Navee N65 review: electric scooter for the demanding

Big and sturdy enough to be used by even slightly more robust adults, the Navee N65 comes with a 500W motor and a 48V battery with a claimed range of 65km, making it an unbeatable solution for walking and commuting slightly longer distances.

Funded as part of a project on Youpin, a local croudfounding platform, the Navee Navee N65 scooter was launched for the Chinese market as early as December, with great reception encouraging the manufacturer Navee (a sub-brand Xiaomi, used by a company called Suzhou Brightway Intelligent Technology Co. Ltd) to go ahead with the European launch at a very good price.

Offered for testing by the store, the Navee N65 scooter is certified for legal use in Europe, comes with free delivery, warranty and an attractive final price, which includes tax. Among the features on offer we have good quality front-back lighting and multiple travel modes, starting with pedestrian mode (“walking” speed and flashing warning lights) up to a maximum speed of 25Km/h through 3 gears with speed limits of 15 and 20 km/h. Propulsion is on the front wheel, while the mechanically actuated disc braking system is provided on the rear wheel to avoid destabilisation when braking a little harder. Important to know, there’s also regenerative braking on the front wheel. This is activated by lightly depressing the brake lever before the mechanical brake, allowing the brake to reduce speed completely silently and ‘recycle’ travel energy back into the battery.

Navee N65

The Navee N65 scooter also features Cruise Control. This is activated after holding the throttle in the same position for at least 5 seconds, and the current speed is maintained after the throttle is released. To slow down or deactivate the Cruise Control function, you simply have to “pinch” the brake.

In addition to the massive construction, indicative of a vehicle designed to be “abused”, another distinguishing element for the Navee N65 is the innovative folding design, featuring a dual-rotation mechanism and rear-wheel handlebar attachment system. Very simply, folding is done by operating the two fuses provided on the handlebars and at the base of the steering column. With the handlebars turned upright, all that’s left to do is unlock the main hinge and bring the handlebars to the rear wheel, where you secure them with the spring clamp. Finally, we can use the steering column as a carrying handle for the scooter, minimising the space required. Unfolding is made at least as easy by performing the manoeuvres described above in reverse order.

N65 shuttles

Although it looks massive, the Navee N65 scooter is built on a welded tube chassis made from a strong and lightweight aluminium alloy. Still, the 121cm length and 23.5kg weight are at an appreciable level, the product is recommended for adults up to 120Km and less for children. The good news is that the 10-inch wheels fitted with 3-inch pneumatic tyres are well above the average budget solution, with the level of support and damping of bumps in the asphalt comparable to a compact bike. However, care should be taken with the platform height, which could snag any larger rocks and obstacles. But even then, the steel shield applied to protect the battery and the solid chassis should limit any damage to mere scratches on the black paintwork. Another vulnerable point could be the retractable jack, positioned slightly lower than the rest of the platform, but still solidly built.

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N65 shuttles

Designed to accommodate both feet even when the user is wearing bulky footwear, the platform is covered with a grippy, durable and easy-to-clean rubber mat. Even when on this platform, the battery charging port is positioned under the handlebar tube and protected with two rows of watertight caps/covers, preventing dust or water from entering. Well protected between the rubberised platform and the steel shield, the 48V, 12.5Ah battery puts the scooter’s centre of gravity as low as possible, which helps manoeuvrability. So even though it’s massive, the handlebars are only a small part of the scooter’s final weight. In addition, the impact is absorbed by the rubberised grips when the scooter is knocked over, protecting the centre console with digital display.

How enjoyable is the Navee N65 experience

The first thing you notice when first using the scooter is the safety feature that keeps the electric motor disabled and prevents you from simply walking away using the throttle. Instead, you have to get some momentum under your own steam, engaging the throttle after a few metres of travel. Given the weight and inertia of the scooter, the operation isn’t as effortless as I’d like, especially if you’re on a sloping road and need to accelerate uphill. But once in motion the experience is very smooth and comfortable.

Navee N65

Although the Navee N65 comes with a 500W motor, it must be said that the acceleration is modulated by the scooter’s computer, this is yet another safety measure taken to avoid injury to yourself or pedestrians. However, even without the jerky start you find on many electric bikes of similar power, the acceleration still kicks in and quickly gets you up to the “cruising” speed corresponding to the gear you select. The main strength of the 900W boost motor is the very high torque available even at low speeds. Basically, you can use the Navee N65 to climb slopes with gradients of up to 25%, the problem being more the loss of grip on the front wheel, especially if you sit more towards the rear of the rig.

Unlike some electric bikes, the motor used by the Navee N65 is completely silent at any power level. The same can be said for the asphalt-optimized tires. Thus, you’ll have to use the included bell quite often. Fortunately it can be heard from quite a distance without being annoying.

Used at night, the Navee N65 scooter offers pretty good visibility with the included flashlight, the light is concentrated into a fan-shaped beam, providing optimal visibility directly in front of you.

Navee N65

Although supported, regenerative braking is disabled at the factory, with the manufacturer providing the necessary instructions in the owner’s manual, along with a recommendation to avoid using it with a fully charged battery (to avoid damage from overcharging). Once activated, regenerative braking is very useful for limiting speed when descending gentle slopes and other light braking. The mechanical disc braking system becomes even more effective when used in combination with regenerative braking on the front wheel. Otherwise, the quiet operation and very good level of control over braking intensity is to be appreciated. Even if you can easily get the rear wheel to lock up, you can avoid this and maximise braking efficiency after just a few attempts at getting used to it.

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Navee N65

Controlled by two buttons on the right hand side, the centre console provides basic information such as selected gear and speed, total distance, headlight on and battery level indicator. It’s worth noting that the scooter also displays the exact voltage in the battery, helping slightly more experienced users to accurately determine the remaining range. Although not very bright, the LED display is still easily visible even in direct sunlight.

What autotune you can get with the Navee N65

Equipped with a 48V battery and surprisingly high capacity (12.5Ah), the Navee N65 electric scooter is probably one of the safest choices for longer distance commuting. Although due to lack of time I stopped after a 25km ride, the voltage indicated by the battery was still above the 49V threshold, indicating a charge level somewhere around 65%. Of course, range can also vary depending on other factors such as travel speed and climbs on possible sloping roads. In this case, the average travel speed did not exceed 15km/h, with short spells at a maximum speed of 25km/h and not much climbing.

Once discharged, the battery is charged with a 48V/2Ah adapter, taking 6-7 to recover a fully discharged battery.

Final impressions – Navee N65

Although small enough to fit comfortably in the trunk of a compact car, the Navee N65 is still a little giant on the electric scooter scale, the massive construction and 23.5kg weight recommending it for people who are a little more corpulent, or at least experienced with safely handling an electric scooter. Big and strong, the Navee N65 makes an ideal pair for adult users weighing up to 120kg and with no height limit, the product impresses with its good level of comfort and the feeling of safety given by the solid construction.

IPX4 certified, the electric scooter should cope well with occasional bouts of rain, but it’s not advisable to venture through puddles that exceed 3cm in depth, representing the height of the suitably inflated tyre. Also to be appreciated is the well-thought-out folding system, which allows the steering column to be used as a carrying handle.

On the minus side, I’d only list the lack of active suspension, compensated for to a large extent by the wide tyres. Although an essential feature, the built-in jack is significantly lower than the rest of the platform and will hang up quite often when going over obstacles. However, the very solid construction should limit asphalt touches to mere scrapes on the metal arm.

N65 shuttles

All in all, we’re dealing with a well-built, powerful electric scooter with enough range for almost any situation, fully justifying the asking price.

You can order the Navee N65 scooter directly from the shop at the price of 569 euro, additional discount you receive using the code PATNV at the time the order is placed. Important to know, the product is delivered within approximately one week of placing the order, from a warehouse within the EU, duty free and free shipping. The guarantee is 1 year, insured by seller.

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