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Old 6th March 2019, 00:06   #1
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Default Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review

The Ather 450 has been launched in India at a price of Rs 1.20 lakhs (ex-showroom inclusive of the FAME subsidy, on road – 1.25 lakhs Bangalore).

What you’ll like -

- Clean, yet futuristic looks and good build quality that will please all and offend none.
- Solid mechanicals – Riding experience (acceleration, braking, handling, ride) just as good as, if not better than, the 125cc - 150cc scooters around.
- Onboard navigation is a boon, as is reverse assist – both a first in the scooter segment!
- Many well thought out features and additions (well integrated touchscreen instrumentation, push navigation from phone, illuminated storage, easy adjust mirrors, GPS tracking etc)
- Premium experience goes beyond just the product – Company takes care of Home Point installation, a network of public fast charging stations, door step service & more

What you won’t -

- Small range! ARAI - 107 km. Ather claimed – 75 km (ECO), 60 km (Normal). Actual – 65 km (ECO) to 45 km (Normal) based on how much fun you are having. 60+ even in ECO mode requires patience.
- Some obvious omissions that could be deal breakers to some (ABS, center stand, pillion side footrest, mobile charging, bluetooth connectivity, fixed battery pack etc)
- Premium market positioning and pricey support plans.
- Minor software bugs and niggles (touchscreen too bright, no manual controls for trip meters, lousy JPEG compression for documents, self-cancelling indicators error etc).
- Production constraints – Yet to fulfill pre-booking orders almost 8 months after launch. Also launched only in Bangalore. Other cities will need to wait.


Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_cover.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 21st March 2019 at 17:27.
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Old 6th March 2019, 00:13   #2
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Default Ather S450 : Looks Walkaround

Ather Energy was co-founded in 2013 by two Engineering Design Team graduates – Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain from the 2012 batch of IIT Madras. Their first concept unveil was the S340 electric scooter in February 2016, for which Team-Bhp was present and moderator Samurai was left impressed by the shocking amount of sincerity witnessed along with a genuine effort to make the world a better place.

Ather created headlines once again when they received substantial funding from corporates like Sachin & Binay Bansal (Of Flipkart fame) chipping in with 65 crores, Tiger Global investing 75 crores and finally Hero Motocorp investing 205 crores into this startup player. By May 2018 – they had started installing a network of public fast charging stations in and around Bangalore.

In June 2018 – Ather launched their first scooter – the 450, which was an upgraded spec over the initially promised S340, though the latter was also launched in the market at a slightly lower price bracket. Deliveries began by September 2018, although due to production issues – the company had to suspend deliveries till recently, and has only recently started fulfilling pre-booking orders made prior to launch.

Ather 450 is positioned towards the premium end of the scooter spectrum, with the company promising a premium ride as well as ownership experience. This is certainly not a scooter you would want to consider just to save fuel costs, nor as just an environment friendly alternative – but the company wants to pitch their product as better than the rest of options available. Tall claim for a company developing their first product – but to Ather’s credit, the vehicle does come across as well thought-out and designed, keeping the Indian usage conditions in mind.

SPECS SHEET (Claimed).
  • 0 – 40 kmph = 3.9 seconds
  • Top Speed = 80 kmph
  • True Range = 75 km (ARAI Indian Drive Cycle Range = 107km).
  • Torque = 20.5 Nm instant torque.
  • Power = 7.24 hp.
  • 2.4 Kwh Li – ion battery pack. IP67 rated.
  • Also available in S340 version with 70kmph top speed, 5.1 seconds from 0 to 40 kmph and 60kms of true range.
  • Seat height – 765mm
  • Kerb Weight – 118kg.
  • Belt drive (7.8:1 transmission ratio)

Ather has adopted a futuristic, sleek design – without going overboard and distancing themselves too far away from the regular segment. This is quite evident from the front end, where the large transparent panel takes center stage along with the headlamp assembly. Handlebar gets a faux windshield visor with DRLs flanked on either sides, whereas the headlamps are flanked by two silver inserts. The front splashguard maintains a height above the front tyre, which gives the scooter a unique identity – rather sporty when viewed from the side profile. This clean and understated styling was appreciated by most BHPians.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_front_headon_1600.jpg

The same minimalist, yet sharp design theme continues to the front 3/4th as well – with the light boomerang shaped floating panel being the highlight when viewed from this angle. The subtle 450 badge is hard to spot, and is perhaps the smallest branding amongst two wheelers in the industry.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_front_34_1600.jpg

The side panels are once again finished in plain white, with basic minimalist Ather branding. A splash of green is seen from the sides, with the alloy rim stickers, Ather brand sticker etc – with the highlight touch of a small frame element kept visible in green colour below the seat.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_side_1600.jpg

Looks a bit bulky when viewed from the rear 3/4th – which is strange considering the petite proportions of the bike, and could largely be attributed to the side panels going way higher as compared to the 12 inch rear tyre. However, the swingarm appears beautifully finished and wouldn’t look out of place on a motorcycle – and what surprises even more are those dual disc brakes – a class first.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_rr_34_1600.jpg

Ends with a sleek rear – which looks neat when the LEDs are lit IMHO. The indicators, especially have a classy feel to them. However – the downside is that the scooter looks rather small from this angle. Perhaps, the rear tyre could have been a size larger - purely for aesthetic reasons.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_rear_1600.jpg

Looks perhaps the best when viewed from the rear left 3/4th, thanks to the lean from the side stand making the rear proportions a lot more palatable. A notable design element is the side stand itself, which sits flush with the panels when closed and is perhaps the best design implementation of a side stand on a two wheeler in the Indian market.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_s450_rl_34_1600.jpg

A closer look at the 450 branding, any smaller - and we would have required a macro lens to capture the same.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-atther_450branding_1600.jpg

And the classy ATHER branding on the side panels.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-atther_branding_1600.jpg

A quick comparison shot with two of the most popular scooters in the Indian market – Honda Activa and TVS Jupiter. Although in terms of performance and market positioning, Ather is at a higher level than these 110cc scooters – the sleek design means that it doesn’t have as much road presence as the other two. Point to note however – is that the Ather is slightly taller than both, specially when it comes to the pillion seat experience (Ride height for all three is an identical 765mm). In terms of riding experience and features though – one scooter that comes closer to the Ather is the TVS NTorq, however – still not a fair comparison between the two.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-size_comparison_jupiter_activa_1600.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 21st March 2019 at 17:28. Reason: Minor typo
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Old 6th March 2019, 00:28   #3
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Default Ather S450 : A Closer Look.

Taking a closer look at the vehicle, it has to be mentioned that Ather deserves praise for the way the scooter looks and feels, despite this being the first product from the company. Build quality is good, whereas plastic quality and finish is not perfect (as is highlighted in some of the pics below), but is at par with most competition.

Several best in class features can be easily noticed – like disc brakes front and rear! The scooter is developed on an all new precision machined, part steel, part aluminium cast frame chassis, very different from conventional steel tubular frame chassis used in competing scooters and developed ground up with the battery compartment as a chassis member. Front suspension duties are performed by 30mm telescopic forks, whereas the rear employs a monoshock suspension. 200mm Bybre disc brakes at the front with triple piston callipers and 190mm Bybre disc brakes at the rear with single piston callipers perform the job of reigning in all that torque. 90/90 R12 MRF Zapper FG tubeless ply tyres, shod on 5 spoke 12” alloy wheels – perform duties at either ends to provide adequate agility to the scooter.

Then, there are a lot of subtle touches that deserve praise – like the flush fitting side stand that gels well with the design, the ratchet mechanism for the mirrors which allow you to adjust easily without any tools, the seat angle in the open position which just stays in place without falling down to the base etc. Attention to detail becomes even more crazy when you notice subtle things like the L shaped nozzle for filling air in the tyres, which is a common accessory even for superbikes as the manufacturers don’t think so deep! Or even the front number plate holder, which is as stylish as such an irrelevant item can get!

Things are far from perfect though – the team has obviously made some sacrifices to practicality for a better form. Center stand is essential for many customers – and yet, Ather has skipped it to have a cleaner design, the same goes for pillion side footrests – essential if you are to take a saree clad pillion. Even the mirrors have suffered a bit for a better design and I found it a size smaller than I would have liked.

Closer look at the front end design, with the central transparent panel being the design highlight.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-front-section-close_1600.jpg

Handlebars get LED DRLs, along with indicators. Low beam of the headlamps also function as DRLs and are always on.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-drl_indicators_1600.jpg

A closer look at the headlamp unit. Two LEDs on the top light up for the low beam and are always on as DRLs, whereas the LEDs underneath also light up when switched to high beam.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-headlamps_closeup_1600.jpg

Looks menacing in the dark with the lights on -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-nightview_lowbeam_1600.jpg

With high beams switched on -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-nightview_highbeam_1600.jpg

Attention to detail is crazy good at places. Take a look at this numberplate holder for example!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-att2detail_stylish_number_plate_holder_1600.jpg

And the mirrors – which don’t require tools to be adjusted. Such a relief IMHO, as mirror adjustment is a pain after every service for my wife’s Hero Maestro.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-mirror_1600.jpg

However, practicality has been compromised for a better form – mirror is a size smaller than I would have liked. Nitpicking further – the finish looks really raw here, like a tinfoil folded inwards. May not be a big deal, but surely catches the eye.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-not_good_mirror_glass_finish_1600.jpg

Front suspension duties are handled by 30mm telescopic forks.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-front_suspension_1600.jpg

200mm Bybre disc brakes at the front with triple piston callipers. 90/90 R12 MRF Zapper FG tubeless ply tyres for the front, shod on 5 spoke 12” alloy wheels.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-front_brakes_tyres_1600.jpg

Plastics are not a strong point for the Ather S450, and the panels below the seat are no exception. However, they are similar to what is offered in the scooter segment by established competition.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-panels_below_seat_1600.jpg

Exposed part of the frame highlighted in lime green forms a nice design highlight and breaks the monotony of all the white sections.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-green_highlight_1600.jpg

This cover in particular feels very flimsy and remains to be seen how it holds up over time.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-motor_fan_cover_1600.jpg

Hides the motor fan underneath, which incidentally is also one of the loudest moving parts of the vehicle.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-motor_fan_1600.jpg

Rear swingarm is well finished and wouldn’t look out of place on a motorcycle. 190mm Bybre disc brakes at the rear with single piston callipers. 90/90 R12 MRF Zapper FG tubeless ply tyres for the rear, shod on 5 spoke 12” alloy wheels.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-rear_swingarm_disks_tyres_1600.jpg

Rear left swingarm also hosts splashguards for the drive belt, and also the mandatory saree guard. Funny there is a saree guard though (to meet regulations, ofcourse!) – as there is no side pillion footrest, nor any provision for the same.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-rear_swingarm_left_saree_guard_1600.jpg

Closer look at the drive belt. Rear tyres do look a size smaller than desirable.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-belt_drive_1600.jpg

Before someone asks – No, the belt has not slipped and is correctly in place -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-belt_drive_inside_view_1600.jpg

Another unique feature in the scooter segment – a centrally mounted monoshock suspension for the rear.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-rear_suspension_1600.jpg

Rear looks minimalist and sleek with these simple tail lamps and Ather branding placed without any highlights on the plastics. Note that plastic fit and finish isn’t perfect here as well, but then again – similar to what is offered on established competition scooters.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-tail_lamps_ather_branding.jpg

All LED tail lamp setup looks good at night -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-nightview_rear_1600.jpg

Pillion gets a well finished alloy grabrail to hold on for dear life, when the rider tests the excellent braking capabilities of this scooter.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-rear_grabrail_1600.jpg

Side stand has never been a talking point for any review, but somehow Ather has managed to take something as mundane and make it a design element as well. Fits flush with the panels when closed! On the flip side – makes the scooter lean a bit more than needed.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-side_stand_1600.jpg

Charging socket is placed conveniently in the front panel.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-charging_socket_1600.jpg

Another area where the attention to detail simply shines. These L shaped valves are a common aftermarket accessory for bikes costing 10 times as much, as the manufacturers simply don’t think as hard on the inconvenience of filling air! Not only is that covered, even the direction is well thought out - the idea is to keep the air valve away from the vehicle’s disc brakes, which can get hot after braking.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-tyre_nozzle_1600.jpg

One of the very rare bits on the vehicle that’s not stylish – the key.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-key_1600.jpg

Developed on an all new precision machined part steel, part aluminium cast frame chassis. Very different from conventional steel tubular frame chassis used in competing scooters and developed ground up with the battery compartment as a chassis member.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190303_141101_1600.jpg

2.4 Kwh Li – ion Battery pack is placed on the floorboard within an aluminium casing and is IP67 rated for protection from the elements.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190303_141122_1600.jpg

Motor is mounted on the main body, sitting above the battery pack and transmits power to the wheels through drive belts. This is unlike most other electric scooters in the market – that uses wheel hub mounted motors for propulsion.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190303_141141_1600.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 15th March 2019 at 19:53.
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Old 6th March 2019, 00:39   #4
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Default Ather S450 : Ergonomics & Practicality

Overall, Ather S450 is a comfortable place for the rider and pillion, but as mentioned in the opening posts – there are some obvious omissions that could become potential dealbreakers to you. But before we get into that, a quick mention on the overall plastics and quality that is decent for the scooter segment – though not the best. Switchgear especially ‘feels’ dated, more to do with the design and the lack of haptic feedback rather than the plastic quality. This isn’t a major issue as the indicators are designed to be self cancelling (and the scooter even has a 6 axis IMU to judge lean!), but I didn’t find it working on most occasions – and Ather definitely needs to fine tune the system. A high beam pass switch is missed as well, but incase you need to warn other road users – the horn, although a single unit – is louder than units offered by the competition.

Seats are of non-slip material, and the stepped design slopes forward to bring the rider’s seat height to a good 765mm. Footwell feels spacious even for a 6 footer, but the plastic does point inwards directly ahead of knee, which could cause an injury incase of an accident / slight mishap. What isn’t very good though is that the cushioning becomes thinner towards the rider’s seat – but isn’t a major concern considering the city only application and range of this scooter. Tall riders might even find the handlebars meeting their knees – but only during an U-turn. Levers are not of the adjustable type, but fall to hand easily and don’t require much effort to brake. Overall, decent enough for city use requirements.

Pillion seat is the exact opposite, being flat, raised and wide, along with a comfortably designed alloy grab handle– the better half will have no complaints. Once seated, the unique pillion footrest designed out of the floorboard is a very comfortable place to rest the feet – and the body position overall is very natural as if in a chair. What she will complain about however, is the difficulty to perch herself onto the seat – as the footrest is rather forward and won’t be of help in climbing onto the seat. There is no side step footrest as well – making it a mission impossible for saree clad pillion who sit sideways to climb upto the slightly taller rear seat – this could become a deal breaker for some. Ather says that this was done to keep a clean design, and currently there is no provision to provide the side step footrest as an accessory as well.

Underseat storage is excellent, and most full face helmets will be an easy fit (Could easily fit my MT and better half’s HJC, whereas BHPian rbp’s SOL was a size too big!). Infact, during a charging session – I tried to keep my camera bag (SLR with 3 lenses), folded Dainese riding jacket and a pair of full gauntlet gloves inside – and it swallowed the luggage, much to my surprise. Furthermore, you will also appreciate the well thought out additional spaces towards all three sides for knick-knacks, the seat design that stays up without needing support from the left arm, and the big bright LED bar inside – that makes the storage – best in class!

Rider’s view – is rather unique for the scooter segment, thanks to the big 7” touchpad placed upfront. Overall plastics and quality is decent for the scooter segment – though not the best. ‘Feels’ like it could fade over the long term, but that is a common complaint I have for most scooters including my own Maestro. A monthly application of Meguair’s Natural Shine should keep things good over the long term.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-handlebar_riders-view.jpg

Indicators switch especially lacks haptic feedback , but is designed to be self cancelling (and the scooter even has a 6 axis IMU to judge lean angles!), but I didn’t find it working on most occasions – Ather definitely needs to fine tune the system. A high beam pass switch is missed as well, but incase you need to warn other road users – the horn, although a single unit – is louder than units offered by the competition.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-switchgear_left_1600.jpg

Switchgear especially ‘feels’ dated, more to do with the design rather than the plastic quality. Since AHO removes the need for a headlamp switch – Ather uses that slot for a toggle button which can be used to accept or reject options coming on the navigation console – without having to take the hands off! ‘Start’ and ‘Kill’ switches don’t serve any big purpose here as it only opens and closes the circuit, but it is recommended to use the same all the time when stopped, for safety reasons.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-switchgear_right_1600.jpg

Seats are of non-slip material, and the stepped design slopes forward to bring the rider’s seat height to a good 765mm, the exact same figure as popular scooters - Activa and Jupiter.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-seat_sideview_1600.jpg

Overall, rider’s seat is decent enough for city use requirements, and has a very natural riding posture for commutes. What isn’t very good though is that the cushioning becomes thinner towards the rider’s seat – but isn’t a major concern considering the city only application and range of this scooter. Riding position shown here with BHPian rbp -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-rider_1600.jpg

Footwell feels spacious even for a 6 footer, but the plastic does point inwards directly ahead of knee, which could cause an injury incase of an accident / slight mishap. Tall riders might even find the handlebars meeting their knees – but only during an U-turn.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-plastic_intrustion_aheadofknee_1600.jpg

Pillion seat is the exact opposite of the narrow and sloping front - being flat, raised and wide, along with a comfortably designed alloy grab handle– the better half will have no complaints.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-seat_topview_1600.jpg

Once seated, the unique pillion footrest designed out of the floorboard is a very comfortable place to rest the feet – and the body position overall is very natural as if in a chair. There is enough space for two people as well, shown here with BHPian rbp and I -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-rider_pillion_1600.jpg

What a lady pillion will complain about however, is the difficulty to perch herself onto the seat – as the footrest is rather forward and won’t be of help in climbing onto the seat. There is no side step footrest as well – making it a mission impossible for saree clad pillion who sit sideways to climb upto the slightly taller rear seat – this could become a deal breaker for some. Ather says that this was done to keep a clean design, and currently there is no provision to provide the side step footrest as an accessory as well.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-pillion_footrest_1600.jpg

Baggage hook provided for the front -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-storage_hook_1600.jpg

Underseat storage is excellent, and most full face helmets will be an easy fit (Could easily fit my MT and better half’s HJC, whereas BHPian rbp’s SOL was a size too big!). You will also appreciate the big, bright LED strip inside – that makes usage at night a breeze.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-storage_helmet_1600.jpg

During a charging session – I tried to keep my camera bag (SLR with 3 lenses), folded Dainese riding jacket and a pair of full gauntlet gloves inside – and it swallowed the luggage, much to my surprise.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-huge_glovebox_1600.jpg

Incase, you are wondering – below is all the luggage it swallowed. The jacket takes space when folded due to the inner armour!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-luggage_swallowed_1600.jpg

This excellent storage space is mostly due to the use of an aluminium sub-frame as pictured below -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190303_141154_1600.jpg

You will also appreciate the well thought out additional spaces towards all three sides for knick-knacks, the front section especially designed to fit the portable charger that is provided by Ather as an accessory.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-glovebox_utility.jpg

Medical kit is placed under the seat. Also worth mentioning that the seat itself is well designed to stay up without needing support from the left arm.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-medical_kit.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 17th March 2019 at 09:03.
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Old 6th March 2019, 00:54   #5
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Default Ather S450 : Console & Smart Features

Ather S450 provides a well integrated 7” touchpad for the instrumentation – which truly transforms it into a tech powerhouse. The device is claimed IP65 rated, as well as scratch resistant – and the capacitive touch sensitivity along with good response times make it almost as easy to use as a mobile phone – although a small, yet noticeable lag is evident at times. Technical wizardry doesn’t just end there – it also features a 6 axis IMU (a feature still trickling it’s way down litre class superbikes), an inbuilt gyroscope sensor, full time internet connectivity, onboard navigation, and the capacity for OTA updates with respect to software updates and new features.

Ather app helps the user tap into some of these features – and syncs with the scooter over the internet (and not bluetooth). App provides useful features like range and charging estimates real-time, push navigation from phone to the scooter onboard console, handy roadside assistance and scooter manual information etc. Cool feature – it enables you to store vehicle documents like RC, DL, insurance etc and sync the same to the vehicle console – so you don’t need to physically carry them around. However, a quick tip for survival in Indian conditions – If a policeman asks you to go to him with the documents – think thrice before calling him to come to you (to see the scooter screen) instead.

Ather has tried to preserve the minimalist theme here, by showing you only the relevant information, especially while on the move – and also providing for colour gradients to easily decipher speeds with the corner of an eye, rather than having to look down on the console. Touch functionality is also disabled while riding, a welcome feature when it comes to safety – however, I did miss that there is no option to switch between ECO and normal modes without bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. Perhaps the minimalist theme is even more extreme in that the console only displays speed and range along with MODE and network status to the rider, when on the move. This is too minimalist, and rather insufficient IMO – and Ather should include battery percentage as well as odo readings as a minimum requirement in the near future.

As cool and as well thought-out as the instrumentation is – there are a lot of improvement areas as well. For starters – touchscreen doesn’t respond with gloves on, trip meters can’t be controlled or reset manually, and the console generally displays lower connectivity than I expected from Bangalore city region. Sync didn't happen for two days when the vehicle was parked at home – in ground floor region where usually range is not a big concern. Console doesn’t support bluetooth, hence won’t display incoming calls or SMS messages. Auto-brightness is available, but there is no ambient light sensor for the console AFAIK, so it isn’t perfect and the touchscreen brightness is too glaring at night – even at its lowermost setting. On such a tech-savvy scooter, a simple item that is conspicuous by its absence is a simple mobile charging USB port – a feature incorporated in quite a few small scooters these days.

There are privacy concerns as well - Data about location and riding styles are sent to Ather cloud, and although it can be disabled in settings – it needs to be done every time the scooter is switched off and back on. The 6 axis IMU unit relays all performance related parameters to Ather cloud so they can assess and fine tune the scooters in the future. Point to note however is that none of the parameters collected by the IMU is made available to the user. Since the Ather S450 is a smart device as much as it is a mechanical machine - would have been great if the company could provide some of this information to the users.

7” touchpad for the instrumentation – claimed IP65 rated, as well as scratch resistant.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_intro_1600.jpg

Console displays a welcome screen and chime when switched on! Technical wizardry doesn’t just end there with the screen – it also features a 6 axis IMU (a feature still trickling it’s way down litre class superbikes), an inbuilt gyroscope sensor, full time internet connectivity, onboard navigation, and the capacity for OTA updates – with respect to software updates and new features.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_welcome_screen.jpg

Ather has tried to preserve the minimalist theme here, by showing you only the relevant information. Well and fine, but not providing manual controls for the tripmeter is a definite miss.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_screen_while_parked_1600.jpg

The minimalist theme is true especially while on the move - with minimal digits, large fonts and also providing for colour gradients to easily decipher speeds with the corner of an eye, rather than having to look down on the console. Touch functionality is also disabled while riding, a welcome feature when it comes to safety – however, I did miss that there is no option to switch between ECO and normal modes without bringing the vehicle to a complete stop. Perhaps the minimalist theme is even more extreme in that the console only displays speed and range along with MODE and network status to the rider, when on the move. This is too less, and rather insufficient IMO – and Ather should include battery percentage as well as odo readings as a minimum requirement in the near future.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_screen_while_running.jpg

Colour gradients for speed help to decipher speeds easily with the corner of an eye, rather than having to look down on the console

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(Gif Sourced from Ather website for representation)

Onboard navigation is a boon, even more so when it uses tried and tested Google maps!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190227_103254_1600.jpg

You can also use the touchscreen to go through destination search history, save frequently used destinations on the map, or search specifically for AtherGrid fast charging stations -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190227_103612_1600.jpg

Brightness can be controlled manually from the console. Settings also allows you to toggle sounds for the indicators and parking assist, check for OTA updates or vehicle documents – and also go incognito if needed. Data about location and riding styles are sent to Ather cloud, and although it can be disabled in settings by switching to incognito– it needs to be done every time the scooter is switched off and back on.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190227_103105_1600.jpg

Auto-brightness is available, but there is no ambient light sensor for the console AFAIK, so it isn’t perfect and the touchscreen brightness is too glaring at night – even at its lowermost setting! Ather should provide a night mode, with a black theme at the very least.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_glare_night_1600.jpg

Ather app helps the user tap into some of these features – and syncs with the scooter over the internet (and not bluetooth). App provides useful features like range and charging estimates real-time, push navigation from phone to the scooter onboard console, handy roadside assistance and scooter manual information etc.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-app_remote_monitor_charging.png

Cool feature – it enables you to store vehicle documents like RC, DL, insurance etc and sync the same to the vehicle console – so you don’t need to physically carry them around.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-app_manage_documents.png

The DL as shown in the console. However, a quick tip for survival in Indian conditions – If a policeman asks you to go to him with the documents – think thrice before calling him to come to you (to see the scooter screen) instead.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_documents_dl_1600.jpg

All is not well though, as the insurance documents suffers from very lousy JPG compression and is rather unusable here, and no – You can’t zoom in to improve visibility either. An improvement point for the next OTA update perhaps.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_documents_insurance_1600.jpg

Speaking of OTA updates, it can also be manually checked from the console, as well as the Ather App. Shown here is the console update section -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_ota_updates_1600.jpg

As cool and as well thought-out as the instrumentation is – there are a lot of improvement areas as well. For starters – touchscreen doesn’t respond with gloves on!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-doesnt_work_with_riding_gloves.jpg

Big party trick – Reverse parking assist, which will be explained better in the upcoming section.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_reverse_assist_1600.jpg

However, there is no dearth of party tricks when it comes to this smart scooter – so another important one for this section is push navigation. When you are starting your commute to a destination, the location can be searched on the Ather app, and selected to be sent to the scooter.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-send_location_from_phone.png

Scooter will be synced with the app via internet, and the location is ready for you to be selected as soon as the scooter is switched on. As simple and easy as that! Good thinking here, Ather team!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-console_location_received_1600.jpg

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Default Ather S450 : Performance, Handling, Ride, Braking

Coming to the most important aspect – performance, which can be best described as clean, natural and fun. Despite being a first from the company, this scooter rides just as well, if not better than most 125cc – 150cc scooters present in the market.

Getting the scooter off the stand is very easy, thanks to the light 118 kilos kerb weight. While that figure in itself might raise some eyebrows (Honda Activa 5G weighs 9kgs less!), what is relevant is that the Ather hides a lot of this weight thanks to the low center of gravity, and a comfortable 765mm rider’s seat height (same as an Activa)– making it a very easy machine to push around in the parking lot! Not that you would require to do any pushing – as this scooter comes with a unique parking assist feature which will be described later in the post.

Turn the key on, press the brakes and hit the ignition switch – and nothing happens. There is obviously no engine here and no moving parts at idle – so the refinement can absolutely freak you out till you get adjusted to it (My better half, for example, had a major concern during the TD we took at Ather Space a few months back, where she just kept feeling that the scooter has stalled when slowing down – a matter of getting used to!). Once on the move, NVH isn’t perfect like we expect from other electric scooters with smaller wheel hub motors. The scooter has a resonant vibration on the floorboard when accelerating, which can be felt even if you are wearing thick shoes as I do – however this settles down well once it is settled into a cruise. No noise is noticeable at cruising speeds above 30kmph, and only a distinct electric propulsion whine is present at higher speeds, which gets prominent upon heavy acceleration. Motor cooling fan is the loudest sound on the machine at low speeds, engages at around 17kmph and drops below 15kmph. NVH feels better out of Eco mode, specially during a cold start in the morning. Coming out of my apartment parking ramp - ECO mode feels strained and created a lot of noise climbing up whereas the scooter performs a lot nicer once ECO is disabled. In city use – other road users will notice this whine and look at this newcomer with surprise, and overall – I would rate the NVH at par with a normal petrol scooter – not less!

Edit (13 March 2019) - While I had written that the NVH at idle can freak you out till you get used to it, what we didn't expect is the possibility of freak accidents that can result from it - as DBHPian hemanth.anand found out the hard way. An unintended acceletator input on a parked scooter, without noticing the motor was ON - resulted in the scooter flying off, falling and scratching the side panels. More details will be shared by him later in his ownership report - but I would request Ather team to consider installing side stand sensors (connected to engine kill switch) or even a simple weight sensor for the front seat to avoid such scenarios!

ECO and Power modes do feel different, during demanding situations like acute inclines, or the last mile of acceleration and top speeds above the regular city usage speeds. That said – ECO mode is very much enough for regular city use, and makes a difference of about 5 kms to the range predictions. Even if you ride in normal mode, once estimated range drops below 10kms, scooter is forced into ECO mode and performance feels very strained in comparison. In this mode – on the open roads the scooter feels dead above 65kmph, with a significantly blunted throttle while trying overtaking manoeuvres, even when going downhill - whereas the struggle is even more real uphill where the scooter just maintains a little above 60kmph.

Normal mode definitely feels performance oriented like a 150cc scooter – within city speeds. The electric motor produces a peak power output of 7.24hp, and while that may not sound much – is coupled with a max torque figure of 20.5Nm available just off idle. That gives it a power to weight ratio of 61.36 hp/ton and an incredible torque to weight ratio of 173.73Nm/ton.

Acceleration is good, infact very good for a scooter, that you will leave many other road users in amazement! Ather claims to hit 40kmph within 3.9 seconds, along with a top speed of 80kmph – and I find no reason to suspect both figures. Infact, it hits the claimed top speed of 80kmph easily and without feeling out of breath. 85kmph comes up rather easily as well, and the scooter only feels restricted closer to 88kmph and struggles to hit 90kmph as if electronically limited to go beyond. What impresses more than the outright performance is the very linear nature of acceleration from idle – the motor doesn’t feel as instantaneous in putting down all that torque as electric motors are supposed to be, and you aren’t likely to pull any wheelies unintentionally even when setting off hard from signals. Would infact have been perfectly smooth acceleration – if the vibrations on the floorboard as mentioned in the earlier paragraph were to be sorted out!

Good news continues even further when you hit the corners, even makes you feel bad that this scooter can’t be taken to the real corners outside of city limits. Ather claims a low center of gravity (battery pack and motor sits on the floorboard), 51:49 front to rear weight distribution and zero lateral offset – and while I can’t attest to any of that – I can certainly say that this is one of the best handling scooters I’ve ridden. Front suspension duties are performed by 30mm telescopic fork whereas the rear employs a monoshock suspension. The scooter leans into corners naturally as in a motorcycle, has a hint of front end feedback unlike other scooters, and can carry faster speeds without even trying – speeds which would scare you on some of the other scooters feel natural with the Ather. As said earlier, no point taking this scooter to the hills for a real test of handling capabilities as the range hardly allows any of that action (To be discussed in the next post in detail).

Suspension is on the firmer side, specially at low speeds, but absorbs way more potholes and road irregularities as compared to scooters with jurassic period suspension setups as seen in the Activa. BHPian rbp found it rough compared to his Suzuki Swish, whereas I was in bliss when compared to my Hero Maestro. Irregularities on the road surface can be felt, but the suspension does absorb a bit of harshness off the bigger potholes. The ride is not as stiff and uncomfortable as the SR150 for example, while enabling a good handling experience like the latter. 90/90 R12 MRF Zapper FG tubeless ply tyres, shod on 5 spoke 12” alloy wheels – perform duties at either ends to provide adequate agility to the scooter – but the rear could have been a size wider just for better aesthetics.

Speaking of the rear – I felt the ride to be more comfortable with the pillion onboard, and going by the feedback from the better half – she was indeed very comfortable with the overall ride quality, raised seating position and relaxed foot peg position. "Felt like sitting on a chair"– her exact comments. Thankfully, all that claimed forward-bias weight distribution of the scooter kind of feels handy with a pillion onboard, as the scooter doesn’t feel rear heavy (with a very light handlebar) as it does with my Maestro, and is far easier to ride.

Braking takes the game even further – 200mm Bybre disc brakes at the front with triple piston callipers, and 190mm Bybre disc brakes at the rear with single piston callipers. The first in scooter segment combination of front and rear disc brakes with CBS makes for the sharpest brakes I’ve felt on a scooter, similar to the ones on the KTM Dukes for comparison – as attested by two Duke owners – BHPians rbp and unk9ja! Levers are of the non-adjustable type, but fall to hand and don’t require much effort to pull for braking. Infact, the brakes are so sharp that it might be dangerous also, and badly needed ABS to avoid wheel locking in tricky situations – where the rear wheels do lock up!

For slowing down gradually while conserving charge – Regenerative braking is provided as well, which is either automatically engaged when braking, or can be manually engaged by twisting the throttle in the opposite direction – yes you read that right! Issue however is that it is very difficult to use the front brakes in this hand grip position, so will need to use the rear brake lever (Activates the front as well via CBS) instead. Regen is automatically disabled when battery charge is sufficient. This IMHO should be improved by Ather because – 1. It helps extend the range as per user needs and 2. When battery is fully charged, twisting the throttle to regen doesn’t even slow the vehicle as usual (and it coasts simply) which could startle a user who is used to braking with regen when slowing down.

There are no gears, just a couple of drive belts that achieve a transmission ratio of 7.8:1. I wish there was a rpm counter on this scooter, just to satisfy a geeky feeling to see the crazy rpms at which the motor would be spinning to keep the vehicle at it’s top speeds. Speaking of electronics - LED lowbeam headlamps works good, and an upgrade might not be required considering the city usage this scooter will be put through. The spread pattern feels scattered though and not sophisticated as is the case with LED projector setups. High beam even more so, as it is pointed towards the treetops and is not as good as the low beam in terms of illuminating the road ahead. No highbeam flash switch is provided as well, but the scooter gets DRLs and AHO – and overall the lighting setup is good considering the intended usage requirements.

Ground clearance is decent at 160mm and coupled with a short wheelbase of 1278mm – I didn’t face any issues with Bangalore speedbreakers – with pillion onboard as well. Interestingly – the scooter has a wader wading depth of 300mm and the battery pack is IP67 rated, with the motor being IP66 rated – so you wouldn’t have to worry too much when the rain gods unleash their fury upon the city. Even the touchpad console is IP65 rated – so nothing to worry on that front either.

Speaking of the console, time to get back to the unique feature – Parking Assist.

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(Gif Sourced from Ather website for representation)


Come to a complete halt (or switch on the scooter with the start button) and the scooter throws the assist option for you - swipe it to the middle to engage reverse assist, which can also be changed to forward assist with a press of the start button. Hazard lamps are turned on, and the scooter also makes a warning chime (Not too loud) to warn other road users about the reverse movement! Provide accelerator inputs and the scooter slowly moves backward or forward as required – with a very gentle pull and speeds maximum of upto only 2 kmph in reverse, and 4 kmph in forward directions. The reverse especially feels a bit weird at first, but it didn’t take much to start appreciating it – and makes it a breeze to pull the scooter out of parking lots and inclines. Is there a risk of falling while reversing? Not really, as I tried giving maximum throttle inputs to try and shake it – but it only moves in a very smooth fashion, and only upto 2kmph as stated.

Ather claims to hit 40kmph within 3.9 seconds, along with a top speed of 80kmph. Hits the claimed top speed of 80kmph easily and without feeling out of breath. 85kmph comes up rather easily as well, and the scooter only feels restricted closer to 88kmph and struggles to hit 90kmph as if electronically limited to go beyond.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-2019_0227_100154_024_1600.jpg

ECO mode is very much enough for regular city use, and makes a difference of about 5 kms to the range predictions. Even if you ride in normal mode, once estimated range drops below 10kms, scooter is forced into ECO mode and performance feels very strained in comparison. In this mode – On the open roads the scooter feels dead above 65kmph, with a significantly blunted throttle while trying overtaking manoeuvres at these speeds, even when going downhill - whereas the struggle is even more real uphill where the scooter just maintains a little above 60kmph.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-2019_0227_064355_209_1600.jpg

Acceleration is good for a scooter, that will leave many other road users in amazement! Doesn't struggle on inclines, as we have come to associate with cheaper electric scooters

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-not_strained_climbing_uphill_1600.jpg

Good news continues even further when you hit the corners, infact makes you feel bad that this scooter can’t be taken to the real corners outside of city limits.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-2019_0227_101616_040_1600.jpg

The scooter leans into corners naturally as in a motorcycle, has a hint of front end feedback unlike other scooters, and can carry faster speeds without even trying – speeds which would scare you on some of the other scooters feel natural with the Ather.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-2019_0227_101644_049_1600.jpg

No point taking this scooter to the hills for a real test of handling capabilities as the range hardly allows any of that action. Sad!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-2019_0227_101721_061_1600.jpg

LED lowbeam headlamps works good, and an upgrade might not be required considering the city usage this scooter will be put through. The spread pattern feels scattered though and not sophisticated as is the case with LED projector setups.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-lights_low_beam.jpg

High beam is pointed towards the treetops and is not as good as the low beam in terms of illuminating the road ahead - but both together provides enough light setup for a city scooter. No highbeam flash switch is provided as well.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-lights_high_beam.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 13th March 2019 at 12:23.
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Old 6th March 2019, 01:29   #7
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Default Ather S450 : Range, Charging & AtherGrid

Range and charging deserves separate topics on their own – IMHO, because it is one of the most critical factors to be noted before purchasing this scooter, and also because Ather has put in a lot of thought into charging solutions – that also need to be highlighted. For starters – Ather S450 comes with a 2.4 Kwh Li-ion battery pack, which is claimed IP67 rated dust & water resistant and a predicted life of around 50k kms.

Being honest and straight forward about it - ARAI claimed figures is a 107kms, whereas Ather claimed true range is a more realistic 75 kms(ECO) & 60kms (Normal). The reality based on my experience however – 65kms (ECO) to 45kms (Normal) based on how much fun you are having. 60+ even in ECO mode requires a lot of patience. Now, these are just predictions (Like the DTE prediction on a petrol or diesel vehicle), but my experience was that the predictions were also on the optimistic side during normal riding conditions – infact, I rode the scooter much slower than I am used to riding my own Maestro – due to range concerns (accentuated because I didn’t have the privilege of home charging – so it could be less of an issue to actual owners).

Couple of scenarios -

1. On one Thursday morning I had the scooter charged to 100%, returned home 16kms, of which 3kms was done in Normal mode, and the rest 13kms were done in ECO mode. Range predicted post full charge was 65kms in ECO mode and 59kms in NORMAL – whereas it dropped to 49kms in ECO mode once back home (Prediction dropped by 16kms as well). Scooter was parked at home from Thursday morning 10:30 AM till Saturday morning, and when started on Saturday 9am – the range had dropped to 45kms. Post which I rode another 27.5kms in ECO mode (and with light accelerator inputs since I was worried about range), at the end of which I was left with 10% battery and 6kms of range. 100% to 10%, or 65kms predicted to 6kms predicted – in about 43.5kms of usage, and around 46 hours of standby time.

2. Scooter was parked at home with 54% charge (35kms range) when I decided to take it to office. Went till the main junction and realised that I forgot the ID card, and returned back home, a total distance of 7.7kms, only to be shown 38% charge (25kms range) left. So I decided to take the car next instead.

PS: Now the above situations might be irrelevant to actual owners who can keep it charged every time the scooter is parked at home, and even carry portable chargers and plug it in other places whenever possible. However – they are just quoted so you can make an informed decision based on your daily use. Users on the Ather forums have reported that it is possible to ride with extreme patience and extract 100+ kilometers from the algorithm. Just putting it out there for you to take a call on it, though personally I don’t see the point buying an Ather to ride that way – when cheaper options are available! Best use case scenario IMO, is if your daily distance is less than 45kms – this can be a fun, cheap, stylish, practical and clean option then!

Battery drains from 100% to 0% in about 9 days (claimed) with a standby reduction rate of around 5 -8 Kms per day (experienced is much lesser at about 2-3 kms per day). I believe the internet connection and real-time sync (noticed the sync happens even when the vehicle is parked for long) is the real reason for this drastic drop and may be something Ather could improve in the future. 450 has a vacation mode built in, to truly turn your vehicle off with a tap on the dashboard. (Confession - I could only read this in the user manual, and just couldn't find the option on the console!) Once in this mode, the self discharge is substantially slower and the charge should last over a month till you put the key back in, and the vehicle will turn back on. Motor will not start until u have min 15% charge once u zero the battery out, so it is always good to shutdown or keep the charger plugged in when the scooter in not use over a longer period. Also do note that like any rechargeable battery – it may not be wise to fully drain it either.

Ather provides home Charging Point & cable systems (5A). Point comes with features like surge protection, authenticated power draw, and remote charge monitoring etc and will be installed by Ather technicians after evaluating the parking requirements of the apartment. Cable system however is more portable and can be used with any regular 5A socket – just that it needs to be purchased as an accessory. Home Charging takes time and has a claimed charging rate of 0 to 80% in 2 hours 40 mins & 0 to 100% in 4 hours 8 mins. Experienced - 10% (6kms ECO, 10:59) to 80% (13:05) and 100% (62kms ECO, 14:33). If switched on during charging phase, charging is disconnected, motor kill switch is engaged - and vehicle requests to either disconnect charger for riding, or switch off the vehicle for charging. FAN sound (of the home charging points) have received complaints from users as it is ON all the time during overnight charing, disturbing sleep if the room is nearby. No removable battery can also be a concern and deal breaker for people in apartments, where installation of charging points may not be allowed.

Ather also has setup a network of public fast charging stations in and around Bangalore – called AtherGrid. Currently there are 21 such stations – which can be used by other brand electric vehicle users as well, and what’s even better - it is free for Ather as well as other brand owners as well for the initial few months. These fast charging stations claim a charging rate of 1km per minute for the scooter, but frankly – my experience was much less. 11% (8kms ECO, 06:51) to 80% (53kms ECO, 08:11) and 100% (65kms ECO, 09:49) is what I noticed during my charging session – which translates to 45kms in ECO mode, achieved within 80 minutes of charging till 80% & 57kms in ECO Mode, achieved within 180 minutes of charging till 100%. Home Charging on the other hand takes time and has a claimed charging rate of 0 to 80% in 2 hours 40 mins & 0 to 100% in 4 hours 8 mins. Experienced - 10% (6kms ECO, 10:59) to 80% (13:05) and 100% (62kms ECO, 14:33).

Ather Grid has a separate app for use by other brand owners, who can also track the real time usage of the charger points, and navigate to the nearest charging points using Google maps.

Range based on my experience – 45kms (Normal) to 65kms (ECO) based on how much fun you are having. 60+ even in ECO mode requires a lot of patience. Now, these are just predictions (Like the DTE prediction on a petrol or diesel vehicle), but my experience was that the predictions were also on the optimistic side during normal riding conditions – infact, I rode the scooter much slower than I am used to riding my own Maestro – due to range concerns (accentuated because I didn’t have the privilege of home charging – so it could be less of an issue to actual owners)


Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-range100_eco.png

Range prediction of 59kms with 100% charge in normal mode -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-range100_normal.png

Ather also has setup a network of public fast charging stations in and around Bangalore – called AtherGrid.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-athergrid_plugged_in_1600.jpg

These fast charging stations claim a charging rate of 1km per minute for the scooter.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-start-fast-charging.png

My experience was much less. 11% (8kms ECO, 06:51) to 80% (53kms ECO, 08:10) and 100% (65kms ECO, 09:49) is what I noticed during my charging session – which translates to 45kms in ECO mode, achieved within 80 minutes of charging till 80% & 57kms in ECO Mode, achieved within 180 minutes of charging till 100%.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-80percentachieved.png

Home Charging takes time and has a claimed charging rate of 0 to 80% in 2 hours 40 mins & 0 to 100% in 4 hours 8 mins. Experienced - 10% (6kms ECO, 10:59) to 80% (13:05) and 100% (62kms ECO, 14:33). Home Charging point doesn't fast charge, as too many fast charging cycles isn't healthy for the battery in the long run.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-screenshot_20190302105924.png

If switched on during charging phase, charging is disconnected, motor kill switch is engaged - and vehicle requests to either disconnect charger for riding, or switch off the vehicle for charging.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-key_onwhilecharging_1600.jpg

Ather Grid has a separate app for use by other brand owners, who can also track the real time usage of the charger points, and navigate to the nearest charging points using Google maps. Currently there are 21 such stations in Bangalore.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_grid_locations_navigate.png

For example - the AtherGrid location at Sahakara Nagar, North Bangalore -


Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_grid_sample_location_1600.jpg

Fast Charging point is exposed to the elements, but the distribution box & the Point is claimed to have got an IP54 & IP55 certification against the elements.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-grid_fastcharging_point_1600.jpg

Ather users can use the dedicated charging ports on the left, whereas other brand users have a generic 5A socket provided -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-athergrid_power_socket-other-brand-evs_1600.jpg

Scan the QR code on the charger using the AtherGrid app, if you are using an electric vehicle other than Ather S450 -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_grid_connecting_other_brand.png

Choice of two wheelers available currently -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-grid_twowheelers.png

Choice of four wheelers available currently -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-grid_four_wheelers.png

First six months is free for every EV user - irrespective of brand, post which you are likely to be charged Rs 25/- for about 30 minutes of charging.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_grid_connecting_other_brand_choose.png

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 13th March 2019 at 14:30.
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Old 6th March 2019, 01:46   #8
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Default Ather S450 : Smaller, Yet Significant Points

  • As per an OTA update released on 11th March 2019 - ECO mode has been renamed as 'Ride' and normal mode is now renamed as 'Sport'. There is also a third battery super saver mode (Which could be called ECO again - but don't be confused with ECO mentioned in the review) planned to be released soon. See the toggle button indicator shown below the ride modes? Now you can switch modes using the toggle switch, rather than having to stop the vehicle completely and then remove gloves to do the same.

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  • A third battery super saver mode (Which could be called ECO again - but don't be confused with ECO mentioned in the review, which is now RIDE) is planned to be released soon. As per the below communication from Ather - it is clear that this new mode restricts power, torque and speed even further - but achieving the originally claimed range of 75kms. Well, I would say, well communicated Ather - What you have really done is to revise the original estimates by 10kmph downwards, but smartly so by changing the mode names and introducing a new mode - so as not to create an uproar!

    To put it short and simple (Or you can read their whole blog here) -
    1. Old Normal (60kms est) -> SPORT (55kms est)
    2. Old ECO (75kms est) -> RIDE (65kms est)
    3. New restricted ECO - 75kms estimate

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-screenshot-20190313-10.48.23-am.png
  • Also changed in the OTA update is a new real time colour gradient for throttle input - along with the gradient for speed already present earlier.

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  • Ather One was the first subscription plan to be announced during the launch of the vehicle in June 2018. However, based on customer demand for cheaper service and maintenance plans – three more plans were announced later - Ather Connect, Ather Service & Ather Charge. Plans simplified as below -

    Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-ather_plans.png
  • Want to opt out of connected services? Not possible – as the Ather scooter is a smart device and data is a basic requirement as per Ather. Connectivity is included as basic, whichever support plan is selected. You can of course set it to Incognito mode if privacy is a concern, but remember to do so every time when the scooter is switched off and back on.
  • Service for an electric scooter? Once every 5k kms at doorstep, once every 10k kms at the company service center (with pickup and return facility).

Parts covered under service plans for an electric scooter?
  1. FR & RR wheel bearings
  2. Steering bearings
  3. Front fork seal
  4. Swingarm bushes
  5. Brake pads (two wheels per year)
  6. Primary and secondary belts
  7. Top-up of brake fluid and front fork oil.
  • VIN can be noted down easily from the under seat storage, and is covered with a cap.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-vin.jpg
  • With the advanced 6 axis IMU unit and onboard GPS unit, Ather collects extensive real-time data from these scooters for improving their algorithms. Below is a sample of the information collected. Pic courtesy - DBHPian Hemanth Anand.
Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20180609_164816.jpg
  • Speaking of Hemanth, people who have been following the Ather thread earlier would remember this iconic image. An IP67 battery pack with an IP68 phone. Pic courtesy - DBHPian Hemanth Anand.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20180609_163735.jpg
  • Rare instance where I quite liked the official advertisement


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Old 6th March 2019, 01:55   #9
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Default Ather S450 : Other points.

  • The name "Ather" itself was taken from the Greek word, meaning "pure air" and the company was named Ather Energy, to imply the purest form of energy
  • However, as Team-BHP mod Samurai notes - "The S340 is a zero emission scooter. So you don't have to produce a PUC certificate. But it's not a zero carbon footprint vehicle. The electricity has to come from somewhere, often by thermal power plants burning coal. However, this need not be in the hands of Ather Energy. If the customer has a Solar Generator, then he can run the S340 with 'zero carbon footprint'. Even if the customer is charging the S340 using coal based power, the carbon footprint is supposed to be 30 - 40% that of a petrol scooter."
  • S340 name stands for Scooter series, 3 KW, 40 Amp-hour. S450, I assume is equivalent.
  • For Single Rider, air pressure of 30F / 28R needs to be maintained. One rare case compared to usual scooters with heavy engines towards the rear requiring much higher pressure at the rear wheel (My Maestro, for example is 22F / 29R). Ather claims a 51:49 weight distribution in favour of the front end.
  • For rider + pillion, air pressure of 30F / 32R needs to be maintained.
  • Deliveries were supposed to begin in September, but as reported earlier in Team-Bhp, deliveries were later delayed and the company is yet to complete deliveries for customers who had pre-booked the vehicle before launch in June 2018.
  • Seamless ownership experience – Company sets up charging points at home, has a dedicated relationship manager for customers, and offers home doorstep servicing.
  • Incase you are wondering – the data provider for the inbuilt internet connectivity is Vodafone.
  • Warranty. 2 years / 30k kms on the motorcycle. 3 years / unlimited kms on the battery pack. 3 years on home charging point.
  • Available on lease option via Autovert solutions. Downpayment can be between 40k to 75k, with period of contract between 13 months to 36 months. Lease EMI varies between Rs 2517/- per month to Rs 4220/- per month as per the calculations today, with the residual value changing accordingly as per the period of contract.
  • For a new entrant and that too officially launched only in Bangalore, Ather S450 performed well in Team-Bhp Two Wheeled Ride of the year 2018 awards – coming in 4th place with 98 (8.9%) votes. Link
  • Curious about range predictions? Check out the Ather blog here for further details.
  • Riding a new concept in the market comes with its own attention and funny moments -
  1. A guy carrying gas cylinders on his moped, stopped and asked me if the scooter was diesel powered!
  2. While charging the scooter at a public AtherGrid station, a security guard at the nearby building came to enquire details – and upon hearing the price – asked me to explain how this scooter is worth 2 Activas!
  3. Refuelling is never a major concern when testing a vehicle, but proved otherwise with an electric scooter. Sat 3 hours once early in the morning outside a fast charging station to charge the vehicle from 11% to 100%, and overall 6-7 hours spend at charging stations over the course of a week.
  4. At a signal – I was asked if this scooter was indeed 450cc!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 13th March 2019 at 10:05.
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Old 6th March 2019, 02:00   #10
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Default Ather S450 : Vote of thanks.

A huge shoutout to BHPian Psl9585 for letting us ride his brand new Ather S450 for this review!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-owner_requested.jpg

And a small gift from Team BHP to show our appreciation for his generosity -

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190223_153413.jpg

Note: Thanks to BHPians unk9ja, hemanth.anand and rbp for all their help during the various stages of this review.
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Old 9th March 2019, 09:45   #11
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A biker’s review of Ather


Ps: The existing review carries all the relevant review points and in great details. This would be more an impromptu real-world usage update.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4121.jpg

And so it goes… Last week Ather offered Team-BHP a 450 scooter for some “real life use” and review; and I was more than happy to take the lil scoot off for some fun. Collect the scooter Friday morning, and to return back by Sunday 12 noon was the plan.

Scooter was charged to about 80% and showed 52 kilometer as range in Ride mode, when it was handed over. A quick feature / user demo later, off I went on my daily commute to office.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4090.jpg

Before we get into the experience, some updates on the bike.
  • The software has been updated about a week back and now the drive mode’s have been renamed as “Ride” and “Sport” aka the performance mode.
  • They would be soon pushing out one more update, which would provide for an “Eco” mode, this should give a real-life range of about 75 kilometers from the current ~65 kms in Ride mode.
  • Next change that has been pushed via over the air update is the control for assistive parking, basically the reversing mode. This now can be engaged using a cluster switch combination of - Rear brake lever + Indicator switch (cancelation) + Motor / Start key on right hand side. No need to struggle with the gloves to engage the reverse. Using the same combination will enable back the forward motion, once you are done with the reversing.
  • The right-hand side toggle switch which was earlier for navigation selection etc, can be now used to change the ride mode between Ride and Race while on the go. Cut the throttle to zero, and flick the switch to select (Left flick to Ride and Right flick for Race mode). This again is a super convenient user tool, to extract best of range and power from the scooter, on the fly.

I was told that, Ather is closely interacting with the owners over their forum and collecting all these feedbacks and would be pushing out more and more updates in the future. Thumbs-up from me on this unique model of user feedbacks!

Time to get back to real life review then.. set off in the normal 'Ride' mode and the scoot moves forward with a distinctive “wheee”, which actually gets you some attention. Just 100 mts from the experience center and at the first intersection, I was asked the usual questions by a curious scooter guy.

He: How much is the engine CC?

Me: Lol.

Informed him “this is an electric scooter” and he seemed impressed, and promptly the next question comes.

He: How much is the range?

Me: 65.

Responded to that and I had to “whee off”, since I was running late for work. Though the 'Ride' mode is sufficient for city pottering, the rush to office needs 'Sport' mode for sure. There is a serious performance improvement in this mode and the range meter immediately showed about 5 kms lesser. Which was fine, since my commute would be at the best about 30 kms in total for the day, and I would have about 10-15 kms buffer till I charge next day morning at Ather experience center.

The central 3 (large) pins are for the AC and the bottom two are for the direct DC fast charge pins of the public charging point.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4091.jpg

Otherwise the complete charger resides on the frame of the scoot.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4089.jpg

And all this to power the BLDC, brush less dc motor I guess.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4088.jpg

Disclaimer: My daily rides are a remapped Gen 1st Duke 390 and Triumph Tiger XRX. I am about 5 foot 9-10” and close to 89 kgms. Not at all a scooter guy, may have used them for under 200 kms in my whole life, though I had rented an Activa for a day about a week back (Bounce app), for me to get a real life feel of scooters, before the Ather review All in all, not the best-guy for a scooter review!

Review whee waiting for me.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4098.jpg

There are few things that one would notice, as soon as you ride Ather for even just few kms (apart from the very different sound track i.e).

1- The little thing is darn stable for a scooter, thanks to its low center of gravity design and suspension set up.

2- Brakes are closer to bikes, than to any of the usual scooters with small wheels.

3- It can and will give a remarkably better acceleration in comparison to the regular variomatic? drives one is used to in scooter. On the 3rd point let me add, the comparison has to be with scooters! and NOT to get carried away and compare with bikes, coz they still have much better acceleration.

As an example, at a lonely traffic light I could pull away from a standard Enfield 350 and keep it behind by going full throttle, and putting some serious space between us in the initial acceleration. This got me curious and involved few friends to get some more real-life data regarding the performance. Obviously, Duke 390 and a Tiger would be way too fast, so we did some tests with the smaller Duke 200 and a carb’ed Enfield Himalayan. The Duke 200 tests were done by another friend who has an Ather and the Duke with him. And he clearly mentioned that the 200 was faster during the repeated runs he did. Next was Himalayan, and the results were similar. Ather does not have any sort of gear box, which gives it a very linear acceleration, from stand still, as well as during roll on acceleration. But as long as one is in the right gear on the Himalayan, could easily keep up and even overtake the lil Ather. So guys this is NOT a scooter to take on the usual ninja warriors you see on our city road. But on the other hand, you can surely surprise quite a few of them with a small burst or two. To the extent of irritating the heck out of em

Some size comparison vs the Himalayan. Mind you this cute lil scoot can put up a real fight and is good fun at it.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4114.jpg
Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4116.jpg
Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4117.jpg
Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4119.jpg

To summarise the performance test- it is indeed a Fast scooter, having better acceleration than run of the mill scooters we have around, BUT not really a drag machine! 4* out of 5 for a scoot.

Regenerative braking is another point I want to cover. The current implementation seemed half thought through types. The reverse flick works only if you are ok to let go the idea of using front brakes, and regeneration stops as soon as you let go off the reverse flick. There should be a user setting to choose if regen can be kept active with one reverse flick, till the throttle is moved back to acceleration mode / away from zero position. Not only will this be more convenient (than keeping it pressed by hand), it would be a better / efficient implementation compared to using the rear brake which engages the brakes also. The team mentioned more customization on this is on the way, like selecting the % between 5 to 30% for regen. But yes these are simple stuff that can be picked up from already existing implementations elsewhere.

Little about the ride and overall use from comfort perspective. The scooter is set up little stiff, maybe again from a scooter perspective. But this actually aids in the ride and stability, unlike regular scooters this one was much more stable over broken patches. No unwanted crashing and thud’s, yes there would be some amount of noise, but I felt it was more to do with the loose portable charger I had in the boot. Again, this particular test machine had a slight noise from the front (loose cone set I suspect), had informed the Ather team while returning. But this again was a one-off issue I guess. So high regards to the handling department of this tiny machine.

One thing I realized is that the proportion of the scoot is really not for my size I guess, and the seats were too narrow and has a very irritating slide to the front while braking. I assumed Duke had one of the worst seats but I would rate Ather close to that when it comes to front rider seat. Tried various postures and only way was to push myself really hard to the seat, by putting lot of pressure on foot while braking. The current configuration aids the shorter and smaller frames from both gender I guess, but is not really a comfy space for me. BUT Things change dramatically at the rear and it is SO VERY COMFY! Chauffer ridden Ather anyone? If not for the front seat I would have given it 4.5*, but for now 4* out of 5.

This is what fellow mod vid6639 had to say
Quote:
What fun. Had a longish pillion ride with Jaggu on the Ather. Gets a lot of attention and I loved it.

Seriously, if I ever want to start riding a 2 wheeler, the Ather will be what I will get. Electric cars are far away from being practical due to range anxiety and cost vs range.

But the scooter is the ideal urban tool. Has a few rough edges and design flaws but once they sort it out should be super cool.
And this is us on selfie mode. No we are not riding at 40 kmph, without a care of the world and the cop noting us down. That is the range which is being displayed on the MID.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190323_131248.jpg


And yes am looking like an overgrown baboon sitting on top of Ather.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_20190323_131307.jpg

Just some tit bits from the captain’s log book:

- When asked why a higher range was not considered, the answer was that “there would always be a need for some more”. But from a normal urban commute perspective (and based on extensive research done) 65-75 kms range is a good number. I kind of agree to this after the 2 days of riding the bike.

- 82-85 km/h is easily attainable when you wring it, and topped off at 89 kmph out on a highway stretch.

- Would have preferred the 450 to be one size bigger; little wider rider seating, higher handle bars etc OR customisable, how cool would that be?

- The portable charger is super convenient, I just used a small extension cord and connected the charger to the home 5 Amp outlet for a quick top up. A longer power cord would definitely help make it more usable.

- The size of the charging brick is just about double compared to a standard laptop charger. Must have accessory if you ask me.

- The app access was never given though they said they are trying to arrange. For otherwise a suave company, the bureaucratic process and excuse of “confidential data” sounded silly to me.

- Just like the online booking, how cool it would be to ask the prospective customers to install the app and have a real-life experience. Am sure a one-time user credential is not rocket science? Take it further make the whole experience app driven, right from inquiry, to test ride, to payment to registration and delivery. Your prospective customers would love it!

- There ARE rough edges:
o The unpainted white edge for the steering head cover. Either paint it white, or give it a black rubber beading so that the sharp cuts are covered.

o Headlights are pretty pathetic, again comparing with the useless stock ones I have on Duke, this one seemed worse. The cheap Chinese led aux lamps I have as accessory on my bike gives better throw and visibility.

o Not sure but a light sensor to cut the low beam off during daylight hours is a good idea? Wont it save some range? Bike has a small running light strip on top to take care of statutory needs.

o The plastic on top of the tail light looked so out of place, compared to rest of the bike.

o The rear-view mirror though looked cool, needs a bit of time and effort to set up.

o Side stand angle is not ideal for cramped parking we have around us.

o Surprising to see the real-life awareness of the product was pretty poor with people. Ather should relook its approach of marketing the product. Now that the productions are on full swing, the 6 months wait period hopefully would also be addressed soon.

o. EDIT: The MID was seriously glaring at night, saving grace being the chin part of the full face helmet blocking it in normal riding position. They need to have a better brightness management based on ambient lighting. Folks wearing half cover helmet are sure to complain.
As simple as this to get a quick top up of charge.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4100.jpg

And this would be the charging using the portable charger, do note this is NOT fast charging.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4101.jpg

To give you an idea of how much time it takes to charge on fast charge mode. Again this the smart chargers (public) decides along with the battery parameters including charge level, temperature et al..

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4097.jpg

To sum it up – The Real-life use case.

Ather is pitched as an Urban commute tool, and according to me it is SPOT ON!.

If not for my weakness for the geared motorcycles, it fits my daily use to the T. Total distance of around 25 kms and with a charger at the home parking, this would be perfect for my needs. No more maintenance issues, thanks to the onsite attention owners get. The total maintenance pack which even reimburse the electricity bill for charging, all adds up perfectly well. Seeing the next gen thinking style (including my 18 yr old nephew), this fun lil scoot has something great going for it. A colleague at work after seeing the scoot, wants to book one for his daughter, another friend is actively thinking of leasing one out!

Perfect Urban commute garage! The Mrs just took a spin around the apartment basement and was quite amused and wanted to know when I am getting her the bike?!

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4105.jpg

Yes, it may be little expensive at 1.28 lakhs, but the friend who purchased the scoot already has placed an order for a second one. More than him being a pro-environment fella, makes perfect business sense for him, cos the scoot brings in about 25k (EDIT: first year it would be 40% and 16,500 only) tax cut for him annually.

Many thanks to Team Ather / experience center folks for lending us the scoot, and for those umpteen coffee’s at recharge!

Seems to be rolling out fast, just saw this lot being unloaded while waiting for the charge.

Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review-img_4107.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 4th April 2019 at 08:08. Reason: Moving to 1st page
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Old 15th March 2019, 17:41   #12
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Default re: Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the 2-wheeled Section. Thanks for sharing, Crazy Driver!

A terrific review of an innovative product! Respect to your attention-to-detail, man . This review is especially important as there aren't any comprehensive real-world reviews of the Ather around. And for the longest time, they haven't had a media fleet either (I only just got a call offering a demo vehicle earlier in March).

This one is going to help thousands of BHPians & guests. Thanks for reviewing! Rating thread a full 5 stars.

Last edited by GTO : 15th March 2019 at 17:43.
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Old 15th March 2019, 18:01   #13
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Default re: Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review

Lovely review of a pretty damn good product; thanks for sharing! One whose time has long arrived. For those that can afford the price tag and are environment-conscious, this is a perfect two-wheeler for quick daily errands with a ~60ish kms range.

That centre console looks cool; although, I'm worried how it will cope up with real-world usage and conditions in the longer term.

All said and done, I believe this is sort of lifestyle vehicle as of now; not yet one that can be somebody's primary vehicle. The product and the company, both, need some time to prove themselves. But to the start and the effort!
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Old 15th March 2019, 18:11   #14
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Default re: Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review

Lovely review CD. Thanks for sharing. Did not expect the review of the Ather so soon. Thanks for bringing in the increased focus on the Two Wheeler space. I know that has been something you have been pushing for some time now and happy to see it happening.

Coming to the Ather itself, been following it for quite some time. Awesome product and love the thought and effort that has gone into it. Appreciate the patience of the founders to not rush into the market and focus on ironing out all the issues to the max possible extent before getting into production. While that has caused a lot of delays in deliveries, hope things are resolved and settled now and the continued focus has helped Ather evolve the S450 into a more matured product.

The real world range seems to be a small downer. While it should be acceptable for City use, it always leaves a worry in the back of the mind. I assume once the charging infrastructure improves, this will be less of a concern. But personally would still want atleast 60-65 km in a normal mode to feel comfortable.
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Old 15th March 2019, 18:16   #15
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Default re: Ather 450 Electric Scooter - Detailed Review

Rated 5*.

There is a saying - "A thousand miles journey begins with a single step"
Kudos to the team for creating an innovative product.

Adaption of such product for masses is always going to be challenging, few reasons
* In a city like Bengaluru 60Kms charge is really risky. Longer ranges are definitely more confidence inspiring for an average buyer.
* Availability of charging infra
* Unknown service related encounters
* Price factor including initial cost and spares
* Reliability and trustworthiness factor where an Activa like vehicle is literally abused to carry extra luggage

It will always be compared to Activa's and Jupiters of the world.

Last edited by peus017 : 15th March 2019 at 18:17.
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