Best long distance scooter

If you’ve been dreaming of a long trip on the open road ever since using kids scooters, now it might be the time. However, picking the best long distance scooter or fast long range electric scooter will make the trip great or miserable. There are some criteria to think about when choosing the scooter. It needs to be the right size for you, comfortable enough as you will ride for multiple hours, and it should have some helpful devices.

Choose the right engine size

Engine sizes may vary from 50cc to 500cc. If you want to move fast on your long trip, a scooter with a bigger engine is recommended. Riding for hundreds of miles at 30 mph might be frustrating and it will take away some of the riding pleasure. 

50cc engines

Scooters with 50cc engines are usually too slow and too small for long trips. Even if they are cheap and they can be driven without a valid driver’s license in some of the states, they are not a good choice.

Having a bigger engine will allow you to legally ride on interstate highways since vehicles with engines smaller than 50cc can’t be legally driven there. So if you already own this type of scooter, it would be better to rent one for the trip.

If you are making the trip with some of your friends, make sure you can keep up. You don’t want to be the slowest guy in the group that gets constantly left behind since many of these scooters have a restricted top speed of around 30-35 mph.

75-125cc engines

Scooters with an engine from this range generally have a top speed higher than 50 mph. Also, acceleration from a complete stop is pretty energetic, which will help you when moving around the town. The 125cc+ engines are even better as you can keep up with traffic, ride smoothly up hills and have a reserve of power under most circumstances. 

200cc+ engines

If you want a scooter with more serious performance, you should look for one in the 250-350cc range. Usually, they are bigger than the average scooter and weigh more. So buy one only if you are an experienced driver in order to avoid accidents.

The 200cc+ options have the advantage of being able to travel at high speed so you will have no problems when entering the freeway. Keep in mind you must have proper licensing as some of these require a motorcycle permit.

Don’t rush for the biggest engine

Choosing a scooter with a bigger engine definitely adds more power, but you will have to pay more for it and its insurance. Also, the scooter’s maintenance and overall gas price will be more costly than for a smaller engine. 

Larger scooters could be a bit more difficult to handle safely for smaller riders looking for something light and agile. So think about what size of scooter meets your criteria and check if such a scooter fits your budget.

The real test is finding the right mix of a scooter not costing a lot of money but that still gets you thrilled about riding it. Buying a scooter without good enough specifications in order to save some money often ends in disappointment while getting a more expensive one might turn into a pricey lesson.

Take a scooter that’s visible

Sometimes, scooter riders get involved in accidents because their vehicles are physically smaller and more difficult to spot, especially at night. So make sure your scooter makes you as visible as possible for other traffic participants.

Check both the headlight and the tail light to be powerful enough so you will be safe on the road. Don’t go for the modern-looking scooters with small tail lights and signal lights and choose a vehicle painted in a bright color. 

Furthermore, you can add more light to your vehicle and wear reflective clothing to better signal your presence on the road and if you are traveling with friends, stay close to each other. As an additional safety measure, always drive defensively, even if you have the right of way. 

Think about road conditions

For the most adaptability and convenience, buy or rent a scooter which will do best on the type of road you will be traveling. The roads might not be paved smoothly, or they could be really crowded. So you could be getting yourself in dangerous situations with a large scooter on narrow and overcrowded city streets. 

If you will be going through a lot of cities, a smaller scooter is recommended, especially if you plan to go sightseeing a lot. Having a small scooter will save you time while looking for a parking space. However, keep in mind that you should have enough space for your luggage.

Pay attention to the wheels

Two-wheeled vehicles have less contact with the road than a car so it might be harder to control when conditions are rough. When turning or braking on wet pavement, pebbles, or wet leaves, the scooter might slide swiftly and you will get seriously injured.

To avoid this situation, go for a scooter with bigger wheels as it will keep you safer. In addition to the safety part, larger wheels will make the trip more comfortable as they are better at absorbing shocks caused by riding over bumps.

Don’t forget about fuel efficiency

This kind of trip might turn out to be more expensive than you anticipated so you want a scooter with good fuel efficiency. In general, smaller engines are more economical to run. For example, a scooter with a 125cc engine will get an average of 70-90 miles per gallon.

Also, you need to plan all stops for gas during your trip so you won’t end up pushing the scooter to the gas station or calling the roadside assistance.

Make sure it’s comfortable enough

If you’ve never taken a long trip on a scooter or on a motorcycle, you might be surprised by how uncomfortable the seat gets after a few hours. Keep in mind you will spend a lot of time on the scooter and it could cause you a lot of back pain.

You may opt for a model that has a back rest. Your friends could make fun of you for getting a back rest, but it doesn’t matter as long as it increases the scooter’s comfort level. You don’t want to lay in bed for 2 days with a stiff back after a 5-hour trip.

Get a scooter with a windshield

If you ride most of the time in the city, you might not see a lot of use for windshields since your average speed might be around 20-25 mph. However, when you get on the open road, things change a lot.

Feeling how the wind blows as you travel on your scooter is one of the beautiful parts of riding but 2 or 3 hours of driving at 80 miles per hour will be exhausting. After 5 hours on the highway, you will wish to go back home.

Without a windshield, you will slow down after a while to give your arms some rest. So you have two options. Either you start working out 4 times a week, or you buy a scooter equipped with a windshield.

Buy a scooter with enough storage space

Unlike traveling by car, you can’t take with you a lot of baggage if you plan on riding the scooter. So make sure you can fit everything you need in the scooter’s storage space. Although you might need to leave at home a few items, you still need food, repairing kit, first aid kit, etc.

More experienced riders will say that on a motorcycle or scooter trip you’ll get hot, cold and wet. So double check if you have enough clothes, a waterproof jacket, and appropriate gloves.

Technology makes the trip better

If you have more money to spend, choose a scooter with cruise control. Although some riders think cruise control will make driving a scooter too much like driving a car, it will add safety and comfort to your trip.

Being able to accurately keep a constant speed for a longer period of time will keep car drivers from recklessly passing a scooter that’s unintentionally slowed down to a few miles per hour.

How to make the decision

It is very hard to find the perfect scooter for long distance. You must think about its engine size, storage space, fuel efficiency, and how safe you will be when riding that scooter. You may ask a more experienced friend to help you with this decision and don’t forget to trust your gut.

Best long distance scooter

Electric scooters are a convenient, entertaining way to commute. Whether it’s for entertainment, work, or otherwise, they’re a great alternative to walking or biking when the former isn’t practical. Or, they’re just a fun way to travel around neighborhoods, city blocks, campuses, and even work locations.

5 Best Long Range Electric Scooters 2020

Of course, electric scooters vary based on their model, age, and type. Not all scooters are the same and all perform differently than the other. This is especially the case for distance traveled – or in other words, the range of the scooter. Depending on the motor and overall charge of an electric scooter, how far it can go (and at what speed) is different. If you’re someone looking for top long-range scooters, then look no further. We’ve put together a quick list of some of the best long-range scooters currently available for enthusiasts and commuters alike.

WHY GET A LONG RANGE ELECTRIC SCOOTER?

As mentioned, electric scooters are a convenient way to travel, especially as an alternative to biking or walking. Additionally, because they’re electric they can save you money on gas. Because they’re electric, electric scooters are also eco friendly. You’re going green just by using them!

Electric scooters also provide help for those who might have difficulty moving long distances and experience joint pain. While not a complete solution, they can be useful for commuting in areas where foot traffic is more common than vehicle travel.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER?

Before purchasing any kind of scooter, you want to know a few things: what you’ll primarily use it for, your overall budget, how easy it is to take with you and store, and how simple it is to charge. There are other factors too, like whether you’ll need a beginner-friendly scooter and age of the rider.

Once you determine those things (creating a small list for yourself can help) you’ll better identify the right scooter for you. For instance, you’ll want a light chassis scooter if you plan to frequently carry/take the scooter with you for trips. Some scooters are heavy given what they can do, even exceeding 50lbs on average, so in this scenario, you’d want the lighter one.

ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OWNING/USING AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER?

For the most part, no, users don’t need specialized licenses to operate an electric scooter. However, it’s important to note that certain regulations can apply regarding scooters depending on where you live. There may be laws or limits on where you can travel with a scooter, so it’s recommended to check local policies – if any – to make sure you don’t run into the law when traveling on the scooter.

Beyond this, you won’t require any special training or skills, though some practice is recommended. It’s important to practice personal safety and be aware of others.

5 BEST LONG RANGE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS

We’ll list off some of the best long-distance scooters currently available. Overall, our selections are prioritizing the total distance traveled per charge. That is to say, a full battery charge to depleted. Various factors could affect this, such as user weight, age, terrain, and motor power. Assuming nothing impacts the speed of your scooter, however, you can expect the full distance covered in the specs.

electric scooter with highest range

COMPARISON TABLE:

  • coming soon

5. SEGWAY NINEBOT ES2

segway-ninebot-es2_web

Segway definitely delivers on modern scooters by combining handy features and app integration while still offering a great product. The first pick, then, is a decent start for long range scooters, sitting at 15 miles per full charge. It does this with a lightweight 27 lbs chassis and 300w motor. There are extra integrations too, like bluetooth and smartphone compatibility, making it a contemporary choice for enthusiasts and tech lovers.

SPECS OVERVIEW
  • Max travel distance of 15 miles on full charge
  • Travels at 15mph on 300w motor without terrain difficulties
  • Front shocks for smoother and safer riding
  • Rider max weight of 220 lbs
PROS
  • App and bluetooth integration is a nice touch for stat tracking and safety
  • Decent speed for a starter scooter and holds weight well
  • Lightweight design makes it easy to transport and carry
CONS
  • Distance may be too limited for some and only good for short commutes
  • Price point is high for a starter model

4. HIBOY S2

hiboy-s2_web

Our next selection is a recommended option for enthusiasts and beginners alike. It covers up to 17 miles of distance per battery charge (assuming no difficulties when moving). It’s a good commute scooter for campuses, business, or recreation. Compared with other choices, it’s lightweight and easy to carry as well, good qualities for any electric scooter.

SPECS OVERVIEW
  • 350W motor reaching speeds of up to 18mph with no hindrance
  • At full charge, max travel distance is up to 18.6 miles
  • Foldable design and lightweight for easy carrying and travel
  • Comes with an integrated app which can track travel stats and battery life (iPhone/Android compatible)
PROS
  • Great choice for commuters in cities or on campuses where smooth terrain is common
  • Good distance and good speed for the price range, and the additional app is a nice integration
  • Dual braking system for easy stops and has a regenerative battery for downhill slopes
CONS
  • The distance of 18.6 miles is still at the lower end of travel distance for some enthusiasts
  • Not good for rough terrain or severe inclines

3. ESKUTE 350W

eskute-350w_web

Our next choice sits at the bottom run in terms of distance traveled, but, is a good entry-level scooter model that’s both inexpensive and practical. Charge times are quick and expected to reach five hours of lifetime in between charges. It’s fairly easy to take with you for traveling and fits a variety of travel needs, leisure or otherwise.

SPECS OVERVIEW
  • 350W motor capable of reaching 15mph speeds with a total distance of 18.6 miles maximum distance before needing recharge
  • Foldable and lightweight design with smart braking system
  • An LED display featuring miles travelled
  • Total weight at 28 lbs
PROS
  • Decent entry price for a beginner scooter with solid specs
  • LED screen can give user additional info
  • Smarty battery system assures lifetime between charges is as long as possible
CONS
  • Mainly for smooth terrain and not recommended for steep inclines
  • 18 miles in total distance may be too short for some

It’s not a bad starter choice and a great gift or potential option for short commutes. However, enthusiasts looking for a bigger distance will want to keep searching.

long range electric scooters

2. JOYOR X5S

joyor-x5s_web

We’re jumping into scooter options with much greater distance capabilities now. The JOYOR XS5 has lots of high points for enthusiasts, including a great carry load, good speed, and durable tires for rougher terrain. This one is able to go much farther distances, 31-40 miles approximately on a full charge. It accomplishes this with a 500w motor.

SPECS OVERVIEW
  • Foldable and easy to store and carry for commuting and leisure
  • Carry capacity of around 250 lbs
  • Can reach 31-40 miles in distance at roughly 15mph
  • Anti-slip pedals for rider safety in wet conditions
PROS
  • Great distance covered, meeting a decent mix of speed and travel time
  • Anti-slip material is a positive for increased rider safety
  • Good option for commuting, especially for work or in cities
CONS
  • Higher price point, starting at $600 USD at minimum
  • Slightly heavier than previous selections
  • Only handles inclines of up to 15 degrees

1. SEGWAY NINEBOT MAX

Segway Ninebot MAX 

We’re fast approaching electric scooters which are, frankly, capable of reaching distances of cars on tanks of gas. One such option is the Segway Ninebot MAX, a powerful option for those looking to get the maximum potential from an electric scooter. This one hits the mark because on a full battery charge, it can travel up to 40 miles on average (not factoring in weight or terrain).

It offers some unique integrations too, such as an informative LED screen giving the rider visual statistics such as distance traveled, battery charge, and even an integrated app. It’s also good for heavier riders too, capable of carrying persons up to 220 lbs.

SPECS OVERVIEW
  • Capable of reaching speeds up to 18.6mph with a 350w electric motor for a maximum travel distance of 40 miles per full charge
  • Integrated app featuring various rider stats with accompanying safety modules
  • Smart braking system to prevent abrupt or dangerous braking coupled with LED display for different rider modes and information (also Bluetooth compatible)
  • Folding system for travel and carry
PROS
  • Feature-rich electric scooter with plenty of modern additions making it a unique and engaging experience
  • Great speed and excellent distance for commute or leisure
  • Bluetooth capable with added security features via an integrated app while scooter also comes with an integrated charger
  • Smart battery for longest possible battery life and quick charging
CONS
  • Sits at a higher price tier and geared towards enthusiasts and those who need it for commuting
  • Best for smooth terrain and not designed for overly steep inclines or rough areas
  • Doesn’t have a seat expansion option

Electric Scooter Categories

Budget Electric Scooters (<$300)

GOTRAX Xr Elite electric scooter
The Xr Elite is a no-frills, but capable electric scooter with pneumatic tires and a disc brake

Most scooters that fall into the budget e-scooter class are not recommended for anything but minimal or light recreational use. At this budget price point, expect under-powered motors, low capacity batteries, and weak brakes. However, there are some excellent and very functional electric scooters in this category. They are worth taking a look at if this fits your budget.

See Editor’s Choices for Best Electric Scooters Under $300

Commuter Electric Scooters ($300 to $1200)

The commuter class of electric scooters is the biggest one and therefore divided into three categories. At these price points, we generally find that scooters are fairly balanced in terms of features, quality, and performance.

Budget Commuter ($300 to $600)

Xiaomi Mi M365 electric scooter on dock of lake
The Xiaomi Mi M365 is one of the most popular, value-priced scooters in the world and helped launch the sharing market.

These scooters are great for traveling shorter distances, have a reasonable range, and suitable build quality for daily commuting. Expect occasional repairs over the few years expected lifetime. Budget commuter scooters are best when your commute has relatively smooth surfaces and not a lot of steep hills. They are light enough that you can fold and carry them up stairs once in a while.

See ESG Editor’s Choices for Best Electric Scooters Under $600

Mid-ranged Commuter ($600 to $900)

Man crouching with a folded Ninebot Max electric scooter
The Segway Ninebot Max has become the go-to scooter for many scooter rental fleets, due to its range and strong build.

A mid-ranged commuting electric scooter will have a slightly larger battery for more range and possibly more motor power than the budget commuter. You won’t see any dual-motor scooters at this price, but you will see the incorporation of suspension into some models.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $900

Premium Commuter ($600 to $1200)

EMOVE Touring Electric Scooter
The EMOVE Touring is a premium commuter electric scooter with great power, range, and brilliant suspension.

Scooters in the premium commuter class typically add suspension, larger motors, bigger batteries, and better brakes to the budget and mid-range offerings. The ride will be more comfortable, safer, and have a better range due to these upgrades. However, there is a tradeoff with increased weight (around 40 lbs) that makes loading into a car or carrying upstairs more difficult.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooter Under $1200

Performance Electric Scooters ($1200 to $1600)

Apollo Explore electric scooter
The Apollo Explore is a balanced Performance Electric Scooter with a single motor, comfortable ride, and long range.

Performance electric scooters start to offer either serious speed or ultra-long range. Many of these scooters incorporate dual motors and sizable battery packs. The longest-ranged scooter in this category can deliver up to 50 miles of real-world range. At this price point, which ranges from $1200 to $1600, you will also start to see some premium features including large tubeless pneumatic tires, semi-hydraulic or hydraulic brakes, powerful lights, and turn signals.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $1600

Extreme Performance Electric Scooters ($2500+)

Man riding the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11
The Wolf Warrior 11 is an extreme performance electric scooter capable of exceeding 40 mph.

Extreme scooters like these are the highest performing in every category except portability. They have massive, dual motors (some reaching speeds above 40 mph), extended battery life for extreme range (>40 miles), top-notch suspension, and hydraulically-activated disc brakes for stopping at fast speeds. Although still suitable for daily commuting, their larger tires are the only ones built for off-roading. These extreme performance scooters are the heaviest as well (typically +70 lbs), so if you need to fold and carry these scooters, make sure you are comfortable with the weight.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $2500

Electric Scooter Features

What else should you know before buying an e-scooter? Now that we’ve gone over some important factors to think about, let’s dive into some other topics that will likely influence which scooter you choose to purchase, including price, range, weight, top speed, rider weight, and IP rating.

Price

There are always going to be better and worse values in purchasing electric scooters, but basically quality and features improve with price. You won’t be buying an extreme off-road beast scooter for $200. Refer to the electric scooter categories for price brackets. 

You can use the comparison database to set min and max limits for the price to a budget range that suits your needs. This will return all scooter options available in that range, and you can jump to our detailed reviews (written and video) for most.

Range

Range refers to the distance a scooter can travel before it runs out of battery power. The range of your electric scooter will depend on various factors, including motor power, rider weight, scooter weight, weather, mode, and average speed. We perform a real-world range test on all scooters to determine a realistic assessment of range. 

Our ESG certified range test is performed by the same rider on the same urban route with frequent stops, rough roads, and uphill climbs in the scooter’s highest performance mode. The 165 lb rider pushes the scooter to its limit, maxing out the throttle and riding until the battery dies completely.

A cautious rule of thumb is to take whatever the manufacturer advertises and divide by two. Results from the 2018 electric scooter survey show most manufacturers overestimate by 30% in their range claims.

Like all batteries, as time goes on your battery capacity (and scooter range) will diminish. Most batteries will maintain their integrity for at least 300 to 500 charging cycles, with the best batteries enduring up to 1000 charging cycles before beginning to degrade. Think about your commute and how far you travel in a typical day. Remember that when your scooter runs out of power, no matter the size, you can still kick to push it.

Pro Tip: You can also bring your charger with you or buy an extra charger to leave at your destination. Some high performance scooters have dual charging ports, cutting charge time in half when using two chargers.

Weight

Weight can be a big consideration if you need to fold and carry your scooter, especially on a regular basis. 

Most scooters with a reasonable range (>15 miles) will weigh over 25 lbs. Scooters far exceeding 30 lbs will be fairly difficult to carry for long durations. Having a handle or shoulder strap will help bear the weight. Some scooters have extra wheels or a folded configuration that allow them to be rolled like the compact, commuter-friendly Glion Dolly. However, scooters will still have to be carried up stairs or lifted into a vehicle when transporting. Even the highly portable Dolly has folded dimensions of 37 in by 12 in by 8 in and weighs 28 lbs, which can be awkward for some to carry. 

If you are in the market for recreational joyriding or beast mode off-roading and not focused on its portability, the weight is not as important a factor as build quality and top speed. If you are looking for a commuter electric scooter to solve the last mile problem on your everyday route, its weight is important to consider.

Think about your commute: 

  • Will you need to walk up stairs? 
  • Does your destination have an elevator? 
  • Do you have permission and space to store your scooter inside (primarily in workplaces)?
  • Do you have alternate transportation when poor visibility and/or inclement weather occur? 
  • Are you able to lift the scooter into a trunk? 

Some conditions, like rainy weather, may call for you to take public transportation or a rideshare home. Most drivers will allow you to put your scooter in the trunk, but you still need to be able to maneuver it into the vehicle yourself.

Pro Tip: For comparison, the average weight of a household standup vacuum cleaner is 12 lbs to 18 lbs and many have similar dimensions to large folded scooters. Alternatively, visit a sporting goods store and pick up a few dumbbells or kettlebells to test what weight you can comfortably manage.

Top Speed

Top speed is not a huge factor for most commuters as long as the scooter can reach 15 mph. In fact, some municipalities have laws against going over 15 mph on electric scooters and most restrict scooters from driving on pedestrian sidewalks. 

Riding in a car or even on a bicycle at 15 mph feels different than riding an electric scooter at that speed because of the tires and acceleration. In reality, when traveling on roads or in bike lanes, 15 mph to 18 mph is fast enough. If riding in urban traffic regularly, scooters with good acceleration and top speeds in this range can help you avoid accidents. If you are interested in extreme performance scooters, those can go up to 50 mph (like the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11) and we recommend wearing serious safety gear when traveling at those speeds.

Pro Tip: Always wear a helmet when riding your scooter at any speed.

Rider Weight

The max load or max rider weight is the weight limit that the electric scooter can support. For most scooters, this limit ranges from 220 lbs to 270 lbs. If you weigh more than this, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking at scooters that can support your weight. For safety reasons, you shouldn’t exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.

Keep in mind that even if the scooter is rated for your weight and you’re at the top of the limit, it will be slower and have less range compared to a lighter rider. Also consider if you’ll be carrying a backpack or anything else that will add to the overall weight the scooter will bear. For riders near or above 220 lbs, you should focus on electric scooters with at least a 500-watt motor.

Pro Tip: You can filter the comparison database based on rider weight.

Motor Power

Adult electric scooters have hub motors, which are brushless direct current (BLDC) electric motors that are built into the hub of the wheels. All electric kick scooters have at least one motor while more powerful ones will have dual motors.

Electric motors are rated based on their power consumption, which is expressed in units of watts (e.g., 600 watts). More powerful motors will have greater wattage. Motor power generally starts at 200 watts and goes all the way up to 6270 watts on the Dualtron X.

An average budget commuter scooter, like the Xiaomi Mi M365 has a 250-watt motor; a mid-range commuter scooter like the Fluid FreeRide Horizon has a 500-watt motor; and an extreme performance scooter, like the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11, has dual 1200-watt motors (or 2400-watt motor power).

For adults, we do not recommend anything under 250 watts for daily commuting. This will be adequate for flat surfaces and very small hills. If you live in an area with steeper hills, think about going to 350 or 500 watts. Even with 500 watts, your scooter will slow down on medium-sized hills. Larger motors will not only help with powering up hills, but they will also get you up to top speed more quickly.

Suspension

Suspension, similar to that in a car, smooths out bumps and indentations in the road and improves ride quality. Without it, and especially if you have solid (airless) tires, you will feel every bump that you travel over. If your commute is longer or has rough terrain to cross, strongly consider purchasing a scooter with suspension. 

There are three main types of suspension systems that are typically found on electric scooters: spring, hydraulic or air piston, and rubber suspension. Scooters with the best suspension will have some combination of spring and piston — a combination called coil-over-hydraulic or coil-over-air.

Suspension can be attached to the front, rear, or both wheels. Scooters in the premium commuter class should have either front or rear suspension.

Close up of Apollo Pro Ludicrous suspension
Many electric scooters have no suspension, while high performance ones, like the Apollo Pro feature a beefy spring suspension.

Many scooters forgo suspension in favor of large pneumatic tires that provide damping effects. These can offer a better form of suspension than cheap spring suspensions.

Lighting

Close up of red LED taillights of the EMOVE Touring
Some scooters, like the EMOVE Touring have corner “button” LEDs which help with visibility but aren’t bright enough to stand on their own.

Scooters, like bicycles, can have a white front light and a red rear light. If you ride after dark, it is necessary to have both a front and rear light. Due to the design of electric scooters, they typically do not have very visible rear lights. If you are going to ride at night, strongly consider adding some flashing red rear lights to your helmet or backpack.

Read our guide to electric scooter lighting.

Brakes

Qiewa QPower front disc brake and wheel
The Qiewa QPower has massive fully-hydraulic disc brakes that give very strong stopping power.

A quality braking system is essential for staying safe and in control while riding an electric scooter. Like those on a car or bicycle, brakes are what slow the electric scooter down. Electric scooter brakes can be broken into two categories: mechanical and electronic.

Mechanical brake systems are those that rely on a physical mechanism to slow the scooter down and include foot, drum, and disc brakes. The typical 15 mph stopping distance for mechanical systems is 20 feet, with the absolute best being under 10 feet. 

  • Foot brakes, which are activated by pushing your foot down on the rear fender, cause it to rub against the rear tire, slowing it down. This type of brake has stopping power but is not as effective as drum or disc brakes.
  • Drum brakes are enclosed inside the wheel hub, are generally lower maintenance than other braking types, and have consistent performance in wet conditions.
  • Disc brakes have the most stopping power and are lighter than drum brakes. They are typically found on higher-end premium commuter and high-performance scooters, but may appear on better quality budget commuter scooters as well.
  • In our real-world road tests, we found disc and drum brakes to be the most effective. 

Electronic braking systems rely on using the motor itself for braking and include strictly electric and regenerative braking systems. Electric and regenerative brakes are the weakest. If you are traveling at 15+mph and need to stop quickly, these alone will not do the job. The typical 15 mph stopping distance using an electronic brake alone is 30 to 40 feet. 

Mechanical braking systems will offer much stronger braking than electronic systems. However, electronic systems benefit from not requiring any periodic adjustments or maintenance. Many scooters will have a combination of both electronic and mechanical braking systems. For safety reasons, we recommend scooters that have at least two braking systems in case one fails.

Learn more in our technical guide to electric scooter brakes.

Tires

Close up shot of Thunder electric scooter LED taillights

Tires come in two types: solid (airless) tires and pneumatic (air-filled) tires

  • Solid tires There are a few varieties of airless tires and these include honeycomb, polymer-filled, and solid. Solid tires are inferior to pneumatic in every way except they have virtually no maintenance required. When riding on solid tires, you’re more likely to feel every bump and even stumble over lines of paint on the road. 

Pneumatic tires We always recommend pneumatic tires because they give better ride quality (with or without suspension) and their supple rubber performs much better in adverse road conditions. Some air-filled tires have inner tubes that can be replaced if damaged; other air-filled tires are tubeless. Pneumatic tires have the advantage of shock absorption and better handling (especially in bad weather). 

The downside to pneumatic tires is there is more maintenance required than the airless variety. Pneumatic tires are prone to punctures and need to be filled with air when they have low pressure. Pneumatic tires, with tubes and tubeless, are common in all price classes except the budget range, where tires are almost exclusively solid.

Pneumatic tires are common in all price ranges, except the Budget range, where tires are almost exclusively airless (solid).

Pro Tip: Do not underestimate the improved ride quality you will get with pneumatic tires. These will make a huge improvement when rolling over even minimally bumpy terrain, where road vibration can be very uncomfortable on your feet and legs. Additionally, you can prevent flat tires by following a few simple tips.

Learn more about the differences between pneumatic and solid tires in our electric scooter tire guide.

IP Rating

The ingress protection or IP rating tells you how resistant an electric scooter is to dust and water. The IP rating consists of two numbers, but we focus on the second because it tells you how water-resistant the scooter is. The greater the number is — the more resistant it is to water and moisture.

Not all scooters have an IP rating. If you are planning on riding your scooter in all weather conditions, you will want to invest in one with at least IPx4 water-resistance.

IP RATINGMEANING
IPx0No protection
IPx1 to IPx3Very limited water resistance
IPx4 to IPx6Suitable for riding in the rain
IPx7+Can be fully submerged in water

Pro Tip: You can sort our electric scooter comparison database, based on IP rating (the column is titled “Water”).

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