Razor E Prime III Review
Pros: Light-weight, easy folding, fast
Cons: Middling range, long recharge, poor on steep hills
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
What made the Razor E Prime III a standout in a class of scooters offering stiff competition is that it's an obvious fit for the college student who needs short but frequent lifts and the ability to easily carry the machine through crowded buildings. The machine is light, easy to fold/unfold, and it offers a smooth ride. Perhaps most importantly, the folding mechanism is simple and effective. So, when your mind is on midterms you won't miss a step in securing the steering column.
To make accurate and reproducible assessments of the scooters here reviewed, we developed tests that reveal the products' strengths and weaknesses regardless of marketing hype or looks. These exhaustive tests cover common (and some not so common) uses of these products so you know what you'll be getting into before making a purchase. Below is an account of the testing process and the E Prime III's performance.
For many would-be scooter commuters, range is at the top of the list of considerations. If you fall into this category, the 8.2 effective miles of flat ground cruising that the E Prime III delivers won't be all that impressive. Nor will its 46-minute runtime. If these limitations don't bother you, you might raise your eyebrows when you find out that it will take a whopping 6 hours to recharge a fully depleted battery.
Rendering the range assessment outcomes even bleaker, we found that the Razor gradually but noticeably decreased in maximum speed and power as the battery drained. As a result, the top speed for the majority of the range test was approximately 12 mph. This is a far cry from the max speed of 18.4 mph observed in the power tests (see below).
As with the Range assessment, the power tests render less than impressive results that landed the Razor E Prime III at the bottom of the class. It wasn't all bad, however. When fully charged, this model will cruise at 18.4 mph, which is well above the group average. Moreover, the scooter will work its way up hills as steep as a 3.5% gradient at approximately 5 mph.
Okay, more bad news. The Razor's top speed is not maintained throughout the battery's charge and started decreasing around mile 2 in our battery test. By 50% battery life the max speed was around 12 mph. Additionally, the steeper of our test hills which averages a gradient of 10.5 % stopped the E Prime III dead in its tracks.
No one likes a bumpy ride. That's why we use one of the worst roads in town to run the scooters here reviewed up and down to test the feedback from bumps and cracks. The Razor E Prime III sports a pneumatic front tire (great for shock absorption) and a sold rubber rear tire. Solid tires are nice as they require little to no maintenance but they tend to create a rattly ride.
We use a crack and bump-riddled section of street to test for ride. This road is traversed on all models more than once and allows testers to comparatively assess the scooters under our review. The Razor's unique combination of a front pneumatic tire and a solid rubber rear tire shows that the front tire is the most important for shock absorption as this tire carries the most weight and is in direct line with the hands and forearms which suffer the most from cracks and bumps.
The Razor E Prime III uses both an electric brake in the front and a fender brake in the rear. Fender brakes are simple friction brakes and have proven to be effective for rapid stops. While the E Prime III manages to maintain safe and comfortable speeds while descending our 15% test slope, it delivered a lackluster performance in the flat ground stopping tests.
The flat ground stopping test is repeated three times and the stopping distances are averaged. The tester throttles the scooter to approximately 12 mph and at a preset mark engages the vehicle's brakes. The E Prime III averaged 22.7 feet to stop. This is significantly above the average for models with fender brakes.
The Razor E Prime III gave a stellar performance in the portability evaluation. As the name suggests, this metric evaluates all things dealing with the ability to transport the vehicle when it is not being ridden. As such, the model's feather-weight 24 pounds, hassle-free folding mechanism, and easy to grip carrying handle make this model a standout for the commuter that will be regularly carrying the vehicle.
Most electric scooters collapse the steering column across the standing deck for transport and storage. This is convenient but also poses safety concerns if the steering column isn't properly secured. As such, the safety latch is a focal point in the portability evaluation. Happily, Razor has come up with a slick design that incorporates a secondary locking mechanism into the primary latch that is undone with a simple twist.
The only knocks against the E Prime III are that the steering column/carrying handle is a bit big, potentially making it fatiguing for those with smaller hands to grip. Additionally, the scooter is fairly long at 41 1/4" folded. Besides these minor issues, we found this model to be a great fit for the campus commuter.
The Razor E Prime III is a leader in the class overall and in particular in the categories of ride and portability. At the same time, this model has one of the more competitive price points in the group. As such, we find that it offers consumers a considerable value.
In the above review we have taken a deep dive into the performance of the Razor E Prime III. Specifically, we have looked at the range, ride, power, braking, and portability of this machine. Our testing and analysis revealed this model to be economical, of high-quality while offering innovative safety features. Additionally, we found that this scooter is particularly well-suited to short-range commuting where carrying the vehicle is frequently required. If you are looking for an affordable commuter scooter, the E Prime III is certainly worth a look.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer