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Who needs a Xiaomi scooter? – NIU KQi2 Pro test

The NIU KQi2 Pro turned out amazingly well, it's now No.1 for me. in the entry category.

Who needs a Xiaomi scooter? – NIU KQi2 Pro test


Check out my video test too!


 

Introductory

I never really liked Xiaomi's scooters, they were boring, but let's face it, in terms of quality they beat the competition of the Chinese scooter manufacturer. So, if someone didn't spare the money, they either bought Xiaomi or one of its sub-brands.

However, other manufacturers have also set their sights on the market, those who have a lot of experience in the field of electric vehicles. So is NIU. It's not NIO, they make cars, it's true that this one is also electric, but the two companies aren't the same either.

NIU's scooters were already beautiful in the pictures and videos. I was able to discover small, but even more exciting features, each time I looked at the pictures, always newer and newer. I haven't come across a cheaper scooter in a long time that I could see the uniqueness of, but looking at NIU's machines, I felt that there is gunpowder here, you just have to let it go, let the designer work, bring playfulness and excitement into the exterior.

You can imagine that when the distributor asked if I wanted to try a NIU scooter, I didn't object. It is true that only the smallest, most modestly capable KQi2 Pro was promised, but I was also happy with that.

I opened it, tried it, and I wasn't disappointed one bit. Xiaomi? Come on! NIU is the new benchmark!

About the manufacturer: NIU is not a nameless company, and it mainly does not only produce scooters. They are mostly known for their electric scooters and motorbikes (search for NIU RQi Sport!), and of course for packing all the good things on earth into their vehicles. The phone application or, for larger vehicles, GPS-based tracking is considered basic. Not only are their machines good in terms of capabilities, the parts used are not cheap either, whether it's the battery, the motor that drives the engine or the brakes and gears (look for their EUB-01 Pro bike!)

In short, NIU is already one of the market leaders in the field of electric scooters, and it seems that they are not giving up on their goals in the field of scooters either.


 

Packaging, assembly external

Instead of the usual simple box, we finally received a box that said from afar: No mistake, I'm the best!

Inside, it's the most tidy you can imagine. I consider it very positive that there is no plastic impact protection, everything is made of paper, which is a little less burdensome on the environment.

In the case of NIU, we cannot talk about assembly. All we have to do is screw the steering horn into place with 6 screws. However, I would like to point out here that we have to work with 6 screws, i.e. six screws, for the better scooters 4 - for the worse ones, two hold the steering wheel. So it seems like a small thing, but six means a lot in this case!

The NIU KQi2 Pro itself is not a large structure, but it is not a small piece either. the width of the steering wheel is 52 centimeters (this is a little above average), the height is 120 centimeters. The trepni is 51 centimeters long and 14 centimeters wide. The ground clearance is 8 centimeters. The total weight, including the battery, is only 18,4 kilograms.

Overall, it's not a giant, the tread width is just right for me, but it's not a dance floor. The length is adequate, the height of the steering wheel is also just right. The latter can be a bit of a problem because the height is not adjustable, so if you are over 190 cm tall, you may feel short.

There is a noticeable amount of material in it, even though the frame is covered by plastic cover plates almost everywhere. The assembly is quite exemplary. In essence, it is interesting in every part, we can discover small delicacies everywhere. At the front, the company logo, the small, more decorative "windshield", the angel eye lamp, the reflectors, the taillight, but even the lock on the steering column or the rear fender give the machine a unique face that has not been seen anywhere else.

I can say without exaggeration that I haven't had such a patent machine tested recently.


 

Paper form

Let's start with the electrical system! The nominal power of the motor is 300 watts, its peak power is 600 watts. Here, the nominal value is decisive, it is what the regulator is also interested in, and thus, in terms of performance, the NIU scooter will definitely be in the scooter category once the legislation on the regulation, which currently only exists as a draft, is completed.

The battery has a capacity of 365 Wh and is a 40-volt unit. According to the data sheet, it takes about 7 hours to fully charge. Another important fact related to the battery is that this scooter has energy recharging, that is, the battery is charged when braking or going downhill. According to the manufacturer, we can travel 40 kilometers with one charge. The maximum speed is 25 kilometers per hour, the maximum grade that can be climbed is 15 percent, and the maximum load capacity is only 100 kilograms.

Of course, there is a front and rear light. Both the front and rear lights have a position indicator mode, which is activated when the scooter is turned on. The rear light also has a brake light, and the front has a projector reflector that can be switched on in the dark.

The wheels on the scooter are 10 inches, inflatable, but not tubed, so they say it is puncture-proof. There is no shock absorption, and this predicts that the machine will be best suited for running around the city, and you have to choose something else for off-road.

It is interesting that although there are double brakes according to the regulations, these are nowhere near the traditional solutions. There is a drum brake on the front wheel, and an electric brake on the rear. They are activated simultaneously when the brake lever is pulled. The drum brake is unusual, but not a solution from the devil, the efficiency is adequate and it does not require too much care.

Two more things, for the end. One is that we get IP 54 water protection, which essentially means rain and puddle resistance. The other is that no less than 14 types of protection were built into the electrical system. These are the following:

  • Overcharge protection
  • Overload protection
  • Pre-discharge control
  • Balance mode (when charging the cells)
  • Protection against charging overcurrent
  • Protection against discharge overcurrent
  • Protection against low temperature during discharge
  • Protection against high temperature during discharge
  • Protection against high heat during charging
  • Protection against low temperature during charging
  • Protection against short circuit due to wire breakage
  • Prohibition of charging below 1 volt
  • Prohibit charging while discharging
  • Protection against discharge short circuit

The manufacturer summarizes this matter as follows:

KQi2 is equipped with the NIU ENERGY BMS system, a patented industry-leading technology that provides 14 types of protection and has covered more than 10 billion kilometers safely for users.


 

Installation and application

Before I get into what it's like to ride this scooter, I need to see how it's set up. This is not the same as installing the steering wheel, the matter is a little more complex.

The NIU KQi2 Pro has a Bluetooth connector, so it is obvious that it also has a phone application. If you want to take advantage of the scooter's capabilities, you will be forced to download and set up this app, because otherwise you will not be able to travel at a speed higher than 18 kilometers per hour, there will be no energy recovery when braking, and you will not be able to lock the machine.

You can control four things from the steering wheel: the throttle, the brake, whether the display should be Km/h or Mph/h, and you can turn the lights on and off. Everything else will require the application.

The program is not a complicated thing anyway. When starting for the first time, you have to go through a quick safety course, including braking, acceleration, wearing a crash helmet, don't hold the steering wheel with one hand, and similar topics. You will also need to create an account, which I think is understandable in this case, since you can lock your scooter via the phone, it would not be good if anyone could unlock it.

So the point is to install the app, register and start using it!

It is interesting that after the first switch on, you cannot adjust the top speed, the power, or the amount of energy recovery. In order to enable the sports mode, i.e. the maximum speed of 25 km/h and the rest, you have to drive 200 meters with the scooter.

Interestingly, this distance was more like 400 meters for me, then I heard the discreet little beep, which warned me that I can now fiddle with the settings.

By the way, you will be able to update the scooter's software through the application, and there is of course the option to save a route, which means you can see exactly how much distance you have covered and what elevation gain you have overcome.

Overall, I rate the software well, even if I feel it is a bit unnecessary for a scooter.


 

Experiences

Let's start with the application, if we have already finished the previous chapter with it! I was very surprised that you can't mess with the settings unless you take a relatively short trip. To be honest, this setup seemed a bit pointless, but after thinking about it, maybe it isn't. Because it's one thing that I've already tried a thousand different types of scooters, so this was no surprise either, but what about those who are now roller skating for the first time.

The first roller-skating wouldn't be dangerous here either, but the stop could already cause a surprise. In the default position, there is no energy recovery, so deceleration is less intense if you grip the brake lever. However, if you push the energy recovery to the maximum, then the scooter, which until then essentially behaved as a freewheel, can produce quite dynamic stops.

If the energy recovery is at its maximum and you are not speeding, you can almost forget about the brakes. The scooter brakes itself to a standstill within a relatively short time.

One more thought about the application and the closing. It's okay, but the problem is that it's a scooter that you can ride even if it's not powered. Of course, slower, so if you notice the theft in time, you can run after the thief. But if you lift it up and put it in a car, you have no chance.

So it's good that you can seal it, but you still have to provide some physical protection if you don't want it to need a leg.

Let's talk a little more about the exterior! The angel eye solution looks really good with the lamp, this is the position indicator already mentioned above, which immediately comes to life when the scooter is switched on. If the power button is pressed twice, the projector headlight is switched on within the glowing circle of the angel eye. But even this does not just turn on and off, but gradually brightens up to the maximum after switching on, and fades nicely when switched off. It's all really cool!

In the case of the rear light, I really like the way the lamp stands out from the fender, it's also a small masterpiece in my opinion, but the small "windshield" mentioned above is also very good! There are no RGB lights on this scooter, but you don't need them.

So it's a matter of taste, but for me, this understated but very well thought out design with its small details suits me better than the rgb lights from many other manufacturers.

At NIU, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to customize your scooter a little. Well, not in a crazy way, but what we can do is to replace the tread pad. In the box you will also find a second, more colorful piece instead of the glued grey/black one.

Let's just add that I don't really understand why the manufacturer doesn't use this thing a little more. In the webshop, you can get everything from key chains to cool LED helmets, but not covers for the treadmill. I think there would be a demand for it.

In the case of scooters (and, of course, bicycles as well), the instrument and its visibility are usually a delicate detail. Well, the NIU gauge on top of the steering column looks pretty cool. The numbers made up of huge pixels look pretty good even in sunlight. Let's say, in return, that the green picrogram indicating that the headlights are on is not visible at all when the sun shines on it, but that should be a minor problem. We can see our speed on the display, and we can also see what energy recovery stage we are in. So the point is there, it's visible, it looks good, nothing else is needed.

The experience of rollerblading was left at the end.

The NIU KQi2 Pro is an amazingly good machine. Even though there is no active shock absorption, it still doesn't feel like it wants to fall apart. It doesn't rattle, it doesn't rattle, it doesn't squeak, it doesn't knock. It doesn't make a sound even on worse road surfaces, the frame is stiff, it doesn't wobble noticeably under me, even though I'm very close to the maximum theoretical load capacity.

The 300 or the maximum power of 600 watts easily accelerates the almost 100 kilos to the top speed, i.e. 25 kilometers per hour. This is the end of speed, and it doesn't even help if e.g. I'm going downhill. Let's say I didn't try it in downhill mode, but it didn't want to go above 26 on a medium slope either.

Here I attach the distance that can be covered on a single charge to the watts and top speed. Perhaps no one will be surprised that 40 kilometers is fake, this is the case with all manufacturers (even with Xiaomi). For the maximum load, that is, with my mass approaching 100 kilos, if I did not strain my eyes, but moved comfortably at a speed of 18-20 kilometers per hour, then the end would be 25-26 kilometers. If I pushed the maximum, it's good if 18 comes together. In the case of a lower body weight, of course, these data can improve drastically, so I think it is possible to save 80 kilometers at 30 kilos. Don't make it just an uphill climb.

Returning to the factory data, the 15 percent climb can be overcome, maybe it can do a little more than that, it was able to slow down to 18-19 kilometers per hour on a medium climb. I think we can agree that this is not an outrageously bad value.

The fact is that a good road surface is necessary for comfortable transportation. Asphalt or paving of normal bicycle paths is essential, especially if we do not want to go 1-2 kilometers. My teeth chattered on bumpy roads, which is not pleasant. So, as I wrote at the beginning of this article, this scooter is a tough urban vehicle, not for the forest.

It is also important that in sport mode (that is, when you can go 25), the acceleration is sufficiently dynamic. I wouldn't even call it 300 watts, because most of the 300-watt scooters I've had are not even in the same range. At the same time, the acceleration does not tear your head off, it reaches the top speed nicely, culturedly, almost imperceptibly.

I already mentioned the brake above. Well, you have to be careful with this. The drum brake brakes the front wheel, while the engine brake brakes the rear. Suffice it to say, he can stop quickly. If you are not preparing to stop by shifting a little body weight, then you have to hold on to the steering wheel, especially when the energy recovery is at its maximum. As I wrote above, in such a case the machine slows down quite nicely even without a brake, so if you are not driving in a hurry, the engine brake will essentially be enough to stop, and the brake lever will only be needed in an emergency, for a sudden stop.

So the brake is very good, but just be careful when gripping the brake lever!


 

Summary

Friends, I must say that next to NIU's scooter, Xiaomi can hide. Or, if you don't have to hide, you can take a step back, giving the floor to NIU.

This is an amazingly showy, amazingly well put together machine that attracts the eye. Small, often very small details, such as the lights or even the rubber cover of the charging port, all reveal quality design and real care. The NIU KQi2 Pro is not a mixture of parts randomly shoveled together from the shelf, but a consciously designed machine down to the smallest detail.

Who do I recommend it to?

I dare to recommend it to those who want to cover medium distances of 5-10-15 kilometers in one run in the city, on a bicycle path, with good road quality. Due to its capabilities, it remains in the scooter category according to the expected domestic regulations, that is, it does not need to be used as an auxiliary motor between cars, it does not need to be insured, etc.

It is very positive that it has a relatively small weight. I'm not saying, walking for kilometers with an 18-kilogram machine isn't much fun, but as long as you take it to the subway, get on a bus or tram, this weight is perfectly acceptable. This also means that you can even use it as a last mile device between public transport and the end point of your destination.

Due to its not very large size, it can easily fit in the trunk of a smaller car, so it can also be useful if you drive into the P+R parking lot from the agglomeration and use public transport from there. In other words, if you bought the NIU KQi2 Pro, you are already rollerblading.

The price of the NIU KQi2 Pro is a little higher than the average Chinese scooters with similar capabilities, but it is still not at the Xiaomi level. I think the slightly higher price is more than justified by the technical content, so I can say that if you want a scooter that is more reliable than average, nicer than average, better than average, then the NIU KQi2 Pro is worth paying this little extra.

The scooter can of course be purchased from an EU warehouse. Use the NNNHOCHUNK2P coupon code, the price will be ~150 forints at the following link:

 

NIU KQi2 Pro electric scooter

About the Author

Owner of the HOC.hu website. He is the author of hundreds of articles and thousands of news. In addition to various online interfaces, he has written for Chip Magazine and also for the PC Guru. For a time, he ran his own PC shop, working for years as a store manager, service manager, system administrator in addition to journalism.