Kugoo ES2: This is the Electric Scooter You’ve Been Looking For
Enjoy a smooth, safe, zero-emissions ride and without the feeling that you're riding a child's toy. But it's bulky and heavy, so give it a miss if you're going to be carrying it up and down stairs.
I’ve never ridden a scooter before, much less an electric one that can hurtle along at 25km/h. So you can understand my trepidation going into this review. It turns out that I had nothing to worry about: the Kugoo ES2 is like the SUV of electric scooters. It handles itself admirably, weighs an absolute ton, and makes the rider feel as safe as humanly possible.
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- KUGOO KIRIN M4 for $594.31 after coupon: NEWYEAR5OFF
- KUGOO M2 PRO for $448.17 after coupon: NEWYEAR5OFF
Kugoo ES2 Specs and Features
- 350W motor
- 7.5Ah battery (not user replaceable)
- Fixed height handlebar
- Rear disc brake and front e-brake
- Cruise control
- Maximum speed 25kh/h (15mph)
- Three speed modes
- Range: 25km (15 miles)
- Carrying capacity: 220 pounds (100kg)
- Weight: 33 pounds (15kg)
- Size when folded: 44 x 13 x 17 inches (112 x 33 x 43 cm)
The biggest downside to the Kugoo ES2 is the sheer weight, compromising mainly of the thick, sturdy aluminum alloy frame, and a massive 7.5Ah battery underneath the stand. On the flip side, it feels incredibly solid and well built. The weight alone results in greater stability.
For reference, I stand 185cm tall and weigh around 95kg, so I’m at the top end of the stated capacity. The fixed height handlebar seemed to be perfect for myself and other adults that tried it. Those of you who are smaller in stature might be better off looking at the Kugoo S1 though , which is adjustable.
Safety and Offroad
Featuring a front shock absorber and 8.5 inch solid honeycomb-patterned tyres, the Kugoo ES2 offers a smooth ride on your typical urban terrain. It isn’t designed for offroading, but that didn’t stop me from testing it anyway. On compacted gravel and dry dirt roads, it handled admirably, though you can certainly feel the bumps. On deeper gravel, it simply can’t push through. Overall, I was really impressed with how it handled the variety of terrain around my little town, including the unadopted dirt road that we live on.
The biggest surprise was simply how stable it felt. You won’t need any training, and even from literally zero experience, you’ll be off and away in no time. The app allows you to set either a zero-start for minimum effort, or push start if you’re worried. Being quite lazy, I left it on zero-start, and it felt quite safe. It’s only at low speeds that you might wobble or put your foot out for safety. Anything above 3km/h will naturally stabilize with no input from you.
The controls are simple, but I’d suggest leaving the Kugoo ES2 on beginner speed mode until you’re used to the braking and cruise control. The thumb-controlled lever on the left side controls the front e-brake, but you also have a physical disc brake on the rear wheel.
Generally, you’ll want to use both. At higher speeds or downhill, you should use mainly the rear brake. Using the front e-brake at higher speeds could see you heading straight over the handlebars.
Pushing down on the right accelerator and maintaining the same speed for six seconds will set the cruise control. The ES2 will beep to let you know. Using the rear disc brake or only lightly applying the e-brake will not cancel cruise control, so you may find yourself lurching forwards as the motor kicks in again. Be sure to cancel the cruise control by pushing the e-brake dial all the way down.
Being on the larger size meant I wasn’t quite able to achieve the top speed, achieving a maximum of 21km/h on flat road terrain. However, that was much faster than I would be comfortable with for daily use anyway.
The same was also true of the stated range: I got about 12.5 miles (20km) out of a single charge. This is to be expected since heavier things take more energy to move!
Press twice on the power button to activate the bright front headlight and rear light. I found this to be more than enough to light the way down our unlit dirt path, or to be easily visible on your averagely lit street.
When powered on the base of the scooter also features a strip of blue LEDs, which can’t be turned off. At night the effect is pleasing but somewhat pointless.
Why Does It Have Bluetooth?
Situated just beneath the LCD screen is a rubber cover that opens to reveal a USB port, into which you can plug your phone to charge while riding. There’s no mount included though, so if you want to use GPS navigation you’ll need to source your own method of securing it to the handlebars.
The Kugoo ES2 is also equipped with Bluetooth, and an accompanying app which offers navigation and a simple heads-up display. It allows you to adjust a few settings (zero effort or push-start, metric or imperial speed), and run some self-check diagnostics. Other than for initial setup I see no reason to use it. The LCD screen is clear and displays all the information you could need, and for short local journeys, you probably don’t need GPS.
The Legal Situation
For my fellow UK folk who may be considering buying the Kugoo ES2–or any electric scooter–there’s something you should know first. Electric scooters aren’t allowed on the road as they aren’t licensed; they aren’t allowed on bike lanes because they don’t have pedals; and they aren’t allowed on the pavement because they’re motorized. In the eyes of the UK law at least, electric scooters just don’t exist. That makes riding one by default illegal anywhere other than private land. The same is true of Segways, and those insipid “hoverboards” that don’t actually do anything that even remotely resembles the act of hovering.
If caught using one, you may be fined up to £300, or have the device confiscated. However, this is rare, and only really seems to be happening in London. I understand the legal situation is similar in New York, though less strictly enforced. Other urban centers around the world have embraced these remarkable zero-emissions technologies, but like most things, the UK lags behind.
While I fully expect the laws to be updated within the next year or two, for now you should be aware of the risks.
Is The Kugoo ES2 The Electric Scooter for You?
If you’re a grown adult and want an electric scooter that won’t make you look like you’re riding a child’s toy, the Kugoo ES2 is it. It’s fast enough for anyone, and will you get from A to B with zero emissions and not a single bead of sweat.
But even when folded, the Kugoo ES2 is awkward and heavy to carry. The benefit of riding an eScooter is that it takes absolutely zero effort, unlike a bicycle which may leave you drenched in sweat by the time you get to your destination. If you need to travel up and down three flights of stairs at either end of your journey, the weight of the Kugoo ES2 may make it unsuitable. My wife just couldn’t carry it. If you need something lighter and more portable, check out the Kugoo S1 model instead .
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