Today we’re gonna spill the beans about a secret scooter company. Now, it’s not that unusual for there to be a scooter company you haven’t heard of before, but what is unusual is for a company to become one of the biggest and best in the world without anybody really hearing about it. The funny thing is, is you’ve probably even ridden one before. If you’ve rented a scooter anytime since 2018, you just couldn’t buy one up until now. The company we’re talking about is Okai. And this is the ESG review of the Okai Neon.
Es 20 Okai is making a huge move into the private scooter market. It’s kind of like when Segway shifted from being the dominant manufacturer of rental scooters to being the biggest player in scooters that you can buy. Except there’s one big difference. The Neon isn’t a rebranded rental scooter, but a brand new design optimized for new riders. In this review, we’re going to cover why we think the Neon is a good choice for new riders. A couple of things we wish they would improve and show you why the Neon suddenly makes a lot of other scooters look very old. At 699, the Neon comes in a little lower than most Segway ninebot scooters and you can occasionally find it for $100 off with coupon codes. Let’s find out what it’s like to ride. The Neon covers 1320 8 miles in top performance mode on the ESG range test course before shutting down, which is very close to the 13.5 miles we covered on the smaller nine bot Max G 30 LP. The Neon makes the most of the range it has by sustaining full speed until the last one and a half miles and then it drops to about 80% of full speed towards the very end.
By the way, any range test that doesn’t end with pushing a scooter home isn’t a real range test. All ESG range tests in the same way.
Speaker 2 (01:49)
The ESG certified top speed of the Neon is 16 mph, which exactly matches the claimed and indicated top speed. This is fast enough to pass most bicycles, but slow enough to help new riders stay out of trouble. An interesting feature carried over from O Kai’s rental scooters is that the Neon automatically applies a small amount of regenerative brake to keep you under the maximum speed when going down hills. The Okai app gives you control over the Neon’s top speed and acceleration. But even when set to the most aggressive riding mode, the thumb throttle is going to be easy for new riders to handle. With a zero to 15 time of 7.6 seconds, its acceleration is definitely more laid back than sporty. But to put it in perspective, only one of the seven go track scooters we’ve ever tested did it faster. Despite its laidback acceleration, the Neon is a surprisingly strong hill climber. In our 10% great hill climb, the Neon beat every 250 watt scooter we’ve ever tested. It also beats 17 other scooters rated from between 305 hundred watts and average a satisfying twelve to 15 typical 4% city hills. The Neon came out of the box with brakes perfectly adjusted and ready to use, which isn’t always the case.
While the measured braking distance from 15 mph was an unremarkable 18.7ft. What we did like about the braking, especially for new riders, is that the electronic braking on the front wheel makes it impossible to flip over forward, no matter how hard you grab the brakes. Altogether, the Neon is very easy to ride, and a big part of that comes from a feature that’s easy to overlook. It has a very long deck. At 22 inches, it’s tied for the fourth longest deck of any Scooter we’ve ever tested. There are two reasons why this matters. One, the wider you plant your feet, the less it feels like you’re tipping forward or backward when you brake or accelerate.
And two, having more space just gives.
You more options as you figure out what foot positions work best for you. The stem feels very solid, and the large round grips are confidence inspiring because they feel like they would never come out of your hands over a bump at a hail bar height of 38 inches from the deck, the Neon is taller and more comfortable than many of the smaller scooters like the M 365 or the G 30 LP, and ideal for riders from about five foot four inches to five foot ten inches tall. Here’s an odd detail we discovered the specs and most other reviews report the front tire as being 8.5 inches in diameter, but that’s just wrong. The diameter measures out to nine inches, which of course agrees with the 230 millimeter diameter molded into the side of the tire. The rear tire does check out at 8.5 inches, though the vast majority of flats happen at the rear tire. O Kai takes advantage of this fact by using a tubed pneumatic front tire and a solid rear tire. Of course, while solid tires are flat proof, the downside is a stiff and bumpy ride. But the Neon solves this by adding rear suspension.
You really have to look to see it, but it’s there and it works. As a result, the rear of the scooter actually feels a little smoother than the front.
Best thing about knowing your scooter was designed by a company to build a rental scooters is knowing that it’s going to be as tough as a lamppost.
Before coming to ESG, I ran two repair warehouses for major scooter repo companies, so I’ve seen the kind of abuse that rental scooters take and how quickly the designs evolved. As a result, O Kai is big enough to make their own circuit boards, build and test their own battery packs, and do some pretty serious component testing. Also, anyone who has a jump and water crossing built into their test track is doing something right as we know from the nine bot scooters, making an entire scooter that’s all about reliability can come out a little boring.
We were happy to see some next.
Generation features as well, like the bright color display with three different modes and an NFC reader.
The whole design feels super modern and clean, but more importantly, it just works. And a good example of that is the kickstand. It folds up completely, so you won’t hook your ankle while you’re walking, but it’s also easy for your foot to grab and kick down.
And it’s got this great little detent.
Spring and ball bearing in here that keep it in place. Can you hear it?
There’s also a bag hook, but keep your payload under £5 or things might start feeling unbalanced. The app is pretty cool and has a deeper level of control than we’re used to seeing, allowing you to set up the ambient lights to function differently depending on whether it’s locked, unlocked or charging. It does have a couple of bugs, though. The speed control for the swag lights is set up backwards, and we weren’t able to get the app to work at all on an Android phone. Though the scooter still functions fine without the app. Another bug that’s important to know about is you need to close the app when you’re done riding your scooter for the day. Otherwise the app will run in the background, trying to connect to a scooter that’s not there and will eventually run.
Your phone’s battery down.
We expect that. OK, I will update the app soon, especially since there are features like the ability to turn off regenerative braking that are shown on the screen but aren’t yet enabled. Since OCai makes rental scooters which get ridden every day, rain or shine, it’s no surprise that the Neon has an IPX five water resistance rating. The Neon’s fender protection is outstanding, and since it’s been raining basically every day since we received the scooter, I did the entire range test in the rain, the scooter held up fine and the display looks really cool with water on it. It’s good to know that the weight.
Of the scooter is actually £39 and not the £35.3 that it says on the spec sheet. This points out why it’s important to actually measure things when doing a scooter review. We checked it twice. The white color might make it a little easier to sneak into a dentist appointment and make it fit in a little better underneath your desk at work, but I think the length is going to be close to the limit of the trunk test, but let’s see how it fits. It’s a little better than I thought.
Folding and unfolding is straightforward, and my favorite part is that you don’t need to latch the bars to the deck. They just stay put when you fold them down. Aside from brakes that won’t flip you over forward no matter how hard you grab them, the neon has some other cool safety features for a scooter of.
Its size best in class swag lights.
Which make it super visible at night. And more importantly, the long wheelbase gives it truly exceptional stability at top speed. You should never ride a scooter one handed, since it’s one of the leading causes of crashes. But that said, the Neon is so stable, if you need to scratch your nose or adjust your helmet while riding, you’re much more likely to get away with it on this scooter than just about any other. It’s also got the most polite Bell ever, which is actually pretty useful in the bike lane. Pros easy to ride, great looking, modern design, ultimate stability roomy deck and great user app. Cons not ultra portable, and the app is not currently working on Android phones.
The Okai Es 20 Neon is a pleasant surprise from a giant scooter company which has finally decided to decloak. While it’s not designed for big top speed or adrenaline inducing acceleration, they have made a very good looking scooter that’s easy to learn on climbs hills better than average, and judging by their rental scooters, we expect it to be as tough and reliable as a light post.
If you’re to learn more about two other scooters that are great for new riders, check out our review of the Segway Ninebot Max G 30 LP. Or check out this review of the Apollo Air and Air. Pro.