How I use my iPhone as a rock’n NAV system on my Native Scooter

Some have expressed interest in how i make these two marvels work well together; the iPhone and Native z6 Electric Scooter. The key for me is through of the use of a RAM mount system that securely mounts my iPhone to my scooter solidly. The iPhone simply clicks in and is held securely. The actual model I purchased is available at GPS City and looks like this:

http://www.gpscity.com/ram-mount-steel-u-bolt-motorcycle-mount-base-ram-b-231u.html

ram mount

Native Z6 with Givi 470 Case

Scooter with lots of groceries

When I decided to purchase a scooter I had already gotten rid of our second car and given my wife primary access to what was previously “my” car. With that in mind, I needed to be able to use my scooter to do as much as possible of what I would have accomplished with a second car and that includes grocery runs to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and anywhere else. After doing some research online I decided on the Givi e470 case. Not only can it hold 47 liters worth of goods, but it also lockable and comes with a quick release mechanism that I could attach to my scooter’s rack.

I purchased it online at Helmet Head for less than $200 with free shipping –a nice bonus on a largeitem. It was easy to install and works quite well. The only draw back is that when I load it too full, it can sometimes be tricky to open especially if something blocks the latching mechanism. I’ve found a trick that has worked in every situation, remove the case from the rack with the quick release and invert it. Then gravity does the work and it opens easily.

I can hold two large bags of groceries in the case and a third can be hung from the hook in the front of the scooter. The case is even tall enough to fit a bottle of wine standing up straight and/or several six packs of beer! It easily fits my XL Nolan N102 helmet and a smaller helmet at the same time. All in all, its been a great asset and has made the scooter quite practical.

Trade-off Completed, Power for Range

Today I rode for the first time after reprogramming the controller in my scooter. I had lowered the maximum power from 80% to 70% and reduced the maximum speed as well. Making the change was relatively easy once I properly configured my windows xp installation running on Parallels on my Macbook Pro. The application itself was a free download.

Most important, was testing the range, the issue which has been most difficult for me. I’ve previously attempted a 16 mile round trip only to complete the last couple of miles in “limp mode” when the maximum speed is only a few miles an hour. This time I fared much better, riding 22 miles before I limped the last few feet home. Twenty miles is enough for pretty much any ride I would undertake without having the opportunity to charge in the middle. i can now easily visit friends in Alameda without a problem, though the furthest points of Richmond might be pushing my luck, especially if steep hills are involved. For those who may be reading this and who are located in a less hilly region than Northern California, note that I had some serious hill climbing in these 22 miles. The most noteworthy was the steep climb up Pleasant Valley Road from Broadway up to Piedmont Avenue. In a less hilly region, it might be possible to squeeze a few extra miles. When time allows, I may try a flatter ride to see what difference it makes. In the meantime I’m grateful to have the extra range.

But how much did I give up in terms of power? My maximum speed at 80% power was 50mph which I only hit a couple of times. 45mph was a more realistic max. Now that has been reduced by 10mph to just 35. Fast enough to maintain the legal urban speed limit, but occasionally a bit slow to keep up with traffic. It’s a compromise for sure and I can always tweak the power setting a bit to 73 or 75% if I decide its necessary.