On getting my Niu

First Published 4th October 2021 

I’m no stranger to motorcycles. 

I’ve been riding powered two wheelers since I was 23, that’s 43 years. But I’ve never been into the ‘bike scene’ and never had anything with an engine bigger than 250cc. 

My list of bikes with engines includes Honda C90, MZ 250/1, Gilera Runner, Piaggio X9, Sym Joyride – and importantly for this blog a Tomos moped.

The Tomos was a Yugoslavian 50cc true moped, with pedals and a self-destructing exhaust system. It was sold in the UK – so I’m told – by the retail chain Woolworth.
It was a horror to ride. It wasn’t uncomfortable, it wasn’t particularly unreliable – it just needed a lot of attention. But it was slow. Yes, it would do the statutory 30mph, eventually, after about 10 minutes of downhill riding.
And it had no acceleration to speak of, which made it a dangerous nightmare at traffic lights with modern cars lined up behind you itching to get up to at least 20mph before the next set of lights. I sold it.

My most recent motorbike was a Sym Joyride 171cc scooter. Utterly reliable, fast enough to keep up with motorway traffic, and completely without character or soul. I’ve just sold it.

I’ve decided to buy a NIU UQI GT Pro (now there’s an alphabet soup of a model). Which is a 30mph electric moped – or eMoped. It is NOT an electric scooter! It needs a licence, insurance, helmet and about £2000 in the bank to ride, the Vehicle Excise Duty is free.
It’ll do 30mph and I gather has a range of about 30 miles on a full charge.

So why on earth am I going from a 75mph machine to a 30 mph machine?
How long have you got?

  • I’m not getting any younger (I’m 66) and I notice my reaction times slowing down – on a motorbike you need all of your faculties!
  • I’m not doing many miles on my motorbike, cost per mile, when you include MOT, servicing, tax and insurance is stupid money. Added to this, I’ve now got a bus pass, which gives me even more options.
  • All my motorbike journeys (even before Covid) are local – within a  generous 15 mile radius.
  • The Sym is 10 years old – it’ll start getting hard to find parts if it becomes unreliable.

So this blog is to record my thoughts on how I make the transition to the slow lane and how I manage with a battery on wheels.Delivery is in about 10 days (when I’ll talk about the dealer, ordering, and delivery)
Wish me well!