On the go, the Aura feels comfortable as it offers a neutral riding position. The handlebar is easy to reach and the footboard isn’t too high to make you sit in an awkward squatting position, as is the case with some electric scooters. What’s an issue though is the width of the seat that makes it a bit difficult to step your feet on the ground, even if you’re sitting ahead on the seat. This wasn’t a major issue for me, thanks to my 5’11’’ stature, but could be a bane for some. Plus, the cushioning of the seat could do with a better density as you start feeling the hard surface underneath within half an hour of riding.
As for the performance, the Aura has the typical EV-like consistent pull until its top speed, but not as lively as the Ather 450X. However, quick sprints from zero to 60kmph in the fourth (fastest) mode are quite fun. Even the whining motor sound isn’t loud enough to be an annoyance.
Similar to many other electric two-wheelers, the on/off throttle transition is a little abrupt, especially in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th modes in which riding the scooter in stop and go traffic turns out to be a jerky affair. The throttle responds with a sudden acceleration while moving from a standstill. However, in the slowest mode, this issue isn’t as severe. I also noticed that even if I held on the throttle constant anywhere beyond 40kmph, the power delivery kept on fluctuating, exuding a rocking sensation.
As for the ride quality, the suspension setup has been tuned on the firmer side as you can feel even the smallest of undulations. The front, in particular, feels extremely stiff as it keeps bobbing while going over rough patches, thereby constantly shaking your arms. The rear feels a little more forgiving than the front but the firmness can still be sensed. The lack of seat foam density only adds to the discomfort here.
The handling, though not very sharp, is agile enough to make your way through traffic swiftly, which is also courtesy of its low 95kg kerb weight. The brakes, meanwhile, are reasonably efficient with great progression and decent bite. The front is equipped with a disc that does a great job of shedding speed while the rear drum, too, acts progressively enough to avoid locking the wheel in most conditions.
Now, the 120km battery range might sound impressive but one can extract that figure only on riding it in the slowest (1st) mode. I rode it with a mix of all modes and got a range of about 80-85km. It also goes down to about 60-65km if you keep it in the 4th mode constantly and accelerate it to the fullest at every opportunity.
For charging the scooter, you have the option to directly plug it into a conventional 5A socket. Otherwise, the battery is removable for you to take it indoors and charge. A complete charge takes about five to six hours.
One problem I see with the removable battery is its weight. It’s so heavy that pulling it out of the scooter and walking with it even for a few minutes is physically demanding. It makes me nervous to imagine myself doing this routinely Having said that, this isn’t unique to the Benling as batteries of electric scooters are generally heavy. I remember using the Okinawa Praise Pro back in 2019 which comprised a removable battery equally heavy.