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Old 03-09-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
TaoTao EVO150 Review
by prodigit prodigit is offline 03-09-2013, 11:52 PM


Hi all,

It's time to re-review the TaoTao EVO 150.
I've done a review on SD.PB, and now I copy and update it here.

I bought it because it was one of the best looking, cheapest scoots online.
For $699, $900 delivered at my doorstep, with free gloves for the lady, I made the purchase.

Initial thoughts are:

The bike accelerates quicker than most cars until ~45-50MPH. Best suited for the medium trips of 20 minute rides.
It's made for people of upto 6'. I'm 6'3", and my knees are in the way for steering. I have the choice to open my legs when steering, or closing them, knees together. Otherwise the handlebars hit the knees.
It really is a fun ride, upto 35 MPH!
After 35MPH it's very capable, but I'm not too fond of running the engine so high in RPM (@40MPH = 5000 RPM).

1- Bike comes with 2 x ?25W? Halogen headlight bulbs!

2- A bit complex to install

3- There's a hatch in the under-seat storage compartment, usually on the ATM50, to reach the carburetor, however opening the hatch looks on nothing. There's just a hose of the airbox going into the carburetor, but all you can see is part of the engine and CVT case, and the hose. Makes me wonder why the hatch is there.

4- There's a small hole in the under-seat storage compartment, this hole is to reach the idle adjustment screw with a long Philips screw driver. It is possible, but difficult to find the idle adjust screw.
You'd have to stick the screwdriver in the seatbucket hole, while keeping your head under the rear wheel to find the screw, and be able to adjust it.

5- On the right of the handlebars there's a plastic looking glass, which should be for the hydraulic brake system. However, the looking glass is just over the metallic brake reservoir. I can't see the oil level in it, just metal, because the brake reservoir looking glass is behind the chrome handlebars.... Talking of lousy engineering?

6- The button layout is different from your standard chinese scoot buttons. The engine kill switch is actually a switch, not a slider switch; the blinkers are one triangle switch, not the slider switch with center button, like on most bikes; bike also comes with an emergency 4-blinker switch!

7- The dashboard shows a speedometer that's relatively correct with my GPS (within a few MPH tolerance). The speedometer is in KM, and miles. The mile readout is difficult to see, yellow small numbers on a white background. The ODO is in KM. Maintenance is set to 50/100/300/600/1000, and every subsequent 1000 km's, not Miles. There is a brake led on the dash (when using brakes it lights up), and the fuel gauge seems to work nice (unlike the ATM50, where the fuelgauge would go down only after consuming 50% of the fuel in the tank).
Most of the dash leds are hopelessly inadequate. During daylight (in sunshine) it's almost impossible to see if the blinkers are on, the brake light is on, or headlights. The leds used are way too weak!

8- The fuel tank holds approx between 2.25 and 2.50 Gal of fuel. With the break-in, I am currently a little over 100km for half a tank, that's about 65MPG, this is with break in, and hard acceleration; avg MPGsee my sig!

9- Riding!
I noticed the engine was extremely quiet, especially at idle. The volume levels where well below a whisper, more quiet than the ATM50, and while riding, tire noise of cars next to me seem to make more noise than the engine. Engine vibration from 5 to 50MPH are virtually non existent. At idle the handlebars and mirrors vibrate some, but nothing too bad. I haven't tested my bike at speeds over 60MPH yet, because I'm still breaking in the engine.
Acceleration was very good, all the way from 0 to 40MPH, I'd say it accelerates faster than most cars; from 40-55MPH it accelerates just like other cars, and from 50-60 acceleration is a bit slow, but I expect to gain at least another 5-7MPH after break in.
The 13in wheels do provide some centrifugal force, making the bike feel more like a motorcycle at high speeds (when turning, the bike has the tendency to go straight, due to the centrifugal forces on the wheels. Something you won't notice on a 10in tire 50cc scoot.
At ~43MPH I did notice an oscillation in the front wheel, the front tire is not balanced.
In the beginning it seemed that the bike's idle was set too low. Every time I released the throttle, the engine would stall, and would not start unless I revved the throttle. I adjusted idle to higher, but once the engine was warm, idle became higher than 2.2k RPM, and I had to lower it again. I'm sure it had something to do with the engine breaking in.
The engine revs upto 5 or 6k RPM (depending on acceleration), and stays there until the CVT maxes out.
It makes for a very MPG friendly setting, while still accelerating quite nice!
Overall I think the gearing fits the engine very well!
The bike, despite being 3x the displacement of the TaoTao ATM50, does not engine brake very well. While engine braking, it almost feels like the engine provides minimal resistance (as if the valves where in an open position). This definitely helps with MPG, as it's able to coast a lot better than the ATM, however it's not like a neutral on a car; rather it remains in high gear until RPMs drop to 3k RPM (~20MPH), then the variator kicks in until 5-10MPH, where the clutch disengages.
The brakes of the EVO150 are hopelessly underpowered! Even at city riding, the pads are too small, the front disc gets really hot...
Both front and rear brake provide less than adequate braking power. In an emergency, braking will be very hard, and it's not possible to lock the wheels at all!
This is very unlike the ATM50 I had, which could lock the wheel.
On a positive side note, the EVO150 has no squeeking drum brake (yet). The ATM50's rear drum squeeked like hell!
The worst part is that the scooter is actually made for people upto 5'5". I'm 6'3", and barely fit on the scoot. The handlebars hit my knees, and I have to either open my knees to steer, or put them together, otherwise the handlebars hit my knees.

10- Quality:
- Most bolts used are painted green bolts. They won't rust easily, however I did see some rust on the rear shocks.
- I immediately gave the bike a nice touch of corrosion X (thanks to my friend Hank, who suggested it), especially at the exhaust and shocks.
- The wheels are 13 in, alloy wheels 3.5x13 tires.
- The tires came from the factory with 40PSI on the rear, and 36PSI on the front.
I did have to release some air on the front, as the tires are lower quality and are rated upto 32PSI.
- The starter is amazingly powerful! It starts the bike almost like my BMS TBX260 fuel injected bike. The bike starts almost instantaneously.
- The saddle is probably one of the best saddles I've ever seen on a chinese scooter! It is about as comfy as my Honda VT750's stock saddle, and that's a lot more comfortable than many harley's out there.
- The shocks are quite hard, tuned like sports bikes. The saddle takes a lot of the road vibration away, but I would have preferred shocks that are at least twice, if not 4x softer.
- The throttle has quite some play. The throttle handle moves left-right about 1/2 in, which is quite much! I'll look into it later, to see if there's no solution to it.
- I forgot to use the nylon strips to tighten all the cables and wiring within the front headlight. Now when I ride, the wiring touches the plastic, and causes some unwanted noise, that could have been avoided.
- The EVO150 comes with one front wheel nut. It has a second nut installed that fits as well. My suggestion is to tighten the second nut, and then the first nut, both on the front wheel.
I'm schizophrenic about losing the front axle while riding, so I prefer to put 2 nuts on the axis for improved security. The stock nut comes with a metal sealing. Once you loosen the nut, you'd have to throw it away, so make sure everything is in the right place, before tightening it!
- The rear nut is a large single nut, that's not secured by an industrial fastener safety pin (aka pic below):


If I where the manufacturer of this scooter I would use these nuts on the rear wheel instead:


11- I'm a little disappointed in the small storage space. Not enough to fit a 3/4 helmet. Even though the bike is a lot bigger than the ATM50, the storage space is less...

Conclusion:
Overall I'm really impressed with my bike!
It's of significantly higher quality than my ATM50, though costing only $100 more! (granted, it came without a rear trunk)
Me being 6'3"can adjust to the small size bike somewhat, but would probably recommend the PowerMax 150 for a large person, as that bike has a saddle that allows you to sit halfway between rider and passenger on the seat.



Installation:
Just like any bike out there, I figured, getting a 300+ LBS 150cc scooter uncrated is not a one man's job; but with a lot of cursing and trying, it is possible.

The EVO installation order would somewhat be the following:
1- Uncrate and loosen metal wires that hold the bike
2- Unwrap
3- Mount the handlebars
4- Mount the front wheel and front fender
5- Put it on center stand and mount the rear shocks
6- Mount the horn
7- Mount the front/headlight compartment, and wires
8- Oil up (engine and CVT oil fill; stock oil is good enough for a 50 km engine break in; not necessary for changing it, just make sure it's full)
9- Install the battery
10- Open the seat bucket, and perform a PDI.

PDI:
1- All the Tao scooters I've had, all had their hose clips mounted incorrectly. Go over all the clips, and place them on the right spots.
Also make sure the hoses are mounted well over their corresponding mounts; sometimes they are mounted at the tip, and it'd only take time for it to get loose.
2- Check all bolts to see if they're tight. Especially the front wheel hydraulic brake system, and the rear wheel nut. Also the exhaust bolts, rear fender mounts, and exhaust pipe mounting screws.
3- Check tire pressure
4- Check all lights, high/low beams, blinkers, and brakes

Possible problems with installation:
1- Mounting the front headlight compartment and forgetting to mount the horn, connect one of the wires, or mounting the front fender
2- Mounting the rear shocks before the front wheel. You will want the front wheel to be mounted, as the bike will tilt forwards with the shocks mounted, and it'd be harder to install the front wheel by yourself
3- The handlebars can be mounted incorrectly; while the screws may seem tight, it's possible that they will click loose while you're riding, as parts slide in each other.
4- The rear fender mounts, the muffler mounts and the exhaust mounts (at the engine) all can rumble loose, especially if you rev the engine high.
5- Engine can stall while doing the break in on a cold engine. Might be necessary to up the idle.

Engine break in:
1- Start engine, and let idle
2- Do a series of WOT accelerations and engine brakes, with speeds from 0-5, 0-10, 0-15, 0-20, 0-25, 0-30 MPH, until 50km's are covered.
3- Do an oil change around 50, 100, 300, 600, and 1000kms. Those imho are the best intervals.

Tune up:
After the engine has done 50km's, it needs a tuneup.
- I usually gap the spark plug (make it 0.11 to 0.15", from the stock 0.25").
- The idle screw needs adjustment
- The throttle cable needs adjustment
- The rear drum brake needs adjustment


Some interesting remarks:
- Installation time: ~3 hours.
- AVG Top speed: ~60MPH with BP Premium, 52MPH with Mobile mid grade.
- I've gotten 63MPH on occasion.
- CVT open ~40MPH @ 5000RPM. Most of the time, with city riding, the CVT is not tuned for optimum MPG.
- Acceleration @5k - 6k RPM, depending on how open the throttle is.
- CVT is quick in acceleration (high revs), and slow in deceleration (remains in highest gear downto 2k rpm).


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Old 03-26-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
teddy554   teddy554 is offline
 
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Great review
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:19 PM   #3
Admin   Admin is offline
 
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How did I miss this? lol

Aweosme review, thanks prodigit!
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:28 PM   #4
prodigit   prodigit is offline
 
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Thank you!

In the mean time I had some trouble with the EVO.
It seems that when revving the EVO hard, the bolts on the rear fender and exhaust mounting, tend to loosen.
Make sure you put locktite on them!
I've also discovered an annoying squeek in the rear.
I can't locate from where it's coming from. A squeek probably generated by the engine vibrations and plastic plating rubbing against each other.
Another thing is the EVO has hopelessly complex tubing!
It has like tens of tubes, difficult to see which is fuel and which is vacuum hose; but the vacuum hoses make up for 75% of the tubing (lots of T-splitter pieces in there!), and going everywhere, from the carb to the air filter, to the cvt etc....

The EVO looks very nice, but if I have the choice again, I'd probably go for the much sleeker PowerMax, which IMHO does better on gas mileage, and performance in general.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:33 PM   #5
wheelbender6   wheelbender6 is offline
 
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How does it feel to uncrate and assemble your scooter? Is it a fun, bonding experience or does it feel like a chore? I have considered both internet dealers and local dealers for buying a China scoot this year.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:43 PM   #6
prodigit   prodigit is offline
 
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A 150 feels a bit like a chore (at least the EVO, because it's 300+LBS). A 50cc (or powermax 150) feels nice, as they are 200+LBS.
The worst thing is getting it out of the crate undamaged, and mount the front wheel.
Very easy with 2 people; difficult when you do it alone.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
bjkaraoke   bjkaraoke is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prodigit View Post
Thank you!

In the mean time I had some trouble with the EVO.
It seems that when revving the EVO hard, the bolts on the rear fender and exhaust mounting, tend to loosen.
Make sure you put locktite on them!
I've also discovered an annoying squeek in the rear.
I can't locate from where it's coming from. A squeek probably generated by the engine vibrations and plastic plating rubbing against each other.
Another thing is the EVO has hopelessly complex tubing!
It has like tens of tubes, difficult to see which is fuel and which is vacuum hose; but the vacuum hoses make up for 75% of the tubing (lots of T-splitter pieces in there!), and going everywhere, from the carb to the air filter, to the cvt etc....

The EVO looks very nice, but if I have the choice again, I'd probably go for the much sleeker PowerMax, which IMHO does better on gas mileage, and performance in general.
My squeek was from the exhaust bracket bolts working loose. Also I liked the look of the EVO ATM150-A Front end /headlight area better than the others which is why I bought it Also the 13 inch wheels gave better clearance than the smalller ones on the Powermax. EVO goes over speed humps without dragging

Last edited by bjkaraoke; 12-18-2013 at 02:41 PM. Reason: want to add
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #8
bjkaraoke   bjkaraoke is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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2013 ATM 150a

I have had pretty good luck with my Scooter. I bought a kit off e-bay with a carb that was jetted a bit bigger, an air filter, CDI, and Coil for around $50 adn it has given me an extra 5-10 mph with very little loss in mpg. The only weak spot besides the bolts all needing to be locktited, is the exhaust. I have almost 8000 km on my bike in 6 months and have had to replace the exhaust twice because it broke off at the flange where it connects to the motor. Other than that it had been a dream to ride
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Old 01-24-2017, 07:04 AM   #9
Oldgunner   Oldgunner is offline
 
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Excellent review..much info..
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