Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter
Segway were initially known for their …..Segway. However, this company is making waves in the scooter market too. The Ninebot Max is it’s mainstream effort and we review it below.
Segway Ninebot Max : A Review
Weighing in at 19 kgs, the scooter is quite heavy, though it’s still manageable. Based on our experience, 20kgs is the highest weight a scooter can reach and still be considered portable. It is not something that we would want to carry around for more than a city block or a couple of flights of stairs. It also folds down rather easily, with its stem latching on to the rear fender.
When folded, the Segway Ninebot has dimensions of 117 cm x 48 cm x 53 cm. This places it at the taller, longer side when it comes to scooter dimensions, and it might take some angling to get it into a car trunk. We tested it in the trunk of a Honda Accord, which comes with a sizable trunk, and the scooter fits in pretty easily.
The folding stem has a latch that holds a lever, which keeps the stem upright and makes the stem rock solid. It also comes with a safety collar that rotates to lock the folding lever into place. The folding mechanism is extra-solid, and the same mechanism is used in the Max G30LP.
In comparison to the Max G30LP, it comes with 6.4 cm shorter handlebars that usually latch onto the deck that is 6.4 cm shorter. With a weight difference of about 1.5 kgs, both maxes are portable.
The cockpit on the Ninebot Max features a bright LED display that shows all of the basic information, including the battery power, speed, and riding mode. The centered display is bright enough for reading outdoors in direct sunlight, and it automatically dims the light at night, when the front lights are turned on. A single button located below the display controls the mode, lights, and power, though you could also download the mobile app to control these features.
Overall, the adornments contained on the handlebars – the rubber-coated thumb throttle, the easy-to-read display, twist bell, brake lever, and textured handgrips appear thoughtfully constructed out of high quality materials.
We found the bell loud enough to alert pedestrians, but not too loud to deter cars. The thumb throttles feature a grippy rubber pad, ideally maintaining good contact with the trigger thumb. The brake lever feels solid without any excess friction or play, and activates both the drum and electronic brakes together.
This scooter comes with a high-mounted front LED light located on the opposite side of the LED display. When it comes to headlights, this is the ideal location, as it provides a wider projection of light for you to see where you’re going. There’s also a small rear red LED brake light, which is mounted on the rear fender.
The lights are sufficient to offer some visibility, though if you are regularly riding at night, you should check out our guide on additional lights to improve visibility.
The tires on the Ninebot Max are 25.4 cm tubeless pneumatic tires, which will work great at dampening the road vibrations.
Segway refers to the tires as “self-healing”, meaning that the air-filled tires come prefilled with tire slime. This slime makes the tires a bit more resistant to punctures and flat, and we have seen more scooters with pre-slimed tires delivering convenient comfort, especially in the midrange and budget commuter classes.
Many manufacturers are now trying to offer their riders a more convenient experience, ideally providing riders with a cushioned ride on pre-slimmed tires, often without adding suspension system, which results in fewer experiences with flats as the slim repairs punctures as they occur.
The deck on the Ninebot Max is great, with ample standing space along with a raised, grippy, rubber surface. The deck is 50.3 cm long and 17.4 cm wide. This makes it spacious enough for a great variety of comfortable riding positions, and most riders should be able to stand comfortable with both feet end to end (snowboard or skateboard style). There’s a 7.6 cm ground clearance for the deck, and the deck to handlebar height is 102.1 cm.
Generally speaking, the Ninebot Max comes with an excellent build quality. It is actually a strong contender in its class, and actually feels like a serious commuter machine owing to its sturdy construction.
This gives it the appearance that the whole frame has been carved out of a single piece of metal, with its rounded, clean lines, cohesive design, and the rock-solid feel, especially when you’re riding it and feel how secure it is upright. This is true when it’s folded, owing to the zero-wobble safety collar folding mechanism.
Overall, everything just feels well made. The review model we have has lasted well over time, with minimal cosmetic damages during the one-year period we’ve had it in our care. Besides its slip-proof rubberized deck, this scooter comes with an IPX5 water resistance rating, which means that it can tolerate splashes, but not full submersion.
While we don’t recommend riding a scooter in the rain, the Ninebot Max’s pneumatic tires perform surprisingly well on wet roads.in terms of practicality, you can ride the Max home even if you get caught in the rain.
Our model has the first generation motor, which limits the performance against the newer models that feature the next generation motor. Here’s how you can identify what generation motor your model has.
How To identify your Ninebot Max Motor Generation
To identify the motor, you need to locate the serial number on the rear hub motor. The first generation motors usually come with serial numbers that start with number “6”. The second generation motors will come with serial numbers starting with number “9”.
The first generation motor automatically reduces the speed of the scooter (and therefore its output) when the battery is below 70%. The max top speed is about 29 kph, which correlated with the data we got from our performance tests. The long range is likely a result of the limited output, which keeps you from going fast and allows you to take a longer trip.
For the second generation motors, which are in newer Max G30LPs and Maxes, the speed is not limited until the battery drops to below 10%. This means that they can run at full power until the battery is almost fully depleted. As such, the second generation motors come with a maximum top speed of about 32 kph, which we were unable to reach with our Max G30LP, the smaller, shorter range brother to the Ninebot Max.
While we are yet to test a Max with a second generation motor, we do expect that it should get about 33 km of real world range.
Segway ideally developed the motors integrating a battery saving technology that limits the speed of the scooter, likely to save the overall capacity of the battery and control the overall speed as a safety feature.
Since the rider community for the Ninebot Max has grown significantly, many riders have shared how they usually hack their Maxes to boost their performance, including achieving higher top speeds and gaining much stronger electronic braking.
The Ninebot Max comes with a built-in DC converter with a standard “Mickey Mouse Ears” power connector, which is in the IEC 320 C5 generation of power connectors. This means that you can use just about any cable with this connector to charge your scooter. In addition, the scooter comes with the traditional DC port, which can be used with the charger that comes with the box.
With this in mind, you don’t have to carry around a heavy charging pack or a DC converter with you while riding the Ninebot Max. You can simply get a relatively standard and cheap power cable for lightweight charging while on the go. This is one of our most favorite features of the Max, though it doesn’t make an appearance on the Max G30LP.
Ninebot Max: Final Thoughts
The Ninebot Max has set itself apart from other scooters with not only its brand name (ES1, ES2, ES3, ES4, G30LP), but also with how it offers a solid scooter with a longer range at a competitive price. The build quality is excellent, and it comes with good hill climbing capacity, big 25.5 cm pneumatic tires that are rider friendly, along with the fact that the tires have been pre-slimed to ensure maximum flat resistance and low maintenance requirements.
The Ninebot Max ideally redefines a hardworking machine, at least when scooters are concerned. It comes with such a durable build that you can expect it to give you a consistent, lasting performance ride to ride, and there are countless riders out there who can confirm this claim. In our experience, the Ninebot Max did well in both wet and dry conditions, beating its smaller brother and keeping up with other models in our performance tests.
For us, the Max is a great choice for those riders who are willing to carry along a greater weight for long ranges. It’s also nicely designed to allow for minimal maintenance and maximum durability. The Max is not about attaining higher maximum speed, it is more about maximum lifetime, so you can be sure the Ninebot Max is not going anywhere.