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Electric Scooter for Sand Terrain


I'd like to build an electric scooter for persons with mobility issues to assist them to traverse the soft white sand to access the beaches, ocean, get their feet wet :O)

The vehicle must be able to cut the sand AND climb the ADA ramps incline (nominally at 1in rise per 1ft run)

I'm thinking 18" dia, 8" wide rear tires to cut the sand.  Maybe all we need is 15" !?!

MAX speed is 6mph (speed is not a factor here)

Passenger weight is 220lb with cargo weight of <= 30lb

I'm thinking torque over speed.

My question is, is what size motor/controller do I need to use in this build?  And can I be supplied with same?


Al Toman

For this build a 36 Volt 650 Watt gear motor and 36 Volt 800 or 1000 Watt controller will provide plenty of power and torque to do the job. We have these parts available and in stock. Here are links to the pages they are sold on:

We also have an online gear ratio calculator that can be used to figure out what size chain sprockets are needed to achieve the 6 mph top speed that you want the scooter have. Here is a link to it:

Hopefully this information will help to point you in the right direction. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

 Thank you very much for your response.

#1 - I did your calculator thing and am not sure what it is telling me!?!
Like, don't need no old people doing 22mph down the handicap ramp!
So, I reduced the RPM and increased the wheel sprocket which increased the gear ratio and got closer to the 6mph which is cool.
I do NOT need people drag racing these puppies :O)

So, first, I don't know what sprocket-teeth are available!?! So I'll need your advice on that.

#2 - So, I'm looking at speed controller Item # SPD-36800B and motor Item # MOT-MX650 based on your advice. Cool.

Now, me like knowing duh, can you make a list of ALL what I need ELECTRICAL (and brakes, chains, sprockets) to get this puppy moving?
Keeping in mind that the majority of my clients will be like old, like me, and all they know is to turn the key on and go. Nothing too much more complicated then that. :O)

I really don't want REVERSE on this but thinking, some of these people will drive into a wall and may need the reverse, so, if that is possible!?! :O\

#3 - I can then review the list, do up some schematics, then purchase the stuff, and see what happens? Is that okay?

#4 - If successful with this design, it won't be the last one built! (SurfCity already commissioned me for a couple for their beach front).
I appreciate you working with me on this and will always remember that you helped me.

Again, thank you so much for getting back with me!
Al Toman


These type of electric motors need to be run near their top RPM in order to run cool and produce enough power, so I recommend using a gear motor instead of a standard motor that does not have gear reduction. I ran some calculation with our 24 Volt 450 Watt gear motor that has a 550 rpm top output speed (MOT-24450G) and got perfect results for your project. Here is the gear ratio calculation.

This calculation was made using a 44 tooth bicycle chain sprocket for the drive wheel which we sell (SPR-B44). The 24V 450W gear motor has a 9 tooth bicycle chain sprocket on it. Both of these sprockets use standard 1/2" x 1/8" bicycle chain which we sell. We have a 24V 500W speed controller with reverse that can be used with this motor.

I can make a kit for this project in which all of the parts will have matching and labeled connectors on them that are ready to plug together when the kit arrives. Here is a link to a kit I made for another customer which has all of the parts I recommend for your project  minus the 1/2" x 1/8" chain and 44 tooth wheel sprocket:

We have sprockets and axle hubs for #410 (1/2" x 1/8") chain which are compatible with the motor in the kit above:

We also have sprockets with freewheels and axle adapter which are compatible with the motor in the kit above:

The 450 Watt motor with 6 mph top speed will have a lot of torque for going through sand and climbing ramps. I am not sure how much ride time you need the cart to have. The larger the batteries are the more ride time the cart will have. The KIT-140 that I linked to above has two 12V 12Ah batteries which will provide around 45 minutes of ride time (4 miles) at full speed. If you need a longer ride time then I could make a kit with larger batteries, or I could make a kit with smaller batteries for a shorter ride time.

If this gear ratio and electrical setup sounds good to you then I can go ahead and make a kit. I would just need to know how much run time you need the cart to have?

Thank you SO MUCH!
Yes.  The ride time is minimal.   Let's say from the ADA ramp to the water's edge is 100-200yds.  Another 100yds from parking lot to ADA ramp.   Let's say that that is typical.  Hence, travel distance is 300yds.  Let's say 500yds with built-in safety factor.
However, people given the tools, they'll want to "explore"  so what would 1-2 miles do to the calculations?

Yes!  If you would make a kit list for evaluation and budgeting, that would be super!  Then let's get this puppy rolling!  We'll makeup the prototype and report back the results in case we need to modify.

Thank you SO MUCH!

For a 1-2 mile ride time 10Ah batteries should have plenty of capacity so I made a kit including them. Here is a link to the kit:

I included a half twist throttle with the kit because it is one of the easiest ones we have to operate. It has a battery power meter and push button switch on it that will turn the power on and off. I included a second handlebar mounted push button switch for reverse. If you prefer a different throttle or any other different parts with the kit I can make those changes. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you would like any changes made to the kit.

Wow!  Thanks!  Let me review then I'll add it to the cart and make some noise! 
Thanks again!

Al T.


Okay.  I placed the order.  I will need something for brakes but we can discuss that after I get this built.
Thanks again for your help in this matter.  It is very much appreciated and if all goes well hopefully we can

 continue to do business.


Al T.

You are welcome and thank you for your order. When you are ready to discuss the brakes please let me know.
Quick question:
That 44 tooth sproket
got any tips on mounting that to the 3/4" axle for the 18" dia wheel!?!



We have sprockets and axle hubs for #410 (1/2" x 1/8") chain which are compatible with the motor in the kit above:

We also have sprockets with freewheels and axle adapter which are compatible with the motor in the kit above:

Okay, so that solution looks like the axle needs to turn.  In my case, the drive wheel is on bearings, hence, on a fixed 3/4" diameter shaft.  I think I need a double flange 4-bolt hub     2-13/16" bolt pattern.  Bolt the hub to the wheel and attach the sprocket to the second flange.   Ugh!  Things are SO complicated :O|

The electrical system is the easy part and the drive train is often where is gets complicated. I did not realize that the axle was fixed and it was single wheel drive. If using go kart wheels sometimes the easiest way is to bolt or weld the bicycle sprocket directly onto a go kart sprocket that is smaller than it.

Okay, putting this altogether:

1.   I'm gonna need to go to a #35 chain, which you have.  I'll order the 5footer.
2.   Do you have the sprocket that attaches to the motor for a #35 chain?  I'll need to replace the one that's coming, yes?
3.   Can I return the 44 tooth sprocket and bicycle chain, for a credit, and get the parts #1 and #2 above?

Thanks SO much for your help.  It IS coming together, slowly.  :O)
We have #35 chain available however we do not have any sprockets for #35 chain that will attach to the motor you have or any of our other gear motors. The only sprockets we have the for the MOT-24450G motor that you have are for 1/2"x1/8" (#410) bicycle chain. You are of course welcome to return the 44 tooth sprocket for exchange credit or refund.

I wish that we had sprockets for our gear motors that used #35 chain because that would make attaching them to go kart parts so much easier, however the factory that makes the motor sprockets does not make them for #35 chain. Perhaps a sprocket for #35 chain with a smaller bore than the existing motor sprocket could be machined to fit the motor though.

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