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  1. #1

    Default A subjective review of some fast scooters

    A friend reminded me today that diving is supposed to be fun, which I wholeheartedly agreed. So I thought what’s more fun than scooters. Typically I view scooters as a tool, but they can also just be for fun. I’ve been riding Gavins for approximately 15 years. As the new smaller scooters came out I rode a couple and hated them, too much torque resulting in more input on the diver, resulting in more fatigue on longer dives. Two years ago I herniated a disc and decided I needed to find a way to like the small scooters. I bought a Submerge Viper with a 2” longer hull, which allowed me to add weight to help offset the torque. This worked incredibly well. I sold my Gavins and purchased another viper.

    The vipers are great, smaller, lighter, and faster than the Gavins I was riding, but I wanted something even faster. The Vipers are fast enough for most dives, but there are a few caves where I wanted additional speed. I looked at and test rode the Submerge Magnus, the Suex XK1, the Genesis 600, and the Submerge Minnus. All of these scooters are comparable in top speed, all are built incredibly well, and they all have a ton of rotational torque, which results in an uncomfortable riding scooter.

    The Magnus, besides the torque the only thing I didn’t like about the scooter was the motor compartment was not sealed.

    The Suex XK1 was a very fine machine, but for whatever reason was the most uncomfortable to ride full tilt. I’ve heard that Suex has since changed batteries and the torque has been reduced. I still think it would benefit from a longer hull and additional weight. It was also the most expensive of the group, but I really like the removable prop and the speed setting on the body of the scooter, oh and the way it sits neutral in the water column was just eerie. It was the longest and heaviest (not that 55lbs is very heavy) scooter in the group. There are some awesome divers doing some amazing dives using these machines.

    The Genesis 600 has a very unique motor/prop interface that does not require a shaft seal and can be removed underwater. This is a great innovation, but this scooter had too many quirks for my style of diving. I often find myself scootering in small passage, or pushing the scooter through passage too small to scooter, or parking the scooter and swimming. The scooter was balanced so that the handle rotated to the 5 o’clock position when stopped. The scooter was also slightly negative and balanced nose up at a 30 degree angle. This presented a problem for me on the dive, I scootered approximately 4000’ and dropped the scooter on the line and continued to swim a small passage. When I returned to the scooter the trigger mechanism was impacted with sand/dirt and would not engage. After futzing with it for a couple minutes I decided to just ride my tow scooter out. The speed control is on the handle and activated with your thumb, at first it seemed like a good idea, but in practice I quickly realized I didn’t care for it at all. Every time I moved the light from my left hand to my right thumb to equalize or add gas to my wing or suit, the speed control would get bumped. This was very annoying. Also there are no speed markings, so it would be difficult to learn the burn time at different speeds. The other thing I noticed about this scooter was the prop wash extends well outside of the shroud. I believe it has to do with the shape of the prop. Compared to the Oceanic style prop and the Suex style where the blades are wide close to the hub and taper off, the Genesis prop is wide at the outside edges. This created silting when scootering in small passages or close to the bottom. The scooter is the smallest and lightest of the group.

    I test rode the Minnus that had the prototype Vortex speed controller. Prior to the dive I speculated that the speed controller would be less convenient to use than the standard electronics controlled at the trigger. I was wrong. I was surprised at how easy it was to change speed on the fly. The controller has a large dial with easy to read numbers. Like with the rest of the scooters I found that I had to use two hands to control the scooter at the top speed, I didn’t care for this. What I did like, compared to the Magnus, was this scooter was smaller, lighter, and has a sealed motor compartment. I think this is the best scooter in the Submerge lineup.
    After testing all the scooters, I ordered a Minnus with a 2” longer hull and weighted to offset the torque. The scooter rides like a dream, it’s balanced perfectly, is ridiculously fast, small, and light, and has an approximate range between 17,000’-23,000’ for cave diving. It’s smaller, lighter, faster, and rides better than a stock Viper. It’s more efficient and marginally faster than a Magnus. I’m shocked by how much I like this scooter. If you’re looking for something less expensive I think a good alternative is a Viper with a 2” longer hull.

    I’m very particular on how I want my scooters to handle in the water; perhaps things that bother me will not bother you at all. There’s no doubting how much better the scooters are today than what we had just five years ago.


  2. #2

    Default

    Click image for larger version

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    MK-48 Diver Propulsion Vehicle. 23 miles range @ 62mph. Or 32 mile range at 35mph.
    Counter-rotating props for torque control. Auto-pilot mode available.

    PLUS.... 650 lb "payload" capacity.

    Warranty void after one trip.

    Take only photos, leave only bubbles, kill only time.

  3. #3

    Default

    I have ridden most units.

    I am partial to Submerge because of a thousand reasons...but the most important two: service and product quality.

    I, too, am impressed w/the Minnus. I tried to kill it and didnt. I will try harder next time!

    I rode my UV 42 (which doesnt exist, but...) to the EOL in Eagles Nest on Sunday and in reviewing the video found that I easily exceeded 250 feet per minute without even trying to haul taters.

    I know other units have great results and fancy features but I just have a special spot in my heart for a work horse that never gives up.

    Bob


  4. #4

    Default

    Cool review.
    Did you check the xjoy37? Not as fast as xk1, but equiv runtime


  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St Petersburg, FL
    Posts
    2,448

    Default

    Is the 2 inch longer nose and battery position change an option Rodney offers, or is this something you specifically asked for and he obliged? I haven't heard of any other ones with that option.


  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Panama City Beach, Fl.
    Posts
    1,318

    Default

    Thanks for the review Kevin. I have been on a Magnus once and really liked it. I have never been on a Minnus but have heard great things about them. Converted my N 37 over to a LiFe 40 a/h Viper and I have an N-19 as a backup. I definitely like my SS scooters. I have never been on any of the other brands you listed but one that was not mentioned I have heard some good thing about is the Bonnex.

    Over 250 ft / min on a UV 42? That is alot faster than my UV / Viper. I bet that 42 rides good. My N 37 rode better than it does now that it is a UV 18 with a LiFe battery.

    And you are correct this is supposed to be fun.


  7. #7

    Default

    Patpicos, I didn't ride the xjoy37, but it's a nice looking unit. Information I gathered is that it's slower than the vipers I had, so it wasn't going in the direction I was looking for.

    Rddvet, the longer bodies were not a standard option, it was a special request.


  8. #8

    Default

    I've petitioned Rodney to make a UV18 with a Magnus motor and lithium batteries but apparently it would require to much ballast. I've ridden the skinny scooters and don't like them due to the torque but that seems to be the way the industry is going.

    Right now I've got the UV-40 and it's super comfortable after 2hrs on the trigger. I'd like more burn time and a bit more speed but I'm not going to trade comfort for that.

    Cam


  9. #9

    Default

    While the 2 inch longer hulls started as a request to offset the mass of the solid AL prop, I believe they are now something Rodney will regularly do for an ordered unit. He cuts them special so it may take a bit longer.

    Kevin--I've heard how much you liked the Minnus even before this so now it's on my list! I've also heard the scooter will conduct unmanned reconnaissance of the Mill Pond, but maybe that's exaggerated.

    My 42 is an uncut 37 with prismatic batteries...an early experiment by Rodney when he was finding a solution to the NiMh batteries. It has the solid prop and viper electronics.

    Bob


  10. #10

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by floridabob View Post
    I've also heard the scooter will conduct unmanned reconnaissance of the Mill Pond, but maybe that's exaggerated.

    Bob
    The rumors are true and have not been overstated.



 

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