Ampere V60 Ownership Review by Manu

by Deepak on March 5, 2013

“With news of petrol prices skyrocketing to levels greater than that of Mount Everest, I would strongly urge we sell our Kinetic and buy an electric vehicle” thundered my dad over his breakfast. I looked at him as though he had just uttered a vulgar word, for I am and always will be a petrol head and would stand by the internal combustion engine until the last drop fossil fuel is squeezed out of the earth’s soil.

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The next few days I tried to think of excuses such as getting a shock from the electrical circuit during rains so that my dad wouldn’t make a blunder. But before I knew it our family was a proud owner of an Ampere V60. A striking red a scooty like form stood in my basement and at once I abhorred its presence. I decided to stick to my bike and let my parents use the vehicle judiciously until one day my bike was to be given for service.

It is human nature to dislike change and I met the bike with very much the same feeling. Walking to the bike I inserted the key and a few lights flashed on the consol, immediately the battery level indicator rose to full and I was ready to go. No ignition, no kick start all I was to do was accelerate. Convenient I thought to myself as I carelessly twisted the throttle and the bike gently began to glide forward with an almost silent hiss that would only annoy dogs that heard such high frequency squeals.

Every Signal I stopped at I was greeted with a friendly Bangalore smile followed by the evergreen question “How much CC saar? How much mileage?” I was flabbergasted by this question because I honestly didn’t know. I went back home and ruffled through the instruction manual and here’s what I found out.

Engine Cubic Capacity: Nope doesn’t have one
Battery Capacity: 60V (Hence the name).
Motor Power: 250 W
Charging Hours: 6 – 8 hrs
Distance on Full Charge: 60 Kms

Well if you’re a science student I’m sure you know exactly what the 60v’s and the 250w’s mean. But to me it made no sense it just looked like reading the back of a plug point. So let’s look at some of the features of this bike from the eyes of a common man.

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The bike has an unusual liking for LED lights. As soon as you turn your head lights on the face of the bike lights up like the UFO’s we see in Alien movies. I do not really see the purpose of those lights as they make a very ordinary looking bike extraordinarily hideous and mind you ordinary is good.

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They have fitted it with a white head light which is powered by LED bulbs. Surprising how something that consumes such less power can illuminate the road very adequately. However this seems to work only in high beam as in low beam the light is almost as good as switched off.

There are indicators on either side of the handle bars and the back of the bike which are well positioned and apt. On the contrary it can be noticed that the controls for all this on the handle bar are placed a tad bit too far for the normal human thumb to reach which makes it quiet inconvenient as you have to look down every time you wish to turn or make noise at fellow riders.

When you make market trips you realize you require a hook to latch your bags to. Yes they have thought of that don’t worry, but then u realize it is as useful as your appendix cause the hook is just too small to fit any bag with handles bigger than a few microns. If this hook were to be made a little bigger or if a retractable hook similar to the one provided in a scooty were placed it would do a lot better.

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There is however a carrier on the back of the bike where you may place and fasten luggage with the help of strings. But this I’m not sure would assist the vehicles performance. There is also a very spacious under seat storage due to the absence of a petrol tank and this can easily fit a full size helmet or even a moderately sized bag.

Later you decide to have a friend over and show him the bike and he says let me ride it. Its then that you realize they somehow seemed to have forgotten the rear foot pegs. In a design that is inspired by the Honda Dio where the pillion mounts their foot on the riders thighs I find it highly uncomfortable on the makeshift footrest molded into the body of the bike, especially when u have a slightly older person sitting on the bike.

The bike surprisingly sports a step up seat which is commonly found in race bikes or zippy street bikes youngsters buy. This is slightly uncomfortable especially if you’re going down a slide every time the vehicle breaks as they are placed in an unusually inclined angle. The bike sports a common set of drum brakes.

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I guess Flintstone would have occasionally felt at home with them because I sometimes found it necessary to use of my footwear to bring the vehicle to a halt. Then there is the suspension which is a tad too hard for India roads. Every time you went up and down a pot hole you were at the threat of having a slip disc.

So this then you must be wondering is a terrible bike, but you’re wrong. It is in fact really good. You may curse when old ladies in their scoterettes over take you or when your friends in their Yamaha’s and Dio’s do doughnuts around you. But in the mad rush of Bangalore traffic where you’re stuck between 15 and 20 kmph.

A top speed of 48kmph suddenly sounds godlike. You might not reach your destination earlier than others but you surely aren’t going late. You don’t need a registration cause its RTO certified and not required. You don’t need Insurance and no more petrol bills that run to pages.

Imagine that smirk you can have on your face when you reach work at the same time as someone who jus burnt 100 bucks worth of fuel to get there when what went out of your pocket is enough to buy a Cadbury Perk. Now you are suddenly filled with a sense of green as there are no emissions cause you can feel plants pop out of the soil and sprout leaves as you pass by.

You don’t need a helmet to ride one of these and cops can’t catch you for a lack of one either but wearing one for safety is recommended. You fully charge it and it goes around 60 kilometers. It’s light enough to be picked up and parked conveniently while simultaneously heavy enough to stand in a strong wind.

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Its got a side stand and a center stand and is priced around 45,000. This now somehow seems to be a serious competitor to the gearless commuters. So I the self claimed petrol head would definitely recommend this bike if it had better brakes, suspensions, a more comfortable seat and rear foot pegs. So if anyone from ampere happens to read this you could give yourself a pat on the back a job well done.

Final Verdict

  • Design – 3/5 (Ugly Lights)
  • Handling – 2/5 (Bad Brakes and Suspension)
  • Performance – 4/5 (45 kmph, climbs up slopes easily)
  • Comfort – 3/5 (seats and foot pegs)
  • Economy – 12/5 (12km per rupee, you couldn’t be more economical)

Should you buy one?

If you plan to use it as daily commuter to your place of work or college which is at least 10 to 15 kms away and you do a fair bit of travelling throughout the day then I wouldn’t recommend it. If you wish to use it within the city for short market trips and so on yes definitely the best buy.

Regards,
Manu S Jagan

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Avinash March 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Very good review. It’s easy to write a review when you have a high cc bike…you have so many things to talk about, but your review is one of its kind. Hats off to you! have a safe ride!

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Pushan March 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Interesting review Manu. I must say that while reading the first bit, I thought you hate the bike and then you go on to prove the opposite. I am in Bangalore pretty often and I can completely relate to where you are coming from. Overall, nice read.

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sivam March 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Dear, Thanks for your post. Battery is a important item in EVs. For my enquiry, a person with ULTRA said that his wife & children learned the driving.,That is the only use. Then it was sent to scrap yard.Pls come back with re-review after 3 months.I heard that battery need to be replaced after 8 or 10 months which cost around 10K.

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bahir March 8, 2013 at 12:11 am

its not true
yes it is that the battery will cost around 8-9k, but wont need to change it that early
of course it differs according to how you handle the think, over charging batteries will shorten the life for sure
I changed my ev’s battery after 21 months

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JK March 6, 2013 at 6:28 am

One of my friend owns this one. It’s very economic.
Nice look also. But as you said, the brakes and suspension could have been better.
And I like the two power modes.

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Amith March 6, 2013 at 8:48 am

These bike do not have a registration anyone can produce some fake id to dealers and purchase this bike imagine what if some one misuse this lke terroerists and anti social elements and one thing according to rules the speed of electric bike should not exceed 25kmph if it exceeds 25kmph the bike should be registered under rto and it should cover road tax etc like all petrol bikes but in order to avoid this bike manufacturers have stated its speed as 25kmph in manual of this bike and another think for every 2 years battery has to be changed so its not worth even a single penny of money

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bahir March 8, 2013 at 12:16 am

why it isnt worth the money???
just calculate the money one spends on the petrol with this one
it just need 1 unit of current for a full charge, how much wud that cost u?
now calculate the rs you would spend for petrol
you have to only spend 10k or so after 2 years of purchasing, no money is gone in servicing [engine oil, chain lube etc]

you do have a point abt its misuse

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manu March 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm

hi amit,
I agree to what you say I too put forward this argument to my dad when were to buy the vehicle.
But these bikes have like bikes have a chassis no and a motor no which is unique to each bike. And where the No plate is place there is a arai label which states a distinct I’d no by the mfg which makes it identifiable.
And as for the 25km speed limit. That was the old norm. It was later tested that with such a speed limit. The vehicle will not climb slopes and some times even speed breakers and hence they gave permission with a faster speed limit.
Newer version of the bikes comes with a over ride button. Where it travels at a slower speed but when on slope the button delivers additional power to climb it.

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Amith March 6, 2013 at 8:51 am

Its just use and throw bike sorry for those spelling mistake my cmments may hurt you but its fact

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manu March 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

hi amith,
I understand you feel that way a lot of people do. everyone has their opinion and I respect yours.
Thank you for reading the review though.

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Akash March 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Nice one…. :D

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faisal March 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I think this is the first electric scooter review, good one.

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Faann March 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Nice “electric” review.Felt a shock!

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manu March 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm

hi sivam,
I am not sure why ur friend called it a use an throw bike. But then again I’m no expert and so I do not know what the story was. but what I can confirm to you is my bike is now close to a year old, till today I have neither faced any problems nor have I had to battery issues. My battery life is as good as it was the day I had purchased it. But as per the manufacturer the battery needs to be changed only once in 3 yrs and yes it would cost around 8 to 10. But there is no service cost to be incured every 6 months. Do not mistake me I am not defending the bike merely stating facts. I would any day prefer 60kmph in a petrol bike than 40 in this one.

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Eco Green Bikes July 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hi,

We are authorized dealers for the SALES and SERVICE of Ampere electric vehicle at

Seshadripuram (Nearest LandMark : Mantri Mall, Malleshwaram)
Bangalore.

For more detailed info
Call us at 9738003889 or 080 – 23560178.

You can also check our Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/AmpereEcoGreenBikes

Reply

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