Gotway Nikola 4,000 Mile Review!

by freshlycharged

The Gotway Nikola is the second EUC I have ever owned after the King Song 16S. It is a great wheel and a great upgrade. In short, the Nikola feels great, looks sleek, and handles very well.

The main gripes I have about the wheel are the annoying beeping noises when you turn it on or when you set it on its side and the somewhat awkward carrying handle which looks great and I have gotten used to.

I have the 84v version which is perfect for my needs as I am not a speed demon or high performance rider. A full 4,000 mile review by a high performance rider is down below.

My thoughts about the Gotway Nikola

Likes:

  • Speed
  • Range
  • Speakers
  • Wide tire
  • Overall feel and handling

Hate:

  • The handle is uncomfortable
  • The beeping noise it makes when you turn it on
  • The beeping noise when you lay it down
  • The Gotway App (I use EUC World right now)

Meh:

  • Grip on the pedals is different. I neither hate nor do I love it.
  • Trolly handle works but feels flimsy out of the box. Not as solid as on my KS16S, but it works well once you tighten the screws.
  • Shell looks nice but it tends to scratch easily.
  • The labeling on the shell are stickers that will come off over time.

Check out pricing and options on the Nikola here at ewheels, my go to place for EUCs. If you want an in depth review, keep reading.

4,000 Mile Gotway Nikola Review

Let me introduce you to Zen Lee. He is an avid EUCer that I had the chance to meet and ride with in Las Vegas. He loves his Nikola and I asked that he share his 4k mile review with us. I hope you find it helpful:

After riding over four thousand miles with Gotway’s Nikola on rugged off-road terrain, windy roads, smooth sidewalks, dirt mountain bike tracks, around pedestrians, and even downtown Vegas splitting traffic jams; I have concluded that the Nikola is one of the top tier and most versatile electric unicycles currently available for purchase.

I’ve ridden on most EUCs, and the Nikola is the most comfortable for me at long range and on diverse trails/roads (minus the Monster). I’ve encountered very few places that I couldn’t ride: jagged rocky trails and thick sandy trails being two that come to mind. With the Nikola you’ll have a newfound freedom of movement that will open up your world.

What makes the Nikola so versatile is its thick tire, trolley handle, above average range (40-100miles), rgb lights for night time riding, booming speakers, and cruising speeds at 20-35mph.

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There are currently two versions of the Nikola: the 100v and 84v. The 100v or Nikola Plus has more speed and power and is a bit heavier than the 84v. The two wheels can be distinguished from each other visually as the 100v has black trim while the 84v has white trim.

The Nikola Plus has more range and a little more torque and power but otherwise the ride feel is nearly identical to the 84v Nikola.

One interesting note, was the 84v Nikola seemed to have better speakers than the Nikola Plus, other than that they are very similar.

Zen Lee

The range of each version of the Nikola depends on the battery size, the 84v comes in 1600Wh and 2100Wh battery sizes and the 100v Nikola comes in 1845w and 1800Wh(21700 cells).

The speed and range is totally dependent on the model you purchase: the bigger the battery the further you’ll be able to travel on a charge. With the 84v Nikola for example, your cruising speed will only be 25-28 mph and the 100v Nikola will get you 30-35mph cruising speed.

The weight of a Nikola ranges from 50-54lbs which is a bit on the heavy side and with the way the handle is designed it can be difficult to lift, especially with one hand. The technique I mostly use for getting it up the stairs is using both hands and waddling up the stairs whilst holding the disengage button. Stronger beings should have no problem lifting it with one hand.

Disengage Button

The disengage button is located under the handle. If one lifts the Nikola without pressing the disengage button, the wheel will spin out and can cause for a difficult situation.

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When I was still learning I didn’t know about it and the wheel started spinning wildly after I picked it up, if this happens to you, don’t set it down until it stops spinning! I made this mistake and flung up a few rocks, thankfully no cars or people were on the receiving end of them.

Trolley Handle

The trolley handle is located above the handle and is easy to flip up and use. It’s a bit flimsy and I’ve known a few Nikola owners whose trolley handle broke off during a crash, and it’s not easy to replace. Mine was a bit fickle as well and required some tightening and adjustments. Using some velcro tape under the trolley handle may help keep it secure.

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Compared to the other EUCs with trolley handles, I’d say the Nikola’s isn’t the best however, it’s not bad and just needs a little work.

Who Should Consider the Nikola

Intermediate to advanced riders will enjoy the Nikola. It offers the smooth riding of a big wheel while still maintaining a nimble feel.

If the Nikola is going to be your first wheel, you should know that it’s not the easiest of wheels to learn on. I’d suggest you start on a smaller wheel first, BUT if the Nikola is going to be your first wheel (like it was for me), I’d suggest you start learning in a completely enclosed environment away from people, dangerous objects, and obstacles.

I learned in a tennis court and held onto the fence while getting the feel for it. It took me about a month of frustration, muscle pain, and dedicated practice to become comfortable on it. I’ve seen new riders learn how to ride my Nikola in under 10 minutes, this wasn’t the case for me.

If you’re new to riding, patience is your friend, let your muscles and mind sync to the device gradually, don’t rush the learning experience or you may hurt yourself or someone else. The more patient you are with your practices, the safer you will be in the long run. It may also be wise to tape up your wheel with padding while you learn. I used styrofoam and electrical tape to protect the shell from learning drops and crashes.

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With the 3” Wide and 16” diameter tire, you’re not going to have problems with small potholes, speed bumps, and other small obstacles such as pinecones or branches. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ride with caution.

With the thick wheel you’re going to have a much smoother cruiser than the smaller wheels. Beginners and seasoned riders alike will appreciate that.

The Nikola rides like a bigger wheel giving you a stable and smooth ride but it feels more nimble than the bigger wheels so it gives you the best of both worlds.

Speakers

The bluetooth speakers are amazing and unrivaled in the EUC world. I’d say they’re even better than the MSP (MSX Pro) and the speakers are inside the shell, so you don’t have to worry about dirt or other particles clogging them up (a problem with the MSP).

If you’re ever in a bad situation, play some police sirens from YT really loud and you’re sure to scare away shady people (joking don’t impersonate cops, unless your life is threatened). Also in group rides don’t play your speakers too loud, you may annoy some people.

Seats, Pads, Stickers

As far as modifications go, I’ve seen some cool artwork and design patterns added to the Nikola. The Nikola won best of show during West Wheel 2 (I also think it may have won the race at the EUC Olympics). My Nikola only has a few stickers on it, I’m not too fancy.

Speaking of stickers, the shell of the Nikola comes with several stickers that say Gotway. The stickers will come off over time which is fine. I don’t care much for them anyway.

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One could add a seat as well if they were so inclined. I’m able to sit on mine without a seat, but it’s not something I do often and it is not comfortable. You may also consider adding grip tape or pads to the pedals for better grip.

Many if not all Nikola riders have side pads added to their Nikola, there are two that come with the device; however, my pads had no stickiness to them and so I taped them on. After using them for awhile, I discarded them, and haven’t gone back to using any sort of pads since.

Personally, I like to feel connected to the wheel, but the added comfort and grip the side pads add are appealing, if I find the right pair I wouldn’t mind upgrading. I have not had any issues with being able to handle the wheel without side pads.

Durability

The durability of the wheel is amazing! It’s practically a tank. I’ve not had any hard crashes at high speeds, but have watched my Nikola roll down hills and mountains, and have dropped it and put it down many times!

My shell is really scratched up and dinged, but I love those battle scars. Replacing the shell wouldn’t be that hard if it was needed.

My worst crash was at low speeds and was simply a matter of inattentiveness to my terrain. I was focused on my camera and trying to take a photo of my friend in front of me, I sunk into some thick dirt and was flung back.

The back of my head was hit really hard, and at the time I was wearing a cheap helmet without mips, and suffered a small concussion that hurt for a couple weeks. Completely my fault. At 4000 miles, I have never had the Nikola cut out on me.

Riding Modes

Another factor that added to my small crash was the riding mode I was in. With Gotway wheels there are three riding modes: easy, medium, and hard.

Easy mode is the most comfortable, but requires more force to be applied to the pedals to accelerate and more weight distribution to turn. Hard mode requires less weight distribution to move and requires more precision to maneuver.

At the time crash I was only familiar and comfortable with the easy mode and hadn’t practiced the other modes. For whatever reason on this ride I had decided to switch to hard mode and this threw off my reaction timing, if I had been in soft mode I think I could have avoided being flung back.

My suggestion is to practice all the different modes in a safe place before trying them in unfamiliar terrain. Each mode has its strengths and weaknesses, mostly I ride on hard mode now, but will switch to the other modes if I’m suffering from foot fatigue or want to see how the other modes feel in a certain terrain.

The App

There are many apps available for the Gotway Nikola and the worst is the official Gotway App. Unless they have made changes, save yourself time and heartache and don’t even try the official Gotway App.

Currently I use EUC World, which is an improvement, but in my opinion not even close to being as good as the Onewheel app.

The Tire

The wide tire on the Nikola is great. It looks fantastic and it makes riding smooth and it gives you added confidence when off-roading.

The biggest negative of the Nikola for me, is the tire change. I shudder now thinking about my next tire change. My first tire change was at 3.5k miles but it should have been done sooner. It took about 5-6 hours with the help of someone who had already taken his Nikola Plus apart and knew what he was doing.

The 84v is slightly different than the 100v Nikola in terms of the internal electronics. I’d say the 84v is the more difficult of the two to perform a tire change on, but they’re both difficult. If you have the money, and can live without your wheel for a few days, send it in to a shop and let them do it!

Or if you have a shop and the right tools, take your time, watch a lot of videos on the matter, and learn to do it yourself, maybe you can get a tire change business going and I can visit you for my next one!

The tire change is difficult because it requires you to remove the outer shell and disconnect the board (at least on the 84v model). This requires extreme care as any static could destroy your board and they are not cheap to replace. There are also many screws and parts that must be removed, and you have to remove both sides of the shell.

The process isn’t very intuitive and they’re aren’t many resources or videos explaining how to do it on the 84v Nikola. There are a few videos that one could find on Youtube that might be helpful, but nothing I would rate as a full in depth tutorial on it.

After the first change, the next ones won’t be as bad. I’d be curious about how fast somebody could do a tire change. I’d estimate that it could be done in 30 minutes with the proper tools, mechanical experience, and workshop.

Miscellaneous

Some other minor negatives include: pedals need grip tape or studs, occasional wobbles when I slow down quickly (squeeze your legs when this happens), and flimsy caps for the usb and charging ports (I need new ones).

IMG 4925

Conclusion

I can without a doubt say the Nikola is the best transportation device I’ve ever ridden on, and the lights and surprisingly good speakers add a really cool vibe to the wheel at night.

Hands down, the Gotway Nikola is the best device I’ve ever bought in my life! It was my first EUC and I recommend it to advanced and even beginner riders. The question is, will we see a Nikola Pro in 2020?! If so, it will be my next EUC!

If you are interested in purchasing an EUC, consider ewheels. This is where I go for all my EUC needs and Jason at ewheels has never let me down. I may receive a small commission for each purchase, including purchases of this Gotway Nikola. All the support will go towards maintaining this website and my YouTube channel.

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We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

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