Here are some tips for what to do while you're waiting for your scooter to come, what to look for when unboxing, and what to do before your first ride in public. Got better tips? Leave them in the comments!
You probably spent a good amount of time researching your e-scooter, and it's just as important to make sure you have accessories and safety gear to ride comfortably and safely.
It's also essential to carefully inspect and understand your scooter before you ride with traffic, so you know what your scooter can do and how to control it.
While You're Waiting for Your e-Scooter
Although you may not know whether you want side view mirrors or additional lights until you've been riding for a while, safety gear is something you'll want to invest in and have ready when your scooter arrives.
Get scooter safety gear
- #1: Helmet No matter how fast you plan to ride, a helmet is essential to riding safely (and, in some states, legally).
Rule of thumb: If you're riding under 20 mph, a fairly lightweight bike helmet works okay. If you're riding over 20 mph, a motorcycle-grade, full face helmet is recommended. As all of the scooters that we offer have top speeds over 20 mph, we have the Soman full face helmet in our store.
- #2: Gloves They'll protect your hands from wind/cold while you ride, and the ground if you slide.
Glove tip: Pick gloves that are heavy duty, protective, and keep your hands warm but are not too restrictive. Make sure you can comfortably transition your fingers to throttle, brakes, and press buttons while wearing gloves.
- #3: Good outerwear Wearing a heavier weight jacket, pants and hard soled shoes (like a hiking boot) will keep you comfortable and protected while riding.
Brrrr: You don't have to wear a full racing suit (unless it looks really cool or you're actually racing), but you'll be surprised at how quickly the wind slices right through you when you get up to speed. And if you ever fall, shorts and flip flops aren't gonna protect you like winter wear will.
Get basic repair tools
All of our electric scooters come with a multipurpose tool kit which features Allen keys, screwdrivers, and a socket wrench set. It's a compact, lightweight multitool for on-the-go maintenance.
If your scooter has pneumatic tires (all of ours do), you should get a portable air pump and tire pressure gauge (often a combo tool) so you can check and inflate.
Pneumatic tires will a) have inner tubes or b) be tubeless. The ride quality is pretty similar, but tubed tires are more prone to flats because the inner tube can get pinched between the rim and the outer tire when not properly inflated.
You can also get Doctor Orange tire sealant to quickly remedy punctures in tubeless tires, but we don't recommend it for tubed tires (it just doesn't work as effectively).
If you have hydraulic brakes, you could get some brake fluid to keep on hand but probably don't need to carry it with you.
All of these tools are small enough to keep in a backpack along with your charger and other personal items, and will help you remedy common problems.
Research local scooter laws
Electric scooters are a new form of transportation, and laws change.
Find out where you're allowed to ride your electric scooter and what regulations your region may have, including speed limits, motor power limits, and restrictions for riding without a license/insurance, helmet or protective eyewear.
Here's a pretty comprehensive graphic for electric scooter laws in the United States. You should still research laws, and look for signage in the areas where you plan to ride to see if any restrictions against e-scooters have been posted.
Yay! What to Do Now That It's Here
It's like Christmas day when your ride arrives!
Unbox (and save that box)
When unpacking, inspect the box, electric scooter, and contents to ensure you received everything and damage did not occur during shipping (it happens more often than we'd like).
If anything is damaged, be sure to document it with photos/videos in case you need to send them to customer support (to the shipping handler and/or VORO, depending on the damage).
Unpack the scooter, and save the box. The size, durability and strength of these scooter boxes are hard to come by, and you'll need a box if you plan to ship the scooter (when traveling or into VORO for service).
What should you look for?
Inspect the entire scooter, looking for any components that may have gotten damaged.
The scooters come mostly assembled, often with parts like the handlebars or other smaller components packed inside rather than installed.
If assembly is required, instructions are in the user manual. Put it together as instructed, then check that screws and connectors are tight and fully seated along the entire build.
Make sure you know how to unfold the stem and/or handlebars, and how to use the features of the cockpit (throttle, display, button consoles, brake levers).
Learn how to use the folding mechanism, and make sure it is completely secure before riding. When properly tightened, you should have very little "play" (or forward and backward movement) when pulling on and pushing the handlebars.
Check that your brake levers and cables are operating correctly, and that the discs are not warped. Your tires will come inflated, but pressure fluctuations happen during shipping. Using a tire pressure gauge, check that your tires have the correct tire pressure (can verify the correct psi in the user manual).
If your scooter has suspension (all of our scooters have some, whether it's spring, rubber, or hydraulic), park your scooter along a wall and stand on the deck (kickstand up). Bracing one hand against the wall and holding the handle with the other, pulse downward or jump a little to see how the suspension responds.
Some suspension systems are adjustable, so you can make adjustments at this point if you're comfortable.
Plug charger into wall, then cable into scooter
Assemble the charging adaptor and plug it into the wall or power source FIRST. Then, attach the adaptor to the charging port on the scooter, making sure to tighten it into place.
When actively charging, the indicator light on the adaptor will glow red. When fully charged, it will glow green.
Keep in mind that chargers are scooter specific for two main reasons: voltage and port type. The volt and amp details are printed on the adaptor, and we carry replacement/backup chargers if you need them.
Practice Before Riding Out
Considering you can rent and immediately ride a shared electric scooter in many big cities, you'd think you can just jump onto any scooter and ride off into the sunset.
Personally-owned VORO scooters go much faster than Bird, Lime and other shared scooters, and apply more torque and braking power.
For your safety, it's a good idea to test ride your scooter in a closed environment, like a quiet residential street or vacant parking lot.
It's just like getting the feel for how different models and brands of cars operate differently, and why you may prefer the way one handles over another.
The way electric scooters handle the terrain, starts and stops depends on how you operate it -- including how you apply the throttle, brakes, and your stance.
Get a feel for how to accelerate, brake, and turn both directions. With some practice, your entire body will learn how to respond.
Here's a video demoing some scooter riding tips.
And this fun first-time rider video from Jimmy Chang.
Got advice? Any gear or tools you can't live without? Please share in the comments!