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Unagi Model One Voyager Review: The Last Mile Scooter Leave a comment

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There is a thumb control on each handlebar; the one on the right is for acceleration, and the one on the left is for the brake. Both are responsive, and you can be precise to get the level of acceleration or braking power you need at the moment. I never had issues coming to a quick stop with the dual e-brakes, though you can step down on the rear fender for extra stopping power. (At this price, I still would have expected disc brakes.)

Photograph: Unagi Scooters

Above these thumb controls are tiny yellow buttons—hit the one on the left and your ears will be treated to what’s arguably the most useless horn. It’s just … not the kind of blaring sound you want. No one jolts when they hear it (believe me, I’ve tried it on pedestrians and cars in the bike lane and no one bats an eye). It sounds like the ordinary beeps and boops of a scooter and not a “GET OUT OF THE WAY” alarm. It’s easily drowned out by the bustle of the city.

Hit the right button twice to change speed modes. There are three: level one goes up to 9 mph, level two 12 mph, and level three is 15 mph, which is what I used exclusively. If you really want, you can unlock a top speed of 20 mph by pressing and holding a combination of these buttons, but this will just eat at the limited range. (More on this later.)

The Voyager has two 250-watt motors that typically operate at 500 watts but have the potential to ramp up to 1,000 watts at peak power. Press the power button in the center of the dashboard twice to switch between single-motor mode and dual-motor mode. The speed levels don’t change, but in dual-motor mode, you’re able to take advantage of the extra power to climb slopes at a slightly faster pace and enjoy a more responsive acceleration. It’ll take off at a traffic light faster than if you just used single-motor mode. I was surprised that it was able to cruise up the Williamsburg Bridge at 13 to 14 mph, barely breaking its top speed—this little thing packs a surprising amount of power.

Bon Voyage

Riding the Voyager is akin to sailing on the high seas. When the ocean is calm, it’s smooth sailing. But you’ll need to brace yourself in the thick of a storm. OK, what I mean by that is when you’re on perfectly flat roads, the Voyager offers up a super smooth ride. But anything less will shake you quite a bit, and I am not confident in the scooter’s ability to handle a pothole or two. This is largely due to the 7.5-inch solid rubber tires. They’ll make you feel all the bumps on the road, though at least you won’t have to worry about a flat.

Range is the next pain point, though it’s not as poor as I was expecting. In dual-motor mode, I was able to get a little more than 10 miles, even after going up a bridge. Sticking to a single motor doesn’t seem to save you that much extra battery life. I did an 8-mile roundtrip with the single motor and another on a different day with the dual motor, and I ended up with roughly 32 percent remaining when I arrived home after both trips.

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