BGauss RUV350 first ride review — 16-inch rims for the win?

BGauss has thrown a wild card in the e-scooter segment with the launch of the RUV350. Should you buy one
The BGauss RUV350 is made at BGauss' Chakan plant.
The BGauss RUV350 is made at BGauss' Chakan plant.BGauss

E-scooters have seen a significant rise in popularity in recent times. That has given rise to many start-ups coming up in recent years. One such brand is BGauss. Started over four years ago, the brand has quite a few products to its name. The first ones were the B8 and the D15, followed by the C12 last year and now the RUV350. All these mean that BGauss has a customer base of close to 40,000. However, just from the pictures, it’s clear that BGauss is trying something new with the RUV350. Have they nailed it? Let’s see. 

BGauss RUV350 design and features

If you recall the D15, you'll notice the RUV shares similarities with that scooter, including its wheel design. However, the brand claims there are other updates, which I'll discuss shortly. Regarding its design, some may find it takes time to get used to. Personally, I understand the brand prioritising functionality over aesthetics. During the press briefing, it was also said that the design allows for maximum natural air to be sent to the battery and motor through various vents which allows for cooler operation of the power components. You get an all metal body, dual-tone paint job options and LED lights all-around. The headlight is integrated in the handlebar and comes with a DRL. The rear also gets an unusual design language owing to the bigger rim. Despite that, you get 15-litre underseat storage, and 4.5 litres of storage under the footboard that is big enough to fit the provided charger. Considering how today’s chargers take up a significant part of the underseat storage, this is a rather nice feature from BGauss. The seat is 785mm high and it should be within reach and comfortable for most riders. 

The scooter comes in three variants, and the upper two variants get a 5-inch colour TFT display which can be controlled with the buttons given on either side of the handlebar. The display is photometric which means it can automatically adjust between day and night modes and also the brightness level. It gets two display themes as well. Since there is app connectivity (app only available for Android at the time of writing this review), you get connectivity features like navigation, call notifications, ride statistics, geo-fencing and live tracking. Other than these, you also get ride modes, cruise control and hill-hold, both of which work as expected. The screen is bright and clear and offers all the information you would need on display. 

All that being said, I certainly think the build quality can improve. There are uneven panel gaps and slight fitment issues which the brand should take care of. The button feel can also be improved while at that.

The BGauss RUV350 gets adjustable suspension at the back.
The BGauss RUV350 gets adjustable suspension at the back.BGauss

BGauss RUV350 chassis

The scooter’s most stand-out feature is obviously the 16-inch rims. They make it stand out from other scooters and pair that with a 1355mm wheelbase and a 160mm ground clearance, and you get a scooter that should be great on most of our roads. I say ‘should’ because we couldn’t test it on such a road. The test drives were held near the factory with clean roads as far as the eye could see. The only undulations were a few speed breakers which the RUV350 crossed rather comfortably. I wouldn’t go as far ahead to say that it rides like a bike but it certainly feels a lot more planted and stable through corners and straight roads than most of the scooters on the market. It also feels nimble and you can put it through corners a bit more spiritedly than with other scooters in the market, certainly those in this category. Its suspension setup — a telescopic front fork and a 5-step adjustable rear suspension further improve the confidence that you have while riding and will make rides comfortable for people of all sizes. The TVS Eurogrip tyres on offer are also a good move by the brand. Coming to the brakes, you get drum brakes on both ends equipped with CBS and while the initial bite is good, I would have liked a bit more braking power. While the platform urges you to have fun, I feel like the brakes hold you back a bit. As for the chassis, BGauss claims it has high torsional stiffness and in the time that I spent with the scooter, it did feel like a solid, well put together platform — one that should not cause any problems. 

BGauss RUV350 performance

This is where this scooter differs from the D15. It gets an all-new powertrain. The RUV350 comes with a 3kWh battery and a PMSM motor rated for 3.3bhp. 0-40kmph comes up in a claimed 5.8 seconds and the RUV can achieve a top speed of 75kmph — both in sport mode. In our tests however, there was no road big enough to achieve 75kmph. As for the range, BGauss claims a 135km ARAI certified range and a 120km true range, both of which need further testing to confirm. The lower two variants are expected to come with a smaller battery with up to 90km of true range but the figures haven’t been revealed yet.  The ride modes work as intended. If you can live with the slow acceleration of eco mode, that will give you the best range while sport mode makes the scooter a lot more punchier but the range takes a massive hit. By punchier, I of course don’t mean that it’s rapid, it just feels more comparable to an ICE scooter. The power delivery though is smooth and should be comfortable for riders of all ages and skill levels. Performance does take a hit when the gradient (slope) increases. But that is a common issue for electric scooters.

BGauss RUV350 verdict

BGauss has taken a bold step forward with the RUV350. To launch such a distinct product in the market which is getting more crowded by the day is certainly new. The RUV350 itself is exciting and offers an interesting proposition for somebody looking for a more comfortable daily ride. But it isn't without flaws and although I was assured by the higher-ups that they are working on improving fitment, only time will tell. Bear in mind this review comes to you after riding the scooter in the confines of the company’s plant in Chakan. For a clearer answer on whether you should buy it, we will have to spend a lot more time with the scooter in the real world.

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