After some of you reported about differences in Warp Mode performance, we picked up a couple of scooters (A Series 1 450X (Scooter 1) and White 450X(Scooter 2)) to test in lab conditions as well as on-road conditions.
We bucketed the complaints into two:
- Warp mode not having the punch/peppiness
- Drop in performance after OTA updates
To preserve the condition of the two vehicles that were picked up, we ran basic checks around belt tension, wheel freeness, software version, and tyre pressures. We found that in both vehicles, the tyre pressure was around 3-5 psi higher than the recommended specs. There were other minor variations, but they were within spec.
We ran two types of tests - Dyno testing and On-road trials.
Dyno testing involves putting a scooter on a dynamometer, to perform tests in a controlled environment, while observing various parameters of the scooter. Since we run benchmarks on performance across software versions, we had data across different OTA updates to compare.
On-road trials involve expert human test-riders, riding the scooter, trying out specific tests, while using special equipment such as a VBOX - a data logger for automobiles, to measure parameters of the scooter. We took both the scooters along to an airstrip (which we frequently use for our testing), to get a free stretch of road to push the scooters to the limits.
First, we tested the vehicle in the condition we received it in on a Dyno, with the tyres overinflated, and here’s what we found:
|0-20 kmph||as per spec|
|0-40 kmph||as per spec|
|0-60 kmph||as per spec|
|Top speed||as per spec|
On-road testing involves an experienced rider who tries out different scenarios on the scooter while using equipment to measure parameters on the scooter.
Testing on a dynamometer has its limitations. When your tyre is overinflated, there’s an increase in load on both tyres. This causes what’s called a longitudinal weight transfer, that won’t be caught on a dynamometer, since the load on the front and rear tyres are isolated.
While our rider wasn’t testing with a laptop in hand, the green box and the wires around it is called V-BOX, which accurately measures the timing and some performance parameters of the scooter.
When we tried with overinflated tyres, the rider did feel a reduction in the performance in Warp mode.
Aha! So there is a reduction in performance…
Yes, but when we fixed the tyre pressure levels, the performance matched our benchmark vehicles and Warp was back to its original ride feel!
On a loose surface such as sand or gravel, using Warp mode led to the rear wheel break traction, which wasn’t the case with the higher tyre pressure levels. (Don’t try this at home or otherwise, our testers say 9/10 times, people fall when they try this.)
Some graphs and tables incoming…
This test sounds fun and involves opening the throttle fully from start, and mapping how the motor delivers the power as the speed increases. There’s no significant difference in the power delivery between the three scooters - our benchmark 450X, White 450X and Series 1.
As you can see our beloved Warp Mode is still delivering the peak performance levels as expected. This graph should also illustrate for some of you, how the torque delivery happens as the speed increases.
Here again, we compared the time taken to hit different speeds between the three scooters, and there’s little to no difference in the timings.
In fact, taking this a step further, you can see that there’s little to no variation in the throttle % required to hit different speeds across software versions.
- Maintaining the ideal tyre pressure numbers are super important and affect the ‘ride feel’. Your rides might be slightly less grippy, bumpier, etc. These subjective parameters do contribute significantly to how you perceive your ride experience
- Even something as minor as adjusting your seat height, can impact the feeling of being thrown back, due to changes in longitudinal forces. Numbers are not impacted - you will still beat most petrol scooters and bikes on the road in a traffic light drag race
- Air compressors at local mechanic shops, petrol pumps and other cheaper equipment available are likely to not be calibrated correctly, leading to accidental low/high inflation of tyres.
- To get the best performance in Warp mode,
- Ensure your 450X is charged up to at least 40%. If you’ve just fast charged, allow the scooter to cool down a bit before you go Wide-Open-Throttle
- Check your tyre pressure and keep it at the optimum pressure when the tyre is cold, not after riding hard already.
After testing extensively, there’s no change in the performance of Warp mode on the Ather 450X, and neither has the performance varied between different OTA versions. Adjusting some parameters like tyre pressure and belt tension will definitely improve the ride feel of all modes on the Ather 450X.
We did know that nothing has changed in Warp Mode through OTA updates. Since solving your concerns are important to us, we decided to do a deep dive and come back with more details on what was going on.
We do see there’s room for improvement when we show the ropes to new owners, especially on the impact tyre pressure plays on performance as seen here, and range as well. We’ll share a lot more detail around tyre pressure in a blog post coming soon.