By now, many Australians would’ve enjoyed the freedom, fun, and versatility that an electric scooter offers. Whether it’s through the numerous ride-share schemes found across major capital cities or even a personal investment, e-scooters are now more popular than ever. The Segway Ninebot F40A is a quality e-scooter on the market.
However, the market is flooded with budget models from various manufacturers. Still, if you’re an experienced rider who spends a lot of time on the decks, you’ll know quality is the most important factor in an e-scooter. You do get what you pay for.Segway, a company with a 22-year history in electric personal transport, merged with Ninebot in 2015, combining expertise to develop an excellent range of e-rideables. The latest F range of e-scooters brings the company’s renowned build quality, a few design tweaks, and some new features.
The Segway Ninebot F40A comes practically assembled in the box. All you have to do is fold it open, connect the power cable in the stem to the one in the handlebars, screw the bars to the stem, and plug in the charger (it’s recommended to initially charge for six hours).
The first improvement over the company’s E series, the last generation of scooters, is the introduction of 10-inch pneumatic tyres. While there’s no suspension on the F40A, a pneumatic tyre affords the rider the comfort – and safety – to tackle more off-road conditions without rattling their teeth. There’s a spare tyre and innertube in the box, too – that’s a nice touch.
A front-wheel-drive, the F40A has three modes all represented on the LED display in the centre of the handlebars: the energy saving Eco that runs at 15km/h; D, the standard mode; and S for sport mode, which can reach 25km/h. The accelerator button is on the right side of the grip, while on the left is a traditional brake lever and bell/snap hook for a shopping bag.
Before you unlock all its potential, you’ll need to pair the scooter with an app via Bluetooth. Once you watch a safety video, all the speeds are made accessible, and you can also track your rides, lock the scooter, and earn points on challenges, if that floats your boat.
Aesthetically, the F40A is a thing of beauty. The protruding cables wrap around the frame elegantly, and its Boba Fett colour scheme is eye-catching.
The frame is robustly designed and remains rigid on the ride with no uneven wobble whatsoever. We took it on tarmac, gravel roads, on grass paddocks, and even across a building site, and it performed well, although when you hit a pothole or a depression, you’ll know about it. Think of it as a road scooter that can handle a bit of off-road riding too.
The manufacturer indicates that the scooter can handle inclines of up to 20 degrees when it comes to hills. Still, having no way of accurately measuring that, it’s difficult to compare notes. We had little problems tackling minor hills in sports mode, although we did need to deploy a bit of leg work for the steeper ones.
Mounted on the front is a strong LED light for night riding or just an added safety feature, and the rear red brake light will activate when your stopping power is engaged. And talking of the brakes, the rear wheel is serviced with a disc brake with a standard brake at the front. These are regenerative, so power is diverted into the battery when you put on the anchors.
The range is touted at 40km, but this would be riding on the eco mode. Expect less, if like us, you ride with your thumb pushed firmly down for large parts of your journey. For commuting purposes, the scooter weighs around 15kg. It features a simple fold-down mechanism that takes seconds to initiate, and a clip safety device will ensure that this never happens while you’re riding it.
To summarise, the F40A is the complete package. Sturdily built, it offers a comfortable and stable ride, has a good-sized deck, and packs all the features you need. If you’re in the market for an e-scooter, trust us on this one and pay the extra for quality and reliability. The Segway Ninebot fits that brief to a tee.