Today is like Christmas. Last night, I told Chris to wake me up if Fedex shows up early with my Gotway Tesla V2. The package did arrive early, so I rushed out to the living room to open the box. I wanted to get it on the charger as soon as possible. I wanted to take it for a test drive, and I needed a healthy charge to go for a ride with my friends when they get out of work for the day.

The first thing I noticed is just how heavy this thing is. I opened the top of the box, grabbed the electric unicycle (EUC) by the handle, and lifted it out of the box. I had to lift the bottom of the wheel to about waist height to clear the box, and getting its 42 pounds that high into the air with one hand was difficult!

The Tesla does fit on my AmazonBasics guitar stand, but only just barely. The large pedals don’t clean the gap between the two bars, so the Tesla doesn’t really want to tilt back all that well to rest comfortably in the stand. A bit of bending will probably do the trick, but it will do the job for now.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Gotway Tesla v2 now has a motor cutoff switch in the handle. It says so right on the product page at eWheels.com, but I didn’t notice it. This is one of the more useful features on my little InMotion V5F, and I wasn’t looking forward to losing it. I guess I don’t have to worry about that!

The first test drive

I was impatient. The Tesla arrived with the batteries charged to just over 67 volts. That’s just under 3.4 volts per cell, and that’s lower than the ideal storage charge. That’s disappointing, but not too surprising.

The EUC World app said this was about 10% capacity. I charged the Tesla and tried to wait patiently. When I checked on it next, it was reading 24% capacity, so I took it out for a test ride!

Before riding off, I stopped at the car to use the air compressor. The Tesla’s tire was inflated to only 25 PSI. I bumped it up to 45 PSI. This is probably a little on the high side, even for a tubby guy like me, but it feels fine to me.

I had the same trouble mounting the Tesla as I did when I first tried my friend Tanner’s Gotway MSX Pro. I didn’t understand how hard to lean to balance the wheel while climbing on, and I had to abort my mount. I got it on the second try, though!

I did remember to move the tilt-back speed limit up to 25 mph. That seems like a reasonable top speed for now, and a big upgrade over the InMotion V5F’s 15 mph limit. I didn’t notice that EUC World has an audible speed warning set at 15 mph. She was beeping at my a lot on this short ride.

About a mile from my house, I got the low battery warning. She said I was at 14%, so I turned around and went home. I knew I wasn’t going to get far. I don’t know if EUC World adjusts the remaining battery percentage to be more realistic like WheelLog does.

I was already quite pleased. I had no trouble hitting 20 mph, and the Tesla was quite stable. Even though the Tesla is 75% heavier than my InMotion V5F, I had absolutely no trouble making a night 180-degree turn within the width of the bike trail.

My first real ride

A few hours later, the battery was reading 54%. That’s definitely enough to go out and put a few miles on the machine!

The log says my battery started at 75.9 volts. It dropped to about 73 volts just after the first mile, and the log claims this equates to 34%.

EUC World was reading battery and mileage data off to me via the Tesla’s Bluetooth speaker after every mile. Almost every time I heard her speak a battery readout at me, it was at 34%.

I rode about four miles before I pulled over to take a photo of my new unicycle. I drove the Tesla off the road onto the lumpy grass at the park. The Tesla makes it so much easier to ride in the grass than it is on the little V5F. It has enough power to really get moving if you drift to a standstill in a divot, and the Tesla does a much better job of keeping me going in a straight line instead of following all the imperfections in the terrain.

I had a little trouble getting back on the Tesla in the grass; it took me three tries! I always have a little trouble in the grass, but I still don’t know how hard to lean on this heavy thing to keep it balanced at extremely low speeds. The grass was throwing me off even more!

Before leaving the house, I did manage to remember to move the audible speed alarm. I put it up at 20 mph. I figured a 20 mph warning along with the 25 mph tilt back would help keep me safe. I was hitting the beeps a lot, and my average riding speed on this trip was 13 mph. I’ve never averaged more than 10.6 mph!

Carving feels more stable with the wider tire and heavier machine. Riding up small curbs is easier too.

There’s an uphill spot on the bike trail just before you exit to get into my neighborhood. I decided it would be a good idea to haul ass up that hill!

There was a park’s department truck driving slowly down the hill of the bike trail, though. I was going to take an alternate route, but he already pulled off the path before I got close enough. That meant I still had the opportunity to rip the Tesla up the hill!

I hit my 20 mph warning beeps right near the top of the hill. This isn’t a long or steep hill, but it is a landmark to me. The first time I took my InMotion V5F to the park, my feet were absolutely screaming at me while I was trying to climb this hill.

Effortlessly riding up that hill at 20 mph felt amazing!

What is a curb?!

I don’t have the right vocabulary here, and Google isn’t helping me out. I’m playing fast and loose with the term curb for sure.

If I’m riding in the grass, and the sidewalk is two or three inches higher than the sidewalk, I’m treating it like a small curb. I’m aware that this is a low shoulder, but calling it a shoulder doesn’t communicate the steep drop off.

I was able to go up a transition like this today from the grass to the sidewalk, and I barely felt anything. I would have done a little hop up off the pedals on my V5F to get my weight off the EUC for a second just to make sure it would bounce up!

I noticed this when I was pushing the Tesla into the house by the trolley handle. Usually when I push the InMotion V5F up the transition from the sidewalk to my house’s stoop, I have to lift up a bit. The Tesla just walked right up on its own. It was fantastic!

NOTE: The Tesla doesn’t want to climb up the stoop on its own when set to the soft riding mode. Doing some tests in soft, medium, and hard riding modes will be interesting!

Dropping off curbs

I feel a lot better jumping off curbs with the Tesla. It feels and sounds much more solid.

I think I figured out why the InMotion V5F was so noisy when dropping off a ledge. There’s nothing on there to secure the trolley handle in place except gravity. I bet that handle is bouncing and clanking all over the place when I hit the ground!

My first ride with friends on the Gotway Tesla

When I got back from my 5-mile ride in the afternoon, I noticed that Brian was checking to see if anyone was interested in going for a ride after work. Brian and Tanner met up with Chris and I at our house a few hours later, and we headed out on the bike trails.

Tanner’s MSX Pro didn’t look so big anymore! You do notice the extra weight when you pick it up, and Tanner was definitely envious of the weight of my wheel. He’s getting a bigger tire, 80% more battery capacity, and a whole mess of extra power, torque, and top speed out of that extra 13 pounds. I think he’s still pleased with his decision.

I still didn’t make it to 100% charge before leaving the house. The log says this ride started at 78%, which seems to be 79.5 volts. We took a rather convoluted route through the park.

NOTE: I don’t have a Relive.cc video of this ride. I somehow managed to accidentally break my EUC World tour up into two pieces, so I couldn’t upload it at a single event!

Whenever Tanner was taking the lead, EUC World was constantly sending warning noises through my Tesla’s speaker to inform me that I was going faster than 20 mph. My top speed on this trip was 22.1 mph, and I’m pretty sure I nearly reached that speed on more than one occasion.

After five or six miles of riding, we noticed that it was getting dark. There were big, scary clouds moving quickly across the sky, and we were worried that it was going to rain on us. Google’s weather report didn’t seem to think it was going to rain, but one thing I learned when I drove a convertible in Texas is that if it looks like it is going to rain, you should assume that it will!

Instead of riding farther, we chose a path that would aim us closer to home. We didn’t head straight home, but we wanted to make sure we had less distance to cover if it did decide to start pouring!

The Tesla is fast!

The Gotway Tesla is fast and stable at higher speeds. Sure, Tanner’s MSX Pro is faster and even more stable, but I don’t think I should be going that fast anyway. This is what concerns me.

I’m hitting my new 20 mph speed warnings just as easily and possibly even more often than I was hitting 15 mph warnings on the InMotion V5F. If I moved the tilt back to 30 mph and the audible warning to 25 mph, I bet you I would be hearing the warnings all the time too.

I’m not afraid to go faster on the Tesla. On the InMotion V5F, I felt confident enough with a simple bicycle helmet and wrist guards. The amount of protection I feel that I need to stay safe at 25 mph is bulkier, warmer, less comfortable, and costly!

I’ve fallen off the InMotion V5F on a slippery road at about 8 mph. I just took three or four steps and slowed to a stop. In all likelihood, that is what will happen at 15 mph. At 20 mph, I’m probably tipping over. What happens at 25 mph? I have no idea!

I already have elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. I ordered a motorcycle helmet before the Tesla arrived, but it isn’t here yet. I knew I wanted a chin guard, so I figured I’d be getting something more like a motocross helmet.

Then I figured out that I’d want goggles in the winter. My eyes already water quite a bit when riding at 15 mph in 50-degree weather, so I expect 20 mph riding to be worse! I learned that a better motorcycle helmet costs less than a motocross helmet and a set of goggles, and the motorcycle helmet has a retractable sun visor built in.

The motorcycle helmet seemed like a no-brainer!

What else have I learned about the Tesla in my first 15 miles?!

The Tesla hauls ass through the grass. My leisurely ride through the grass on my first test drive was fine, but on the way home from our evening ride, I had to chase Tanner through the grass a few times. I had no trouble keeping up with him, and I was even managing to just about keep pace with Brian’s Exway X1 Pro Riot skateboard, and he was riding on the smooth bike path!

So far, I hate the rubbery side pads near the top of the Tesla. I’m not yet sure if I’m the problem, or the pads are the problem!

The pads aren’t soft. They push right into my calves, and it is quite uncomfortable. On the InMotion V5F, my legs barely touch the wheel most of the time. On the little EUC, I only squeeze on the pads when I need to.

The Tesla is so much wider. Sometimes I feel like my toes are pointed inward and touching the wheel, while the pads are pushing my legs out and keeping my heels farther out.

Those pads have quite a bit of grip. I was wearing shorts yesterday, and there’s enough friction to mostly keep my legs from being able to move forward or back. I keep thinking adjusting my foot position will help, but the grippiness of the pads and the pedals are making this difficult for me.

I’m not yet comfortable lifting my weight off one foot on this bigger EUC. I know I’ll get there in a few days. Some things that I could do without thought on the petite InMotion V5F require lots of concentration! Other things are significantly easier with the big, stable machine.

Conclusion

Choosing the right EUC for my needs wasn’t easy! This is part of the appeal of the OneWheel. There are only two options. There are three or four unicycle manufacturers, and each has half a dozen models in their lineup. This is a blessing and a curse.

I think I made a good choice, and eWheels made the decision easy with their reduced price on the Tesla. When I first started shopping for unicycles, I thought the InMotion V10 would be amazing to ride, even though it seemed heavy. At that time, the V10F was available for preorder, and it looked absolutely amazing. Six months later, and I own my own EUC that is lighter, faster, and has more range than that V10F. How awesome is that?!

Do you think I made the right choice? Do you agree with me that the Tesla is 80% of an MSX Pro for 65% of the price? Do you think I made a mistake buying an older model wheel? Are you riding an electric vehicle in Plano, TX? Let me know in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!