Range. Speed. Weight. If an electric scooter can strike a good balance among these three elements without costing an arm and a leg, it’s an instant win for me. I’m happy to say that after years of testing escooters and usually finding a few shortcomings in at least one of these components, Speedway’s Mini 4 Pro comes the closest to perfection.
Speedway is a sub-brand of MiniMotors USA, which makes expensive and powerful scooters like the Dualtron Victor and the Bluetran Lightning (we’re talking $3,000+ for one of those bad boys). Those escooters also weigh more than 80 pounds, which is not great if your Brooklyn apartment is on the third floor with no elevator. This Speedway, on the other hand, delivers enough power to cruise around most hills, has a reliable range, and weighs just 36 pounds. It’s a dreamlike urban ride.
Before diving into everything I like, I want to note that I only had two problems with the Mini 4 Pro. On the return trip of my first outing with the scooter, the brakes made a screeching sound. It was so loud that I could see incredulous glances from passersby. I just grimaced and kept screeching home.
This problem disappeared the next time I took the scooter out for a spin. But I took it to a shop to be safe, and found out that the brake wasn’t aligning properly. After less than 10 minutes it was fixed and I was on my way, feeling a little safer than I did before. Dozens of trips later, I haven’t run into this issue.
My second woe? For a while I had no clue how to properly fold this scooter down all the way. There’s a little folding lever at the bottom of the stem that you need to push down, but no matter how hard I pushed with my foot, it never budged. Turns out, you need to push the stem forward as you kick into the lever, thereby freeing it and folding the entire stem down onto the deck.
Once I figured this out, I couldn’t stop folding it every moment I wasn’t using it. It’s so easy! I can fold it down with a slight push from my leg, and the stem clicks into place once it’s parallel with the deck. You can also fold the handlebars down to make the whole thing really compact.
Best of all, just grab the stem to carry the Mini 4 Pro as if it’s luggage. At 36 pounds it’s one of the more lightweight scooters I’ve tried, and much easier than most to tote up and down a flight of stairs.
Go, Speed Racer!
Despite its meager size and weight, this thing is powerful. With the 1,360-watt hub motor you can go up to 28 mph on the highest speed mode. I almost always set it to the second level, which hovers around 18 to 20 mph and won’t eat up the battery life as quickly. It can even handle hills. The Mini 4 Pro is powerful enough to go over the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges here in New York City at speeds that aren’t frustratingly slow.
It’s worth noting that once or twice, when I kicked off and pressed the throttle before I put my foot back at the front of the deck, the whole front end of the scooter went up in the air a few inches. I had to hit the brakes to make it stop before it flung out of my hands. This seems like a consequence of outfitting a powerful motor in a relatively lightweight frame. Just make sure to have both feet planted firm on the deck when you punch it.
As with all electric vehicles, the terrain you’re traveling on will severely impact your range (as will your weight). I’m a lanky, 6’4″ man and I got 15 miles on the Mini 4 Pro, but that was a hefty trip that involved crossing both the aforementioned bridges. On a separate 11-mile roundtrip mostly on flat roads, the battery readout on the handlebar display said it had 63 percent left. Safe to say, most people can expect somewhere shy of 20 miles (Speedway claims a 30-mile range). That’s much better than the likes of the Segway F30. You’ll spend around 6 hours getting a full charge again.