In this detailed Apollo Explore review, we will examine the rise to fame of this excellent scooter, and see exactly why it is one of the best mid-price choices in the world right now.
Who should buy the Apollo Explore?
The Apollo Explore quickly became one of the most popular and respected electric scooters priced under $1500. There are only a handful of truly great scooters in this price range, and the Apollo Explore is among the top few of those without a shadow of a doubt.
This is the perfect scooter for anyone that’s looking to invest in a serious model of excellent quality. It’s not a budget model by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not one of those crazy-powerful scooters used for racing or riding off-road. Its strength lies precisely in its balanced properties and specifications, coupled with the strong focus on durability, especially when it comes to the battery, but also in the overall build quality as well.
It’s no wonder that the Apollo team provided 24 months of warranty on this scooter, and Apollo customers have had nothing but the highest praise for the people behind this scooter (it’s no longer sold through Apollo, however). It’s simply a scooter that’s easy to provide support for, and a scooter that’s very easy to fall in love with.
Overall, if you’re not into ridiculously overpowered scooters that might place you in a hospital bed, and you already know that most budget scooters are not nearly good enough for you, and you’re looking for the best possible scooter that fits your criteria of a high-quality balanced scooter, then the Apollo Explore will be a perfect fit for you.
Ordering and shipping
Currently, the best place to get the Apollo Explore from is FluidFreeRide. The scooter is still listed on the official Apollo store as well, but there is no option to buy it from Apollo directly, and in fact, Apollo recommends FluidFreeRide as the best place to buy the Apollo Explore from.
FluidFreeRide is one of the best electric scooter merchants, and they ship internationally. Shipping is free in some countries, including the US.
In the US, shipping takes 2 to 5 days, and shipping to Canada or Mexico takes between 5 and 10 days. In the EU and other European countries, shipping is done through the warehouse in Sweden and it only takes 3-5 days. Shipping to other countries is done through the Chinese warehouse and may take 2-4 weeks.
Warranty, return policy, customer support
As one of the most trusted scooter brands in the world, you can count on FluidFreeRide to provide you with great customer support and guidance throughout the entire buying journey.
The official warranty for the Apollo Explore is 12 months, but FluidFreeRide firmly stands by its products and will provide you with help and support even after the warranty period ends, including lifetime service, big discounts on parts, large availability, and access to self-operated service centers and partners.
In case you change your mind after buying the scooter, you have a return period of 15 days. Defects on delivery are very rare, but if that happens, you can ask for either a refund or a replacement.
The Apollo scooter brand
Apollo hails from Montreal, Canada, but is quickly growing to become an international player on the scooter scene. They are arguably the fastest-growing scooter brand in the world at the moment.
The brand was started less than two years ago, but it quickly caught up with the established competition and grew to become one of the most prominent scooter brands in the world, offering one of the most complete scooter lines in the world, with selections ranging from regular commuters to insanely powerful scooters.
Apollo Explore basics
The Apollo Explore comes with a control system that’s robust and well-designed, yet fairly standard and easy to understand.
How to use
To turn the scooter on or off, you simply need to hold the power button down for 3 seconds. Keep in mind that the scooter will automatically turn off if not used for 90 seconds. When the scooter is turned on, pressing the power button once toggles the screen display between the odometer or the trip distance.
Pressing the Mode button switches the speed mode, and holding it for 3 seconds toggles the lights on and off.
The display of the scooter will show you:
- current speed
- battery level
- battery voltage
- odometer or trip distance
- light status
The Apollo Explore comes with a trigger throttle acceleration mechanism. Personally, I prefer the thumb throttle mechanism, and recommend people get the after-market part from Apollo if they want to reduce finger fatigue.
The latest versions of the scooter come with a bell (previous versions didn’t).
Folding and unfolding
To unfold the scooter, press on the folding latch and pull the handlebars up until the safety pin is locked into the socket. This is best done by having one of your feet on the deck and pushing the handlebars up and forward until you lock the scooter in the unfolded position. Typically, you will hear a clicking sound when the safety pin locks in place, and you will know you’ve unfolded your scooter properly.
To fold the scooter, you will need to press down on the folding latch (usually with your foot), so that the folding mechanism is unlocked and you can fold the stem. You might find that the latch is almost stuck, which is an excellent safety feature, but in that case you will need to gently but firmly push the handlebars even more forward before you can press the latch down and fold your scooter. When you fold the scooter, you will again hear a clicking sound.
The handlebars of the Apollo Explore can also be folded to reduce the width and volume of the scooter for storing it.
Unboxing and assembly
The scooter will arrive almost fully assembled, and you will only need to remove the protective covers, set up the handlebar height, set the brake lever height to your desired level using the multikey tool, and then do a quick inspection to make sure everything is working properly.
It is strongly recommended to fully charge your battery before using the scooter for the first time, as that will ensure you get the most lifespan out of it. Also, make sure there are no loose screws and that both tires are sufficiently inflated before riding.
Build quality and ride experience
Build quality is arguably the biggest reason why Apollo scooters were able to make such a splash on the scooter scene. Since the Apollo Explore is their most popular scooter, it’s no wonder that the quality of this particular model is very, very good.
Made from forged aluminum, and only using high-quality parts, the scooter is tough, durable, and robust, without being too heavy. The clever design of the scooter gives the rider ample deck surface for the feet, stable rides because of the steady folding mechanism and the sturdy stem, and very smooth experience while riding, mostly due to the large air-filled tires, but also because of the dual suspension as well.
The scooter has already been through several iterations, and the latest versions come with upgraded stems, stronger folding mechanisms, better fenders, a more rigid kickstand, and more reliable electronics. Apollo scooters always undergo thorough rigorous quality control (3 rounds!) before being shipped to customers, and dead-on-arrival incidents, as well as major defects after little usage, are very uncommon.
Turning, control, and balance
The Apollo Explore has quite wide handlebars, which gives the rider a lot of control, both for keeping the scooter steady when riding straight, and for fine-tuned turning and cornering.
Because of the standard width of the wheels, the dual suspension, the reliable build, the hefty weight, the low ground clearance, and the low center of gravity overall, the scooter is well balanced, and falling down will practically never happen.
Deck and stem
The deck is very spacious, with 20 in / 51 cm in length, and 9 in / 23 cm in width. With a ground clearance of 5.5 in / 14 cm, the scooter’s deck is tall enough for riding over smaller curbs. The deck features a gripped surface on top of it to prevent slipping.
The kickstand is very thick and holds the scooter very steadily while leaning on it.
The stem of the scooter is very solid in particular, as it’s not just the plain old cylindrical pipe found in the budget models but a stronger triangle-shaped design, and has additionally reinforced aluminum and other metals to make it stronger.
Power, speed, and climbing
The Apollo Explore has a single rear-drive hub BLDC motor with a real power level of 1000 Watts and a peak power of 1400 Watts. Since this is a rear-drive scooter and not a front-drive one, the torque and the climbing abilities will be slightly better as a result. This motor is better than the motors of most scooters in this price category, and on par with the best motors in it as well.
The official top speed of the Apollo Explore is 31 mph / 50 kmh, and that speed has been confirmed in many independent owner tests. The scooter accelerates quickly, and only needs 3.5 seconds to go from 0 to 15 mph / 25 kmh. The scooter has the cruise control feature as well.
The scooter has 3 speed modes:
- 15.5 mph / 25 kmh
- 25 mph / 40 kmh
- 31 mph / 50 kmh
The scooter can easily climb hills of up to 20° / 35.4%, which is also one of the best climb angles in this price category.
Range, battery, and charging
Officially, the Apollo Explore has a range of 34 mi /55 km. This range has been confirmed by a number of users in real-world scenarios, and it’s not just a theoretical range obtained in ideal lab conditions.
The battery is one of the strongest features of the Apollo Explore, even though it doesn’t provide a ton of range.
Coming from Dynavolt, which is one of the best manufacturers of batteries for electric motorcycles, the lithium-ion battery will excel in quality and will provide you with steady performance for years and years to come. In fact, the battery is likely to last you more than 2600 charge cycles, which is one of the longest lifespans you can find in the entire scooter world.
Some of the best battery features include:
- balanced internal cell charging and voltage protection
- overcharging protection, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting the scooter while charging
- temperature protection (although you should still be careful to not charge in environments too cold or too hot)
- over-current protection
- over-discharge protection
- short-circuit protection
The voltage of the battery is 52 Volts, and the capacity is 18 Amp-hours.
You should try and not drain your battery below 20% for optimal performance, and never drain it completely for optimal performance and lifespan.
Charging the scooter fully takes around 9 hours. You should only charge your scooter with an original Apollo charger. The charger is located on the front right side of the deck, protected by a black rubber cap. As usual, the indicator light on the charger will light up in green when the charging is complete, and in red if the scooter is still charging.
Brakes and suspension
The brakes are another strong side of the Apollo Explore. With dual disk brakes, one on each wheel, and an electronic regenerative brake to refill the battery, the Explore has one of the strongest brake setups in the mid-price scooter category. Each of the disk brakes is activated by a lever on the handlebar (left for the rear brake, right for the front brake), and the electronic brake is activated whenever you use either one of them.
You can expect braking distances of just 8 ft / 2.5 m, even when stopping from higher speeds.
To make the rides even safer and more comfortable, the scooter comes with a solid suspension system as well, with dual spring suspension in the rear, and a spring suspension between the stem and the wheel in the front. Now, the suspension is pretty good, but not the best one out there. It certainly gets the job done, but the large tires are by far a more important factor when it comes to ride comfort.
Tires, wheels, and fenders
The Apollo Explore comes with large pneumatic rubber tires, 10 inches in diameter. The tires have inner tubes, which makes them a bit more vulnerable to flats, but also they provide the maximum ride comfort, and Apollo offers their own tire sealant solution that will reinforce the tires and make flats a lot less likely.
The tires have the standard shallow treads, and will be perfect for any type of urban setting. Because of their large diameter, and the shock absorption system, the scooter will be able to handle some off-road rides, although that’s not what the scooter is designed for.
The recommended tire pressure is 50 PSI.
The latest version of the Apollo Explore comes with stronger fenders as well, much more stable than the fenders found in the previous version.
The official IP rating of the Apollo Explore is IP54. That means the scooter can handle water splashes from all angles and not suffer any damage.
Still, that doesn’t mean the scooter is entirely waterproof, even though a few users have reported riding the scooter through some rain without any issues whatsoever. The scooter has a strong water resistance standard, but it is still recommended to avoid riding on any type of wet or slippery surfaces, including ice, snow, or unpaved roads.
Supported rider weight and height
The weight limit of the Apollo Explore is 265 lbs / 120 kg, which makes it a fairly good scooter for heavier adults. Several reviews from owners close to the weight limit (and even above in some instances) confirm that the scooter has been able to support them without any noticeable drops in performance (with one potential exception).
The handlebar height is adjustable, and the maximum distance between the deck and the handlebars is around 39 in / 99 cm, so the scooter will be suitable for riders close to average height, but for some taller riders as well.
Portability, weight, and dimensions
The Apollo Explore weighs 52 lbs / 23.6 kg. That places it right in the middle of the portability spectrum – not exactly light, but far from heavy as well.
The dimensions of the scooter are:
- length: 46 in / 117 cm
- width: 7.7 in / 19.5 cm (folded)
- height: 48 in / 122 cm (unfolded), 17 in / 43.2 cm (folded)
With that kind of weight and dimensions, the Apollo Explore is a scooter of medium portability, possibly leaning slightly towards being a bit heavy for smaller people. It will still fit easily into the trunks of most cars, with the smallest trunks being the one possible exception.
When folded, the scooter has a natural center of gravity close to the middle of the stem, and is not awkward to carry.
In the front, the Apollo Explore has two white LED lights situated in the deck.
In the rear, the scooter has two red LED lights that light up whenever you use the brakes.
Additionally, the scooter has blue LED strips along the deck and the stem that increase your visibility in traffic at night.
While the scooter has plenty of lights, the main headlights are not terribly bright, and they are placed on the deck so they don’t really light up the road too far ahead, so you may want to check out some additional after-market lights if you plan on riding at night. The Apollo headlight has a brightness of 2500 Lumens, and will get the job done quite well.
Security and locking
The Apollo Explore doesn’t come with any security features like a key ignition or an app to lock the motor.
Since it’s not exactly a cheap scooter, you will definitely want a strong scooter lock to prevent theft. You can take a look at the ETook folding lock from Apollo as well, it will fit the scooter perfectly. Also, check out the anti-theft alarm for added protection.
Accessories and upgrades
You can find a ton of accessories and customizations that will fit the Apollo Explore like a glove from the official Apollo store.
They have divided the products for their scooters into three categories:
I usually recommend getting at least the storage bag and the anti-theft alarm as the most useful accessories, and the super clamp as the best upgrade to reinforce the folding mechanism. Personally, I’m not very fond of trigger throttles, which is what the Explore has, so I recommend getting the Apollo thumb throttle upgrade as well, although that’s more a matter of personal preference.
While you probably won’t have to, you can also see my guide on the generic scooter accessories – you might still find a few interesting ideas there. Also, don’t forget to wear the proper scooter helmet at all times while riding the Apollo Explore, as it is capable of pretty high speeds to ride without a helmet, and injuries can be quite serious.
Maintenance and spare parts
The usual scooter cleaning and maintenance will be perfect for the Apollo Explore:
- use a soft damp cloth to clean the scooter, and use soap or toothpaste to remove stains (don’t use alcohol or other corrosive materials)
- make sure all the screws are tightly screwed
- make sure both tires are inflated and no air is leaking from them
The warranty will cover a lot of the spare parts, but even after the warranty period expires, you will still be able to get the parts for cheap.
Apollo scooters don’t have Bluetooth features and can’t connect to an app.
I recommend the Universal Scooter App by EScooterNerds as a partial solution. Of course, it will not be able to connect to the scooter neither, but it will provide you with other useful features such as calculators, resources, guides, discounts, tools, hacks, etc. You can find the app available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Apollo Explore vs other electric scooters
The Explore’s swift rise to fame hasn’t been unchallenged, and several scooters have often been compared against it and have given scooterists some thought. Let’s see how the Apollo Explore fares in the most common comparisons.
Apollo Explore vs Apollo Ghost
There’s nothing quite like a bit of sibling rivalry, and the one between the Explore and the Ghost is probably the most pronounced inside of the Apollo scooter line.
However, while many enthusiasts love to compare these two scooters, I simply see the Ghost as an incremental upgrade of the Explore, not unlike the Xiaomi M365 Pro is an upgrade to the Xiaomi M365.
The Ghost will be around $200-$300 more expensive, depending on the type of brakes you choose, and the differences in performance and some additional features will reflect the price difference. It will come with a bit more range, a bit more speed, and a bit more climbing power.
Interestingly, the difference in motor power doesn’t seem to translate into concrete performance differences. The Ghost has two motors, and a peak power output of 2000 Watts, but it’s not that much more powerful than the Explore.
Naturally, both scooters will come with the same excellent level of quality.
The differences in acceleration and torque are the biggest advantages of the Ghost, which is not something that’s too important to many scooterists. I would recommend to most to stick with the Explore, and only go after the Ghost if you need a bit more juice out of your scooter.
You can find the Apollo Ghost on the official Apollo store.
Apollo Explore vs EMove Cruiser
I believe the EMove Cruiser is the biggest obstacle and rival to the Apollo Explore.
A few months ago, the Apollo Explore had a significant advantage in terms of price, and it was around $200 cheaper than the EMove Cruiser, but today, both scooters cost exactly the same, so that advantage is gone.
The Apollo Explore will perform a bit better, at least in terms of speed. It does have a higher real power level, although the peak power level is lower, but the real power level is more important, so we can say the Explore has a slightly better motor, which enables it to have a slightly higher top speed. The deck of the Explore will also be larger, and it will come with an extra braking system in the form of regenerative braking, which the Cruiser lacks.
The EMove Cruiser has a large range advantage, and with its massive range of 62 mi / 100 km, it has almost double the range of the Explore. Also, the world-famous IPX6 water protection standard of the EMove Cruiser is the best in the world right now, and that is exactly what many people are looking for.
In many other regards, both scooters are either similar or identical – excellent build quality, solid suspension, large 10-inch pneumatic tires, same weight, comparable dimensions. Ultimately, the choice is yours, and if the properties and specs of the EMove Cruiser sound more like what you’re after, then check out my complete EMove Cruiser review.
Apollo Explore vs Ninebot Max
I’ve seen the Apollo Explore and the Ninebot Max pitted against each other several times, although I don’t think this comparison makes a lot of sense. The price difference between these two scooters is simply too great.
Not saying that the Ninebot Max is not a great scooter, because it is (probably the best scooter under $1000 right now), but when compared against the Apollo Explore, it simply doesn’t have much to offer. The better range and the slightly better water protection are all the advantages the Ninebot Max has. I recommend the Ninebot Max if those are the primary qualities you are after, and also if your budget is around $800, but in every other case, the Apollo Explore is simply better.
See my detailed Ninebot Max review if you’re interested in a cheaper scooter that’s still excellent.
Known issues and downsides
Since quality is one of the main points of focus of the Apollo Explore, issues and problems with it are very rare. In fact, this is probably one of the highest-quality mid-price scooters out there, defects are very rare, and there are only a few known issues downsides you should be aware of.
Probably the most commonly reported quality issue has been the front wheel getting crooked and out of line with the handlebars. And this issue has only been reported a handful of times.
Previous versions of the scooter did have a problem with the fenders been too shaky and even breaking apart, but the newest version has successfully addressed that problem, and that’s now a thing of the past.
One issue that’s still present is the instability of the handles. This is always the case for scooters that come with foldable handlebars, and in my opinion it is a worthy tradeoff considering the increased portability you get in return, but it is still an issue you should be aware of. Only a handful of users have reported true handlebar wobbliness, and the stem and the handlebars overall are very stable.
My personal pet peeve with this scooter is the position of the front lights. Deck lights simply don’t cast the light far enough unless they are extremely strong, which is not the case with the lights of the Explore. If you plan to ride at night, I recommend getting stronger after-market lights that you will mount on the top of the handlebars.
Finally, another pet peeve of mine is the trigger throttle. I prefer thumb throttles, although this is highly subjective, so it’s not really a problem of the Apollo Explore. Also, you can get the Apollo thumb throttle as an after-market upgrade, which completely eliminates this issue.
User reviews and customer satisfaction
Between the old Apollo Explore listing on the official Apollo store, and the new listing on FluidFreeRide, the Apollo Explore has gathered hundreds of reviews, and has probably sold several thousand units.
The jury is in. The Apollo Explore is a stellar scooter.
The overwhelming majority of the buyers are exalted with their purchase and are in love with the Apollo Explore.
The Apollo Explore is one of the best electric scooters in the world, and certainly one of the best choices for under $1500. It comes from a very reputable and growing brand, its primary focus is quality and positive owner experience overall, without lagging in performance, and it can satisfy many different categories of scooterists.
This will not be a crazy powerful scooter, and probably not the most portable lightweight model out there. But for anything in between, the Apollo Explore is definitely a perfect pick.
Where to buy the Apollo Explore from?
Apollo Explore Specifications
|Top speed||50 km/h|
|Top speed||31 mph|
|Power||1000 W real, 1400 W peak|
|Climb angle||20 °|
|Battery||946 Wh, 52 V|
|Battery type||Dynavolt smart BMS|
|Charging time||9 h|
|Weight limit||120 kg|
|Weight limit||264 lbs|
|Tire size||10 in|
|Build material||forged aluminium|
|Terrains||streets, bike lanes, sidewalks, trails|
|Brakes||front and rear disc|
|Shock absorbers||dual spring|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||117 cm * 19.5 cm * 43 cm|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||46 in * 7.7 in * 17 in|
Where to buy the Apollo Explore from?