Budget electric scooters are a viable option for short to mid-distance commutes around the city. Many scooters can hit reasonable max speeds and travel great distances on a single charge, making them an eco-friendly alternative to cars.
One such scooter is the Unagi Model One electric scooter. In this article, we take a deep dive into its many features to see what it brings to the table and if it’s worth the money.
Unagi Scooter Review: At a Glance
The Unagi Model One is an astoundingly beautiful scooter, and its futuristic design reveals a distinctly Japanese influence. However, looks aren’t all this electric scooter has going for it: it’s also built to last, boasting the same carbon fiber material used in SpaceX rockets.
Moreover, it comes in two versions: the Unagi Model One E250, propelled by a single motor, and the Unagi Model One E500, its dual motor version and the faster of the two e-scooters. Both versions don’t have suspension, though.
- Beautiful design
- Built with high-quality materials, mainly carbon fiber
- Massive 280lb max rider load
- Solid puncture-proof tires
- Generous 12-month warranty
- Quick acceleration, so you can reach the top speed in 4.4 seconds
- Has a decent range of 15.5 miles on a single battery charge
- Very portable and lightweight
- Bright LED lights for nighttime commutes
- Three riding modes
- Spacious frame
- Inadequate hill climbing power
- Lacks suspension
- Handlebars aren’t foldable
Speed & Acceleration
The Unagi Model One has a maximum speed of 18 mph. Of course, there are faster electric scooters; however, it’s still a respectable top speed.
Model One riders can choose between three riding settings when commuting with this scooter. The beginner riding mode caps the top speed at 11 mph. The intermediate mode caps the top speed at 13 mph, while the advanced mode has no maximum speed.
With the dual-motor mode on, the rider can reach the top speed on the scooter in 4.4 seconds! In contrast, riding in single motor mode means it’ll take a little longer.
Battery & Range
The Model One is bundled with a 9 Ah LG lithium-ion battery, which has a 5-hour charge time. When it’s fully charged, the battery signals via an LED light on the charging brick that goes from red (charging) to green (full).
There’s also an intelligent battery management system built into the electric scooter, which helps to preserve battery life. It does this by protecting the battery from overcharging, power surges, and other electrical faults that may crop up during charge time.
Officially, the Unagi Model One provides 15.5 miles of range on a single battery charge, especially if you ride it in eco mode. However, the rider’s weight, weather conditions, and road smoothness are factors that may determine whether it’s possible to reach the Model One’s range.
In terms of hill climbing, the Unagi Model One E500 fares better on steep hills than its single motor counterpart. That’s because its dual motors have enough torque to scale slopes with 15-degree inclines.
In contrast, the Unagi Model One E250 can only manage 6-degree inclines, meaning you should probably go for the Model One E500 if you live in an area with many slopes.
Notably, both versions of the Model One may find it hard to scale the steepest hills, as neither comes with as much motor power as other scooters.
Portability & Weight Limit
The Model One is a very portable electric scooter. It weighs 27 pounds, making it easy to carry around. This electric scooter also features a folding mechanism with a spring-loaded hinge that makes it easy to fold the scooter in one movement. With both hands, we’ve been able to fold the scooter in under 3 seconds.
Additionally, the max rider weight of the Unagi Model One is 265 lbs, meaning this electric scooter can bear riders of diverse weight groups with no problems.
Thanks to its dual electronic brakes, stopping the Unagi Model One electric scooter when riding at high speeds is a piece of cake. Also, the Model One comes with a rear foot brake, which can bring the scooter to a stop in under 17 feet when used in combination with the electric brake. This brake is located on the scooter’s rear fender.
Also, the rear fender brake on the Model One serves as a backup brake. That feature can come in handy if the electronic brakes become unresponsive due to low juice while descending a slope.
The solid rubber 7.5 inch wheels on this scooter make it extremely low-maintenance. Riders won’t have to worry about getting flats in the middle of a commute or closing punctures. Not to mention, they provide solid traction.
Each tire has air pockets spread along its surface area, which helps the scooter absorb bumps in the road and improve ride quality. This is a needed feature, as this scooter doesn’t come with suspension.
The deck of the Model One electric scooter is a spacious slab of aluminum, featuring a top surface area covered in embedded silicon. This grippy rubber surface ensures that the rider’s shoes are steady.
Meanwhile, the scooter’s kickstand is located on the left hand side of the scooter. This kickstand does a good job supporting the scooter when stationary and can be deployed with a single kick.
Also made from aluminum and carbon fiber, the frame of the Unagi Model One is sleek and durable. The stem is made of TORAY carbon fiber, the same material used in SpaceX rockets. Lastly, the Model One is sold in four colors: scarlet fire, cosmic blue, matte black, and sea salt.
The Unagi Model One’s handlebars are covered in rubber, providing the rider with a solid grip. The scooter’s electronic brake paddle is on the left handlebar with the electronic horn above it. On the right handlebar, you have the scooter’s throttle. And the small button above it lets you flip between the various speed settings of the scooter.
Unfortunately, the Unagi Model One electric scooter doesn’t have folding handlebar features. However, this doesn’t pose an issue when you store it.
You can find the Model One’s LCD above the scooter’s power button. It’s nestled in the center of a cockpit positioned between the handlebars and features a clean interface. The latter provides the rider with information about the scooter. In particular, the rider can keep track of the scooter’s mileage, battery power, speed, and riding mode.
Additionally, the scooter’s display can be seen clearly even on a sunny day. So, Unagi One riders won’t have to glare or squint to make out the information on a dim screen.
When riding at night, the Unagi Model One’s 47 Lumen front LED headlight is bright enough to light up the road ahead of the rider. Also, it has a rear blinking LED light that makes it hard for vehicles behind it to miss the scooter.
However, it’s highly recommended that you get extra lights for your safety when commuting at night so that you’re easily visible to motorists.
The Unagi Model One has an IP54 water-resistance rating, meaning it won’t get damaged if you get caught in the rain. The scooter will also hold its own against water splashes.
With that said, avoid riding in torrential weather or getting the e scooter submerged in water with a depth greater than a shallow puddle.
Unfortunately, the Unagi Model One doesn’t come with suspension. As a result, it offers no shock absorption on rougher roads. While the scooter’s solid tires try to fill in for the lack of suspension, their effect is limited, making this a scooter for smooth roads only.
On the bright side, the scooter’s throttle is smooth during acceleration compared to the jerkiness you get with other scooters.
Unagi has put a safety measure in the Model One that prevents it from moving before the rider kicks off. This helps prevent the scooter from running off with the rider, causing them injury.
Warranty & Support
Unagi offers you a one-year warranty with the Unagi Model One. Under this warranty, the company ships out a brand new scooter to any customer that experiences issues within the first three months of purchasing it.
Customers who experience problems with their Model One electric scooter outside of these initial months also receive a replacement electric scooter. However, from months 4 to 12, this scooter may be a refurbished one instead of brand new.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Unagi Electric Scooters Worth the Money?
Yes. Most Unagi scooters are well designed, built with exotic materials, and great for a daily commute. They’re also souped up with cool features like a folding mechanism that takes less than 3 seconds and a rubber grip that provides a lot of stability to the rider.
Does the Unagi Electric Scooter Model One Have a Long Lifespan?
Yes, this electric scooter features carbon fiber and forged aluminum. These two materials make the scooter extremely durable, so with a little bit of care, you can expect to be riding the Model One for a long time. Additionally, taking measures like charging the scooter regularly and avoiding submerging the scooter in water will help you get the most out of it.
What Do the Numbers 1, 2, 3 Indicate on the Dashboard?
These numbers indicate the scooter’s various speed modes. 1 represents the beginner speed mode and caps the speed limit at 11 mph. Then, 2 is the intermediate speed and caps the speed limit at 13 mph. Finally, 3 takes off the training wheels completely and lets you hit the 18 mph top speed.
How Long Do the Unagi One’s Tires Last?
If used reasonably, its tires should last about a year, equating to between 400 and 800 miles.
Can the Unagi One Be Taken on an Airplane?
No, it can’t. That’s because its battery is larger than 160Wh. To be safe, check with the carrier you intend to fly with, and look into the laws of your state. Most likely, the carrier will ask about the battery size when answering your query.
Overall, the Unagi Model One is a great budget scooter that offers a pleasant ride quality on urban commutes. The scooter’s dual motor capabilities mean that riders can quickly reach its 18 mph top speed, while its solid tires deliver excellent traction.
Additionally, riders will appreciate this electric scooter’s build quality, durable, lightweight aluminum, and beautiful design. The battery performance of this electric scooter also rocks, providing significant range in one charge. These are just some of the benefits that make this e-scooter a must-have!