Final fall I walked into my local NIU dealership and rolled out on a shiny new black-and-red NIU NQi GT electrical scooter. I’ve been steadily putting on the miles, although between lockdowns and touring (consider it or not!), I haven’t ridden as a lot as I might have preferred. However having now zoomed previous 1,000 km (600 miles) on the odometer, I determine it’s time to let you understand my full ideas on this fun-loving city-conquering electrical scooter.
My preliminary impressions have been largely constructive when I reported on my first few rides.
And now the extra miles I placed on the scooter, the extra I notice that is palms down among the best methods to get across the metropolis.
With a zippy high pace and sufficient vary to let me get away with a once-a-week recharge, the NIU NQi GT electrical scooter is the last word city commuter car.
Be certain to observe my video evaluate under to see me cruising the streets of Tel Aviv whereas I let you know all of the issues I like (and the few issues I don’t love) in regards to the scooter. I labored arduous on that video; you wouldn’t simply skip it… would you?
NIU NQi GT electrical scooter video evaluate
NIU NQi GT tech specs
- Motor: 3.5 kW Bosch rear hub motor
- High pace: 48 mph (77 km/h)
- Vary: As much as 87 mi (140 km)
- Battery: 2x 60V 35Ah (complete of 4,200 Wh)
- Curb weight: 243 lb (110 kg)
- Max load: 593 lb (269 kg)
- Brakes: CBS hydraulic disc brakes
- Suspension: Hydraulic fork, twin rear hydraulic shocks
- Wheels: 14″
All the efficiency you want
NIU has all the time rated the NQi GT collection for 70 km/h (43.5 mph) high pace, so think about my shock after I hopped on the primary time and it took me proper as much as 80 km/h earlier than I might really feel the digital restrict was reached.
Like most automobiles although, the speedometer is a bit optimistic. GPS-verification informed me that the scooter’s quickest 80 km/h was extra like a real 77 or 78 km/h. I don’t know why NIU nonetheless lists 70 km/h on all of their literature, since you’ll positively see the speedo hit 80 when you’ve received sufficient room to run.
That is after all an urban-oriented electrical scooter although, so I not often discover myself pegging the digital needle. Whereas NIU provides you three experience modes (E-Save, Dynamic, and Sport), I experience round in Sport mode 100% of the time so I’ve full energy on faucet and all of my pace accessible if I ought to want it.
Meaning I get an actual world vary of round 100 km (62 miles) per cost. If I rode in Dynamic I might after all get higher vary, however that will restrict me to one thing round 55 km/h (32 mph), and I don’t like hitting that electronically restricted pace and feeling the ability drop off abruptly.
The 100 km of actual world vary can be fairly handy, since I simply take a look at my battery share and know that I’ve round that a lot vary left. If I see 60% cost, I do know I’ve received an excellent 60 km of vary left.
That’s realistically extra vary than anybody wants for a metropolis scooter, however I like the massive battery capability as a result of it means I’m charging round as soon as per week as a substitute of each night.
So the pace is lots and the vary is greater than sufficient. The one grievance I’ve in terms of vary or battery is how they’ve programmed the “limp dwelling” mode. Many e-bikes and e-scooters have this, the place energy is restricted when you’ve gotten virtually depleted the battery. This helps forestall the battery from working too arduous at very low voltage, which might be powerful on its life expectancy.
The issue is NIU determined that from 15% battery and decrease, the scooter will pressure you into E-Save mode, which has me using at round 20 km/h (12 mph). It solely occurred to me as soon as and it scared the crap out of me. I used to be luckily near dwelling and was in a position to pull off of the principle street I used to be utilizing and get onto a aspect avenue the place my sluggish pace didn’t make me a hazard. However yeah, I’ve mainly come to the conclusion that the final 15% of the battery is kind of unusable; it’s for emergencies solely.
I strive to not let the battery drop under 40% in any case simply to be protected, however ever since my first deep discharge take a look at I’m much more conscious to not drop as little as 15% anymore.
On the subject of energy, I discover that I speed up quicker than most 125cc scooters I pull up subsequent to, although they’ll usually overtake me as soon as I hit my pace restrict. I’ve sufficient low-end energy and torque to carry my very own with 250cc scooters, however just for the primary few seconds till they’ll spool up increased energy at increased RPMs. Finally, I’d put the NIU NQi GT someplace between 50cc and 125cc scooters in terms of energy, however skewed towards the 125cc finish.
Every day use and comfort
Utilizing the scooter is tremendous handy for metropolis dwellers.
Parking is a non-issue since it might park nearly wherever. I reside in Tel Aviv and never solely are there loads of scooter/bike parking spots, however you can too just about park wherever you need on the large sidewalks so long as you aren’t blocking foot visitors. Pulling up subsequent to a utility pole or anti-car parking pylon (that are each already out of the principle path) is a good choice.
On the subject of getting round a metropolis, oh my goodness – you simply can’t beat the comfort of an electrical scooter like this. Scooters normally are among the best methods to get round a metropolis. They’re quicker than vehicles that means you shoot away when the sunshine turns inexperienced. They are often parked wherever. You may weave via stopped or sluggish shifting visitors (assuming your space permits lane splitting/filtering). Skipping to the entrance of each visitors mild after which blasting off when the sunshine turns inexperienced is a particular type of satisfaction.
I can actually get locations in half or a 3rd of the time in comparison with vehicles in Tel Aviv. A 30-minute automobile journey generally is a 10- to 12-minute scooter journey. It’s gotten to the purpose the place after I experience as a passenger in vehicles in visitors, I simply sit there eyeing the wasted house between the rows of vehicles.
The fantastic thing about an electrical scooter over gasoline scooters although is how a lot nicer they’re to function. At a pink mild, the car isn’t vibrating below you. You don’t have that lag whenever you begin to speed up. You don’t have hearken to that terrible “WHEEEEEEEERRRRRRR” noise each time you are taking off.
Charging can be very handy on the NIU.
Charging might be accomplished in one in every of two methods. Your first choice is to plug within the scooter like an electrical bicycle utilizing the wall charger. That’s what I do. There’s a parking storage below my condo constructing with a nook for charging electrical bikes. I simply depart my charger there, then roll up and plug in at any time when I want a cost. When you have a home with a storage, that is the way you’d seemingly cost.
For the various condo dwellers who aren’t as lucky to have a ground-level plug, you’ll be able to merely park outdoors and take the 2 detachable batteries as much as your condo to cost remotely. They every weigh 11 kg (24 lb), in order that they aren’t light-weight. However for a once-a-week affair it isn’t too dangerous.
The one factor you’ll be able to’t do is cost one battery at a time. Effectively, you’ll be able to… you simply gained’t get to experience at full energy. I attempted that originally as a option to keep away from carrying two batteries upstairs without delay. However the scooter is sensible sufficient that it gained’t allow you to use full energy if the batteries have greater than a ten% distinction in cost ranges, which I assume is to stop one battery from having to provide full energy by itself. Should you take out a battery and experience with a single battery, you’re equally restricted to the center pace/energy mode.
The scooter may be very good in that manner, maybe too good.
It’s constructed with dozens of sensors and you may even carry out a digital 100-point inspection by way of the cellphone app. It runs via all the techniques and allows you to know if one thing is amiss. I’ve run the examine 20 or 30 occasions and I’ve by no means discovered a fault, so I’m undecided what would occur if it did find a problem. However it’s good to know I don’t need to deliver it into to the seller simply to carry out a easy inspection of all linked parts.
One other good function on the app is the GPS-location. Theoretically it may very well be useful when you forgot the place you parked, however I exploit it extra to ease my paranoia that somebody has stolen my scooter. While you lock the scooter by way of the wi-fi key fob (“beep beep!”), the app will warn you if somebody touches the scooter.
I’ve gotten a number of vibration alerts earlier than that despatched my coronary heart racing, however my scooter was all the time nonetheless there so it will need to have simply been somebody bumping in opposition to the bars or one thing whereas parking subsequent to me.
As soon as I received a notification that “your scooter is leaning” and instantly went into fast response pressure mode, operating out to the entrance of my constructing anticipating to confront somebody attempting to wheel the factor into the again of a van. Because it turned out, it was throughout a loopy windstorm (I reside a number of hundred meters from the Mediterranean coast) and the scooter had really blown over. It was really my fault, consider it or not. The issue was I had parked it on the aspect stand, which is lazier than parking on the extra steady heart stand. And I had additionally parked on a little bit of a downhill incline. So an enormous gust will need to have pushed it ahead sufficient, helped by gravity on the incline, and the aspect stand merely folded. If I had both parked it with the nostril pointing up hill, or had simply used the steady heart stand, it wouldn’t have occurred.
Ever since, I all the time be sure that to park on the locking heart stand as a substitute of the short however much less steady aspect stand. The aspect stand is nice for fast stops if you want to run right into a retailer shortly, but it surely’s not nearly as good for parking on hills or on free terrain like grass.
The NIU NQi GT has bigger 14″ wheels in comparison with many different scooters, and its hydraulic suspension is kind of good within the metropolis.
I usually hit pace bumps a lot quicker than I ought to and the scooter simply loves it. Between the suspension and further comfortable seat, my butt barely is aware of I hit that pace bump at reckless speeds.
The cruise management can be nice for lengthy straightaways and concrete highways.
I believe the seat is properly designed, although my spouse wasn’t as large of a fan of the rear portion of the seat till I added the NIU backrest. Now she doesn’t really feel like she will slip off the again after I speed up arduous. Although on the similar time she doesn’t hug me from behind as tight now so possibly that wasn’t an excellent transfer on my half.
The opposite NIU accent I purchased was the NIU cellphone holder. I 100% advocate you get this if in case you have your individual NIU. It mounts on the mirror holder so it doesn’t litter up the minimal house on the bars. There’s additionally a USB charging port proper above the bag clip so you’ll be able to maintain your cellphone charged whereas the GPS navigation wreaks its havoc in your cellphone battery.
Worth for cash is essential
There actually aren’t as many electrical scooters as gasoline scooters to select from. In some areas, particularly within the US, NIU might even be your solely alternative.
However even and not using a plethora of choices, NIU remains to be a fantastic alternative due to its high-tech design and affordable worth.
Within the US, the scooter is priced at round $4,500, whereas Europeans will discover it for round €4,500. That’s a reasonably penny above gasoline scooters, however not that rather more than most electrical scooters on this class. And whenever you add within the telemetry, GPS-services, good sensor suite, and all the opposite electronics that make this a very “good” scooter, the value is certainly price it. Even small touches just like the auto-cancelling flip alerts add to the good options. And whereas that doesn’t sound like a lot, even high-dollar electrical bikes like those from Zero don’t supply auto-cancelling flip alerts but.
Whereas that is my each day driver and fully replaces a automobile for me, others could discover that it makes an excellent “second automobile” sort of car. You should still want a full automobile for longer journeys or to hold extra stuff, however an electrical scooter like this could completely substitute many automobile journeys in cities. Not solely will or not it’s faster and cheaper than taking a automobile, however the experience can be much more enjoyable too!
Whereas I nonetheless love my electrical bicycles and different types of micromobility, utilizing the NIU NQi GT as my fundamental type of each day transportation has been an unimaginable expertise and I might advocate it to any metropolis dweller trying to save cash on automobile funds, gasoline, parking, and different bills whereas spicing up their commute.
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