- 7% Josh Testing the NIU KQi2 Pro
NIU KQi2 Pro Accelerating Josh Testing the NIU KQi2 Pro NIU KQi2 Pro Halo Headlight NIU KQi2 Pro Rear Tire NIU KQi2 Pro Tire NIU KQi2 Pro Display

NIU KQi2 Pro Review

$559.00

9/10 (Expert Score)

DATE

July 20, 2023

Price When Reviewed: $599.00

The past few months have seen Electric Scooter Insider inundated with requests to review the NIU KQi2 Pro, a model that has left the industry abuzz thanks to its award-winning build quality and premium features.

 

Budget scooters are no longer the clunky antiquated models that they once were – and it’s models like this that have driven the market forward. Sporting a top bracket design guided by incredible attention to detail, this is a scooter that has the durability and finesse to delight casual riders and aesthetes alike.

 

It’s been a pleasure road-testing this value-busting beauty over the last few weeks. Simple, elegant, and affordable, the NIU KQi2 Pro is destined to become one of the industry’s most-loved budget scooters.

NIU KQi2 Pro Review: The New Champ of The Sub-$600 Class

The good and the bad

Who we recommend it for

Is it worth its price tag?

Look, feel, and functionality

Results from our tests

Other scooters to consider

The Good and The Bad

Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Winner of an iF Design Award
  • Best build quality in the sub-$600 class
  • Comprehensive two-year warranty
  • Exceptional folding mechanism
  • Thick tubeless tires promise excellent traction
  • Advanced battery management system
  • Mobile app integration
  • Bright and easy-to-read display
  • Wider-than-normal handlebars inspire confidence
  • Cable management is among the best I’ve seen
  • Well suited to tall riders
  • Iconic halo headlight
  • IP54 water resistance rating

CONS:

  • While the taillight is bright, it doesn’t flash when you brake (instead, it just glows brighter)
  • The brakes could be better calibrated, though it does have a regenerative system that recycles braking energy into battery power for extended mileage
  • With just 3 inches of ground clearance, you need to avoid curbs and other obstacles

NIU KQi2 Pro Chassis in Motion

Is It Right For You?

Who It's Best For

Sitting at the low end of the electric scooter price spectrum, it’s best suited for those on a tighter budget looking for quality and bang for their buck. Commuters, casual riders, and students will revel in its portable, no-nonsense approach.

Josh With the NIU KQi2 Pro

But, it’s also a triumph of design and style. Sophisticated city types will love its sleek profile, smooth ride quality, and mobile app integration.

In short, this is a scooter that has something for everyone.

Is It Worth Its Price Tag?

Value For Money

Costing $599, it represents outstanding value for money. The build quality on display is akin to what you would find for more than double its price.

I’ve reviewed scooters from all the leading budget brands – including Turboant, GoTrax, Hiboy, and AnyHill – and none of them can match NIU when it comes to creating vehicle-grade models.

NIU KQi2 Pro Premium Frame

Further Information:

Best Budget Electric Scooters

Look, Feel & Functionality

Design & Features

Cockpit

The cockpit is top dollar. Firstly, the display is one of the brightest that I’ve tested. It grants you access to all your key riding stats – and best of all, you can see them in direct sunlight.

NIU KQi2 Pro Display

The thumb throttle, meanwhile, is super smooth. Its angular design and ribbed rubber coating distinguish it as the most ergonomically designed among all budget scooters – quite the feather in NIU’s cap.

NIU KQi2 Pro Thumb Throttle

On the left, you have the brake lever and a nifty little bell.

Then there’s the width of the handlebars. Measuring 20.5 inches they’re 24% wider than its competitor, the Turboant X7 Max. Together with the tactile rubber handgrips and 40-inch deck-to-handlebar height, they afford excellent control and maneuverability, whilst also being a great fit for taller riders.

NIU KQi2 Pro Handlebars

Frame

Talk about sleek. The frame is a sight for sore eyes: it’s the definition of minimalist elegance, with a sweeping tranche of grey stretching from the rear tire to the base of the sturdy stem. It juxtaposes artfully with the rest of the matte black finish.

NIU KQi2 Pro Durable Frame

Another thing that immediately caught my eye was the complete lack of visible wiring. The cable management is excellent. Only the brake cable that runs from the lever into the stem is on show.

With its premium flair, it’s fair to say that it over delivers in the design department for its price.

Deck

With 18.5 by 5.2 inches of space for your feet, the deck is on the short side, though you can stand on it with an L-shaped stance. And, if you need, you can prop your rear foot up against the fender as a makeshift kickplate, but I’d advise against putting your full weight on it.

NIU KQi2 Pro Deck

One feature worth mentioning here is that it comes with a swappable griptape. It’s fitted with a standard grey one, while an alternative red, white, and blue variant is in the box if you’re feeling patriotic.

Tires

Though it lacks suspension, it isn’t an uncomfortable ride – and that’s because the 10-inch tires do a sterling job of absorbing shocks and vibrations from the road.

NIU KQi2 Pro Front Tire

What’s more, they’re 15% thicker than the tires that you’d typically find on a budget model, and thanks to their tubeless design they offer the most plush riding sensation among all scooters in the sub-$600 price class.

Add in the fact that they maintain excellent traction while cornering, and you have a scooter that’s addictive to ride.

NIU KQi2 Pro Rear Tire

Portability

One of this scooter’s crowning glories is its folding mechanism. It’s so good that NIU has patented it.

NIU KQi2 Pro Folding Mechanism

To fold the scooter, you slide the safety latch up, pull on the lever to release the stem, and lower it. Once the hook on the back of the handlebars pushes against the protruding latch on the fender, it snaps into place securing the stem for easy lifting.

NIU KQi2 Pro Folding hook on Fender

It takes just 3 seconds from start to finish, making it one of the most convenient that I’ve tested.

Weighing 41 lbs, the KQi2 Pro is also just about light enough to carry up a few flights of stairs with no trips to a physio required afterward.

NIU KQi2 Pro Folded

Load

The 220 lbs load capacity is on par with the majority of budget scooters.

While it perhaps isn’t the most suitable scooter for heavier riders, the scooter’s sturdy design means it can handle the upper echelons of this weight easily. When I tested the scooter I weighed 190 lbs and it performed well.

Josh Standing on the NIU KQi2 Pro

Besides, if you’re a fan of the KQi2 Pro but need a higher load capacity, then its big bro – the KQi3 Pro – and its 265 lbs rating will be a better option.

Lights

The halo light is possibly the best-looking headlight that I’ve seen on a budget scooter. The outer ring stays on the entire time, while the bulb in the middle illuminates when you turn the headlight on.

NIU KQi2 Pro Halo Headlight

Even better is the fact that it's bright enough to ride at night, meaning you don’t have to fork out extra for an additional clip-on light.

NIU KQi2 Pro Headlight Beam

At the rear, you have a taillight that’s both huge and visible. It lights up brighter when you brake, though it would have been nice if it flashed.

NIU KQi2 Pro Lights

Mobile App

While the integrated mobile app is fairly basic, it does give you access to a suite of cool features.

NIU KQi2 Pro Mobile App

These include the ability to:

  • Adjust the strength of the regen brakes to be either weak, medium, or strong
  • Activate the lock, which immobilizes the scooter by applying the electronic brakes
  • Enable a custom ride mode that allows you to set the max speed
  • Change the units of speed from kmh to mph, and vice versa
  • View your riding stats
  • Record trips
  • Receive over-the-air firmware updates

Upon unboxing the scooter, you’ll be asked to pair it with the app. From within the app, you’re then prompted to test the brakes and throttle before watching a short safety video.

NIU Mobile App Safety Protocols

Once you’ve watched the tutorial, the scooter limits you to 6 mph for the first 200 meters, before giving you access to sport mode. This integrated safety feature is great for first-time riders as it allows you to find your bearings when taking the scooter out for its inaugural ride.

Build Quality

Ladies and gentlemen, build quality is the KQi2 Pro’s main calling card. But, don’t just take my word for it. It recently won an iF Design Award 2023 in the Automobiles/Vehicles category.

NIU KQi2 Pro Stem and Tire

From the moment you get it out of the box, you can tell that a high degree of attention to detail and expert craftsmanship has gone into the scooter.

From the reinforced fenders and the smooth flowing lines of its chassis to the wider-than-normal handlebars and wobble-free stem, everything about it screams quality.

NIU KQi2 Pro Branding

But, its standard-setting build doesn’t just present itself on the scooter’s exterior, it also runs in its veins. Take, for example, the battery management system. It provides 14 different types of protection to ensure a higher number of miles per watt-hour than an average scooter. It also regulates the charge and discharge rates to within safe operating limits.

Considering that the most expensive part of any electric scooter is the battery, this system is a welcome addition that’ll keep it healthy for years to come.

NIU KQi2 Pro Stem and Handlebars

You just have to look at NIU’s two-year warranty on the battery to see how much confidence they have in their scooter’s components. This is even more impressive when you consider that other budget brands like Turboant and Gotrax offer just 6 months cover.

Results From Our Tests

Performance Report

Performance Report Summary

CategoryResult
Top Speed17 mph
0-15 MPH6.0 s
Max Range (Riding Slow)25 miles
Real Range (Riding Fast)17 miles
Braking5.2 meters
Max Incline8.5 degrees
Optimal Incline6 degrees

Top Speed

Being a budget scooter, the KQi2 Pro isn’t going to up-root any trees when it comes to power and speed, but I was surprised to find that it features a 48V 300W motor, when typical motors in this category operate at 36V.

The result is greater torque which delivers a peak power output of 600W and a top speed of 17 mph.

NIU KQi2 Pro Rear Tire in Motion

Top Speed vs Price

Retailing for $599, it can be compared to 7 other models within a $300 price bracket.

ScooterPriceTop Speed
Horizon 10.4
$729
23 mph
Turboant X7 Max
$449.98
20 mph
Fluid Cityrider
$399
18 mph
NIU KQi2 Pro
$559
17 mph
NIU KQi3 Sport
$649.98
17 mph
AnyHill UM-1
$599
16 mph
NIU KQi1 Pro
$329.98
15.5 mph
NIU KQi1 Sport
$499
15.5 mph

Against this backdrop of similarly-priced scooters, it achieves a respectable middle-of-the-pack ranking where it trails the popular Horizon and its 23 mph top speed. However, this is hardly surprising considering that the pack leader has a 67% more powerful motor.

As for the Turboant X7 Max and Fluid Cityrider, both of these models sport motors that have 50 more watts of power, which explains their marginally faster top speeds. Under real-world conditions, however, the difference between these and the KQi2 Pro isn’t noticeable.

Josh on the NIU KQi2 Pro

Acceleration

Accelerating from 0-15 mph in 6.0 seconds flat, the KQi2 Pro performs as I expected. It’s smooth enough to make you feel in control, while it has enough zip to make it enjoyable.

ScooterPrice0-15 MPH
Horizon 10.4
$729
4.7 s
NIU KQi3 Pro
$699.98
5.0 s
NIU KQi2 Pro
$559
6.0 s
Turboant X7 Max
$449.98
6.9 s

Pitted against its closest rivals, it beats the Turboant X7 Max to 15 mph with a time that's 13% quicker, though it can’t keep up with its big bro – the KQi3 Pro – which achieves an acceleration rate that’s 17% faster.

The biggest difference, however, can be seen with the Horizon. With its 48V 500W motor, 20A controller, and 800W peak power output, it leaves the KQi2 Pro in a cloud of dust.

NIU KQi2 Pro Accelerating

Mileage

Combining the 365Wh battery with a slow and steady pace promises a maximum range of 25 miles. Riding in sports mode, however, will get you 17 miles.

Once empty, the battery takes 7 hours to recharge.

Josh Holding the NIU KQi2 Pro's Handlebars

Mileage vs Price

Compared to its 7 rivals, it performs admirably, where it shares 2nd place with its sibling, the KQi3 Sport.

ScooterPriceMax Mileage
Turboant X7 Max
$449.98
32 miles
NIU KQi2 Pro
$559
25 miles
NIU KQi3 Sport
$649.98
25 miles
Horizon 10.4
$729
23 miles
AnyHill UM-1
$599
18.6 miles
NIU KQi1 Pro
$329.98
15.5 miles
NIU KQi1 Sport
$499
15.5 miles
Fluid Cityrider
$399
15 miles

The front runner, however, is the Turboant X7 Max with its 32-mile maximum range. Sporting a 36V 10Ah detachable battery pack, you can feasibly double this with a spare. Dig a little deeper though, and the real-world ranges of both the X7 Max and KQi2 Pro go toe-to-toe with just 1 mile separating them (18 vs 17 miles).

Considering that the Pro is a far superior scooter where ride and build quality are concerned, it certainly makes its mark as a top contender.

Josh Riding the NIU KQi2 Pro

Hill Climbing

As with the rest of NIU’s scooters, the KQi2 Pro hasn’t been designed to scale steep inclines, but rather glide up the gently rolling slopes of your local neighborhood.

It’s rated to take on 15% gradients, which are equivalent to 8.5-degree inclines, though it does its best work on anything below 6 degrees.

NIU KQi2 Pro Front Tire in Motion

Shock Absorption

As previously mentioned, it doesn’t come equipped with a suspension system – which is standard for a scooter of its price.

But, thanks to its juicy 10-inch tires, shocks and vibrations from irregularities in the road are cushioned.

NIU KQi2 Pro Tire

For a more plush riding experience, I recommend plumping up some extra cash and opting for the Horizon 10.4. This scooter has a spring at the base of its stem and two at the rear of its deck to smooth the ride.

Braking

Braking is perhaps this scooter’s biggest weakness.

Though it features a front drum brake, it isn’t strong enough, toiling to bring you to a safe stop from 15 mph in an unimpressive 5.2 meters.

NIU KQi2 Pro Brake Lever

Even with the brake fully applied, the front wheel continues to roll forward. To put this into perspective, the KQi3 Pro – which is the upgrade of the KQi2 Pro – achieves a stopping distance of just 2.2 meters thanks to its dual disc brakes.

If the drum was calibrated better, it would have been the perfect package.

NIU KQi2 Pro Drum Brake

It does have a trick up its sleeve, though. While a bunch of scooters in the sub-$600 class have electronic braking, it’s the only one to have a regenerative braking system (based on 19 models).

It kicks into action as soon as you release the throttle, meaning you can rely on it to slow you down without applying the mechanical brake. Its strength can be adjusted via the mobile app, too.

Ride Quality

I always like to think of ride quality in two facets: handling and comfort. So, with that in mind, let’s explore both.

Thanks to the control-inducing cockpit, finely-tuned geometry of the frame, and low center of gravity afforded by the chassis, it delivers a level of handling that sets the standard for its similarly-priced peers.

Josh Testing the NIU KQi2 Pro

Then there are the plush 10-inch tires, ergonomic angular thumb throttle, and high deck-to-handlebar height that coalesce to ensure a comfortable riding experience.

And sure, the deck would be better if it was longer, but with its generous slathering of an ultra grippy griptape, you feel planted on the scooter at all times.

NIU KQi2 Pro Griptape Deck

Compare With Other Scooters

Alternatives

NIU KQi3 Pro

NIU KQi3 Pro

Sale: $699.98 $799.00

Specs:

Why is it Better Than the NIU KQi2 Pro?

Why is it Worse Than the NIU KQi2 Pro?

Horizon V2

Horizon 10.4

Sale: $729.00 $899.00

Specs:

Why is it Better Than the NIU KQi2 Pro?

Why is it Worse Than the NIU KQi2 Pro?

Turboant X7 Max

Turboant X7 Max

Sale: $449.98 $599.98

Specs:

Why is it Better Than the NIU KQi2 Pro?

Why is it Worse Than the NIU KQi2 Pro?

Post-Purchase Support

Warranty

The two-year warranty that NIU places on all of its scooters is the best there is in the budget scooter market.

This covers the battery, charger, frame, motor, controller, dashboard, front fork, and main harness.

NIU KQi2 Pro Sleek Frame

Other parts – including the brake lever, disc, and line, as well as the throttle – are covered by a six-month warranty.

The headlight, bell, fender, taillight, decorative cover, and kickstand are backed up by a three-month warranty.

As to be expected, damage due to abuse, misuse, neglect, theft, collision, water or fire, falls outside of the warranty.

NIU KQi2 Pro Rear Fender and Motor

Manufacturer Specs

Specification Sheet

Specification: NIU KQi2 Pro Review

Brand
Brand

NIU

Type
Terrain

Street

Design
Portability

Folding Frame

Weight (lbs)

41

Rider Weight (lbs)

220

Tire Size (inches)

10

Tire Type

Pneumatic (Tubeless)

Performance
Top Speed (mph)

17

Max Range (miles)

25

Charge Time (hours)

7

Suspension Type

None

Brake Type

Drum, Regenerative

Extra Features
Extra Features

Cruise Control, Lights, Mobile App, Water Resistance Rating

Specification
Max Incline (degrees)

8.5

Water Resistance Rating

IP54

Where to Buy:*

*Offers displayed are from retailers that we trust. If only one offer is available this is because they are the only retailer we recommend. To support our rigorous scooter review and editorial process, we rely on affiliate commissions. These are at no cost to you. Our work is independent and impartial. Read more here.

Specification: NIU KQi2 Pro Review

Brand
Brand

NIU

Type
Terrain

Street

Design
Portability

Folding Frame

Weight (lbs)

41

Rider Weight (lbs)

220

Tire Size (inches)

10

Tire Type

Pneumatic (Tubeless)

Performance
Top Speed (mph)

17

Max Range (miles)

25

Charge Time (hours)

7

Suspension Type

None

Brake Type

Drum, Regenerative

Extra Features
Extra Features

Cruise Control, Lights, Mobile App, Water Resistance Rating

Specification
Max Incline (degrees)

8.5

Water Resistance Rating

IP54

NIU KQi2 Pro Review
NIU KQi2 Pro Review

$559.00

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