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If you want the TL;DR, see end of review
Every day, my daily commute involves one of two vehicles: the original Exway X1 or the Speedway V. If it’s raining or if I’m otherwise unable to skate, I take the Speedway. However, if it is at all possible, I take the Exway.
I really like the board. It’s my de-facto commuter vehicle. Many an errand has been run on it, and it’s even survived being run over by a car. The only real issue I take with it is the fact that in a city like San Francisco with hills all over the place, the X1’s range can become a bit short depending on where you’re going, something like 4-5 miles of hard riding. Pair this with the 85mm wheel upgrade, a necessary upgrade to make roads as bad as these bearable, and you will start wishing for a bigger battery.
So What Did Exway Do About It?
A while back, a certain person from Exway China came to visit Exway USA here in San Francisco. I talked with this person at length, and learned two things. The first was a fast charger that would charge the X1 in just under half an hour flat. The second was a long range version of the X1 called the X1 Pro. Of course, I was excited about the fast charger and picked one up as soon as I could, but I was really excited about the X1 Pro. I mean, fast charging is great, but it would be even greater if you had to do less of it.
Around half a year later, here we are. The X1 Pro is now shipping, and boy have things changed.
So What’s Changed?
The original Exway, which I reviewed here, was a light platform with excellent handling at speed. The usage of Seismic skate hardware made for a stellar ride and the durable construction easily withstood abuse. Precise control was achieved through the pairing of a well designed remote and a reliable FOC based ESC, and I’m happy to say that the remote hasn’t failed or cut out on me once.
With the X1 Pro, I’m glad to report that none of that has changed. The hardware remains just as good as before. However, that’s not to say that Exway hasn’t included a few significant improvements to makes the X1 Pro a worthy big brother to the X1. Right out of the box, the board simply feels more solid. The standard 85mm wheels are the perfect size for balancing agility with ride comfort, and with Turbo mode on, maxing out top speed felt fun.
Perhaps the biggest change though, is the extended range. I no longer have to start each ride by planning how I needed to get where I needed to go, I can now simply just go and not really have to worry about range, since I regularly get around 9 miles give or take a mile. It’s very freeing. I do still carry the fast charger with me sometimes when I know I’m going to be out for a while, but I no longer stress if I forget it.
OK, But There’s Gotta Be Tradeoffs Right?
Of course. You don’t just get extended range and increased power without sacrifice. The sacrifice in this case, however, comes in the form of a slightly heavier and thicker board. When I read about the changes, I didn’t think it would be dramatic. And to be honest, I still don’t. You definitely will notice it if you’re coming from an X1 though.
So Has Performance Really Increased Like They Said?
Yes. With the X1 Pro, we see improvements in range, torque, and top speed. With increased torque, I’m climbing hills that I was previously not able to climb at all. Range almost doubled judging by my range tests, which is good news! The most impressive though, I think, is how they managed to eke out an even higher top speed. I’ve hit 30MPH and beyond on the X1 Pro drag racing the industry standard Boosted Board. More on this later.
…So What About Riot?
Ah, Riot. When I first heard this codeword, I was just as curious as most people. I thought, when I first heard it in context, that it would be a light system or something. Now I’m not not a fan of lights on a board, but I’m no longer easily impressed on that front as there are many good options out there now.
However, when I heard that it was actually a whole hot-swappable drivetrain module, and that it was a belt drive, I immediately became excited. Thus far, I haven’t seen any mid-range belt driven boards anywhere close to the X1’s level of polish. If Exway pulls this off, they will have an even more appealing product on their hands.
“Well why would you want a belt driven board Sof?” you may ask. Let me explain.
The main appeals of belt driven boards are twofold: torque and full urethane drive wheels. Gearing ratios mean you have control over geared speed and torque. This means you can climb steeper hills, take off the line harder, and hit higher top speeds faster. Fully urethane drive wheels mean you will have a way more comfortable ride since you’ve got more urethane between you and the road. The downside of course means that now there are belts that may wear out or snap, but those events do not occur often with correctly set up belt systems.
But anyways, without further delay, let me present you an exclusive preview of Riot, the X1 Pro’s hot-swappable, belt-drive module.
First, let’s get some specs out of the way.
- Dual 5255 motors with 4235 stators (for reference 5065 motors have 4035 stators)
- 200KV winding
- 1:2.57 gear ratio
- 255-5m-10 belts
- 5.2nm^2 of torque
- Rear mountable for better pothole and curb clearance
Impressive stuff on such a diminutive form factor. What does it look like then?
Really nice stuff.
So does it perform?
Hell yes it does.
The best way to understand it would be to take a look at the drag race video I put together below with my friend Neil. We tried to even the variables as much as possible, which is why I’m wearing a weighted backpack and Neil is wearing nothing. Neil is around 160LB and I was around 150LB with the backpack. Racing against the Boosted Dual+ and the Stealth, the X1 Pro just fucks off.
Well that’s pretty impressive. I’m convinced. Where do I get Riot?
It’ll be available as an add-on to the X1 Pro April 2019.
So you recommend the X1 Pro?
Yes. The X1 Pro is a board designed with intention and attention to detail. It is the ideal board for an urban commuter who wants to also have fun all the time. If you are that person, the X1 Pro should be at the top of your prospective purchases list.