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Old 24th March 2019, 09:10   #1
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Default An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

We recently took delivery of an Ather 450 to replace my Wife's Vespa 125. The Ather 450 is on sale in Bengaluru at a price of INR.1,27,730 (~1.27 lakhs) OTR.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8104.jpg

What I liked:

• Excellent quality & refinement. Truly impressive for this class of scooter.
• Torquey motor. The scooter is true to their tagline-Go Wheeee!
• Beautiful minimalist design. Smart,connected & designed-from-scratch scooter. Attention to detail in some areas Leagues ahead of big companies
• Smart features such as Navigation, Document storage facility in the dashboard
• Reverse gear (not a gear actually) which they call Park assist mode is useful in taking out the scooter from parking spots
• Balanced ride- Front:rear weight distribution ratio of 51:49, Zero lateral offset & low centre of gravity make it an amazingly well-balanced vehicle
• Subscription plans to suit the needs of users- From connected services to even Electricity consumption is reimbursed!
• Ather Grid -Public charging points in many places in the city - 31 now and increasing.
• Lease option of buying makes it a truly zero cost ownership for upto 3 years. Everything from Periodical service cost to Insurance and electricity consumption is covered

What I didn't:

• No two thoughts about this one - Absence of centre stand-unpardonable miss.
• Parking needs good space and planning - Side stand leans too much; people parking in crowded parking lots will struggle to park and to remove it back.
• Missing features and equipment - No pass light switch, No brake lock, no Bluetooth, No USB charging and centre stand again!
• Rear footrest - although it is good, it only good for people wearing pants. Saree clad women will not be able to climb up and sit one sided.
• Expensive - Although I feel it is worth it, it is premium pricing nonetheless.
• Navigation leaves a lot to be desired - Traffic condition not displayed.
• Software bugs - With issues like Screen freezing, trip meter resetting automatically, etc., some early adopters feel like they are beta testers.
• Form over function in many areas including the drive screen - no ODO display while driving), tiny bag hook, No centre stand ( I know it's the third time)
• Long term ownership still an unknown territory.

Last edited by Jaggu : 3rd April 2019 at 17:40. Reason: Pricing line :)
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:12   #2
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Review Index:

The Story
Booking & Test ride
Buying Experience
The Looks & Build
Motor and Powertrain
The Interface
Charging the 450
Ride & Handling
The Ather app & Community forum
Vehicle service
OTA Firmware Updates
Other points

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 31st March 2019 at 19:51.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:14   #3
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

The Story


Cut to 2015; A younger colleague of mine and I were having a casual discussion over a cup of tea. During the conversation, he mentioned a company name Ather. That was the first time I heard that name and I was intrigued by that. He showed me more details of this Bangalore based startup founded by IITians. he told me that they were working on an Electric scooter and some of his friends are designers there. The scooter looked good, but I left it there thinking it'll be like the many other plasticky electric scooters that I had seen at that time.

After that, it was probably around 2017 that we again got to this topic and the scooter that I saw was really impressive. When I read into the details of it, it impressed me more. Then I got more details of it on, where else but TBHP. There was already a thread since 2016 and I had not read about it!!! I went through the thread and got to know more about the scooter. Later in 2018, I got to know that we could pre-book the scooter in June. In the meantime, a friend of mine who runs a biking store & cafe told me that they have an Ather Grid point at their store! Ather Grid is Ather's public charging network.

I had no idea of buying a scooter. By that time my wife was also taking her car to office instead of the Vespa; there was no real need. As a technology and Automotive enthusiast I still thought about it for a while but dropped the idea. I just showed it to my wife one evening and surprise surprise!!! She asked me all by herself if we could buy this. She herself gave a very good idea that we can sell my father's old Activa and give him the Vespa and she could keep the Ather. This was because his usage is a little higher-so EV is not suitable for him. Her point was that it would save a lot of fuel expenses and the heavy parking charges that their company charges (to discourage personal transport and use the free company transport).
Now that was more than what I could ask for . It was decided to replace the Vespa S with this scooter.

A few months later, my sister told me that she wanted to sell her White Vespa VX as she was hardly using it after she bought an E2O. Immediately we decided to sell both my wife's older Black Vespa S and also my dad's Activa 3G and he could keep the white Vespa which is the newer & the least run scooter out of the 3 scooters. Activa was sold immediately and we decided to sell the black Vespa when the Ather is close to delivery.


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 30th March 2019 at 22:49.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:17   #4
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Booking & Test ride


Booking

The booking was opened on June 5th which is world environment day. A well thought out day IMO. Although it opened in the morning, being a weekday, I booked it by 8PM and I got an order ID of around 1500 and an expected date range of Oct-Dec 2018. It was already the second batch after the first batch of Aug-Sep 2018. It was just a simple online payment of INR 5000. After having pre-booked the 450 on June 5th, I visited the Ather experience centre on 10th of June in Indiranagar to take a test ride.

Test Ride

Within 5 minutes after I entered the showroom, my licence details and phone number were taken. Upon receiving an OTP for confirmation, we were good to go. First to ride was my wife who would be the principal user of the scooter. The executive explained all features of the vehicle to her including the reverse mode!
She was particularly happy about the under-seat storage but she was surprised that there was no fold-able foot rest at the rear. She told that it would be needed for ladies who would want to climb up on one side when wearing a saree or something similar. I think she had a valid point (which I never thought of). She was then handed over the Key.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_163130.jpg
That's one loooong key!
A simple flip-key would've been better here

My wife sat on it and my daughter joined her. She had enough room to stand there. seeing the kid, the executive warned my wife to be careful about the sudden acceleration and sharp brakes so that the kid doesn't get hurt. He put on the navigation and off they went without making any noise!

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_161123.jpg
Enough space for one kid to easily stand on the floorboard.
Be careful of sudden acceleration and sharp brakes when a kid is standing!

While I was waiting, Co-founder of Ather, Tarun Mehta, came out seeing the E2O. He introduced himself to me once he came to know that I had got the E2O and that there was some issue with the charging (more on that later). I then told him that I've already booked the 450 on June 5th, and soon we were talking about the 450. I could see the excitement in him and why wouldn't he be. He invited me inside the experience centre and I told I would join soon after my wife returns and I complete my test ride.

My wife returned and the first thing she spoke was "it is Awesome" with a happy glow in her eyes. That's it, deal made!

I took the scooter after that. The first thing that catches your eyes is the 7" display which is well laid out and easy to read during day time too.

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Large display

I turned the accelerator and immediately I noticed how well it accelerates. Not sudden at all as I had expected, Just perfect. I rode in all the interior roads around the area for 10 minutes. The Bybre brakes were really sharp. Although the rear disc brake has a tendency to get locked too soon, I felt that it was something that we had to get used to more than anything. I took some photos before heading back.

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Front View

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Rear view. I'm a fan of those tail lamps

When I was done with my test ride, I was instructed to park it in one of the charging bays and the vehicle was put to charge. As I parked, I felt that the vehicle leans a little too much to the side before resting on the side stand. Also here I observed that there is no centre stand! I had thought that it can be added as an accessory later but was informed that the centre stand was omitted by aesthetic reasons!!!

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_163108.jpg
The test ride vehicle getting charged.

Although we were in no real hurry to get the vehicle, after the test ride, waiting became really tough as I was mighty impressed with the vehicle...

Ather grid

I had taken our E2O plus to the Ather experience centre to particularly check the charging facilities. Being a Saturday, I had prepared myself not to get a parking/charging slot. I was proven wrong. As soon as I reached there, One of the many Ather executives greeted me. I told him that I wanted to charge my car while I take a test ride of the Ather for which I had actually come. He immediately made space for my car and asked me to plug in my charger. Upon scanning the bar code through the Ather grid app (I had pre-installed and registered in this app) The charging started. However, soon the app displayed an error "vehicle not detected". This happened in all the charging stations. They were as puzzled as me because they said they had charged many E2Os there earlier. They told me to take the Ather test ride while they sort out the charging issue. Anyway, I was not that worried since the E2O plus still had enough charge to take me home.

Open the flap on the station and plug in your 5A charger. When you open the flap, the light glows red on the console body. Close the flap it the light glows green. To charge an Ather, you'll have the plug in the station itself.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_161553.jpg
Open the flap and the light glows red

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Close it and it'll glow green

On the Ather grid app, scan the QR code that's printed on the station and select the time you want to charge the vehicle. it is in the multiples of 30 mins. I chose 1 hour and said ok.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20180609155907_ather-grid.jpg
Duration of charge
It immediately syncs with the server and the charging begins!

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Time remaining.

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Technical glitch

Regarding the charging issue, Tarun told me that this is the first E2O plus and they were not sure if it was because of that (they had charged many E2Os and not an E2O plus it seems). They called and checked with their back-end team and got a response that there was indeed some technical issue with E2O plus compatibility and it would be sorted out in the next days.

Charging any EV is free till December 2019!


The experience centre

As soon as I entered the building, I was greeted by an obituary! What a wonderfully shown message

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Is it the end???

Then we saw two display Scooters parked

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Minimalist

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Beautiful

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Glowing white LED headlamp looked so beautiful.

On the wall opposite to these scooters, they have beautifully displayed the development story of the Scooter.

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The story thus far...

Further ahead, we saw this beautiful skeleton made of aluminium alloy developed from scratch. The difference of any other electric scooter and this was evident here

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stripped down

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Clean indeed

Tarun came to me explained a few things about the chassis and then showed me around the experience centre. I asked him why they omitted the centre stand. He told it was to mainly to have a minimalist look and reduce weight.

Moving on, the two main components of the vehicle-The Motor and the Battery pack were exhibited separately. It is quite compact.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_164638.jpg
All focus on the Motor

Then the battery pack which was built form scratch was displayed in an innovative way inside a clear acrylic tub of water. It is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_163830.jpg
IP67 water and dust rating for the battery pack

I then put my phone inside the tub for a picture. Tarun initially thought I was taking a close up photo but then when I actually started immersing it, he shockingly started telling me "water, water, don't, don't" I calmly told "Don't worry it is IP68"

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-img_20180609_163735.jpg
IP67 Battery pack and an IP68 phone.

Later Tarun had tweeted this experience on his twitter too
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Tweet

I was then showed the Ather grid area where they have displayed the map with the location of the charging stations.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_164242.jpg
Ather grid map

Besides this, there was a small riding gear section where there were some riding gear exhibited probably for sale. Also, details of Ather one plan were displayed here. Just in front of this were some desks for completing paperwork and the tables also served as a small cafeteria. We were served nice cappuccinos while Tarun took leave of us.

After this, there was a large TV screen and one of the other executives showed me the details of data that they collect what all are mapped via the 6-axis IMU and the SIM in the scooter. I was told that we can go incognito using their app which will be available with the scooter. This mapping was instant and we could see our data along with the many others who had taken the test ride that day.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-img_20180609_164816.jpg
Test ride route, acceleration, most efficient section

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_165142.jpg
Even the lean angle and lateral forces are measured and plotted

I was told however that this graphical recorded data will not be available to the owner/rider but will be used to tweak driver specific parameters to their individual scooters.

After thanking the executive, I started to leave their showroom. Like their scooter, the experience centre also is minimalist, well laid out and beautiful. I left home satisfied, impressed and eager to have this scooter soon in my garage.


Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st April 2019 at 15:21. Reason: Thanks for sharing. Minor typos corrected.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:20   #5
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Buying Experience


Chronology

After having pre-booked on 5th June 2018, I was given a delivery schedule of Oct-Dec 2018.

On 14th June 2018 one of their staff came home and did the Charging point installation assessment. Their installation includes 20m of cabling. extra cable cost must be borne by us. I had 40m of cabling form my Electric meter to my parking slot and hence I had to pay additional amount for cabling
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Charging assessment report

On 9/11 When Ather Delivered their 1st 10 scooters, waiting for a vehicle became tough. Never in my life had I waited for a vehicle more than 1 or 2 weeks. By the way they had chosen 9/10 but because of a Bandh in Bangalore, they had to choose 9/11.

On October 16th, all the people who had pre-booked, got an email that due to issues in there supply chain, they would not be able to meet that timeline. All the orders were pushed ahead by 3 months!
An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-delay.jpg
Delay

Now that was sad and disappointing. But I didn't have any option and neither was I in a big hurry. The booking amount of 5000 was too less to worry about and cancel. So the wait continued.

By January 2019, Ather had delivered 10 more scooters. Though it was still very less, they picked up pace in February 2019.
Finally, on 22nd February 2019, I got an Email that My Ather is ready for delivery and soon after the payment is done, it will be delivered at the earliest.
Vehicle was registered on Feb 28th, Charging point installation happened on March 1st and co-incidentally, the Black Vespa at home was also sold on March 2nd(a day before the vehicle delivery)
The vehicle was finally delivered on March 3rd 2019

Buying options

Now this is where it was slightly tricky. Ather had three different buying options - Full Payment, Loan & Lease. I usually prefer to buy a scooter by paying the entire amount. Loan option was hence ruled out.
If lease was from my company, it could save some tax. But my company doesn't allow leasing a 2 wheeler and neither would leasing from Ather or any other company they have tied up with would save me tax. So I was initially disinterested in that. But I still took a look at the leasing policy and it looked interesting.
We can pay 45-75K down payment initially; based on the term (min 1 year to max 3 years) a monthly rent would be fixed. At the end of the term, I can return the vehicle and I'd get my full down payment back! I also have an option for upgrade or even exit the lease anytime after 1 year. If I exit after 1 year and return the vehicle, I'd get back 60% of my down payment. After 2 years, I'd get back 80%. If I decide to retain the vehicle, the down payment would not be given back and there would be an amount that I'd need to pay in addition to get the vehicle registered in my name.

The lease includes all the Insurance policies for the period, all periodic services including labour, Their flagship subscription plan Ather One, road side assistance. So it was effectively ZERO cost for the entire term. Over and above this, two other things that I thought about:
1. EV technology is still developing and going by the current automotive scene, EV is likely to see huge changes pretty soon. That would mean that after 3 years, vehicles will be much better and resale value of the current vehicles is expected to be poor (or unknown). I'll ignore Mahindra here as they have literally done a pathetic effort with their early player advantage IMO.
2. The battery will deteriorate no matter what. Ather provides 3 year warranty on the battery and say that after that, it may not deteriorate more than 70%. But again, it's not an ICE vehicle to just fill petrol and keep on running for many years. This will again have a negative impact on both the performance and resale value.

I worked these out and found that Leasing is the best way to go in this case. The final thought in my head before I decide to take the leasing was "When I am buying a different vehicle, why not buy it also in a different way". I took the number of the Leasing company Autovert and spoke to Mr.Uday at length and got all my questions cleared. He was very helpful and cleared all my questions to my full satisfaction. Their intuitive website helped me in quickly doing the math.
I decided to pay 65K and a 3k rent for 36 months. That would mean I'd effectively pay 108K over the entire term. Upon return I'd get back the 65K down payment. If I decide to retain the vehicle, I have to pay 10K. For a comparison, the OTR price of the 450 is 130K If I buy it with full payment. Insurance for 2nd and 3rd year would be 13k. Their Ather one subscription plan costing 700 per month (since I was a pre-booking customer this would be free for 1st year), would come to 17K for 2nd and 3rd year. Assuming a resale value of 50K, it would come down to 110k.

On Saturday, 23rd Feb, I filled up all their forms and uploaded all the necessary documents. the process was completely online. I made a payment of 60000 (the 5k of my pre-booking amount was adjusted here). By Monday, the Lease was approved and I got a delivery date of Mar 15th. I had however requested them if they could deliver the scooter on March 2nd or 3rd, I could spend some time with the scooter 4th which was a holiday for me at Office. They told me that they'll try to do that.

Installation of the home charging point

I got a call on Feb 27th and the installation of the charging point was scheduled for the next day. The installation team came at 11AM, on the dot as per schedule. They finished installing the cable via conduits. Our apartment has neatly laid out cable trays on the roof of the basement where my parking slot is located. So even though it was 40 mtrs, the installation was fairly easy for them. In 2 hours flat, they neatly completed the work and left. They even cleaned up by picking up all the waste created during the installation-impressive. The alien was home!

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190301_165155.jpg
The white conduit connected to my meter located in the basement of my apartment

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Conduits routed via the cable trays

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The conduits were firmly tied using cable ties

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First view of my alien buddy!

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fixed to the wall...final wiring in progress

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Installation done

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190301_165222.jpg
Green-Signal to go Wheee!

Vehicle Delivery

On the evening of the home charging point installation, I received a call from Ather that my scooter will be ready for delivery on Sunday March 3rd 2019.
FINALLY! was the word that came to mind immediately. After exactly 9 months, My scooter was finally being delivered. I had written this / told this to many people that the last time I waited for so long for delivery was that of my daughter

I was told that I should get 3 cheques in favour of Autovert with one month's rent written. The ID and address proof and other documents would be printed by themselves. Anyway I still carried all the originals of the documents that I had already uploaded (just to be safe). I reached almost an hour early and my Vehicle was ready for delivery neatly parked inside the experience centre along with 4 other Vehicles. Uday and Julie from Autovert were also present and introduced themselves to me. An Ather executive explained all about the scooter which took around 20 minutes. Later The lease formalities were completed quickly (just a few signatures). A small chocolate box, a customary photo and were ready to go.

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New member of the family

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Chocolates!

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Emission Impossible 2

The scooter was taken out of the experience centre and My wife sat on the vehicle. We were shown how easy it is to adjust the mirrors and the mirrors were adjusted to her seating position. All in all a perfect delivery experience which just took 1hr. How I wish other "experienced" companies could do this!

While the kids and I drove in the E2O , my wife followed us in the Scooter. Atleast in 3 signals, she was asked about the scooter by people

In the excitement of taking the scooter we forgot an envelope of documents that we were given by the leasing company. I realised this in the evening and I called them. They sent me the documents via courier later

Later in the week I ordered a helmet keychain. But since it was too big to keep in my pocket, I ordered a custom-made metal key chain with laser etching.

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Helmet

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Custom-made



I got this idea for the metal key chain from Ather itself. They had given similar key chains to it's first 10 customers who got their scooters delivered in the factory.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st April 2019 at 15:23. Reason: Thanks for sharing. Minor typo corrected.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:22   #6
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

The Looks & Build


Whenever people hear the word "Electric Vehicle" they imagine weird looking designs (be it 2 wheeler or 4-wheeler). But the Ather is nothing like that and without a doubt the best looking scooter in the country. I know that looks are subjective but its futuristic minimalist styling will appeal to everyone. It's a head turner. Front on, it looks like the figure of a slim female model ready to walk the ramp. The scooter is 1800mm long and 700mm wide which is average for scooters but at 1250mm high, it is the tallest scooter. However the seat height of 765mm is same as Honda Activa

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8059.jpg
Nice figure

The Handle area (Face) has a white cover with a black translucent piece (perfect place for people wanting to put a Ganesha sticker or a name). Just beside that are beautiful sleek Pilot lamps and Indicator lamps. Two mirrors with a sharp line design sit just above the indicator. These mirrors are easily adjustable without any tools...very convenient indeed.

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The Translucent piece on the face looks like sunglasses

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Blinkers in action

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Mirrors

the top half of the body (Bust) is a V that any model would desire to have. It is vertically divided into 3 parts. The right and left part are white panels and the centre portion has a transparent cover. The top portion has a nicely designed black metal element that is a number plate holder. Below the number plate inside the transparent cover is the LED headlight. Along with the pilot lamps, The Headlamps are also on (regulatory requirement)
The bottom portion is completed by two sleek floating panels on either sides of a high heeled footwear (I mean the 12" tyres). The tyre is mounted to the frame by two telescopic shock absorbers and covered by a thin mudguard. The tyre is 90/90-12" MRF Nylogrip Zappers

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Front view again

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AOH cum Low beam-notice the Ather branding

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Highbeam

From the side too it looks futuristic and yet minimalist, The side view of the bust portion has 450 written in very small font. The black 5-pointed star design alloy has a green border. This green border is the only differentiating visual factor between the 450 and its smaller sibling-340. The big 90/90-12" tubeless tyres gel well with the overall design. The beautiful flower shaped front Bybre 200mm diameter disc sits at the centre of the wheel. The side stand sits flush inside the floorboard and from the side, it appears as just a small grey bar. The rear footrest is part of the floorboard design and doesn't appear separate.
The green seat hinge portion of the frame and the barely visible green mono shocks give some relief to the otherwise black and white theme of the scooter. The rear swing arm goes out at an angle from the floorboard to the rear wheel neatly finished in matte black. The swing arm bolt is neatly covered by a cover on the floorboard panel.

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Left side view

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Right side view

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the 450 name

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Green coloured frame and seat hinge

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Green coloured Rear monoshock spring

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A cap on the floorboard panel

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This cap covers the swingarm bolt

All these give the scooter a high score in the aesthetic department. So much for aesthetics that you'll not find a centre stand under the floor board or a bag hook in the side view. However Form takes over function in many places. The absence of Centre stand and the high lean angle of the side stand is one such thing.
1. When we come from somewhere with our hands full (some bags or anything). Usually we keep them on the floorboard, open the seat to take out the helmet and go. But because of the lean angle, you can't keep anything on the floorboard-it just falls down. My laptop bag fell down once like this. Similarly, if you want to keep something on the seat while wearing helmet for example- Sorry you can't. Then because of the lean angle, if some other vehicle is parked closely to the right, All the best taking the scooter out.
2. My scooter suffered a nail hit and I observed it at my home. Usually I get the puncture fellow to come home and he takes the wheel and fixes it. Or sometimes I remove and take the wheel and get it fixed myself. Without the centre stand, this is not possible. I had to take the scooter till his shop. Then I had to bend the scooter on the side stand while he checked and fixed the puncture (by rotating the wheels). This is unnecessary load on the side stand. Not every puncture guy will have a paddock stand

The rear wheel has a belt pulley at the centre. The toothed belt connecting the rear wheel and the motor is hidden behind a cover that runs parallel to the swing arm. A saree guard is fixed as a regulatory requirement. It actually spoils the look of the scooter a bit and already many users have removed it.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8142.jpg
the rear pulley, The belt cover, the saree guard

The sloping two tier seat sits on a bigger white body. The brand name Ather appears on a small green rectangle on this body panel. Under this body panel is a plastic part which acts as the rear mud guard and houses the number plate and the number plate light. The sightly visible tail light and the black rear grab rail complete the left side profile. The right side is almost same except for the fact that there is no side stand and the rear 190mm discs. The tyre valves are bent to the outside as opposed to valves that face the centre of the wheel in all other scooters. They are bent to the opposite side of the discs for easy access and to prevent accidental burning of hands in case of hot discs- This is nice!

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8125.jpg
The rear body panel.
Notice the Ather branding on the small green sticker. it provides a relief to the otherwise plain exteriors...neatly done IMO. I wonder why they didn't cover those two small holes for the screws

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8160.jpg
The front wheel
Star shape alloy wheel with green band looks nice. look at the disc and how the tyre valve is facing the opposite side

However, from the driver's POV, the front disc is to the left and the rear disc in on the right side, the rear tyre valve is bent towards the left and the front tyre valve is bent to the right. I wonder what was blocking them from putting both the discs on one side and have both the valves face other side. The person filling air will not like this setup where he has to go on both sides of a 2-wheeler!

The rear is more black than white. The big inverted U shaped (reminds me of a big stapler pin) LED tail light is a beautiful piece of light and draws the attention of everyone towards it. Below that are long sleek indicator LEDs. This Light console kind of outlines the black centre panel which has an "ATHER" depression in it. The grab rail is above the tail light while the number plate is below it. A rectangular reflector is below the number plate and the tall 90/90-12" tubeless tyre. A fatter rear tyre would've enhanced the looks and provided more grip IMO. But nothing to complain about.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8122.jpg
The rear-looks very slim. A fatter tyre would've been wonderful

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8244.jpg
Look ma, no silencer

Moving on to the driver seat, the seat is decent. A little on the harder side IMO and not too comfortable but nothing to complain about. The sitting position is quite upright and not much room is available for the legs to be in a relaxed position. The corners of the front body come closer to the driver's knees (more closer for taller drivers).

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8237.jpg
The Seat

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_9018.jpg
The front edges of the body is close to the rider's knees

Pillion rider gets a wider seat but getting onto the rear seat is only for people sitting with legs on both sides. Saree clad women who want to sit will face difficulty as the footrest is more towards the front making it difficult to climb up using it. You may have to look for a Kerb or something in such situations. After sitting, the footrest is not available for such ladies and they will be uncomfortable. However people who sit with legs on both sides will have nothing to complain. Climbing up and sitting with the feet rested on the rear foot rest is all very comfortable. I found the rear seat more comfortable than the front seat. The grab rail is meaty and sturdy too.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_9016.jpg
Rear footrest integrated with the floorboard

The driver gets a cool 7" touchscreen as his main display (details in the next section). On the right is the Engine kill switch, scroll switch for different functions and the usual power button at the bottom. On the left is the high beam/low beam switch and the usual Indicator & horn switches. Both the handle grips get an Ather name on them. It's a tad smaller in diameter for my liking, but they're good with gloves. A pass light switch is sorely missed.

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Right handle

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8130.jpg
left handle

On the inside of the body there is the luggage hook at the centre. It sits flush with the body and is spring loaded. putting a bag on it with one hand will take some time to get used to. It looks good but thicker handles of laptop bags may not fit easily compared to other scooters. The floorboard is covered with nice textured rubber. Mats are still not available as an accessory. The battery is housed in this floorboard and that's one of the main reasons why there is no centre stand IMO but Ather maintains that the absence of centre stand is for aesthetics.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8174.jpg
Bag hook

There is only one key slot and it has four different positions. The middle position is off. Turn it right to the On position to switch on the vehicle. From the off position, pushing the key in and turning to the left locks the handle (of course the handle must to turned to the left side). You can't lock the vehicle with the handle turned right. From the off position, turning the key left without pushing in, unlocks the under seat storage.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8193.jpg
Key hole

Open the seat and it tilts a little more than vertical and stays there. it doesn't fall down like other scooters. The seat is on the thinner side and hence the seat feels hard to sit on. Strapped on to the underside of the seat is the first aid kit. As soon as the seat is unlocked, a white LED strip lights up illuminating the under seat storage area-A nice touch this. The LED strip is very helpful when the scooter is in the dark and you have to find something in the storage. The under seat storage is quite spacious and is among the largest for a scooter. It is good enough to accommodate my Vespa open face helmet along with a windcheater, gloves, the charging cable, a pair of gloves and a microfibre cloth. A same sized full face helmet will also fit in but a bigger size full face helmet may not fit in. On 3 sides of this tub, there are rubber lined cubby holes that can accommodate small things. This is good to hold a small tablet/book and couple of phones in total. I tried with a Oneplus 5t and a Galaxy Note 8 which fit perfectly. The VIN can also be seen here under a rubber cover. An USB charging socket should've been provided here IMO. Also having used the Vespa, I miss the removable tub. It would've been very nice especially when cleaning/washing the vehicle.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8184.jpg
Lift up the seat

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The under seat storage-biggest of the segment probably

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8181.jpg
VIN number is seen here under a rubber cover

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The vespa helmet is swallowed easily.
Along with this, we keep a small jacket, charging cable and some knick knacks

Overall, the build quality of the vehicle is top notch. Almost every part of it feels sturdy and looks good to last long. The only cheap looking part for me was is the rear reflector under the number plate which looks like an afterthought IMO. Panel gaps are either well concealed, non-existent to minimum. Very few bolts or wires are visible. They are neatly hidden from view or they are mostly blackened.
The ground clearance of 160mm and 1278mm wheelbase makes sure that we need not worry about the infamous speed breakers of Bengaluru. The water wading depth of 300mm is impressive considering the battery is located in the floorboard (thanks to the IP67 rating).

Because the scooter grabs attention everywhere, people come to me and asked many questions. The stares that this scooter gets, reminds me of my Abarthed Punto days which I was missing . The common questions that I've had to answer on road and to people around are: Which scooter? Electric? how far can it go? How much does it cost? Isn't it expensive? What will be the electricity bill? Do we need licence to ride this? How long does it take to charge? Lease!!! What's the top speed?


Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st April 2019 at 15:26. Reason: Thanks for sharing. Minor typos corrected.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:24   #7
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Motor and Powertrain


At the heart of the scooter is a BLDC motor that offers an optimum 20.5 Nm of instant torque and continuous power output of 3.3kW and a peak power output of 5.4kW. It delivers a max torque of 20.5Nm. The biggest advantage of an EV is the almost instant and linear torque and it is very evident.The motor is connected to the rear wheel via a belt drive. The trasmission ratio is 7.8:1 which gives it a sweet 160Nm of torque at the wheel!

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20180609_164013.jpg
The heart

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Specs

The motor is neatly hidden just below the Seat Hinge and just above one end of the battery housing. It is visible only when we take a peek from the underside. There is a fan above the motor and also mesh openings under the seat to cool the motor.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8235.jpg
Motor in the scooter is well concealed

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The mesh grille for cooling the motor

The Battery is housed in the floorboard in an Aluminium alloy case. The battery is a 2.4kWh, 51.1v Lithium-ion Battery. Ather says that the battery is designed to last for 50,000 km at which point ~70% capacity should be retained. Ather provides a 3 year unlimited distance warranty on the battery pack with a 70% or higher battery capacity retention. This being the heaviest part in the scooter and being placed so low, gives the scooter the low centre of gravity. In the front wheel well, there is a slot/air vent which helps in keeping the battery as well as the on-board charger cool. This is apart from a fan which runs while charging.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8241.jpg
Air vent in the front wheel well for cooling

Ather mentions a top speed of 80kmph for the 450 and a 0-40kmph timing of 3.9 secs. The 80kmph mentioned in the brochure is the actual GPS speed while the top speed on the display is 90kmph. Regarding the 0-40kmph timing, I do not know the actual time but it surely takes off!
At speeds more than around 20kmph, the fan above the motor starts rotating and it makes a very high frequency noise that can be irritating to the rider, but very less of it is heard by people outside.
The controller is IP65, Motor is IP66 and the Battery pack is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance.

Kitna deti hai? A full charge gives 75kms in Eco/Ride mode and 60kms in Normal/Sports mode. This is Basically the Range or DTE. The vehicle is homologated at ARAI for a range of 107Kms for IDC. Based on Riders' driving habits, it has reportedly varied from 40kms to 120kms. With our driving style my wife and I've been able to ride 75kms in Eco and 60Kms in Sports mode. So I assume that we ride very close to how it should be actually ridden.


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 14:05.
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

The Interface


The main display is a 7" capacitive LCD screen with a 800x480 pixels resolution. It has a comfortable 5:3 ratio and this is IP65 rated for water and dust resistance. The executive told us that it comes pre-installed with a screen guard and we need not put another one. However, there are owners who have experienced Vandalism already!! Seeing this, many have installed another layer of screen guard.

Switch on the key and a beep music will be heard with a graphic of 450 (or 340) displayed for a couple of seconds and the main screen will appear after that. There is no other sound from the vehicle when it is on.
The home screen has a speed figure at the centre. The battery percentage icon and Range is on it's right. Below that is the mode selector. There are two modes-Eco on or off. With the latest update, it is renamed to Ride and Sports (more on the update later).

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8145.jpg
Welcome

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Homescreen

The top centre portion which resembles the notch of an iphoneX, shows the time, Engine Kill switch position, and the Motor on or off status. Top left corner has a menu button and top right corner has a button for navigation. The left section has ODO meter and distance and avg speed of the recent trip. I've understood that the trip meter resets after 10 minutes of inactivity. it should have ideally been left to the user to decide.

Starting is like any other scooter. When the scooter is on, it will make a beep music and the status is indicated by a green "Motor On" message in the iphone notch (It will be an orange "Motor off" otherwise).

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Motor off

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press brake and power button to start

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Motor on

On the bottom left is a park assist button which can be used only when the motor is on. Swipe it right and the reverse mode is activated. Pressing the power button toggles between forward and reverse. A cross mark when swiped left will cancel the park assist function. Park assist mode is limited to a speed of 3kmph (both in reverse and forward direction). This is a boon when taking the relatively heavy scooter which weighs 118kgs out of the parking lot; especially when there is a forward gradient. There is a sound when the reverse is engaged (this sound can be turned off in the settings). There is also a switch combination to activate/deactivate the park assist. We need to hold the brake, the indicator cancel (push inside) and the power button all 3 at once. This combination of switches will help people wearing gloves.

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Parking assist reverse

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Parking assist forward

The menu screen has two sub sections on the left-Settings and Documents. The settings screen will have the screen brightness adjuster with auto and manual slider option. The screen is too bright even in the lowest setting. It is good during day time but very irritating and almost blinds the rider at night. There is an Ambient light sensor to change it but the level is too high. Below that is the turn indicator and park assist sound setting. Then the OTA update and incognito options are at the bottom. The OTA update button is for updating the firmware whenever available or to see the current version other times.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8204.jpg
Settings screen

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8205.jpg
OTA update and firmware version

The incognito mode switches off the GPS and the Navigation will be switched off. Obviously you can't see the scooter location of the scooter on your app as well. people worried about their privacy can use this. There is an inbuilt SIM in the scooter and Ather has tied up with Vodafone for data connectivity (it is 3.5G). Surprisingly, even in my apartment's basement the connectivity is really good where my Airtel struggles. But some people had issues with connectivity mostly when downloading updates. Absence of Bluetooth for this scooter is really surprising for me. That would've helped solve a lot of things!

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Incognito mode

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No navigation in incognito mode-obviously

The documents screen will show the documents like your DL and insurance (No Emission certificate ). These documents need to be uploaded through the Mobile app. Nice feature to have but the image compression of the image of an A4 sheet is pathetic and there is no pinch zoom. So the insurance document is as good as useless. Hopefully the brightness setting and pinch zoom is given during future OTA updates.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8206.jpg
Documents

Switching to the Navigation screen, we get the Google maps screen (customised for Ather). The home screen will be minimised to just a Range display on the left bottom corner. The search icon gives a text input field, recently used locations. Scrolling down will take us to the favorite sections. We can also select the public charging points on the Ather using the icons on the right. It's good that they have pre-loaded these points into the scooter already. However, the charging points must have been sorted by distance IMO.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8208.jpg
On-board navigation

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8212.jpg
Recents and favourites

After searching for locations, navigation starts immediately. Earlier interface used to give only 1 route suggestion but with the latest update we get optional routes too. Any deviation from the suggested route is highlighted and we have to accept rerouting by pressing the toggle switch on the right handle bar (after the update this is done by the power button). What is sorely missed is the display of traffic. Being sold in Bangalore, this must have been a default.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190304_110554.jpg
Reroute

When we are not using navigation, the vehicle displays a ride screen which is again a minimalist screen which shown the Speed and Range in big font and a speed graphic (green to red) which moves radially around that. I would've preferred the ODO also in the ride screen. This is another example of form over function where too much of focus is given on minimalist looks. With the latest update we can now see a red glow around the battery percentage. This depends on the efficiency and not just the accelerator position.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190331_064159.jpg
Ride mode screen

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190331_064206.jpg
Sport mode screen

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190331_064340.jpg
Red glow showing energy loss

None of the screens work when the vehicle is in motion with rider safety in mind...nice!


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 14:27.
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Charging the 450


There are 3 ways to charge the vehicle-A home charging point, A cable charger and the public Ather Grid charging points. Unlike other EVs they just don't give a charging cable and be done with it. Ather's team will come home, survey the location beforehand, finally install a home charging point at your home. The charging point is similar to the pod that we see in the Ather grid public charging sans the 5A/15A plug. The Pod looks like an alien from some Sci-fi movie to me

The Home charging Point

An installation involving upto 20 mtrs of cable/conduit is not charged (they call this as a standard installation). Above 20 mtrs, they charge for the cable and conduits only. My parking slot was around 42mtrs. So I was given an estimate of 2900+ rupees for the extra 22 mtrs. I had paid it online. The actual installation was done 2 days before the vehicle delivery and the final cost was 2400+ rupees. The difference was refunded later. Talking about installation, it seems around 20-25% of the installations are above 20mtrs. Also they say around 7% of the apartments have apprehensions on fixing this. My apartment already had many other EVs and also wiring trays to route wires which made things easy for me. I've seen some new apartments already providing a power socket at each parking slot.

The home pod is paired to the scooter and automatically authenticates my scooter every time I charge it. Forget any other EV, we can't charge even other Athers. So there is no worry of power theft when you're not around it. It also has inbuilt surge protector. Home Charging Point comes with a 3 year warranty that covers manufacturing defects excluding cable, connector, and physical wear & tear. The home charging point is IP54 rated; so it can be safely put outdoors as per Ather. If there is any problem, the light blinks red. It weighs around 5kilos.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190301_165222.jpg
The home charging point

The actual plug that we have to plug into the scooter is similar to a Euro Type II plug but a little different in the number of pins. The socket on the scooter is on the left side of the luggage hook and is covered with a flap. As soon as we plug it in and switch on, a solenoid locks the plug in place with a feeble "click" sound. It can't be removed while charging.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190304_090244.jpg
The plug

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-img20190127wa0046.jpg
The pin configuration-similar to the Euro Type II

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190304_090256.jpg
The solenoid locks into this rectangular slot

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8126.jpg
The plug has to be plugged into the scooter here

The pod has a blinking green light while charging. After sometime, a fan switches on behind the front body to cool the on board charger. There is also a open slot just beside the front wheel in the wheel well cladding to aid air circulation. It can get noisy and disturbing in small houses when the scooter is parked close to a window. My pod is in a basement parking far away from homes and hence doesn't disturb anyone. We can keep it plugged in even after charging is complete as it automatically cuts off power. From 30% to 100% I've observed that it takes around 2 hours for full charge.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190304_080046.jpg
Charging

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Air vent for cooling of the on-board charger as well as the battery

At anytime while charging, tapping on the screen will show the current status of charging.To stop charging, just put in the key and turn on the scooter. It displays a message to remove the plug to start riding or remove the key to continue charging. At this time the solenoid also unlocks the plug with the same "click" sound and we can remove the plug and hang it back to the pod.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190304_075954.jpg
charging status

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190304_080004.jpg
Remove the plug or turn off the key

The charging cable

I have also purchased the optional charging cable which I intend to use for emergency situations, charging at places where there are no Ather grid points or to go a little far away from city limits. I recently did a 120Kms two-day trip and I used this cable to charge it overnight for my return on the second day. This is similar to a laptop charger using a 5A plug and an adaptor with an LED. The LED glows green for charging and red when not charging.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8187.jpg
The cable charger comes inside an ESD-safe cover in a fabric pouch

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The cable. There is a plastic cap for the plug to protect against dust and moisture

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8189.jpg
The pin configurationSome pins are dummy when compared to the home pod plug

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8190.jpg
The rectangular slot here again

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8191.jpg
The specifications

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Normal 5A 250V AC plug

People who live in rented homes or places where installation is not permitted, can opt for this instead of the Alien pod. While the Alien pod is paired to the scooter it came with, the cable is universal. One cable can be used for any number of Athers. One thing to note is the cable charger is not waterproof and neither does it cut off power automatically. People who have only this must be aware of this and switch off once the charging is complete

A person having a designated parking space, and easy access to the Ather Grid and maybe travel around 50-60 km a day can easily go for the home charging pod. But for someone who hasn't got a fixed parking space (like a rented house), who happens to travel on a route that’s beyond Ather Grid locations or has unpredictable travel patterns, the cable suits better.

Ather Grid public charging Point

Apart from the Ather grid at the Ather experience centre where I was unsuccessful in charging our E2O plus, I've not experienced the Ather Grid point so far. However I've see it in a couple of places. Ather's marketing materials say that in Bangalore we are never more than 4kms away from a parking slot. True to that, the closest Ather grid point is 4kms away from my home. The points are mostly installed in Cafe's, Restaurants or shopping areas. In a way it is good because while the vehicle is being charged, there is something that we can do to pass time instead of just waiting. This makes the wait seem shorter. This is free till December 2019 for all Electric vehicles. After that it'll be based on the subscription plans.

The charge status is also shown on the mobile application with a nice graphic image. This graphic is same irrespective of if the vehicle is being charged by the home point, public grid or the cable charger

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20190327211317_ather.jpg
That green glow keeps moving along the wire...nice graphic

After couple of minutes of plugging in, the time taken for charging is displayed. I don't know if it is programmed like this, but this information is available at the exact time the cooling fan starts! When the charge status is below 50% it shown the time to charge till the charge is 1.5 times the current percentage and till 80%. if it is above 50% when it is plugged in, then it displays time till 80% and time till full charge

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20190327211419_ather.jpg
Charging

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20190327214401_ather.jpg
Time to charge up

It takes almost the same time to charge as displayed. most of the times it completes charging a minute or two earlier than what is displayed. When the charging is done, it displays the same . However I'd have preferred a notification on the phone when the charging is completed.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20190328062342_ather.jpg
Charging done

The above two pictures are taken when the vehicle was being charged using a cable. It was charging beside the E2O. We have a 15A and 5A power socket made when the E20 charging point was installed. It was useful now with both the scooter and the car charging together.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8908.jpg
couplEV
Before you ask me, The E2O plus' plug and the Ather plug are completely different!

From the above screenshots of the charging progress, I can calculate that it charges at around 2 minutes per 1% of charge till 80% and at around 4 minutes per 1% of charge from 80%-100%.
Home charging takes the same time. Brochure mentions the same too (2hrs40mins for 0-80% and 4hrs 18mins for 0-100%)
Ather grid public charging points are DC fast chargers and they charge the scooter at a rate of 1Km/min That's Roughly 45 seconds per 1% of charge (for 0-80%). However the manual says too much of fast charging is not good for the scooter.

When the scooter is kept overnight without charging, there is a drain of 2% in the battery. This is called Trickle drain or vampire draining. whenever the scooter is not being used for more than 3 days, it is recommended to shut down the scooter to reduce this trickle. Ather recommends that the scooter be charged at least once in 100 days to avoid creating any damage to the system.

Theoretically the scooter consumes 2.4 units to charge from 0 to 100 (1 cycle). For ease of calculation let's take 3 units. a 100% charge give me an approximate 70kms. At 6.5Rs per unit (max in Bangalore) that’s 0.25 Rs per km. Considering trickle draining, it would still be around 0.30 Rs per km. Which is very cheap compared to around 2Rs per Kms any other scooter.
This above calculation is a very pessimistic one. If I calculate exactly with the figures I'm getting... 2.4 units for full charge, considering trickle charge it will be 2.5 units, I get 85Kms. So it would be less than 20paise per km.

Talking of costs, Ather reimburses the electricity consumption of the scooter for consumers with AtherOne subscription. This is done every quarter at the rate of 6.5 rupees per unit. This is the price per unit for domestic users of BESCOM for the 101-200kWh slab. I don't think this payout will change if you have a commercial connection (say some shop)


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 14:37.
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Ride & Handling


An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8962.jpg
Go Wheee!

After starting the motor, turn the accelerator a bit and the scooter moves quickly. Like the scooter's tagline, it truly goes wheee!

Being an EV, the torque delivery is almost instant, linear and addictive. It takes off like a jet in the normal/sport mode; it is slightly mellowed down in the eco/ride mode. The top speed that the scooter can reach is 90kmph in normal/sport mode and 70kmph in eco/ride mode. Till the scooter reaches close to the top speed, it doesn't show any signs of tiredness...it's happy to fly! Riding on the highway makes it a breeze. On the NICE road, it felt nice and balanced. the firmness of the shocks is very nice. The wonderful weight distribution gives amazing confidence to chuck it around corners at speeds that other scooters can't even imagine doing this.
Taking it in hairpin bends would've been fun. Agreed, this scooter will not go on highways as much and will mostly be used in cities. It is here, in crawling city speeds that the balance and the low centre of gravity makes its presence felt. It is very nimble in all speeds that it is capable of doing. This nimbleness will help in snaking around chaotic traffic.
Also there quite a few steep slopes near my home which the scooter does it with ease. On the brochure They have mentioned a grade-ability of 18 degrees at a constant 10 kmph speed.

It's an EV and it is all the more important to conserve energy and regenerate wherever possible. The scooter regenerates energy in two ways- 1. when we brake and 2. when the throttle is rotated in the opposite(forward) direction. This feels like we are using engine braking in our ICE cars. This forward rotation is only a small amount and initially I was not sure If I was even rotating it. The regen works only above 15kmph and only when the battery is less than 80%. The regen status is not displayed anywhere (like in the E2O) and the regeneration is a very small amount; almost ignore-able. Another point is that during regeneration by rotating the accelerator forward, pressing the right side brake lever is difficult. Either we have to apply the left side brake lever or let loose of the grip and re-position the right hand to normal position to apply the brakes. takes some time to get used to.
The hydraulic telescopic shocks at the front perform very well in both slow and fast speeds. The progressive rear monoshock is on the firmer side but not a bone jarring experience by any means. Because of this firmness, it tends to jump on humps when there is no person sitting behind. The sound feels like the seat is not locked. but when a pillion rider is there, it is comfortable enough for him too. Overall it is a satisfying ride.

If this torque, balance and nimble nature excites you, the Bybre brakes are what gives you that confidence to go fast. It's very sharp and initially it feels dangerously sharp. But over time, it beds in perfectly and we also get used to it. If 0-40 in 3.9 secs is an exhilarating experience, the 60-0 braking distance in 28.6 metres is an experience that can bring a smile on the rider's face. The Combi Brake System works beautifully. The front brakes are 200mm discs with triple piston calipers while the rear brakes are 190mm discs with a single piston caliper. The rear brakes do tend to get locked and skid on hard braking. An ABS plus a fatter rear tyre would've made it perfect. although it is still according the new ABS regulation. According to the regulation, ABS is for ICE vehicles above 125cc and EVs above continuous rated power of 11kW. For vehicles below this capacity, a Combi Brake System is mandatory (which Ather has provided).

Both the front and rear 90/90-12 tubeless MRF nylogrip zappers do their duty beautifully. The recommended air pressure is 30 for front and 28 for rear tyres if there is no pilion and it is 30 for both tyres if there is a pillion.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_7823.jpg
ATGATT

On the downside...this is a noisy scooter at speeds! As the speed picks up, The noise too picks up slowly like a jet engine. It sounds nice to a certain point. After the speed crosses 20kmph the fan just below the seat hinge (and above the motor) switches on. This high frequency fan noise is easily audible to the rider giving a noisy feel, but to people outside the fan noise isn't heard as much. When I'm beside another vehicle at a signal, people will be left wondering how a switched-off vehicle can take off like that. Seeing that gives a different kind of high But on a serious note, this scooter can embarrass many ICE two wheelers or even some small hatchbacks. Many times, I use the horn a lot more than I use on a normal scooter to be sure that people/other road users hear me. The horn is loud enough for Bengaluru.

When on the move, the screen doesn't respond to any touches in view of rider's safety. Initially we could not change the mode during riding and we had to stop and then only change to a different mode. with the latest update, we can change the mode on the fly using the scroll switch on the right handle. It's a great feature to have. we can be riding in the ride mode and when we have to do a quick overtake, change to sport mode. Also people wearing gloves needn't stop and remove the gloves to touch and change the mode.

The scooter looks nice at night too. The AOH, pilot lamps makes it look very good. And at the rear, the tail lamps appear really cool.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8871.jpg
Angel eyes

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8885.jpg
From the rear

Notice how bright the display is (this is at the lowest brightness setting). This is really irritating.

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Winking

Have not ridden it in the dark too much, but the LED headlamps illuminate well enough. While the low beam illuminates the road pretty good, the high beam is not useful at all-it is aimed too high. Basically the low beam and high beam does not have much of a difference. No beam adjusting option available to the user either.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8848.jpg
Low beam

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-dsc_8844.jpg
High beam

Also I see that the transparent covering is foggy from inside. It is not moisture but just that it is not very clear. If this improves, probably the light will improve further.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_194026.jpg
Foggy unclear covering


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 15:14.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:35   #11
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

The Ather App & Community forum


Ather smartphone app

The Ather app is like an extended dashboard of the scooter and an interface to avail various services related to the vehicle. My wife and I have android phones and hence I'll walk through the android app.
Basically it is divided into 5 screens.
The first screen is called My 450. A big image of the scooter is at the centre of the screen. The current mode of the scooter, the battery percentage and the Range are displayed around it with also the last synced time. When the vehicle is charging, it shows a graphic with the charging point and a green glow flowing along the wire. If there is any problem in charging it shows a volt symbol in red. It also shows the time when the scooter will reach 80% and 100%. However the app doesn't create/display any notifications of these stages. Although I hate notifications, I would've liked to have these notifications. The mode of the scooter cannot be changed from the App.

The second screen is the Maps screen which shows the current location of the scooter and if we zoom out we can see all the public charging points of the Ather grid. The search bar takes us into another screen where we can search for locations and public charging points in separate tabs. After searching we can send the location to the scooter which is directly started on the scooter if it's on or when it is started the next time. Turning on the incognito mode on the scooter deactivates the location and navigation options

The third screen is the support screen from where we can call the Ather customer care team, call the roadside assistance team and also download a pdf copy of the vehicle manual...neat!

The next screen is alerts screen. I've not seen any alerts till now in my 2 weeks and 600+kms of ownership.

The last screen is the Profile screen. The owner's name and the ODO reading and the vehicle number takes the top portion. The ODO and Vehicle number should have been in the My 450 screen IMO. The bottom portion has two links to two other screens- Manage documents and Settings. In the Manage documents screen, we can put all the documents that will be displayed in the scooter. The image compression for larger A4 documents is just pathetic. With this and no pinch zoom, it is quite useless. However for the DL and RC cards, which are smaller don't have this issue. It is very useful when a cop asks you for those on the road. In the Settings screen, we can change password, check OTA update, see app version number among others.

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Ather app

Ather Community

It's the age of social media and Ather is using it very well. Apart from the usual Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the Ather Community is a forum for people, owners and the Ather team members to communicate, discuss about the happenings around the scooter. It is located at https://forum.atherenergy.com/ . The Ather staff is very pro active in answering all questions (except when it came to timelines) posed by people. All announcements regarding the scooter is also posted here. Being a startup, with only one experience centre in Bengaluru, this is a convenient way to reach out to many people. This interaction also gives confidence to the people who have shown interest and trust in a Startup like Ather. Many a times, I used to spend more time on this forum than on TBHP. With sections ranging from battery to build quality to the insurance and buying options, everything is discussed. It is indeed a treasure trove.

There are some really enthusiastic people there. One particular guy has already taken it Nandi hills 4-5 times, once to Tirupathi, once to Dharmasthala and also covered all the Ather grid points in Bangalore. His experiences has helped many of the owners. Honestly speaking, seeing that only I took the vehicle on a 120kms trip more than the full range. Then there are others who are charging their scooter with DYI solar panels. Some have added IOT wifi solution for the Home charging pod

While we are at the topic of social media, one thing that Ather could've done better is integration. There is an Ather App, then there is another Ather Grid App, Then the Forum is only available in a browser, Finally the account details (which is basically the order details) are also available only in the browser. It would've been so good if all these were in one single phone app. However because they want other EV users also to avail the Ather grid facility, they've kept it separate.

Talking about Forums, a small trivia: Ather co-founder Tarun Mehta is on TBHP since 2014 as tarun21

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st April 2019 at 15:29. Reason: Thanks for sharing. Minor typo corrected.
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Vehicle Service


Subscription plans


The scooter service schedule is every 5000kms. Good thing is that there is no "or some xx months, whichever comes earlier" clause The first one will be done at our doorstep and every alternate one will be done at their service centre (with pickup and drop facility). The Ather One subscription plan that is part of my lease plan covers this entirely including labour. Front and Rear wheel bearings, steering bearings, front fork seals, swing arm bushes, brake pads( 2 wheels per year), primary and secondary belts, top up of brake fluid and fork oil all are covered.

Ather subscription plans
There are 3 main parts in the usage and maintenance of this smart scooter:
Data - over the Air updates, diagnostics and navigation
Service - Vehicle maintenance, periodic services and RSA
Power - Public charging

Based on this, Ather has provided four subscription plans for users:
1. Ather One - This is their flagship plan which encompasses all the 3 parts mentioned above. It includes data, periodic scheduled services, RSA and unlimited public charging. It costs 700 per month or 8400 per year. This plan is included for 1 year by default for all people who had pre-booked the scooter till November 2018. It is also part of the lease plan by default for the entire term. Since many people felt that the cost for this is too high, Ather came up with 3 more plans. I took the vehicle on lease and hence I get this by default for the entire lease term of 3 years.
2. Ather Connect - This covers only the data part. It costs 3000 per year or 900 per quarter.
3. Ather Service - This covers the data as well as the periodic services and RSA. This plan costs 6000 per month or 1650 per quarter. If I hadn't bought the vehicle on lease, I'd have gone for this after the 1st year.
4. Ather Charge - This covers the data and the charging. Users get unlimited data and public charging in this plan. It costs 6000 per month or 1650 per quarter.

Service Experience


OK, the vehicle will be serviced at your doorstep at an interval of 5000Kms. Alternate services will be at their service centres. But what am I writing in the service experience? An unfortunate incident led me to experience Ather's service. I can't curse myself enough for this, but My scooter fell on a Saturday due to an idiotic mistake from me.

A friend met me near my home and he rode my scooter. After he rode it and parked it, we chatted for some time and he left. The handle was turned to the right side and because of this, it was looking nice. So, I took some photos in that position. I then went to the scooter from it’s right side and held it by the handle to sit and ride home. Before I even realised, the scooter flew away from my hands and fell down. The motor was still on and without realising that, I had twisted the throttle a bit!
Aargh! I had not checked the engine kill switch. That gut wrenching feeling before you lift the scooter up…words can't explain that. When the scooter was lifted back, it was a sad sight. Left side panels had scratches all over. It was not a heavy fall but it was tarmac and not grassy ground. So it was limited to scratches but deep ones. The side panels, the side stand and the rear grab rail had scratches! Also, the entire weight of the scooter had fallen on the left brake lever and it was bent!

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190310_175145.jpg
Sad sight

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190310_175150.jpg
Body panel

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190310_175200.jpg
Footboard panel

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190310_175205.jpg
Floating panel

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190310_175303.jpg
Side stand

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190310_175403.jpg
Bent brake lever

Although it was not a big damage and the vehicle was in perfect running condition, I can’t see any of my vehicle with scratches like this. I parked it in the parking lot, called the road side assistance and explained them about the mishap. It was a Saturday evening and hence the pick-up was scheduled for Monday. I was feeling terribly bad but felt a little better when I heard from them that mine was not the first such case. I informed Autovert (the leasing company) too and they told me that after the Estimate from Ather, we can decide the further course of action.

Monday morning, the vehicle was picked up an hour before the scheduled time and it was taken to their service centre. Later in the afternoon, I got an estimate of 4000 for replacement of the damaged parts with new parts (3 LH panels, side stand, LH brake lever and the grab rail) and 500 labour. They also told me that If I decide to get it done by myself, it will take 1 day but if I claim insurance the process may take upto a week as the Insurance is not cashless and the vehicle is on lease

After thinking a bit, I took a call not to go for an Insurance claim for this. This meant that Autovert and GoDigit will not be involved. This was informed to Autovert.

Tuesday Morning, I called up to check the status and I was told that it’ll be delivered by 8PM the same day. The bill was generated and the payment link was sent. Exactly by the time I reached home in the evening, the vehicle reached home too. as good as new.

The replaced parts were returned to me. I plan to fix it on a wall someday and make a caricature around it
I'm also planning to get PPF done for the scooter as there is no all-round guard for the scooter (for aesthetic reasons). That should give some resistance against such small damages *touch wood* in future.

Lessons learnt (the hard way)
  • As much as I love the silent motor, it has chances of such accidents. Of course it was my mistake but to err is human after all.
  • I must make it a habit ASAP to use the engine kill switch whenever I switch off. It is instructed by Ather many times and also mentioned in the user manual.
  • It will be nice to have a side stand warning or some sort of poka yoke to avoid/avert vehicle movement when it is parked.

The whole thing was embarrassing, but from an optimistic point of view, I experienced the RSA and the servicing of Ather. I must say it was impressive. They were pretty fast and good. Hopefully it remains the same even after the number of Athers on road increase. The leasing company Autovert were also following up in parallel at every stage which was nice to see too.


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 14:57.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:40   #13
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

OTA Firmware Updates


OTA updates-Something that we are accustomed to hear in a smartphone but the future of automotive technology will be very similar. Vehicles will be more of smart gadgets than vehicles. Ather is one such gadget/vehicle. Ather has given one update so far and lots has changed in that. The update is indicated on the scooter dashboard and the Ather app. But the downloading should happen on the scooter itself. Although I could easily update, some people had faced issues of downloading the update and installing. If only the scooter had Bluetooth, the update could have been downloaded onto the phone and transferred to the scooter. While downloading can happen anytime and anywhere; when installing the update, the vehicle must be plugged in to the power.

Below are step by step pictures of the Update Installation

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193456.jpg
An orange dot notifying of the update

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193502.jpg
Tapping that orange icon takes you to setting menu-see the orange icon again

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193514.jpg
Pre-conditions
Charger has to be plugged in and sufficient battery percentage should remain. If one of the two conditions are not met, update won't proceed further

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193524.jpg
When both conditions are met, turn off key to start update

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193508.jpg
Install time-scheduled or now

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193543.jpg
The charging pod will show blinking red light

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193553.jpg
Update installation in progress…don't turn on key or remove charger

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193637.jpg
Restarting

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193653.jpg
When the update is in progress key shouldn't be turned on or the charger shouldn't be removed.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193740.jpg
Update completed in 2 minutes. Turn on to proceed

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193747.jpg
Update complete. New version is 1.2.1.413035-prod

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193804.jpg
New screen - Ride mode (old Eco)

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-20190312_193810.jpg
New screen - Sport mode (old normal)

The update brought the following changes to the scooter:
1. Renaming of Modes.
Earlier ECO is now RIDE. Earlier Normal mode is now SPORTS
2. Mode change can be done on the fly.
Previously, to change the mode from Normal to Eco or vice versa, the vehicle had to be stopped. Now, the scroll switch can be used to change the mode on the fly from Sport to Ride or Vice Versa. Changing the mode is dependent on Accelerator position and not speed. It should be in zero position.
3. Indicator and reverse buzzer sound changed.
The new one has a different tone and is louder too. I liked the earlier sound to be honest.
4. Alternate route option.
Earlier, the navigation used to suggest only one route. The alternate option can be selected only by touching (no button shortcut for gloves). Reroute after a deviation from the suggested route will have to be accepted by power button. Earlier it was by using the toggle switch. It automatically reroutes if no input is given after some time (shown by a progress bar). The traffic option is still not available.
5. Red glow around the DTE number indicating the amount of energy lost.
This helps in driving more economically. But this can't be seen if you are in the navigation mode.
6. Probably the biggest change of all - Flat lining of the Range.
Earlier, the range prediction was different for individual scooters. The true range advertised was 75kms in Eco Mode and 60Kms in Normal mode. But based on the riding pattern, the Range/DTE used to vary anywhere between 40Kms to 80Kms. Few riders were even getting upto 120kms. This created major dissatisfaction among users. So Ather came up with this idea of flat lining the range. It means that it will display a range of 65Kms in Ride mode and 55Kms in Sport mode for everyone. This is the median Range of all the Athers on road today. This makes the users plan for only 65kms and achieve that instead of planning for more and getting less. However I'm not convinced with this and still feel that individual range is better. Also in this flat lining they've limited the top speed to 85kmph in Sports mode which was 90kmph in Normal mode. In Ride mode they've limited this to 65kmph vs 70kmph in Normal mode. However, this fat lining doesn't mean that the range has actually reduced. In my ride last weekend, I started with 65kms range and after travelling 53kms, I still had 29kms range on the display. So I'm riding 1.5 times more than what is displayed which means that with 65kms, I can ride 90+Kms.


Some of the upcoming changes in future OTA updates that Ather has announced in their forum:
  • A Third mode called ECO mode with a range of 75kms and a top speed of 45kmph. This mode is still under homologation.
  • Low brightness setting in the immediate next update-An urgent requirement IMO.
  • Dark more - this will further reduce the blinding issue. This will be given two updates later it seems.
  • Better image compression and pinch zoom for documents.

On 25th March, the Ather smartphone app was updated. The update is mainly in the profile screen. The profile picture of a grinning devil (which was not possible to change) is gone and it is replaced by a nice clipart of the scooter. The ODO meter is also gone from this screen. We can see a new option called "Ride Statistics"

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20190326063557_ather.jpg
Profile screen

When we go inside this Ride statistics screen, I can see that the ODO meter appears here. On the left we see the predicted range which is now personalised based on our riding pattern. This information is only available in the app and not available on the scooter.

An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450-screenshot_20190326082315_ather.jpg
Ride Statistics

Also we get good info about the recent rides - Duration, Distance, start time, Riding mode, efficiency, projected range, top speed and average speed


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 15:04.
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Old 24th March 2019, 09:42   #14
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Other points
  • It's strange but this is the first vehicle that I've purchased without looking at alternatives. Okinawa praise looks better on paper in all aspects. But it just doesn't cut it for me with the overdone designs, the heavy unbalanced weight distribution etc..
  • The insurance document mentions this as a 125cc scooter - Talk about companies not ready for EV
  • The insurance given to us lease customer is from Godigit. It is not cashless so claims take a little longer for approval (5 days).
  • Nitpicking, but when the side stand is removed, it makes a metal-metal sound. There should've been some rubber damping IMO.
  • Vehicle care: I was recommended by Ather to avoid the use of power wash for the top half of the vehicle (although the screen is IP65). This is because the power washes around are not standardised. Washing with water or wet cloth is not a problem. For the bottom half, there is no issue with power washes I was told.
  • Vehicle care: The manual specifies that the vehicle must not be parked near Transformers or other high electromagnetic emission devices and hot sun for too long.
  • Whenever there is a screen freeze or some other such issue, a Hard reset can be made by holding both brakes and the power button together for some time
  • No crash guard for the scooter (Because it spoils the aesthetics) even as an accesory. Had it been there, It would've saved me the trip to the service centre.
  • We have been hearing "fill it, shut it, forget it" taglines for long. For the first time, something like "buy it, ride it, forget it" has become a reality.
  • The first 10 scooters were delivered on 9/11 in the factory itself. A Special Keychain was also given as memory...a nice gesture indeed.
  • The next city that Ather will enter is Chennai (later part of 2019) and then It's Hyderabad.
  • The Ather factory is in Whitefield and service is done in Bhannerghatta road. They are looking for a bigger facility now to come up with the extra demand and also to prepare for next cities.


Last edited by hemanth.anand : 1st April 2019 at 15:10.
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Old 1st April 2019, 15:17   #15
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Default Re: An 'e-motion'al connect - My Ather 450

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing, Hemanth!

Congratulations! Something quite revolutionary in the garage, even though you are used to electric vehicles with the E2O. Ather asked a good premium for the experience, and initially, I had a doubt whether our market will pay up for a good product - but pioneers like you take the game forward.

Excellent report - detailed, honest and unbiased. Looking forward to regular updates - as there are multiple questions to be answered on battery longevity, service, reliability, OTA update, niggles etc.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st April 2019 at 15:35.
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