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Frontier V6

PostPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 23:12
by Goibot
Frontier V6
I got to demo the Frontier V6 AT version on Saturday. This chair was recommended pretty highly on several user forums, but I was really skeptical about it primarily because of its mid-wheel drive and its footprint size.

At first impression I have to say I am impressed. It was a very comfortable driving chair. I guess that is due to the low psi atv style tires and the shock springs on all the wheels. It had a lot of the features I am looking for; Flip up arm rests, center mount foot board, 4 pole motors with plenty of torque, group 24 batteries, and a decent 12" elevation height.
It looked to be built pretty solidly most exposed screw heads were stainless steel and the electronics were not exposed like most chairs. I don't think washing off the tires with a garden hose would cause any problems.

Riding it outdoors was almost as good as the IBot. I took it in and out of a pretty steep rocky ditch in my front yard without a problem and felt fairly confident It could handle more without getting stuck. Other mid wheel chairs I have ridden in the past would get stuck in a heartbeat, the drive wheel would hit a slight hole and the casters would actually hold you there. The Frontier was a bit different, the casters would freely move up and down and actually help you get over obstacles. The representative told me it would do a 4" curb, I tried it on a 3" one and it didn't even break a sweat.

The factory programming on the controller was not bad at all I would only want a few adjustments made to it. I ran it full speed down a hill and did notice the rear caster shimmy a bit, on a flat surface it didn't do this. Its speed seemed ok, nothing to do hand stands about but it was about what I'm use to. Probably a bit more than 6mph. Torque in the lower gears is pretty good.

Indoors was a bit tricky, It is over 2" wider that my current chair and it has a lot more real estate in the back too. With the width at 28" and length with foot rest at 48", this is a big chair. It made it on my ramp in the van with about an inch to spare. However, it took me everywhere in my house without a problem. I am chalking this up to the mid-wheel design because I know if my current rear wheel chair was that long no way in hell could I get to the back two bedrooms. There is a skinny hallway that has to be maneuvered through. Needless to say I was amazed that it did it.

This chair could work for me, I do have some concerns though. The seat sits very high making it difficult to get under tables, the joystick is swing away but it has all the controls and display forward of the actual stick making it a few inches longer than needed and even when swung back it was still in the way. Another big concern is the width of it. Not sure if I could get use to it or not. My pore door frames have had a pretty good bit of abuse and I think that would get worse. However, the rep that let me demo it also showed that it can switch to a skinnier drive tire fairly quickly. They even provide a jack for it.

I have one more chair to demo - The Bounder Plus on an H frame then I will decide. I do want to thank BM for recommending this chair. I would have never tried it otherwise, I'm really glad I did.

Re: Frontier V6

PostPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 05:23
by ex-Gooserider
Glad you like the Frontier, though it does sound like the width is an issue (as expected) - yes they make skinnier tires, but I suspect that frequent wheel changes would get old in a big hurry, no matter how easy they make it... It also seems to me like the skinny tires puts you back in the same situation as all the other skinny tired chairs, namely harsher / bumpier rides, and less ability to handle off-road activities...

However if it works for you, go for it!


Re: Frontier V6

PostPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 11:11
by Burgerman
That review is almost exactly what I thought and posted about the x5 (same thing to the inch really).

If only they had knocked a couple of inches or even one inch off its width, seat height with the newest V6 they would have had a real easy to use daily chair, but they failed...

And as you say rear casters hanging about 2 feet behind you...

But all that is good off road for stability.

Compared to a BM2 I would say its better outdoors, worse indoors, and less controllable due to programming. For eg it will not do the ramp in my pub, as its too wide/long to turn onto it, or get through the resturant doors... And although it will go in my van its not exactly easy, and takes a lot of space, and limits headroom at the door more and will not go centrally onto the steering wheel.

Re: Frontier V6

PostPosted: 01 Sep 2012, 00:03
by grampy
Just wondering what your thoughts are on the V6 rear wheel drive model? I'm in the states and don't have the resources to build a BM3 and am in need of a new chair. The rear wheel drive with the off road times might be a nice compromise. Thanks

Re: Frontier V6

PostPosted: 01 Sep 2012, 00:33
by Burgerman
I have never seen one. So dont know. But I suspect it will be about 4 or 5 inches wider than the V6 / X5 chairs with the same fat tyres fitted. If they can be fitted. But not sure.