New to eScooters? Here's how to ride one!
Posted 15th January 2021. Category: General.
Riding an electric scooter is simple and easy, but there’s a few tricks to riding safely and efficiently, we’ll go through these in this blog post.
Getting started with riding an electric scooter:
If it’s your first time riding an electric scooter, we recommend finding a large open space with a smooth riding track - such as a park - and starting there.
The first step to riding is preparing the eScooter for use. Begin by unfolding and locking the handlebar stem in place. This process will vary from model to model. The most important thing is ensuring everything is locked in place. On most models, there will be a secondary plastic lock ring that will slide to prevent the stem from unlatching during riding. Refer to the users manual or contact your place of purchase for more information.
Once the electric scooter is set up and self-supporting on its kickstand, go around and do a basic pre-start check - check the brakes, check for any damage and check tyre pressure. Ensure the tyres are hard - and the pressure is at least 35psi (but this will also vary per model - check manufacturer recommendations). Check the battery life and ensure you will have enough range for your commute. And lastly, ensure you are wearing a helmet!
Next up, grab the handlebars of the scooter with both hands and put one foot on the deck and the other on the ground. Familiarise yourself with the brakes, accelerator and general feel of the eScooter. Turn on the electric scooter by holding the power button down for 3 seconds. The dashboard should light up - and you’re ready to go! Kick the scooter forward and then push the accelerator (often on the right hand side). Note; most eScooters require a kickstart before they will get going. You will need to kick the eScooter so it travels at around ~3km/h before you engage the accelerator to travel forward. If you engage the accelerator before or during this kickstart - the eScooter will not engage power. You need to do this after your kickstart! The kick-starting feature provides two benefits:
1. Safety - it prevents the eScooter from accelerating unnecessarily i.e. if you’re in an elevator and the accelerator accidentally grabs it will not move with this feature.
2. Protection of electronics - electric motors use the most power while starting from 0. Starting from a speed of 3km/h will preserve the motor controllers so they last longer!
Riding the eScooters:
While travelling, familiarize yourself with the scooter deck, frame and controls. Find a comfortable configuration for your feet on the deck, stand up with your back straight and legs slightly bent to absorb impact. Practice accelerating, braking, hopping off and hopping back on. Practice turning - leaning into the turns - and riding over uneven surfaces like gravel or grass. Practice riding at different speeds - balancing at lower speeds and riding comfortably at high speeds.
Safety while riding:
It is important to ride safely when operating an eScooter, this includes:
- Wearing the appropriate safety equipment; a helmet.
- Reduce riding speeds in crowded areas, around blind corners, in tight spaces, and on uneven surfaces
- Keep both hands on the handlebars, and be ready to pull the brake lever at any time.
- Ensure vehicles are serviced frequently and tyre pressures are optimal.
- Riding in wet weather or through water should be done with caution. eScooters tyres have small tread and may be very slippery when in contact with water. Ensure you’re eScooter is suitable for wet-weather riding conditions.
- Follow your local laws and regulations. Only ride where it is permitted by law and safe to do so.
Now that you’re comfortable riding a motorised scooter, the next step is learning how to ride efficiently to maximise battery range and vehicle life.:
- Riding on smooth surfaces such as footpaths of smooth roads reduces drag and tyre wear. Riding on rough terrain like gravel, sand or grass can significantly reduce battery life and increase vehicle maintenance requirements.
- If your scooter features a regenerative braking system, using it can improve battery range each time you commute. Avoid quick accelerations and when travelling downhill utilize the regenerative braking as much as possible. Each time you use regenerative braking, the battery will gain small amounts of charge increasing your battery range.
- Ride carefully to prevent accidents and unnecessary damage on the eScooter. If you intend to use your eScooter every day for commuting, avoid unnecessary accident risks - ride safely and you’ll save lots of repairs and maintenance down the track. Our WalkSmart repair team too often fix eScooters from damage that are easily preventable by riding more carefully.
- Be careful up steep hills. Riding an electric scooter up long steep hills can cause significant ware on the internal electrical components. We recommend following the manufacturers recommended incline angle, and taking care when on hills. Take a break along the way and even consider walking up the hill instead if the eScooter is struggling
- Ensure tyre pressure is optimal. At WalkSmart we recommend high pressures around 40-50PSI for eScooter tyres - as this reduces rolling drag and reduces the risk of a puncture. Generally, tyre pressures around 10-20PSI are at high risk of getting punctured! Check tyre pressure often, and fill up if need be!
When you’re finished riding, you can turn the eScooter off by holding down the power button for 3 seconds. You can open the kickstand or fold the handlebars down for easy transportation. Charging is simple, this is done through the charging port with the supplied charger. Charging time varies per model, usually between 6-12 hours. The charger will usually indicate a complete charge by a green light - with some models even displaying battery charge on the display.
Servicing and Repairs:
WalkSmart recommends a service once per year, or every 1000km. If something is damaged throughout this time, we recommend you get it resolved as soon as possible as it may be of safety risk and cause more damage to the vehicle.
Please feel free to check our best recommendations of escooters if you intend to buy one e-scooter this season.
To seek professional advice, please contact us by clicking on this link.
WalkSmart recommends that you check your local state laws and regulations in relation to using electric scooters in public locations, roads and footpaths. Laws vary state by state and therefore may limit use to private locations only. Each local body is reviewing public electric scooter use, so we expect it to be regulated, but legal in all states within the short term. Feel free to contact WalkSmart if you have any further queries.