In a crowded e-scooter market where most machines offer similar performance, features, and design philosophies, the River Indie sets itself apart right from the first glance.

The front fascia may remind you of a minion with its bespectacled pair of eyes, ensuring it captures your attention and curiosity. While it may not boast the most conventionally attractive design, it possesses a distinctive and quirky charm that has grown on many.

This scooter manages to strike a balance between style and utility, earning it the title of the ‘SUV of scooters,’ as described by the company’s co-founder and CEO, Aravind Mani. 

While it can’t match the off-road capabilities of a true SUV, it offers a roomy, rugged, and comfortable riding experience—qualities often associated with SUVs.

River Indie Utility And Comfort

The River Indie impresses with its generous dimensions, accommodating even taller riders comfortably. The high-placed handlebars avoid interference with your knees during U-turns, and the accessible 770mm seat height ensures riders of various heights can comfortably reach the ground.

On the move, the Indie’s seating position remains comfortable, allowing you to maintain a relaxed posture. The ample floorboard space and extended seat provide flexibility to find your ideal riding position. While the floorboard height is slightly higher than some EVs, River has added unique rider foot pegs on either side, offering both a resting place for your feet and extra comfort during longer rides.

The emphasis on space extends to storage as well, with the Indie offering a cavernous 43-liter under-seat storage area and a 12-liter glovebox on the apron. 

The under-seat storage easily accommodates a full-face helmet, leaving plenty of room to spare. Additionally, there are optional accessories, such as 40-liter hard panniers and a 25-liter top box, along with a windscreen, a phone mount, and floorboard cages for securing items.

River Indie’s Riding Experience

Riding and handling the River Indie is a satisfying experience. It feels substantial, providing confidence at moderate speeds. The grippy MRF Nylogrip Zapper tires enhance stability. However, it has limited cornering clearance, which may result in scraping parts when leaning at high speeds. For most riders, this won’t be a significant concern.

Ride quality stands out as one of the Indie’s highlights. The suspension setup, featuring gas-charged units at both ends and triple-rate springs for the rear shocks, delivers a plush ride, even on rough roads. The Indie excels in absorbing bumps and level changes, providing a comfortable and smooth ride.

The build quality of the Indie is commendable, with sturdy construction in critical areas like the pannier mounts, handlebar, and grab rails. 

While most body panels fit neatly with consistent gaps, there are a couple of exceptions, such as the flap covering the charging port and the plastic panel around the headlights, which could be improved. Some switches, like the indicator switch, lack a satisfying feel.

Indie Features And Technology

In terms of features, the Indie focuses on the essentials, including LED headlights and indicators, a fully digital LCD display, and two USB charging ports. It would be convenient to have a single key slot for ignition, glove box, and under-seat storage. The Indie features a built-in eSIM for communication with the River app on your phone.

Moving to the powertrain, the Indie maintains a no-frills approach. It features a 6.7kW (4.5kW continuous) mid-mounted motor, offering 0-40kph acceleration in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 90kph. 

The accelerator calibration and regen tuning provide a natural and intuitive experience, with responsive engine-braking-like sensations when off-throttle. It offers multiple riding modes, including Rush, Ride, and Eco, catering to various needs.

Range And Charging 

The Indie’s range, rated at 161km IDC (real world range of 120km, with 90km in Ride mode), might not be the highest, partly due to the substantial 4kWh battery pack and the scooter’s weight. However, River has focused on maximizing range through regenerative braking. These figures should suffice for most daily commutes.

Charging options include an 800-watt portable charger, offering 0-80 percent charge in 5 hours and full charge in 1.5 hours. River is also working on a faster charger. Additionally, there’s a more affordable portable charger for secondary locations.

Regarding pricing, River remains competitive for early adopters in Bengaluru, honoring the original ex-showroom price of Rs 1.25 lakh. Prices may increase for others, but this trend is seen across the industry. While the official price hike is yet to be announced, the Indie continues to offer practicality, comfort, and uniqueness at a premium price. 

If you prioritize fundamentals over flashy features and top-tier performance, the Indie presents a compelling choice. River is still working to establish itself in terms of sales and service, but they have crafted a solid product that should offer a satisfying experience to early adopters.

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