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Ola S1 Pro Long Term Review: City Report

08 September 2022, 05:30 PM Pratik Bhanushali

Introduction

OLA S1 Pro Left Front Three Quarter

It’s been two months since the Ola S1 Pro entered the BikeWale long-term fleet. So far, it has clocked around 1800km in the city. And through the course, it’s witnessed various riding conditions ranging from good to bad. We’ve learned a fair bit about its software, hardware and overall build quality by now. Let’s take a look at all of it. 

Things we like

OLA S1 Pro Right Side View

The key highlight of having the Ola S1 Pro as my daily and primary source of commute is the low running cost. Apart from timely charging, it hasn’t demanded anything else so far. The average distance it covers daily ranges between 40-50km. So, I charge it once every two days since it returns 100km in one full charge. 

That said, we’ve also managed to squeeze about 125km by riding the scooter at speeds between 35-45kmph. So, you trade your time for more distance. But it still makes for a good scooter for local runabouts and occasional highway runs.

Its performance, too, is quite likable. The S1 offers brisk acceleration and easily clocks triple-digit speeds, even with a pillion onboard. The same is backed by a reliable bite from the front and rear disc brake setup. In Mumbai’s pothole-ridden roads, however, the front suspension bottoms out repeatedly and makes a loud ‘thud’ noise. That said, the rear shock is tuned properly and offers a supple ride quality. 

OLA S1 Pro

OLA S1 Pro

  • Mileage - Owner Reported129 kmpl
  • Kerb Weight125 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,39,978

OLA S1 Pro Underseat Storage

Apart from the above bits, the S1 Pro also has a well-cushioned and spacious seat. It makes commuting and strolling around town in traffic a cakewalk. Even the boot space is enough to stow most of my riding gear (sans the full-face helmet) and the charger. Grocery shopping is pretty convenient, too, if you ask. But there are flaws with the boot’s lock/unlock mechanism, which are addressed later in this report. 

Along with the mechanical bits, the Ola scooter’s feature list makes the user experience merrier. It gets riding modes (eco, normal, sport and hyper), reverse mode, cruise control, navigation, music playback, and smartphone connectivity for remote access. 

OLA S1 Pro Turn by Turn Navigation

Speaking of the riding modes, the S1 Pro leaves you in awe when ridden in Hyper mode. It clocks triple-digit speeds within a matter of seconds. Other features like the navigation also come in quite handy. Locating destinations on the Ola scooter is fairly easy. That said, it takes time to re-route when you take a path against the system’s suggestion. 

To access other features like remote lock/unlock and music playback, you need to pair your phone with the Ola scooter. Once done, the Ola Electric app displays a decent amount of information on your phone. You can also play music on the scooter’s speakers; however, the sound quality is anything but premium. 

OLA S1 Pro Left Rear Three Quarter

Another bit that makes the S1 Pro convenient to use is its BMS (Battery Management System). It allows you to leave the charger plugged in even after the battery is fully charged. The app also prompts a notification on the registered phone for the same. But unlike the Ather 450X, the S1 Pro’s charger cannot be locked, making it prone to theft. 

Things we don’t like

OLA S1 Pro Left Side View

The Ola S1 Pro is loaded with sensors, many of which malfunction repeatedly. For reference, our long-term Ola scooter has faced issues with the acceleration sensor, boot lock sensor, side stand, and cruise control. Moreover, its uneven charge depletion and overall power delivery in Eco mode also add to the inconvenience and robs of a hassle-free user experience. 

Speaking of the battery consumption first, riding the Ola scooter upwards of 60kmph depletes its range unpredictably. My daily commute (one way) is 17km, but the range reduces by almost 30km when the scooter is ridden at higher speeds.

OLA S1 Pro Left Front Three Quarter

Another minus in our books for the S1 Pro is the scooter’s Eco mode. Its top speed is capped at 40kmph but the scooter’s only clocking 35kmph in the real world because of the lag. It also lacks thrust to climb uphill, and you might have to push the scooter manually. Riding it in Sports mode with occasional bumper-to-bumper traffic heats the system, thereby force-switching to Normal mode. 

Now onto the sensors; the side stand unit has malfunctioned and been replaced twice. In both instances, the sensor didn’t sense the stand to be open, and the scooter couldn’t be turned off for two hours. The throttle sensor also malfunctions and doesn’t allow the scooter to accelerate at times, followed by sudden acceleration. 

OLA S1 Pro Play Pause Switch for Bluetooth

We recently received an update on the scooter’s system. The boot sensor has been malfunctioning since. The screen shows the boot to be open while it isn’t. So, the only resort is to connect the phone and access the boot via the app. The error hasn't been resolved even after resetting the scooter four times. To initiate a hard reset, you need to hold the reverse/cruise control switch and the power button together for 14 seconds. The entire process consumes 4-5 per cent of the charge. 

Last but not least, the cruise control on the S1 Pro functions unpredictably. At times it doesn’t switch off when the rear brake is used and launches the scooter ahead with the speed where the cruise control was set. This has occurred a few times and almost led to a crash during the first instance. 

What's next?

The Ola S1 Pro will be with us till the end of September. And in our following report, which will also be the last one, I’ll address its build quality, charging time, and savings on fuel cost and services. We’ll also give our verdict on whether you should buy the scooter or not.

Scooter Stats

Make: Ola Electric

Model: S1 Pro                                                                                      

Odometer: 1,648km

Range: 135km (claimed)

Price: Rs 1,39,999 (ex-showroom Maharashtra)

Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi

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