- 33% Josh Testing the Varla Falcon
Varla Falcon Chassis in Motion Josh Riding the Varla Falcon Varla Falcon Long Deck Varla Falcon Cockpit Varla Falcon Rear Swingarm

Varla Falcon Review

$699.00

6/10 (Expert Score)

DATE

May 29, 2023

Price When Reviewed: $899.00

Mention the name Varla to anyone who knows their electric scooters and the phrase ‘value for money’ will flash across their brain. The brand is one of the most trusted manufacturers of affordable models in the industry, so you can imagine my intrigue when news broke about the launch of its new – and first single motor – scooter, the Falcon.

 

So, does it continue Varla’s value-busting lineage? The answer is yes…ish. When comparing its performance in the speed and range departments against similarly-priced models, it’s easy to overlook. But, it does have the frame, suspension system, and tire profile that’s befitting of a more expensive scooter. Whether this is enough to win you over will depend on what’s important to you.

 

For commuters seeking a versatile scooter with above-average ride quality, it’ll be ideal, but if power per dollar is top of your priorities, there are other models that you may want to consider.

Varla Falcon Review: Nippy, Nimble & Smooth…But Good Value?

Varla Falcon Chassis in Motion

The price at the time of writing the review was $1,049. However, this may change to reflect new prices and sales.

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:

  • Smooth ride quality
  • Well calibrated suspension
  • Balanced frame ensures good handling
  • Ergonomic thumb throttle
  • Super efficient folding mechanism
  • Zippy acceleration
  • Bright lighting rig
  • Battery management system maintains battery health
  • Robust build quality
  • IP54 water resistance rating


CONS:

  • Similarly-priced models outperform it
  • Braking performance is poor (and you have to set up the disc brake yourself)
  • The front-mounted motor produces far too much wheel spin, reducing your control
  • Display isn’t bright enough
  • The bell rattles constantly, but it can be removed

Varla Falcon Being Ridden

Is It Right For You?

Who It's Best For

The Varla Falcon is tailor-made for commuters and city-dwellers who want a durable scooter that’ll sprinkle a bit of magic into those mundane everyday journeys. It’s nippy, nimble, smooth, and held together by a frame that has a premium feel.

Josh With the Varla Falcon

Boasting a load capacity of 265 lbs, it’s also a good option for heavier riders, while the firm, but shock-absorbing suspension, has just the right amount of preload needed to ensure a comfortable ride for all. The handlebars, meanwhile, measure 39 inches from the deck, making them well-suited for riders under 6 feet, but too short for those that are taller.

Varla Falcon Wide Handlebars

Is It Worth Its Price Tag?

Value For Money

There are elements of the Falcon that ooze premium class. Its handling, ride quality, and versatility allow it to glide over differing urban terrain with ease, but issues arise when we switch the focus to overall performance.

Varla Falcon Durable Build

Its speed and range stats go toe-to-toe with the popular and significantly cheaper Horizon 10.4 which costs $250 less. Then there are scooters like the SPLACH Titan which reside in the same price class as the Falcon, but bring over 4 times the motor power, 2 times the battery power, and a plethora of extra features that make it an altogether more attractive proposition.

Truth be told, the Falcon’s price tag is more in line with entry-level dual-motor models than the commuter workhorses that it’s competing against. This is even evident from within Varla’s portfolio where the Pegasus brings dual motors to the table for just $150 more.

Varla Falcon Deck Matting

Further Information:

Best Cheap Electric Scooters

Look, Feel & Functionality

Design & Features

Cockpit

Measuring 25 inches wide, the handlebars and tactile rubber grips facilitate excellent control over the steering column. This improves your handling and mitigates some of the flaws that I’ll cover throughout the review – spoiler alert: wheel spin.

Varla Falcon Cockpit

Along the handlebars, you’ll find the ergonomically designed thumb throttle on the right, while the mechanical brake lever and irritating bell are on the left. The bell constantly rattles, but the good news is that you can remove it.

Varla Falcon Handgrips

Finishing the cockpit is the centrally-located display. However, it’s not bright enough, and the ergonomics of having to switch between riding modes via the button below the screen is problematic. You have to press the button twice to change mode, meaning you’re forced to take one hand off the handlebars while riding.

Varla Falcon LED Display

Frame

You can count on Varla for a durable frame, and that’s what the Falcon delivers.

Varla Falcon Frame

The aluminum alloy can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use, while the flourishes of red juxtapose with the minimalist black finish for an eye-catching aesthetic. The distinct silhouette and smooth flowing lines give the Falcon a futuristic look, too.

Varla Falcon Durable Chassis

Elsewhere, the angular fender that shoots out over the rear wheel is reminiscent of a racing car spoiler.

Deck

Grippy, long, and sporting the same upswept shape as a penny skateboard, the deck offers ample room for your feet to assume your preferred riding stance.

Varla Falcon Upswept Deck

Measuring 22.5 inches in length, 6.75 inches at its widest, and 5.25 inches at its narrowest, the tapered design is relatively narrow, but long enough to accommodate feet of all sizes.

Varla Falcon Sporty Deck

Tires

Tubeless, 9 inches, and with thick sidewalls, the tires delivered a satisfying level of cushioning on city streets, whilst also performing well on rough roads, dirt tracks, and potholed streets.

Varla Falcon Rear Fender

The tires further benefit the scooter's ability to transition between different urban terrain since they allow you to maintain traction.

Combined with the sporty frame, the tires promise a nimble riding experience.

Portability

The folding mechanism is similar to the one flaunted by the Fluid Vista. Previously, I’ve raved about how efficient the Vista’s mechanism is, so you can imagine my take on the Falcon’s setup.

Varla Falcon Secure Folding Mechanism

By pulling down on the latch at the base of the stem, you can have the scooter collapsed in just a few seconds – and once collapsed, the hook on the back of the handlebars locks into the latch at the rear of the deck.

However, with a weight of 50 lbs, you certainly feel it when carrying the scooter.

Varla Falcon Folded

Load

While testing the scooter, I weighed 190 lbs and for the motor and battery power on offer, it performed admirably. It does, however, support up to 265 lbs of rider weight, making it well-suited to heavier riders.

Varla Falcon From the Rear

Lights

Lights are something that the Falcon isn’t short of. The headlight and taillight are bright enough to safely illuminate your way down suburban streets, while the LEDs on the chassis add both an extra layer of safety and a dash of swag to the melting pot.

Varla Falcon Lights

It’s worth noting, though, that the colorful chassis LEDs turn on automatically when the scooter is powered up, even if the main lights aren’t turned on.

Varla Falcon Colorful Deck LEDs

Build Quality

As previously stated, Varla’s reputation as a reliable everyday scooter brand is underpinned by its commitment to robust build quality. The Falcon is no different. There’s no wobble in the stem, the cable management is extremely tidy with no wires visible, and the frame is protected by an IP54 water-resistance rating.

Varla Falcon Handgrips and Stem

There are, however, a couple of shortfalls.

Firstly, you have to set up the mechanical brake yourself. Here, you need to thread the brake wire through the stem, chassis, and out alongside the rear disc. This is a simple task, but you then need to fasten it to the caliper of the rear disc. Despite calibrating the brake to the best of my ability (remember I’ve reviewed over 100 electric scooters, so I know my way around them), the scooter’s stopping power was poor.

Varla Falcon Brake Cable

Now, while the task of setting up your brakes may sound trivial, I think it's an oversight where build quality is concerned. If you’re going to spend over $1,000 on an electric scooter, you want every component to have been expertly calibrated before receiving it. It's like going to a fancy restaurant, asking for a steak, and then having to cook it yourself on a hot stone.

The second hiccup is the front-mounted motor. With 700W of peak power, you get un-godly amounts of wheel spin. Moving the motor to the rear would have made the Falcon an altogether more enjoyable ride.

Varla Falcon Front Motor

Results From Our Tests

Performance Report

Performance Report Summary

CategoryResult
Top Speed22 mph
0-15 MPH3.8 s
Max Range (Riding Slow)25 miles
Max Range (Riding Fast)17 miles
Braking4.6 meters
Max Incline10 degrees
Optimal Incline5 degrees

Varla Falcon Durable Frame

Top Speed

In what’s a first for Varla, the Falcon comes with just one 48V 500W motor. This delivers a top speed of 22 mph, which is more than enough zip for those last-mile commutes and weekend frolics.

Varla Falcon Being Ridden Fast

Top Speed vs Price

Compared to the 15 other scooters within its price class, the Falcon is nested near the bottom of the leaderboard.

The fact is, its price tag is more commonly associated with entry-level dual motor models, hence why the SPLACH Titan, SPLACH Twin, and Varla Pegasus all feature.

ScooterPriceTop Speed
SPLACH Titan
$1,399
37 mph
Fluid Vista
$1,199
31 mph
SPLACH Twin Plus
$1,099
28 mph
SPLACH Twin
$999
28 mph
Varla Pegasus
$899
28 mph
Widewheel Pro
$1,099
26 mph
EMOVE Touring
$799
25 mph
Mosquito
$899
25 mph
NIU KQi3 Max
$899.98
24 mph
Horizon 13
$799
23 mph
Horizon 10.4
$729
23 mph
Varla Falcon
$699
22 mph

Apollo Air 2022

$899
21 mph
NIU KQi3 Pro
$699.98
20 mph
Unagi Model One E500
$990
20 mph
AnyHill UM-2
$899
19 mph

Narrowing the focus to other single-motor scooters, the Falcon has similar speed stats to the Horizon models, despite costing $250 more.

Ultimately, if power per dollar is a driving force in your decision-making process then it's hard to deny the SPLACH Titan. With dual 52V 1000W motors, a top speed of 37 mph, and heaps of torque for an explosive start out of the blocks, it represents excellent value for money.

Josh Riding the Varla Falcon

Acceleration

One of the areas of performance that surprised me while testing the Falcon was its zippy acceleration rate.

Usually, electric scooters with front-mounted motors have slower acceleration rates than those with rear-mounted ones. The Falcon, however, bucks this trend.

With a powerful 25A controller, it accelerates from 0-15 mph in just 3.8 seconds, making it 19% faster off the line than the comparable Horizon 10.4 (which shares the same 48V 500W motor).

ScooterPrice0-15 MPH0-25 MPH
SPLACH Titan
$1,399
2.5 s4.9 s
SPLACH Twin Plus
$1,099
3.0 s6.1 s
Varla Falcon
$699
3.8 sN/A
Horizon 10.4
$729
4.7 sN/A

There’s a caveat, though. While accelerating, I had to adjust my riding style to reduce wheel spin. Here, I had to push my weight over the front end of the scooter to get the wheel to grip and bite. This is far from ideal as it meant I had to adopt an unnatural riding position.

Elsewhere, the Falcon is still someway behind the similarly-priced SPLACH Titan and Twin Plus. But, this is to be expected given their dual motors.

Varla Falcon Rear Wheel in Motion

Mileage

Armed with a 48V 10.4Ah battery, the Falcon can produce a maximum range of 25 miles on a single charge, or 17 miles under realistic riding conditions. Once emptied, the battery can be fully recharged in just 4 hours.

It’s worth noting here that the Falcon also comes with a battery management system. Among a plethora of other safety protocols, this protects the battery from over-charging, low-voltage, and short-circuiting, meaning you’ll get a high level of performance for years to come.

Varla Falcon Being Ridden

Mileage vs Price

Measured up against the 15 rivals in its price category, the Falcon once again ranks near the bottom of the table.

ScooterPriceMax Range
Fluid Vista
$1,199
45 miles
SPLACH Titan
$1,399
44 miles
NIU KQi3 Max
$899.98
40 miles
SPLACH Twin Plus
$1,099
35 miles
SPLACH Twin
$999
35 miles
EMOVE Touring
$799
32 miles
Apollo Air 2022
$899
31 miles
NIU KQi3 Pro
$699.98
31 miles
Widewheel Pro
$1,099
30 miles
Horizon 13
$799
30 miles
Varla Pegasus
$899
28 miles
AnyHill UM-2
$899
28 miles
Varla Falcon
$699
25 miles
Horizon 10.4
$729
23 miles
Mosquito
$899
22 miles
Unagi Model One E500
$990
16 miles

Ultimately, there are other models – including those that are cheaper – that offer up more range.

By comparison, the leader of the pack – the Fluid Vista – has a battery that’s 74% bigger than the Falcon, while the SPLACH Titan’s is more than double the size.

Hill Climbing

The front-mounted motor is a problem when it comes to hills. Because there’s no power coming from the rear, despite most of the weight being there, the scooter has a tough time producing the torque and thrust required to conquer inclines.

Varla Falcon Deck

According to manufacturer specs, it can climb slopes of 10 degrees, but under my tests, it can handle just 5 degrees.

Shock Absorption

One area where the Falcon truly soars is in its suspension system. Both springs are well-calibrated; they’re fairly firm, but still offer enough shock absorption to make riding on roads and sidewalks feel smooth. There’s also no bottoming out, which is a big plus for heavier riders.

Varla Falcon Rear Swingarm

Coupled with the tubeless tires, the suspension performed better than I had expected and even managed to glide over dirt tracks – though, I’d avoid off-road routes.

Varla Falcon Front Spring

Braking

This is one of the few electric scooters that I’ve tested where you have to install the brake wire yourself. As previously mentioned, you have to thread the wire through the scooter, and then attach it to the caliper of the rear disc brake.

Varla Falcon Disc Brake

I made the wire as tight as possible to ensure the best possible actuation of the brake, but even after doing so, the performance was poor. From 15 mph I came to a complete stop in 4.6 meters, which isn’t good enough for a scooter costing upwards of $1,000.

Ride Quality

With the elongated deck, wide handlebars, and plush tires in tow, it felt great while cruising city streets and carving at speed. In fact, the riding experience was similar to that of the Horizon – balanced, planted, and stable.

Varla Falcon Rear of Chassis

However, it's let down by the excessive amounts of wheel spin caused by the front motor. This can throw you off-balance when turning or accelerating, so I’d advise going easy on the throttle if you want to avoid shifting from vertical to horizontal.

Varla Falcon Front Wheel

Compare With Other Scooters

Alternatives

SPLACH Titan

SPLACH Titan

Sale: $1,399.00 $2,499.00 – Get Extra $65 Off With Code: ESI

Specs:

Why is it Better Than the Varla Falcon?

Why is it Worse Than the Varla Falcon?

SPLACH Twin

SPLACH Twin Plus

Sale: $1,099.00 $1,799.00 + Get Extra $65 Off With Code: ESI

Specs:

Why is it Better Than the Varla Falcon?

Why is it Worse Than the Varla Falcon?

Horizon V2

Horizon 10.4

Sale: $729.00 $899.00

Specs:

Why is it Better Than the Varla Falcon?

Why is it Worse Than the Varla Falcon?

Post-Purchase Support

Warranty

The Varla Falcon is covered by a 12-month warranty.

This covers the controller, frame, motor, battery, and charger, while the kickstand and fenders are subject to a 3-month warranty.

Varla Falcon Swingarm

This warranty only covers manufacturing defects, meaning issues caused by accidental damage, wear and tear, or misuse are not claimable.

As to be expected, if you process a claim, you’ll be responsible for the shipping costs if the scooter needs to be sent to Varla’s repair facility.

Varla Falcon in Motion

Manufacturer Specs

Specification Sheet

Specification: Varla Falcon Review

Brand
Brand

Varla

Type
Terrain

Street

Design
Portability

Folding Frame

Weight (lbs)

50

Rider Weight (lbs)

265

Tire Size (inches)

9

Tire Type

Pneumatic (Tubeless)

Performance
Top Speed (mph)

22

Max Range (miles)

25

Charge Time (hours)

4

Suspension Type

Front & Rear

Brake Type

Disc (Mechanical), Electronic

Extra Features
Extra Features

Cruise Control, Lights, Water Resistance Rating

Specification
Max Incline (degrees)

10

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: Varla Falcon Review

Brand
Brand

Varla

Type
Terrain

Street

Design
Portability

Folding Frame

Weight (lbs)

50

Rider Weight (lbs)

265

Tire Size (inches)

9

Tire Type

Pneumatic (Tubeless)

Performance
Top Speed (mph)

22

Max Range (miles)

25

Charge Time (hours)

4

Suspension Type

Front & Rear

Brake Type

Disc (Mechanical), Electronic

Extra Features
Extra Features

Cruise Control, Lights, Water Resistance Rating

Specification
Max Incline (degrees)

10

Water Resistance Rating

IP54

Varla Falcon Review
Varla Falcon Review

$699.00

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