In 2017, the Chinese brand Niu landed on an emerging electric scooter market. Less than two years later, it intends to establish itself as one of the leaders in the sector, by multiplying the models. Lareview: the NGT (a 125 cc equivalent) and the M + Sport, a 50 cc equivalent that we are reviewing today and which is sold for around 2,600 euros.
What strikes you at first glance are the dimensions of the craft. Because the M + Sport is a very small machine, 1.72 m long and only 65 cm wide. A small footprint, which is probably one of the main strengths of this vehicle, we will come back to this. Especially since it is also extremely light, with its approximately 65 kilos on the scale. As much to tell you from the start, moreover: even if this machine is approved for two people, its smallness and the size of the saddle make that a trip in duo on board is not more pleasant, nor more reassuring. It is also not recommended for overweight individuals who may feel a little cramped when in the saddle.
We like or dislike the design of Niu scooters, but with their sharp curves, they have at least one personality of their own. Beyond these aesthetic considerations, it is clear that the Chinese manufacturer has done a good job in terms of finishes. Despite its finesse and lightness, the craft gives a beautiful impression of solidity, and it is quickly trusted to roam the streets of Paris.
We also appreciate the dashboard, clear and precise, the large central storage pocket and the USB socket, which allows you to easily charge a smartphone. However, we can blame him for flashing controls that are a little too difficult to access for our taste (you really have to stretch your thumb) and too small mirrors, which limit rear visibility.
With the trunk open, we notice that there is no room for much … If it is not the huge Panasonic battery that gives energy to the vehicle. It is therefore impossible to slip your helmet into the vehicle, or even a few errands if the battery is inserted. You will just have room to wedge the (large) charger that goes with it. It’s a shame, but understandable for such a tiny scooter!
An honorable autonomy
The battery in question is obviously removable: it can be removed in a jiffy thanks to an integrated handle; it can thus be connected at home, using the supplied charger, to a conventional 220-volt outlet. However, count a good night to recharge it in full.
Its 42 Ah capacity promises, according to Niu, a range of more than 100 kilometers. According to our experience of circulation in intramural Paris, we are not quite there. Our journeys have shown that we should rather expect a range of around 70 km, which is acceptable, in any case sufficient to cross Paris four times seamlessly. As a reminder, the autonomy of an electric vehicle is far from being an exact science, and will depend a lot on the speed you reach during your journeys and your body size.
Not very powerful, but ideal for sneaking everywhere
Let’s be frank: on the road, the M + Sport is not a thunderbolt of war. Admittedly, its 1200 watt Bosch motor develops a frank acceleration from 0 to 15 km / h to engage you before the cars on an intersection after a red light. It is even too abrupt at start-up, and you will have to handle the gas handle with delicacy to avoid too abrupt starts! We would have liked a more gradual acceleration. Because from 15 km / h to 45 km / h (its maximum speed), the times are Conversely a little soft, which can be annoying when it comes to overtaking a vehicle quickly.
Practical when you have to advance carefully through traffic jams and squeeze between cars, there is a “slow” mode. Strained at 20 kilometers an hour, it allows above all a much smoother acceleration than mode “2”, which offers all the power of the engine and which is used 99% of the time.
This lack of fishing, the M + Sport compensates by an extraordinary handling. Its low weight and small footprint are huge assets in the congested streets of a megalopolis. In Paris and its permanent traffic jams, one slaloms with ease between cars, especially as the turning circle is excellent. And its size even allows you to take shortcuts inaccessible to larger two-wheelers. Really a good point.
Two faults, however, counterbalance the pleasure of driving. First, there is braking. The scooter has no anti-lock braking system. A bit of a sudden braking, and that’s the slip. Station, especially during your first trips. Another more annoying problem: the suspension is very stiff, which makes driving unpleasant on rough roads, for example on cobblestones.
What is a connected scooter for?
Special feature of Niu scooters: they all hide a 4G SIM card (free and without subscription) and a GSM chip in their heart. What is it used for ? First locate the scooter permanently. All you have to do is associate the vehicle with the Niu application (available on Android and iOS), which is easily done via a QR-Code found in the user manual. You will then have access to the position of your scooter on a map. It’s reassuring and it works very well. You can also “lock” the scooter with a small accessory delivered with the key. Therefore, at the slighreview unauthorized movement, the device will trigger an alarm and you will receive an illico notification on your smartphone.
The app also allows you to know in real time the health status of the battery and remotely check the scooter to make sure it is working properly.
It offers other more or less useful, but fun functions. It lists on a map on the one hand all the trips made (and can thus turn into a cookie, beware!) And also gives you some statistics on the use of the vehicle (distance traveled by day, week or month, speed maximum reached etc.). Something to delight fans of statistics and tables.
The verdict of the review
Niu M + Sport
Extremely light and handy, this scooter is a good traveling companion … exclusively for urban journeys. We regret, however, its slightly soft engine and its stiff suspension. Finally, far from being a gadget, its 4G connectivity and its GPS are reassuring tools, which allow you to constantly keep an eye on your machine.
Niu Model M+ Sport Series 1200w 28mph Ride Review - GreenMopeds.com
NIU M+ SPORT | TEST MOTORLIVE
2019 Niu M+ & NGT | Electric Scooters
Electric Scooter Review: NIU M+ Sport
Niu M+ Series 1200w 28mph Electric Moped Static Review - Green-mopeds.com