Modding the X3

George S.

Well-Known Member
@J.R. made some interesting comments about putting the Marathon series tires on the X3, how it made a lot of difference because the bike rolled more efficiently.

One of the main problems with the X3 is the heavy rear hub and the heavy, high capacity battery, both at the rear of the bike. I recently was playing with LiPo packs, trying to build something useful to test the bike I am building. Along the way, I hooked the battery pack up to the X3, using a wattmeter in the circuit.


The battery is in the bag. The main thing I noticed, immediately, was that the front suspension fork worked a whole lot better. The weight distribution put weight where it was needed to keep it as the focus for the bumps. Beyond that, the bike was a lot lighter. From the factory, it seems like it wants to tip over, and when it does, it tips over pretty hard. Done it twice.

The bike handles better, so it just feels nicer riding around and taking corners. I still plan to use the main pack because it has an enormous caapacity, and has held up well. I'm not sure I am ready to give up the semi-trail tires because I am stuck with rutted, rocky roads. On the other hand, I could see getting a bottle battery or using the packs I have come up with, when the stock battery dies. Seems like PTech wants about $800 for the battery, with the shipping and hazmat stuff. That's pretty high.

Using a wattmeter helped me understand where the bike is using power. The pack I put in front was 3 AH, a very tiny pack. The X3 uses tons of power to start, but you can nurse it off the line. It won't save much. Going down a flat there is simply no avoiding the fact that at about 17 mph, you are drawing serious watts to overcome air drag. If you pedal and go about 16 mph, you could run forever with the 16 AH standard pack. I could get a nice ride around the neighborhood with 2 AH (75 watt hours), going around 15. Nice workout, nice friendly pace.

If you did both mods, you'd have a pretty different bike. If you add the torque sensor, you'd also have a different bike.