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Ather 450X: Long-term review

Siddharth Mathew Cherian | Updated on June 03, 2021

Ather 450X. Photo: Siddharth Mathew Cherian

The Ather 450 X is a good EV for a first-time rider

If you are on the hunt for a sporty scooter, that would be ideal for regular city commutes as well as satisfy the adrenaline rush guaranteed by other powerful scooters and bikes, the Ather 450X EV scooter would be an ideal choice.

The questions surrounding electric two-wheelers are never-ending. After all, they come at a price range between Rs 60, 000 to Rs 1.5  lakh (which incidentally is the cost of the Ather), or even more.

At the moment, Ather has two models in the market -The Ather 450+ and the Ather 450X. What is the difference? The 450 X model has a higher increased throughput and range. The chassis of both models are identical. But the performance of the 450 X is better than the 450 +.

It also has a slightly bigger battery and a powerful motor.

Design

Compared to the bulky and brute-looking IC scooters, this vehicle has sleek cuts all around and is quite nimble. It has no unnecessary body panels. It is a true beauty!

Ather 450X. Photo: Siddharth Mathew Cherian

 

A simple side-stand besides the sleek cuts at the rear portion of the vehicle (for the brake light/ reverse light), adjacent to a slim front-facing DRL lamp and sharp indicators lamps, ensures that it stands out from the rest.

Ather 450X. Photo: Siddharth Mathew Cherian

 

The scooter comes in three standard colour variants - Space grey with yellow, white body with green accents and Mint Green with orange accents. It also has a special Series 1 -which has black with red accents. This is a limited edition colour for certain cities.

Build

Touch screen of the Ather 450X. Photo: Siddharth Mathew Cherian

 

The vehicle has an aluminum cast for the scooter's frame and plastic panels. It is quite light and was easy to control while riding on some of the busiest roads.  The battery is located on the floorboard, which has a decent ground clearance. The battery is IP-67 rated and comes with a three-year warranty. More importantly, it can handle a decent shower. But do not use the scooter if the streets are prone to water stagnation/flooding. The dashboard has a 7-Inch touchscreen that displays the speed, trip details, charge, mileage, and connected features like maps and OTA updates. But it does slow down often.  

The plastic toggle switches for the indicator and modes leave much to be desired in terms of build quality.

The ride

The vehicle guarantees you a good ride. For beginners, the eco mode will assure good mileage versus the linear motor/ speed pickup. There is a ride and sports mode for increased levels of torque and acceleration. The last being the Warp mode that touches the touted 80-90KMPH. Interestingly, the suspension is well-hardened and can easily navigate the Chennai roads. One would feel like the biker Valentino Rossi while making a turn. It does 'curve' with ease, and responds well while accelerating. This scooter is ideal for those whose height is between 5 ft and 5 ft 10 inches.

Ather 450X. Photo: Siddharth Mathew Cherian

 

Any person who is taller than 5 ft 11" is likely to find the steering column knocking their knees while making U-turns. One must be cautious of 'sudden brakes'. Doing so might tend to send one-off their seat a few inches. This is because the Ather 450X has a dual disk brake setup with CBS(Combi-Braking System). The Brakes are quite responsive; rather 'a little too responsive' for some. For those who have to navigate single-lanes and unpredictable traffic -it would be wise to not use both brakes simultaneously with the rear disk/wheel locking, and the bike subsequently skidding in a few places.

Software & smart connected features

The Ather claims to be a smart scooter and the facility to get OTA updates on the fly, through an E-Sim, is an interesting feature. This scooter has GPS and helps to send ride data to and fro from the scooter. However, parked in a concrete garage - the signal tends to go out or zooms towards the wrong location.

Subsequent iterations of the software updates brought things on par with modern connected vehicles. While most gadget nerds believe a connected scooter can help fix issues like clockwork (similar to that of a phone), it is partly true. But some software updates aren't favourable, leaving a bad taste in the mouth with a sense of speed/ performance throttling at times for some performance users.

Battery Charging

The battery of the Ather 450X takes 3.5 hours for a 0-80 per cent charge and close to 5 hours 30 minutes for a full charge. The scooter can be charged overnight and used for the next day's commute. This could be done either by using a portable charger that can be carried inside the boot space of the scooter or a dot charger that can be fixed in apartment complexes. The vehicle is supposed to consume three units of electricity each time it is fully charged. This costs between Rs 20 and Rs 30 depending on the city's electricity norms.

Range anxiety

Range anxiety concerns many. Luckily, this scooter is good for those looking to clock an average distance of 5-60 kilometers per day. The 450 X is said to be able to run for 85 kilometres each time it is fully charged. Each performance mode assures the rider of decent mileage

Eco-mode: Around 80KM per full-charge

Ride: 70 KM per full-charge

Sports mode: 60 KM per full-charge

Warp mode: 48-50 KM per full charge.

Fact file

Price: Rs 1,61,000 (Ex-showroom, Chennai)

Pros: Good ride quality, good build, handles well as a performance scooter

Cons: Overaggressive braking, 'buggy OTA updates, expensive for a first scooter, subscription model for service, and connected features

Published on June 03, 2021

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