Our 4 Favorite Electric Kick Scooters



scooter isn\’t the coolest way of getting around. There you are,
standing stock-still and upright, gliding around like a penguin on wheels. But
reducing our reliance on gas-guzzling cars is cool and important. If
bikes or electric bikes aren\’t your thing, e-scooters are another
eco-friendly way to travel relatively short distances. They\’re easy to fold up,
lighter than ebikes (sometimes), and you don\’t need to wait on public
transportation. Just hop on and go. 

We\’ve spent the better part of
two years testing several electric scooters, and these are our favorites. There
are a mind-melting number of companies and e-scooter models coming out every
month. We\’re testing \’em as best as we can, so check back regularly if you
don\’t see a scooter you want. Need a helmet, bell, or phone mount? Our Best
Biking Accessories guide has you covered. 


Best Overall

Segway Ninebot F30

The Segway Ninebot F30 is a good
place to start for anyone new to electric scooters. It excels at the basics,
from a headlight that reliably illuminates dark streets to a responsive front
and rear brake system that speedily halts you. Cruise control kicks in after a
few seconds, so you don\’t need to hold the throttle down, with a beep to alert
you. Even the bell on the handlebars is intuitively designed in such a way that
you don\’t have to look down for it. There\’s a digital display to view ride
data, but the F30 can connect to Segway\’s companion app via Bluetooth so you
can configure settings, update the scooter\’s firmware, and lock it in
place (though I wouldn\’t leave the scooter outside for more than a few

The whole thing is dead simple to
fold up. At 33 pounds, it\’s not terribly heavy to carry up a flight of stairs.
Rides are comfortable, thanks to a spacious deck and handlebars tall enough for
my lanky arms to grab. The large 10-inch pneumatic tires absorb many of those
bumps on the road, so unless you\’re riding on cobbled streets, expect smooth
gliding. The 300-watt motor goes up to 15 miles per hour on the F30\’s Sport
mode (the highest of three), but it struggles with steep hills and range. I\’m
6\’4\” and 220 pounds, and I got around 9 mph up small slopes and 10 miles
on a single charge. If you\’re smaller, you might end up with something closer
to Segway\’s 18-mile claim. (You can also upgrade to the F40 for $770, which is
nearly identical but hits 18 mph and purportedly gets 25 miles on a charge.)


Best Budget Scooter

Gotrax Apex

What you get for the money with
the Gotrax Apex is, frankly, pretty darn amazing. At 32 pounds, it\’s lighter
than the Segway, and it\’s quick and easy to fold up. It has an integrated bell
and a digital display that shows your speed and battery life. You can go up to
15 miles per hour and no more—like the Segway, the 250-watt motor slows down
even going downhill to make sure it never exceeds the top speed. It\’s
reliable—I\’ve gone to coffee shops, to remote video shoots with a backpack full
of camera gear, and to the grocery store on this thing. It also handles poor
roads surprisingly well. It\’s not the smoothest ride, but I never felt like I
was going to be thrown off. The lesser motor does struggle with
any kind of slight incline, and slopes drain the battery fast.

Its biggest flaws? This is a
pretty small scooter, so I had to stretch my hands all the way down like a
zombie to reach the handlebars. If you\’re tall, stick with the Segway. The
front light is relatively weak and more intended for cars to see you rather than
for you to see anything else. The single rear disc brake will require some
tightening with a hex key. It brought me to a stop just fine, but I wouldn\’t
have minded a front brake for some additional stopping power. Then there\’s the
range: GoTrax claims 15 miles, but I hit closer to nine.


Upgrade Pick

Apollo Ghost

At 64 pounds, this is not an
e-scooter you\’d want to carry up a flight of stairs. But the Apollo Ghost (8/10,
WIRED Recommends) is tremendous fun. The dual 800-watt motors can vault you to
34 miles per hour (if that\’s legal where you live), but I mostly relied on the
single motor and cruised around 20 to 25 mph—there\’s a button to switch between
the two, and modes to further limit your speed. Why would you want
that much speed? Well, two motors can generate more torque, which proved handy
going up steep hills.

The dual displays are hard to
read on sunny days, but one of them shows ride data like battery life, speed,
and the mode you\’re using. The other shows the battery\’s voltage level—a full
battery is around 58 volts, and a nearly dead one is around 44 volts. It\’s a
more accurate battery reading (if you can remember those two numbers). It\’s
expensive, but spending a little more money gets you significantly better
range. I hit around 20 miles on a single charge. (Apollo claims a generous 39.)
There\’s no proper front light, but there are visibility lights around the
scooter, a bell, and a taillight. As for the brakes, you can get discs or upgrade
to hydraulic ones. The former delivered enough stopping power for me, but the
latter is more responsive and reliable. 


Best for Long Hauls

MiniMotors USA Dualtron Victor

OK, don\’t wince. The Dualtron
Victor (9/10, WIRED Recommends) costs $2,699. Ouch. But it\’s the only e-scooter
I\’ve tested that\’s enabled me to go all the way from Brooklyn to North New
Jersey and back—a 24-mile round trip—on a single charge, with 30 percent left
in the tank at the end. With no car and some anxiety about using public
transportation during a pandemic, I was able to visit a friend I hadn\’t seen
in months. For that, it holds a special place in my heart.

This thing has a 4,000-watt dual
motor, which means it can hit a terrifying 50 miles per hour. Thankfully, you
can go whatever speed you want (and match the legal speed limit), but this
power was certainly handy when I hit some serious inclines in upper Manhattan.
This is hands down the comfiest ride I\’ve ever had on an e-scooter, thanks to
thick tires and front and rear suspension. Additional perks include a
headlight, taillight, visibility lights (sadly, no bell), plus effective front
and rear hydraulic disc brakes. Just about the only cons are that the Victor is
73 pounds—it\’s an effort just to lift it onto the curb—and it takes a stunning
20 hours to charge. You can buy another charger and use its two ports
to juice it up in half that time, or get the fast charger to cut it down to
five hours. I just wish the fast charger was included.


Other Scooters We\’ve Tested

Decent Contenders

We try to test electric scooters
for two to three months, oftentimes even longer. Not all of them are winners.
That\’s what you\’ll find below—e-scooters we generally like but not as much as
our picks above. They all have one thing (or more) holding them back from
getting a top spot above. 

Apollo Air Pro for $699: The
Apollo Air Pro costs $799 yet is always on sale for $699, so make sure you
don\’t pay more than that. For a while, I split my time between the Air Pro and
the Segway F30—I ended up gravitating toward the latter. Sure, the Apollo goes
a tad faster than the Segway, but both lasted me roughly 10 miles on a single
charge. The Segway just felt more refined overall and more reliable. I\’m saying
that partly because my time with the Apollo was cut short when the front tire
got a flat. The company sent me a replacement inner tube, but the screws are
bolted so tight on the wheel that the task was near-impossible. I eventually
took it to a shop. 

Levy Plus for $749: My
fellow WIRED reviewer, Adrienne So, tested a prototype of the Levy Plus in
2020 and liked its replaceable battery and reliable disc brakes but found
the whole thing “agonizingly slow in hilly terrain.\” It goes up to 18 mph
and is rated for 5 to 10 percent inclines, so it\’s best for flat roads.
It\’s one of the lighter e-scooters out there, weighing just 30 pounds. 

Unagi Model One for $990: Unagi
uniquely gives you two ways to own its e-scooter: You can buy it outright for
$990 or subscribe to rent it for $49 per month. Its specs have been slightly
updated since we last reviewed it, but good news—the company recently
launched the Model Eleven on Indiegogo, which is expected to ship this
June. We\’ll be testing it around that time, so we recommend holding off on the
Model One. 

EcoReco L5+ for $849: This
is the first electric scooter I ever tried. It\’s getting a bit old, but it
remains a solid upgrade. The suspension allows for smooth rides, the tall stem
means easy-to-reach handlebars, and a wide foot deck lets me put my two size-13
feet side by side. You can fold it down, but at 38 pounds it\’s not as easy to
carry as our top two picks. It can go a little more than 22 mph and lasted me
around 16 miles on a single charge. My biggest concern is that EcoReco doesn\’t
seem to be have been active on its social channels for the past year (and has
not responded to my emails). 

Yadea KS5 Pro for $800: I
initially liked the Yadea KS5 Pro. It has a top speed of 22 mph thanks to
the 500-watt motor. It weighs 46 pounds, which is heavy, but not nearly as much
as other models like the Apollo Ghost. Unfortunately, the company\’s range
claims are wildly inaccurate. This thing lasted me roughly 10 or 12 miles on a
charge, not 37. The app experience is also very clunky—the
firmware refused to update—and over time, I ran into an issue where the motor
sometimes kicked in while stopped at a traffic light. Yikes.



What Kind of Scooter Tires Are

Solid, Tubed, or Tubeless?

A few scooters mentioned in this
guide have a few tire options to choose from. You\’ll most commonly come across
these two terms: pneumatic tires and solid tires. The
former, which just means that the tires are filled with air, comes in two
variants—tubed and tubeless.

Solid tires are made of
solid material, like rubber or silicone, and require very little maintenance.
However, they don\’t absorb all those bumps in the roads that well, so you won\’t
get the smoothest nor the grippiest ride. If you\’re in a city with mostly nice
roads, you\’re taking short trips, and you go less than 20 mph, this is a
completely fine option. 

Tubed tires have an inner
tube that holds the air, and an exterior rubber tire to protect it. That means
you\’ll need to regularly check the pressure in your tires, like on a bike.
These are usually easy to replace if you get a flat, and you most likely will,
as tubed tires aren\’t very puncture-resistant. 

Tubeless tires don\’t have an
inner tube—an airtight seal keeps the air in—and that allows for higher
quality, thicker, and tougher tires (though not as tough as solid tires).
You\’ll still need to keep an eye on air pressure. These are usually found on
pricier e-scooters, but like the tubed counterpart, it\’s what you want if you
prioritize ride quality. I prefer tubeless tires, as they offer a comfier ride
and are less likely to get a flat.

Pro Tips

Scooters are electric vehicles,
and as such there are a few things you should and shouldn\’t do if you get one.
First, if you\’ve never ridden an electric scooter and are nervous about
shelling out for one, try a rideshare service. There might be one in your town.
Companies like Lime, Lyft, and Bird let you grab an e-scooter and travel around
town for not a lot of money, and that\’s a good way of testing the waters. Now,
here\’s some advice:


Wear a helmet. Need I say more?
Protect your noggin. Our Biking Accessories guide has some helmet options—my
personal favorite is the Thousand Heritage helmet—and follow this guide to fit
your helmet the right way.

Check your local laws. Are electric
scooters legal where you live? If so, what\’s the max speed limit? Do you have
to be in the bike lane? Over the past two years, e-scooters have become a
common sight in many cities. Chances are your state or city has spelled out
rules about riding them.

Don\’t charge your e-scooter
overnight or when no one is home. The manuals of several scooters I\’ve tested
say the same. Not every battery or charger is getting a UL certification for
safety, and I\’ve seen one too many stories of battery fires. Always be around
when you\’re charging your scooter, and unplug it when it\’s finished charging.

Try to avoid the rain. You\’ll
want to check the scooter you own to see whether they have official IP water-
and dust-resistance ratings. If not, avoid riding in the rain. If there is a
rating, it\’s still a good idea to get out of the rain quickly. More important,
do not plug the charger in without wiping down the charging port and ensuring
that it\’s dry.

Don\’t store your e-scooter in
excessive temperatures. Extreme heat and extreme cold are not good for
batteries. Store your e-scooter indoors in a cool, dry place. Like your cereal!

One rider only, please. Unless a
manufacturer explicitly states that an e-scooter can carry two people, only one
rider should be on the deck. These are vehicles that can go pretty fast, and
you don\’t need to go more than 20 mph to be in a serious accident. It\’s also a
good idea to check the weight limit on your scooter.

Check the manufacturer\’s
servicing and repair options. Before you invest in a new scooter, check if the
manufacturer offers spare parts or is able to service your scooter if any
issues come up. You may want to connect with local ebike and e-scooter shops to
see if they have experience with the brand you\’re going with.

Don\’t leave your e-scooter
unattended outdoors. Scooters aren\’t very easy to secure, so it probably goes
without saying that they\’re very easy to steal. Roll them indoors if you need
to, but keep them within sight if you don\’t want to walk home helmet in hand.


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