‘Don’t jump on the hype train, yet…’ – that’s what we said when we first tested the Ola S1/S1 Pro. And now a year later, the S1 Pro has bagged our ‘Best of 2022’ award by beating a diverse and capable range of motorcycles across different segments. So, what is it that made us change our opinion?
Truth be told, a lot of things happened with the Ola S1 over the course of the year – including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Right after the market launch, it was a bumpy ride for the Ola S1/S1 Pro. The scooters faced multiple software glitches, and the company’s social media pages were flooded with customer complaints instead of praises. However, it seems that most of the issues are now fixed, as Ola has launched a number of software updates in the past few months, including Move OS 2.0. We had an S1 Pro on test for three days with us for the jury round, and, impressively, we didn’t face a single issue. And this gave us a chance to concentrate on the S1 Pro’s capabilities rather than worrying about it malfunctioning, which is how it should have been in the first place.
Say what you may, though, but the S1 Pro is a revolutionary product. And that’s not just because it’s an EV. The features, functions, range, and performance that the S1 Pro brings to mass-market scooters make it a total game-changer. You’ve got a 7-inch TFT touchscreen, 4G connectivity, full LED lighting, cruise control, a reverse mode, in-built speakers, and whatnot. It’s also a very cool-looking scooter – every member of our team loved its quirky design. Even the overall quality and fit-and-finish are quite good. Additionally, the S1 Pro has one of the best real-world range figures in its segment. You can eke out close to 130 – 140kms quite easily, which is very impressive. However, the party piece of the S1 Pro has to be its performance and handling.
'The S1 Pro managed a lap time of 1:26.9, making it only 2.5 seconds slower than the Hunter 350!'
Here’s the thing, the S1 Pro managed a lap time of 1:26, making it only two seconds slower than the RE Hunter 350! The performance is nuts, especially in Hyper mode. The acceleration is snappy – it does 0 – 60km/h in under 5 seconds. What’s interesting is that the performance doesn’t taper even at high speeds. On the track, it kept pulling effortlessly – we saw 114km/h (speedo-indicated) without even trying. Sure, the Hyper mode only lasts for about 5 minutes – it switches to Sport or Normal automatically – but even, then, the performance is simply mind-blowing. What’s more, the handling is equally brilliant. The S1 Pro is not only quick in terms of change of direction but also remains surprisingly planted at high speeds. Yes, the front suspension feels a bit jittery, but in the overall scheme of things, it honestly doesn’t bother you much.
In all honesty, when the Ola S1 Pro lined up for our jury round, none of us expected it to be anywhere near the top. However, after three days of testing, we had to let go of those preconceived notions and rate and score the S1 Pro objectively without any bias. In the end, nobody should give two hoots about the noise Ola, or its detractors for that matter, make on social media. It’s the product that has to do the talking – which is exactly what happened on this occasion.
- Ola S1 Pro (Lap Time – 01:26.9)
|COMFORT & PRACTICALITY||10||8|
|RIDE & HANDLING||10||7|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||20||14|