Our reviewer with Riley RS3 electric scooter

Riley RS3 review: "The solution to electrifying your commute"

Feb 14, 2023Tim Fullbrook

Overall rating:

The Riley RS3 is a practical folding electric scooter that’s built with commuting or travel in mind. It features the same performance output as the Riley RS1, but the real party trick is its ability to fold down into a really small package – perfect for taking on the train or tidying away in your home.

In fact the RS3 boasts being “the smallest portable e-scooter in the world.”

The RS3 is a great solution for commuters looking to escape the Tube and revolutionise their daily journeys, or for anyone looking to get around town. Priced at £749, this scooter is towards the cheaper side of the escooter market.


Good for:

  • Urban commutes
  • Taking on public transport
  • Daily and leisure riding
  • New riders

Pros:

  • Folds down SO SMALL
  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Quick charging time

Cons:

  • Folding mechanism is a little bit fiddly
  • Some handlebar rattle, an issue Riley have told us they are amending for future products
  • Narrower footplate
Reviewer carrying Riley RS3

Expert verdict:

Components + build quality
Safety + security
Performance & handling
Comfort + practicality
Overall star ratings

The Riley RS3 is a practical and accessible electric scooter that should appeal to anyone looking to switch up their daily commute – if your journey includes a leg on a train, tube, or bus, then the RS3 will easily add a splash of excitement.

But it also offers great characteristics for new riders, meaning that both newbies and experienced or purpose-ridden riders will get just as much out of this scooter. Whether you're riding to work or riding around town with friends at the weekend, I strongly believe the RS3 will answer your scootering needs.

Fully folded Riley RS3

However, I did find a couple of bugbears that I do think could have an impact on your experience with this scooter, and unfortunately that hinges (terrible pun) on the folding mechanism.

Up against other commuter-focused escooters, like the Techtron Pro 3500 or even Riley’s RS1, I think the RS3 has a little ground to make up. For usability and performance this scooter scores well, but I hope that you’ll see why it’s still deserving of a very commendable four-star rating.

Specs:

Battery 6.4Ah
Charging time 2 hours
Motor 350W - 36v Motor with 700W Peak Capacity
Max Speed 25km/h
Electric power range 15.5m / 25km
Max load 120kg before performance drop
Expand Size 1131 x 170 x 1181mm
Folded size 649 x 272 x 474mm
Weight 14kg - Aviation Grade Aluminum Alloy
Color Aviation Grey
Tyre size 8.5"
Tyre properties Pneumatic air tyre
Braking system Disk brake, E-ABS brake and pedal brake
Riding modes Three drive modes
Light LED head and tail light system

 

Riley RS3 in detail:

Performance

The Riley RS3 rides really well – I found it was agile, quick off the mark, and most importantly a lot of fun. With three different speed modes it also caters to a range of riders or riding locations, allowing you to ride at a steady pace and enjoy the view, or zip along at 15mph if you’ve got to get home before you miss Strictly.

With a 350W brushless motor, the Riley RS3 has plenty of power but, most importantly, I found it was smooth and predictable in its delivery.

Adding to the performance of the RS3 is the 8.5” pneumatic tyres which I found provided plenty of grip on a variety of asphalt surfaces – boosting your confidence to take corners at speed without feeling shaky.

Reviewer riding Riley RS3

The RS3 can provide up to 15 miles of range, which should more than suffice for the daily rider. Additionally, with a quick two-hour charge time you can easily plug this in at home and in the office and be ready to ride when you need it. If I’m being honest, however, similar distance can also be achieved on the Techtron Pro 3500 or Riley RS1 for half the price, and that did leave me wondering. But does the Techtron fit in your pocket? No.


Comfort and Handling

In my experience riding the RS3, the biggest factor on the ride comfort was the 8.5” pneumatic tyres – I’ve got a real thing about having proper rubber tyres on an escooter, as I believe they have a massive impact on ride quality and have a superior feel in comparison to the honeycomb or plastic tyres that some models come with.

The tyres on the RS3 act as pseudo-suspension, tackling the lumps, bumps and uneven surfaces with ease and minimising that frustrating rattle through the handlebars and deck – and for a scooter that you could use twice a day, every day, this is a real standout feature.

The rubber deck is grippy and I didn’t experience any foot slip whilst riding. Due to the folding mechanism, the deck is not one complete platform, but when you’re riding you don’t notice this and it doesn’t impact the feel of the ride.

Reviewer folding Riley RS3 deck

The deck is around 15cm wide, which is enough, but I prefer a wider sizing to really give that skateboard feel – it also stops your favourite trainers getting splashed. You might not notice the size, it all depends on how you choose to stand when riding.

I really enjoyed the cruise control feature, which is automatically activated when holding down the throttle for around 10 seconds. The RS3’s cruise control keeps you motoring along without having to hold the throttle and negates that painful ‘throttle thumb.’ It’s perfect for buzzing along longer stretches at top speed, and the motor has no trouble in ensuring your speed. I think this is a feature a lot of escooters would benefit from, so it’s great to see Riley include it on the RS3.

Brakes

The Riley RS3 features three different types of braking system, all of which ensure a safe and reassuring ride. I found the standard rear wheel disc brake was super effective, especially when needing to come to a stop quickly.

Additionally the RS3 features an e-ABS brake on the front wheel, I’ll save you the long-winded scientific explanation, but the system keeps you at a steady speed on downhills whilst charging the battery.

Riley RS3 brakes

Now if you’re a bit more old-school, or simply want to slow down a little bit faster, the RS3 features a rear fender brake – I didn’t ever need to use this as the disc brake was more than enough to stop me, but it’s worth having just in case.


Extras

This is in the ‘Extras’ section, but in reality the folding capabilities of the RS3 is the real selling point – and it’s easy to see why. Whilst your typical folding escooters simply drop the handlebars, the RS3 packs down into a package that you can easily carry on the train, stowaway in a porch, put away under the stairs or under your desk at work, and will fit neatly into a car boot so you can take it anywhere.

You start by folding the deck and lower frame in half, two separate movements that have their own individual locks, this is then followed by retracting the handlebars and then folding the main stem in half. Once all locked in place, I found the RS3 can be easily carried.

Not only that, but factored with a removable battery the RS3 is incredibly safe from thieves – mainly because it never needs to leave your side.

Reviewer folding Riley RS3

This makes it so attractive to those needing to complete A-B-C journeys, as it takes up no more space than a kit bag, so it’s far from an inconvenience to take on the train.The process, whilst extremely effective, I did think was particularly fiddly even after a number of attempts. Riley state this process can be done in under 30 seconds, and I don’t doubt that – it would simply take a little more practice than I had.

The Riley RS3 comes with an integrated front light which is activated via the buttons on the throttle component. A double click of the power button toggles the well-packaged and crucially bright front light. I’d have liked to have seen a rear light also built in, but a large rear reflector will allow those behind to spot you from a distance in the dark.

Riley RS3 integrated front light

If you’ve read any of our other reviews, or watched any of our YouTube videos, you will have heard that we love a removable battery. Not only are they significantly more convenient, but also they’re safer. Batteries are best removed from the eride, and charged in a fire-proof bag or box.

The RS3’s battery is located on the stem and is easily removed, but also due to its compact size I found it was easy to charge neatly – it also fits in a variety of fire-proof bags.

Riley have also told us that there is an app on the way for the RS3, meaning you will be able to access features and lock the scooter from your mobile – this was not available at the time of writing this review.

Practical, reliable, and easy to ride, the Riley RS3 is an escooter that will satisfy a range of clientele – but if you’re a commuter who wants to reinvent your journeys, look no further.

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