The Kugoo S1 Pro is the most underrated budget electric scooter of our time.
What if I told you there’s a budget electric scooter that’s of the same quality but better performing than the Xiaomi M365 and the Ninebot ES 2, at almost half their price?
What if I told you that this not very well known model charges twice as fast, climbs twice as better, and comes with a water-protection standard?
And what if I told you that you would get all of this in a very lightweight, very portable scooter that you can carry with you everywhere?
The Kugoo S1 Pro is a true dream for value shoppers. This almost impossibly well-balanced scooter will give you the perfect combination of safety and performance, comfort and features, quality and price.
This is a complete review of the Kugoo S1 Pro, one of the best budget electric scooters ever.
The Kugoo Brand
Kugoo is establishing its position as a top budget scooter brand in the European market.
While quite popular, they may not be as popular as other massive brands today. But that is slowly changing as more and more users are trying and loving their scooters every day.
This is very interesting and good to know – a lot of their scooters, across a lot of online shops and stores, have starling reviews, and none of their models have ratings below 4 stars! That is very rare, even incredible for popular scooters used by thousands of people.
Kugoo has a rich variety of models, including even amazing performers like the Kugoo G-Booster, with top speeds of 55 kmh / 34 mph and a range of 85 km / 53 mi!
The Kugoo S1 Pro is their flagship scooter, by far their most popular and widely used model. As usual with the Kugoo brand, it provides amazing value for money, scooters that perform this well usually cost double.
The Kugoo S1 Pro is currently available in Europe through the GeekBuying site. It is the best place to order this scooter from, as it will arrive in less than a week (often 2 or 3 days).
You can choose between several colors and color schemes, including black, white, and several interesting combinations.
There are also two speed modes available, one with a top speed of 30 kmh / 18 mph, and one with a top speed of 25 kmh / 15 mph for countries and regions where that is the maximum allowed top speed for electric scooters.
The regular price of the scooter sometimes is $399, but at the time of writing this (14th July 2020), there is a promotion of 19% off, which makes the price of the scooter $323. The shipping is free of charge.
If you are within the time frame, hurry up to catch this great deal at GeekBuying.
Warranty and Returns
The Kugoo S1 Pro comes with a full warranty on most parts for 12 months. For the battery and charger, it’s 6 months.
Wearing parts like the handlebar grip and the saddle have a 14-day warranty.
There is a 14 day return policy.
While I try my best to keep this information up to date, keep in mind that it may be outdated at times, so make sure to double-check when buying.
The Kugoo S1 Pro arrives in a big, slick, nice-looking package. It weighs around 15 kg / 33 lbs.
The scooter comes assembled, you will not have to mess around with anything. After you charge it (which you should do until 100% full), you are ready to ride.
The box will also include the charger with the cable, the manual, and a carrying bag for the scooter they give you for free, made to fit the exact scooter dimensions when folded.
Besides the booklet manual that you will receive with the scooter, you can also download the manual from the Kugoo website as a Word document.
It advises the usual precautions for safe scooter riding: wear your helmet, only one person at a time, don’t ride in wet weather or on wet surfaces, both hands on the wheel, etc.
Folding and unfolding
Folding the scooter is both very simple and also convenient for portability. The scooter has foldable handlebars as well, which make the scooter additionally portable and easy to carry and store.
Some users have complained that the process is too complex. Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is, it’s just made so that the scooter is more portable. Plus, it’s nearly impossible for the stem to get accidentally folded while riding, which has been a very serious and dangerous fault in many other scooter models.
To fold the Kugoo S1 Pro, first fold the handlebars:
- open the lock lever
- press the button (usually red) on the stem and press the wheel down to its basic height
- then fold the handlebars themselves by pushing the button on them close to the stem, pull the grips out, and fold them down
Then, fold the scooter:
- push the handlebar forward a bit
- press the folding lever on the stem near the deck with your foot
- pull back the handlebar and stem until the stem touches the rear fender
- lock the folding hook on the stem in the bolt on the rear brake
To unfold the Kugoo S1 Pro:
- press the rear break down until the folding hook releases the bolt on the rear fender
- lift the handlebar into the functional position, make sure the locking bolt comes into place
- raise the handlebars back into their functional position
- lock the handlebar by locking the lever on the stem
- press the button to adjust the handlebar height to your preferred height and fix it there
Riding the Kugoo S1 Pro is even simpler than the typical electric scooter.
Well, you don’t even need to kick against the ground to start – the Kugoo S1 Pro has an automatic electric start.
The control board has 5 buttons, in addition to the two levers close to each handlebar.
The right thumb lever is for accelerating, and the left one is for braking using the electromagnetic brake.
The buttons, from the left to the right, are for:
- speed moe
The scooter is turned on by holding the power button for 1 second, and turned off by holding the same button for 3 seconds
As usual, the scooter comes with three speed modes:
- 12 kmh / 7 mph
- 15 kmh / 9 mph
- 30 kmh / 18 mph (or 25 kmh / 15 mph if you bought that version)
You can adjust the handlebar to one of three heights, including the base height when the stem is completely inside the tube. The heights are ideal for almost all kinds of adults, even for quite tall ones.
The Kugoo S1 Pro is a hoot. It is a very fun, enjoyable experience to ride it.
Despite being very light, the Kugoo S1 Pro is a very tough scooter.
It has one of the lowest defect rates out of all the budget scooters ever. Very few people have reported the scooter completely breaking down, and even fewer have reported a breakdown in the first year, or a DOA (dead-on-arrival).
In fact, many users report riding the scooter for quite a long time without a single issue at all.
Clearly the Kugoo S1 Pro is a great balance between value and quality.
Even though it comes with solid tires, the rides are not terribly bumpy since the scooter has both a front and rear spring dampener suspension system. Plus, the tires are not regular, full rubber or silicone tires. By using the modern honeycomb technology, with air pockets inside of the tires, the scooter gets the best of both worlds, by eliminating the risk of flats but also providing you with more comfortable rides.
This applies to most types of terrains. While not as prepared for rough terrain as an off-road scooter, the Kugoo S1 Pro handles rough terrain with grace, not shaking or vibrating too much. Some shaking is present, but nothing you wouldn’t expect from a scooter below $350.
The range, power, and overall vibe and feel you get from the Kugoo S1 Pro makes this scooter a real joy to ride. Riding, accelerating, slowing down, and turning are all smooth and comfortable.
It is very useful for any type of commute, but it’s also great for pure pleasure rides. Wherever you need to go, you can count on this scooter to take you there.
The screen is a modern, multicolor, multifunction LCD screen that is well-visible both at night but also on very bright days as well. The color accents are mostly blue and green, giving it a very techy look.
It can display all the useful information you need, including:
- riding mode
- battery level
- current speed
- trip distance
- voltage and amperage
- brake status
- light status
Pressing the setting button longer than 3 seconds will clear the trip and start measuring the distance and the trip length again.
Speed and acceleration
On paper, the top speed of the Kugoo S1 Pro should be 30 kmh / 18 mph.
In the real world, it is almost precisely that.
Users report top speeds anywhere from 24 kmh / 15 mph (usually heavier adults) to 32 kmh / 20 mph in ideal scenarios, and even 34 kmh / 21 mph when going slightly downhill.
A little known secret about the Kugoo S1 Pro is that it can be set to support maximum speeds of up to 60 kmh / 37 mph before it stops accelerating. Anyway, this is just a fun little hack, since out of the box, the scooter will not be able to go much over 30 kmh / 18 mph, except maybe when riding downhill. However, if you decide to upgrade the battery for example, you may unlock truly higher top speeds, and then this is very useful. The manual includes clear instructions on how to do this through the control dashboard.
The Kugoo S1 Pro comes with automatic cruise control, enabling you to fully enjoy your rides.
The motor is strong enough so that acceleration is pretty fast. Speaking of the motor…
Motor and power
The Kugoo S1 Pro comes with a modern brushless DC motor in the front wheel. It has a rated power of 350 Watts, operating at 700 rotations per minute, with a maximum torque of 13.3 Newton-metres.
The motor is powerful enough to provide climbing angles of 15 degrees, which is almost unheard of in a budget scooter. This clearly makes the Kugoo S1 Pro among the top climbers in the budget category.
Besides that, the weight capacity of the Kugoo S1 Pro is 120 kg / 265 lbs, which is also not that common in a budget scooter.
Both the climbing angle and the weight limit largely depend on the motor, and that’s exactly the Kugoo S1 Pro’s strong side. Or, one of them, to be precise.
The official range of the Kugoo S1 Pro is 30 km / 18 mi on a single charge.
Of course, as we all know, that is rarely the case in the real world.
However, the Kugoo S1 Pro is a pleasant surprise here. It actually has a real-world range between 22-27 km / 14-17 mi proven by users in the real world. This is 75% – 90% of its advertised range, which is very rarely the case, especially in budget scooters (sometimes it’s even 50%…).
Battery and charging
The Kugoo S1 Pro comes with a 18650 Li-ion battery pack.
It has an energy storage capacity of 270 Watt-hours, operating at 7.5 Ampere-hours and 36 Volts.
With that battery capacity, charging this scooter fully during off-peak hours will cost you $0.02 on average, and about $0.03 during peak hours.
The battery takes between 3 to 4 hours to charge from 0 to full. It will have a minimum of 500 charge cycles, more likely well above 1000.
To charge the battery, follow these steps in the exact order for maximum efficiency and battery lifespan:
- open the charging port protective cover
- put the charger into the port
- connect the charger to a power outlet
- the red light on the charger means it’s currently charging, the green light means the battery is full
You should charge the battery after every ride (at night is the best, as you won’t need the scooter, it will be ready in the morning, and electricity is cheaper). Even if you don’t use the scooter, it is recommended you charge it at least once every three months to help prolong the battery lifespan.
It is strongly recommended you use the charger that came with your scooter and not a different one. Don’t ride in temperatures below -5 °C or above 50 °C as that may damage the battery.
One of the coolest features of this scooter are its many lights.
The front LED light is very strong and visible at night. (Hint: for riding at night, always wear a reflective vest, you can find one for very cheap on Amazon.)
The rear fender and the sides of the deck include small positional lights, and the handlebars themselves also include small lights that may serve as turn signals.
With a braking distance of 4 meters, the motor brakes are pretty sensitive and safe. They are activated by the left handlebar lever, and activate the KERS braking system (kinetic energy recovery system), which helps prolong your scooter’s battery life.
When you use this brake, the rear light lights up and traffic participants can anticipate your actions better.
Besides the electronic brake, there is also a failsafe rear-fender brake, activated by pressing your foot against the rear fender.
Tires and suspension
One of the things that make the Kugoo S1 Pro very tough and durable is the solid honeycomb 8-inch tires, making it fully immune to flats.
Of course, the tradeoff for that is less comfortable rides.
However, that issue is mitigated by two additional factors.
First, as we mentioned, this is not a regular solid tire, but a honeycomb one, which means the rides will not be as bad. This is one of the major improvements upon the standard Kugoo S1 version.
Second, the scooter comes with a good front and rear spring dampener active suspension system, which further softens the blows and provides better stability. The suspension system is adjustable and you can set it to any level you want.
One of the biggest complaints about the standard S1 model was that the deck was kinda small.
Kugoo has listened and addressed the issue, enlarging the deck to 43 x 15 cm.
The deck still has the extra-tactile gripped tape on top for maximum grip and stability. The ground clearance is about 10 cm / 4 in, and the stand is on the left side.
The distance from the deck to the handlebar is 110 cm / 43 in.
Weight, dimensions and portability
Weighing just 11 kg / 24 lbs, this is one of the most portable scooters ever, definitely more portable than its main competitors.
When unfolded, the Kugoo S1 Pro’s dimensions are:
- 105 cm length
- 45 cm width
- 116 cm height
When folded, the dimensions become:
- 96 cm length
- 21 cm width
- 33 cm height
With those dimensions, totaling a volume of just 66 liters, this is one of the least space-occupying budget scooters (and in general).
Some users have complained that the scooter is not very sturdy. I think the point of this scooter is to be lightweight and portable, and you can’t have it both ways here.
With that weight and volume, it is perfect for commuters, people changing transport systems a lot, last-mile situations, people that live in buildings with no elevators… the list is huge.
The general build of the Kugoo S1 Pro is fairly standard, and most of the regular electric scooter accessories will fit it just fine. The scooter is fairly small and I don’t think a seat would be a good idea, but a small trunk in the front and some other smaller accessories would certainly be great ways to customize it.
Also, don’t let the scooter’s small size fool you into thinking that you don’t need to wear your helmet. You may be able to get away with a lighter helmet, like a bicycle helmet for example, but you should still wear one all the time while riding. See my guide on the best electric scooter helmets for some solid yet affordable picks.
Kugoo S1 vs Kugoo S1 Pro
The Kugoo S1 Pro is, in a lot of ways, an improvement on the standard Kugoo S1 model.
While that scooter also did well, it did have some shortcomings that users complained about.
Kugoo addressed many of them. Half a year after the standard model’s release, they released the upgraded Pro version.
There are a few key differences between the two.
The most important one is probably the improved battery and battery life that the Kugoo S1 Pro brought. It is the most sought-after feature, and it was a good decision to listen to the customer’s feedback on this one.
The solid tires were replaced with honeycomb solid tires, which are a newer, more comfortable technology, and provide better rides without sacrificing the reliability and the lack of flats.
The larger deck was also an important improvement, since users with larger feet could not really ride the standard model comfortably.
A lesser, but still noticeable improvement was the addition of the sidelights to the new model.
And all of that was done for a price increase of just $20.
That makes the choice between the two an absolute no-brainer, the Kugoo S1 Pro is not only newer, but much better.
Kugoo S1 Pro vs Kugoo ES2
The Kugoo S1 Pro and the Kugoo ES2 are two of the most popular Kugoo scooters, and are frequently compared against one another.
Interestingly, the Kugoo S1 Pro is usually a bit cheaper, while also performing better both in terms of range and top speed, with 5 km / 3 mi extra range, and 5 kmh / 3 mph faster top speed. It also has a bigger weight capacity, weighs much less, and has a better ingress protection standard.
That’s why I see no real reason to choose the Kugoo ES2, except for the slightly bigger wheels maybe, with 8.5 inches in diameter, against the S1 Pro’s 8 inches, but the difference is not that significant really.
Kugoo S1 Pro vs Xiaomi M365
The Kugoo S1 Pro has often been compared against the Xiaomi M365.
The better speed, power, climbing angle, and price, are all in favor of the Kugoo S1 Pro.
And the Kugoo S1 Pro hits Xiaomi M365 where it hurts it the most – the S1 Pro doesn’t suffer from flats, which has been the bane of Xiaomi M365.
Honestly, I can’t think of a scenario where the standard Xiaomi M365 is a better choice than the Kugoo S1 Pro. If you still want to find out more about it, see my full Xiaomi M365 review.
Now, the Pro model, that’s a whole other story…
Kugoo S1 Pro vs Xiaomi M365 Pro
Honestly, this feels like comparing apples and oranges a little, since these scooters are almost in different price categories. Xiaomi M365 Pro is almost double the price.
Nonetheless, people think this is a fair fight.
And, surprisingly, it is.
The Xiaomi M365 Pro has a better range, better market adoption, and is more proven through time.
But the Kugoo S1 Pro fights back with faster top speed out of the box, better climbing angle, bigger weight capacity, better portability, and not to forget, much better price.
So, while the Kugoo S1 Pro is traditionally the underdog here, it does a very good job of challenging the king of the inexpensive scooter. For the use cases where the Kugoo S1 Pro is better, I say there’s no reason not to pick it instead of the Xiaomi M365 Pro. If the Xiaomi M365 Pro still sounds like a better deal to you, you can check out the comprehensive Xiaomi M365 Pro review.
What the Kugoo S1 Pro is missing
Naturally, it can’t be all good news. The Kugoo S1 Pro has a few deficiencies.
Many of them will probably be little more than a nuisance, but it’s possible they are a bigger issue for someone.
Probably the biggest thing the Kugoo S1 Pro misses is an app. It is kind of strange that a scooter this popular, that has done the much harder job of being an awesome scooter, hasn’t handled this smaller detail.
Anyway, not having an app is not a real dealbreaker. As most veteran owners will tell you, the app becomes less and less important as time goes by. Plus, the screen shows almost everything you need to know.
The Kugoo S1 Pro has no lock. Now, we can’t really take this against it, as all the scooters in the budget range will not include a locking mechanism, and you can also buy a strong lock for a very small sum. The best one I’ve found is Via Velo Heavy Duty, you can find it for cheap on Amazon, or you can see my guide on the best locks for electric scooters for some safer and higher-quality options.
One more tangible issue may be the relative noisiness of the scooter. It can be said that this scooter is a bit on the noisier side.
Another sound-related issue is the horn. Well, the horn is average, neither too loud nor too quiet. For big, busy cities, however, you may need a louder horn (luckily, the horn can be improved and made louder).
The number one reason for defects on arrival or after short periods of usage?
That, in my opinion, is great news. It means the core of the scooter is strong, and it’s just the periphery that needs improvement. Contrast that with some Ninebot or Swagtron models, that have had so many battery deaths or motor breakdowns after one month, that it’s a wonder how they’re still in use.
And with the solid tires, I think this scooter can make the Xiaomi 365 bow its head in shame. Just imagine, a world with no flats…
All in all, while the Kugoo S1 Pro has some weaknesses, they fade away next to its advantages.
Is the Kugoo S1 Pro right for you?
This was a very detailed, in-depth dive into one of the best budget, best bang-for-buck scooters of our time.
Now, one question remains. Is the Kugoo S1 Pro right for you?
I’d recommend starting with the budget first. If you have below $500, or especially below $350, then the Kugoo S1 Pro may already be your winner.
Further, if you need either one of the following:
- amazing value
- good brand recognition, reputation, and user proof
- strong budget commuter
- solid yet affordable performer
- good climber for the price
- budget model for a heavy adult
- a waterproof scooter that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg
Then in all of these cases, you can choose the Kugoo S1 Pro and be fairly certain you’ve made the best choice.
Where to buy the Kugoo S1 Pro from?
Kugoo S1 Pro specifications
Kugoo S1 Pro Specifications
|Top speed||30 kmh|
|Top speed||18.6 mph|
|Climb angle||15 °|
|Battery||270 Wh, 36 V|
|Charging time||4 h|
|Ingress protection (IP)||IP54|
|Weight limit||120 kg|
|Weight limit||265 lbs|
|Tire size||8 in|
|Tire type||solid honeycomb, strong grip|
|Trunk or basket||no (customization possible)|
|Brakes||disc brakes, 4m braking distance|
|Shock absorbers||front spring + rear arm|
|Lights||front LED light + brake light + reflective side strips|
|Control||LCD display screen|
|Warranty||12 months (6 on battery), 7 day return period|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||96 cm * 21 cm * 33 cm|
|Folded dimensions (L * W * H)||38 in * 8 in * 13 in|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||105 cm * 45 cm * 116 cm|
|Unfolded dimensions (L * W * H)||41 in * 18 in * 46 in|
|Deck to handlebar height||103 cm (est)|
|Deck to handlebar height||41 in (est)|
|Notes||duty free shipping; torque: 13.3 Nm; 4m braking distance; carry bag included; 700 rpm|
Is the Kugoo S1 Pro the best electric scooter in the world?
No, of course not.
Is it the best electric scooter for under $350?
That is a big yes.
The quality, value, features, and performance mix that this all-rounder offers is hard to beat. You will be hard-pressed to find a scooter this good for that price.
If you want to get a scooter for under $500, or especially under $350, I warmly recommend the Kugoo S1 Pro.
Where to buy the Kugoo S1 Pro from?