Ather Rizta review - Ather's more sensible, less sporty option

Christopher Chaves Updated: May 24, 2024, 09:27 PM IST

Think electric scooters and Indian manufacturer Ather Energy, and you have just one scooter to contend with â€" the 450. That's because ever since the company started off back in 2018, we've just one e-scooter to contend with. And of course over the course of time there were different permutations and combinations in terms of battery size, features, tech, and all that the scooter had to offer. But till today the 450 remains a very performance-centric machine. So not really the best option of you fancied a comfortable, easy-going, spacious family scooter.

But that was until today, because we're out here today with the Ather Rizta. This is the Z spec variant, which isn't the top-spec variant with the 3.7kWh battery, and features a 2.9kWh battery pack instead. We have just a couple of hours to gauge what we can during a short stint, so let's see what this scooter brings to the table.

In terms of design, this might not be visually striking as the 450, but then again I'm not too sure if it was actually meant to be. The 450 looks slender, with an athletic build, and you know that it means business but its sharp styling cues. This one, it's meant to be a lot more laid back, and you can really tell from its boxy curvaceous design.

It's nowhere as aggressive as the 450X and you could even compare it to something like the TVS iQube which is a very nice balanced commuter e-scooter by way of its overall design aesthetic. The levels of fit and finish are good and the paint quality is fitting too. Now if there's one outstanding or unique unique about this scooter, it would have to be the broad and accommodating seat. Measuring 900mm in length, Ather claim it to be the largest seat for any scooter currently out there, that includes the petrol powered ones as well. And it is very accommodating that's for sure.

Better still is the 34litres of room under the seat, because you see you can actually fit in a full-face helmet in there. And there's a small compartment to keep stuff like your wallet or wash cloth separated from the rest of the items you have in there. There's even this basket that fits into the boot which can be quite handy while you're out running grocery errands. Clever idea, but it'll cost you extra.

Even in terms of features the Rizta packs quite a few of them. You have the magic twist throttle from the Ather 450 Apex, the latest model, which works as a braking system if you don't want to actually want to employ the levers. Then you have stuff like coasting regen, auto hill hold skid control (traction control in Ather speak) and you do have ride modes as well. There's just two of them though â€" Smart Eco and Zip â€" unlike the four levels that you have on the 450.

You also get a vibrant screen, and although it's not a touchscreen like on the 450s, this one, you'll have to toggle through the joystick on the left to toggle through the commands and functions on this one.

You have the same battery options carried over from the 450X so you have the base Rizta S with the 2.9kWh battery, the Rizta Z with the same battery and more connected features, and both these variants come with a standard 350W charger what can charge the scooter from 0-80 per cent in little under 6 hours. The Rizta Z with a 3.7kWh battery, faster 700kW charger, and all the features thrown in. range is said to be 123km with the 2.9kWh battery pack on there, and a claimed 159km with the bigger 3.7kWh unit in there. But on account of our limited time with the scooter today, we're not going to be getting validating these numbers this time around.

From the short time we had with the scooter around the Nandi Hills area in Bengaluru, the scooter felt an absolute delight to ride in Zip mode. It feels quick enough to carry an overtake up-hill at around 40kmph. It's doesn't give you the thrill of excitement that something like Warp ride mode would provide, but it feels reasonably quick by EV standards. The regenerative braking provided by the magic throttle is also a lot more gradual on this one in comparison to the Ather 450 Apex.

In Eco mode, not the best mode if you fancy even a fraction of excitement. It's alright when you're content going with the flow of traffic and aren't interested in getting ahead of anybody on the road in a hurry. The front end of the scooter felt light and easy to turn at all speeds but it didn't have the dynamic flickable character of the 450X. It weighs up nicely though and the seating posture you'll assume on the scooter is perfect for daily commutes. The suspension did feel a bit too stiff for my liking especially at the rear, and the front end felt a bit jittery at higher speeds. We didn't really come across any tricky terrain to feel the skid control or traction control unit kick in.

Okay so let's get to the not so nice bits about the Rizta. Yes, so this one comes with the Atherstack six which in plain ol' English translates to a whole boatload of connectivity and vehicle telemetry features that riders can use to track, share and compare with friends and family. That's all well and good. But I had one major grouse here.

Because there was a time when the sim in the scooter didn't catch network, and when that happened, the scooter's UI slows down horribly, and it'll take ages to toggle through the settings menu or even get to the map. Well, there's that, and the seat doesn't lock easily on account of some misalignment in the mechanism. Also the panels on the swingarm make filling the rear tyre up with air a bit of a task. Aside from this little aspects, the scooter felt great. Not very exciting, but very much up for it in the overall functional sense.

Ather say that they will address the issues we've come across by the time the scooters are ready for delivery by mid-June this year, so that's reassuring.

Now does the Ather Rizta offer more than just decent performance good build and reliability. Yes it does. Because there's a lot of thought that's gone into the production of the scooter. Not just in terms of features, but in terms of design as well. And that at the end of the day is a great thing, because you are spending your hard earned money on, and you're getting good value in return. There's more to it than just that because, Ather, as a company, is known to bring some highly innovative solutions to modern-day problems.

They bring new features that haven't been seen in any other scooter to date, stuff like the magic twist throttle, the spacious seat and the underseat storage, with the detachable carry bag. So they're not gimmicky features, they're actual remedies to problems and that's the good thing with this scooter. Now for Rs 1.25lakh, with all that it has to offer, I think its good value for money as it stands. And we're looking forward to riding it for a longer duration to get a better understanding of all that it offers.

Photography: Anis Shaikh

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 1,18,996
Max Power(ps)
Max Torque(Nm)

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