Ahead of the launch of JIVR | Scooter in Europe and Australia, we shared some test models with several distribution partners to get their feedback. Because of the current restrictions in the UK (which we’ve written about before), we thought it would be better to get feedback from John Alexander, a client in Melbourne who was in a better position to put JIVR | Scooter through a proper test.
Here’s what he had to say about his two weeks on two wheels with JIVR | Scooter.
(Note: The model as tested is the not final version that will be available in stores but any differences are cosmetic, not mechanical or technical)
In what kinds of conditions and environments did you use JIVR | Scooter?
Mixed. Spent a lot of time in suburban areas, neighbourhoods and parks but also took it into downtown Melbourne quite a lot. Always on paved surfaces. A bit of rain once but not too much and no real temperature extremes—this is Melbourne, you know…
As someone with a lot of industry experience, how would you describe the “ride feel”?
The first thing that stood out to me when I hopped on the JIVR was the solid feel. The oversized headset, full-size tyres, broad deck and front design provide a much greater feel of control and stability than a typical electric scooter. It’s often the case with e-scooters that you feel like you’re riding them like a surfboard, kind of going along for the ride instead of controlling it. That’s not a good thing for obvious safety reasons. JIVR’s more solid build also translates into a more comfortable ride as well, absorbing many of the bumps and vibrations that a smaller scooter seems to amplify. Overall, I think it has an excellent ride feel and it’s a great choice for anyone getting their first e-scooter since you never feel like any small bump in the road can send you flying.
What’s your review of the battery life and the power it delivers? (230Wh version with 20km range tested)
I pretty much knew what to expect since I’m familiar with similar capacity batteries from other models. One thing I would mention on this subject, though, is the tendency among consumers to equate bigger numbers with better batteries. I understand it from their perspective because it seems intuitive—more is better, right? In fact, when it comes to batteries, you should be suspicious of overly powerful batteries, whether it’s electric scooters or electric bikes. The reason is that, nine times out of ten, that extra-powerful battery is necessary because the scooter or bike is super-heavy and needs a stronger battery to deliver extra power to the motor to move the extra weight.
People forget that electric scooters have built-in speed limits not just because of regulations but for common sense safety reasons. There’s no point in a manufacturer equipping a scooter with a massively powerful battery capable of ridiculous speeds because those speeds are capped at a reasonable level. A battery like the JIVR | Scooter has is more than enough to comfortably reach and sustain that limit while delivering power on demand.
I guess my point is that every quality e-scooter comes with a battery that is more than enough for its needs and don’t be fooled into thinking that bigger is always better.
What kind of battery life did you get from a full charge?
It’s a little hard to say because I was deliberately putting it through tests like repeated acceleration, sustained max speed, etc. but there were no performance issues at all. Like I said, any good e-scooter will come with a battery that’s more than enough for its needs.
I’m sure that under normal circumstances (let’s say commuting to and from an office or using it for casual transport), a full charge should last a full working week or close enough to it.
Let me just add some more advice based on experience here. Too many people don’t understand how caring for your battery is key to getting the long performance life they expect. In short, avoid prolonged temperature extremes, don’t recharge your battery after every use and don’t leave a battery uncharged for weeks or months on end, like during winter in some locations. The reasons are too complicated to go into here, but if you can follow those three simple rules, you’ll get more and better performance from the most important part of your e-scooter.
(We wrote about taking care of your battery here)
As for recharging time, it took about two hours to fully recharge after running it down to zero.
What about portability and ease of transport when the ride was over?
JIVR’s weight (13kg) is very reasonable for its build quality and in fact was a little lighter than I expected. Picking it up to go up stairs or take indoors is not a problem at all. The foldable steering stem is a welcome feature that you don’t always find. It can be a huge help for anyone storing it under a desk or in some small space.
I’ll add a quick word about weight, again based on my experience. Weight is typically a trade-off against build quality or design. If you want the lightest scooter on the market, you can’t expect it to be the sturdiest. At the other end, the kinds of e-scooters you find in ride-sharing programmes are built to last and their weight reflects that. You won’t want to carry those up and down stairs too many times, trust me. A scooter in JIVR’s weight class is the ideal balance between those two extremes. I mention this only as a reminder to anyone who places top importance on a scooter’s weight—you will likely be disappointed with its quality. What’s the use of having a scooter that’s maybe 2kg lighter than JIVR, for example, but will not last for nearly as long or deliver the same rider experience.
Other comments or observations?
The overall design definitely suggests some effort was put into creating a signature style. This is obviously no standard scooter simply put together with off-the-shelf parts. The frame follows basic laws of physics while including some unique personality, which is nice compared to so many scooters that look just like so many others.
The parts that aren’t designed just for JIVR are high-end, from the grips to the brakes and light fixtures. As I mentioned before, the tyres are oversized (10-inch), which should be more common than it is so it’s good to see them here.
I understand that customisation of the deck will be available, which is very cool. I just had boring old black…
(We wrote about customisable decks here)