Entries by OSMfpClcC8

Complaint-ageddon Versus Scooter Heaven for ‘Frisco

The e-scooter deal is done: For a full year, a minimum of 4,000 e-scooters will be here to stay in the City by the Bay. And that’s just for starts, since if the four companies that got licenses play nicely that number gets automatically bumped to 2,500 each, meaning 10,000. Can you say “Scooters everywhere”? Sure. But does that mean you love ‘em or hate ‘em?

electric scooter at San Francisco bay bridge

Scooter lovers are due to be giddy in love while detractors are bound to be livid, starting quite soon. Perhaps we should say that “Complaint-ageddon” is coming from one side of the issue and “Scooter Heaven” is coming for the rest of us. Either way, the argument is already well under way. 

The invasion begins for San Francisco on October 15th with the support of Mayor London Breed. In an interview with the Examiner, Mayor Breed said that she wants to see scooters throughout the San Francisco area. She was quoted as saying “I like scooters. You can ride ‘em in a dress.” 

City supervisor Aaron Peskin rapidly came out against the measure, though, saying that the transit authority was creatingscooter-geddon part two. Buzz kill.

While the onslaught of mass e-scooters may upset many, riders obviously love ‘em and the city has certainly done some clear due diligence. (At least the mayor seems pleased.) The 2019 results aren’t posted, but the 2018 evaluation scoresheet is online for all to see; 13 companies took a stab at approval for the pilot program but only two—Scoot and Skip—were approved. A quick look at the study shows why, since the “Strong” (meaning “successful”) symbols on the chart stand out like a sore thumb. Scoot and Skip had piles of ‘em and only had one “Poor” rating out of 12 ratings while most applicants scored much worse.

We can only assume that the four companies chosen for the permanent program got lots of “S” ratings this year; JUMP, Lime, Scoot and Spin got the nod. Some of the areas rated on applications included categories like community outreach, sustainability and safety, and last year there were a total of 12 ratings. Notably, Skip didn’t make the cut this time, though we won’t know why until the PDF hits the transit authority website.

Spin Scooter and San Francisco Bay Bridge

Want to know something wonderful about scooters to bolster your conversations? How about this: The Environmental Protection Agency says that if U.S. drivers chose scooters instead of driving for just half of car trips shorter than a mile they’d save 2 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and save about $900 million in fuel costs. Woohoo! and way to go, eco-warriors! Besides, scooters in town mean less traffic, which means fewer drivers getting in the way of scooter fun.

No matter what studies you look up, those who think scooters are evil due to safety issues may have a tough argument to make because e-scooters have turned out to generally be pretty safe according to statistics. A CDC study found just 20 accidents per 100,000 rides, as we’ve previously pointed out here. (Helmets, people; just wear your helmets.)

The two-sided nature of the issue comes through in a Los Angeles study finding that 250 people had gone to the hospital due to scooter accidents while presenting thoroughly conflicting commentary and interpretations. “Ooh, it’s bad” and “isn’t it great?” at the same time, in the same study.

How bad was it, really? Not bad at all, and mostly banged up elbows and knees as you might expect. More than 90% of injuries were riders smacking into something, while the rest were pedestrians being run down by ‘those people’ on two wheels. (Yet doesn’t it feel great to be the rebel, jump on one of these things and zip through town?)

We have been seeing the expected exception: In that study fewer than 5% of the riders were wearing helmets and in other studies the percentages have been even worse. Tsk, tsk, people! Carry a helmet and *then* ride. Get out there and represent!

Good news, scooter companies and helmet makers have teamed up to discount helmets (like this take-a-selfie discount) and Lime and Bird have both been giving away helmets like crazy. The two companies actually came together to create a Public Policy and Safety Board of their own back in June. Did you know that you can take the “Respect the Ride” safety pledge and get a free helmet? The program started in 2018 and the company is promising to distribute 250,000 free helmets. That happened, for instance, in Fort Lauderdale in February this year according to this Sun Sentinel story.

California is for Fun! And so is Chicago…

San Franciscans are 100% NOT required to have a helmet (welcome to California), and you can head over to Chicago and ride without that bowl on your head, too. But the word from emergency medical techs who see the action on the streets is ‘get a basket for your dome’.

Scooter companies are publicly pushing hard for three minimal things: Wear a helmet, use bike lanes and park responsibly. Injuries happen, sometimes bad ones – understood. Don’t run over the pedestrians – got it. But perhaps the biggest crank-up-the-complainers things are zooming down the sidewalk through pedestrian foot traffic (use the road, especially the bike lane) and leaving scooters parked in the middle of the sidewalk (definite no-no and worth a citation in San Francisco.)

man riding an electric scooter

Can we say that the average e-scooter rider doesn’t do scooter stunts in the X Games? Some studies have found that more than half of riders were either drunk or under the influence of “some other substance”. Well, that could explain a lot.

Still, with such low injury statistics (38 bumps or bruises per million miles is pretty good), can we agree that injuries aren’t the big issue?

So, will things improve with the San Francisco program? Improvements across the board were the purpose of the pilot study, which we reported on here. The San Francisco Metro Transit Authority has, for example, made a point of requiring specifics for parking rental scooters. There were requirements for the scooters themselves, too, like locks that allow attaching the scooters to nearby objects, riders must wear helmets, etc.

But the pilot program was a smashing success, according to Tom Maguire of the transit authority. “We’re going to double the number of operators, double the number of scooters and double the number of neighborhoods the scooter can operate in,” said Tom Maguire of the SFMTA. “We learned a lot about what worked and what didn’t.”

So, people of ‘Frisco, get a helmet, don’t run over pedestrians, park out of the sidewalk and see if you can’t avoid collisions with those annoying trees and road surfaces… and have fun!

How Usain Bolt is Changing the Electric Scooter Game

We needed another word for electric scooter and e-bike rentals, apparently, but this one seems on target: “micromobility”. And the micromobility dot-com name very quickly went to Usain Bolt.

Since last year when his football (read: “soccer”) career ended Bolt, a.k.a. the Fastest Man Alive, has been officially retired from sports and thoroughly busy in the business world – including electric scooters. Very snazzy looking scooters, too, in three models with a nice eye-catching yellow so you can let everyone know you’re coming. (Bolt claims the color isn’t just for looks; it’s for safety.)

Design? Definitely not boring. “Sci-fi movie cool props” exciting, really, and the spiffy super-mod looks carry off a nice big (smooth-riding) wheel size and room to put both feet facing front. These things even have a storage box for stuff.

Usain Bolt with Bolt scooter
Micromobility.com

The scooters were rolled out in New York City and are trying to get on the ground in Paris, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Chicago, with plans to take on 20 cities. Some cities, like NYC, are decidedly an uphill battle, but the scooters were operational in eight cities as of June: Miami, Alexandria, Arlington, Richmond, Nashville, Atlanta, Portland and Paris7.

In July, Los Angeles was the first market to get the new Chariot model, so apparently they are having some successes. As recently as August, Bolt rolled out a fleet of scooters in Memphis.

The scooters come in three models: the Bolt Original, Bolt One and Bolt Chariot. The prime ride, the “Chariot” scooters do have some unique features. For one thing, Bolt claims they work great and they’re safe even if rider is wearing high heels because the standing areas face forward on each side of the platform.

Boltone electric scooter

Bolt Chariot electric scooter

The Bolt Chariot has full ten inch wheels—certainly larger than standards found on others—bolstering the company claim of a better ride. The batteries are swappable and chargeable, and big, with a 40-mile range. And the Chariot has some features every first-world consumer will love: Cup holders and a phone charger. We can’t say that an open-topped cup will work well and one must wonder; will a big bump send your travel mug into orbit? But there are *two* cup holders atop the steering column. Kudos to the Bolt crew for figuring out what consumers just gotta have.

Following Bird’s lead with the Bird One, Bolt will allow the public to purchase scooters for personal use. The innovations offered in Bolt’s scooters go far beyond anything Bird or other scooter providers are offering. To battle thieves, they come equipped with built-in cameras and Bolt’s Mobility OS with touch screen. The biggest idea is Bolt offering buyers the ability to put their scooter into the Bolt fleet and earn income on the side. Details have not been released on how this program will work.

Man in tuxedo with 3 electric scooters on sidewalk

Bolt is offering two scooter models for sale. The base model is the BOLTone with a price of $999 and the premium model is the BOLTchariot at a price of $1299. Both come with on demand mechanics, tech support, and a two year warranty.

From the surface everything appears great. Not so fast, there, scooter man. There were some unforeseen issues that will apparently slow down brand growth for a long time to come outside of the United States.

Bolt had to rebrand the whole thing in Paris because there was already a “Bolt” trademark in the French market, and the French court ruled against the Olympian. Micromobility sidestepped the issue by quickly rebranding their scooters as “B by Usain Bolt”, but they’ll have the same headache in 54 cities that already are occupied by the Bolt name competitor.

electric scooter beside a river

There are other problems, of course. Indeed, in London, electric scooters are a total no-no, so Bolt came out with a very snazzy e-bike instead. The challenge, though, is pretty big, since other e-bike companies are already entrenched. One, Santander/Boris, has even already installed dedicated bike racks extensively throughout the city, leaving competitors like Lyft and Uber e-bike offerings scattered about like chaff by comparison. Bolt’s nice yellow bikes will have to suffer the same fate, including the prospect of vandalism. Some e-bike companies like ofo, oBike and Urbo, have already baled on the London scene.

Usain Bolt stopped sprinting in 2017, but his sports career came to end “for real” more recently with his January 2019 announcement on the Olympic Channel, when Bolt asserted his sports days were officially over. Still based in Kingston, Jamaica but loving world travel, Bolt has been appearing all over the place since retiring from ‘just’ doing sports, and not just because of the e-scooter thing.

lots of Bolt electric scooters

His foundation put up $1 million for Special Olympics Jamaica, e-bikes (under the same business name), a restaurant and record shop in Kingston and London, he bopped into the music biz this summer, fronts for PayPal’s Xoom and oh, yeah – the music stuff was to promote his champagne (from G.H. Mumm) called Olempe Rosé. Always looking to be unique, Bolt’s bubbly is infused with cognac flavor and has a distinct tang, apparently quite popular in Jamaica.

That jam-packed list doesn’t seem to be enough to keep the Bolt-man occupied: His mobility company also rolled out a micro-electric car in Paris in May 2019 at the VivaTech show. Watch out Lime!

Top Electric Scooter Accessories of 2019

Electric scooters are a great way to get around, whether it’s joyriding within your neighborhood, or zipping through the streets of downtown. Scooters are environmentally friendly, economical and they’re just plain fun to ride. But riding a scooter can also be dangerous, especially if you’re not prepared with the proper gear. So before you jump on that scooter, here are a few important electric scooter  accessories that will both enhance your ride and help keep you.


Helmet

Of course, it all starts with the helmet. Even the terms of use for those rentable scooters all include a recommendation that you wear a helmet.  Bottom line, helmets saves lives. Avid bicycle riders swear by their helmets and they’re going at half the speed of your scooter. If you don’t get anything else on this list, get a helmet.




Front Hook

Running errands on your scooter? If so, you’re also going to need a place for those shopping bags. If you try to hold a bag with one hand and steer with the other, then I truly hope you got that helmet, my friend. A hook for the front of your scooter holds your shopping bag in place and keeps your hands where they belong (on the handlebars).




Carry Case

No pockets? No problem! A hard-shell case that affixes to the front of your scooter can keep things like keys, cell phones and wallets protected and out of the way while you steer. 




Basket

A basket can be a great option if you need more storage space than the smaller carrying case can accommodate. Most scooter baskets are made of wire and can be added or removed with relative ease. A basket is a great option for carrying home your farmer’s market haul, especially if you want to save the planet and forego the plastic bags.




Cell Phone Mount

If you use your cell phone for navigation or hands-free talking, a cell phone mount is a must to help you keep your hands on the handlebars and your eyes on the road. Just remember not to text or browse Instagram while operating your scooter. And definitely no in-motion scooter selfies!




Reflective Vest

If you ride scooters long enough you’ll start the realize that car drivers can be real jerks. Let’s be honest, often drivers just aren’t paying attention to bikes and scooters. Keeping your scooter on the sidewalks can help, but there are places where you will be forced to share the road with vehicles of the 4-wheeled variety. A reflective vest will help drivers see you well before they can with their naked eyes. Keep a vest in your backpack. If you find yourself on a scooter at night, just take a couple extra seconds to put it on. It could literally save your life.




Headlight

Another item that can help cars see you is a headlight. Headlights aren’t just for use in the dark. They can make your scooter more visible to cars in the daylight as well. Scooter headlights are easy to take on and off and are waterproof. Some also come with a tail light, which can really increase your visibility to the cars around you. 




Horn

Ok, so you’ve worn your vest and affixed your headlight and cars are still cutting you off and forcing you off the road. A powerful horn can help you make your presence known and head off and collisions. This isn’t the clown horn of your childhood bike days. Today’s bike/scooter horns are electronic and loud. Loud enough to be heard by people inside a car.




Rear View Mirrors

If you are going to take your scooter into traffic, you’re going to need to know when cars are coming up behind you. By attaching rear view mirrors to your scooter, you can see cars approaching without turning to look over your shoulder, which can be dangerous. Knowing where other cars are will tell you if you need to hug the side of the road or if you have a little leeway to ride farther out in the lane. 




Scooter Lock

If you want your scooter to still be waiting for you after you’ve stood in line for your morning latte, you’ll want to invest in a good, solid scooter lock. While no lock is foolproof, studies have proven that bikes that are properly locked are stolen significantly less often than those that are not locked. Yes, I know that’s obvious, but it’s also true!




Cup/Water Bottle Holder

Once you’ve gotten your latte and unlocked your scooter for the drive home, you’ll need a safe place to store your cup. You could balance it while you steer, but the chances are good that you’ll end up wearing your latte instead of drinking it. A cup holder securely affixed to your scooter will keep your coffee/water bottle/ drink of choice safely tucked away and ready to drink at the next red light.




Carrying Strap

If you ride your scooter to work or school, you may not want to lock it up outside for eight hours. Let’s face it, even the best bike lock isn’t foolproof. A carrying strap is a small strap that attaches to the shaft of the scooter and allows you to easily take the folded scooter with you to your office, dorm room or school locker. A carrying strap can be a small price to pay for the piece of mind of knowing that your scooter is safe for the day (or night).




Bike Shorts

This last accessory is for the ladies. Two words. Bike shorts. Just because you ride a scooter to work doesn’t mean you’re relegated to a lifetime of pants in the office. There is an easy fix. Keep a pair of bike shorts in your purse, backpack or desk drawer. Slip them on under your skirt and scooter away without a care in the world. 




As you can see, there are a variety of accessories on the market that are designed to make your ride more enjoyable and keep you safe as you share the road with larger vehicles. So gear up and hit the open road!

Xiaomi M365 Review

The Xiaomi M365 was launched in 2017 and is still one of the best bang for the buck scooters available. With a large owner base this is the best scooter to customize with a sea of aftermarket parts.

Electric Scooter side view

Xiaomi m365
Top Speed 15.5 mph 25 kph
Range 18 mi 30 km
Charging Time 5 hrs
Weight 26.9 lb 12.2 kg
Motor (Single) 250W 500W (Max)
Battery 42V 280 Wh
Tire Diameter 8.5 in 3.4 cm
Load Capacity 220 lb 100 kg

If you live anywhere near a major metropolitan area, chances are you’ve seen a Xiaomi M365 scooter parked on a corner or being ridden around town. That’s because two of the major scooter rental companies, Bird, Lyft and Spin, have used these M365 model scooters as their model of choice. This should be a good indicator that these scooters are easy to operate.

If that isn’t praise enough, the M365 scooter has also won numerous design awards, including the prestigious Red Dot “Best of the Best” award, the 2017 Good Design – Best 100, and the 2017 iF Design award. The popularity of this award-winning scooter is due to its focus on elements designed to maximize the rider experience.

Unlike scooters that choose to focus solely on safety, or speed, or gadgets and gizmos, the M365 has embraced the entirety of the design process and succeeded in creating a scooter that is an overall winner in the areas of speed, safety and ease of use. Best of all, these features are seamlessly integrated into one attractive package.


Pros

Durable Design
Portable
Under $500


Cons

Small Battery
Limited Range

Speed

Let’s start with one of the most important features of any electric scooter: speed. The M365 isn’t going to win the Indy 500, but it does clock in at a very respectable max speed of 15.5 MPH. The manufacturer points out that this is 5 times faster than average walking speed. So even though it won’t break any land speed records, the M365 will get you where you want to go faster than your feet. And since most municipalities have regulations regarding how fast scooters can go, additional speed would only get you into trouble.

Xiaomi M365 Front view

Design

This scooter has a sleek design that focuses on the practical needs of the electric scooter enthusiast. You won’t find any flashy, non-functional design elements on this scooter. Every feature serves a purpose and is placed with ease of use in mind while also achieving a modern look and feel.

Controls

The controls are simple, which means it doesn’t take much time to be proficient at operating this scooter like a pro. The power button takes center stage with an easy to understand battery life indicator right above the power button. It even comes with a smartphone app that lets you monitor your trip mileage, how much battery life is left, and your average speed. You can even lock the scooter through the touch of a button using the app and a Bluetooth connection.

Xiaomi M365 Dash handle

Portability

Like most scooters, the M365 folds up for easy portability. The folding design is truly genius. Simply push the folding lever and lower the handlebars. The bell (it has a bell!) housing is designed to click into a latch on the back mudguard. Once the bell housing is firmly inside the latch, the scooter is secure and ready to transport.

Xiaomi M365 Folded

Weight

The weight of the M365 is one of the most attractive selling points to people who have to carry their scooter on and off public transportation or up several flights of stairs. Many electric scooters sacrifice lightweight design by including heavier construction. The M365 weighs a mere 26.9 pounds, making it one of the lightest scooters on the market.

Battery

The M365 scooter charges in five hours, so you can charge the battery to full power overnight or while at school or work. Once fully charged, the array of high capacity lithium ion batteries allows the rider to travel up to 18.6 miles per charge. The smartphone app allows you to monitor the battery and lets you know if there are any battery problems.

Xiaomi M365 App

Energy Efficiency

One of the most unexpected features of the M365 is that it can create its own power. Just like a car charges the battery during acceleration, the M365 scooter does as well. During acceleration, the battery converts kinetic power into electrical power. And that’s not all, the regenerative braking system also allows the batteries to generate power while braking. So whether you are speeding up or slowing down, you’re adding power to your batteries and extending your scooter’s mileage.

Brakes

The brakes on the M365 are designed with maximum safety in mind. With rear anti-lock disc brakes, you can stop in as little as 13 feet. This is a critical safety feature for people riding their scooters through city traffic. This level of safety coupled with the regenerative braking system make for a winning combination for consumers.

Xiaomi M365 - Brake

Tires

The M365 sports 8.5” tires in the front and the rear. These large all-weather tires provide excellent shock absorption for an ultra-smooth ride. The tires also have anti slip treads which are great for wet pavement or loose terrain. Best of all, the M365 ships with an extra set of tires so you won’t have to wait for a replacement in the unlikely event you get a flat.

Lighting

An important safety feature that many scooter buyers overlook is a headlight/taillight combo. Headlights and taillights don’t just allow you to be more easily seen at night, they also help increase your visibility to cars and other riders during the day. The M365 scooter provides a 1.1 watt headlight with visibility of up to 19.5 feet. The taillight is brake activated and flashes to increase awareness and visibility for those around you.

Frame Construction

Last, but certainly not least on the list is the frame that provides the foundation for all of the other features of the M365 scooter. The aerospace grade aluminum construction allows it to be both strong and lightweight. The material also boasts a high resistance to corrosion which adds to its all-weather appeal.

Xiaomi M365 Scooter

Summary

Judging solely from the number of them on the road today, the M365 scooter is a clear leader in the electric scooter industry. After reviewing all of the features of this scooter it is easy to see why. The M365 has been thoughtfully crafted with the rider in mind and has included safety features that will keep new riders safe and little extras that will appeal to more seasoned riders as well. All in all, the M365 scooter should be on your short list if you are in the market for an electric scooter.

Turbowheel Lightning Review

40 MPH on the Turbowheel Lightning

Because Life’s too Short Not To

The Turbowheel Lightning made it’s way onto the list of Fastest Electric Scooters with the best speed for the money. At a top speed of 40 mph (65 kph) you’ll be hard pressed to find a faster way to move around the city.

Turbowheel Lightning Side view

Turbowheel Lightning
Top Speed 40 mph 65 kph
Range 45 mi 72 km
Charging Time 3 hrs
Weight 77 lb 35 kg
Motor (Dual) 1000W 3600W (Max)
Battery 52V 22.4 AH
Tire Diameter 10 in 25.4 cm
Load Capacity 330 lb 150 kg

Have you ever dreamt of going 40 mph on an electric scooter? How about cutting your walking commute in third without your car ever leaving the driveway?

In a world where time is a valuable commodity, electric scooters offer a fresh solution. They are small, portable, and fast. Not to mention – insanely fun to ride! 

You may have seen electric scooters zip around your college campus and city streets, but they have come a long way from their simple 15 mph/250 W beginnings. Power, speed, and stability is the name of the game, and we’re here for it!

When it comes to high power, the Turbowheel Lightning electric scooter is a beast. And with speeds that reach upwards of 40 mph (64 km/h), it’s no wonder why its a rising favorite among adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers.

Everything You Need to Know About the Turbowheel Lightning Electric Scooter

It’s safe to say that the Turbowheel Lightning is not your traditional electric scooter. This high-intensity machine lets its riders hit the throttle and fly – and we’re talking FAST. 

But it isn’t just the dual-1000W continuous motor that allows the Lightning to rival the speed of a tiger. It’s swingarm suspension and large pneumatic tires absorb bumps and impact for a delectably smooth ride. And with a rapid-charging lithium-ion battery pack, you can enjoy propelling this dream-machine for an outstanding 46 miles! 

Before we get into why anyone would want or need something as robust and dangerous as this, let’s take a look at some of my all-time favorite features of this particular build.

Turbowheel Lightning Front


Pros

Under $1,600
Quick chasge tim with fast charger
Dual Motor


Cons

Heavy
Short Range

Where can I ride it?

Don’t be fooled into thinking the Turbowheel Lightning is designed only for thrill-riders and sensation-seekers. Off-roaders, stunt-devils, and weekend cruisers alike appreciate the Lightning’s design-minded architecture.

The Turbowheel Lightning is a pure off-road worthy beast, designed to go where other riders can’t. Dirt hills and grassy terrain were practically made for this scooter. Both the front and rear wheels are equipped with suspension. While the front uses a torsion bar, the rear has both a hydraulic damper and spring with an added adjustable screw setting. The large 10” x 2.5” tires help to absorb impact from the road to the deck, tackling the steepest gradients, curbs, and off-road terrain with ease. 

No worries if on-road cruising is more of your speed. This scooter provides levels of stability and road safety that is unheard of in today’s mass production of electric scooters. The combination of regenerative motor braking, plus front/rear disc brakes, work together to bring the scooter to a brisk stop in dicey situations, while reducing wear and tear on the disc brakes.

Turbowheel Lightning- Side Folded

How well does it work?

The Turbowheel Lightning truly lives up to its name as one of the toughest and fastest electric scooters out there. The force of two motors can be overpowering at first, easily storming any incline (up to 45 degrees), and giving you an adrenaline-charge each time you accelerate. You really have to brace yourself and grip the handles hard, because this baby will throw you off if you’re not careful. It’s important to take the time to accelerate responsibly until you get the hang of it.

Fortunately, this ride is equipped with three speed modes and a number of power limiting features, depending on your terrain and desired speed. The LED color display allows for three modes: Mode 1 (up to 22 mph/35 km/h, Mode 2 (up to 30 mph/48 km/h) and Mode 3 (40 mph and beyond). For full power engage both motors, half power engage just one, or reduce the low-end power by engaging Eco Mode. 

Lightning- Front Wheel

The only downside of incorporating such powerful motors and long-range batteries is that the scooter is HEAVY – we’re talking a whopping 77 lbs! This might not seem like too much of a hassle if you just need to lift the scooter and put it in the back of your vehicle; thankfully the folding stem and dual heavy-duty locking mechanisms make it more compact. But I wouldn’t want to lug it up several flights of stairs. So if you live in the upper-level of an apartment complex, you may want to revisit your scooter options.

Does it have extra features?

In a sea of monochrome designs from its competitors, the Turbowheel Lightning makes a bold statement. It’s two-toned look, which features charcoal black and metallic cherry red accents on the fittings and the torsion suspension bar, will have you looking as cool as you feel as you fly through the streets.

The scooter is also equipped with a large easy-to-see color dashboard and integrated front to rear deck lights. The rear brakes pulsate when tapped, to alert anyone who may be behind you of your presence and that you are about to slow down. But for your added safety at night, you will want to install a brighter handlebar headlight for better vision in the dark.

Extra features like the voltage readout display and key ignition switch are another example of added touches that make your riding experience that much more efficient, and are actually not found on comparable more expensive models.

Lightning- Rear Suspension

Is the Turbowheel Lightning worth it?

Some people may say that taking your chances on a 40 mph electric scooter is cheating death. They are correct, in a sense. To be honest I rarely get my scooter to it’s top speed, and you don’t have to either. The Lightning’s dual motors, expert suspension, and precision brakes are beneficial for more than just high speeds; it’s designed to keep you safer on the road. 

For many of us, an electric scooter is just another more exhilarating way to get around. For me? It’s totally worth it.

Ford’s Safe Scooter Answer is… Sensors

Growing pains for rental e-scooters are showing up everywhere, from parking tickets to injuries and screaming matches. How best to figure it all out? Research: Cameras and sensors, lab techs and bean counters, and Spin (Ford’s e-scooter division) has kicked off a study to look for some of these answers. It’s a long way from the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter originally offered by Spin.

Spin electric scooter and Ford logo

Perhaps sensor-studded scooters won’t help you avoid a collision today and they certainly won’t stop you from parking illegally—at least not yet. Thanks to the 18-month study just started by Spin on the Virginia Tech campus, though, researchers are already gathering up data that could help determine future e-scooter developments and regulations.

Info gathered from sensors can certainly tell researchers a lot about how you drive, so will companies use sensor data to figure out if you’re a lousy scooter driver? Will you get an automatic surcharge for parking your quick rental in the wrong place? Could be. Research could lead to new rules, regulations and enforcement across the board.

Cities (like San Francisco’s new program) require scooters to be parked out of the way, for instance, so researchers are hoping that cameras and sensors will be able to show how well riders follow through with such requirements. Cameras will also help reveal walkway problems, a sensitive issue in many areas around the country. (Most states and cities prohibit scooters on sidewalks.) 

Getting rental scooters approved at all locally isn’t always a sure thing. By example, Utah State University started then quickly stopped an on-campus scooter program in early June, citing existing rules prohibiting motorized scooters on walkways.

Starting this month, Spin will set out as many as 300 rental scooters on campus. According to local news WSLS 10 News, 50 of the scooters will be armed with sensors for research. (About 100 scooters were available at the start of the program on September 3rd.) Sensors will include gyroscopes, accelerometers and cameras, and 20 cameras are to be deployed around campus.

Not everyone on campus is a fan, and Virginia Tech discussion boards have some running anti-scooter commentary. Complaints range from annoyance to road hazard grumblings, in part because moving a poorly parked scooter to a safer spot sets off an alarm. Complaints about e-scooters are nothing new and some cities are setting up very specific barriers for scooter companies looking to deploy.

San Francisco’s Metro Transit Authority threw scooters completely off city streets amid complaints, then let them come back after a year-long pilot program with two companies. To allow fleets of scooters back on the streets, the SFMTA required companies to enforce proper parking, and to do so made scooter companies include a locking mechanism that could be used with available bike racks or other nearby objects. The transit authority even maintains hotlines for the public to complain or contact scooter companies.

Spin electric scooters and an adult man in blue shorts
Wired.com

Enforcement nationwide is not uniform, though, and several problem areas remain without clear solutions. In most places scooters are not technically allowed on the road if the speed limit is more than 25 mph, for instance, but enforcement is lax and many riders aren’t aware of such statutes. One possible guide might be the “bike friendliness” of a state, and a map with rankings is available on bikeleague.org’s site here.

So – what if an area you want to ride in doesn’t have a bike lane, you can’t ride on the sidewalk and the speed limit is too fast? The sensor study is probably not going to be able to address such concerns.

But accelerometers can record how steady you are while driving a scooter and cameras will definitely reveal whether you run into (or over) other people. Keeping in mind that any motorized vehicle operator has to obey the rules, this study could lead to specific regulations, the first perhaps being whether to allow scooters on campuses—or even on city streets—at all. As noted above, some campuses don’t allow electric scooters at all. The University of Texas – Austin allows e-scooters but specifies that they “should be operated at a low speed on campus at all times.”

The current research is important, but results in general might well be expected to reinforce current findings. Dozens of news stories cover scooter injuries and even occasional deaths. The Verge ran a story reporting an average of 20 injuries per 100,000 rides, based on a study done by the CDC and the Public Health and Transportation departments in Austin, Texas. 

a scooter next to a building
Wired.com

One important conclusion of the study was that riders ignore helmets too often – a finding that is probably not much of a surprise. Of almost 300 injuries cited in that study, nearly half were head injuries, and about 15% were severe. 

Will we need another study and another study and another? Well, this Spin+Virginia Tech study isn’t likely to see Gen X or even millennial riders in notable numbers since it is on a college campus. Very few gray-haired riders are likely to take part in any study, but they do hop on scooters from time to time. More notably, elderly victims are more likely to get hit by a scooter driver, and a stand-out fatality from a scooter accident was an elderly woman struck by a scooter.

A summer article from Consumer Reports found eight deaths from scooter accidents and victims ranged from a 5-year-old to a 53-year-old man who rode without a helmet and died after colliding with a tree. (The CDC study was a broad survey that took nearly a million scooter rides into consideration while the Spin study at VT will max out with 300 scooters in a year and a half.)

The Virginia Tech / Spin sensor study might also reinforce the need for proper parking. A number of injuries have been caused by people tripping over poorly parked machines, a problem that causes legal issues as well as complaints. Problems are prominent enough that some cities are considering outright bans.

Mayor David Briley of Nashville wrote, “Based upon what I have witnessed firsthand, the recent influx of scooters in our city is causing us to be less safe and more visually cluttered,” from his letter to scooter companies.

Since enthusiastic riders doubtless want to see expanded places to ride, and since crowded cities probably would love to see inner city traffic improvements (almost no matter how that’s achieved), we can certainly hope that more studies find e-scooters a positive development and fairly safe in a detailed review like data from this Spin / VT study. 

All concerned might be calmed a bit to learn from the CDC study that the odds of an e-scooter accident are just 0.02% per trip. Knowing such data won’t help when a scooter rams into you at 20 mph, or (admittedly worse) when a car hits a rider, but riding scooters are generally proving pretty safe – so far. 

Even without special street rules, and even without a clear understanding of stay-off-the-sidewalk rules, the growth of scooters nation-wide will also hopefully change driver habits over time.  What will we find when we compare this year’s Virginia Tech study to a similar study done, say, 20 years from now? Will the walkways of campuses across the country to be full of savvy riders and equally aware walkers? 

Thanks to studies from companies like Spin and schools like Virginia Tech, we can hope to find out!

Is Hyundai’s Built-In e-Scooter Really Coming This Time?!

Hyundai’s on board with scooters, literally. Their new e-scooter prototype looks ready (at last) to add into their vehicles for last mile and emergency mobility. The fold-up scooter charges a lithium battery while you drive so it’ll always be ready to roll, plus specs look fairly good for “a handy gadget” (but don’t expect a fast, hot ride).

The new design, announced August 26th, looks straight out of the original release from the CES show a couple of years ago. Specs and design look pretty similar (finished in black now), but the drive wheel has been moved to the rear. Tops out at about 12 mph and rolls for about 12 miles—good enough for parking the car in a cheap spot and getting around but not likely a star-class fun ride simply because the wheels are a bit small. Priority has obviously been put on hiding this helpful little gizmo out of the way in some purpose-made compartment.

Hyundai scooter folded and unfolded

Folded Hyundai IONIQ scooter

Scooter top view

Still, the rear drive should be a stability improvement over the IONIQ debut from 2017. Plus they’ve put a couple of years into fine tuning, so we can hope that it’ll be reliable and solidly built. Credit where it’s due, Hyundai also spent time and effort to add a front suspension for a smoother ride. It also looks like an OEM manufacturer has been brought into the game.

  • Not too heavy, check. 17 pounds. 
  • Nice lights and read-outs, check and check. 
  • Folds up to carry like a notebook, check. 
  • Cool mount for your phone, check. 

It’s got these must-haves on the cool gadget list, but there’s one critical thing missing: You can’t get one. We can hope, as hints have been hitting the ‘net here and there over time, and this latest press fanfare is a pretty loud hint.

Hyundai showed off the original IONIQ scooter in a spiffy blue finish at CES 2017 and then went quiet. But things were apparently happening behind the scenes because the company filed for patents in July 2018.  So far, the new version still doesn’t have a name and as the video shows we really don’t know for certain how this thing is gonna be jammed into a car. (Hyundai’s latest concept video shows drawings of special compartments built into the car body.)

Hyundai says:

“Weighing around 7.7kg,(17 pounds) the scooter is highly portable, while its unique and compact tri-folding design means it is lighter and more compact than any similar product. Enhancing its usability further, it features a digital display that shows battery status and speed; while, for nighttime riding, the new scooter is equipped with two stylishly-curved front LED headlights, and two rear tail lamps.”

From DongJin Hyun, head of the Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Team: “We want to make our customers’ lives as easy and enjoyable as possible. Our personal electric scooter makes first- and last-mile commuting a joy, while helping to reduce congestion and emissions in city centers.”

One thing that might have caused the delay in bringing the scooter closer to market was simply the search for an OEM manufacturer. As of mid-2018 a company to make the new scooters had not been settled.

Is this mini foldable a super commuter scooter? Not likely, but it isn’t meant to be. In addition it may be worth considering that cars will come with *one* of these things. If you’re planning on an outing with friends and family you’ll be renting or buying and possibly throwing scooters #2, 3 and 4 in the trunk anyway. Oh, and by the way: Helmets. We don’t anticipate Hyundai making a pill-sized inflatable helmet and hiding it in a secret agent-style compartment.

But if we take it as it’s meant—a super-cool convenience that comes with the car, and one that doesn’t have to rattle around in the back someplace—this thing is a winner. Presumably it’ll be a winning appliance you’ll get addicted to.

One day perhaps we’ll all wonder why cars didn’t come with something like this starting with Henry Ford’s almost-genius Model T. Perhaps in a steam punk alternate history the first Victorian cars were scooter-equipped?

A New San Francisco E-scooter Invasion

Scooter lovers, get ready to ride! Swarms of app-based e-scooters will invade San Fran streets starting October 15th and tens of thousands could invade if the city allows the maximum permits. With just 1,450 scooters on the road now a sudden growth spurt up to 27,500 could put hordes of people on the move and […]

Commuter Scooter Showdown: Boosted Rev vs Bird One

Bird One black scooter
Bird One

black scooter
Boosted Rev

Electric scooters are growing in popularity throughout American cities. They are a fun, easy way to get around and can even be an affordable way to commute to work while also cutting down a bit on your carbon footprint. When looking to purchase an electric scooter for commuting the best options available is the Bird One or Boosted Rev.

As the market has boomed a wide range of electric scooters have become available. There are many electric scooters at low price points designed as toys and not a vehicle for commuting. Two of the major companies, Bird and Boosted are coming out with premium commuting electric scooter options, starting at $1,200. Why shell out the money for a higher priced electric scooter over the cheaper competitors? There are many features on these high-priced models that consumers will not only find convenient, but might also be cost saving and safer for people looking to make regular use of their electric scooter. 

Bird scooter logo

Bird One, Bird’s latest electric scooter is currently available for pre-order, but if you want to try before you buy, they are currently being phased into Bird’s rental fleets. The starting point for the model is $1299. Boosted’s Rev just started shipping and you can get yours in just a few short weeks. The model starts at $1599, but payment plans are available. Looking to figure out which model would be best for you? Wondering what kinds of bells and whistles these more expensive models come with? There is a lot to examine in these vehicles.

Bird electric scooter and buildings
Bird One

Electric scooter near river
Boosted Rev

Speed and Distance

Both the Boosted Rev and the Bird One are significantly faster than cheaper models. If you are someone looking to use an electric scooter for your commute or simply enjoy the thrill of high-speed electric scooter maneuvering, both models could benefit you. The Boosted Rev is one of the faster electric scooters on the market, reaching 24 mph. However the Bird One has a significantly wider range on a single charge, at 30 miles compared to 22 miles for the Boosted Rev. Both are turtles compared to the scooters that made the list of fastest electric scooters of 2019. A benefit to the Boosted Rev is that it has three different speed modes. The lower mode is great for new users and the speed can then be increased as users get more comfortable. Although there is an initial cost for both vehicles, they can help you cut down on other costs, such as driving or using public transportation. Another benefit to purchasing an electric scooter rather than renting one from a shared fleet is a long term cost savings. 

Bird One rider painted wall
Bird One

Girl rider on electric scooter
Boosted Rev

Keep in mind that the electric scooters will only be able to hit their highest possible speeds when they are well charged, they are not at maximum weight capacity, and they are on smooth, level pavement. However, under less ideal conditions, other, cheaper, electric scooters will struggle even more. 

Safety Features

Safety features abound on both models, especially compared to cheaper options. The increase in power results in both models accelerating and braking quickly. The Boosted Rev goes a step further, with three different ways to brake. There is an electronic hand brake, an old school disc brake and a rear fender brake. This gives the rider flexibility in how to brake and added safety if one braking method fails. It also offers a wide standing platform and the steering tube is angled so that it is comfortable to ride without forcing someone to hunch over. There are front and rear lights, with the rear light also functioning as a brake light. The Bird One has front and back lights, but only the electronic braking system and no rear brake light. 

Bird scooter and young lady
Bird One

guy with helmet riding an electric scooter
Boosted Rev

Inclement Conditions and Durability

The Bird One was designed to be extremely durable, and was planned in part on evidence that Bird had about their existing fleet of rentable electric scooters. Bird’s current vehicles last about 10 months as part of a shared fleet. The Bird One is designed to be four times more durable – a benefit for Bird’s shared fleet and a boon for buyers of individual vehicles. Given that owners are likely to take much better care of the vehicles then when they are in a shared fleet, a personal Bird One is likely to last for many years. The build quality of the Boosted Rev suggests it’s just as durable as the Bird One and offers a 12 month manufacturers warranty. With the Rev being the first scooter offered by Boosted time will tell how it holds up against the Bird One.

Regardless of where you live, you will encounter a range of pavements, weather, and inclines. Some cheaper models are simply not going to hold up to the elements. Both the Bird One and Boosted Rev have a waterproof or water-resistant cover on their batteries. The Boosted Rev has extra wide tires, which can improve its ability to move smoothly over potholes and uneven pavement. It can also handle grades of up to 25%, strong enough to manage even San Francisco hills. Bird One has the traditional narrow tires and can only manage 15% grades, which might take it out of the running if you will regularly be subjecting your electric scooter to hilly areas. It also has semi-hard tires instead of air-filled tires like the Boosted Rev, which can make uneven surfaces a little hard to maneuver on. 

Bird One Graffiti
Bird One

Boosted Rev scooter in warehouse
Boosted Rev

Summary

Although there is an initial cost for both vehicles, they can help you cut down on other costs, such as driving or using public transportation. Another benefit to purchasing an electric scooter rather than renting one from a shared fleet is a long term cost savings of owning. Ultimately, the major differences between these two vehicles are the speed, distance on a single charge, safety features, and incline. The value of these features will help you determine which vehicle would work best for you. If you are ready to invest in an electric scooter for commuting, go with the Bird One or Boosted Rev.

Best Off Road Electric Scooters of 2019

Electric scooters are a common sight around town or on city sidewalks. Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re very familiar with their performance on sidewalks and pavement. But did you know that there are also scooters specifically designed to be ridden off road? As in on trails, dirt, grass, and gravel?

Off Road Electric Scooters
Best Overall Hollyburn P5
Best Suspension Nanrobot RS11
Best for Kids Razor RX200

Most of the electric scooters on the market today are designed for pavement. They aren’t designed to accommodate the uneven terrain and softer ground of cross-country riding. However, there are a few models that are built to handle the rough terrain of an off road excursion. The models reviewed below all stand out in a specific area of all terrain design, with the Hollyburn P5 topping the list. Depending on your needs and trail riding priorities, any of these four scooters would be a good choice for your next off road adventure.

Winner - Hollyburn P5

Hollyburn P5
Top Speed 35 mph 56 kph
Range 28 mi 45 km
Charging Time 1.5 hrs Fast Charger
Weight 86 lb 39 kg
Motor (Single) 4400W (Max) 45 lb-ft (61 Nm)
Battery 48.1V 25.1 Ah
Tire Diameter 14 in 35 cm
Load Capacity 280 lb 127 kg

Electric scooter with big tires
works-electric.com

Hollyburn P5 – The Hollyburn P5 is built to take the punishment of dirt and gravel riding. Like the Hollyburn SS, this model packs 4,400 watts of power to motor you through the softest dirt and up the rockiest hills. With a max speed of 35 MPH and a max range of 28 miles per charge, you can shred some serious outdoor trails in each ride session. The EK High Tensile chain drive is known for its strength and durability. The tires, Kenda Scorpion 145/70-6, are covered with knobs that grip the terrain and ensure you won’t slip when taking a tight corner. No need to avoid sticks and gravel as you explore off road with this bad boy. As with all Hollyburn electric scooters, the chassis’ Magna Shell construction and Crusher Five Point armor will stand up to any ground debris you encounter. With this solid construction and the Hollyburn reputation for impeccable reliability, it’s no wonder that the Hollyburn P5 is considered the leader in all terrain electric scooters.


Pros

Powerful Motor
Large Tires
Short Charge Time with Fast Charger


Minus

Slower Top Speed
Limited Range
Expensive Over $6,000

Best Suspension - Nanrobot RS11

Nanrobot RS11
Top Speed 45 mph 72 kph
Range 40 mi 64 km
Charging Time 8 hrs Fast Charger
Weight 110 lb 50 kg
Motor (Dual) 3600W
Battery 60V 38 Ah
Tire Diameter 11 in 28 cm
Load Capacity 330 lb 150 kg

Black electric scooter from Nanrobot

Nanrobot RS11 – The next off road scooter on our list is the Nanrobot RS11. This scooter has numerous features designed to make a bumpy trail ride feel more like a trek down city sidewalks. The Nanrobot RS11 comes with 11” knobby, all terrain tires that can iron out the most uneven terrain but also perform on the softest of dirt trails. It also provides dual spring suspension both front and back for an ultra smooth ride. With this scooter you also get all of the features that you would expect from the Nanrobot brand. The dual 1800 watt motor reaches peak speeds of 55 MPH and the scooter can explore off-road trails for up to 43 miles before needing a charge. At a weight of 110 pounds, this all terrain beast is meant to be ridden, not carried! All in all, the Nanrobot RS11 is a serious presence on any kind of terrain.


Pros

Front and Rear Shocks
High Top Speed
Security Key


Minus

Small Tires
Heavy
Expensive Over $6,000

Best for Kids - Razor RX200

Razor RX200
Top Speed 12 mph 19 kph
Range 40 mins
Charging Time 12 hrs
Weight 46 lb 21 kg
Battery 24V
Tire Diameter 8 in 20 cm
Load Capacity 154 lb 70 kg

Color green electric scooter

Razor RX200 – Most of the all-terrain electric scooters on the market are clearly designed for adults, in terms of performance, speed and size. One off road electric scooter that is perfect for kids is the Razor RX200. Ages 13 and up can enjoy the thrill of off road exploring on this moderately priced scooter. Building on the impeccable Razor brand reputation, the RX200 amps up the features to make this scooter the perfect trail riding accessory. With knobby all terrain tires and sturdy steel construction this scooter is made specifically for off road riding. For this all terrain version, Razor created a new gear ratio that provides higher torque, which is designed to provide better control on rougher terrain. Because this electric scooter is designed for kids, the top speed is 12 MPH, but for trail riding, that’s about as fast as you want to go anyway. The hand operated rear disk braking system allows for pinpoint stops. If you want a good scooter the whole family can enjoy, the Razor RX200 is one you should check out.


Pros

Designed for Kids
Sufficient top speed
Knobby air filled tires


Minus

Shirt Range
Long Charge Time
Low Ground Clearance

Summary

Want to be an electric scooter trailblazer but don’t know where to start? Are you tired of being limited to riding on paved streets and sidewalks? The off road electric scooters reviewed above are a good choice for people who want to get out and explore but also want to inject some speed and fun into their excursion. Each scooter addresses a specific consumer need without sacrificing durability and strength. To recap, the Hollyburn P5 wins the all-terrain race in terms of reliability and build quality. The Nanrobot RS11 provides the smoothest ride with the best suspension on the market. If weight is a factor, then the Dualtron Ultra is the smart choice. The Razor RX200 is the best choice for kids who want to hit the trails on a scooter. Why let bikes have all the fun? With one of these scooters you can pack a backpack of supplies for a day trip and trek off into the great unknown. No pavement required.