Bike-scooters/ First-ride/ Ather Rizta Review | Perfect Scooter for the Family Man?

Ather Rizta Review | Perfect Scooter for the Family Man?

What you do realize while riding the Rizta, is that it is true-blue Ather.

For

Space on offer, Ride Experience, Features

Against

Braking Could Have been Better

Overview

Story time, kids. Take a seat. Yours truly had been on the road for 15 days straight, running for responsibilities and sometimes away from them. When I arrived at the go-kart facility where we were supposed to hoon around with the Ather Apex, I almost dozed off during the briefing, not because it wasn’t interesting but because of the fatigue which was making everything blurry. But then, everything became clear. Stark clear as I warped through a tunnel made out of LED lights on the Apex. The experience popped my eyes wide open because the Apex turned out to be a very potent missile on the go-kart track but this is the thing about being so focused - you lose hold on the reality sometimes. In Ather’s case, the 450 line up of scooters were too focused, practically showing the longest finger to practicality. Then, the Rizta was born. Why? Ather wishes to assert dominance and not just win an enthusiast’s heart.

And to assert dominance in a segment that basically includes un-offensive family scooters, Rizta couldn’t have looked radically different. With its current design language, Rizta is pulling off two things: it isn’t going to offend anyone out there while also having its own unique visual identity. With its front LED bar and connected tail light treatment, on the move the Rizta looks like an alien probe. A cute one at that. Who has landed on earth to collect data, not humans. The build quality is a typical Ather experience with the switchgear lending a premium feel. While the S variant gets an LCD instrument cluster, both of the Z variants come stacked with a 7-inch TFT screen. To keep the costs in check, it isn’t touchscreen enabled and you have to toggle through with the help of a joystick and buttons on the left side of the switchgear. The only gripe that I have with the looks of it, is the gaping hole which reveals itself once you put the side stand down. One can peep through and find Rizta’s battery pack stacked in there and even the quality of the side stand could have been better. No one likes flaccid things, Ather.

The Rizta is being offered in two battery packs and two variants: S and Z. The Z variants can be had with both battery pack options: 2.9kWh and 3.7kWh. While the S variant is solely limited to the 2.9kWh battery pack option. Now in terms of features, Ather has not only updated the UI of their app and Rizta’s instrument cluster but they have also thrown in a couple of more goodies. The idea was to make the Rizta as safe as they could while not compromising on the convenience front. The reason why we see live location sharing as well as whatsapp right on your dashboard. It is a pretty nifty feature which doesn’t require you to take your phone out at traffic signals. Other safety features include FallSafe which cuts down the power once it detects a crash on the Rizta, Emergency Stop System which flashes the tail light again and again to indicate the vehicle behind that you’re coming at a sudden halt and then there’s my favourite - Ather’s new skidcontrol. It is Ather’s version of traction control and like the whole ride experience, their traction control turned out to be seamless too. This nanny knew when to intrude and how much. Since it’s electric, Ather was able to fine tune the power delivery much better than ICE vehicles and that shows because you never realize that the traction control is working behind your back.

What you do realize while riding the Rizta, is that it is true-blue Ather. Both the variants of the Rizta are equipped with the same motor which is rated at 4.3kW and 22nm. Unlike the 450s, there’s no warp or warp+ mode either. Instead, the Rizta gets a little subdued modes including SmartEco and Zip. Top speed in the Zip mode is capped at 80kmph for all the variants. While the performance feels peppy in the Zip mode up until 70kmph, after that, the Rizta starts falling a little flat. SmartEco mode is particularly developed for extending the range and hence, the top speed that I managed in the SmartEco mode was 55kmph. In this more civil mode, the Rizta sprints to 50kmph in an adequate manner but after that, the progression feels lethargic. However, performance on offer in the zip mode is definitely going to suffice, even if you have a pillion and some luggage on board. The throttle calibration, in a typical Ather manner, is the star of the show here, stealing the light with its seamlessness. Regarding the range, we can expect a real world range of around 100 kms with the 2.9kWh battery pack and around 120-130kms with the 3.7kWh battery pack. We are waiting for Ather to send the Rizta back at our home base in Mumbai and that’s when we will be able to gauge its real world range better.

Despite sharing the same platform with the 450, the Rizta had to incorporate a lot of changes in order to become family friendly. It has grown in dimensions, all of it but at the same time, it has a shorter wheelbase as compared to the TVS iQube and the Bajaj Chetak. That shows out in the real world but we will come to that later. The 450 series shines around bends, given their compact dimensions and tuning when it comes to riding dynamics. But, that came at the cost of ride quality because every 450 hates undulations. With the Rizta, I wouldn’t say that Ather has taken a major leap in terms of ride quality but it is still a good jump nonetheless. It doesn’t crash into potholes anymore but there’s a sense of firmness still associated with the setup. This trait makes the Rizta quite enjoyable around bends but you would still need to hit the brakes while encountering a bad patch of road. In this department, I would have loved to see a little more plushness since the Rizta’s primal aim is to please the families out there. In terms of braking, the front brake lever lacks bite and you have to summon the prowess of the rear brakes as well as magic twist to bring the Rizta to a screeching halt. We first experienced the magic twist feature during the Apex first ride and now, in the Rizta as well.

The Rizta has the making of changing the game for Ather Energy as an EV manufacturer. It has all the right ingredients to please anyone looking for a good family scooter. There’s a catch though and that catch is Rizta being electric. Having lived with an electric scooter in the past without the access of good charging infrastructure, I can only suggest the Rizta to someone who does. If you have good access to charging infrastructure, the Rizta is going to present itself as a god-sent gift with its real estate, features and the overall ride experience. With a competitive price tag (INR 1,09,999 - INR INR 1,44,999) , it becomes even harder to not recommend the Rizta.



TopGear Magazine June 2024