Brief introduction to the brand
Segway is a company founded in 1999 by Dean Lawrence Kamen. At the beginning, the company mainly produces the electric personal transporter.
In 2004, Segway produced its very first innovative electric quad vehicle concept, the Centaur.
In 2015, the Chinese company Ninebot, specialized in robotic transportation, acquired Segway. It thus recovers an international distribution network which counts more than 250 points of sale in 80 countries. Today, Segway-Ninebot produces a wide range of electric vehicles such as scooters, mopeds, go-karts, bicycles, as well as many robotic products for customers and companies. Segway also stands out for the Internet of Vehicles (IOV), which allows you to control certain vehicle parameters remotely, but also allows the manufacturer to reprogram your vehicle without having to go to the dealer.
The Powersports division was created in 2019. The company lands in Milan and presents three hybrid-powered all-terrain vehicles. Segway enters the Canadian market this year with its line of ATVs and SXS. I had the chance to test the Snarler AT6 SX of Segway on nearly 250km at the end of the summer, here are my impressions.
I have to mention Segway’s unique look for the design of this quad in general. The vehicle has its own identity, an original design. I like, first of all, the front end with its LED lights and its colored front grill, it makes a change. Then, when I walk around the vehicle, I notice many new ideas. I notice for example the addition of rock sliders on the side of the running board, for an off-road vehicle, it’s an excellent idea. I also note the design and position of the seat. There is a lot of space for the feet but also for the knees, it’s perfect not to hit the fenders in a rough trail.
Overall, it’s impressive to see the quality of the parts used, including the chromoly steel frame. It’s big, the welds are impeccable. The assembly quality, the alignment of the plastics and the finishing is really impressive. I note that there is still a good amount of space under the vehicle in the back, I guess that this space will be for the addition of the hybrid engine. The molded plastic luggage doors add a nice finish. I note that there will surely be a range of accessories available soon. In general, the design makes some competitors who have been on the market for years and remain at the status quo think twice.
Motorization – drive gear
Segway makes its own motors. For the vehicle under test, it’s a 570cc single cylinder engine that develops 44hp and just over 35lbs ft of torque (48nm), which is within the norm for a vehicle in this class. It is equipped with a CVT transmission. As for the drive wheel, some models will ride in 2wd or 4wd mode with the ability to only lock the front differential. The model I’m testing, the SX version, also has a rear differential with the possibility to lock it (2wd or 4wd).
Versions and equipment
Segway is available in three versions this year, i.e. the short version S (S for short -1 seat) or long (L for long – 2 seats). The models are also available in three colors (white, black and gray) with color accents, the test model is gray with blue accents. The basic version for the 1-seater is the SE, the test version is the SX, the best equipped. It is worth to mention that all Segway models have an electronic power steering as standard. All models have safety plates under the vehicle. In addition, all vehicles are road legal, so they include mirrors, turn signals and horns. All have a front bumper and a rear roll bar. Note that the test version also has a 3000lbs winch. I also note a 7-strand trailer plug as well as a block and a 2-inch ball, available as standard.
The front suspension arms are double wishbones, same thing for the rear. The wheels have a travel of 7 inches in the front and 8.3 inches in the rear and a height of 10.6 inches under the vehicle. As for the shocks, those of the test version are Segway gas shocks adjustable in compression and rebound, which will not be available on the lower model.
Tires and Wheels
The base version has 12-inch rims on 25-inch wheels. The test version has 26-inch Wanda tires on 14-inch wheels. In addition, these rims also have beadlocks.
Segway innovates on this side by offering many options that can be done via a phone with the Bluetooth protocol. For example, to be able to consult the mileage traveled, the fuel gauge. It is possible to start the vehicle remotely and use the phone as a key. It is also possible to add an SOS contact and your contact will receive an alarm if you have an accident. You can also ride as a team and see the GPS position of your friends, a practical function to avoid following them too closely in the sand. It is also possible to consult the performance of your vehicle in real time: speed, torque, acceleration. Segway updates the application regularly and there will be more and more options available over time.
My test drive
From the start, I was very impressed with the vehicle, especially for a first generation. The power is good for this displacement, the engine gives a good performance, the torque is good. The CVT transmission does a good job. Acceleration is crisp and linear throughout the range and I like the sound of this engine, the exhaust is not too noisy. Absolutely nothing to envy to its competitors in terms of performance and road handling, considering the weight of 792 lbs. One of the things I noticed very quickly was the quality of the suspension and the chassis, it’s strong and stable. You can see that it is designed to support a larger engine and later a hybrid engine. The vehicle does not pitch and it absorbs bumps well.
My riding position on the ATV is good and I appreciate having so much space for my feet, but also for my knees. Moreover, the foot brake is excellent, well positioned and well calibrated. The vehicle brakes very well over a short distance with a feeling of safety. The power steering has three modes, in my case, I can’t tell you on which mode I rode. What I can say is that the mode I was riding in was sensitive and I felt a lot of the ground in the handlebars (feedback). I found it a little too sensitive at higher speeds, but nothing that restrictive compared to other tests I’ve done this year. I hope to have the chance to try the other modes in the future. The LED display screen reads well in daylight and has a wealth of useful information.
I like the fact that there is a USB port, a 12 volt port and the lockers are sealed and lockable. The handlebars and buttons are well placed. Being designed for the road, the tires run smoothly on asphalt but also do a good job on the trails. The quality/price ratio is excellent if I consider everything that is offered with the version I am testing. It is difficult to assess the long term reliability, but the vehicle is still guaranteed for 18 months and it is possible to extend this warranty.
On a less positive note, here are a few things to improve. First of all, if I refer to the display screen, several elements are displayed too small, for example the fuel gauge. It is difficult to consult it while driving, especially off-road in the bumps. The seat is very well made and is comfortable over short distances but becomes very hard over long distances. I would have appreciated a little more padding. One thing I would have liked is to be able to change the power steering mode without my phone. You have to assume with this vehicle that you always have to bring your phone with you, but in my case that is not always the reality. It’s even more of a hassle if you’re borrowing this vehicle from a friend.
Also, the buttons on the right sleeve for the gears should be better indicated, the icons are all identical. It is not clear what the function is unless you read the user manual. The steering of the wheels could be a little better, be aware that you won’t be turning on a dime, but that’s not so much a constraint. The gear selection lever works well in general, but it is much harder to engage and select gears when on a slope. I have to make a maintenance mention for the many grease points under the vehicle. The last thing to improve is the 600lbs towing capacity, which is below its direct competitors.
To conclude, Segway arrives on the market with an interesting product and directly tackles the competition with a product with an innovative design. I don’t know how the brand will evolve over the next few years, but what is certain is that Segway is coming up with new ideas, a new mentality. Several hybrid models will be added to the existing range of vehicles and this is even more interesting than an electric vehicle at the moment. The reason is quite simple, there are not yet enough electric terminals to support an electric Quad network. I would like to thank Segway Powersports Canada, Eskape.ca and Infoquad.com for allowing me to do this test.