One of the biggest reasons I tend to gravitate towards my ebikes rather than electric scooters is safety: I feel much more comfortable with big ol’ wheels than with the tiny wheels on most electric scooters on pothole-strewn city streets.

Now a scooter startup called Taur, which launched its first product on Kickstarter this week,  thinks it can make a safer, more stable scooter ride, in a package that otherwise looks pretty sleek too.

The Taur scooter’s pneumatic balloon tires are 12.5-inches wide, which is far larger than the 8-ish inch tires you’ll typically see on scooters. Moreover, they’re actually a name-brand product from Continental and have a Kevlar puncture protection layer, which should provide some additional peace of mind.

Though there’s no separate suspension, in my experience, big chunky tires can make for a more comfortable ride than suspension on lesser tires. I also appreciate that the Taur’s tires can be changed “approximately 5 minutes,” just like you’d change a bike’s. Changing the tires on other scooters can be a massive pain in the butt.

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But the Taur’s most unique selling point is that the scooter allows you to face completely forward, rather than the sideways position required by typical electric scooters. At “2.5x wider than a typical scooter deck,” company claims its scooter should provide a significantly more stable ride and better maneuverability than typical scooters. The forward-facing position also gives your head a more useful range of motion for traffic awareness — an important part of staying safe on city streets, especially when there isn’t a dedicated bike lane.

An upwards-firing rear light illuminates your back while riding.

The company also pays attention to other aspects of safety too. The scooter has a built-in 300 lumen lED headlight that can be seen from a 240-degree angle. This is complemented by two rear lights — one set on the rear fender, and another one that shines up on the rider to illuminate them at night. They will also both react to your braking, turning brighter when you slow down.

Speaking of brakes, the scooter uses a two brakes, another important redundancy compared to scooters with just one brake. The front brake is a regenerative one built into the motor, while the rear one uses a 140mm disc with a hydraulic caliper, which should hopefully ensure ample stopping power.

Safety aside, the scooter goes up to 39 kph (24mph) with a range of 35km (22 mi) on its 500W motor. The battery is only 405 watt-hours, so of course, range will depend on your riding habits and weight; I’d expect half that range if you are a heavier rider who likes to ride near max speed.

But on the plus side, a 125W fast charger is included in the box, able to charge the scooter 80 percent in 2 hours. This is a nice surprise — most scooters come with agonizingly slow chargers.

It wouldn’t be 2020 without there being some smart features built in, and the scooter features a UI controllable via a 5-way joystick, and the scooter can be locked and unlocked using a key fob or the scooter’s Bluetooth app. There’s an alarm onboard, and as a nice touch, the Taur can fit locks around both the wheel and the frame, adding a layer of security not always available on scooters.

Despite all these features, the Taur is relatively lightweight at 15.5kg, or 34 lbs. It folds as you would expect, and it can even stand up straight to take up a smaller footprint — something I haven’t seen on another scooter.

The big caveat to all this is that this is a Kickstarter campaign. Though Taur notes its team has “resumes packed by the likes of Tesla, Apple and British Airways,” and decades of combined manufacturing experience, you’re always at some risk with a crowdfunded campaign — just ask the countless delayed or canceled products this year. So far, the company estimates the products will begin shipping in March 2021.

Here’s hoping Taur actually delivers… literally. If you’re willing to hazard the crowdfunding risk, the Taur certainly looks like no other scooter we’ve seen yet.


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Published October 21, 2020 — 19:44 UTC