My Ather 450X: S1 - Lukewarm at best

Hello to everyone. I’m new to this forum, but not to Ather. Even though I meant to sign up here sooner, my busy days prevented it. You see, I am a freelance coder and build fast cars when I’m not doing the former.

A few years back, one of my landlords had a pre production 450 that I rode and fell in love with the build quality. That led me to purchase the 450 a couple of years ago and it was pretty good, even though there was the occasional niggle or two. Also, I think it kept getting louder and slower over time with the battery devolving as well. Still, this scooter served me well. When I heard that the 450X was coming out with “better everything”, my first impression was that they used the existing 450 customer base as test subjects and released an improved, more expensive product. So even though I paid the initial deposit, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through with the purchase, especially since I had absolutely no idea what to do with the 450 I currently had. A few days before the Series 1 window was about to close, someone contacted me expressing interest in buying my 450, so I decided to sell it and go for the X. Even though I would still be paying quite a bit of extra money on top of the sale price of the 450 for the upgrade, I figured it would be good, since everything was supposed to be better, and I’d be supporting a company that built their products with love and pride - very similar to how I build my cars.

I finally received my 450X: S1 a couple of days ago, and it’s with great disappointment that I say that I’m not impressed. I sent my sidekick to pick up the scooter while I was busy at the workshop and had him park it at home. At the end of the day, I went back and was greeted by a shiny black form and was grinning from ear to ear.

When I approached the scooter to take in some more of its goodness, the grin shortened a little when I found that there were scratches across the length of the scooter on the left hand side at the level of the running board, including the floating panel, the running board itself, the stand and the rear cover. Upon inquiry, my sidekick confirmed that these scratches were present at the time of delivery. They look like they were sustained during a loading / unloading operation. It was a bit disappointing that this wasn’t caught before the delivery was confirmed. Still, a minor issue at best that I could have let slide if it wasn’t for what followed.

I took the scooter out for my first ride and was immediately greeted by a cacophony of noises. The motor itself sounded better than the 450. There were mild abrasive noises from both wheels that sounded like brake pads brushing lightly against the rotors, which I figured would go away with some usage. However, the most disturbing element was a frequent, intermittent rumble that would travel across the length of the scooter and would be clearly felt on the floorboard. My 450 has similar vibrations, which I’m told are “normal”, but I don’t buy that. I certainly don’t expect that stuff in a brand new, and “improved” scooter. Overall, the entire powertrain felt tight - in the wrong way - with higher NVH levels than my 1.5 year, 3500km old scooter. Not a great first impression.

After getting over the initial disappointment, I started to notice that my handle wasn’t straight. When the scooter was going in a straight line, the handle position was a few degrees to the right. This is extremely annoying and should absolutely not have made it through the pre delivery inspection process. Here are a couple of pictures of the handle position when the scooter is traveling dead straight on an empty road:

At this point, I began to question whether there even was any pre delivery inspection conducted.

If you’re reading this and keeping count, that’s 3 major issues within the first 15 minutes of me being with a “newer and improved” scooter.

Once I was done with the ride, I came back and decided to dig around the software menu. I was especially curious to check out the new Bluetooth connectivity. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find the bloody thing anywhere! At this point, I started tapping the screen everywhere and when I hit the Maps button on the top right, I was told to sod off because I didn’t have an active subscription!!!? When I was completing my purchase online, I was supposed to be entitled to the S1 perks that I guess included a year’s worth of subscription, just like the 450. So I login to my account and am greeted with yet another unpleasant surprise. The “perks” are meant to be only for service, and connectivity costs extra. Seriously!!!? Is this the beginning of a cash grab operation? Don’t you see it fit to inform me about this on the same screen where you’re touting your Collector’s Edition perks? This is akin to selling me a top of the line D segment car and then telling me after I pick it up that the floor mats will cost me extra. What gives? Anyway, after 15 minutes of cussing - which I’m trying my best to control here - I purchased the Connect Pro plan for a quarter. It’s been two days now, and the Maps will STILL not show up. Great job, Ather!

Speaking of subscription, I plugged the Dot charger into the wall and was greeted with no light at all. So I went through the manual and it said that no light was because of no power flow. This didn’t sound right, because I could hear a relay in the charger click when I powered it on. So I plugged it into the scooter anyway, and it said Authentication Error - C037 on the screen. Awesome! So now the manual is useless and misleading. There’s a very smug opening statement in the manual that says something to the effect “We hate manuals, so we’ll keep it short and to the point”, and yet it completely eats up a MAJOR reason why the charger will not light up. If I hadn’t plugged it in, I would be chasing a power supply issue when there was none.

What’s the idea here, Ather? You confirm that my bike is ready to pick up, and give me an unregistered charger bundled with an erroneous manual? Is the onus on ME to call you up after I stumble upon the discovery that my charger is not registered yet? You should be doing this BEFORE you confirm delivery. Considering this also happened with my 450 charger, it would seem like this isn’t how you operate. If there’s a solid reason behind this operating procedure, I’d love to know what it is. Otherwise, it just seems like you’re taking the piss here.

Let me summarize my issues on a 3 day old scooter here for those who were turned off by my long rant:

  1. Scratched bodywork.
  2. Misaligned handle, therefore a vehicle that will not track straight.
  3. Very bad NVH.
  4. Poor power delivery - the acceleration hits a wall after 40 kmph.
  5. Charger that will not work out of the box, and a manual that is useless in addressing the issue.
  6. Much hyped Bluetooth connectivity missing.
  7. No connected features on a “Collector’s Edition”.
  8. A seat that doesn’t close properly. The seat frame and its rock solid closure were some of the standout features of the 450, but on the X, this feels cheap AF. When the scooter is on the stand, the hinge is so flimsy that the seat leans far enough away to misalign the latch and striker so they won’t lock together. Kiss your claims of rock solid engineering goodbye, Ather.

All of this prompted me to take a deeper dive through the forums and from what I see, what I’m facing is not an exception, but the rule.

I’ve raised most of these issues with Support and they’re supposed to be getting back to me as quickly as possible. I haven’t heard from them so far. Regardless, this should never have happened in the first place. Even if they decide to take the scooter back and fix it, I’m now stuck without a ride for the duration since I assumed that this thing would “just work” and got rid of my old ride based on that trust; a trust that has been severely shaken now.

I have a good mind to return the 450X, demand my money back, apologize profusely to the friend who I sold the 450 to, take it back, and use it until it falls apart. I’m that miffed right now. I’m definitely NOT going to be interested in whatever Ather launch next, if they’re still around, that is. Looking at the progression of events, things are headed downhill and people seem either clueless or disinterested in maintaining standards that were the USP of the company. Instead, all the time and effort seems to be spent on figuring out how to make a bloody translucent side panel.

Shame on you.

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That’s really sad to read. I had pre-booked the 450X as well, but didn’t go ahead with the payment because I was not even using 450 that much and felt the 450x was over priced. I was tempted by the shiny black panels in the Series X, but now I feel thankful that my wife stopped me from going ahead with the switch to Series X.

I hope Ather addresses your issues. People have come to expect better from Ather.

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Panels can be painted. You dodged a bullet. :slight_smile:

If you want to upgrade, I sugest you wait till things improve.

Wow… That is one shitty experience you’ve had there.

Starting to wonder if this really is the case lately. I really hope its more to do with dissatisfied customers being more inclined to post about their misgivings. Either way, such experiences are unacceptable.

Very well articulated btw.

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Add another reason to that list: our idiot supplier did not connect the light in the first place.

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Did you get this installed from the Ather team?

Nope. Charger came out of the box with a disconnected indicator. There’s no “installation” necessary. I just keep mine on a chair and plug it into the nearest outlet.

PS: I see calling someone out for not having done their jobs is offending some delicate sensibilities here, Hilarious.

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Its one thing to call out a mistake and a different thing to call people names, especially those who are not there to respond.

Read up on the Forum Guidelines.

Remain respectful of other members at all times

All posts should be professional and courteous. You have every right to disagree with your fellow community members and explain your perspective.

However, you are not free to attack, degrade, insult, or otherwise belittle them or the quality of this community. It does not matter what title or power you hold, you are expected to obey this rule.

So sad to hear this. Had a similar experience with mine too. Had some negligible scuff marks ( nowhere close to yours) but still for a brand new vehicle that was unacceptable. The charger was not mapped and I was asked to charge it at the grid which ended up as expected. The grid was down and I was stranded. After a bit of back and forth they sent over a portable charger and left me to deal with it. And regarding the light I read the manual thrice and my instincts kicked in when I saw the picture with the unplug the wire on the shroud. I knew something was up and I removed the three screws and yep… Just taped to the side and not even plugged in. And funny you should talk about manuals… because apparently the 450X’s manual is still in the works.

And regarding the perks, I am with you a hundred percent. This is something I never expected from Ather. Service pro for a brand new electric vehicle? I mean come on. It’s not like these things need service or maintenance. And if something does go wrong they are obligated to fix it because of warranty. The only thing that the so called perks offer is doorstep pick up and drop off, which I anyways won’t use because I’m not comfortable letting my ride out to someone else. I really wished they atleast offered the connect pack as a perk and not the useless service pack. But hey, money minting is clearly more important for them now.

Though my experience isn’t as bad as yours, I do feel for you buddy. And I hope they do right by you and sort it out for you.

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The supplier of the charger isn’t a member here, so the guideline isn’t applicable. I’m pretty sure. They left a dangling connection and approved the unit to be sent further downstream. I’ll call them what I want, and with every reason to do so.

It certainly feels this way. Things are being rushed out in order to maximize revenue, at the expense of quality and user experience.

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No all the dot chargers come with the plug disconnected out of the box. in the picture too if you see the plug is attached to the panel. It is not a mistake it is deliberately kept in unplugged condition.

When ather technician does the work he plugs it by himself so it is not observed generally but when we take care of installation then only we see this.

My previous vehicle’s (450)charger came like that only and I saw few other chargers also in same condition out of box. That is not supplier mistake.

So if I choose not to hang the charger on a wall, I’m going to be chasing my tail wondering why the light doesn’t turn on and start hunting for plug points like a maniac while the real issue is that a light isn’t connected?

This is hilarious.

You have every right to voice your displeasure, no one is stopping you from doing that.

We ask that you leave the swear dictionary behind when your write these posts.

True that is what I am also confused why they keep it so but all the chargers out of box I saw till now (5 to 6) are like that only. Now is your case. I am not a technical person so I don’t k ow the exact reason behind this. But not a mistake of supplier and even though he is not a member we can convey the displeasure little cool rather than using some harsh words.

I’m not new to this Raghav.

I’ve been doing my best to keep it clean. “Idiot” is the least offensive word I could come up with, and a pretty commonly used one in case you haven’t noticed. Hold your horses.

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@kumar.uppaluri2, not everyone reacts identically to a given situation.

I do my best to do my job to the best of my ability, and when I see people fail to do the one job they were supposed to be doing, it makes my blood boil, and I speak my mind.

A service appointment has been set up for next week. I was told that it would take a working day to fix everything.

I’m confident that everything except the rumble will be easily fixable. It will be interesting to see if and how the rumble is fixed.

Agree with this. Service pack for a vehicle which is expected to work well and doesn’t require a lot of service was an expected one. For people who pre-ordered, the least they could have done is to offer the Connect Pack complimentary. A t-shirt and a subscription of service for a vehicle that shouldn’t require much servicing is not a great way to please your early adopters.

People can defend saying data costs and everything, but again people gave their hard earned money, inspite of Ather hiking the price and trusted them for a vehicle when they pre-booked. This could have been a way of giving it back to them.

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Being a S1 owner myself, I can relate to a few issues.

Starting with the scratches I see on your panels, are you sure the scooter hasn’t fallen by mistake at your premises or when your side-kick was getting it home? Cause the scratches are so bad, that I wouldn’t even accept the vehicle from Ather in this condition. I wonder how was this missed by the person picking up the scooter on your behalf :fearful:

Secondly, I too suffered from the rumble in my first week and it was shocking and strange, but after 45 odd kms, it disappeared. Ideally, it shouldn’t happen. Simple.

Now for the handlebar, I again suspect something has happened (in addition to the scratches on the side panel) otherwise this looks very bad on Ather to hand over a scooter in this condition. I would urge you to find the reason for the scratches!

Coming to the Bluetooth, I feel your anger. Trust me this communication has NOT been made anywhere else other than the forum. Which is wrong. I agree to you, that this should have been put out on a better channel of communication.

I don’t understand how come you missed reading the FAQ’s where its does says the following -

I truly believe before buying anything, its the duty of the buyer (Including me) to enquire everything. I’m sorry I can’t comment more on that part to keep the discussion healthy. The connect pro plan generally gets activated within 48 hours. Please do check again by resetting your dashboard (LH brake + RH brake + ignition button simultaneously), else contact CS right away.

Dot charger - I don’t blame the supplier at all. There is a reason for the wire to be installed after the dot has been mounted (like its supposed to) and then the plug gets attached. This is to avoid accidental damage to the socket by yanking out the outer shell.

Regarding the seat not closing, the seat alignment is done by two nuts below the seat, on the frame. If they were loose from the beginning, the seat does not not close at all. I faced this issue twice -

One : when I got my seat cover, and the re-installation was done incorrectly.

Two : when I had an accident, and the seat got slightly mis-aligned

Could you kindly check the same (Again I vaguely suspect this happened when your scooter fell).

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I’m positive that this didn’t happen at my premises. I instructed the kid to go to Ather, collect a scooter, sign and where specified and come back. It was not his remit to do a PDI. For what it’s worth, I trusted Ather enough that this was never even a thought in my head. Unless there is evidence from Ather in form of a pre delivery checklist where they verified that the scooter was unloaded in mint condition, I will lay this at their doorstep. This is a very minor issue which I would have let slide if not for the fact that the handle was off kilter too. Both these issues together make me uneasy and want to take this matter up further.

Is memorizing the FAQ a prerequisite for purchasing the scooter? Let me illustrate my PoV with a cringeworthy example: Having grown up eating garbage, I learn about a new joint that makes great food at a price that seems justifiable for the ingredients and the effort. I eat there and absolutely love it. I recommend this place to anyone who will put up with me, and they love it too. Things are good. Then I learn about a dish that is even better - albeit more expensive. There are a couple of variants of said dish, and I choose the priciest variant expecting to be blown away. The dish arrives, and I dig in with great anticipation to find that it tastes a bit bland. Upon further enquiry, I am told that because some health conscious patrons had been asking, they added only half of the usual salt to this dish and I had to pay a couple of bucks more for the remaining half of the salt, in a separate order. This stipulation could be found in small print at the end of the menu and I should have read the menu in its entirety before placing an order. When I make a noise about this and ask why they couldn’t have simply created a third, loaded-to-the-gills option of said dish, or added a small option to the main order, I receive ridiculous justifications for this oversight from the rest of the patrons.

If you’re done facepalming after reading the above, I’ll summarize very simply: I have no problem with the 2 tier structure or the price. What I do have a problem with is the presentation of this information or lack thereof in an easy to understand fashion. If you choose to spend time going through minute details, I’m happy for you. But don’t try to tell me that I should be doing the same thing. A few hours spent adding a single line to the order completion page would have gone a LONG way in saving every potential customer many hours in research.

I respectfully disagree. The company is responsible for verifying every minute detail of their product, and in case of deficiencies, being up front to the customer about them. Not every customer has the time or energy to play Twenty Questions with the company. When I buid a car in my little 1500 sqft hole, I make it a point to triple check everything before sending it out. While I like answering customers’ questions, I don’t expect every single customer to be a greasemonkey. The onus is still on me to make sure that all my i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when I declare a car ready to go. I assume no responsiblilty for the dust settled on the exterior of cars once I’m done with them, and make that bit amply clear to everyone before starting work. If I can do all this being a part time one man operation, I don’t see why a full fledged company with teams dedicated to the job cannot.

The subscription activated after a day, BTW.

I don’t care. According to the manual, the only reason you need to take the cover off is to run screws through the back panel into a wall. Even then, it mentions absolutely nothing about a 3 pin connector that is disconnected by default and needs to be connected by the user. Like I mentioned above, if I chose not to screw the charger to a wall, I have no reason to be fiddling with that cover. Maybe Ather should spend some time making this cover translucent. It’ll be a helluva lot more useful than a translucent side panel on the scooter. Also, I have it on good authority that the LED is supposed to be connected by default.

At the risk of tooting my own horn once again, I take cars apart and put them back together for fun. I am very well aware of what the problem is. I can fix and perhaps even improve upon every single mechanical problem listed here if I chose to. My point is that it’s Ather’s job, not mine, and am extremely annoyed that they aren’t doing their jobs.

The scooter never fell on its side on my watch. If it did, there would be signs of damage much higher above the line where the scratches are present. I’ve had a bunch of monkeys drop my old 450 on its left side when it was parked by a road, and am well aware of all the telltale signs of a fall. There are none of those present here. The side panel, end of the handlebar, and the tip of the mirror are all mint. There’s no way the scooter could have fallen and left all of these surfaces intact.

Agreed. This reminds me of the old times when you were expected to “run in” your engine to account for imperfect cylinder boring techniques. Honda and the like changed the game by improving manufacturing processes and if required, running engines in as soon as they were assembled. Expecting a customer to drive or ride a certain way to let imperfections magically sort themselves out is asking for trouble. If they’re confident that the drivetrain noise will disappear in 50 or 500 km, they should run the entire assembly on a test bench for that long and then deliver the scooter. If that’s not possible, claims like these have no business being made:

PS: @hemanth.anand, thanks for merging and formatting my posts. I was being a bit lazy there. I’ll do my best to not create more work for you on that front.

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