Written by Young Jeohn
Small size & light weight for an electric kick-scooter
Fast speed for city riding (15 MPH)
Easy to balance on
Hard to carry in crowded places
Limited maneuverability in tight spaces
No auto shutoff
Razor, famously known for their kick scooters, are expanding its line to include the E Prime - an electric version for adults. The thing is, not only is it fun to ride - it can be a practical way to get around town!
But before you can rock and roll, you do need to get it charged and set up. Razor recommends an initial charge time of 5 hours when you first take it out of the box, so it’s the perfect time to attach the handbars using the included Allen wrench while the E Prime has its breakfast.
As you put it together, you’ll notice a nib under the handlebar clamp that secures the handlebar via a hole in the center. This’ll keep the bar from moving around once it’s screwed in. The only thing I’d advise before tightening the screws is to make sure the throttle and brake buttons are facing the correct direction and the cables aren’t loose (to prevent it from catching on hook-like things.)
With assembly complete and battery charged, the E Prime is ready for boarding.
THE “E” IS HIDDEN
Nothing about the E Prime’s slim profile gives away the fact that it’s electric. It’s quite amazing how Razor was able to hide the motor in the rear wheel - it’s a wonder of engineering that makes it so compact! In addition, the battery is hidden in the board that you stand on, with only the weight giving away the true nature of this beast (if you haven’t noticed the two control levers, that is.)
ON THE ROAD USE
The whole experience of using the E Prime can be summed up over a decision to have Chinese food for lunch. Since this was an electric scooter, I figured the half mile trip wouldn’t be a problem.
With my mouth salivating for food, I took to the streets and unfolded the E Prime with a gentle, upward tug on the release. Being a 2-in-1 design, the release also functioned as an anti-rattle mechanism, so a couple of hand twists clockwise locked the steering column to the board.
After adjusting the handlebar height (with the quick release lever), I eagerly pushed off to get moving, but pressing the throttle didn’t seem to work...
but a hard slap on the forehead and a sheepish look around to make sure nobody was looking helped remedy the situation (I'd forgotten to turn it on. Genius.)
Being that the on/off button was on the base of the steering column, I stepped off to turn it on. After seeing the battery levels light up, I got back on and pushed off once more and pushed the throttle - and away we went!
HIGH SPEEDS AND BATTERY LIFE
Controlling your speed is a lot like driving a car. Once you engage the throttle, the speed will increase the more you press it down. Your first impulse will be to push all the way - but you’ll quickly ease off as you whiz past people, cars and other objects that might cause an accidental knee-capping or other accident. For a city ride, this Razor product’s top speed of 15 mph on its 8 inch tires is faster than any manual kick-scooter by far.
If you insist on moving at this speed, you’ll get around 40 minutes of operation before the battery runs out of power. Razor recommends a weight limit of 176 lbs (76 kg) to get you this many minutes, but don’t let it stop you if you should carry more weight than that - just know that your range will be lower than 40 minutes (and the opposite would be true for those with less weight.)
When braking, you have two options; the left handbrake (which is a red color), or the foot brake. Both are electronically controlled, but you have more deceleration control with the handbrake, which quickens the rate of stoppage the more you press down. I’ve found that using your foot will bring you to a quick and abrupt stop which you should be mentally prepared for.
One thing of note if you’re used to foot braking - it can be a little disorienting using it with the E Prime unit powered off. Since the e-brake is no longer active, you’ll be relying on good-old fashioned friction, which takes longer. So switching back and forth can get confusing.
I really like the forgiving nature of this kick-scooter. It doesn’t give me too much grief for not standing directly center on the board; I can be a little left or right in a skateboard stance and I’ll be fine (a stance that lets you access the rear brake). This is probably due to the rear wheel being wide and the board being fairly long - there's even enough space for putting your feet together side by side if you want. This is great if you’re on a long stretch of road with no traffic going full speed ahead (which is sadly a non-existent scenario in NYC.)
Midway through my ride, I started to appreciate how well the E Prime was built. Its solid aluminum construction felt sturdy - almost tank-like and unkillable. But as I rode through several construction areas on some truly crappy roads, I felt I had to be mindful of several, possibly sensitive areas:
The battery compartment. The access panel is on the bottom, and it’s made of plastic - if there’s one Achille’s heel, this might be it.
The kickstand. Infinitely useful and not worth damaging by riding recklessly.
The back wheel. This is where the motor lives and may be Achille’s other heel.
THE LAW AND AVOIDING FINES (IN NYC)
I’ve never noticed before, but now that I’m riding one myself, I’m seeing more people on e-scooters. In fact, I passed at least 3 of them on my way to lunch in addition to some e-longboards and e-bikes. This brings up the legality of riding an e-scooter. Rules differ by state and county, but as far as I understand it, both e-bikes and e-scooters fall under “not legal to operate” in NYC.
despite this, you see food deliveries being made on them all the time, and an increasing number of commuters on e-scooters and longboards. So while it technically isn’t legal to use in this city, I’m seeing more of them on the road every day. Law enforcement seems undecided on the issue for the most part, so even though it’s mostly tolerated, they can still hit you with a $500 fine. It’s an unregulated space that lawmakers are currently unwilling to legislate on for some reason, so don’t go too crazy with the speed.
OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND
You can’t beat the size of an e-scooter. As I sat there eating my beef with broccoli, the E Prime sat quietly next to me, going pretty much unnoticed by anyone who passed by. Contrast that to a fellow customer who was asked to move her bike for blocking the path of other customers, you can realize what an advantage it is to have something this compact.
The other positive thing was that I could eat in peace - the owner of the bike seemed stressed out by constantly keeping a lookout on her bike. Bike seats and tires are easy pickings and are expensive to replace. Score for the E Prime.
I HAVE THE SHAKES
The whole trip to and fro went without a hitch - and in record time. I rode on the bike lane when there was one, the street when there was enough space, and kicked manually on the sidewalk (without the throttle) otherwise. It was simply amazing to pass by all the cars sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.
Though the E Prime folds up nice and compact, there’s no easy way to carry it in a crowded area (the handlebars don’t fold down and the board will rotate left and right as you hold it.) Those are minor niggles, but one thing that did stand out was the numbness I felt on my hands because of the poor quality of the bumpy roads. I found it better to ride on sidewalks because they’re smoother, but this in turn meant no electronic use because of the sea of people, who rightly have priority. If you can balance between sidewalks and streets (or just live somewhere with really nice roads), this thing can be godsend.
The one other thing is limited maneuverability in tight spaces. Making u-turns in a narrow hallway or elevator isn’t doable because you need about 7 feet of space to make one. In those cases, I use my foot as a pivot point near the center of the board and twirl it around. While it doesn't affect the ride in any way, if you’re trying to make a quick getaway after pranking your siblings, you better make sure this escape vehicle is pointed in the right direction first.
Last but not least, the E Prime operates quietly. You can hardly hear anything aside from some slight electric humming if you drive it hard.
All in all, I think the E Prime is a great piece of gear and really helps me get to places quickly. Used in conjunction with public transport, this can be a really good way to save on travel time and a downpour of sweat on a really hot day. Office people in white button down shirts would certainly agree with me on this point.
FEEDING TIME FOR THE E PRIME
Charging is easy as pie. With the E Prime powered off, you use the included charger to plug one end into a wall socket and the other end into an inlet on the board where a rubber plug protects it from the elements.
Two different lights indicate a completed charge - one on the charger plugged into the outlet (red when charging, green when finished) and the power meter on the scooter itself (the 5 level meter animates upwards as it drinks its fill and turns off eventually when full.) For the technically inclined, the Li-ion battery is 36V and 3.2 Ah. There isn’t much to do with this info at this point, but you may need to know in the future.
Now it may sound kind of stupid, but my favorite thing about the E Prime is the kickstand. I love how small and out of the way it is, yet keeps the scooter up straight without falling over. You have no idea the amount of struggle you have to put up with without one - and believe me, trying to balance it against a wall or “hooking” a handlebar on a table won’t work. I mean you might get lucky once or twice, but mostly the front wheel will roll away for no reason, breaking or damaging things that hopefully belong to you and not someone else.
For me, it’s the little details like this that offer a lot of unsung value.
The E Prime electric scooter by Razor is a solid performer with a max speed of 15 mph, 40 minutes of battery life (within weight limits of 176 lbs) and the small footprint of a manual kick-scooter.
Provided you have good roads, not only does it offer you a fun ride, but it’s great for commuting and a practical way to get around town!
More Info: www.razor.com
(Test unit provided by Razor for this review.)
Check prices: https://amzn.to/2VXDYmu —Amazon affiliate link