We all travel, commute and have the need for personal mobility on various levels. While some people find it easier to drive around in cars, most people have found it easier to ride around on scooters, motorcycles and mopeds. It is still the internal combustion engines which win the battle in the present time, but then we pay the cost of fuel and the degradation of the environment which cannot be undone. The harm to the environment is being caused on a very high scale and this is something which will have greater long term effects.
The weather in Bangalore is quite pleasant, which makes it perfect for puttering around the city on two wheels. However, the traffic makes it unbearable most of the time. I live and work in Mumbai city which also has a lot of traffic. However, one thing about Mumbai’s traffic is that it moves. So, I go to Ather’s HQ in Bannerghatta, Bangalore. Here I was walked through all the technological innovations and functions which was put together with the Ather 450. After a full day of the briefing, office tours and talks, I headed back to the hotel to rest for the early morning ride on the Ather 450.
Next day, we headed at the Ather Experience centre in Indiranagar where I got to see the parts and pieces of the Ather 450 and let me tell you, it’s all minimal. The Ather 450 is put together with a four-piece frame, a tubular front piece and the battery integrated chassis and the sub-frame which are made of aluminium, are strong and light in weight. The bodywork is neat with good fit and finish and close to no stickers, graphics or chrome. The Ather 450 comes only in white colour. LED’s take care of the entire lighting setup. The 450 is powered by a Brushless DC motor (BLDC motor) which is fed in by a high-capacity 2.4kWh Lithium-ion battery pack and the BLDC motor offers an optimum 20.5 Nm of instant torque and a peak power output of 5.4 kW for cruising at top speed. Transmission is done via a belt drive. The 7-inch digital instrument cluster is all you need for a menu, scooter statistics and directions, while the Bybre disc brakes with combined braking making things safer. The alloy wheels ride on 12-inch rubber and everything else of sprung up telescopic forks on the front and a mono-shock at the rear.
The Ather 450 comes with three modes, Eco, Ride and Sport. I started in Ride mode but soon, I discovered the actual fun in the Sport mode which put out most of the torque and power. Riding in the city without noise was so much fun. The 450 just pulled away from traffic signals in a jiffy. The ride quality is very great and the suspension is well balanced. Just a bit too soft on the rear maybe but who cares when you do not have to change any gears or sit under an idling engine. The Ather 450 claims a range of 55-75 km of range depending upon your riding mode and style. Ather supplied you with a charger for home charging while there are over 20 places where an Ather Grid (charging station is set up). Buy it not, try it out on a monthly lease of Rs. 2500/- which includes charging as well as all sorts of service and maintenance. Ather claims a maintenance-free experience and honestly, there are not too many things which needs to be maintained for an electric scooter.
The whole experience of an electric scooter had turned out to be very positive for me, especially for someone who swears by motorcycles. The noiseless deal, sport mode, punchy acceleration and a lot of torque left me with a big smile as I wandered across the city trying to extract the charge from the battery. In the process, all I left behind was tyre-marks (burnouts are super easy with the torquey motor), no exhaust gases and had a huge smile on my face all the way back to Mumbai, the city of organized chaos.