Gotway Tesla V2 Electric Unicycle: The First 500 Miles

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I’ve been riding electric unicycles for about 9 months now, and I’ve owned my Gotway Tesla for 6 months now. I put 340 miles on my little InMotion V5F before upgrading to the Tesla, and I recently clicked past 500 miles on my Tesla’s odometer.

Here in Texas, the summer months are rather unbearable outside. My two outdoor hobbies are flying FPV freestyle drones and riding electric unicycles. During the summer, my flying definitely took priority over riding! I’m pretty sure it took 4 months to put the first 300 to 350 miles on the Tesla, then the sprint past the 500-mile mark happened in less than a month.

My Gotway Tesla V2 at the park

What have I learned over the last 500 miles on the Tesla and my nearly 1,000 miles of electric unicycle riding?

I’m old and heavy. I can ride an electric unicycle!

I’m 43 years old, about 6’ tall, and weigh around 200 pounds. You can probably push that to 220 or so when I’m wearing my backpack. I can ride an EUC just fine. You can too!

I’ve fallen once. Don’t think I haven’t been forced off these wheels hundreds of time. When I was learning to ride the V5F, I had to jump off a lot, but I always landed on my feet! I got into a slippery situation with the V5F once, and I was able to jump off rather gracefully.

I’ve had one real fall on the Tesla. It was on my second day with the new wheel. I was still getting the feel for this heavier, less nimble wheel while my friend Brian was following me with his cinewhoop. I was coming around a turn at less than 10 mph when the right pedal got too close to the ground.

My front of my shoe got caught between the pedal, the body of the Tesla, and the ground. That meant I couldn’t jump away. The wrist guard saved my hand, though it did get squished a bit, and it was sore for a week or so. It knocked the wind out of me, but I’m no worse for the wear.

What the heck do you use an electric unicycle for?!

The vast majority of the first 500 miles I’ve ridden on my Tesla have been just for the sake of riding. I often just throw on my helmet and take an afternoon ride. Those rides are usually between 6 and 12 miles long.

I like to take my laptop to the park once or twice a week. I don’t do much work there, though. I wrote two or three sections of this blog post at the park. There are some picnic tables along the bike trail that are fairly secluded. They’re half a mile from any roads and more than a mile from the nearest parking lot.

Sometimes my goal is to get some flying in. There are a couple of good spots near the bike trail. I’ll pack my 5” FPV freestyle quad onto my small backpack, take a few flight batteries, and ride to one of the spots. That’s a lot of fun!

Sometimes I meet up with friends just to ride the bike trails. We’ll usually put in 10 to 15 miles on one of these outings.

I’m waiting patiently for the pandemic to get under control. One of my favorite pizza shops is only a 10-minute ride from here, and I only have to ride about ¼ mile through some neighborhood side streets to get there. There’s a frozen yogurt shop, two burger joints, and a donut shop within roughly the same radius.

I believe there are two coffee shops that I’d be able to ride to, but they may have gone out of business.

I want to be able to take my laptop to the pizza shop. I’d like to be able to pick up a frozen yogurt. Picking up coffee in the middle of my ride would be interesting too!

Gotway Pedal dip is real

After that accident, I manually calibrated the Tesla so that the pedals sit with 2 degrees of uptilt. I figure this helps keep the pedals and my toes farther away from the ground when turning, and I always rode my InMotion wheel with some tilt anyway. It seems to make it easier to accelerate.

I’ve been acutely aware of the possibility that my pedals may dip and scrap the ground ever since. I know I was slowing down even more that necessary for turns, and I’ve always been super cautious.

The Tesla’s pedals sit rather low for a wheel this large. This keeps your center of gravity low, and it should make you more stable at speed. It also means your pedals get closer to the ground in turns.

The only time I’ve scraped a pedal since that fall was when I was doing my best to make the tightest turns possible with the wheel leaning over as far as I could. I wasn’t riding while doing this. I was just testing out in front of the house.

Pedal dip is real. It is also quite manageable.

The Tesla V2 is nearly perfect for my needs

The InMotion V5F was a fantastic starter wheel. I only paid $399 for it, and it has been dropped on the pavement a ridiculous number of times. It weighs less than 25 pounds and is built like a tank. I don’t know that my 42-pound Tesla would have survived this kind of punishment.

I definitely outgrew the InMotion V5F quickly. The range and top speed are quite limited. It was an amazing value, and I’m glad I still have it, but I really did need something bigger.

The Gotway Tesla is right in my Goldilocks zone. Heavier wheels with larger, wider tires are more stable, and the Tesla is quite beefy at 42 pounds. I’ve ridden the 55-pound Gotway MSX Pro and the 77-pound Veteran Sherman.

Riding the Sherman reminds me of driving our 1984 Grand Marquis station wagon when I was 16 years old. It glides over lumpy grass, dirt, and gravel nearly as smoothly as my Tesla rides over smooth pavement, but the Sherman turns like a tank.

There are so many trade-offs to make when choosing a wheel. You don’t just pay more to get a better wheel. When you pay more, you’re going to be adding battery. More battery means more weight.

The most I’ve ever managed to ride in a day so far is about 22 miles. I’ve gotten 34 miles on a single charge with my Tesla, and I still had 15% of my battery remaining. I still have plenty of buffer there.

What about other personal electric vehicles?

The biggest problem with electric unicycles is the steep learning curve. I want to say anyone can ride a bike or a scooter, but most people learned to ride a bike when they were kids. Anyone with a bit of skateboard experience can hop on a OneWheel XR without much trouble.

It takes at least an hour or two of practice just to figure out how to hold on to a wall and stand on an electric unicycle and start moving in a straight line. More realistically, you’ll have to spend 20 minutes practicing on three or four days to get moving.

I’ve recently realized that several of my hobbies have steep learning curves. Making espresso is difficult, and mastering the skill takes years. Learning to fly an FPV drone takes hours or weeks, and mastering the skill also takes years. The same is true with an EUC.

The OneWheel XR isn’t a good fit for me, because it doesn’t have enough range. A OneWheel XR is lighter than my Tesla, but it isn’t as easy to carry. I’ve also heard that the OneWheel starts to feel less stable at around 20 mph. I’ve ridden my Tesla faster than this with no stability issues.

My wife has a Pace Aventon 350 electric bike. It has plenty of range, but you have to take the front wheel off to fit it in the car.

Brian’s Exway X1 Riot Pro skateboard costs a lot less than the other options, and it weighs next to nothing. That’s awesome, but the ride is harsh and it isn’t maneuverable.

If you don’t like putting in the time to learn new skills, an electric unicycle may not be a good fit for you. I’ve found the experience to be rewarding. I have a 40-pound vehicle that can fit on the floor in front of the passenger seat of a Miata, and that vehicle can glide along smoothly at 20 to 25 mph for more than 30 miles.

We are living in the future.

I wish I had a suspension

I ordered my Tesla in May when it was discounted by $200 or $250 at eWheels. That was around the time when preorders for the King Song S18 and InMotion V11 suspension wheels were opening up.

In my mind, the S18 is a Tesla with a suspension, a larger wheel, and a bit more battery for only a few hundred dollars more. When I was ordering the Tesla, I was super tempted to preorder a King Song S18.

I’m glad I didn’t wait. I’ve been riding the Tesla for 6 months, and the first batches of King Song S18 wheels are still being delivered. That would have been a bummer.

I’m also not convinced that the first-generation suspension wheels are ready for prime time. They all look like they ride great, but I keep hearing disappointing news. The S18 might be rather fragile and rickety. The Gotway EX might be pretty good, but it sounds like you’ll get dirt and crud into the suspension components if you ride off-road. The InMotion V11 might be the best of the current bunch, but who knows?

My local trails have me spoiled

I can walk out my door, hop on my Tesla, and ride to a picnic table 5 miles away without ever getting off the wheel. If traffic is light on the trails, I rarely even need to slow down!

This is a blessing and a curse. Being able to ride without ever stopping is a ton of fun, but I’ve missed out on getting practice mounting my wheel!

I felt competent with the little InMotion V5F. I could ride a dozen or so feet with only one foot on the wheel. The Tesla was so much bigger and heavier, so mounting or riding with one foot feels quite different. I’m still not good at lifting a foot off the Tesla while riding!

I blame this on the long rides. When I was learning to ride the V5F, I was tired every mile and needed a break. I probably had to mount the wheels dozens of times in the first 30 miles of real riding!

When the Tesla arrived, I had no problem riding for 4 or 5 miles before needing a break. I bet I got more practice mounting the V5F in the first 50 miles than I’ve gotten on the Tesla in 500 miles.

I know a lot of you don’t have the luxury of living 300 feet from dozens of miles of smooth bike trail. If you have to stop at an intersection every half mile to cross a street, you’re getting way more practice mounting your unicycle than I ever did.

If I started with a heavier wheel like the Tesla, I wouldn’t be complaining about this. I’m just learning to be good at this part of the puzzle more slowly than the rest of you!

I’m not itching for a speed upgrade

Electric unicycles are buttery smooth on pavement. My Tesla is supposed to be able to reach 30 mph. I have a speed alarm set at 20 mph, and the fastest I’ve pushed the wheel so far is 25 mph.

Do you know what’s terrifying about 25 mph? It doesn’t feel much different than riding at 20 mph.

I’m wearing a Bell Super 3R helmet and wrist guards. I’m already worried about what happens to me if I fall at under 20 mph. I understand how much more potential energy I’m carrying at 25 mph. I’ll hit the ground much harder, and I’ll be significantly less likely to jump off and run when something goes wrong at 25 mph.

I know that all I have to do is push a bit harder and the Tesla will take me to 30 mph. I expect it to feel a lot like 25 mph, and that is terrifying!

I like the idea that the power is there. I wouldn’t complain if I had even more power available. Just because it is available doesn’t mean I have to use it. More powerful wheels are safer wheels.

Even if I had Tanner’s Veteran Sherman, I would still try to stick to about 20 mph.

The Tesla eliminated my range anxiety

My first personal electric vehicle (PEV) was a Hover-1 XLS scooter that I got from If I remember correctly, the website said it would have a 20-mile range, while the box said it had a 15 mile range.

I decided to test that range one day. After riding about 10 or 12 miles, I was on the bike path about a mile away from any roads. I had 3 out of 10 bars left on the battery meter, so I figured I’d be fine. I wasn’t. It shut itself down on me.

I had to hunch over while wearing my 25-pound drone backpack and push that short scooter nearly a mile on a 95-degree day to get to the road so my wife could pick me up. This was not fun.

I didn’t have much range anxiety with the InMotion V5F. The longest ride I ever did on that little wheel was just under 15 miles. It still had a bit of juice left in the tank, but everyone I was riding with had plenty of range left. They could have kept going, but we had to plot a course back home that wouldn’t be too far for me to make it!

I’ve gotten 34 miles out of a single charge on my Gotway Tesla. I haven’t ridden much more than 20 miles in a single day. I don’t see a day coming any time soon when I’ll need to use the full 34 miles on a single ride. I have quite a bit of room to grow here, and there’s some headroom for me as the cells start to degrade over time.

If you want to ride farther, you need more battery capacity. More capacity is more weight. More weight might be a bummer for you!

I feel like I’m at a comfortable spot. I have more range than I need, and I’m reasonably happy with the heft of my 42-pound wheel. I don’t want to pay more for a heavier wheel. I don’t need the range, and I don’t want to have to lift that weight into the car!

Keep riding, and you will keep getting better!

I took a break through most of October. I probably only rode twice during a four- or five-week period, and I really got rusty!

Mounting the wheel was more challenging than it should have been. Every time I hit a bump in the road or rode over a twig, I’d get shaky and nervous. I had to negotiate turns with a ton of caution, and I felt squirrelly every time someone was walking towards me on the bike trail. My top speed was quite low, and I wasn’t bumping into my speed alarm at all. In some ways, it was like starting from scratch!

I don’t know if it was the next ride or the ride after that, but it didn’t take much practice for riding the EUC to feel natural again. I was regularly bumping into my 20-mph speed alarm, I was carving, and I was going off-road again.

I invested in a nice helmet

I’m not convinced that you need to spend $224 on a helmet, but I did it anyway, and I am quite pleased with the results!

My $70 motorcycle helmet seemed like a great idea. It was cheap. It has a retractable sun visor. Its main visor keeps the wind out of my face. If it can protect someone riding a motorcycle, it should protect me well enough, right?

It is heavy. It is hot. It has terrible visibility. The wind noise is awful.

You absolutely must have a chin guard on your helmet. I decided I wanted a mountain bike helmet. There are plenty of reasonable-looking helmets on Amazon for around $60 to $80, but none of those helmets had much in the way of ventilation.

The Bell Super 3R is well made, it is light, it has a huge opening to see through in the front, and it has tons of vent holes. I don’t understand why it is so much quieter than my motorcycle helmet at speed, but it is. It was worth every penny.

When I ride, I wear wrist guards and a helmet. I’ve been saying I should wear knee and elbow pads if I plan to go over 15 mph, but I haven’t been doing that. You should wear knee and elbow pads. Don’t follow my lead here.

Here’s to the next 500 miles!

I expect the next 500 miles to go by quickly. We’re entering the best riding months of the year here in Texas. Summer here is hot. The heat makes me stay home or ride home early. The only thing that will keep me from riding between now and April is rain!

What do you think? Do you ride an electric unicycle, OneWheel XR, electric skateboard, or e-bike? Are you using yours for fun, real transportation, or both? Does your personal electric vehicle (PEV) have significant mileage on it? Tell me about it in the comments, or stop by the Butter, What?! Discord server to chat with me about it!