How I Bought An Electric Moped - An E-Rider Model 30

Previously I wrote about deciding to buy an electric moped - an E-Rider Model 30.

Update: The batteries failed after 4 months, were replaced under warranty and then failed again after another 4 months. I was then ignored and rudely told to deal with it myself. I'd highly recommend avoiding E-Rider.

This article describes what happens next, looking at the financial costs and time taken. Journeying through the licensing I needed, my E-Rider ordering experience, vehicle registration, buying equipment and the first ride.

CBT - Compulsory Basic Training

The license required to ride a motorcycle/moped is a bit complicated and depends on what sort of drivers license you already have (provisional, car), when you passed you car test, and what the class of motorcycle is. Thankfully the DVLA have a flow chart for you to follow to work out what you need to do and if you need to display L plates. The E-Rider Model 30 is classed in the UK as "AM" (moped).

I have a full car license, but I passed after 1st February 2001, so needed to do a CBT to ride the E-Rider Model 30 on the road. A CBT is basically a training day on how to ride a motorcycle, safely, on the road.

I decided to do a CBT before ordering the Model 30 in case I really disliked being on a motorbike. I made a booking to do the CBT in two weeks.

I booked my CBT with Safe Riders, near Brighton for £115. Safe Riders were fantastic, really enthusiastic, friendly and helpful without being at all alienating to non 'biker' people.

The CBT began slightly harder than I anticipated. I opted to do it on a 125cc geared motorcycle, rather than a twist and go 50cc moped, to give me more options in the future. But by the afternoon we were out on public roads and I'd pretty much got the hang of it.

The following day I ordered my E-Rider Model 30.

Buying the E-Rider Model 30

I paid £1295. I kept an eye on the price for a while whilst I was deciding on transport options. Full price is £1595 but at one point it was £995, and it's often around £1095.

The website worked fine, and they use PayPal for payments (which is great!).

They claim that delivery will normally be in 5 working days, mine took longer than that and arrived after 10 working days. During this time Ken from E-Rider was very responsive, and replied to emails sometimes within minutes. I understand the delay was with the delivery company, Network 4, who apparently sometimes have issues moving things between depots.

It was delivered by two very friendly delivery people, who put the bike exactly where I asked for it, they even stopped to have a little chat about the bike as they were curious about it! (Side note - they were using a modern Android app to record the delivery / signature which I particularly enjoyed)

Putting the E-Rider Together

This was probably the most challenging part.

To give you an idea of my skill level: I have no problems with Ikea furniture, I generally know what I'm doing with servicing a bicycle - things like adjusting brakes and gears, changing wheels / tyres / inner tubes, and as a child I used to help my Dad fix things on cars as he used a Haynes Manual and I passed him tools and parts whilst also holding bits in place.

The assembly instructions are incredibly minimal. Here some are some examples of the lack of detail: "Fit the remaining pieces of trim, the back box, mirrors and stand springs" and "Finally, adjust the headlight and brakes so that they are operating correctly". But no detail on how to actually do that...

I managed to put the bike together, but not with any pleasure. I needed basically every size spanner, a few screwdrivers, patience, time, and probably other tools I've forgotten since. If you're not confident with the minimal level of detail in the instructions then I'd highly recommend paying the extra £95 to have it assembled for you. I think I wish I had.

This isn't slot together flat pack furniture.

Registering the Model 30

To ride the bike on public roads, you need to register it with the DVLA and get a number plate.

The first step of this is emailing E-Rider once you've received the bike with the chassis number. Ken will then email you back very quickly telling you he's put some paperwork in the post.

You'll also need to acquire a V55/4 form from the DVLA to use to register the E-Rider Model 30, you can do that on their website, where they also provide a thrilling guide to filling out the V55/4. Ken's and the DVLA's paper work arrived a few days later and Ken had very kindly included an example V55/4 form so you know what most of what needs to be filled out.

This is where you learn that the E-Rider Model 30 is actually an imported and rebranded Dayun DYTDR605z. Fun fact.

Filling the form out took me about 45 minutes and the vehicle registration cost £55. I had to write my first cheque in 8 years... And 5th cheque in my life.

My registration came back about 2 weeks later.

Other Equipment

I ordered a number plate from my local Halfords for £20, I probably could have got it cheaper elsewhere but Halford was easy, nearby and open.

I also purchased a helmet from Halford for £45. My local Halfords in Brighton were incredibly helpful, there was an older gentleman who advised me and helped me choose the right helmet, choose the right size. He was one of the most friendly and helpful people I've met in a shop.

I purchased some gloves online from SPORTSBIKESHOP.co.uk (their choice of ALLSHOUTCAPS). I ordered this pair for £30 because a friendly older gentleman in Halfords once told me that Buffalo gloves are the best.

(A little while later I also ordered a thicker pair of winter gloves, also for £30)

Insurance for a year cost me £178, I used a price comparison website and got a free Meerkat doll.

The First Ride

After a few days my numberplate arrived and I spent an hour contemplating how best to attach it, and then about 5 minutes actually attaching it. It was then quite late in the evening and dark, so I waited until the next morning to take the bike out for ride.

I chose my commute to work as it's first ride, but leaving plenty of time. I was a bit nervous as it had been almost 6 weeks since I'd last been on a motorbike. But handling the bike was much easier than I'd expected. The electric bike was eerily quiet, all I could hear birds tweeting in the trees and the tire noise. It was great fun.

However this lasted about 5 minutes, at which point the battery indicator immediately went down to zero and the bike went dead. Uh oh. The bike slowed in the road and I pulled over to let the cars go past and then tried turning the ignition on and off. The power came back for about three seconds and then died again. I did this a few times, then cried on the inside.

I then proceeded to push the bike back home, uphill. Upon arriving home, very sweaty and upset, I sent Ken a very disappointed email. He replied in 45 minutes. Apparently some of the E-Rider mopeds have their trip switched mounted too high under the seat, causing the seat to depress the switch slightly and break the circuit. He advised me to reposition the switch a little lower down.

If it was a known issue I'd have preferred them to have checked their existing stock and fixed any issues before sending products out to customers.

So off the garage I went (again) and took the seat off, disconnected the switch, drilled some new holes, reattached the switch and put the seat back on. All without electrocuting myself. It took a little over an hour, and this resolved the issue. The ride later than evening went much smoother.

Time & Cost Summary

Overall, from ordering the bike to having it on the road took me just under 6 weeks.

It could have been a few days quicker if I'd ordered a number plate immediately, and filled out and returned the V55/4 form on the day I received it.

The E-Rider Model 30 cost me £1295 and the total other costs came to £473, making a grand total of £1768.

I hope this will have helped people thinking about buying an electric moped, and I will follow this up in the new year with my experience of the first 1000km.