Weight: 17 pounds
Max speed: 7.5 MPH
Range: 4 miles (est)
Max. rider weight: 154 Lbs
Recommended rider age: 6-12 years
If you are looking for an introductory electric scooter for a young child just learning to ride, the $129 GoTrax GKS is an excellent and affordable option. This moderate to low priced scooter offers a unique ‘Safety-Start’ technology — a two button foot-controlled starting sequence to engage the motor and ensure a safe riding position. Its smaller than average deck length and handle height along with its fixed top speed of 7.5 miles per hour makes it suitable for smaller kids on the younger side of the 6-12 age range.
For this GoTrax GKS review, Mia, our energetic and opinionated 7-year-old, tested the scooter for three weeks to see if it deserved a spot on our best electric scooters for kids page.
GoTrax GKS review: Design
With bold colors, a sturdy design and 6-inch wheels, the GoTrax GKS offers many of the features you would want for an introductory scooter. “I think it looks cool” said Mia.
At just 17 pounds, the GKS is one of the lightest electric scooters of its kind, making it very easy for younger children to move around. The trade-off for the light-weight design is a reduced battery life and a 4-mile range.
Unlike many electric scooters, the GKS does not fold. This makes transportation and storage a little cumbersome.
The height and deck-length of the GKS is slightly smaller than other electric scooters, which makes it ideal for younger riders. However, it is not adjustable and might prove to be an awkward ride as the child gets taller and their feet grow.
Assembly was straight-forward; the two of us put it together in about 15 minutes. Upon inspection, the scooter had some minor issues out of the box but were easy to fix. The reflector stickers and part of the non-skid surface on the deck were peeling back and had to be pressed back into place before use. The unit is very solid and had no loose parts after assembly. After a five-hour charge time, it was ready to go.
Unlike most electric scooters, such as the Razor E100, the GoTrax GKS has no controls on the handlebars. Instead, it features a design called ‘Safety-Start’ that is a series of two large foot-operated buttons on its deck. The rider puts their front foot on the first button and kicks off. The motor engages when the back foot steps down on the second button. The brake on the GKS is a typical rear foot brake. If the child wants to go slower, they can either turn the motor off by moving their back foot off the button or by pressing down on the rear brake. This intuitive design made it very easy for Mia to learn how to use the scooter after just a few tries. She said, “It was exciting and felt safe on the first try.”
The safety feature and the smaller than average deck size eventually turned into a point of frustration as Mia pointed out, “The two buttons were easy to learn, but it keeps turning off when I move my feet. I don’t like that. If you move your foot or stand on it wrong, it turns off.”
GoTrax GKS review: Performance
The GKS scooter worked very well on smooth surfaces and could handle small hills with ease. It was perfect for going around the neighborhood or on paved trails in the park. Its quiet motor made it easy for Mia to hear traffic and her parents. The slower than average speed (7.5mph) allowed for better control and safer turns – exactly what you would want in child’s first introduction to electric scooters.
Hard tires and no suspension mean that it can be a jarring ride on rough roads. When driving down our farm road, Mia said the vibrations made her hands and feet numb and at one point, “It shook so much it made my nose hurt!”
The charging plug cover would constantly vibrate out while riding and would undoubtedly be knocked completely off under normal use.
The instructions warn that the GKS is not at all water resistant and to avoid water and puddles. The loose charging plug cover opens it up to even more of the elements. This left Mia with the question, “What am I supposed to do with it if I’m riding it and it starts to rain?” If you are in a rainy climate or the child is prone to occasionally leaving bikes and scooters outside overnight, this might not be a good option for them.
As a parent, there are some safety features I feel are missing from this scooter. There are no safety lights on the GKS at all. Although there are reflectors on the sides of the scooter, there are none in the front or the back, giving it limited visibility to traffic as it gets dark. There are also no indicators to tell the child how much of a charge is left on the battery.
GoTrax GKS review: Verdict
The GoTrax GKS is a dependable, beginner-level electric scooter. Intuitive foot controls, small size and top speed of 7.5 MPH makes it ideal for a young rider. Overall, it is a good scooter for the price.
For those looking for another quality ‘budget’ scooter at the same price-point as the GoTrax GKS, the Razor Power Power Core E100 offers hand-controlled brakes and throttle, inflatable tires for a smoother ride plus greater range and speed. However, the Razor’s lead-acid batteries make it a full 7.5 pounds heavier than the light-weight GKS.
If you are willing to spend a bit more, the $199 Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Zing E8 offers young and beginning riders more features and multiple riding modes in a small and light-weight design. But you’ll find the GoTrax GKS to be a solid and dependable ride.