Updated September 20th, 2023
A good performing budget electric scooter with good hill climbing ability and removable battery for more range.
Best Value – Best Electric Scooter Under $500
Best Upgrade Pick – Best Electric Scooter Under $300
The Hiboy S2R electric scooter has a 350 watt front hub motor and swappable 36 volt 6.5ah battery. It is small and compact and easy to carry around. The swappable battery gives it the potential for more range since you can carry an extra battery with you. It falls in the budget entry level electric scooter price range and has good performance for its price point. It is fun to ride with more power than we expected for going up hills with heavier riders.
What we liked:
- Removable battery for extra range
- Good top speed
- Fun to ride
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- App that lets you customize performance and lock the scooter
- Good hill climbing performance in sport mode
What we didn’t like:
- Ride is not as smooth as 10″ air tire scooters
- Cruise control can activate before you reach full speed on Sport mode
- Top Speed – 19 mph
- Range – 18 miles
- Motor – 350 watt front hub motor
- Battery – 36volt 7.5aH Lithium-ion
- Max Rider Weight – 220 lbs
- Scooter Weight – 31 lbs
- Wheels – 8.5 inch solid tires
- Brakes – rear disc, front electric
Hiboy S2R Review and Test
The Hiboy S2R is a new swappable battery version of their popular S2 electric scooter. Ours arrived and we immediately put it to work.
1 – Power (8/10)
The Hiboy S2R is powered by a 350 watt front hub motor. It has plenty of zip for riding around town or running errands. It isn’t quite as zippy feeling as other scooters we have tried. it has plenty of grunt when it comes to getting up hills.
The published max speed is 19 mph. The top speed we have recorded so far with a Garmin GPS is 17.95mph. The display on the scooter showed 19mph speed on the display during the ride.
It is much easier to get to higher speeds on this scooter with the cruise control turned off. We’ll go into more detail on that when we talk about the cruise control.
We took the S2R over to a pedestrian overpass nearby which is the steepest hill around here. The overpass has a 7% grade and is fairly long. I am a little over the published 220 lb max weight limit for this scooter so this is a true test of how well it can climb with a max weight rider.
On sport mode the hill climbing performance is much better than regular mode. With a running start of 10-15mph it will power up the 7% grade and never drop below 7-8mph. I tried starting the scooter from a stand still on the 7% grade in sport mode. It was able to accelerate up to 7-8mph and make it to the top of the hill.
On regular mode, the scooter can climb the 7% grade if it has a running start at the bottom. It slowed down to about 4mph part way up the hill but kept going all the way to the top. I tried starting the scooter from a stand still on the 7% grade. It was not able to make it to the top of the hill. It never accelerated past 3mph and made it a little distance before stalling out.
If you need to ride in hills a lot I would recommend riding in sport mode all the time or opening up the app and turning up the acceleration setting so the scooter has more low end power.
2 – Range (8/10)
The published maximum range is 18 miles. We were able to get 9.9 miles out of this scooter which is about what I expected for the given battery size and rider size. This was riding it on a smooth paved bike path with a stop every 0.5 to 1 mile for a road crossing. We had the scooter set on regular mode which has a top speed of 13 miles per hour. Acceleration and braking were at their factory default settings. This is with a greater than maximum weight (220 lb) rider. There was a small breeze that was a slight headwind for the second half of the ride.
Range is heavily dependent on rider size, max speed, how many times you stop and accelerate, how much headwind you ride into, how many hills you climb, etc…
Power will drop significantly for the last 20% of the battery life or 1.5 mile in our case. Ours would go about 5mph maximum for the last 0.5 miles of range before it completely stopped. This is similar to our experience with other electric scooters near the bottom of their battery capacity.
3 – Ride Quality (6.5/10)
The ride quality is better than I expected from 8 inch solid wheels. It is not quite as smooth as a scooter with suspension or 10 inch air tires. It is comfortable enough to ride across cracked pavement and gaps without too much discomfort.
The deck is large enough to easily fit my size 10 shoes. I tend to ride with my forward foot next to the frame and my rear foot behind my front foot. There is enough room to stand that way or with your feet side by side.
The scooter feels easy to control and turn. Any beginner can easily handle this scooter. I didn’t find you need to do any weight shift or anything else special to turn with the S2R.
4 – Braking (8.5)
The scooter has 2 independent brake controls. There is an electronic brake on the front wheel operated with a lever on the left handlebar. There is a cable pull disc brake operated by the brake lever on the right handlebar. The electronic brake is regenerative so gives a little charge back to the battery every time you use it.
The electronic brake has plenty of stopping power for most situations with its default setting. It has a pretty steep curve that slows you down hard from higher speeds as soon as you hit the brake switch. I use the electronic brake about 90% of the time by itself.
The electronic brake sensitivity can be adjusted from the phone app if you want a stronger or weaker front wheel brake.
The disc brake has enough power to stop you quickly. It is much less aggressive than the electronic brake if you are just trying to slow down a little. The electronic brake will give you a sudden dose of deceleration. The disc brake comes on much more gradually unless you really squeeze the lever hard.
5 – Controls (8/10)
The controls and display are easy to use and operate. The display is on top of the stem and is easy to read in any light conditions. It displays speed, battery remaining, and tells you whether you are in regular or sport mode. It also has an indicator for cruise control.
There is just one button by the display to control everything. It has the following functions.
- Hold it in for a few seconds to turn the scooter on and off.
- Tap it once to turn the headlights on or off.
- Tap it twice to switch between regular and sport mode
- Tap it 3 times to turn cruise control on. You can also just hold throttle in one position for several seconds and cruise control will activate.
The scooter has a thumb throttle, disc brake lever, and bell on the right handlebar. It has an electronic brake control on the left handlebar.
Cruise control mode self activates when you hold the throttle in one spot for several seconds. It makes a beep to let you know it has turned on. You can disable cruise control using the phone app so that it never comes on if that is what you want.
The default cruise control settings on the S2R makes it difficult to reach higher speeds with the scooter. The cruise control will turn on after you hold the throttle in one position for a few seconds. If you are holding it at full throttle cruise control sets at whatever speed you have gotten up to. If you are in sport mode and give it full throttle, cruise control kicks in at 13-15mph before you have accelerated to top speed and you are then stuck at 13-15mph. The scooter won’t go any faster until you deactivate cruise control. I found to get to top speed while cruise control is enabled you need to jog the throttle a little bit 100% to 90% back to 100% to keep the cruise from turning on. This is the most annoying part of this scooter.
There is a setting in the app that can help this. In the settings menu there is a cruise control threshold setting that lets you set the minimum speed cruise control can activate at. The factory default setting is 2mph. You can set it up to 19mph so that it can only turn on when the scooter is at 19mph.
Phone App & Electronic Lock
The Hiboy S2R uses the Hiboy S2 phone app. It can do things like tell lock the scooter, tell you available range, tune the performance and set the top speed. The app can be found on the app store for iPhone or Android. It is very quick and easy to install. The default password for the app is 888888. If you forget what you set your password to, there is a process to reset it to the default value.
- Set top speed
- Set braking force
- Set Acceleration Level
- Turn lights on and off
- Change from regular to sport mode
- See how fast the scooter is going
- See how much battery is left
- Cruise control minimum speed threshold
- Lock the scooter
The scooter can be locked using the app. When it’s locked the front wheel is electronically held in place so the scooter can’t roll and the scooter will beep if you try to roll it. The power button has no function once the scooter is locked.
There is a bell on the right handlebar mounted with the brake lever. It is easy to reach and ring with your fingers.
The front headlight and tail light are turned on and off by tapping the power button once the scooter is active. The lighting is adequate for night riding. The headlight focuses at about the right distance ahead of you to see what you’re riding over with enough distance to react. It’s not super bright but it gets the job done. If I was going to ride this scooter at night a long distance I would supplement the lighting with a helmet light.
6 – Construction (9/10)
Everything looks well put together. Some components are a bit more bulky looking than on more expensive scooters. Everything works correctly and nothing has come loose so far. The frame construction looks solid and is holding up to our max weight and Michigan smooth pavement use. I have no complaints at all about the build quality or durability of the S2R.
The S2R uses a single action locking mechanism. You fold the stem up into the upright position. You pull a lever up that locks everything into position. The manual and quick start guide mention a double locking mechanism and a click that occurs when you fold the stem up into place. No click happens when you lift up the stem.
The folding mechanism on my S2R looks a bit different than what I have seen in other video reviews where the bottom of the stem has a twist lock. Hiboy seems to have updated the folding mechanism from what was in earlier S2R scooters.
There is hook on the rear fender of the scooter that engages a latch on the handlebar. This keeps the stem from unfolding while you are carrying it. You push on the front of the latch on the handlebar to release it.
Overall the folding mechanism is easy to operate and works well. I haven’t noticed any slop or play in the mechanism so far.
7 – Swappable Battery
The most unique feature of the Hiboy S2R is the swappable battery pack. The battery is a 36 volt 7.5ah li-ion battery. You can charge it either on the scooter through a port in the scooter frame or away from the scooter. To change batteries you have to unlock them with the included key and then pull the battery out of the scooter deck.
Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?
Overall, I am happy with the Hiboy S2R. The folding mechanism works well, the build quality is good, and it has good top speed and decent range. The swappable battery gives you flexibility for adding range and where you charge your battery. Our biggest complaint is the cruise control that gets in the way of reaching higher speeds but there are ways to work around it. If you are in the market for an affordable electric scooter I would recommend buying the Hiboy S2R.
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Other scooters to consider
Lets take a look at how the S2R compares to some of the other popular $400-$600 electric scooters.
The Hiboy S2 has similar specs to the Hiboy S2R. They share the same size motor, wheels, battery, and brakes. The S2 does not have a removable battery. The S2 does have rear suspension to smooth out the ride a little more. If you don’t need the swappable battery you can save a few bucks and get a little smoother ride with the Hiboy S2.
The TurboAnt M10 is the closest scooter out there to the specs of the Hiboy S2R. It also has a 36volt 7.5ah battery with 18 mile range and 20 mph top speed. It does have 10 inch pneumatic tires for a smoother ride. No swappable battery.
Gotrax XR Ultra
The Gotrax XR Ultra has a similar price point to the Hiboy S2R. It has a top speed of only 15.5mph and range of 16 miles. It uses a 300 watt motor vs the S2R 350 watt motor. It also uses 8.5 inch wheels. It does not have a swappable battery either.
You might also like:
- The Top 7 Best Electric Scooters For Hills Helpful Guide
- How Long Do Electric Scooter Batteries Last? How To Maintain Your Batteries
Co-Founder & Chief Editor
I grew up back east in Pennsylvania and learned to ski on a family trip to Killington, Vermont when I was 6. I immediately fell in love with the mountains and outdoors and have been skiing across the US and Canada ever since. I went to school for Mechanical Engineering, and have a Master’s Degree in Material Science and Reliability.
I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible.