e Scooter to replace motorbike, Part 1

As my motorbike has gone I’m looking for an alternative transport to take to the city, mainly Wellington Central, where you have to pay for parking. My motorbike was free so it was handy to use when going into the city. I generally only go into town now for evening talks. So I’m thinking of an alternative form of transport. The challenge being I live at the Top of Mt Victoria, a 200m high hill in the city. Options being:

  1. Another motorbike
  2. Scooter
  3. eScooter (bike)
  4. e Cycle
  5. e Scooter – foot push
  6. Bus
  7. Taxi
  8. Walk up and down hill

Items 1, 2 & 3 all need to have Road Tax and for bikes its about $450/year, so I’d prefer not to pay for that for minimal use, although it is re-couped by not paying for parking. Items 2 & 3 will most probably not need a WOF but they still need road tax.

Item 4. The eBicycle is a good idea, if you can get one with a powerful motor to get you up the hill. NZTA says only a 250W motor and you need aty least a 500, 750 or 100w motor to be able to climb up the hill unaided. Being how fat and unfit I am I’d most probably kil myself before I got to a fitness level to get me up the hill, and I don’t want to shell out a couple of grand just to find it is not the solution I want. II thought about a folding one that I could sling in the back of the car to ride in out of the way places but smaller wheels means more effort. So not quite an appealing solution.

Item 5. This had some appeal, and I’ve been doing some research into this, they are being called the last mile transport and rental e-scooters are around in town. PB Tech sell them and they have a scale of power, but on looking at what was on offer apparently they still do not have the capacity to get up Mt Vic. A nice thing about these is that they can fold up and be slung in the back of the car, so this can be a handy vehicle for travelling and exploring elsewhere.

Another great thing is the dog. Jess is far fitter than Manu, and I got an older dog thinking she’ll be slower and move at my pace. I’m finding I’m doing a lot lot more walking than I’d expected, she’s a farm dog and very healthy, so I’m doing 8-9km a day walking her. More than I anticipated. So maybe having a scooter will be a handy way for her to walk and me to do longer distances to keep her fit. More about this later.

Item 6. Bus, always an option, but I tend to get drunk because of it. I used to get the bus up home but waiting at Courtenay place I’d go in for a drink, loose the will to leave the bar and end up paying for a cab up the hill. That was a major when buses stopped at 6pm. Now the buses are at 1 hour intervals to Mt Vic lookout & to Kilbirnie too to about 10pm (9pm on Sunday). So that is a viable alternative if I’m happy to make sure I get to the right stop at hourly intervals (and not stay in pub too long). You could take a folding scooter on the bus, so go to Courtenay place so only one Zone to be charged for for bus ticket (about $3.60 last time I used it)

Item 7. Taxi, always the last resort, as its more expensive, but anytime at courtaney place, used to be about $12 I suppose its about $20 now. You could take a folding scooter in a cab, so it could be combined with scooter for about town.

Item 8. Walk. Yes, an option but I do not like walking up the hill, which is what this is all about, especially if its dark and rainy, as its slippery in the town belt and a bit of an endurance test.

e-Scooter & other combinations.

So e-Scooter, although it can’t get up Mt Vic, can be used in combination with Bus & Taxi to get to and from and around town. Maybe it can get partway up and I can carry/ push it for the rest of the way?

I do need to test going down steep streets to see that works alright, I may just have to take it slow or walk it.

The e-Scooter has a few features positive that I’m interested in:

  1. Use it to help walk/run dog
  2. No road tax
  3. Easily gets put in back of car, so can use as 2ndary transport. Maybe idea of parking closer to town and using e-Scooter for rest of journey
  4. Can be used in combination with Bus/Taxi too.
  5. Good value for money?
  6. Spend on electricity (need to see) also may be cheaper than petrol- A + and a –
  7. Off road? Possibly other paces to explore, as long at tracks are reasonably flat. need to check this item out as to how versatile it is. Also if dust gets into motor and how to clean.

Negative features:

  1. won’t get up Mt Vic
  2. Possibly a gizmo and will not last.
  3. Good value for money?
  4. Spend on electricity (need to see) also may be cheaper than petrol- A + and a –
  5. Some types cannot be used in the rain. Depending on model/brand
  6. Off road? need to check this item out as to how versatile it is. Also if dust gets into motor and how to clean.
  7. Where can I use it to walk dog? Petone? Waterfront ? (Dog is supposed to be on lead).

I need to do a bit more research on the e-Scooter.

Trying out Beam e-Scooter

I was initially going to go to Petone to try out eScooter then I realised they were at the Waterfront too, so went and parked down at Oriental Parade. I’d initially thought Lime scooters were there, but in fact there were 2 companies, Beam & Flamingo. Beam are purple and Flamingo…. Pink of course. I’d parked by New World and there were a few Beam ones around, so I thought I’d use theirs to start, so downloaded their app and found that they are having a special on of $1 for a 10 minute ride ( instead of $1 to unlock and 38cents/ minute which is what Flamingo is today) See image below. So I was expecting to spend about $20 on trialing a scooter with Jess but the morning session only cost me $3 (reserved) as I think I got $5 voucher for signing up and also $.50c for parking one of the rides in a parking spot (you get a reward for doing so).

The Beam scooters look newer than the Flamingo ones (see 2nd image below, although their app say’s they have newer ones around)) and have 2 brakes ., left rear and right Front, I kept on using the right (front) instead of left (rear). The beam first scooter I tried had a helmet that I unlocked and used, the 2nd didn’t.

The brakes are good, the max speed was 15km/hr but Jess was trotting along and I needed to be going at about 7km/hr to keep pace with her.

She was not too fussed about the scooter, it confused her a bit, but she seemed OK with it , the only thing is she didn’t stop and sniff along the way. She also trotted along behind , so I had to keep turning to look at her and check if she was keeping up. She didn’t want to go fast.

I tried taking a picture with me on scooter (see 3rd image below) and I found that scooter really needed you to have both hands on the handles to use, it was a bit unstable with only one hand.

It was a smooth ride and a bit bouncy over timber bridge, so bigger wheels are better. It was easy to use, although sitting here now typing after 3 10 min sessions, my back is sore, so I think I’ll need to get used to it a bit more.

I’m not sure how I’ll feel using it for longer periods, I suppose the body will ache for a while and then adapt. As its on special today I’ll head back down and have another go at using the Beam one again. Jess is busy having a nap at the moment.

I’m happy giving it a try and it worked fine on the flat ground, I did take it through part of the skateboard park and you could hear the motor whine on the up ramps. It was ok on the fine gravel and also was okish on the wet short grass, unless it was uphill then it squirmed all over the place (no grip) and whined (taxing the motor). I did take it up the ramp area at Sea side of Te Papa which is a low slope and it was ok, but I was nervous about coming down, I had feeling on being at top of ski slope on first day of skiing, whether I’d roll over the handlebars and topple down the hill. The downward slope will need some practice, a bit like downhill roller blades I suppose, you just have to learn how to trust the machine.

As a first play it was ok, I was just really figuring out how to use it and keeping an eye out on Jess. If she mooches at 1/2 speed that is still good exercise for her. I suppose I can take her to Lyall bay footpath for a walk, although animal patrol may pass.


My 125 Suzuki failed its wof. Its been a great bike and definitely better than the scooter it replaced. I’ve only done about 7.2K on it since I’ve had it but the frame rusted out. The place I went to get the Wof ( Warrant of Fitness, an annual inspection) suggested I put it on trademe with a $1 reserve and see what happens.

The wof cost me $60, the ad on trademe $50 so I needed to get that in return, it ended up fetching $655 of which Trademe took another $13.90 for a successful sale. Someone offered me $200 just after I posted it on the site and that was when I thought about my expectations of what I’d get. I then had a $200 number in my head so was pleasantly surprised at the $655. The person who bought it came from Masterton so I topped up the tank with petrol and gave it a run on the day.


End comment

I’m starting to see the appeal of a e-Scooter, and that may take me onto an e-Bike later. The waterproofing issue may be important, coming into Winter.

A couple of considerations:

  1. Whether it ends up as a folly investment.
  2. whether I will get more or less exercise in the future
  3. Whether Jess will get used to it. If she gets peeved with it then I won’t get the best bang/value out of it.
  4. Finding places to use it where its safe for Jess to walk too.
  5. Finding the right scooter for my purpose.

I need to do some more research on this to ascertain if it’s the transport I need. I wanted to write this article to bed some of the ideas down that I have been considering, so that I have a base measure to come back to to see if it’s the correct way forward.