Boosted Rev eScooter Demo Ride: More Thoughts

Some people will see this post as too long. I have a lot to say! For those interested only in the aspects of the Rev, scroll down for that section.

More about my ride:

Reviewing the ride in my head, it was just about a damn miracle that I didn’t wind up killing myself.

I was a terrible rider! Really, I’m surprised I got through it without getting hit by a car or colliding with a parked car or hitting a pedestrian.

I haven’t been on a bike since about 1980. So I no longer have any memory of the sensation of speed. Riding mass transit or being in a car doesn’t convey that like being on a bike or a personal electric transport does.

I think it was just pure dumb luck that I got through it. At least no drivers beeped at me. There were some cars that held back and didn’t try to pass me. Thank you, drivers!

I hardly looked at the road. I recall, at one point, my entire focus being on the thumbwheel! How damn stupid is that? Someone could have crossed right in front of me and BAM! Collision. I also totally ignored the surface of the street! That’s how I wound up going over a hellacious manhole (it wasn’t flush with the street) too.

I was — somehow — attentive enough to stop at the first corner to let traffic pass on my left so I could make the turn. Can I recall whether it was clear for me to even make that turn? No! But again, no one beeped, so it must have been.

I opened it up to full throttle (more on that later; there’s a punchline). I also took my thumb off the wheel to see what that would do. What it did: Coasted to a stop. It took a very long time for that coast — but I had been going fast. I think I actually did engage the handbrake then. I know I also used the electric brake — because, man, like I said, it has bite. I didn’t, however, jerk to a stop. Nothing about that brake was dangerous or fear-inducing.

Not once did I look down at the speedometer! Like I said: I was a terrible, horrible rider! I was so overwhelmed by the now-new sensation of speed and trying not to kill myself that I wasn’t concentrating. Really, I admit I was a road hazard in my riding condition! No fault of the Rev — the entire fault was in my own head.

It’s now very clear to me that whatever personal electric transport I choose, I have to get to an area free of traffic and get used just to moving first. Luckily, there’s such an area where I live.

I have to say that I wasn’t fearful while riding. I was at least minimally cautious — not reckless — but it would have really been better for everyone if I’d been at an isolated area.

I hope these impressions of my ride helps others who have a similar forgetfulness of such momentum and are thinking of buying an eScooter. Otherwise, you can easily end up like this poor woman:

Nashville Bird Fail!

As I said in my first post, I too wobbled in the beginning. I had to stop and put a foot down on the street. But then I had it. No more wobble or stopping unless I had to for traffic. Find a place without traffic to practice! Get used to moving like that, to looking at the speedometer, using the brakes, trying different speeds before being around people — and especially before getting into traffic!

The Boosted Rev:

Before my ride, the Rev was inside Filipacchi getting charged. I examined it very carefully. I was also able to compare it to a nearby E-TWOW/Uscooters eScooter (plus, someone who was there for a demo ride came on their own; so I had a chance to compare the appearance of the two outside in bright daylight).

Again: There’s just no comparing the two. Where, before, the E-TWOW/Uscooters was considered the top-of-the-line of generally-available-in-America eScooters, the Rev totally slays it. The handgrips, deck, tires, footbrake spring(!), and handlebar display (speedometer, battery) are clearly superior. So is the overall design. The E-TWOW/Uscooters looks like a child’s kick scooter by comparison. The Rev is the first eScooter for serious adults. I hate using this word because it makes governments perk up their ears, but it’s a vehicle. (When government hears “vehicle,” they start thinking about raising revenue through licensing! And regulating the hell out of it. That’s why I hate using the term for personal electric transport.)

I got to see — but didn’t try for myself — the folding latch. I can’t say more about it than that.

Folded, I got to lift it. I was already near my weight limit with a full backpack (yeah, that’s another thing: I did the demo ride with my backpack on; and with a helmet — supplied by Boosted). I could lift it but I wouldn’t want to do it for more than a few seconds. The weight is unfortunate for anyone who has to bring it up many stairs (such as old NYC apartment buildings). The Rev itself is beyond the weight limit for my damaged back and I wouldn’t want to have to try carrying it more than three seconds. But that’s my back. Let me just say I now cast a skeptical eye on those shots in Rev promo videos showing people carrying it without seriously listing to one side!


… for people who lift weights (he obviously does!).

There’s a bell near the handbrake. I tried it before my ride (forgot it existed during the ride!). It works. Whether or not it works to the satisfaction of eager-to-ticket NYPD is open to question. To me, it seemed as loud as bells on CitiBike. I think pedestrians will hear it just fine.

The AC charging port is near the front right-side of the deck. According to other reports, the Rev uses the same charger that Boosted electric skateboards use. I forgot to ask about fast charging. Given the massive size of the battery (27lbs!), I doubt it. And, yes, the battery is beneath the deck (but it can removed from the top of the deck). And I was told there’s a metal plate under the deck to protect the battery. Even with the Rev’s weight, I have a feeling there will be an idiot who will try to do a skateboard slide stunt and damage the battery. Trust me, there’s always at least one idiot (there are too many YouTube videos showing idiots doing damage-inducing stunts with Lime and Bird rental eScooters!).

I have to point out the spring on the rear fender/mudguard. It’s tough! It’s industrial-strength. I’d really be surprised if anyone ever complained about it losing strength. I also doubt the rear fender/mudguard will ever jiggle over rough surfaces. (Although it does in their intro video. Spring prototype?)

The kickstand also seems very strong. I raised and lowered it. Again, I’d be surprised if anyone ever complained of it getting weak and jiggling while moving.

The stem is tapered. It’s wider towards the bottom than the top. Most eScooters have a stem of uniform diameter (or, worse, are boxy). This adds to the overall sleek lines of the Rev.

As seen in promo videos, there’s a weld near the read wheel. Welds can always be a point of failure. Everyone will have to trust in Boosted’s quality control. But, cars have welds in them too, so …

I was told the Rev was built to handle San Francisco’s hills …


Passing toys

… which is good. It will handle every freakin Death Hill I have to deal with on this Island. Given the power I felt riding it, I believe it!

The thumbwheel. It is genius. It is Apple-level innovation. Every other eScooter maker is going to copy it — badly. The thumb throttles that are pervasive today require real pressure on them (so do thumb brakes). That’s why most eScooters offer cruise control. It’s to give people’s thumb a rest from exerting all that force. The Rev’s thumbwheel is just about effortless. It’s so smooth, so precise, and so correctly ergonomic. It’s a reproach to all other eScooter manufacturers who have done the same throttles again and again. Why bother with original thought when you can just be lazy and copy a throttle?

Cruise Control? I forgot to ask. I doubt it exists. Or maybe it will be a setting in their app. But I have to say, given the amazing power of its motors, cruise control might not be something generally available except through the app. For safety reasons, I’d be against it as a readily-available default. Again: Idiots. I can imagine someone holding a phone shooting video with their right hand while on cruise control — and then discovering that their handbrake should have been tightened and is insufficient for the emergency stop they have to make (all handbrakes loosen over time; cables stretch; just ask bike owners!).

That motor sound. It’s pleasant. It sounds exactly as it does in their videos. Of course, I didn’t hear it at all in my state of mind during the demo ride. But I stuck around to watch others riding it, so I heard the sound. It’s totally Boosted. Owners of their skateboards will recognize it as being in the same family.

Finally, those tires. They make a huge difference. I think they gave me a sense of what Onewheel owners rave about. I felt the float. I think these tires will be more durable than the cheap pneumatics used on the Xiaomi M365. I’d be very surprised if any Rev owner wanted to swap them out for airless solid tires (as M365 owners have!).

Buy the Rev

Look, I know it’s priced higher than most other eScooters generally available in America. But I warned this would happen:

4) eScooters worth buying will generally have a price over US$1,000 next year. eScooters from E-TWOW/Uscooters and Micro have generally always been priced that way. Now we understand why.

And what has happened since? Inboard entered with a higher-priced eScooter (available only to fleets for now). Both Xiaomi and Ninebot/Segway introduced higher-priced models. Bird has a new eScooter for US$1,299!

eScooters in the US$200-$500 category were made to create a market, nothing more. They were never made for anything other than occasional fun. Here’s the T-word their owners hate: Toys! (Sorry for you who can’t see it and admit it!) The Rev can be used for fun too. But it’s the first eScooter built for riding with a purpose. It’s a real commuting alternative. For me, it’s an MTA killer.

And, believe me, I understand financial constraints. This is the story of my entire life. And you have no idea how many buying variables for products run through my head all the time. As tempted as I am by a low price, I am holding firm to these two rules:

1) Don’t waste money on junk.

2) Don’t buy toys, only tools.

Those two rules tamp down my temptations.

Yes, I have to wait to afford something higher-priced, but it would be worth the wait. I would have lasting satisfaction with something that has been built well and is backed by a reputable company. I wouldn’t have a childish emotional boost that would quickly turn into childish rage over feeling cheated by something that was never meant to last, that will break down quickly. Consider what to purchase like an adult. My money is expensive. Treat yours as if it is, even if you have lots of it. Here is some eternal Buying Advice.

Having ridden the Rev for myself, I can say this again, and with authority: It’s the BMW of eScooters.

All others are Yugos.

The Boosted Rev is the first transformational eScooter. Its range and power puts it ahead of all others (Dualtron owners, calm down; even the LTA in Singapore is outlawing them; you’ll be next over here). Cities will be forced to reckon with the large numbers of them (I expect to see more of the Rev in Manhattan than Boosted Boards) and finally revise their traffic lanes to accommodate it (and other Alt-Wheels).

The introduction of the Boosted Rev adds urgency to cities — particularly NYC — to add Oonee pods for secure parking. There is no way a Rev will ever be secure just locked to a bike rack. Just as tires and handlebars and even seats have been stolen from such locked bikes, the even more valuable Rev will be stripped in whatever ways are possible. Only the Oonee pod offers secure and discreet parking. The Oonee is needed ASAP. Until then, businesses will have to create policies that permit customers to enter with their Rev or have an area within where it can be safely placed.

Do you own a Boosted Board? Have you given up trying to get your Significant Other to ride it? Then the Boosted Rev was made for you. This is a way for you to ride together without the learning involved for an electric skateboard. But I warn you: There’s a good chance you’ll want your own too. Your Significant Other is going to demand you get one instead of constantly borrowing theirs! It’s OK. Don’t think of it as giving up eSk8. We’re all one big Alt-Wheels family, united in our desire to have parity with cars, trucks, and buses for the right to use our roads. Electric skateboards, electric unicycles, Onewheels, electric bikes, we’re all better together. (And be courteous to all the pedal cyclists who demanded “bike” — Alt-Wheels — lanes.)

Punchlines:

1) After my ride, I was told that they set me in Mode 1. This is the lowest mode, with a top speed of just 16mph! So when I was at full throttle, it was only 16mph. I’m glad they did that. Mode 3 — 24mph max — probably would have killed me.

2) I was able to do the demo ride without having a credit card (see financial constraints; above!). All I had was a photo ID. I told them I wasn’t about to steal it. They trusted me. Well, OK, I think one of the Boosted reps tailed me from a distance on a Mini X. That’s fine. I didn’t feel insulted. I’m all for Trust, But Verify. I absolutely would not suggest that you try to get a demo ride with just a photo ID! I mention this only to add a dimension to my gratitude for Boosted letting me try it. Thank you again very much, Boosted and Filipacchi!

Important notice: Despite my gratitude, this is not a suck-up kiss-ass post. I do graft-free posts. Being able to trust what we read and see matters to me. If there was anything about the Rev I didn’t like, I would have damn well said so. The only “fault” I can find is its weight, but that’s a fact of life until batteries get smaller, lighter, and have a huge leap in power density. There’s nothing Boosted — or any other Alt-Wheels manufacturer — can do about it. See electric unicycle battery weights!

Previously here:

Boosted Rev eScooter Demo Ride: Proof
I’ve Ridden The Boosted Rev eScooter
Boosted Rev: The eScooter That Will Change Everything.
First Video Of New Boosted Rev eScooter
Reddit Forum For Boosted eScooter
Penultimate Boosted eScooter Promo Video
Boosted eScooter: Large, Fatter Tires And Very Thick Deck
It’s Official: Boosted To Unveil An Electric Scooter
eScooters category

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