REVIEW OF THE INMOTION S1 ELECTRIC SCOOTER
Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder
The Chinese company INMOTION has been selling personal transporters since 2013. Its focus has mostly been on electric unicycles but it released its first e-scooter 2015 and the latest (as of 2023) is the INMOTION LeMotion S1 e-scooter. For the price, the specs look pretty amazing. But is it too good to be true - or is a canny move to break Xiaomi's continued stranglehold on the e-scooter market?
In this review I take a detailed look at LeMotion S1, with the caveat that I still have no idea why it has been given the superfluous and Francophone "LeMotion" epithet or why, with the Xiaomi 1S predating it, they chose such a similar two-character name.
The INMOTION S1 is a foldable electric scooter, first released end of 2021. It is reminiscent of the Xiaomi range but the front suspension immediately suggests it is a cut above. The INMOTION S1 is made from aluminium alloy, has the usual folding design, 25 km/h (16 mph) top speed (in the UK/EU), ridiculous 95 km range, and 24 kg weight. The 675 Wh battery is stored in the base, while the dashboard displays the speedometer, battery level and riding mode as well as things like Bluetooth connection. There is limited assembly (but a bit more than most) and it can be connected to the INMOTION app, although this has had a few issues recently.
The first thing to note is that the frame is built from an aluminium rather than magnesium alloy, which is a little disappointing. I prefer (expect) scooters above the £600 price point to be made of the lighter and more eco-friendly magnesium. At about 24 kg, the INMOTION S1 is certainly on the heavy side, and magnesium would have likely brought it down below 20 kg. Of course, it is still costlier to manufacture with magnesium so INMOTION would doubtless argue they chose aluminium to keep the down the cost for the consumer.
The LeMotion S1 has 10 inch tubeless, pneumatic tyres. That's a good size and being air-filled will help make for a smoother ride. Being tubeless is a bonus for sure - as deflated tyres are a pain in the ass. To improve suspension further, the INMOTION S1 has both front and back shock absorbers (as seen in the images below). The suspension set-up is reminiscent of the excellent Ducati Pro II.
The accelerator (throttle) is a button/switch on the right-hand handlebar, while there is a bike-like brake on the left. I tend to prefer the familiarity of a mechanical brake but you rarely need to brake heavily on any e-scooter anyway: you will decelerate pretty quickly after taking your thumb off the accelerator (unless you weigh 150 kg and have built up a scary amount of momentum).
The S1 has a headlight and rear light, which also functions as a brake light, and an indicator. INMOTION calls its indicator system Smart Turn Signals. These are triggered by turning the handlebars. This is great except for one small thing: you are meant to signal before you turn, not when you turn. I suppose it is better than nothing and indicating with you hands is certainly tricky on an e-scooter so...
There is also an ambient light (see below image), a gimmick which may or may not appeal to you.
Riding The INMOTION S1
There tends to be minimal difference between the smoothness of the ride when comparing higher-end scooters. As mentioned, the LeMotion S1 has both pneumatic tyres and dual shock absorption, which offers a belt-and-braces approach to suspension that means the S1's ride is pretty much as smooth as one will find in the world of e-scooters. Like nearly all e-scooters these days, the INMOTION S1 offers three different riding modes - eco mode, standard mode and sports mode - but who uses anything but sports mode, right?
The mode is displayed on the dash alongside the speed, battery, indicators and Bluetooth connection. The headlight is controlled via the power button (as is usually the case). INMOTION suggest you do not ride the e-scooter in the rain - suggesting they have never lived in the UK. This is common and generally disregarded. Of course, stopping distances - and grip generally - are less in wet weather but I have seen no evidence such conditions cause more e-scooter accidents in the UK (where the top speed is limited to 15 mph).
The INMOTION S1 has a water resistance rating of IPX5, which means it is able to "resist a sustained, low-pressure water jet spray" and should protect it against damage in the rain. This is slightly superior to most scooters, such as the Xiaomis, which generally have a rating of IPX4. This upshot is you are less likely to have issues when riding in the rain or cleaning your scooter; but after four years of selling e-scooters, I am yet to hear of anyone having suffered any detrimental effects from water damage.
The app has apparently been rather hit and miss, with an update in early 2023 causing problems for many users. However, much like the newer Xiaomis, installing the app is non-negotiable because you need to read the safety instructions contained within it to activate the scooter. Fortunately, after that, using the app is optional. It is intended to measure journey distances as well as provide other features.
Battery & Motor
The best thing about the INMOTION S1 is its 675 Wh battery capacity and the range (how far it will travel on a single charge) provided by this. The rated power of the motor is 500 Watts, which is also pretty high and provides a maximum climbing angle of 30%, which is the highest I have seen. How realistic (truthful) these figures are is hard to qualify, but even if it fall short of the 95 km range (who is planning a 60 mile journey on an e-scooter?) claimed, it is still providing exceptional battery/motor specs.
As just stated, the battery specs are hard to beat at this price range. However, by providing such a high-capacity battery and powerful motor in a not-too-expensive scooter, which also provides dual suspension, INMOTION have had to make some cuts in other areas (in order to maintain their profit margins). It seems that the compromise INMOTION have made in the S1 is in the chassis, which is aluminium and results in a fairly hefty 24 kg scooter (though of course the battery is taking up some of this).
So it really depends on how you plan to use your INMOTION S1. That is to say, if you plan to make fairly long journeys (or would struggle to charge your battery between journeys) then the LeMotion S1 would seem like a great choice. However, if you expect to have to carry your e-scooter much - and it is foldable - then the weight would likely be a deterrence (the S1 also has a "pushing mode" to help make walking it easier). Although it cannot match the range, you may wish to consider the Ducat Pro III.
|Size||126 cm x 122 cm x 51 cm|
|Size (Folded)||126 cm x 54 cm x 51 cm|
|Top Speed (UK/EU)||25 km/h (16 mph)|
|Range||95 km (59 miles)|
|Battery Capacity||675 Wh|
|Max Climbing Angle||30 %|
|Tyres||10 inch tubeless|
|Shock Absorbers||Front & Rear|
|Lights||Headlight + Rear Light|