Got a reality-check after riding the Ola S1 Pro: Cancelled my booking

I think we will continue to ride our Honda Activa until it dies - which it won't.

BHPian amol4184 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Wanted to give an update on the Ola S1 Pro test ride experience in my town in Maharashtra that wasn't covered under primary big locations like Pune/Mumbai.

  1. I got a mail/text from Ola saying test drives are available in your location.
  2. App took my exact location and showed me slots for next week spread across many hours of the day.
  3. The app worked great. After choosing the slot I got text confirmation etc.
  4. On actual TD day a guy called up for confirmation and showed up at my doorstep albeit a bit late than anticipated. Fine with me. It was Friday.

Now onto the scooter itself:

  1. Black colour, just 1300 km on the odometer and seemed battle-torn, battered the way TVS Scootys from the early 2000s look. People must have abused poor things.
  2. Plasticky and even more so in black matte finish. Looks better in shinier colours.
  3. Abysmal build quality. The panel gaps are awful.
  4. Cheap and lightweight footrests and side stand that had already loosened from their spring mount points and was shaking. Our 15-year-old Activa has snappier footrests.
  5. Surprisingly loud but very 'electronic' feeling horn. The button has an odd sensation to it.
  6. Poor quality switchgear. Buttons will be torn like rubber souls on shoes in two-three years.
  7. My elderly mom could not put into "run" mode.
  8. Good pick up, silent operation even at high-ish speeds.
  9. The motor going dead on brake activation is scary. On 2 occasions the scooter came to a dead stop before I could ride it again. I basically pushed it to the side of the road where I had to start from scratch to make it roll again. Weird.
  10. Excellent boot space and overall size/geometry fit well to my 6ft+ frame.
  11. Good suspension. Felt way better than my Activa.
  12. The bane of Ola, the reverse mode is unnecessary. Why is it even needed? It's activated by pressing a button and doing a negative movement of the throttle. I will never ever use it in real life.

My opinion? This thing won't last 5 years before disintegrating. Definitely not on my town's roads. Best case, if it does not fall apart, it will start rattling. Maybe it was that particular abused example but it is ridiculous they could get away with such a haphazardly put together vehicle.

The strange accelerator/brake behaviour is scary too. For tech-challenged folks, this is quite a handful. I had my doubts if mom could handle it but the doubt turned into confirmation. Those chimes and phone integration and whatnot are absolute of no use for me or my mom.

I want a no-nonsense turn-key e-scooter and this isn't it. I think we will continue to ride Activa until it dies - which it won't.

I was excited last year and was ready to put a full payment down sight unseen and for whatever reasons that did not happen.

Today, looking back I am so glad the purchase bombed. I will be taking my Rs 500 back.

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