How to ride an electric scooter
Every day more and more people are converting to electric scooters as a mode of transport, and the popularity of the vehicle is rapidly rising. However, electric scooters aren't only used for commuting - they're also very fun to ride, and more advanced riders enjoy taking them off-road and perfecting tricks and jumps.
Electric scooters are economical, relatively cheap to buy in comparison to a car, and are very easy to transport. All of these reasons contribute to the ever growing popularity of the vehicle. But, while an electric scooter may sound great in theory, people who have never been on one may be concerned about just how hard it is to learn it to ride.
Fortunately, the answer to that question is positive! It's relatively easy to learn how to ride an electric scooter, however, it's very important that a rider learns properly before taking off on one. Electric scooters are considered easier to ride than a bicycle, but they are motorised vehicles that can hit fast speeds, so a rider who isn't familiar with how to use an electric scooter properly and safely could seriously hurt themselves.
Here, we've put to get a step by step guide about how to ride an electric scooter as well as some useful tips and tricks for e-scooter owners. While this article can help to guide you in the right direction when riding an electric scooter, it's always a good idea to get lessons from someone who is already familiar about how to ride safely.
Step by step guide to riding an electric scooter
Step 1: Prepare your protective gear
An electric scooter is a motorised vehicle, so it's important to always wear safety gear when riding. While electric scooters are safe when ridden properly, but, accidents can happen. Plus, if you're riding on a main road there's always the risk of other vehicles or obstacles affecting your ride. Safety gear can help to protect you if you find yourself in a situation like this.
Wearing a helmet is a non-negotiable when riding an electric scooter. A certified bike helmet is a minimum standard, but you can also invest in more sturdy helmets with face covering for more protection.
Some riders like to wear knee and elbow pads,] and gloves. However, this choice can be at your discretion. Shorter rides in residential areas may not require them, but it's a good idea to wear protection like this when you're off-roading in rough terrain.
Lastly, if you're riding in a busy area or off-road, it's always recommended to wear clothes that cover bare skin. If you do happen to come off your scooter, long pants and long-sleeved tops can help to put a barrier between your bare skin and gravel or dirt.
Step 2: Explore the scooter and controls while stationary
Before riding on the scooter you should have a thorough look at the scooter and its controls. You should familiarise yourself with where certain controls are, like the acceleration, braking, the lights, safety features and the horn.
Ride the scooter without turning it on
Before taking your electronic scooter for a motorised ride, try using it as a standard kick scooter. To do this, you'll just need to make sure you don't turn the scooter on and ride it around by kicking on one side with your foot and gliding. This will allow you to become familiar with the brakes and how they work.
Check the essentials
It's almost time to take your electric scooter for a motorised ride, but prior to that, you'll need to check that the essentials are in good nick. This means going through your scooter and checking the following things:
- If the tyres are correctly inflated
- If the battery has chargeIf the brakes are properly working
- That the scooter sounds normal when turned on (ensure that it makes no unusual noises).
- Time to ride!
It's finally time to take your electric scooter for a spin. To do so, the method will depend on your specific scooter.
Some scooters can start without a kick off (they are called zero start) and will just require you to twist the throttle slowly. While other vehicles will need a manual start. If your scooter requires a manual start, simply kick your scooter off by placing one foot on the scooter deck and one on the ground, as you propel the scooter forward, turn the throttle to accelerate slowly.
Familiarise yourself with the throttle
If you've never ridden an electric scooter before, you should take the time to familiarise yourself with the throttle. A common mistake that new riders make is twisting the throttle too quickly, causing the scooter to travel much too fast and scaring the rider.
When starting off, you should twist the throttle very slowly, so that you can get used to the speed the bike travels when the throttle is engaged. Gradually build your way up to turning the throttle more, and consequently increasing speed.
Learn to turn
Once you are off and riding, you should ensure that you are travelling at a very slow speed while you're still learning - no more than 7km/hour. While engaged at the speed, you can learn to turn at corners by twisting the handlebars in your desired direction very slowly. At a slow speed, you'll physically turn the handle bars, while at a fast speed you'll likely depend more on your body weight to turn the direction of the scooter as you lean. However, it's very important to learn the basics of turning at a slower speed, as turns at a fast speed are dangerous and can commonly cause an inexperienced rider to over-judge a turn and fall off a scooter.
Learn how to brake properly
Learning how to brake properly and safely on a scooter is extremely important. When a rider brakes on the wrong type of terrain, or too sharply, it can be very dangerous. To learn how to brake safely you should ride slowly and gently push the brakes to learn how strong they are.
It's recommended to bend your knees and shift your weight back over your rear leg when braking hard because this will lower your scooter's centre of gravity and give it more stability.
Braking on unstable ground or ground with gravel can be very dangerous and can cause the scooter to skid. So, if you see a patch of unstable ground coming up, you should try to slowly brake before you get there.
Practice with an experienced rider
Just because you have the basics down, this doesn't mean that you're ready to head off on a long scooter journey along. As the sentiment goes, practice makes perfect, and you should perfect your riding technique by spending a lot of time slowly riding around a private and empty place (like a flat paved road or drive way). An experienced rider will be able to give you tips and make sure that your technique is correct and safe, before heading off alone.
Scooter riding technique tips
Once you've spent a considerable amount of timing practicing how to ride an electric scooter, you can start to implement some more advanced techniques. Below are a few tips that will help you ride safely.
Keep an eye out for obstacles
Scooters are relatively small vehicles, so even small rocks or potholes can be a big hazard. Once you can confidently ride your scooter, you can head off on a longer ride and while doing so you should ensure that you look ahead for any obstacles. If you spot a small pothole in the distance, you'll be able to steer around it and avoid it.
How to handle unavoidable obstacles
If an obstacle is unavoidable, you should arm yourself with the knowledge of how to ride over it in the safest way possible. If there's a pothole that you can't avoid or a small object in the road that you don't have time to go around, you should make sure the scooter rolls over the object with the scooter perpendicular to it. You can also shift your weight towards the back fo the scooter so that the wheel can ride over the object more easily.
Tips for longer range
All electric scooters are powered by batteries. These batteries are charged up, but will eventually deplete. Generally, more expensive e scooters have more powerful batteries, allowing for a long range (or ride time). However, there are a few things you can do to maximise the range on your scooter.
Always accelerate slowly
When you accelerate a scooter quickly, it uses a significant amount of energy, which contributes to depleting the scooter battery much quicker. By accelerating slowly less power will be exerted, and your range time will be extended.
Try and ride at a moderate speed
Even if you accelerate slowly, if you're riding at a fast speed it's going to run the battery down much quicker than if you're riding at a medium speed.
Use different modes appropriately
A lot of electric scooters have various modes that you can switch to suit your style of riding. These modes can vary from scooter to scooter but are generally sports mode, regular mode and eco mode. Eco mode will use the least amount of battery, while sports mode will use the most. Eco mode is a good choice for commuting, but won't allow you to go very quickly. Because spots mode uses the most battery, this should only be engaged when you want to travel at top speeds.
Try to ride in warmer weather
While this can be unavoidable, it's handy for electric scooter owners to know that colder weather tends to affect battery life negatively. Batteries aren't able to work as effectively in cold weather, reducing range. This is usually noticeable when the temperature goes below 20 degrees Celcius.
How to store your scooter
Like any motorised vehicle, electric scooters are generally relatively expensive and should be stored in a safe to ensure they don't get damaged or stolen. At night time, the scooter should be stored in a locked area, like a garage or inside your house.
When riding a scooter in public, you should always lock it when you are not using it. There are a range of different lock options available for scooters, and there are specific methods to use when locking your scooter that will help to make it more secure. To find out more information about how to lock your scooter correctly, and the best locks available, you can head to our handy guide here [insert scooter lock guide link].
Almost all electric scooters can be folded up, and while the method for doing so can vary from scooter to scooter, many models have a button that allows the scooter to quickly fold up into a compact size. To learn how to fold your scooter properly, you can consult your instruction manual.
Does regenerative braking make your battery life last longer?
Yes, regenerative braking is designed to help battery life. It works by converting the kinetic energy that's created from braking into electricity to charge its battery, boost efficiency and increase range. This feature helps to extend the lifespan of the braking system.
Is it hard to learn how to ride an electric scooter?
Learning to ride an electric scooter is relatively simple. However, it's very important that riders learn how to operate an electric scooter safely. An electric scooter is a motorised vehicle that can cause serious injuries if it's not ridden properly. This is especially true if the scooter is being ridden at a fast speed.