Plenty of zip for short trips

Com­mut­ing is fun on this nifty elec­tric scooter, writes ROB BAIRD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bikes -

THE Vec­trix elec­tric scooter is still a rar­ity in Melbourne, but ris­ing fuel prices will go a long way to­wards driv­ing sales. First im­pres­sions are the scooter is big and per­haps a lit­tle chubby in the rear end, but that is off­set by large stor­age space un­der the seat.

The mod­ern dash looks great as it lights up and it’s a zippy ride. I had vi­sions of it slug­ging along, but it has no trou­ble beat­ing traf­fic away from lights and has plenty of ac­cel­er­a­tion at city speeds.

It han­dles well for a small­wheeled bike and the weight is low, with the bat­tery housed on the bot­tom of the frame and the mo­tor on the rear wheel hub.

The re­gen­er­a­tive en­gine brak­ing is fan­tas­tic. With a lit­tle prac­tice, a back­wards twist of the right grip makes the brakes all but re­dun­dant in most sit­u­a­tions.

The other bonus is the re­verse mode when sta­tion­ary, mak­ing it easy to ma­noeu­vre when park­ing.

A 45km trip with my part­ner aboard was a breeze. We went across the city — do­ing a bit of 80km/h rid­ing, along with some 100km/h stretches — and there was still a quar­ter charge left when we ar­rived.

My pas­sen­ger did say her seat was wide and did dig into her thighs a bit, but I found the rider’s seat com­fort­able, as was the rid­ing po­si­tion, with all the con­trols within easy reach.

The indicators use short beeps of the horn to warn you they are on if you are mo­bile for a pe­riod while they are ac­ti­vated.

I found this an­noy­ing, as did a few women on the f o o t p a t h who thought I was giv­ing them a toot.

And I did get laughed at when I used the horn at lights. It sounds like an elec­tric toy bleep­ing, but it is loud enough to warn other driv­ers they are about to cut you off.

Be­ing plas­tered with ‘‘100% elec­tric’’ stick­ers and be­ing al­most silent at idle did draw a few com­ments, as did the $16,000 price. But the deal­ers tell me the price is drop­ping to $13,000.

Add to that run­ning costs of about $130 a year for elec­tric­ity, hardly any main­te­nance and a 10-year bat­tery life ($100 to re­con­di­tion), and the bike is more cost-ef­fec­tive than a petrolpow­ered scooter.

This is a great com­mut­ing bike, cheap to run, easy to ride and fun.

It’s not re­ally for longer trips. But for a short com­mute, it’s bril­liant.

the Vec­trix elec­tric scooter han­dles well and the weight is low.

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