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Okinawa Ridge Plus: Review of First Ride

Okinawa Ridge Plus: Review of First Ride

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Okinawa launched its first e-scoot the Ridge in 2017 and now the company has refreshed it with more features and a bigger battery, in the form of the Ridge +. We take it for a quick spin.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • There aren’t many design changes in Okinawa Ridge Plus.
  • Overtaking needs to be a planned manoeuvre under any circumstance.
  • The braking isn’t strong and needed extra effort to shave off speed.

The Okinawa Ridge+ is similar to the standard version in terms of its overall appearance and design. Then why relaunch the scooter with a + badge? Well, the answer to this lies in the battery pack as it now comes with a new 60V/26 Ah lithium-ion battery which replaces the standard lead-acid version. This new battery is lighter than the previous version and offers longer range between 90km to 120km on a single charge, sufficient for daily commute to the office and back home. We rode about 100kms during our test and the battery still retained about half its capacity. The 800 watt max power from the BLDC waterproof motor is the same from the standard version with a peak power output of 1200 watt. The charging time has also reduced drastically with a full charge taking less than half the time as earlier. This definitely works in its favour as a daily commuter or even as a secondary vehicle. The other box that it ticks here is the detachable battery which can now be carried to the office or even home for charging.

All-digital instrument console misses out on displaying exact range. (Picture Credit: Nishant Jhamb)

There aren’t many design changes as it has the same front apron, bold-looking headlamp and Transformers-like indicators on the cowl from the Ridge. The panels and the seat are also the same, but the alloys are new and specific to this version. The footboard is smaller than conventional scooters although there is space to stretch your legs for a relaxed riding posture. The under seat storage houses the removable battery, leaving 17-litres of luggage space for a half-face helmet and the charger.

Regenerative drum brakes help extend range. (Picture Credit: Nishant Jhamb)

What’s it like to ride though? Well, the Ridge + is not a conventional scooter so it would be incorrect to expect similar performance. It offers two modes, Eco which gives you a maximum speed of 50kmph. The throttle action is regulated thus wringing it will only produce gradual acceleration. Switching on sport mode, the scooter managed 55kmph given my 80kg weight. Overtaking thus, needs to be a planned manoeuvre under any circumstance. Electric motors are inherently silent thus making it difficult for others on the road to realise your presence. Thankfully, the horn is loud enough to wake up the entire neighbourhood and alert other vehicles on the road. The braking isn’t strong and needed extra effort to shave off speed. No discs seems like a missed opportunity for an upgrade as the braking could’ve used the extra bite. The telescopic fork up front and dual shocks at the rear do a decent job in soaking undulations. It manoeuvres swiftly on traffic-laden roads although feels unsure around corners. Looking at the bigger picture, it gets the job done and yes, without causing any pollution or range anxiety.

The detachable battery pack is a boon. (Picture Credit: Nishant Jhamb)

Verdict

Against a conventional scooter the Ridge + makes a case for itself by offering low cost of ownership albeit without similar performance. Okinawa claims for every km travelled, you only spend 20 paise. At a price of Rs 64,998 ex-showroom, India, the Ridge + sits between the Hero NYX and Hero Photon, both run on lithium-ion batteries. Compare the price to a conventional scooter and then it may not seem as a viable option given the better build quality, performance and arguably, aesthetics. For lesser money you could bag a TVS Ntorq 125 but then again, would you choose to save the planet now or do it another day?

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Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network