Razor E Prime Air Electric Scooter Has a Shock Absorbing Tire - Full Review

Written by Young Jeohn

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POSITIVES

  • Pneumatic front tire absorbs shocks and vibration

  • Small & light (for an electric kick-scooter)

  • Super quiet operation

  • Fast speed for city riding (15 MPH)

  • Good support (replacement parts easily available)

  • Competitively priced ($419.99 at time of writing)

NEGATIVES

  • Air pump not included

  • Periodically have to check tire pressure

  • Hard to carry in crowded places

  • Limited maneuverability in tight spaces


Razor’s new E Prime Air electric scooter offers a step up in ride comfort with the addition of a front pneumatic tire. At the same time, it continues to have the original E Prime’s sense of great overall balance - foldable portability, extraordinary light weight for something that gives you 35 minutes of battery life, and a fast speed - at a great price for all of the above.

The two main points to hammer home is this:

  1. The E Prime Air functions the same as the E Prime

  2. The upgraded pneumatic front tire greatly improves ride smoothness

ASSEMBLY... SORT OF

 Opening up the box reveals:

  1.  E Prime Air e-scooter

  2. Charger

  3. Instructions

  4. and a little hex wrench

 The handlebars need to be mounted, and you’ll use the wrench to tighten them to the scooter. With the assembly done, a 5 hour initial charge is recommended, though it probably won’t take that long. Since there already seems to be a charge in the battery, I for one, waited only an hour before the battery lights stopped blinking to signal completion.

But even bigger than what was revealed was... what wasn’t:
An air pump

Gotta pump in some air

Gotta pump in some air

I’d forgotten about the pneumatic tire. It’s air filled and I’d need a pump of some kind. By chance, I wondered if my hand pump for my volleyball could work, but sadly it wasn’t powerful enough to fill up with enough PSI - and I didn’t have a pressure gauge to check either.

 A few days later, a package came in the mail with my purchase of a pump and a built in pressure gauge. Checking the side of the tire again, I read off the recommended PSI of 60 and proceeded to pump in some air. Everything was now ready.

HIDDEN SECRETS

 The great thing about this e scooter is that all the electronics are neatly hidden away. The motor is built into the rear wheel and the batteries are housed in the board you’re standing on.

Really, you can’t tell this kickboard is electric just by looking at it though you might get suspicious when you feel one blast by you at high speed. Only the throttle and brake levers give away any notion of this scooter being electric. And while the weight might also be a telltale sign, no one but you would know this.

E Prime Air in action - folding it up

E Prime Air in action - folding it up

ESTIMATING MILEAGE

It’s been raining most of the week, so when a sunny Saturday came around, I couldn’t wait to try out the E Prime Air. The first thing I wanted to know was how far I could go on a single charge. For this, the manual gave me the following specs:

  •  Run time: Up to 35 minutes

  • Speed: Up to 15 MPH (24 KM/H)

  • Battery: Lithium Ion 36V, 3.2Ah

 A quick and dirty calculation here, but if we assume 15 miles in one hour, half of that (30 minutes run time) is 7.5 miles, right? That should be the theoretical maximum, but we’ll be using energy to speed up, slow down, brake and so forth, so it should be somewhat less.

 I settled on a cafe on the upper west side 3.3 miles away, giving me 6.6 miles total, to and fro. I figured if I ran out of juice, I wouldn’t be so far away that I couldn’t manually kick my way home. And if I had power to spare, I could ride around some more and explore the neighborhood.

PREP FOR RIDE

5 battery levels and fold/lock lever

5 battery levels and fold/lock lever

 At the starting mark, I unfold the E Prime Air with a tug of the release, which I then twist clock-wise a couple of times to lock into place. This anti-rattle mechanism tightens the steering column to the main board, making it one solid piece. While I’m down here, I hold the power button (just above the release) until the battery indicator lights on.

Lastly, I raise the column for easy access to the throttle and brakes since I’m on the tall side.

Extending the handlebars

Extending the handlebars

IT’S FAST

To maximize battery use at cruising speeds (rather than wasting it on braking and acceleration), I planned a route that hopefully minimized the amount of pedestrians and traffic lights.

The least congested bike route… hopefully

The least congested bike route… hopefully

The first third of the ride utilized bike lanes within the city, so there was a lot of slowing down to avoid potholes, orange cones, grates, construction, people tra-la-la’ing on the lanes and so on. Having to constantly accelerate and brake in this environment doesn’t give you a proper feel for the 15 mph speed the E Prime Air is capable of. There’s also the fear of pummeling straight into a car door because the dumbass who opened said door is staring at his stupid phone instead of paying attention to his surroundings.

The rest of the way after the city blocks was pure bliss. The open bike lanes of the West Side Highway allowed me to hold down the accelerator - and more or less keep it there. What I didn’t expect was the amount of debris hitting my eyeballs. Since I was going along the Hudson coast, there was quite a bit of wind blowing bugs, dust and other little things at me so I made a mental note promising myself to bring a pair of sunglasses next time.

West Side Highway - newly paved bike lanes

West Side Highway - newly paved bike lanes

This had me wondering if the wind was due to my speed or just natural wind blowing against me from the Hudson. It’s slowing me down and I’m reminded of Formula-1 cars designed aerodynamically to make this a non-issue. I, on the other hand, am acting as a wind vane with my own body causing the slowdown. In the end, I guess it didn’t really matter. I was moving at respectable speeds bypassing casual Citi-bikers and joggers, but getting passed by “He-Man cyclers” training for Tour De France.

Arriving at my destination, a quick peek at the battery levels showed me I had 3 bars out of 5. According to the manual, each bar represents 20% power - so I was between 40-60% power remaining, which meant my earlier calculation was on track.

Power on / Power off

Power on / Power off

OBSERVATIONS

As I took a break at the cafe destination, I recalled some observations I’d made:

  1. The brakes are gradual. They don’t suddenly kick in and stop you on a dime, so you have to plan for it and use it early.

  2. My hands are unaffected by the road. The 8” pneumatic front tire absorbs most of the shock and vibrations, hooray!

  3. I use the handbrake more than the foot brake. Aside from convenience, the board area (16.5 inches) accommodates both my feet, so I don’t have my foot on the brake anyway.

  4. There’s no way to lock down the E Prime Air. The front tire is solid with no spokes, so there’s no way to fit a bike lock or chain through it - or anywhere. You have to carry it with you.

Brake and accelerator levers

Brake and accelerator levers

The place was packed so I couldn’t just leave it standing around on the kickstand or lock it somewhere (see observation 4 above.) So I folded it up and carried it in hand as I decided on which caffeinated beverage I wanted. The E Prime Air encouraged me to make a quick decision since it did weigh 22 lbs and I wasn’t much for working out.

The cafe

The cafe

UNCOMPROMISING DESIGN

 There’s not much to to complain about the E Prime Air. Yes you want more range, yes you want it to be lighter, and yes you want it to go faster. But by balancing those three things, I believe Razor has found a solid middle ground.

Rear wheel with motor, brake/mudflap and blue highlights

Rear wheel with motor, brake/mudflap and blue highlights

 The design calls for an all metal body construction (my guess would be aluminum) for structural strength while providing light weight. It’s painted black and looks sleek with the blue highlights on the tail end of the board. The board is lined with sandpaper grip tape promoting solid contact for your feet, while rubber hand grips provide slip resistance and protection for your hands. Both front and back wheels have mud guards, with the rear guard doubling as a foot brake (electronic brakes when powered on, force friction when powered off.)

The motor is integrated into the rear wheel while the shock is absorbed by the front wheel. Your thumbs control your every speed with a black accelerator by the right thumb and a red brake by the left. If you ever run out of power, you can kickscoot manually and brake using the rear fender. Just don’t forget to feed this beast, which you do via the charge port that’s protected with a rubber seal.

Aluminum body, front pneumatic tire w/mud flap and battery housed board.

Aluminum body, front pneumatic tire w/mud flap and battery housed board.

BATTERY DOWN... REPEAT, BATTERY DOWN

Satisfied with my pit stop, I got ready to make the 3.3 mile trip back home. The terrain was more or less flat and the roads were newly paved, so the E Prime Air wasted no energy on climbing hills or other obstacles. But about half  way into the journey, I had the feeling that I wasn’t going as quickly as before. I wondered if it was all in my mind - maybe I’d just gotten used to the speed and it only felt slower.

At the next stop light, I glanced down at the battery meter which showed 1 bar. When that light turned green, a fellow e-kickscooter girl who’d stopped next to me ZOOMED OFF while I struggled to accelerate. I realized then the batteries were running out of juice. As I reached full speed (which again, seemed slower than before), there was a constant distance between kickscooter girl and I, which was the good news.

I reached the end of the open lanes and started on the city streets. By this time, I wasn’t moving so fast that I couldn’t kick the ground, so I helped myself along with an occasional kick here and there.

This ride was almost perfect. I traveled a full 6.6 miles in 40 minutes (20 minutes each way) with a little bit of juice still left in the tank.

 Curious to see how much  more I could squeeze out of the batteries, I continued along locally until it just stopped working. The battery still read 1 level, but the first thing to happen was the E Prime Air's refusal to accelerate. If I kicked and held the accelerator, it would move steadily for a few seconds before slowing down. The brakes continued to work for a while until eventually that stopped too. By this time, I’d gone another .4 miles giving me a full 7 miles of range.

The takeaway here is this - the E Prime Air won’t suddenly stop and die on you. Rather, it’ll gradually start slowing down once you near level 1 on the battery meter (around 20% capacity), signaling for a recharge.

I brought the ol’ girl home and stood her up on that awesome kickstand, plugged her into the outlet. It took a total of 4 hours and 23 minutes for a full charge, but understandable since I’d drained the battery to the bone.

Charge Port

Charge Port

THE PRAISE... & THE NIGGLES

The E Prime Air is super light for an electric kickboard. Granted, you don’t want to be carrying around 22 lbs for too long, but there’s nothing else out there that weighs this little for the speed and range. Having said that, there’s a soft limit on range depending on your weight. Razor recommends 176 lbs (76 kg) max, but don’t let this stop you - it’s only a recommendation. Just know that the more weight you add, the less range you get and vice versa.

The E Prime Air runs super quietly (it’s super in a lot of things) and works so well in a city setting. The pneumatic tire deals with cracks and potholes well and is much more forgiving of old and rocky pavement than its predecessor.

But also like its precedessor, 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.) Maneuverability is restrictive in tight spaces and making full u-turns require about 7 feet of space, so the quickest way of turning around is pivoting the board using your foot.

THE LAW

Some states are fine with electric scooters and skateboards, but not New York City. These rides are legally banned and could result in $500 fines - but you’ll see them being used everywhere and that number growing - much like marijuana trucks. Weed isn’t legal either, but you see these trucks scattered around the city anyway.

Being that law enforcement is tolerant (so far), please don’t be the one to fuck it up for everyone - or we’ll hunt you down in your sleep. Ride at a reasonable speed, be aware of your surroundings and remember that pedestrians have the right of way.

FAVORITE ASPECT

All kick scooters should have a kickstand!

All kick scooters should have a kickstand!

Aside from the physical features (my favorite being the kickstand), I discovered a video by Razor that caught me by surprise. In it were instructions on how to replace the batteries should they ever go bad.

What?!?

No company I know of does this. I mean, when was the last time any smartphone or computer company sold you parts like replacement batteries or screens? And then offered you instructions on how to replace them? None that I know of.

In effect, Razor is offering long term support for the lifespan of the E Prime Air. No need to throw the whole thing out because the tire is worn out or the batteries stop holding a full charge. No, here is the way to replace these parts, and we’ll show you how to do it if you’re comfortable doing it yourself.

This kind of support is a promise of long-term use of the scooter. And since Razor’s been in business for so long, I can trust this brand to be around as the numerous Chinese scooter makers go out of business. To me, that’s a hella lot more exciting than the best kick stands on any scooter, anywhere.

CONCLUSION

Razor’s E Prime Air electric scooter is a great step up in ride comfort with its front pneumatic tire. Where the original E Prime falls flat where potholes and bumpy sidewalks are concerned, this one deals with this issue well and makes moving around the city a joy.

With a nice balance between battery life, weight and speed, the E Prime Air is a great candidate to add to your shortlist of electric scooters to audition. Great for commuting and getting around town!

FINAL RATING:
4.5 of 5 stars

RATINGS BREAK-DOWN

[5] * * * * * Styling/Design
[4] * * * * Portability
[4] * * * * Ride Comfort
[5] * * * * * Usability/Function
[4] * * * * Performance

What the stars mean:

5 - Excellent (up there with the best, no flaws/issues)
4 - Very Good (better than expected, may have minor flaws)
3 - Good w/caveats (works, but has some issues)
2 - SMH (serious issues, needs major improvement)
1 - 0_0;; (just... why?)

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More Info: www.razor.com
(Test unit provided by Razor for this review.)

Check prices: https://amzn.to/2I4M05f —Amazon affiliate link

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Young Jeohn

Adding creative flair to Otakus & Geeks with his videos, photos and written musings. Having lived abroad with extensive travel experience from Scandinavian ice castles to the fashionable Harajuku district in Tokyo, he carries knowledge from old-skool anime days and enjoys eating with chopsticks (with expert precision), talking shop with companies large and small and other questionable activities he can't talk about in public. His website lives at http://www.YoungFromNewYork.com