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Old 13th March 2023, 23:08   #1
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Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Hello everyone, this is my first post on Team-BHP. I am glad to be part of this forum after being a reader for the past 2-3 years and I would like to describe my initial ownership experience of my 2023 Ola S1 Pro which is going to be a month old with 453kms on the odo. This is not going to be a traditional ownership experience thread, but an analysis of Ola S1 in 2023, giving insight for people who are looking to buy an EV scooter and if Ola S1 happens to be one of their choices in 2023.

Why this thread? There's already a wonderful review of the Ola S1 link to official review posted by CrAzy dRiVeR. But it is over a year old, and Ola seems to have updated the scooters if not fixed. I will start off with my observations first and then get to the analysis.

Model: Ola S1 Pro
Colour: Liquid Silver
Mode of Purchase: Offline - through Ola Experience center, Guindy- Chennai
Purchased on: 14th Jan 2023
Delivered on: 18th Feb 2023(with some delays, but better than delays others are facing I guess)

Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-20230216_163012.jpg


Costs as per Invoices provided:
Ex showroom cost(with GST): Rs.1,63,549
Fame -II Subsidy: 59,550
Half face helmets(2 nos.) - It is billed as Rs.0 but alongside "RTO charges collected as pure agent" for Rs.990.
Portable charger group with packing: Rs.10,000
Ola S1 Pro charger: Rs.15,000

Accessories:
Buddy Step: Rs.1,999 - on the expensive side, but went with OEM step to preserve the OEM finish.
Center Stand:Rs.999
As of today, both accessories are not delivered and the delay is annoying as estimated delivery was showing as 7th march and suddenly its now showing as 10th April.

Total Amount paid: Rs.1,32,987

Delivery Experience:
My parents took the delivery from the showroom and I was not there with them. Their feedback was positive about the experience, and they were informed about all the operational procedures by the sales executive. All paper works were done properly. No fuss.

Initial observations:
Coming from riding a humble 2010 Activa(I call it the OG because it's the 1st type of the current 2G,3G,etc shape), it was a radical change.
The Brakes are sharp. The Front wheel skids quite a lot on hard braking(even while using combi brakes). I rely on regenerative braking for 90% of the time and use the brakes only if I sense that regen cannot stop on time. It is more than adequate to stop you on most occasions if you maintain a speed of around 40kmph or less.

A question to current Ola owners: Have you received your RC Card? Its been a month now and Ola says it will take up to two months. But the shocking part is another owner told me that he hasn't got it 4 months after delivery and there are some owners who haven't got it even after 1 year.

My scooter comes with Ceat tyres. Ola Recommends maintaining a tire pressure of 33PSI(both front and rear) in their owner's manual. I realized the majority of S1's come with MRF. Members, please let me know if this tyre is good or bad compared to MRF's.
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-20230313_202233.jpg

Regarding driving modes and range,I will first touch on normal mode as the scooter has been used in Normal mode for 90% of the time. It is plenty for city roads and city traffic even with 2 people on board. Accelaration on full throttle is enough to keep up with fast moving traffic. It starts off pretty slow until 20kmph and then picks up from 20-50kmph and then linearly accelerates till 80kmph. I have not calculated the full range as it was never used in a single stretch but 100kms would be a rough ball park. Sometimes with pillion, and sometimes alone with average speeds of 40-50kmph.

Eco mode may be helpful if you want to make it to your destination with a concerning amount of battery percentage. The top speed in Eco mode is 43kmph. Other than that, its pretty useless as the pickup with one 70kg rider is very slow, slower than most 100cc gearless two wheelers that normally accelerate in traffic. This might be slightly unsafe when in fast moving traffic (average speeds of over 40kmph). It might be useful for small grocery runs around the block but life feels too short to ride in Eco mode.

Sport and Hyper modes are exciting and give an adrenaline rush which is mostly unwanted for an average 2 wheeler rider. It is purely for the joy of accelerating and to keep up with other fast bikes. I assume both modes go till the indicated speed of around 115kmph. I have not exceeded 80kmph as I haven't crossed city limits with the scooter.

Regarding Charging, as I'm still making arrangements to install a household 3 pin plug in my apartment parking, I have charged the scooter majority of the times with Ola Hypercharger(which I understand is not healthy for the battery, but so far it has been charged only 5-7 times in total), and charging from 30-70% is quick(takes around 1-1.5hr) and the charging speed drops to what is offered by the home charger after 70%. On 2 occasions, the hypercharger was out of service and Ola was quick to respond to my complaint and the chargers were fixed within 2 days on both occasions.

Practical analysis of the Gizmos present:

Navigation: Onboard navigation is provided by MapMyIndia. It has been really useful(with a slight niggle that will be discussed below). It selects routes exactly the way I would choose(i.e the good roads I usually prefer even though there might be 2 other routes for the same destination).

The Phone app: The app takes 2-4 days after your purchase to let you login and use it. Once it is enabled, you get live battery status(faced a niggle, more on that below), and when you are near the scooter you can unlock/lock the scooter using the app. There is a feature called Proximity unlock that requires a small setup that locks and unlocks the scooter as you walk away/towards it like on some BMWs. It is in beta testing and I have not enabled it. Since the app got enabled I have been using the app solely for unlocking and locking the scooter. It seems better as you don't have to enter the passcode around everyone. The only gripe is that there is no location tracking of the scooter. Ather has it in their app and I don't know why Ola is being lazy. They've done so much, this shouldn't be hard.

Bluetooth connectivity: Just like in a car, you can pair your phone to the scooter, play music using onboard speakers which are plenty loud(people give you a confused and weird look for blasting music tho ). The same goes for Bluetooth calling. You can accept or reject calls using the buttons on the right portion of the handlebar.
I thought it must be useful just to be notified about an incoming call. Little did I know that the scooter actually has onboard mics! It works like a charm and your voice is heard nice and crisp even with road noise. It might not be a wise decision to speak to someone on speakers that are very loud around people in traffic, but its really useful to accept a call, slightly slow down but keep moving and let them know that you'll call them back once you pullover safely or to speak just a word or two if its a quick call.
Another cool trick is the party mode, which syncs your lights to the song playing and flashes them accordingly like Tesla cars do. You become the show-starter when hanging out with friends.

Cruise Control: Super addictive, really useful. Works as intended. You reach your desired speed, press the cruise control(which dual functions as reverse button when stationary), and immediately leave the accelerator. It kicks in quicker if you release the accelerator first rather than waiting for it to start. To deactivate, simply touch the brakes, accelerate or use regen(do note that the last 2 ways has a delay of 1.5 seconds before cruise control deactivates)

Interesting Observations:

1. Lights are nice and as powerful as some cars. Great throw, widespread. But when you ride with a pillion, due to the rear sogging down because of the pillion's weight, the low beam actually rises above the eye level of oncoming traffic. Nothing affects me but the fact that low beam blinds oncoming traffic is ridiculous.
Low Beam output
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-lowb.jpg

Highbeam output:
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-highb.jpg

2. The Lights menu in settings has a toggle for hazard lights, but I discovered that long pressing any ONE of the turn signal button for 3-4 seconds toggles hazards too. It's a quicker and easier way to toggle it when you really need it.
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3. Mine is a Jan 2023 batch and you can find the VIN and the exact date and time of manufacturing behind the floor mat to the right side top. It comes with the updated front suspension but my life still flashes in front of me every time I see a pothole thanks to so many horror incidents. I go dead slow over potholes. As I'm editing some parts of my threads in the Assembly line, Ola has just tweeted that they are offering a free front fork upgrade to everyone having the old front fork. It shouldn't have taken them this amount of time to accept their design flaw that has caused serious injuries to owners. Even if the Scooter appears to be good, the Company's integrity and commitment disturbs me.
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Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-suspension.jpg

4. I've spoken to an Ola sales person, a service engineer and an owner and all of them were surprised that none of them noticed this and is a design flaw. The charging flap when opened touches the gap (see picture for understanding) and the paint gets scuffed. I hope it doesn't develop into a paint/panel crack.
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-defect.jpg
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-defect2.jpg

5. Open the charging port and you are greeted with what I consider the most pathetic way of cost-cutting on any EV. The rubber cap for the charge port is gone and in place is what looks like a piece of packaging foam picked up from garbage. Why cut costs over here?? How effective is it going to be in preventing the entry of water??
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-chrgprt.jpg

Now for the main part
Problems

1. As mentioned above regarding navigation and phone app, the e-sim inside the scooter(a Jio 4G sim) stopped working meaning my phone app doesn't show the scooter status unless I'm close to it connected through Bluetooth. Hence Navigation wouldn't work either. Had to deal with Ola's poor call center experience but within 3 days I was directed to a service engineer at Ola Guindy. Confirmed an appointment and visited the dealer. He updated the software(10-15mins job) and voila things were working normally. Attaching a pic of diagnostic mode(accessed by tapping the question mark in menu tab that shows riding stats multiple times)
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-service.jpg

2. One fine day, remembering I left the scooter with 57% charge, I unlock it and boom! it shows 0% charge. I tap on the % indicator and it shows 135kms of range!
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The scooter turned on, ran in Normal mode with no signs of low battery. It was an evident software hiccup. I did a hard reset by Pressing and holding power button and reverse button for 10 seconds. It rebooted and things were back to normal with it showing 56%. I proceeded with my commute and faced no more issues.

Conclusion
Apart from 2 minor niggles, the scooter has been performing better than my expectations.
My verdict for potential buyers: At this point, it looks like Ola has ironed out many issues with some still present or overlooked. If you have time, give it more time for them to update it. If you have a higher budget, go for Ather. Ather's commitment and integrity is impressive. It might not be value for money but you get more and reliable stuff for what you pay. If you want peace of mind, go for TVS ICube. If you are in need of an E scooter immediately, analyze the market and charging infrastructure, take multiple testdrives, and go for the one that fits your budget and needs. Ola definitely has the value-for-money factor but was let down by a history of problems and unfulfilled promises. I hope there won't be further problems and Ola will perform as promised. Cheers!

Last edited by Buzzaper : 14th March 2023 at 16:36. Reason: Added more points
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Old 15th March 2023, 05:47   #2
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re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th March 2023, 07:11   #3
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Congrats on your new Ola. I also see that Ola has now started a recall for the front fork change. That does inspire some more confidence that Ola is playing the long term game.
Wishing you a great experience.

I myself have booked a tvs iqube mainly due to better comfort than Ather. I had not considered Ola due to the front suspension issue, BUT, now am reconsidering with the recall news. Do you by any chance have any opinion of how Ola and Tvs Iqube fare wrt comfort? I am not that worries about range or speed, but more about comfort as I have some hip joint problems.
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Old 15th March 2023, 09:40   #4
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

I am an OLA S1 pro user since last 1 year. The RC will take at least 5-6 months to arrive!! I am a satisfied owner as far as the performance is considered, but small niggles and issues do keep on cropping up. The pickup, especially in Hyper mode is mind boggling. I once happen to win over a KTM duke in a drag race!! I am waiting to get my front fork suspension changed under the recall!
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Old 15th March 2023, 10:44   #5
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Congratulations on your new purchase.

I am also an Owner of OLA S1 Pro (Midnight Blue) clocked 11,000 Kms to date.

Even though i know about the golden rule of not to buy 1st generation product i went ahead and bought it. (Next time i do not want to repeat the mistake)

Purchased on 21-Jan-22, delivered on 08-Feb-22.

Total cost INR 1,40,059

Delivery and RTO went smooth and done within 10 Days.

Issues Faced

1.Auto Reversed in Normal Mode. - Hard Reset Resolved it.
2.Nonfunctional Navigation - Change of VCU and Antenna cable took 15 Days after complaint.
3.Brake pads changed at 7,000 Kms -it felt very early and cost is Rs.750.
4.Front Dashboard panels clips was broken and was replaced under warranty.
5.At 10,000 Kms Vehicle vibrated very hard and went to Park Mode in the middle of Signal (the most horrifying experience)- changed Wiring Harness and MCU at free of cost it took 15 days to resolve, and vehicle was unusable for those days.

Conclusion:

Ola needs to step up the after sales service.
Ola needs to sort out the Software niggles.

Overall experience is positive/similar to any ICE ownership.

For anyone who want to consider OLA now can go-ahead as most of the issues have been sorted out, my experience is it may take another major update to bring the experience near to ather
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Old 15th March 2023, 15:16   #6
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Congrats on your new Ola. ...
Wishing you a great experience.

I myself have booked a TVS Iqube mainly due to better comfort than Ather. I had not considered Ola due to the front suspension issue, BUT, now am reconsidering with the recall news. Do you by any chance have any opinion of how Ola and Tvs Iqube fare wrt comfort?
Thank you deep_bang, unfortunately I did not test drive the TVS Iqube, but I have observed that Ola's suspension is extremely comfortable and it absorbs potholes and small imperfections really well. I suggest a back-to-back test-drive of Ola and TVS which will help you decide better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akash_m View Post
The RC will take at least 5-6 months to arrive!!
I'm honestly not surprised as soon as I heard that some owners haven't got theirs for over a year. Ola really needs to work on their commitment towards time IMO. I have the RC on my phone using mParivahan app though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMcqueen View Post
Congratulations on your new purchase.
Thanks MrMcqueen! I Hope you are enjoying your's after fixing all problems now. Regarding your brake pads, did you extensively use brakes or regen?
And did the Auto reverse in normal mode happen in MoveOS 2 or 3?
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Old 15th March 2023, 16:32   #7
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Do you by any chance have any opinion of how Ola and Tvs Iqube fare wrt comfort? I am not that worries about range or speed, but more about comfort as I have some hip joint problems.
Not sure about the iqube but I own an ola s1 and an activa. Without any doubt the suspension is better than the activa and I was surprised by the very comfy seat of the s1 which also helps to absorb the impact of any potholes.
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Old 15th March 2023, 16:34   #8
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Congratulations on the new purchase. Buying an 2 Wheeler EV is a good way to wet your feet in EV experience. I booked my Ola S1 Pro in March and got it delivered in May. My issues started right from delivery which got delayed and there was no response from Ola until I raised the issue on Twitter. Twitter seems to be the Unofficial solution to all Ola issues. I've ridden my scooter approximately 2300 km and so far had to replace front wiring harness under warrantee due to unresponsive Power button while handle was locked on left. Wasn't much annoying since by this time, the app unlock was working fine. Recently the rear grab handles have gotten unusably loose and I hope Ola will take cognizance and recall them next. Have booked buddy step and centre stand from Ola as I don't trust accessory makers enough.

Quote:
1. Lights are nice and as powerful as some cars. Great throw, widespread. But when you ride with a pillion, due to the rear sogging down because of the pillion's weight, the low beam actually rises above the eye level of oncoming traffic.
I agree with you completely on this one. The lights are really good.
Quote:
2. The Lights menu in settings has a toggle for hazard lights, but I discovered that long pressing any ONE of the turn signal button for 3-4 seconds toggles hazards too. It's a quicker and easier way to toggle it when you really need it.
Didn't know this! Will give it a try as soon as I get back to my Ola.
Quote:
5. Open the charging port and you are greeted with what I consider the most pathetic way of cost-cutting on any EV.
I think this should work, although its not as secure as a rubber cap. On the other hand, this saves you an additional step while charging the scooter .

I tried tapping the question mark in ride stats but was shown a QR code and passcode for entering the diagnostic mode. Any idea what that would be? I don't think we should be tinkering with that though.

Last edited by aah78 : 15th March 2023 at 17:21. Reason: Quotes trimmed.
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Old 15th March 2023, 21:14   #9
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

I'm a Ola S1 Pro user too, got this in April 2022. Till now I have faced a lot of problems. First of all my nearest Ola service center in around 600 KMs away and if anything goes wrong, it takes time to get it repaired.

My VCU has been changed once for MOS 3 and MCU has been changed twice because of simple MCU failure. Technician said don't accelerate too hard and give sudden accelerator inputs from low speed, he showed me the error they got on their systems, it said - MCU Over-Current/Voltage.

This was not enough and now the front suspension recall.

Another thing I want to tell you is that in Sports mode the top speed is 95 KM/H and in Hyper it is 115 KM/H.

Also did you try hill hold control?
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Old 16th March 2023, 10:19   #10
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Fan View Post
I'm a Ola S1 Pro user too, got this in April 2022. Till now I have faced a lot of problems. First of all my nearest Ola service center in around 600 KMs away and if anything goes wrong, it takes time to get it repaired.
I am a potential buyer with the nearest service center about 180 km away. Yours is way too away but still, in case something needs the attention of the service center, do you have to take it or do they visit your place?
Can the software be updated OTA?
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Old 16th March 2023, 11:03   #11
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Quote:
Thanks MrMcqueen! I Hope you are enjoying your's after fixing all problems now. Regarding your brake pads, did you extensively use brakes or regen?
And did the Auto reverse in normal mode happen in MoveOS 2 or 3?
Auto reverse bug was faced on Move OS 1 , i was one of the early customers

I use regen and brakes equally and driving style is sedate as well. so i was a bit surprised when i had to change brake pads at 7,000 kms .

Ola service person has informed to clean the wheel on regular basis to get long life and warranty on brake pads are for 5000 kms if we had issue within that mileage we can get free replacement.
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Old 16th March 2023, 11:40   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Fan View Post

Also did you try hill hold control?
I don't think it is available yet for everyone. Has anyone got beta access here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
Can the software be updated OTA?
Yes. The preferred way is OTA. In case you loose all connectivity, then they will do it physically.

Last edited by Eddy : 16th March 2023 at 11:47. Reason: Merged. Please use the edit / multiquote functionality instead of back to back posts within 30 mins on the same thread.
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Old 16th March 2023, 11:46   #13
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajesh1868 View Post
I am a potential buyer with the nearest service center about 180 km away. Yours is way too away but still, in case something needs the attention of the service center, do you have to take it or do they visit your place?
Can the software be updated OTA?
They come at my location and do the repairs, taking it to the service centre is not possible.

Software can be updated OTA through inbuilt Jio SIM or your mobile hotspot/WiFi.
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Old 16th March 2023, 23:19   #14
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Re: Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?

Sorry for any delays in replying as I decided to wait so that I can address multiple replies at once rather than replying one by one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atul Kolekar View Post
Congratulations on the new purchase.

I think this should work, although its not as secure as a rubber cap. On the other hand, this saves you an additional step while charging the scooter .
Thanks Atul!
I decided to wash my S1 Pro today, using a bucket full of water and a mug, slowly pouring water and then some soapy water followed by a contact wash with a wash mitt and then a rinse down again with plain water. No pressure washing or forced water jet was sprayed. And then I remembered about this. Opened the charging port and saw this:
Ola S1 Pro Review | Analysis and observations of a 2023 model | Any good now?-20230316_204321.jpg
The port was not opened while the scooter was being washed. I anticipated entry of water near the outer edges but water presence in the marked area concerns me. There's no guarantee that water wouldn't enter just a bit more into the charging pins. I would be glad to save my charging port rather than to save time in opening the port. Ola has mastered the art of giving headaches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atul Kolekar View Post
I tried tapping the question mark in ride stats but was shown a QR code and passcode for entering the diagnostic mode. Any idea what that would be? I don't think we should be tinkering with that though.
I mentioned that as an interesting discovery thinking no one would actually try it. But a curious mind has proved me wrong . If I remember correctly, the technician had to scan the QR through an Ola Service app which would then display the passcode for further diagnostic access, so yes I suppose we shouldn't be tinkering with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Fan View Post
I'm a Ola S1 Pro user too, got this in April 2022. Till now I have faced a lot of problems.

My VCU has been changed once for MOS 3 and MCU has been changed twice because of simple MCU failure. Technician said don't accelerate too hard and give sudden accelerator inputs from low speed, he showed me the error they got on their systems, it said - MCU Over-Current/Voltage.
Sad to hear your ordeal. I hope all your problems are fixed right now.
Thanks for the tip, I'm already handling it as gently as possible when I approach potholes to protect the front fork(yes it's the new one but I have serious trust issues), and now I have to babysit the vehicle to protect whatever control units it fries(coincidentally frying control units is a hot topic right now ). So now I have to slow down as much as possible to protect one component, and I'm not supposed to speed up to protect another component. Does Ola expect us to use it or place it in a showcase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Fan View Post
Another thing I want to tell you is that in Sports mode the top speed is 95 KM/H and in Hyper it is 115 KM/H.
Didn't know this. I wonder which mode actually does 95kmph because several speed tests on youtube using Vbox and other GPS measuring devices indicated a GPS top speed of 95-99kmph when the dash showed 115kmph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Fan View Post
Also did you try hill hold control?
As far as I know, it is still in beta and I do not have the option to enable it. It shows as 'coming soon', and we know what 'coming soon' in Ola's dictionary means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMcqueen View Post
I use regen and brakes equally and driving style is sedate as well. so i was a bit surprised when i had to change brake pads at 7,000 kms .

Ola service person has informed to clean the wheel on regular basis to get long life and warranty on brake pads are for 5000 kms if we had issue within that mileage we can get free replacement.
After a bit of thinking and asking some of my friends who own bikes, I wonder if 7000kms is "early" or the correct amount of mileage for a brake-pad service. Is there any prescribed life for Ola's brake pads under normal driving conditions?

Thanks for your input regarding washing of wheels and brake discs and it's warranty period. This is why I love Team-BHP. I could not find these information anywhere in Ola's official documentation as far as I've seen.
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