We’ve ridden a lot of electric scooters, from share scooters on city streets to the amazing range offered by Segway-Ninebot and Australia is about to welcome a new player the Unagi Model One and it is something very, very different.
Out of the box, it’s obvious this Model One isn’t from the same family as the Segways. The sleek style, metallic colour finish it’s a model built with style in mind.
At 12kg it’s lighter than most equivalent scooters on the market with similar range and speed, and that’s important if you’re scooting to the train station, and carrying your scooter with you.
The two wheels are not running pneumatic tyres, instead these are a hard compound solid wheel which has air fins inside it to allow for some movement over bumps on the road. I have to say though, they result in a much more harsh ride when compared to something like the Segway Max or Mercedes Edition we’ve tested.
Likewise, the wheels have a more flat profile, and I think that gives a vastly different, and less secure feel at speed when leaning into a turn.
And it’s not like they’re saving costs on those wheels, or at least – if they are that’s not reflected in the price. This beast will set you back $1,695. Yep, it’s pricey.
But that price also gets you speed, top speed and acceleration. Our review model was set to mph not kph, and we were able cruise at 17mph, which is 27km/h – and is a touch more than should be allowed here in Aus.
Switch to dual motor mode and it’s like switching to ludicrous mode in a Tesla. This thing guns off the line, it’s a real hoot. This thing has the pace off the line if you want it. Of course that will compromise range, but with a range of 25km anyway this isn’t a distance scooter.
There’s a thumb control on the left hand too – that’s your electric brake which while that sounds great, is brutal on the front wheel and takes some getting used to. I’m amazed I didn’t go A over T my first time clicking that brake. Interestingly the rear wheel braking is a more traditional with a push down from your foot on the rear wheel cover – like on push scooters.
Simplicity wise, the Unagi Model One is perfection. Folding the handle-bars down is literally a single switch and fold. Miles better than what Segway-Ninebot have been doing with clips and clasps.
The handle-bar display is sleek, and easy to use, there’s an electric bell or horn and a mode control on each side as well as a decent headlight too.
I utterly love this scooter for its design, simplicity, fit and finish and power.
But it is lacking range, the wheels are innovative but a bit rough and that electric brake takes getting used to.
$1695 – not cheap, but worth it if you want to stand out.