrax scooter has an excellent folding mechanism, and the XR Elite is no exception.
The folding mechanism consists of the red safety pin and the red lever that unlock the scooter and prepare it for folding. The short procedure involves pulling and twisting the safety pin first, then pulling the lever down, and only then folding the scooter’s stem and connecting the hook to the small plastic frame on the fender. Folding may be a bit more complex than with other scooters because of the extra step, but it’s still very quick and simple, while providing an increased safety level manyfold.
To unfold the scooter, you just press the rear fender down to release the hook lift the stem up, you need to hear the click and then your scooter is ready.
Design, build quality, and user experience
The GoTrax XR Elite comes with the typical vibe of a GoTrax scooter – clean and elegant design, sturdy and robust build, lots of features all well-put-together in a product of good quality.
The scooter is not the toughest scooter ever made but can easily take the kind of beating that the daily commutes or cruises throw at it. The scooter will almost certainly go at least a full year with no serious issues, and very likely much longer than that.
It will provide decent and smooth rides in the common urban environments, but it will not be a good choice for rougher terrain. As usual, you will have to do your best to avoid potholes and road bumps and cracks in the road. If you happen to hit one, worry not – the scooter will not fall apart and you will not feel it that much, as the tires provide a lot of cushioning.
The deck of the scooter is quite large and comfy (6.6 inches / 17 cm wide). It’s the biggest deck in the entire GoTrax line for now, and it will provide enough standing surface even for people with bigger feet.
The brake cable is hidden within the stem and the deck, which is a huge engineering and design win for pretty much every aspect of the scooter – it’s easier to carry, it’s more water-resistant, and it just looks better.
Motor, power, speed, and climbing
The hub motor is placed in the front wheel, which is always the better wheel for traction, torque, and performance in general.
The scooter is rated at 300 Watts. GoTrax doesn’t specify whether that’s the motor’s real or peak power, but looking at the scooter’s overall performance, I’d say that’s the real power level, and the motor can potentially develop peak powers of up to 400-450 Watts.
Overall, the scooter has a nice and powerful ride, and it accelerates quickly and steadily. You will only notice a drop in performance if the battery is getting empty, or if you are close or above the weight limit.
The official top speed of the GoTrax XR Elite is 15.5 mph / 25 kmh, and it is consistent with what owners report getting in the real world.
The scooter climbs decently, possibly the best out of all GoTrax scooters, and can guarantee a climb angle of 15°. As with almost any budget scooter (and, to be fair, most scooters in general), the scooter will slow down quite a bit when climbing a steep hill, and may even stop completely on the most challenging hills.
Battery, charger, and range
The 36 Volt, 7.8 Ampere-hour battery provides the scooter with an official range of 18.6 mi / 30 km. That kind of range is somewhat realistic in the real world, but it will require riding in the slowest mode, and not through extremely unfavorable conditions, like riding uphill or use by heavier riders.
If you ride at the top speed, expect a range between 14 and 17 mi / 22 and 27 km, although some owners have reported ranges even higher than the specified range and were able to reach up to around 20 mi / 32 km.
The scooter takes just 4 hours to charge. The charging port is near the top of the stem, which is another great engineering decision, as charging ports located on the deck are more vulnerable to damage from ingress of dirt or liquids. The charging port is also protected by a small rubber cap.
How much does it cost to charge the GoTrax XR Elite?
The GoTrax XR Elite is very cheap to charge. During off-peak hours, it costs just 1 cent in the US, around 3 pennies in Canada, and around 5-6 cents in Europe. If you charge during peak hours, it costs 4-5 cents in the US, 3-4 pennies in Canada, and around 7-8 cents in Europe.
Water resistance, IP rating, and riding in the rain
The GoTrax XR Elite comes with an IP54 water resistance rating, which means the scooter will be able to handle some moisture. To be specific, IP54 means it can handle water splashes from all angles and not suffer any damage to the electronics, or damage because of rust.
As with any electric scooter, you should avoid riding in the rain, as even the most waterproof scooters can still suffer a water-related defect (and those are never covered by the warranty). However, if it somehow happens that you have no choice but to ride through some light rain, there is just a tiny chance that your scooter will be damaged.
The main headlight of the GoTrax XR Elite is situated on the top of the stem, and is angled slightly downwards to better light up the road ahead. The light is somewhere between average and good – it will do a decent job for some night riding, but if you plan on doing that often, you may want to get a stronger light.
The rear fender sports a bright red brake light, which lights up any time you engage the brakes.
Other than the main light, the scooter has 6 reflector lights on both sides, both in the front and the rear.
Weight, dimensions, portability
The GoTrax XR Elite weighs 31.88 lbs / 14.46 kg, which is exactly what the average scooter weight is across all of the models available today.
When folded, the scooter also has relatively average dimensions, with no pointy or sharp elements sticking out of it.
Overall, the scooter is fairly easy to carry and bring inside buildings or vehicles.
The official weight limit of the GoTrax XR Elite is 220 lbs / 100 kg.
Adults that weigh close to this limit have sometimes reported reduced top speed of around 11 mph / 18 kmh, although some of them have been over the weight limit as well. As with any scooter today, this is to be expected, so if you or the person you’re buying this scooter for weighs over the weight limit, I suggest looking at scooters designed for heavy adults.
The scooter has a single brake lever on the left that engages the disk brake on the rear wheel, and the electronic brake built in the motor.
This simple and no-frills brake configuration is very effective, and the scooter has a short and safe braking distance.
The tires of the GoTrax XR Elite are air-filled, with a diameter of 8.5 inches. This type and size of tires is pretty much the gold standard for budget scooters, as it provides a lot of comfort while riding.
Flats with this scooter are possible, as with any pneumatic-tire scooter, but they seem to be quite rare. The recommended tire pressure is 50 PSI, and you need to make sure the tires are not deflated every now and then (I do it before every ride with a good ol’ light kick in each tire, and once a week I do a more detailed inspection and possibly inflate them if needed).
The scooter doesn’t come with any suspension, and the only shock absorption is provided by the tires and the scooter’s build.
Handlebars, controls, and screen
The scooter’s handlebar configuration is fairly standard and simple to use.
The left handlebar has the brake lever, and the bell (medium loudness).
The right handlebar has just the acceleration thumb throttle and nothing else.
Both handlebars are covered with soft, comfortable rubber sleeves.
Of course, the center of the handlebar hosts the digital LCD screen, with the red power button right underneath it. The screen can display:
- current speed
- battery level (4 bars)
- light status
The screen is pretty bright, but it might be hard to read if the day is bright.
Accessories and customizations
Besides the generic electric scooter accessories that have a good chance of fitting the GoTrax XR Elite, there are plenty of accessories and customizations specifically made for GoTrax scooters. You can find them in the GoTrax accessories store.
I would go with:
- either the storage bag or the storage rack (not both though)
- the stronger headlight if you plan on riding at night
- the phone mount
While GoTrax also sells helmets and locks, I believe there are much better options available out there. I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on these. The scooter isn’t capable of ridiculous speeds and a half-face helmet will do the trick. Also, as the scooter isn’t that expensive, you can get a good budget-friendly lock.
GoTrax scooters still have no dedicated app for them. They don’t have bluetooth, so we can only wait and see if newer models will get an app.
If you want a general-purpose helper app, check out the Universal Scooter Helper App, created by EScooterNerds. The app has over 30 features, including:
- guides and recommendations
GoTrax XR Elite vs other scooters
Let’s see how the GoTrax XR Elite compares against other popular budget choices.
GoTrax XR Elite vs GoTrax XR Ultra
These two scooters are possibly each other’s biggest rivals, despite the fact that they come from the same scooter line. They are mostly the same, but they do have some subtle differences that may play a role for some owners.
The Elite has a bigger battery, and about 3 mi / 5 km of range more than the Ultra. As a result, it is about 5 lbs / 2.5 kg heavier, which presents us with the age-old range vs portability debate (for the record, I always choose the range, so the Elite wins this one for me).
One of the major differences between these two scooters is the battery placement. The Elite has the battery in the deck, while the Ultra has it in the stem. Both approaches have ups and downs.
In the Elite, the deck is more stable, and as a result, the entire scooter shakes less when riding. Also, the balance is better, as scooters with batteries in the stem are more front-heavy.
In the Ultra, you will get a higher ground clearance, and also the battery will be further away from the ground, which means further away from dirt, dust, water, and other substances that may potentially harm it.
Also, another important improvement that the Elite has is the brake cable being inside the stem, instead of going alongside it like in the Ultra. That gives the Elite advantages in looks, portability, and waterproofing. Plus, the Ultra’s stem didn’t quite lock into place when folded, and it was easy for it to start twisting while you carry the scooter, which, coupled with the brake cable on the outside, made carrying the scooter difficult.
Another advantage that the Elite has is the many reflective lights strategically placed all around the scooter, making it much more visible and safer to ride at night. The Ultra lacks these, and also lacks the rear brake light that the Elite has.
Overall, I believe that the Elite is worth the extra few dollars in price. The GoTrax XR Ultra is also a great budget scooter, and if you’re determined to save about $50 and still get a very good scooter, you can check the full review of it here.
GoTrax XR Elite vs Xiaomi M365
This is a good matchup in my opinion.
First the similarities: both scooters have the same top speed, the same range, the same weight capacity, and the same water protection rating.
I would give a slight advantage to the GoTrax XR Elite maybe because of the stronger motor and the slightly better climb angle. Also, it will charge about an hour faster, and there’s a good chance it will suffer fewer flats than the Xiaomi M365, which is kind of known for its vulnerability to flats.
The advantages of the Xiaomi M365, however, are not to be taken lightly. The scooter is lighter, and not by a trivial margin – 5 lbs / 2.5 less weight is not a small matter for many people. Plus, the Xiaomi will always have brand recognition and popularity on its side, and while GoTrax is growing fast as a trusted brand, they are still not at the level of Xiaomi.
In the end, the GoTrax XR Elite will be about $50 – $100 cheaper, and that can easily be considered the tie-breaker, at least for someone like me that’s always looking to save a buck or two. However, if you still wish to go with the Xiaomi M365, that would be understandable too (you may want to see my Xiaomi M365 review in that case).
GoTrax XR Elite vs GoTrax G4
This is a somewhat unfair comparison to the GoTrax XR Elite, as the GoTrax G4 is clearly in a different budget category, costing about $150 more.
For that price, you will get a more powerful motor and better performance overall, and also larger and more comfortable tires.
The GoTrax XR Elite, however, will still retaliate with a much lighter weight, much smaller volume, and providing the same level of quality for about two-thirds of the price of the G4.
GoTrax XR Elite Specifications
|Top speed||25 kmh|
|Top speed||15.5 mph|
|Motors||single hub front-drive|
|Power||300 W real, 450 W peak|
|Climb angle||15 °|
|Battery||280 Wh, 36 V|
|Charging time||4 h|
|Ingress protection (IP)||IP54|
|Weight limit||100 kg|
|Weight limit||220 lbs|
|Tire size||8.5 in|
|Tire pressure||50 psi|
|Trunk or basket||no (customization possible)|
|Build material||aluminum alloy|
|Brakes||dual, disc + electronic|
|Lights||LED headlight + rear brake|
|Warranty||90 days warranty, 30 days return|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||111.8 cm * 38 cm * 36.8 cm|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||44 in * 15 in * 14 in|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||111.8 cm * 38 cm * 109.2 cm|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||44 in * 15 in * 43 in|
Tradeoffs and downsides
Many GoTrax models have come before the XR Elite, and this scooter has learned a lot from their experience and mistakes. As a result, it is a very tough, reliable, solid budget scooter, and it doesn’t really have any major problems in its design or execution.
I guess it would be nice if the scooter had an app. It’s not like an app is critical or offers any magical features, but it’s still a nice thing to have.
Maybe, if we’re being picky, we could say that the folding mechanism will require an extra second or two to fold and unfold. Personally, I’m always for safer folding mechanisms over faster ones.
Most of the other negatives about it can be considered to be tradeoffs at best.
The scooter doesn’t have suspension, but the tires actually do quite a good job of absorbing the shocks, and adding suspension to this scooter might shoot the price up by a lot, so it’s not something we can complain about a lot.
The scooter doesn’t have speed modes (or has just one). For me, that’s a brave decision, and a right decision as well, and I think more scooter models will follow suit very soon, as I consider many speed modes to be somewhat redundant. Of course, opinions may differ here, but for me, the pros far outweigh the cons.
That’s pretty much all the tradeoffs of this scooter.
User reviews and popularity
Owners of the GoTrax XR Elite generally report a fun, stress-free experience. Commuters, young professionals, and students, are some of the groups that use this scooter the most, and the majority of them agree that the scooter is perfect for commuting.
With countless stellar reviews and ratings on Amazon, the GoTrax XR Elite is clearly not only a popular, but also a very solid scooter with low defect rates and a long lifespan.
The GoTrax XR Elite is an excellent scooter, all things considered. Great value for money, solid performance, satisfying quality, comfort, and durability.
Is it a true elite-level scooter, as the name suggests?
If we’re comparing it against all other scooters, then probably no. It’s hard to say it’s a truly elite scooter and keep a straight face while comparing it to a $3000 scooter.
However, in the budget category, it is a true elite, and definitely one of the best affordable choices for adults. If your budget is under $400, you will not make a mistake by buying the GoTrax XR Elite.
Where to buy the GoTrax XR Elite from?