Hiboy S2R: A Beginner Electric Scooter Packed With Thrills
The Hiboy S2R is a lightweight, portable electric scooter perfect for beginners. At $500, the S2R is one of the best values for scooters in terms of speed, range, and portability. Out of the box, it is pretty easy to assemble and ride, and it is pretty lightweight for its caliber. Its lightweight design allows for thrilling maneuverability, which makes for enjoyable cornering.
However, the scooter does not come without drawbacks. The scooter does not offer any sort of suspension or ride dampening, making for a bumpy and unenjoyable experience on uneven surfaces. Cracks in sidewalks, gravel, potholes (forget it), and even slightly rough roads will make this scooter practically unrideable. As expected with any scooter without a suspension, this is only to be used on fresh, even pavement.
The nitty-gritty (stats for nerds)
The Hiboy S2R has a top speed of 19 mph, which is on the lower end for electric scooters. Its maximum range is rated at 17 miles. However, I’ve actually been able to eke out about 19-20 miles on particular rides. I’ve also run this scooter down in 10 miles; it all depends on your throttle force (yeah, I said it). The regenerative braking is phenomenal, and I’ve only used the mechanical rear disc brake about 5% of my time using the brakes. If you want to maximize range and go downhill, lightly hold the brakes and get more battery power.
The scooter is IP54 water-resistant, which means it can handle “Low-pressure spray at any angle for 10 minutes,” which isn’t exactly waterproof. What this implies in real-world wet situations is debatable. The handlebars are a decent width that should be comfortable for most riders, and the deck has an excellent ribbed grip tape that keeps your feet in place. The wheels are 8.5-inch tires with good tread. However, they tend to wear down quickly (depending on riding style). I would have liked to see pneumatic tires for a more comfortable ride, but the solid tires offer some durability and maintenance benefits (no flats!). The scooter’s single motor is rated at 350 watts, which is average for an electric scooter.
In terms of portability, the Hiboy S2R weighs in at 30.8 pounds, making it one of the lighter electric scooters in this range and speed level. It folds down to a compact size (45.9 × 16.9 × 20.5 in), making it easy to carry around and fit in a car trunk. When folded, the scooter stem locks to the deck, making it even more convenient to transport.
My Personal Experiences With The S2R
As my first electric scooter, I had an absolute blast with it. It was just the right price to start off, and the speed and acceleration definitely take a while to get old. I bought it in June of 2021 and ran the battery down just about every day I could get the time. My good friend has the exact model, so it was a blast tearing this scooter around with someone else, and he enjoyed it as much as I did.
The top speed of 19MPH gets to be a little (I hate saying it) boring on long straight stretches, so I found I get the most excitement by turning hard and using the weight of my body to counter the shift in weight so I can take turns as sharp as possible. I quickly found that the puncture-proof tires (while pretty reliable otherwise) were worn away after about four months of use (about 400 miles). I still get traction and stay comfortable in turns, but it is always something I have to keep in mind.
A few problems come with the scooter that I’ve yet to mention but are quite important. The handlebars connect to the stem at the top through four screws. After not very long riding, I’ve found that these screws tend to loosen as you ride, and I can imagine using the scooter on uneven and bumpy surfaces will accelerate this problem. It is undeniably essential that these are secure and fastened, but there are ways you can combat it. My friend’s S2R had the same problem, and duct tape around the screws kept them in place. I lost two of the four screws in my situation, not even knowing they fell out, and I could find the size at a hardware store and replace them. It turns out that the screws I bought were infinitely more secure than the ones that came with the scooter.
The next problem is that, as with any electric scooter or device powered by lithium-ion batteries, it will slowly die over time. After purchasing the scooter in June, using it thoroughly until fall in mid-October, and a handful of spirited rides in 2022, my first battery died. Dead as a doornail. In fact, I was mid-ride, and the battery level indicated I was at 3/5 bars. I was going up a hill until I lost power, and it simply shit the bed. It has never turned on since. I went to charge it, and the charging indicator showed green, meaning it was full. It is not.
With the same scooter, bought around the same time, my friend had his battery die similarly within days after mine died. You cannot deny that we would frequently ride more than average riders. You also cannot get past the physics of a lithium-ion battery, even when you take care of the battery. Boy, did I. With lithium-ion batteries, you’re not supposed to run them down to 0% or charge it while it’s at 100%. I always did my absolute best to take care of this battery pack. With that being said, I truly believe this (and my friend’s) battery died far too soon. Luckily, the battery is removable. The S2R uses a proprietary battery that can only be bought from Hiboy.
Hiboy’s Customer Service
Hiboy is a relatively reputable brand based out of China, and from my experience, their customer service is just okay. The language barrier is apparent, making it difficult to communicate what the problem is. While the scooter was under a 12-month warranty, the battery was past the 6-month warranty. Their offer was to buy the otherwise $180 replacement battery for $150. I wasn’t about to spend that money for a battery I already have that could have something as simple as a chip or board wrong with it. It went bad in less than a damn year. No thanks. After a bit of charm and gentlemanly demands, I finessed the price to $100. It is currently in the mail at the time of this being written. Hopefully, it doesn’t go bad on the cargo ship.
The Hiboy S2R is a decent scooter for its price. It’s excellent for commuting and leisurely rides around town. It’s portable, lightweight, and has enough power to get you where you need to go with thrills and only some drawbacks. The build quality is good for what it is, but some areas could be improved upon, such as the handlebar screws loosening with time.
The S2R does make a case for being a top-level budget scooter, with cruise control, regenerative braking, a headlight, brake lights, water-resistance rating, and, of course, a detachable battery.
My biggest gripe with this scooter is how early the battery died. In my opinion, it should last much longer than it did. All things considered, I would still recommend this scooter if you are a casual rider and you aren’t afraid of slight tinkering and maintenance to ensure a safe ride. If you’re looking for a more versatile scooter that can handle any road, you’ll have to look elsewhere.