The Varla Pegasus is an all-wheel drive, dual-motor electric scooter with a 28+ MPH top speed – but that’s only the beginning. If your primary complaint about the little rental kick-scooter you’ve been riding is that it’s not fast enough to make you care about it, you need to start paying attention now.
If you have a lot of experience with e-scooters from Bird or Lime or any of the other rental fleets out there, you probably have a good idea of what a kick scooter is “supposed to feel like,” and I want to start this review by telling you that the Varla Pegasus does not feel like those scooters.
Unlike those rentals or my personal NIU KQi2 scooter (which relies on its pneumatic tires to soak up bumps in the road), the Varla uses an advanced, swingarm-style front and rear suspension that introduces a lot more trail to the scoot’s steering geometry, making it feel somewhat resistant to the sort of tight, right-angle sidewalk steering I’ve grown accustomed to on slower machinery. At first, I counted that as a negative. After a few minutes of getting accustomed to the controls and making sure I’d bolted everything together nice and tight, however, I put the Pegasus into its fastest mode and immediately understood why the bike is engineered to steer that way.
Simply put: at 28+ MPH, the Varla feels planted and secure, and eggs you on, urging you to duck down out of the wind and try to eke out that last half-mile-per-hour. It’s that kind of ride, and it’s just so freakin’ good.
Varla Pegasus Hits the Sweet Spot
Most of the new electric scooters coming out these days seem to fall into one of two camps: they’re either sidewalk city appliances or ridiculously overpowered, death-dealing thrill machines– and most of them are pretty terrible.
That’s not to say that most e-scooters are poorly made or unreliable. On the contrary, most of the commuter scoots are sturdy enough to deliver a few hundred miles of riding, at least, and are practical enough to replace your car for quick, urban errand-running and terrorizing neighborhood block parties. That’s great, but it’s a bit boring.
On the flip side of that, the “extreme,” 60+ MPH stand-up motorcycles (you really can’t call them scooters, at that point) are absolutely terrifying. There’s a market for that, sure, but they’re terrifying in a, “I built this 600 HP Shelby Cobra kit car myself when I retired from practicing international tax law … let’s see if it’ll go 200!” sort of way that– let’s just say it doesn’t speak to me.
The Varla Pegasus, meanwhile, hits a sort of “sweet spot” in between those two ideas. It is to the world of electric scooters what a Porsche Carrera 4 might be. That is to say: it’s a fast, capable, all-wheel drive grand tourer with just enough speed and power to thrill you, but with enough high-tech intelligence baked in to inspire confidence in its ability to get you from point A to B.
And if you don’t think that’s high praise, well–
The Varla Pegasus, which retails for $1299, ships in the unassuming, 70 lb. cardboard box shown, above. It unpacks easily enough, and with all the complicated bits – the suspension, brakes, and electrical wiring – already assembled for you. You just bolt in the handlebars, set it to charge (it will charge from 0 to full in under 4 hours), and you’re ready to go.
The company claims that each of the Pegasus’ dual motors is good for 500W of sustained power, with a peak of 800W available in bursts. That’s quite a bit of power – more than the big Himiway Zebra I tested this summer and twice as much power, in fact, as the Gen3 Stride e-bike Kyle Field rode last year. I don’t doubt the specs, either, as one ride in the fastest of the Varla’s three drive modes saw me hang up my bike helmet in favor of a proper motorcycle one … and a quick Google image search showed me that I wasn’t alone in making that move, either.
The Varla Pegasus also features a 748 wH li-ion battery, dual disc brakes, and an easy-to-read LCD instrument cluster– as well as bright, LED lighting front and rear.
If you’ve been riding e-scooters for a while now, wish you could find a solid, long-distance electric scooter that offered a little bit more thrills without the immediate sense that you’re about to orphan your children, there’s a really good chance the Varla Pegasus is the one you’ve been looking for.
Disclaimer: Varla wanted me to test ride its Pegasus electric scooter so badly that they sent me one to review – and it’s quickly become my go-to ride for solo drives around Oak Park and River Forest. If you get the chance, definitely take one for a ride!
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