Xiaomi M365 Pro Electric Folding Scooter Reviewed
Successor to the world’s favourite scooter, the M365 Pro is the latest folding electric scooter from technology giants Xiaomi. An evolution of the workhorse employed by BIRD, Spin and other ride sharing schemes across the US, the Pro model retains the signature design, proven braking system and inflated tyres but has evolved its powertrain and frame to be bigger and better in many, many ways.
- Electric scooter with proven folding design
- 15.5mph top speed with a class-leading maximum range of 28 miles
- Powerful 300w front hub motor for climbing inclines
- Huge 12800mAh 36v battery with 9 hour charge time
- Comfortable ride thanks to large inflated tyres
What is new with this Pro model?
If you are thinking the Pro model sounds more of an upgrade rather than an evolution of its predecessor, then you would be correct. The larger battery pack results in longer range, made more achievable by the revised drive modes. Fitted with a more powerful motor, it can tackle steeper gradients but the top speed is still limited to 15.5mph. A wider and longer footplate, paired with ‘taller’ handlebars makes it more comfortable to ride the longer distances a larger battery pack makes possible, if those increases up the overall weight by 1.7kg. At a glance, beyond its increased size, the red rimmed front hub motor and dark grips/bell set it apart from the original model. You can learn more about these differences and more in our recent comparison article.
Unboxing and charging
The scooter arrives partially wrapped inside a large-long cardboard box. Included in the (rather eco-unfriendly) polystyrene packaging is the charger, power lead, tyre inflation adapter and the usual selection of warranty and user documentation.
Should you skip the manual, the all-important unfolding and latching process is as shown below. With the lever open, lift the handlebar up till its sat upright and seated correctly, swing the release lever upwards (it may be a little stiff at first) to latch it in place. Rock the handlebars back and forth to check it is properly secured before rotating the plastic safety collar around to ensure it cannot accidentally release.
Arriving 95% assembled, you are required to fit the handlebars. This is a simple case of slotting them into upright and fitting four bolts using the supplied the hex-driver. Note that Xiaomi include a typical mileage use case for the scooter. Its 45km maximum range is based on a 75kg passenger riding upon a smooth surface on a warm, calm day.
The tyres are shipped inflated but we suggest you adjust them to suit your own riding requirements. Check our tyre-inflation article for instructions and recommended pressures.
Out of the box the scooter arrives partially charged. Completely depleted a full charge of that big battery can take up to 9 hours. The connector is situated on the left of the scooter, under the deck lip, covered by a red magnetically-seated rubber flap. The adaptor LED will switch from red to green when complete. Charge level is displayed in 5-segments on the stem-mounted, revised display when powered up, or on the companion smartphone app. This display also features icons for bluetooth connectivity, headlights, overheating, service and more.
Operating the Pro Scooter
If you have ever ridden an electric scooter before the controls will immediately be familiar to you, a throttle controlled with your right hand, a brake controlled by your left. These are split by a bell and a glossy dashboard with recessed power switch.
The scooter turns on with a quick tap of this stem mounted button, accompanied by a beep and a quick self-test of the display. This same button is responsible for drive mode selection (double tap to switch power modes) , turning the lights on/off (press and hold for 1 second) and power down the scooter (press and hold).
The throttle is controlled by a thumb lever on the right hand side of the handlebar. Depressing it rotates it around the bar to a maximum of a quarter-turn when wide open. Like many of its competitors, the M365 Pro needs to be rolling (in this case over 3mph) before the motor will assist, thus with one foot on the deck swiftly kick off, then with both feet firmly planted on the deck apply the throttle to speed up.
That huge 12800mAh battery provides it the longest range of all the scooters we’ve tested so far. Xiaomi suggest that 28 miles (45 km) is possible under the right conditions, but our real-world tests suggest 20 miles is more likely. Few people we know are riding 10+ miles (in any one go) on their scooter but when travelling just a few miles a day the extra capacity does lengthen the interval before it needs charging again.
A 20% increase in motor-core size results in a torque increase most evident when climbing. With a light passenger the Pro scooter can now scale inclines up to 21% (12°).
Featuring three different ‘drive modes’ you have more choice over how you want the scooter to perform, assisting you when it comes to eking out those final miles with little charge remaining. Xiaomi have set the top speed in ECO mode to a glacial 9.3mph (15km/h), D(rive) mode to a more respectable 12.4mph (20km/h) whilst S(port) mode is required to hit that 15.5mph (25km/h) limited top speed.
As mentioned, to switch between them, double-tap the power button when the scooter is powered up, this can even be performed on the move. In reality, if not cruising along a promenade the majority of us ride around in the high-power S mode for the best performance, albeit at the expense of some range. The current mode icon will display under the new speedometer readout which is configurable in metric or imperial units through the app.
Robust folding mechanism
The folding mechanism design can appear daunting at first but the tried and tested system takes just minutes to master, allowing you to collapse the scooter in seconds. Rotate the plastic safety anti-clockwise, unhinge the quick release all the way down until the front latch lifts, then drop the bar down. As you lower the handlebars, align the bell so that it latches onto the rear fender catch, holding it in place.
When folded the scooter can carried by the handlebar, or stowed away under train seats / in the boot of a car. At a hefty 14.2kg you are unlikely to want to carry the scooter any distance, but when folded, take hold of the handlebar grips and the scooter can be dollied around on its front wheel.
To unfold the scooter, push the bar down towards the fender and lift the bell lever to release it from the catch, before raising the handlebars up and fixing the hinge quick release.
Similar to the original M365 scooter design, the mechanism will loosen over time and will need adjusting every 4-5 months (with an allen wrench and a couple of small spanners) should you use (and crucially, fold) the scooter daily. Early M365 scooters are beginning to show some catch wear resulting in a slack feel to the handlebars, this can be mitigated by purchasing a rubber damper which is compatible with this model.
Impressive ride comfort
Xiaomi have kept to the same directional 8.5 x 2 inch tyres with innertubes both front and rear. They offer great grip even in cold weather thanks to their soft compound, their width and tread resist hydroplaning well and they roll nicely too. Crucially, considering this models lack of suspension, the tyres have enough sidewall to deal with big shocks from deep potholes as well as the high frequency vibrations from hard, rough trails.
However there are two small downsides. Firstly the valves, which the position/length of can make inflation frustrating, even with the included adapter. Secondly the replacement of the tyres or even just the innertubes themselves. Even with the help of specialist tools they can be tight to replace, especially on to the hub-motor front wheel.
Preventative steps can be taken against the dreaded puncture. Some riders prefer to fit solid tyres, however we recommend adding tyre sealant. This avoids the compromises of range and ride quality the heavier tyres bring, whilst offering peace-of-mind that your journey will not end prematurely. As a bare minimum, ensure your tyres are correctly inflated.
Holding the throttle, even wide open can tire your thumb, especially on rough surfaces. Activating cruise control via the app can limit fatigue when riding. When enabled, holding the throttle at a fixed angle for 5 seconds will result in a beep, let go of the throttle and the scooter will continue along as if the throttle is still held at that point. Much like in a car, to disengage cruise you can either tap the throttle switch or the brakes.
Confidence inspiring braking and handling
Fans of the M365 heralded its mechanical disc brake as their favourite feature. In market where ‘brake-by-wire’ e-brakes have become the norm, the instantaneous feel, feedback and response from the brake lever, quickly builds confidence in novice riders.
The Pro improves on this design with a larger 120mm brake disc sat within a revised caliper with new pad retention design. This revised setup promises better braking performance, improved heat management and potentially an end to pad vibration.
Simply letting off the accelerator will automatically engage regenerative braking, with the scooter slowly decelerating to a crawl using the force to mildly recharge the battery. This kinetic energy recovering system strength can be weakened to allow the scooter to coast off of the throttle, but can also be boosted to increase the ferocity in which the scooter will slow.
Whilst marginal on paper, the increase in footplate length over the original M365 leaves more space for a pair of size 10’s and the hike in handlebar height brings the wrists up to a more natural position. These advancements alongside the under-the feet weight distribution and larger than average wheel size makes for a scooter with excellent balance, traction and handling. This is one scooter that you can confidently ride and corner at speed.
A scooter for all-seasons
Mounted on the front of the stem is a bright 1.1w LED sat in a reflector housing. As stated a one-second long press on the power button will turn this on, the same procedure will turn it off. Angled down it pool on the ground a few feet in-front of the scooter to light your way. As standard the taillight is lit whenever the headlight is but the taillight can be set ‘always on’ to increase visibility. Regardless of mode the taillight will flash quickly whenever the brake lever is pulled to indicate the vehicle is slowing.
Whilst the bell spends more of its time latched to the rear fender than being rung, it is always useful for warning others around you. Those fenders do an impressive job of keeping you dry when travelling over wet surfaces, although the scooters IP54 ‘limited ingress’ rating will mean avoiding any puddles deeper let alone hosing it clean.
Companion Smartphone Application
Xiaomi provide a companion app available on both Android and iOS. Connecting via bluetooth, the Mi Home app can provide battery level readout alongside trip details such as average speed and current riding mileage.
Delve deeper and it will provide you historical trip information alongside extensive battery condition details. It also provides adjustments for energy recovery strength level, enabling the cruise control, altering vehicle password settings and updating the firmware. From its home-screen the app can also ‘lock’ the front hub motor. Whilst it will not stop anyone carrying it away, should they try and push it along or ride it, the scooter will beep loudly.
Comparing the Pro Scooter to its competition
Offering a well-rounded package, the M365 Pro holds it own against its competition. Whilst it lacks the advanced suspension design of the ES2, the larger tyres offer better high speed stability, if an obvious vulnerability to punctures. The Xiaomi scooter doesn’t fold down to the svelte, compact footprint of the InMotion L8F, but its tall handlebars and large footplate make it the most comfortable for broad or taller passengers.
Xiaomi’s new display is a useful addition but one that can be retrofitted to the standard model (or bought pre-fitted) should your budget be limited. Only the Ninebot ES4 can match its range, but both weigh in a little over 14kg and sit at the heavy end of the market. The braking performance of Xiaomi’s scooters outperform the competition by far thanks to the combination of soft grippy tyres and a mechanical disc, making them the models to turn to in harsher climates.
Should you buy the M365 Pro?
Quiet in operation, reliable, comfortable to ride and with excellent range; There is a lot to like when considering purchasing a Xiaomi M365 scooter. This before you consider the impressive availability of aftermarket additions, not forgetting the active modification scene with third-party firmwares that can improve the performance of the scooter (for example, de-restrict the top speed) albeit at the cost of some range and lifespan.
If you are smaller and lighter than average, or should you already own one you may be happy with the original M365 electric scooter, however for new customers we feel the Pro’s improvements and refinements edge it ahead. It is a product that we can confidently and highly recommend to all our customers.
You can buy a Xiaomi M365 Pro scooter from our webstore today. As mentioned we have a whole host of spares available including tyres, inner tubes, brake discs and pads. There are also plenty of compatible accessories available from handlebar mounted phone holders to the aforementioned tyre sealant. Lastly, if you don’t currently have one, we recommend picking up a helmet and encourage all our customers to use safety equipment whenever riding one of our scooters.