Thu. Jun 8th, 2023

Electric scooters may well provide a better car alternative for more people than electric bicycles — for a few reasons. First, they aren’t nearly as expensive. Secondly, many are foldable and can be easily stored. Third, they’re generally fairly lightweight – allowing people to carry them into their office, appointment or home for storage when not in use. Fourth, they’re more agile to use. In many cases, you can ride them right up to the front door of wherever you’re going and won’t need to lock them up. Fifth, the wheels will never go flat. And sixth, e-scooters may be safer, as you can probably use them on the sidewalk in your area – away from the bike and car lanes. Not sure about everyone else, but I often feel like a sitting – or is it rolling? – duck, when I’m riding my e-bike in the bike lane of a busy street. Being physically separated from the cars is a huge safety advantage, in my opinion. While I’m definitely not advocating it, I don’t always wear a helmet while riding my e-scooter on short jaunts. It tops out at about 18 mph, while my ebike goes up to 30. And yes, I always wear a helmet on my e-bike, even when I’m just riding around the corner.

All that said, I own an amazing e-scooter – the Yadea KS5. It’s incredibly reliable, rolls smoothly and quietly, gets about 25 miles per charge, and can fold up and then tuck away in my garage when I’m not using it. So when the manufacturer recently contacted me about trying out its new KS3 Lite e- scooter, I had to give it a go. It sells for roughly $370. It features a Max Power 500 W rear-wheel motor, travels up to 15.6 mph, and provides a range of 12 miles per charge – it fully charges in only 2.5 hours. Weighing just 30.7 pounds, it easily folds up and stores away within seconds – and has dual safe-lock latches so it won’t unfold until you want it to. Its frame is made of aluminum, yet has substance. And like the KS5, you can connect it to a mobile app that shows you all sorts of additional information and provides more features, such as a vehicle lock – but you certainly don’t need to use the app to get the scooter up and running. Finally, its electric combination braking system features a front drum brake, rear disc brake, and electric brake. Plus it has lights on the front and back so the scooter is visible to drivers.

But there are some downsides, too. First, while my KS5 races up the steeper hills in my neighborhood, the KS3 Lite doesn’t do so well. It chugs along, but definitely more slowly. Yadea claims it works on inclines up to 8 degrees. Next, it only has a handbrake lever on the left side – compared to both sides of KS5. And third, it doesn’t have cruise control – probably not a huge deal to most people. But the KS5 does have cruise control, and I find it incredibly convenient to use on almost every ride I take.

On flatter surfaces, the KS3 Lite is just as awesome as the KS5 – super quiet and smooth, with a very sturdy and quality build. The experiences of riding both are really similar, until I hit the hills. And it’s super easy to assemble — with just four screws via the included Allen wrench. The KS3 Lite is a more-than-decent option for anyone seeking an inexpensive e-scooter to get around town. And with gas prices these days, it’s a great alternative for running errands, having fun and getting some fresh air.

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