Backfire G2T Review – Going Turbo

Backfire G2T was announced in January 2019, which was shortly after the successful production of the Backfire G2S.

G2T promised not only performance improvement but most importantly, the fix of an annoying motor vibration issue that decreased user confidence of the board. G2T also has a higher price tag of $599 versus $549.

Here is a chart from the Backfire site that summarized the differences.

Introduction to Backfire Board

For those of us who were here since 2016, Backfire didn’t give a very good first impression. They ran into some fiasco in fulfillment of their indiegogo campaign. There was an incident in which one rider was injured on their board with an alleged brake malfunction. The way they handled this incident was disastrous.

However, with time the company has gotten better and has become a lot more professional in handling matters. Despite having more sales than ever, Backfire handles the growth well. This is evident by the lack of any scandal or major complaints.

The last few products have all been very well received, be it the Backfire G2, the all terrain Ranger-X1, or the recent G2S. The company seems to be on a roll.

Backfire G2T Review

Backfire G2T received a good performance bump from the G2S:

  • Top Speed: 23.5mph (38kmh)
  • Range: 14.9mil (24km)
  • Weight: 14.5lbs (6.5kg)
  • Charge Time: 2.5hrs
  • Features: 2 hub motors, weatherproof, Regenerative braking, handles up to 30% slope.
  • Price: less than 600USD with shipping included.

Build Quality

Packaging

The packaging is pretty simple, but done nicely. It comes double boxed to prevent any damage. The unboxing experience isn’t going to “Wow” you, but it’s still definitely presentable.

Deck

Backfire G2T uses the same 37-inch, 8 layer Canadian maple longboard deck as the G2S and G2.

It has a little concave to it, so your feet know where they are when standing on the deck. It has a mild camber to it, as the deck bows upward in the center. This is to help flex, which is mild on this deck.

The grip tape comes with two options. The very recognizable blue galaxy grip tape and the more understated gold and black grip tape.

Component Enclosures and ESC

It’s not surprising that it still uses the same battery and ESC enclosure since Backfire G2. However, they are proprietary made and very nice looking.

Housed inside is a customized Hobbywing ESC, which we are all pretty familiar with. We will talk about how it contributes to ride feel later.

Wheels

Backfire G2T comes with 83mm 83A wheels and includes a set of 96mm 83A wheels for those who want their wheels larger.

The wheels are made out of pretty good urethane material.

Trucks

Backfire has been using Caliber II trucks for the front truck. But the back truck is still Backfire made, and they are pretty good in quality.

Extra – LED headlights

Backfire includes a Cannon LED light in the package. Let me tell you, it is FREAKING BRIGHT. It has three modes: bright, dim and flashing. (Why?)

It helps you to see the road, but the stand made the light point slightly upward, more onto afar than the road ahead. It’s brighter than Shredlight! Bonus points if you put them together.

Unlike the remote, this is charged via mini-USB.

Are you afraid of the dark? #Shredlight

Riding Experience:

Acceleration and Deceleration

There are 3 ride modes:

  1. Eco mode with a top speed of 12.4mph/20kmh
  2. Standard mode with a top speed of 23.6mph/ 38kmh
  3. Turbo mode with a top speed of 25mph/40kmh
  • Turbo mode is unleashed by pressing the Turbo button, it only lasted for 30second before switching back to the original mode.
  • Backfire G2T uses a Hobbywing ESC that was programmed to tailor the G2T. The result is awesome, simply put, it perfected the Hobbywing ESC.

Let’s talk about Eco mode first:

  • It is very tame, as expected from the beginner mode of a Hobbywing ESC powered board.
    • The acceleration is smooth and gentle. No jolts whatsoever.
    • The braking is gentle and tame too. Any veteran rider will consider it too weak to be safe but this is exactly what a novice needs – tame braking before they are accustomed to leaning backward while applying brakes.

Standard mode is where everyone but the super novice should be riding on:

  • The acceleration is as smooth as any Hobbywing ESC.
  • While testing the board, the torque especially while trying to get to the top speed felt slightly weaker than other Hobbywing board.
    • A quick visit at Skatemetric’s comparison chart proved that suspicion ( http://skatemetric.com/index.php/visualize-and-compare/ )
    • G2T Standard mode has slightly lower torque compared to similar Hobbywing powered boards such as Wowgo 2s.
  • Braking on G2T is tuned to perfection.
    • Hobbywing ESC are known to have smooth braking that errs on the weak side. While the other variant ‘LiYing’ ESC are known to have strong aggressive braking that errs on the scary side.
    • G2T’s Hobbywing ESC are tuned to allow braking that is smooth initially but ended strong. This results in braking that is smooth and gentle, yet allows you to stop in a short distance.
    • 10/10, I can’t imagine it gets any better than this.

Turbo mode can be engaged by pressing the turbo button on the remote.

This is a game-changing feature. As mentioned, Backfire G2T uses a very ubiquitous ESC which is Hobbywing ESC. Anyone who is following the Chinese budget board scene closely could tell you the only disadvantage Hobbywing ESC had on it’s primary competitor LiYing ESC is the weaker acceleration. Now with turbo mode, Backfire G2T will dominate any drag races with any ‘LiYing’ ESC board while continuing to offer smooth and precise control.

  • It unleashes another level of torque albeit for only 30s.
  • It has a cooldown period of 30 seconds to prevent you from using it continuously.
  • In Turbo mode, the torque and acceleration are really good, but yet still perfectly smooth.
  • The top speed will increase to 25mph (40kmh) or even 27mph (44kmh) with 96mm wheels.
  • However, needing a cooldown wasn’t the only downside of the Turbo mode.
  • Transitioning from turbo mode to sports mode causes a significant loss of acceleration and resulted in a backward jolt. It spooks me every time. Samuel James @ Samjaidelaide has a habit of counting down from 30 to anticipate that jolt. Me? I just don’t use turbo that much due to that.
  • Engaging turbo mode sometimes is tricky. You have to let go of the acceleration and let the board free-wheel to start the turbo mode. If not, nothing will happen.
  • Braking wasn’t significantly different from Standard mode.
  • I have no issue with the Turbo mode per se, just the transitioning in and out of it. I wish the Turbo mode can just be a permanent mode that lasts forever but Backfire cites the need of having a cooldown system is the fear of overheating.

Stability & Maneuverability

Backfire G2T is a very stable ride. It used a stiffer deck with good concave, which helps in higher speed. The use of wider 275mm Caliber II trucks improves stability. Caliber II trucks themselves are already famous for predictable and comfortable control.

The ride height with 83mm wheels is comfortably low, making riding at top speed a comfortable ordeal. 96mm wheels introduce a fair bit of ride height, but it’s still considered a stable and comfortable ride. With 96mm wheels, I worry less about bumps and cracks but wobble starts to happen when riding at top speed. I find myself uncomfortable in pushing over 22mph (35kmh).

Turning and carving on G2T is a real treat. It’s comfortable and relaxing. Carving down a sunset path without any thoughts or worries… makes me feel like singing.

Again, the option to pick your wheel size really helps!

Vibration

There is a stretch of road that has the roughest pavement near my usual ride path. I took all my boards there to compare how they handle the vibration.

Backfire G2T scores a healthy B+, which was beyond my expectations. Typically the hub motor, 83mm wheel and relatively stiff deck aren’t the best recipe for a good vibration absorbing system.

Perhaps the soft silica gel shock pad and the high quality urethane wheel is to be thanked here.

Swapping to 96mm wheels further improves vibration dampening to A- grade.

Remote

This remote is a return to the design concept of the original Backfire G2. Of course it is a lot more improved than the G2 remote.

It features soft touch rubber to give the remote a more premium feel. It’s a tad bit big for my hand but still comfortable to hold. The thumb wheel is snappy with good travel and without any dead zone. The reverse switch is placed at the bottom with no risk of any accidental trigger. The turbo mode button is located at the side which can easily be reached by the finger.

Pressing the power button when riding triggers the cruise control, which can be disengaged by moving the thumbwheel in any direction. (I suggest acceleration to disengage as the board will behave more predictably.)

The biggest ‘Wow’ factor here is, of course, the OLED screen showing the speed, range and other telemetries. You can change between metric (mph/kmh) and wheel size by repairing your remote with your board.

All of these features makes a useful remote, and of course, as always, there is no disconnection.

Riding Experience Summary

Backfire G2T is a very fun and comfortable ride. There isn’t much to nitpick on. It has fairly good acceleration, perfectly tuned brakes, and a stable and predictable ride- thanks to the Caliber II trucks.

Some riders may see 83mm as too small to confidently ride through unpredictable terrain. Others may feel 96mm is too sluggish and too tall for a stable high-speed ride.

Having both wheel options right out of the box negates both of those complaints. However, I wish I could have a 90mm option too. I find that 90mm is just right for me.

Capability

Backfire G2T gives an overall polish and attention to detail than that of it’s rival premium boards.

When doing a side by side comparison with industry leaders such as Boosted, Evolve and Raptors 2… you will find that G2T gives a huge bang for the buck.

Range

Backfire G2T uses 10S2p Samsung 30Q batteries. This translates to 6.0AH or 216WH battery pack. For those who are not sure what that means, you can take a quick read of my “short battery guide for beginners”, or take my word for it when I say it’s a great battery pack.

  • On 83mm wheels I get around 15miles (24.7km) with an average speed of 12.5mph (20kmh).
  • On 96mm wheels, I get around 13 miles (20.8km) with an average speed of 15.8mph (25.5kmh).

With this Samsung 30Q battery pack, voltage sag isn’t noticeable until the last 25% of battery when the top speed drops by around 10%. It’s only the last 5 minutes of the ride when the board experiences a significant slowdown, signaling you that it’s time to stop.

PS: As a rule of thumb in estimating range, use the formula -> watt hour/10 = expected range in km.

*I weigh around 165lbs (75kg) and was riding in a mostly flat area in a warm climate. 

Speed

  • Marketed top speed of 23.5mph (38kmh) is the top speed.
  • My top speed test give a better result than the marketed number:
    • Standard mode 83mm wheels: 23.5mph (38kmh)
    • Turbo mode 83mm wheels: 26mph (41.8kmh)
    • Standard mode 96mm wheels: 26mph (42kmh)
    • Turbo mode 96mm wheels: 27.3mph (44kmh)
      • Probably can go faster if I muster the guts to floor it.
  • Again, I weigh 165lbs (75kg). Heavier rider would see a tiny drop in top speed.

Torque

The dual 350W motors are really good and silent too.

Even in the standard mode and with the bigger 96mm wheels, the board handles our stop and go test on a 15% incline without breaking a sweat.

Customer Service

There is a warehouse in Richmond, L.A., and Hamburg. So once the G2T is stock up there, a buyer can expect the board to arrive in 3-5 working days.

Customer Service is handled by local teams. This is always good news to those near the area.

  • USA – Richmond
  • Europe – Hamburg
  • Anywhere else – China

While Backfire as a company didn’t leave the best first impression when they first launched the Backfire G2, their customer communication definitely improved with more experience. Their handling of vibration issues with G2S is fair and their Ranger X1 is a successful product without controversies.

I am hopeful that they will serve their customers well.

Verdict

Backfire G2T is a complete package:

  • The board is put together with shine;
  • The riding experience is top tier;
  • The wheels size option allows G2T to be versatile for both smooth and rough pavement;
  • To top it off, Backfire offers good customer service and buying experience.

The only nick pick that I could offer is a better implementation of the turbo mode.

Asking for $599, Backfire G2T was made for those who is looking for something better than the $400 entry level board without breaking the bank.

And as no cheaper board are as good as the G2T and no premium board is too much better than it, it’s without a doubt, at this moment, the best board in the mid-tier price range.

Get 10USD off via this affiliated discount link and use code “ESKATEHQ” during checkout,
and do come back here and share your experience!

5 Replies to “Backfire G2T Review – Going Turbo”

  1. Awaiting mine currently, and reading your review made me even more stocked to get it! Got rid of my Koowheel D3M 2nd gen because I had issues with it all the time, hopefully G2T won’t disappoint.

    Awesome review man, really love how you go into every detail such as how they are packaged and detailed description of battery consumption. Please keep it up 🙂

  2. Thank you for the review!

    What is your opinion on the G2T vs. the Exway X1 Pro for riding in and around Singapore? I like the design cues for the X1 Pro, but have been reading about battery sag issues, so theG2T is looking more attractive (plus its cheaper).

    I am not too concerned with outright speed and acceleration as I have never ridden a longboard before, so cruising, carving, commuting, and comfort would be higher on the agenda.

    1. Hey man!
      I’m just across the straits in Johor! Too bad I couldn’t make it to the car-free day this morning.

      Sophia reviewed the Exway x1 pro and didn’t notice any sag impacting her riding, and earlier Exway had pushed an update to address the issue, so it wouldn’t be something I worries about.

      Personally, both of the board are neck to neck, with Exway X1 pro having the advantage in the sleek design, better weatherproof(IP55), fast charger and even better polish than G2T.

      I personally favor G2T because I am pretty cheap myself and I don’t think a prettier design justified a x2 in price. Furthermore, Singapore’s road is good enough for a 83mm wheels and if you happen to visit Malaysia with your board, the 96mm wheels is going to serve you better considering the road we have here. Basically G2T are more versatile.
      Ah, almost forgot to mention, Exway are going to release a ‘Riot module’ to allow easy swapping to belt drive. If you are on the fence about belt and hub, getting Exway X1 Pro will allow you to switch between belt and drive if you get the ‘Riot module’ if you decides to buy one.

      I personally feel Backfire G2T is able to satisfy most peoples need. Heck, even $400 Meepo Classic are already sufficed for most people.

      1. Hi buddy!

        My apologies, I thought you were writing out of Singapore. I’m actually from KL but working in Singapore. Loving the electric pmd’s even they come with a craptonne of legislation. Thank you for the info, certainly makes the decision a little easier.

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