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River Indie Review: The Electric Scooter Built for the Hustle

Introducing the River Indie, an electric scooter that prioritizes functionality and versatility above all else

River Indie

When River first unveiled the Indie, they boldly proclaimed it to be the “SUV of scooters”. At first, this might seem like just another marketing gimmick, but spend some time with the Indie, and you’ll quickly realize that this title is more than just a catchy phrase – it’s a design philosophy that permeates every aspect of this unique electric scooter.

From the moment you lay eyes on the Indie, it’s clear that this is no ordinary scooter. Its chunky, almost brutish appearance immediately sets it apart from the sleek, futuristic designs that dominate the electric scooter market. The large front end with its twin LED headlights, the wide floorboard, and the substantial rear section with its distinctive rectangular tail lamp all contribute to the Indie’s imposing presence.

river indie

But the Indie’s SUV-like qualities go beyond mere appearances. This scooter is built to be a workhorse, designed to carry both rider and cargo with ease. The spacious floorboard allows for ample legroom, while also providing space to carry larger items. And if that’s not enough, River offers a range of accessories, including panniers and a top box, which can expand the Indie’s carrying capacity to a whopping 77 liters.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Indie’s load-lugging abilities is its 43-liter under-seat storage, which is capacious enough to accommodate a full-face helmet with room to spare. This, combined with the 12-liter glovebox, means that the Indie can easily handle the demands of daily life, whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, or even embarking on a weekend getaway.

Of course, all this practicality would be moot if the Indie couldn’t deliver on the performance front. Fortunately, River has equipped the Indie with a potent electric powertrain that belies its utilitarian appearance. With a 4 kWh battery pack and a 6.7 kW electric motor, the Indie can sprint from 0 to 40 km/h in a brisk 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 90 km/h.

The Indie isn’t just about straight-line speed. River has paid equal attention to the scooter’s handling and ride quality. The 14-inch wheels, shod with meaty 110/70 and 120/70 section tires, provide excellent grip and stability, while the gas-charged suspension and rigid chassis endow the Indie with surprisingly agile handling that belies its 140 kg bulk.

In fact, during our test ride, the Indie proved to be quite the surprise package when the road got twisty. It changed direction with an ease and fluidity that left us grinning inside our helmets, the wide handlebars and upright riding position providing excellent control and feedback.

The most remarkable thing about the Indie is how well it hides its weight. Despite tipping the scales at a substantial 140 kg, the Indie feels surprisingly nimble and maneuverable, thanks in no small part to its low center of gravity and well-calibrated power delivery.

river indie

This is where River’s experience and expertise truly shine through. The founders, Aravind Mani and Vipin George, are both ex-employees of Ultraviolette, and their understanding of electric powertrains and vehicle dynamics is evident in the Indie’s well-rounded performance.

The Indie isn’t just a one-trick pony. It also boasts an impressive range, with River claiming a real-world figure of 120 km on a single charge in Eco mode. And when it’s time to juice up, the Indie can be charged from 0 to 80% in just 5 hours using the included 800 W charger.

Of course, no vehicle is perfect, and the Indie does have a few rough edges. Some of the plastic panels feel a bit flimsy, and the overall fit and finish could use some improvement. The lack of a touchscreen and smartphone connectivity might also be a downside for some buyers in this segment.

Now, these are minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things. What River has created with the Indie is a scooter that prioritizes function over form, substance over style. It’s a scooter that’s built to be used, not just admired. And in a market that’s increasingly focused on flashy features and gimmicks, that’s a refreshing change of pace.

In many ways, the Indie represents a return to the original ethos of the scooter – a practical vehicle that can handle the rigors of daily life. But River has also infused the Indie with a sense of fun and character that sets it apart from the bland, appliance-like scooters that often dominate this segment.

It’s this combination of practicality and personality that makes the Indie such a compelling proposition. It’s a scooter that can handle the daily grind, but also put a smile on your face when the road opens up. It’s a scooter that’s built for the real world, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

And that, in essence, is what makes the River Indie so special. It’s not just another electric scooter – it’s a statement of intent, a declaration that practicality and performance can coexist, that form and function can be allies rather than adversaries.

So if you’re in the market for an electric scooter that can keep up with your life, that can carry your cargo and your dreams in equal measure, then the River Indie might just be the scooter for you. Because sometimes, the most practical choice can also be the most exciting one.

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