Ola S1 Pro: Likes, dislikes & other key observations after a test ride

Buttons/switches are flimsy, unergonomic, and WILL NOT go the distance. Buttons should have been hard plastic ones like in the erstwhile scooters.

BHPian vigsom recently shared this with other enthusiasts:

I had the “privilege” to ride a relative’s Ola S1 Pro in Bengaluru today; took a short ride from Chikkallasandra Bank Colony to Gubbalala Main Road via a mix of roads – plain, inclines, pot-hole ridden inclines, speed breakers and what not. Here is a summary of my observations:

Likes:

  • Powerful motor; takes on the inclines in style.
  • Large, easy to read display.
  • Good headlamps (have ridden this last night too and found this good).
  • Boot large enough for two half face helmets.
  • Comfortable ride – never expected the ride to be so good on bad roads.
  • Powerful horn and turn signal audio alarm.
  • Stylish, especially in black.
  • Belt noise is well controlled.

Dislikes:

  • Angled footboard might be a sore point for tall riders.
  • Buttons/switches are flimsy, unergonomic, and WILL NOT go the distance. Buttons should have been hard plastic ones like in the erstwhile scooters.
  • Touchscreen hangs = you’re dead!
  • Faced a bug today where the vehicle wouldn’t start and it was throwing up an error of steering locked when the steering was not locked.
  • Forgot the password in less than two minutes; hence had to store it in my phone for quick reference.
  • The Start-Up sequence takes a while to get used to; instead of “Let’s Uncomplicate”, this is a case of “Let’s Complicate”.

The issue that I faced:

After a visit to someone’s place on Gubbalala Main Road, I got to the scooter, pressed the power button momentarily, the screen lit up asking for a password, I keyed in the password, scooter unlocked with a chime, I took the side stand off, pressed the left brake, and tried starting the motor by pressing the power button. The thing wouldn’t start.

I put the stand back, turned the steering to the left, locked the scooter by pressing the power button for 3 secs and it locked. Tried unlocking, it accepted the password but started throwing up an error stating that the handlebar/steering was not unlocked, although it was actually free. Asked me to turn the handlebar to extreme left, and all I saw was a green tick and an exclamation mark coming on in turns.

The solution:

I reach out to my relative, who referred this to a seasoned Ola S1 Pro user, who then asked me to put the side stand on, handlebar to the left, to press the Power and the Reverse buttons together for 3-4 seconds and allow the system to reboot. He told me that the screen would come on after a couple of mins. It never did. After a while, I unlocked and started up as per procedure and it started without fuss. I lost almost 20 minutes in the process. If this is how a INR 1,00,000 plus product would leave one stranded, well, this is not the product for me unless such irritants are ironed out.

The machine:

The boot:

The reboot – press the power and reverse buttons (shown in green) together to reboot. The buttons encircled in red – won’t go the distance:

Here is a video of the power up and shutdown sequence; boot open at 00:21 and boot close at 00:28. I am extremely unsure of the touchscreen and its reliability.

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