We have already reviewed the very moped-like SX250 e-bike from Eskuta and liked the comfort and ease of use. The company also has the KS450 e-scooter to its name so this review sees if this electric kick scooter ccontinues the favourable impression left by Eskuta's e-bike.
First, a quick recap of e-scooters' legal status. At the time of writing, it is illegal to use one on public roads unless the vehicle is part of one of the government approved share schemes that are in operation up and down the country.
E-scooters are set to be legalised through the creation of a new low-speed, zero-emission vehicle category, but there is still no word on exactly when this will happen or what the exact requirements will be to qualify as such a vehicle.
Most e-scooters feature a non-removable battery integrated into the underside of the main deck. Whilst this is a good idea from the balance and handling point of view - keeping the most weighty item on the scooter central and low down - it means you have to take the scooter to the mains for charging rather than just the battery. This is, admittedly, not as much of an issue as it might be with much heavier e-bikes, but it's still potentially inconvenient for some users.
The KS450's removable battery could therefore be a big plus if you envisage not being able to get an e-scooter to a charge point in daily use. (The battery's chargeable both on and off the scooter). At 230kWh it's not the biggest, but it's neatly concealed in the stem and cleverly removable. Flip up the display and unscrew a retaining cap and hey presto, it pulls up and out easily.
There is a pretty standard looking front hub motor but it has the added advantage of regenerative braking, meaning that squeezing the single brake lever gives stopping power from both the rear cable operated disc brake and a front electronic brake. (The motor effectively tries to go into reverse). Eskuta say the KS450 has ‘triple braking’ as there is also a rear friction brake activated by stepping on the rear mudguard. However this is pretty basic and often of limited use, even though friction braking features on quite a number of e-scooters.
Elsewhere the spec of the KS450 is conventional enough, but overall looks effective, both in practical and aesthetic terms. It looks well-made, boasting all-alloy construction and a generously-sized deck some 15cm wide x 42cm long. The handlebars feel high compared to other models, so it's likely to suit taller riders rather than shorter ones.
Again, conventionally enough, the handlebar stem hinges at the bottom to fold back along the deck, giving a folded package measuring 108cm x 46cm x 43cm - again pretty average. The click fixing on the KS450 to secure the fold is certainly one of the more secure examples of its kind we have seen, but this design is always going to be at risk of being knocked open inadvertently. There are better designs out there that effectively 'lock' the stem in place but they aren't that common on budget to mid-range models, which is the category the KS450 falls into. The portability of the folded package is also helped by the 13.5kg weight (including batteries). That's quite impressive for an e-scooter with around 14kg to 20kg being the typical range.
The KS450 is IPX4 'splashproof' rated. That should mean it's fine for riding in the rain but shouldn't be submerged by going through very large amounts of water. It's about what you expect on an e-scooter at this price level.
The display is quite distinctive - a bright, circular colour LCD that's very easy to read in most conditions other than the brightest direct sunlight. There's a speedo in the middle of the display plus a battery gauge at the bottom and you can also toggle between odometer and trip distance. It can be set to miles or kilometres using the associated app. Once the display is flipped up you have access to a USB charging port. There’s also a thumb throttle and standard rubber grips.
The 10" tyres are pneumatics and are tubeless. 10" is fast becoming a standard size on all but the cheapest e-scooters. As they are tubeless, punctures could probably be repaired with a plug kit, but Eskuta say they also stock replacement tyres if needed.
On the flat and up moderate inclines, the KS450 feels nippy. Just press down on the thumb throttle and glide away virtually silently. There are three power levels with the top two of 9mph and 15mph much the more useful. (The lowest 6mph level doesn't seem to serve much practical purpose). Top speed is set at 15mph and there doesn't seem to be any way to increase that. Many other off-the shelf e-scooters will achieve 20mph. As it is still illegal to use e-scooters on public roads (despite longstanding promises to legalise them), there is no maximum prescribed legal speed in the UK. 15mph seems a good compromise as it will help preserve that relatively small 230Wh battery capacity.
The KS450 is comfortable and feels easy to ride. Handling is stable, even at the top speed and the sizeable deck is nicely grippy and big enough to let you shift your body weight around for effective control. Negotiating corners at speed and moving bodyweight to the back of the deck to negotiate humps and bumps is all easily accomplished. The light battery also helps too in this regard, as there isn’t too much weight over the front wheel.
The brakes are very effective and the electronic front brake kicks in strongly almost as soon as you depress the lever. That means you will need to get your weight back before applying it, especially if going downhill at speed. In short it's great to have such stopping power to hand but a little care is required applying it.
The 10” tyres rolled very nicely over both hard surfaces and on unsurfaced tracks and shorter grass. After initially struggling with getting conventional modern bike pumps to fit on the restricted space on these small wheels (a problem certainly not unique to the Eskuta), it seems the solution is a good old-fashioned plastic pump with flexible adapter, as this pump design requires the minimum of space around the inflation valve.
The KS450 managed moderate hills pretty easily, dropping down to about 10mph, but on hills steeper than around 8% the occasional ‘foot down and kick’ was necessary to stop progress coming to a crawl. This is really in line with a lot of the small motors found on e-scooters. Unlike an e-bike you have no extra assist from pedalling and despite the 350W rating on the motor it's small and less powerful than just about all e-bike motors. Note too that the weight of the rider will make a significant difference to the steepness of hills you can tackle and the test results here are based on a 75kg rider. The max rider weight rating of the KS450 is 120kg.
Range is fairly modest, even by e-scooter standards. We managed around eight miles using full power at 15mph and around twice that with the power reduced to 9mph. However, this is a lightweight e-scooter aimed at 'last mile' travel, so in that context eight miles may well be enough for many users. The added bonus of having a removable battery is that you can take a second battery with you (£100 from Eskuta) to double the range.
The front light illuminated unlit paths very well and the rear light / brake light combo was highly visible from behind. Do note the front light can be blinding to oncomers so try and point it away from their eyes.
Overall we felt the app didn't really add much to the rider experience. We used it to change the display from km/h to mph and disabled the 'cruise control' function so that immediate throttle control was available, which was much better for hill starts and in safety-critical situations where a fast start might be important. It would be easier if all this could just have been achieved through the display buttons. The display itself is clear and crisp with the only downside being you need to flip it open to reveal the USB charging point that can be used for devices, so disappointingly it's clearly no use for charging as you ride.
The KS450's big selling point is that removable battery - it's not only good for charging away from the scooter but it also means range can easily be extended by taking extra batteries with you. There are few other e-scooters out there that offer this. The Decent One range of two e-scooters both have stem-mounted batteries that are removable and both undercut the KS450 on price, and on paper look to have similar features. Not having tested them we can't really comment further. There's also the Ezee X8 Pro and Plus models - again very competitive on price but again untested by us.
If a removable battery is not a deal breaker it's hard to look much beyond the main retailers of e-scooters like Pure and Halfords’ own-brand Carrera range. Both other well made e-scooters that are comparatively good value for money and both are well established retailers with branches across the country. You might also want to take a look at our guide to the best e-scooters for a few other options.
In summary the KS450 is well-made, rides well and offers the hard-to-find advantage of battery removability. It's also a relatively light and portable package at a time when e-scooters seem to be getting heavier on average. What's more, UK-based Eskuta offer a one-year warranty. Repairs depend on where your purchase took place. If from a retailer such as Very, it would go back to them but Eskuta say if purchased directly from them, an Eskuta engineer will come out to the customer. That's quite an impressive overall package.