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NIU KQi3 Pro Scooter is the future of transportation

On one dark desert highway, weak Connecticut back road, cool wind in my hair over my helmet; Warm smell of colitis the shorelinerising through the air…

I might have been on the other side of America, but the Eagles’ timeless view of California life stayed with me throughout my experience KQi3 Pro by NIU Scooter, a gadget that crosses the line between wish fulfillment and the future of mass transit. As a 6’2″ man, zipping around a beach town on an electric scooter was undeniably fun and attention-grabbing. But is the KQi3 Pro the future of transportation? Read my full review below.

What is the NIU KQi3 Pro Scooter?

Specifications:

Dimensions: 20x9x42 inches
Weight: 44.75 pounds
Battery: 486.7Wh lithium battery
Top speed: 20 km/h

Any kid of the 90’s will feel instantly familiar with the KQi3 Pro, which looks like a tricked out Razor Roller when fully assembled. The KQi3 Pro was the first electric scooter I tested, although it feels like I was late to the party. Electric scooters have become extremely popular in both urban and suburban areas. Even Colleges have started introducing scooters as a means of getting groggy students from one side of campus to the other without tiring. The popularity of electric scooters is at least partly due to this rising gas costs and cars both new and used. Why circle parking lots or pay for space in a garage when you can zip from place to place?

First impressions

I was pleasantly surprised at how efficiently this scooter was packaged. The box, about five feet tall, was light enough for a person to move inside. The KQi3 was packaged so compactly that I could open its box on my kitchen floor (no small feat considering I live in New York City), although that fits the eco-friendly nature of an electric scooter.

I was equally pleased with how easy it was to set up the KQi3 Pro. NIU includes a set of printed instructions with the KQi3 that explain each step of the installation process with clean images and easy to understand language. If you’ve never built a scooter before (like me) you won’t have any problems. The entire procedure boiled down to plugging the top part (containing the handlebars and steering column) into the bottom part (which houses the battery, other electronics, platform and wheels). It is possible to assemble the KQi3 Pro alone, but asking a second person for help makes the process easier. Once the two pieces are connected, attach them permanently with a couple of screws that are included.

Setting up the KQi3 Pro’s software was similarly easy. NIU’s app walks you through the process of pairing your scooter with your phone via Bluetooth. Once the two are synced, you can view information like your longest ride and the scooter’s battery level on your phone. The latter is also represented at the KQi3 Pros screen, but more on that later.

The key features of the NIU are the ability to lock your scooter (useful if you leave it locked in a public place) and download firmware updates. NIU has kept updating the KQi3 Pro’s software over the course of my time with the scooter, which I really appreciate. This is a device I trust my life with (literally), so any changes to how it works are fine with me. It took about half an hour to assemble the KQi3 Pro, download the app, create an account and finally get ready to ride. If I had to put one up a second time, that number would probably halve.

My first ride revealed my favorite feature of the KQi3 Pro: You must be moving at a speed of 4 km/h (2.4 mph) before you can switch on the electric motor. This will reduce the possibility of accidentally snapping while moving the scooter while preparing to ride. A single jolt is enough to break that low threshold, allowing you to hit the road almost immediately. The risk of accidents is further reduced by the fact that you must switch on the scooter before use. This is accomplished by pressing the large power button on a small console built into the center of the handlebar. It’s the only button you’ll see, so it’s impossible to miss. Pressing for a few seconds triggers a pleasant ringing sound and the screen immediately pops up.

The KQi3 Pro’s display shows your current speed and a basic battery indicator that shows between one and five squares. I would have preferred to see an actual battery percentage on the screen, but understand that NIU chose this system to avoid showing multiple numbers on the screen at once. The display was easy to overlook while driving, but never got in the way. Mission accomplished.

Although I live in New York City, I don’t feel comfortable using any form of transportation other than walking, driving, or taking the subway, so my test drives were conducted solely in Connecticut. This has nothing to do with the safety features of the NIU KQi3 Pro – or any other electric scooter – but more to do with my disbelief in the citizenry of the city that never sleeps. Electric scooters are commonplace here and the KQi3’s safety features would make it a great choice for riding in an urban setting, but where you ride will come down to personal comfort.

On road

So how does it feel to actually ride the NIU KQi3 Pro? Unbelievable. The scooter is so much fun you’ll almost forget you’re using a mode of transport instead of a toy, but you have to resist that urge. After a quick, carefree ride down the block, I got serious about my testing on streets full of beach cars and people of all ages. I took my first rides just after sunrise to get my sea(scooter) legs and highly recommend riding through deserted areas while you get acquainted with the scooter. In my case the KQi3 Pros Accelerator took some getting used to. There’s a fine line between a smooth ride and a jerky ride full of mini stops and starts. You control the KQi3 Pro’s motor by pressing your thumb on a throttle pedal located under the right handlebar, and finding the right pressure took about an hour. It’s not that the KQi3 Pro is hard to use, it’s that everyone’s hand strength is a little different and it’s easy to try and beat it on the first few rides only to find that You accelerate at a fast pace.

It’s worth noting that I’ve never felt unsafe on the KQi3 Pro, even when cruising at 30 km/h (18.6 mph) at full speed. This is due in large part to the effectiveness of the KQi3 Pros Handbrakes located above the right and left handlebars. Again, it takes a few rides to know how hard to squeeze to come to a stop at different speeds, but the learning curve of trying out a new electric vehicle. My biggest problem was learning how to corner successfully, which had nothing to do with the scooter and had everything to do with negotiating the physics to move my large body in the appropriate directions. Knowing how hard to lean into a corner and how hard to turn the handlebars took about a day. I quickly learned to trust that KQi3 Proand took to the road for trips of several miles.

safety first

Riding an electric scooter is incredibly fun, but it’s important to remember that you must respect the rules of the road. That means wearing a helmet, stopping at stop signs, clearly announcing your turns before you take them, and respecting the flow of traffic. Taking all of these things into account, riding an electric scooter is somewhat fun, and I had to make several decisions about how to avoid obstacles – be they potholes or people – as they came into view. That KQi3 Pros A relatively slow speed means motorists can move around you, and the scooter’s lack of side mirrors means you’ll keep your ears peeled if someone tries to pass you. I have never put myself in dangerous situations but you should be careful where you intend to ride this scooter and make note of any potential nuisance accordingly.

One of the KQi3’s underrated safety features is its large wheels, which allowed me to wheel over cracks in the road, small potholes, and a garden hose without the scooter feeling unstable. You should avoid big, deep potholes that the scooter’s wheels could fall completely into, but the same goes for driving a car. If you live in a place with bumpy roads – gravel, dirt roads, dirt – the KQi3 is up to the task. In my limited experience of “off-road” riding, I’ve never encountered any problems.

This is important because you need to be confident that the scooter you’re riding won’t give you away when you switch from one terrain type to another. I’ve already mentioned that I felt uncomfortable riding the KQi3 Pro in New York City – but I have to reiterate that my feelings had nothing to do with the scooter.

Final Thoughts

As a means of transport for short-distance errands, the KQi3 Pro was hard to beat. The three mile ride (my longest ride) took about 11 minutes. I’ve never tried to artificially shorten my times by riding as fast as possible, always balancing speed and safety. I learned how hard I have to accelerate uphill and how hard I have to brake downhill. At the end of my testing, there wasn’t a tight corner I couldn’t handle. If you’re thinking about buying a KQi3 Pro for quick errands around town, its mix of speed, ease of use and portability makes it preferable to e-biking, cycling and walking. As a purely recreational device, the scooter gets full points for the same reason. I asked myself, “Can I take the KQi3 Pro?” Every time I wanted to spend time outdoors. I usually mixed it with walks to get my steps in, but the scooter could easily become your primary mode of transport if you live in the suburbs.

An aspect of riding an electric scooter that I hadn’t considered before my time with one KQi3 Pro is other people’s reaction. Older people who saw me riding gave me questioning looks. Some middle-aged people seemed interested in what I was doing while others were apathetic. Teenage girls laughed at me like a dad pulling an iPhone with a home button out of his pants in front of her friends (the horror)! You have to accept that riding an electric scooter will make you interesting to others as they are currently considered a novelty among the general public. The attention could also have been the look of a tall man in shorts, high socks, helmet and sunglasses dashing by. Your mileage may vary here, but be prepared for a reaction.

This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, owner of Futurism. Futurism may receive a portion of sales from products linked in this post.

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