I’ve been an e-scooter enthusiast since 2019. Previously, when I worked overseas, I tried about 6 to 7 different brands of e-scooters, such as Lime, Lyft, Bird and more. But after returning to Malaysia, he had little chance of riding.
The skateboarding scene is fairly new locally and there aren’t that many options yet. So far, only 2 are active: Biga i Press (a local Mark). Neuron had entered the e-scooter scene in Malaysia as well, but for now has stopped operating.
Since I am an e-scooter addict, I thought I would try the two options we have so far to check their security features, price, availability, UX of their apps and the smoothness of these attractions. As e-mobility has become a more talked about topic in recent years, I also wanted to see how it came out on the scene for us.
Currently, the coverage areas of our electronic scooters are limited, with Beam scooters only available in the KL area, while Tryke scooters are only found in Cyberjaya.
When I visited one of their stations in Tamarind Square, Cyberjaya, the Tryke staff was really there to help customers with their services, which was convenient for first-time attendees like us. They had some scooters unlocked to test the first attendees before anyone decided to buy a trip. Please note that this will not be the case for all Tryke stations.
For attractions, they are priced at RM 0.50 per minute, but you can buy a 24-hour individual pass for RM 29 and a 24-hour couples pass for RM 50 (which would be RM 25 per person).
That day I bought the couple pass with my friend as we were planning to use the scooters for a few hours, so this was the cheapest option for us.
If you are a resident of Cyberjaya or work in the area, you can find these scooters almost anywhere in the bustling areas of Cyberjaya, such as shops, work areas, parks, etc. Most of these stations have at least five scooters in place. , therefore, availability is good for the area.
When you click on any station on your map, it will show you the number of these scooters available on each, the battery percentages of each scooter, and how many miles you can travel with them. You can also sound the scooters if you are near these stations to identify the scooter you want to use.
Buying passes and unlocking scooters were pretty straightforward. Overall, the UX app was good, which made it quite simple and useful for those who weren’t starting to use their electronic scooters.
Safety and smooth travel functions
Now, to get into the flesh of things. Tryke scooters are quite heavy, which makes them feel more stable and safe. But I’ve always preferred lighter scooters because they have less inertia, which makes it easier to move and lift the scooters if necessary.
There are two handle brakes on the scooter over a headlight and a bell to notify passers-by. As for the brakes at the bottom, you will need to drag the scooter towards you as you push the brake forward with your foot and it will hold firmly.
Now, the first time my friend and I went with the scooter, we wanted to go to the gardens of Lake Cyberjaya, which were about a 10 minute drive from Tamarind Square by the main roads. The idea of riding on the road was a bit daunting, especially when we had to cross junctions.
Luckily, the roads in Cyberjaya are not too rough and there was a designated bike lane by which we traveled most of the way to the destination (not yet available everywhere). This felt much safer, as we didn’t share exactly the same lanes as the cars.
It was very windy on the day of this outing, so it helped us to have our sunglasses on because there was quite a bit of debris flying in our face and no helmets with visors being provided.
On flatter terrain, the ride was not bad. However, on the most rugged roads and pavements, don’t expect a pillow ride. If you drive non-stop on more uneven terrain, your hands may harden a little due to the vibrations that travel the scooter to the handlebars, but a quick stop and rest will fix it. Because the scooter was heavier, I hesitated to go through higher potholes and uphill, so for those, I just dragged the scooter with me.
That said, the scooter is powerful and is also able to traverse these terrains easily. The hardest part is starting it uphill, which requires moving forward quite a bit as it is heavy.
Overall, though, there aren’t too many areas with steep climbs, unless Tryke is in Tamarind Square and maybe the park entrances, so it won’t be a major issue if you use Tryke elsewhere. and Cyberjaya. As we drove down the road, we saw at least one other experienced Tryke driver, so it’s safe to say that there are people out there who also do it for regular commutes.
Beam can only be found in the KL area, so my friend and I decided to go to Chow Kit station, where there was more space to use scooters casually.
Before mounting the scooter, we did the Beam Safe Academy contest on its app and got a RM5 credit in our wallets and some knowledge about road safety.
One amazing thing I learned from the quiz was that e-scooters can actually be used on KL roads, except that we will have to stay close to the pavements, which was quite the opposite of what DBKL had said.
Beam trips cost 0.60 RM per minute, but there were no 24-hour passes like Tryke, so my friend and I just loaded about 10 RM into our wallets to circulate for about 20 minutes.
Still, they have Beam credits where you can pay a little less for more minutes. They have 3 packages:
- RM10 for RM11 credits
- RM25 for RM30 credits
- RM50 for RM65 credits
It’s a bit more expensive than Tryke for the cost per minute and Tryke has the advantage of spending the day.
When my friend and I went to the first VCR station, there were no scooters, although they appeared as parking on the map. So we headed to another parking spot which was Chow Kit, and they had a fleet of 7 scooters.
The map changes to show you the availability and battery life of the scooters when you’re inside the area, so I couldn’t see them before because I was checking the map from outside the area. .
When I checked the map again, each parking spot had about four scooters with a decent battery life, so its availability within the KL area is pretty high.
Paying for the trip and unlocking the scooters was also pretty straightforward. When you click on a parking area on the map, they will describe the location in detail and include an image of where you can park your scooter.
Like Tryke, the UX app was generally easy and useful for first-time users.
Safety and smooth travel functions
Now, Beam scooters are lighter than Tryke’s, which I prefer, as mentioned above, and they also come with a bell and light.
They only have a lever brake, which works well and a brake at the bottom that you can throw out to keep your scooter like you would with a bicycle.
My friend and I mostly rode down the empty Jalan Kamunting road; fortunately, not many vehicles passed through that day.
Despite being lighter, Beam didn’t hesitate on the slightly more rugged roads and didn’t make me feel like I was losing my balance or falling if I accelerated a bit.
We tried to walk down the main road just to try it out, but the cars at full speed and heavy traffic scared us a bit, so we stayed close to the pavements and returned to the empty area after a few minutes. For better access and mobility, it would have been great to have bike lanes.
Although I didn’t see anyone else riding Beam that day, I go to KL often at night and have seen groups of people using electronic skateboards.
|Price||RM0.50 / minute or RM25-RM29 / day||0.60 RM / minute|
|Availability||Only in Cyberjaya, but spread over its bustling areas||Only in the KL area, mainly around KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Chow Kit, etc.|
|UX application||Shows you how many scooters, their battery life and how many miles you can travel with them on the map||It will show you many scooters on the map and their battery life, but only when you are in the designated area will you be able to ride Beam in|
|Security functions||Two lever brakes, one bottom, a bell and light||A lever brake, a bottom brake, a bell and a light|
|Advantages||Safer location (Cyberjaya has fewer cars and a designated bike lane)||Less inertia (which I prefer) which facilitates displacement|
|Disadvantages||More inertia I felt him move harder and lift his scooters when needed||Less secure location (no clear bike lanes at the top of busiest roads with more cars)|
Other things to note
Overall, I enjoyed both Beam and Tryke. However, I wish there were carriers for my bottle and phone on scooters. If it’s a hot day, having a drink with which you can take a sip easily while traveling would be good.
As for phone support, it’s because I (and many others, I think) would go to my destination using Waze or another map app. Holding the phone in one hand and trying to balance it with the scooter in motion is a dangerous move, especially because you’ll also be on the road (boot thieves are still a thing). How we overcame our navigational struggles was by stopping frequently and checking that we were up and running.
If a phone holder is also out of the question due to possible boot thieves, perhaps e-scooters could incorporate navigation features into the screens of e-scooters, where you can now control the speed and battery of the scooter. . Of course, those who use these scooters for their daily commute will probably not have much trouble navigating.
For me, the electronic scooter operations we have right now are not bad when it comes to technology. But if Malaysia wanted e-mobility to be more accessible, changes would have to be made to our road infrastructure. More bike lanes should be built in areas with more traffic to ensure the safety of riders, as driving on roadside and pavements is not the best solution.
It may be a few more years before further improvements are seen in this area, and it is a smart decision for e-skateboards not to pursue aggressive growth and expansion here, as it appears that our councils cannot yet reach a agreement on how they should work in Malaysia.