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Big and honest review on RockWheel GT16


EcoDrift

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Thanks for the review! Very interesting reading. 

One thing I noticed is that the red version seems to be painted, is that right? I have the white version and it doesnt seem to be painted (white plastics).
If so, I guess the red version will be more prone to scuffs and scratches than the white version.

Another thing is that the leg padding on mine is different than the one you show in the review. Mine is quite soft and have a texture to it. Mine are missing the silver trim that goes on top of the handle though :) 

IMG_20170526_133734.thumb.jpg.6d4dbfe81c71e8155f23b327e1cd0a7f.jpg

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It has only 6 MOSFETs?  I thought 12 was the current standard for most EUCs? Do the InMotion, IPS, and KingSong EUCs only use six?

The design and paint looks fantastic.  Too bad they couldn't fine tune it to be more waterproof with easier access to components?  Form over function I guess.  Can't we have both?

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On 5/26/2017 at 6:20 AM, EcoDrift said:

This is one very detailed professional review! :) A lot of time and effort went into your autopsy and comprehensive evaluation! 

2 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

It has only 6 MOSFETs?  

Yes I found that interesting as well. And where is the heat sink for the thermal transference of heat away from the mosfets?

For instance if you look at the mainboard on the ACM featuring 2 banks of 6 mosfets they are mounted to a large aluminum heat sink platform with machined cooling fins. The cooling fins are located on the outside of the wheel's housing in such a fashion that additional cooling is provided by constant airflow as the wheel spins.

 

2 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

The design and paint looks fantastic.  Too bad they couldn't fine tune it to be more waterproof with easier access to components?  Form over function I guess.  Can't we have both?

The open shell design is definately going to be an issue! Yes the wheel is aesthetically pleasing to the eye but moisture infiltration of any electrical component would be a major concern. 

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4 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

It has only 6 MOSFETs?  I thought 12 was the current standard for most EUCs? Do the InMotion, IPS, and KingSong EUCs only use six?

AFAIK, at least King Songs use 6 mosfets, looks like that for the GT16 also. Could be just cost saving and keeping the board complexity down... The mosfets are the same as in the newer Gotways (IRFP4110), not exactly high-end but apparently good enough without paralleling (at least until someone weighing 100+kg tries it? ;)). The large casing (TO-247) also helps with heat dissipation vs. the "usual" TO-220's.

 

2 hours ago, Rehab1 said:

And where is the heat sink for the thermal transference of heat away from the mosfets?

It's the black part the board sits on. More pictures here:

EDIT: Picture of an unpainted heatsink:

controller.jpg

 

 

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17 minutes ago, esaj said:

It's the black part the board sits on. More pictures here:

It looks like one big heatsink! Now I see the fins. It certainly looks adequate to dissipate heat. 

 

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@EcoDrift fantastic review, thanks for sharing with us! Some other complaints I've heard GT16 is that the beautiful paint work is susceptible to flaking, that wiring looks a bit thing & taking for the Wheel apart for tire repairs is an absolute nightmare. 

Are there any owners who have put the Wheel through +1000KM yet?  

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The mainboard appears quite streamlined, and it's interesting that they were able to go with one large electrolytic capacitor.  In the photo Rehab1 posted, it would have been cooler (literally) if they were able to allow air to pass in through the shell opening, under the heatsink fin area and out through the back just like a channeled  air tunnel.  Maybe a slide to allow the control board to be inserted from the side might have allowed that.  The electronics being on top would be isolated from any rain that enters.  Too bad they didn't waterproof the board like others do.

Even with it's shortcomings it's still a beaut of a wheel with some impressive specifications.  Whether it will live up to users trials will be interesting to find out.  So far @houseofjob and @captainwells haven't reported any failures or problems yet so that is looking good.  I hope Rockwheel will succeed with this model, and I look forward to a much improved V2 model as I think they are on the right track with it's sleek looks and performance.  They just need to hire on an experienced shell designer and tweak a few elements to take an awesome looking wheel to an outstanding, easily serviceable product!

I wonder what were the control board failure issues after 100 km that the French reported were due to?  If I were the head of Rockwheel, I'd listen to the criticism and make the changes people are talking about to make a super reliable wheel that goes faster than everyone else and is rock solid reliable.  Why not just do it and capture the market?

 Coat that control board to make it waterproof!  It can't cost that much more?  Com'on!   I think they have to move from "toy level" quality and design to a more professional level of quality and thoughtfulness.  Gotway is making strides in that area but has a while to go.  KingSong and InMotion already are quite advanced.  Why not bring it up to Yamaha, Honda, and Kawasaki level of engineering rather than stay at V-tech, Hasbro, and Fisher Price build quality?  People are willing to pay over $2000 for a wheel - why not deliver a product worthy of that price?  Maybe the larger Chinese market just won't pay for high quality so we are stuck with what the lowest common denominator dictates.

I guess it all boils down to cost and getting past that build it as cheap as possible mentality.  I wonder when the Chinese will get to Japanese level design and standards?  Also when is Japan making their own EUC?  Forget about the Ecubs or whatever they are called.  Maybe they see the market already saturated by the Chinese that they don't see the any profit starting something up?  I would love to see a joint venture where Rockwheel pairs up with a company like Kawasaki to help tweak their design to end up with a product that dominates the field.  Kawasaki already makes a Z125 pro for $3000.  You don't see any Chinese-Japanese joint projects though for some reason.

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34 minutes ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

Kawasaki already makes a Z125 pro for $3000.  You don't see any Chinese-Japanese joint projects though for some reason.

I just saw one 2 hours ago. My neighbor's kid at the lake just bought one. He purchased the graphite color instead of the green. OMG the thing is awesome! So many places to ride one here. Feeling the urge Hunka! Help!

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On 5/28/2017 at 1:36 PM, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

What?  Help you decide to get one? :w00t2: Suuuure... :lol:  Looks like a fun little bike to tool around on...

 

Being I don't own lime green shoe laces :barf:I would lean towards the graphite gray. I still have my Suszuki DR 200 to tool around with so I probably will pass for now. It was a fun thought!:crying:

 

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14 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

The mainboard appears quite streamlined, and it's interesting that they were able to go with one large electrolytic capacitor.  In the photo Rehab1 posted, it would have been cooler (literally) if they were able to allow air to pass in through the shell opening, under the heatsink fin area and out through the back just like a channeled  air tunnel.  Maybe a slide to allow the control board to be inserted from the side might have allowed that.  The electronics being on top would be isolated from any rain that enters.  Too bad they didn't waterproof the board like others do.

There are openings in the shell that makes air pass through the cooling fins. Works great! On the app I can see that the temperature drops when driving faster :)

14 hours ago, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

I wonder what were the control board failure issues after 100 km that the French reported were due to?  If I were the head of Rockwheel, I'd listen to the criticism and make the changes people are talking about to make a super reliable wheel that goes faster than everyone else and is rock solid reliable.  Why not just do it and capture the market?

I would like to know why it failed too. I have 140 km on mine now so hopefully that was a one off incident.

 

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On 5/28/2017 at 3:06 PM, Rehab1 said:

Being I don't own lime green shoe laces :barf:I would lean towards the graphite gray. I still have my Suszuki DR 200 to tool around with so I probably will pass for now. It was a fun thought!:crying:

 

The Kawasaki Ninja's I've seen are green, and it actually looks pretty decent.  Maybe think "Green Goblin" green...

1200px-Tom_Sykes_Kawasaki_Ninja_ZX-10R_S

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Nice review! Good to see a seller not hiding the flaws. Like the conculsion that this wheel is only for people who know exactly what they are doing and what the wheel can do.

Looks like the GT16 needs a 2.0 version with some smaller fixes. Also, duct tape in assembling a product?:rolleyes:

Is it true there are only speed warnings, but no 80% battery (or whatever else) warning? I'd be really scared to use such a wheel, no warning when you are getting into dangerous territory. Only way to find out you should not do something with the wheel is a crash!

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On 2.6.2017 at 3:08 PM, meepmeepmayer said:

Is it true there are only speed warnings, but no 80% battery (or whatever else) warning? I'd be really scared to use such a wheel, no warning when you are getting into dangerous territory. Only way to find out you should not do something with the wheel is a crash!

Good question. I pretty sure my GW will start beeping when voltage sags below a certain treshold and/or the amp draw is too high preventing me from pushing it too far w. Hopefully the GT16 will do the same.

I havent driven it below 30-40% battery charge yet, but if anyone have I would love to know how it behaves :)

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 @Lorents My ACM certainly didn't warn me about high current draw before said current melted some cables.

I believe the 80% warning on GWs is purely how much the batteries can deliver, and apparently they can deliver a lot (more than the cables can take).

--

I think a 80% (or so) utilization warning (system overall, not just batteries) is the #1 safety feature one can have, and I would be scared to ride a wheel without one (apparently the GT16) even if the wheel can easily go 40 km/h (aka it has a lot of reserves at normal speeds). Too bad -if there ever was a wheel that would benefit extremely from a 2.0 version, this is it.

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18 hours ago, meepmeepmayer said:

My ACM certainly didn't warn me about high current draw before said current melted some cables

Whoa, must be a bad soldering or something like that!
I only have a GW14 340Wh so there is probably no risk of melting any wires on that one :)

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On 5/31/2017 at 8:02 PM, Hunka Hunka Burning Love said:

The Kawasaki Ninja's I've seen are green, and it actually looks pretty decent.  Maybe think "Green Goblin" green...

1200px-Tom_Sykes_Kawasaki_Ninja_ZX-10R_S

Kwak green was always a topic of some mirth ... e.g., do you need to switch to lime green leathers after buying?  They are nice bikes, but I think Yamaha leads in styling (and Honda in mechanics)

 

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On 6/2/2017 at 4:08 PM, meepmeepmayer said:

Is it true there are only speed warnings, but no 80% battery (or whatever else) warning?

There is some kind of low battery warning on my GT16 857Wh 80V.  I am not sure how it works exactly, but when battery is getting low, you can ride only at very low speed, otherwise the wheel starts to tilt back, beep and flash with the built-in battery indicators.

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