Last Updated on April 6, 2023 by Matt
We’ve all been there – the road is straight and clear, no pedestrians, no traffic, no obstacles, and you decide to just go for the glory. You push the throttle to the maximum, and still… you’re only going at 12 mph. You even see the old lady with her cane moving right alongside you.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to make your scooter faster, oftentimes even faster than its advertised maximum speed. For some scooters, it’s just a cool little extra upgrade. For many others, especially the more common ones, or the ones on the lower price end, it is a game-changer, if not a lifesaver.
These are all the ways how to make your electric scooter faster.
|Unlock your scooter||Risk-free||Easy||None, or with phone app|
|Fully charge battery||Risk-free||Easy||Charger|
|Turn off unneeded electronics||Risk-free||Easy||None|
|Use second battery||Risk-free||Easy||Second batter|
|Renew battery||Risk-free||Medium||New battery, screwdriver|
|Remove speed limits||Modifying||Medium/Hard||Toolkit/Custom Firmware|
|Upgrade battery||Modifying||Medium/Hard||Toolkit, extra battery, or cells|
|Upgrade controller||Modifying||Medium/Hard||Toolkit, electronics tools, controller|
|Add a custom extra battery||Modifying||Hard||Toolkit, electronics tools, extra battery|
|Change sprockets||Advanced||Hard||Toolkit, new chains, sprockets|
|Clean the motor||Advanced||Hard||Garage|
|Rewind the motor||Advanced||Hard||Garage|
Let’s go into more detail over all the ways you can speed up your scooter. We will start with the easiest ones to apply, moving towards the ones that require you to change your scooter.
Different ways of making your electric scooter faster
To make things easier to understand and apply, the ways to make your scooter faster are divided into three types:
- risk-free methods
- modifying methods
- advanced methods
These methods are all safe ways to get maximum speed from your scooter. They don’t require messing with its internals, don’t pose any risk of defects to it, and will not void your warranty.
However, they will typically just remove some obstacles that prevent your scooter from reaching the maximum advertised speed. If you want speeds higher than those, you will have to play around with your scooter’s internals and dig a bit deeper. Before you do that, make sure you’ve gone through all of the risk-free methods and you can get at least the maximum speed that you should be getting without risking messing up some of the mechanical parts.
If you are determined to modify your scooter in order to speed it up, you should know what you’re getting yourself into first.
All the modifying methods serve one purpose – to enable you to go faster than the scooter manufacturer intends. If you’re really after getting the most out of your performance, you will first have to remove the speed limiters.
If you want to go even further, you will have to do some additional battery optimizations, either upgrading the battery to a more powerful one, adding an extra battery, or both.
All of those processes may void your warranty and damage your scooter.
Finally, there are a few other mechanical methods to get a little more power out of your scooter. They also include opening up your scooter and doing serious changes to its internals, so they should only be considered as a last resort.
Tips to make your electric scooter faster
These are all the ways you can increase the speed of your scooter.
1. Make sure your scooter is fully unlocked and you are in the fastest mode (risk-free)
To the more experienced rider, this one will be obvious.
But I’m still surprised by the number of people that keep complaining that their scooter was slow, only to later find out that they’ve either not done the setup properly, or are not in the fastest possible mode.
If your scooter has been unusually slow from the beginning, it is likely that you are facing one of these issues.
Some scooters start in a sort of a locked mode, most often to comply with local laws and regulations for scooters.
Most often, you need to connect the scooter to the mobile app and create your profile there. You should then be able to unlock the maximum speeds.
Also, almost every electric scooter has more than one driving mode, usually three. To be able to go at the maximum speed, make sure your scooter is in the fastest mode. The modes in the modern scooters are usually toggled by double or triple pressing the power button on the screen.
Go through your manual or a tutorial about your specific scooter. The instructions are usually very simple to follow.
2. Charge your battery to 100% (risk-free)
Your speed will greatly depend on your battery.
While the power of the motor itself, and the power of the battery will be the primary factors, the battery charge level often plays an important role too.
The voltage of a battery drops as its charge drops, and the drop in voltage is directly causing a drop in performance. This is true for both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, but especially so for the latter. Luckily, most modern scooters have lithium-ion batteries, so this will not be as pronounced as with scooters from 10 years ago, for example.
Many scooters enter power-saving mode when the battery is getting close to being empty. To save power, they often limit performance and the maximum speed at which you can go.
For some scooters, there might be a drop in top speed even if the battery level drops below 90%.
People have reported this over and over again – when their batteries are near empty, or sometimes even half full, their scooters just don’t perform as well.
Charging your battery to the fullest will make sure your scooter gives you the maximum speed it is capable of. If you can’t find the exact charging time for your scooter, see the scooter charge time guide, or the scooter charge time calculator.
3. Turn off the lights and other components that drain the battery (risk-free)
Related to the above, you want to make sure that your battery can be used for your performance as much as possible, and for auxiliary functions as little as possible.
I’ve noticed this myself, and seen countless reviews and comments online that confirm it as well. For a lot of models, the maximum speed will suffer when the lights are turned on. This is true even for cars, as lights are one of the biggest consumers of batteries, and cars usually have even bigger batteries.
Now, a warning: safety must come first! If you’re driving at night, especially in areas that are not well lit, don’t turn off your lights. Those few extra kilometers per hour are not worth risking your safety.
For maximum speed, just make sure your scooter’s lights are turned off during the day, or potentially turned off if you’re riding in a very well-lit area.
The same applies to the other resources that require energy in your scooter.
4. Reduce the load (risk-free)
It is a fact of physics – the less weight your scooter needs to pull, the faster it can go. If you lose unnecessary weight, you can expect your max speed to go up.
Another safety warning – never get rid of your helmet or other safety equipment just for the sake of going faster! Again, really not worth it, and it won’t do much anyway.
However, you can reduce some of the load if you plan your trips. I’ve noticed that I can’t hit my all-time highs on my Xiaomi M365 Pro if I have an 8 kg backpack on me and I’m pulling full grocery bags.
Also, I noticed that when I was heavier, my scooter performed worse in general. It moved slower, the battery got drained faster, and even the rides were less stable. Just for reference, I was about 210 lbs / 95 kg, and when I dropped down to 181 lbs / 82 kg, it seemed like my scooter has been brought back to life.
Finally, you can replace some parts with lighter ones. Removing some metal parts and replacing them with plastic ones will take off some weight, although that’s not something I would advise, as it may also reduce the stability and the overall robustness and structural integrity of the scooter.
5. Clean the wheels (risk-free)
This one time, my scooter was having real trouble going over 17-18 km/h, even on a full battery, during daylight, in the Sport mode (the fastest one).
I was wondering for a bit and then I started troubleshooting.
After a few minutes of inspection, I noticed a hardened piece of chewing gum mixed with dirt, leaves, and tiny pieces of wood stuck between the rear wheel and the fender.
After I removed it, my scooter could reach its maximum speed without any issues again!
Usually, you will notice if something gets stuck in the wheels because it will make some unusual noise.
But if you’re suddenly going slower than normal, make sure that there is nothing stuck in the wheels and that they are as clean as possible.
6. Add the second battery if your scooter supports this option (risk-free)
Some scooters have the option to easily install a second battery.
Of those, some are even almost useless to serious and power users without the second battery (I’m looking at you, Ninebot ES2).
The scooters that allow for a second battery are the ones that will get a big speed increase from it. Their motors and controllers are built to handle an extra power source, and adding one will not fry them.
You will never get to maximum speed without the second battery in these models.
Now, keep in mind that we’re talking about adding a second battery when the scooter supports that feature – adding an extra battery to scooters that don’t support that out-of-the-box is more involved, and covered later in this post.
7. Renew your battery (risk-free)
If you’ve had your scooter for a while, you’ve probably noticed that the capacity of the battery has been getting reduced over time.
This is unavoidable even with modern batteries – they suffer wear and tear with every charging cycle. Estimations vary, but your battery will wear out anywhere from 20% to 50% over 1000 charges.
Some people will hit that number in less than two years. The average scooter has a battery life of between 2 and 3 years.
As mentioned, a lot of your speed will depend on your battery. If you’ve had your scooter for a few years and you’ve noticed a significant drop in maximum speed, it is likely that your battery has started to wear out.
Renewing it will be a lot cheaper than buying another scooter.
8. Remove the speed limit (modifying)
There are two ways to remove the speed limit.
One is through installing custom firmware.
The other is by physically removing the speed limiter.
Installing custom firmware is by far superior to the physical method because it doesn’t involve physically changing your scooter. Firmware for the most popular models is pretty well-tested, and fewer things can go wrong.
The downside is that not all scooters will support this method. Older models will usually require tinkering, and some newer models may not have custom firmware for them yet.
Anyway, for the ones that do have custom firmware, the process is relatively simple.
These are the best tutorials for installing the custom firmware for some of the most popular scooters out there:
These are not all the scooters that can be modified through software. If your scooter is not on this list, do some research online to look for custom firmware for it.
If there isn’t one, you will likely have to physically remove the speed limiter, or do another adjustment that will allow you to go faster without buying extra parts.
As you will soon see in these tutorials, they do require getting your hands dirty a little, and some DIY skills.
Here are the methods for some of the most popular scooters:
To see the exact steps on how to do this and find out more, see my step-by-step guide on how to remove an electric scooter’s speed limit.
Risks of removing the speed limits
The speed limiters exist for a reason. Usually, the scooter is physically able to move faster than the advertised speed, sometimes by a lot. The scooter manufacturers put the speed limiters there both for the rider’s safety and for legal reasons.
Traffic laws for electric scooters apply, and some places already have special laws for them. They put a limit on the speed with which you can drive an electric scooter, and the manufacturers set the speed limiters on the scooters to be compliant with the law.
This means that it is possible for you to be inviting legal trouble if you remove the speed limiter. Make sure you are familiar with your local laws and you know what you’re doing.
Beyond that, manufacturers probably know their products a lot better than we ever will. While the motor may be able to achieve higher speeds, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the scooter as a whole is prepared to handle those speeds.
So another warning: if you decide to remove the speed limiter, gradually try out higher speeds you are comfortable with, and make sure the scooter handles them well. Take your time here, there’s no need to hurry.
It is also highly likely that if you increase your speed limit, you will need to adjust your brakes to the new speed limits too.
Also, be aware that removing the speed limiter will drain your battery faster.
Finally, be aware that modifying your scooter in this way always poses some risk to the electronics in it. They can either get damaged or totally fried, and leave you with a useless scooter.
Millions of people around the world remove the speed limiters without issues, but it’s not a walk in the park as many other resources online claim it to be. Know the risks, and know that you are doing this at your own risk. You have been warned.
9. Upgrade your controller, if it’s the limiting factor (modifying)
While upgrading the motor would be too much of a hassle just to increase the speed, I’ve seen quite a few people upgrade their controllers.
This is the right move when the motor can actually support more voltage, but the controller cannot and is the bottleneck for the top speed.
People buy aftermarket controllers and they either install them in place of the original one, or install them alongside the original one outside of the frame and use custom software to switch between them. Not a simple procedure, but doable with some basic electronics knowledge.
10. Add an extra battery, even if your scooter doesn’t come prepared for this (modifying)
Most scooters don’t have the feature to support more than one battery out of the box.
Adding an extra battery may benefit them, but you have to be sure you know what you’re doing. It is a very complicated process, and the possibilities for something going wrong are countless.
If you’re adding a second battery, or adding a third one to ones that support two, you will have to further customize your scooter and get frames for the additional batteries and see how to connect them.
When adding an extra battery, you usually do it by connecting the new battery to the old one. This is known as installing the batteries in series.
While it does increase the voltage output of the battery (which is ultimately what will give you the speed increase), it doesn’t do it by that much. But you will get a bump. The biggest gains will come in your range though.
The following video is a good guide on how to add an extra battery to the Xiaomi M365 Pro.
11. Upgrade your battery (modifying)
Without a doubt, the maximum speed is primarily determined by the motor power, and changing the motor completely doesn’t really make sense. You’re better off buying a new scooter.
But the battery current and voltage directly increase performance as well, and often that plays a big role too. Leveling up your battery will give likely you a boost in speed if you go for higher voltage.
However, remember that your motor, your controller, and the circuitry, all must support the higher charge and voltage. Make sure you go through the specs and learn about these values before deciding to upgrade your battery.
Battery optimization risks
If you want to speed up your scooter, you may have to do some battery tinkering, either upgrading the existing battery to a more powerful one, or adding an extra battery.
But this might not always make sense.
You will have to check the power, current, and voltage of the battery/batteries, the motor, and the controller. The motor and the controller must be able to support the extra juice the new battery will be providing to them.
Sometimes it will be possible to get more speed by doing this.
Other times, the only thing you will be able to achieve with more battery power is increased range only.
The rest of the time, none of those will be possible and you will have very little incentive to touch the batteries at all.
How to know if your motor and controller will support a stronger or an extra battery
Let’s go over an example to clarify when does it make sense to play around with the batteries.
Let’s look at the Xiaomi M365 standard model.
It comes with a single battery with a 37 V voltage.
The motor and the controllers, however, can support up to 63 V of voltage.
While it’s not wise to come that close to the limit since we might blow a fuse, we can safely go up to 50 V of voltage with the batteries.
Without going into too much detail, that means that we can either upgrade the battery to one with more voltage (48 V is a good common choice here), or install a second one in series with the first one, which is the simplest configuration, and get a bit more voltage but also a lot more capacity.
However, what if the max voltage of either the board or the motor was something like 40 V? With the battery at 37 V, that’s already too close to the limit. The scooter would not really support adding an extra battery, nor replacing it with a stronger one.
12. Change the sprockets (advanced, only in chain-drive scooters)
For starters, this method applies only to scooters with a chain-drive model. Except for mostly Razor scooters which are primarily for kids, and possibly some Uberscoot models, most modern scooters are hub-drive. If you want to learn about the difference between chain-drive and hub-drive motors, check my guide on electric scooter motors.
In chain-drive scooters, you can make your scooter faster if you install different sprockets instead of the ones that come with it. By putting larger sprockets on the front and smaller ones on the back, you should be getting more speed.
There are too many downsides to this method for me to ever really consider it.
First of all, you are almost guaranteed to lose your warranty.
Second, unless you are a DIY type of person, you will either mess something up or you will need to rely on an expert.
Third, the chain and sprockets that you will need might be hard to find, or even need to be custom-made.
Here’s a video of a guy who really knows what he’s doing. He makes his own sprockets, and understands exactly what size they need to be, and more importantly, why. He is working on his Razor E300 scooter.
13. Clean the motor (advanced)
I would not recommend you do this yourself, since you risk damaging the mechanics of the scooter, and you will likely void your warranty in the process.
But it is possible that dirt, dust, grease, or some other pieces of junk prevent the motor to run smoothly.
If you are getting reduced speed, take your scooter to a scooter workshop or to your manufacturer. They will run diagnostics on it and possibly clean the motor for you.
14. Rewind your motor (advanced)
This is a really complicated mechanical procedure, and one that you should only consider if you believe your motor is already damaged, or are really desperate for more speed.
Rewinding the motor can include changing the density of the copper wire in it, the magnets in the motor, the number of twists of the wire, the size of the armature… sounds fun, right?
Chances are, if you don’t know about this already, you will want someone else to guide you or do it for you.
A lot of expensive, professional equipment is needed for this process.
But it is possible for this to increase the speed of your scooter as well.
If you decide to go with this option and entrust it to someone other than shops authorized by your manufacturer, you can kiss your warranty goodbye.
How much can faster can I make my electric scooter?
For most scooters, the increase in top speed will be between 3 to 9 mph / 5 to 15 kmh. However, some owners have managed to increase their speeds by 15 mph / 25 kmh, and in certain cases even more.
Should you increase your scooter speed?
As we saw, there are a few downsides to trying to increase the cap on your scooter’s speed.
It is possible that there are legal limitations in your region, and you should always take that into account.
Apart from that, there are some safety issues as well. Some scooters have really powerful specs, and you should be at least somewhat experienced to handle their maximum speeds. With great speed comes great responsibility!
Finally, there is always the ever-present risk of damaging your scooter if you go with the riskier methods. As mentioned, the companies don’t like you to poke around their products too much and will void your warranty if you modify the scooter in any meaningful way. Meaning, you might end up with a broken scooter, and one without a warranty.
However, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Millions of people all over the world have successfully increased their speed limits without any consequences and are now happy users.
My advice: go for the non-intrusive, risk-free methods first, and only go for the customizations if that’s not enough. Avoid the most advanced customizations, they will probably not be worth the trouble. If you want a fast scooter that bad, you’re better off looking at fast scooters that come prepared for high speeds out-of-the-box.