How to ride an electric scooter.

Electric Scooter – How to ride (beginner & advanced)

How to ride an electric scooter is a question we get occassionally, so we thought it would be best to complement our vaste knowledgebase with this information as well.

Riding an electric scooter is quite easy, even easier than riding a bicycle. But there are some things you must know beforehand.

This guide will provide all you need to know regarding riding an electric scooter as a beginner and as an advanced rider.

Table of contents

Electric Scooter is a vehicle

Before you ride an electric scooter, you must understand that this is a vehicle (some legal texts describe it as two-wheeled machine, but in general, this is considered a vehicle).

And as with any vehicles, when things go wrong, it can be quite severe and even life-threatening in worst cases. There are plenty of accidents with electric scooters every year unfortunately.

One of the main reasons for the accidents are overestimation of their own capabilities, or underestimation of the Electric Scooters performance. So what does this mean?

Overestimation of the riders capabilities

Overestimation is a common reason for accidents. Overestimation of your own capabilities is when you think you can handle more than you actually can. Typical overestimations relate to the use of helmets when riding, riding two persons at the same time, going faster than what is safe, thinking you can handle more than you actually can.

This is a very, very common reason for accidents in the U.S., U.K, and actually all over the world.

Do not overestimate your own capabilities, always stay calm and be conservative in your way of thinking about your own capabilities, meaning you should be more careful than you think you should be. For instance, going through a curve in 15mph is perhaps possible, and others are doing it, but you should go through that same curve at a lower speed in order to be really sure you are safe.

We recommend that you do not overestimate yourself and others when riding an electric scooter.

Underestimation of the Electric Scooter

Underestimation is the opposite of overestimation. To underestimate your electric scooter is to not fully grasp the potential of your electric scooters performance. You may think that your electric scooter cannot go that fast, but in fact it actually does go fast enough to hurt you when in an accident.

Another example of underestimating is when you think that riding your electric scooter will not be dangerous without a helmet because everyone else does it, but in fact it is very dangerous due to the speeds.

Overerestimation of others

Another reason for accidents is that you may think higher of other vehicles and road users than you should. Others may hit you, and it may be their fault even, but you will end up getting severely hurt in such a accident because you dont have sufficient protection around you.

Do not overestimate the potential of others.

How to ride an electric scooter – Safety first

When riding an electric scooter you must make sure you always wear a helmet, and sufficient protective gear for the ride you are intending to take.

For example, always wear a helmet when commuting to your work or school in urban areas.

For higher speeds and offroad style driving, you should have more protective gear such as gloves, clothes, knee-pads and elbow-pads. Even a better helmet.

Where to ride an electric scooter for the first time

Most people ride an electric scooter the first time on a rented service such as VOI, BOLT, Bird, LIME, etc.

These scooters are found in most cities and can be easily rented using an app on your smartphone. It is a convenient way to test an electric scooter for the first time.

Before riding an electric scooter

Before you start your ride you should do what we call a “pre-trip inspection”. This is when you check the electric scooter visually to make sure it is in good condition. Things to check are the following:

  • Lights – Make sure the lights are clean and in place without damage to them.
  • Wheels – Make sure the wheels are whole and that the tires are in good shape, without holes. If inflatable tires, make sure they are inflated.
  • Brake Lever – Make sure the brake levers on the handlebar are intact and in place.

Do these above steps before even starting the electric scooter, you can do these checks without actually renting one either. Just approach the kickbike and visually inspect it.

Familiarize yourself with the electric scooter

Electric scooters have many parts and features. We cover all of them in our separate guide about how electric scooters work (if you are interested). In this section however, we will cover what you must know beforehand.

The parts of an electric scooter which you need to know as a beginner are:

  • Brakes
  • Throttle
  • Deck
  • Steering (handle-bar)
  • Lights

Make sure you get familiar with the above parts and functions of an electric scooter before riding one. Sometimes it may require to start an electric scooter in order to become familiar. There is a saying, you cannot bathe unless you get your feet wet. It is the same principle here, you must start somewhere.

The above parts are further described below.


The brakes are very much like bicycle brakes. A brake-lever is there which controls the stopping power of the electric scooter. Simply put, pull the brake to stop, just like a bicycle would. Be careful to not brake too hard, as it could lock your wheels.


The throttle controls the acceleration of the electric scooter. Depending on the electric scooter model, they can be a bit different, but still quite similar. It is also like a dead-mans switch, which applies power to the wheels when the throttle button is held pushed. When released, it will stop applying power to the wheels.

You just push the lever on the throttle with your finger (usually the thumb) and the more you push it, the faster it will accelerate.


The deck is where you stand. We recommend that you place one foot in front, and one in rear, to position yourself in the best way possible. You should have a firm stand on the deck, and your feet should fit nicely. Do not stand with your feet parallell as some do, this is not a well balanced stand.

Steering (Handle-bar)

The steering is the next component and function you need to know about. This is where you have your hands at all time. You control the trajectory of the electric scooter with the handle-bar. That means, you control the turning left and right with it, just like a bicycle.

However, unlike a bicycle, since the wheel is so small, slight movements of the handle-bar will result in quite strong turns. Make sure you understand this, and be light on the touch of the handle-bar.

Always use two hands on the handle-bar at all times. Never ride with one hand, this is very dangerous.


The lights are the final part you need to know as a beginner on how to ride an electric scooter.

Lights illuminate the path forward, and also indicate to others what you are doing / your intentions.

On many electric scooters the lights are automatic for forward and rear. But the turn-indicator lights are controlled by you (if they are available).

Turn indicator lights are not always available on all models, but if they are, you should make use of them when turning left or right. Do not forget to turn them off after the turn.

Kick to start function on electric scooters

One last thing we want to cover before riding is the kick-to-start functionality.

Most beginners who are about to ride for the first time notices that the electric scooter wont move when using the throttle. They stand with an electric scooter (usually a rented one) and push the throttle but nothing happens. Sometimes they think there is something wrong with the scooter even.

This is perfectly normal, and it is because you need to kick-start the electric scooter while using the throttle at the same time. Kick-to-start means that you push the electric scooter a few inches (cm) forward with your foot, just like skateboarders do with their skateboards to gain speed.

First Ride – Here we go!

Now that you know about the parts, the safety, and the dangers and potential hazards associated with electric scooters, you can go ahead and start a ride. Follow the below steps to start the ride with an electric scooter.

  1. Make sure the electric scooter is unlocked and on. Also make sure the stand is folded up (if available).
  2. Place one foot on the ground, and the other foot on the deck.
  3. Place your hands on the handle-bar, with one finger on the throttle.
  4. Kick-off with the foot you have on the ground to push yourself forward a bit, while at the same time pushing the throttle with your finger.
  5. Now you are riding! Place the other feet on the deck as well.

How to ride an Electric Scooter – Video Tutorial

Turning with an electric scooter

Since the wheels of an electric scooter is so small, turning can be a bit difficult for beginners. Small movements of the handle-bar will result in steep turns.

Make sure you do not turn the handle-bar too much as it would actually place the front wheel in a position where it would become like an obstacle, making you crash.

When going at higher speeds you will notice that leaning will give you more balance, and leaning can help you turn as well. Try to find a good balance and be careful not to go too fast.

Also, shift your weight using leaning to have a better balance. We cover shifting weight in the section below.

Shift your weight on an electric scooter

Shifting your weight is another important part of maintaining balance. When going through turns, or braking, it is especially recommended to shift your weight to improve your balance.

Try to lean back when braking, and lean forward when accelerating. Try to lean left and right a bit when turning at higher speeds. This gives optimal balance to the scooter while also increasing traction to the ground.

Try not to lean too much into one wheel when braking since this may cause the wheel locking during braking. The reason it locks is because too much force is being applied to it.

Practice shifting your weight and center of gravity when riding a couple of times. Do this on a parking lot which is empty to be safe.

How to ride an electric scooter – Advanced

The advanced techniques for riding an electric scooter will cover riding over obstacles, gravel roads, using phones, increasing your security, and increasing your range.

Going over obstacles, curbs and similar

When riding an electric scooter you will definetely encounter obstacles in your path. This can be curbs, sticks, rocks, trash and more lying in your path.

Going over curbs

When riding over curbs, always slow down and lift your front tire by either pulling the handle-bar towards you while maintaining a fixed stance, or stop and lift your electric scooter onto the other side.

Curbs on sidewalks, bicycle lanes, roads and more are always encountered during a trip in urban areas and cities. It is not as easy to jump over them as with bicycles, but still quite easy.

Try to familiarize yourself with the technique to pull the handle-bar to lift the front-wheel at very low speed.

Make sure the curb is not too high, as it would hit the deck of the electric scooter from the underneath.

Rocks, sticks, debris and trash

We recommend you go between these objects if you can. If you cannot, you should go over them in very slow speed, never go fast across them as it could result in an accident.

If you are in a bicycle lane, stop to the side and take away the obstacle so others can ride freely. This is good practice and respectful to others. We cover more good practices here.

Wet or slippery surfaces

Avoid going across water and other wet surfaces. The electric scooter may skid and you will loose control of it, especially in curves.

Try to go around the slippery parts of the roads.

Usage of phone when riding

Do not use your phone, take a call, or anything which can distract you from your ride. You may take a call if you have hands-free just like with regulations about cars, motorcycles and similar.

The reason for not taking calls, using a phone during rides is simply because it is very dangerous to ride an electric scooter with one hand.

Some helmets have built-in bluetooth microphone and headphones so you can take calls easily.

Maximize range

Electric scooters only go as far as their battery allows them. To increase your range (and decrease your battery-consumption) you should try to ride in a stable speed, use mild accelerations (not maximum throttle), always kick-start from a stop or standstill, and of course take the shortest route.

Cold weather affects battery as well, and if your tires are not optimally inflated they will also affect range.

Weight is another thing which affects range. If you want to know more about range, we cover it fully in our buying guide.

Protecting against thieves – Security

After the ride is done make sure you lock your electric scooter if you plan to leave it somewhere unsafe. A good lock is recommended, and we cover locks in our special guide about locks.

Can you ride an electric scooter with two persons?

It is possible, but not recommended.

Can you hang a bag on the steering-wheel of an electric scooter while riding?

If the bag is very light, yes. However, if the bag weighs too much it will tip the balance of the scooter (shift the weight) which is not recommended.

Is it easy to ride an electric scooter?

Yes, it is easier than a bicycle for 99% of people.

How fast can an electric scooter go?

Most models go up to around 25mph (40km/h). But there are models which go faster.

Is it dangerous to ride an electric scooter?

As with any vehicle, it can be dangerous.

Can you ride an electric scooter for free?

Almost, to rent one through an app-service costs very little.