The guys and gals over at NIU have been busy this week, with the company pulling off two major product launches that transform the company from a leading manufacturer of connected, electrified Vespa-style scooters to a full-fledged e-mobility powerhouse. The news they want us to share is that NIU has entered the electric kick-scooter market with a sharp, high-end product … but the news we’re really excited about is that NIU is going to be building a for-real electric motorcycle in 2022. Let’s get to it!
2021 NIU Electric Kick Scooter
Available in two versions, the NIU Kick Scooter Sport and Kick Scooter Pro were specifically designed for US and European markets where larger scooters aren’t as popular. Here in the US, the Sport model offers an 18 MPH top speed and about 25 miles of range between charges. The Kick Scooter Pro offers a bit more power, with a 20 MPH top speed and a 30 mile range!
That seems awesome, but I can’t actually imagine riding one of these for more than 30 miles. Even at WFO the entire way, that’s 90 minutes of riding on a Kick Scooter Pro — which seems a bit mad, to be honest. It does make sense in the context of NIU’s recent expansion into the e-mobility rental markets, however, where the ability to be used by several riders going from station to station is mission critical. The advanced connectivity features built into the Kick Scooter Sport and Pro models would also be helpful in that context, enabling rental companies to remotely check in on their assets and quickly identify scooters that have issues and need maintenance.
Don’t think that these are just for renters, though. The NIU Kick Scooters are genuinely neat-looking rides that seem to offer premium quality, great features, and technology like regenerative braking that could really appeal to tech nerds like, well — me! Just look at this …
… and, frankly, with a price tag of $599 for a Kick Scooter Sport, these things fall well into the “impulse buy” category for many urban commuters or Go-Ped enthusiasts. Hell, I know guys that have three times that in their Go-Peds — and I’m not sure you’d even want to commute on those!
NIU Electric Motorcycle | NQi Pro
Okay, we talked about the Kick Scooter. It’s time, then, to talk about the announcement that got us really excited: the NIU RQiPro electric motorcycle that’s set to begin production for the 2022 model year. It’s not a hyperbike, by any means, but 0–30 (ish) MPH in 3 seconds and a 100 MPH top speed put it somewhere between the popular 300cc and 500cc motorcycle classes, so it should appeal to a wide range of riders, from novices to experienced urban commuters. A 60 mile range also feels about right here, since an ICE motorcycle of that size probably wouldn’t see much road trip use, either.
What’s even more exciting, though, is that we got a bit more out of NIU than “just” a spec sheet and an illustration. Check out the photo below and realize it with me: it’s real!
With the context of a rider, you can see that the NIU RQiPro nicely sits in that CB300-500 size window mentioned earlier. You can also see some higher-end features like floating disc brakes, inverted forks, and LED lighting. The rear passenger pegs, too, are worth mentioning, as this is obviously going to be a bike that attracts passengers.
In all, I’d say this year is going to be a big one for “the Tesla of Electric Scooters,” and I can’t wait to try out one or both of these new products in person. What about you guys? Are you kick-scooter’ed out, or have you just been waiting for the right one to come along? And how about that motorcycle — it’s no Harley-Davidson Livewire, but do you really need something that big and bad to make it to Starbucks? Let us know in the comments.
Source | Images: NIU
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