Vinodvaddi's Review of the Ather 450

I wrote my review an year ago when I took testride. here it is:

It has been 2weeks since I took the delivery of the bike. So wanted to post my thoughts so far.

I think the Ather experience (post ownership) is great so far. The product is great, customer service is good, and there’s a community to talk to and find solution to problems. I bought this bike for my wife and she is as thrilled with the bike today as she was an year ago during the test ride. I use a motorcycle (Hero Impulse) for my commute and am sticking to it.

on that note, lets see the good and bad things about the bike. Though I would highlight the -ves here for feed back.

  1. The bike is a eye cathcher. Simple minimalistic design. Though I must say the initial design sketch that I saw in Experience center features a more sportier and agressive front design, to my liking. current design comes across as neutral. It could have been a sportier design like Aprilia, in line with it’s performance.

  2. I didn’t notice any fit & finish issues other than the seat. It seems they have placed the cover on top of the foam seat. could see an air pocket/gap at the place where rider sits. This is same for all the vehicles delivered so far. I’ve not seen this any other branded 2wheelers. The foam is way too soft too.

  3. I liked the horn sound. It is unique and has some thing electric to it , like in a video game. Same goes for indicator sound too.

  4. The headlight is bright and gives good visibilty. Hower the lowbeam is always ON and doubles up as DRL, which I think is an over kill. The position lamps (on the handle bar) are good enough to be considered as DRL. I wish the low beam could be turned off, to save some charge.

  5. I miss the ‘pass’ switch. You have the highbeam/low beam toggle switch but it can’t be a replace ment for ‘pass’ switch.

  6. the braking is good but I would like a little more bite and less travel for brake levers.

  7. I don’t know how the regen works and it’s technical limitations but I find it addictive and wish the bike could be stopped just by using regen, there by doing away with the brakes. Like they do in single speed bicycles (fixies). They dont’ve brakes. you have to pedal backwards to stop it.

  8. Ather need to fix the navigation experience. Sometimes it lags. sometimes there’s no signal at all. To have on-board navigation and still having to use a phone is frustrating. Also the dashboard touch should not be deactivated while scooter is running. Let’s say you took a wrong turn at navigation rerouted, you need to accept the new route and for that you need the touch.
    what ca be done to improve navigation experience?

  • change to 4G and/or better telecom service provider.
  • enable touch when the scooter is running
  • make the user eperience seemless to what the user gets on his phone. traffic updates, colour codes, saved places,etc…basically I should be able to access my google maps account from the onboard tablet.
  • if everything fails, give a connectivity / screen mirroring option from phone to onboard tablet. so that I can see maps on the biggerscreen from the phone in my pocket.
  1. The dashboard draws unwanted attention in the nights. Why can’t it have Always ON Display (AOD) like smartphones which activate only a part of the screen (to show date/time etc…) while the rest of the screen is off.

I can just see the speed and rest of the screen is off.

Also, for the night mode etc…instead of alogirithm, ambient light sensor would be a better option, as in a smartphone.

  1. The suspension (rear) seems more pliant when there’s a pillion. I’m not sure what changes they’ve made to preload/rebound compared to an yearago, but the rearend is funny if there’s no weight on it. you’re going on a bump, and you get off the seat a bit, the rear end acts as if a pendulum on vertical axis.

  2. talking about doubles, I noticed that the bike pulls effortlessly from a standstill, even when there is a pillion. something I’ve not seen on any other motorcycle letalone scooter. There is no initial struggle to get off the mark. It never really struggles for power.

  3. Some rides are not synced onto the app. even if the scooter is not shutdown. even after many days. It is as if , for some reason , sync didn’t happen when it’s supposed to happen, it is never retried.

  4. Lastly, the chrging status is not smart enough.
    Let’s say I’ve switched on my homepod, it’s green, and connected the charger to scooter.

Pod shows green (not blinking). means it’s not charging.
Dashboard says charging.
App says fast charging.
I received the bike first, and homepod was set up later. Even the installation team is not aware of these subtleties. They’ve setup the pod, connected the charger to scooter and said everything is fine. Pod is green. dashboard says charging. app says fast charging.

But it didn’t charge. I came to know from the forum that it’s a mapping issue. I called the customer care next day, they have mapped the pod to my scooter and it started working then.

So, to summarise, sometimes the dash says charging but it’s not. if it’s indeed charging, it will show you an estimate/forecast. by what time you will reach 80%, etc…

the app doesn’t seem to differentiate between chrging off the grid and cherging from the homepod. ideally it should say ‘charging’ if connected to homepod and ‘fast charging’ if connected to ‘grid’.