EVALUATION

Varla Eagle One eScooter Review: A Tour de Force Both On and Off Road

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Varla Eagle-One

9.50 / 10

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The Varla Eagle One is an excellent eScooter and one which will thrill any person riding it. It might be on the heavy side, and have large overall dimensions compared to other eScooters, but this is one beast you'll want to tame again and again. Cost-wise, the price-tag might put some people off, but this isn't just a scooter for getting to work; this is a scooter that will be heavily involved in your playtime, too. Highly recommended.

Key Features

  • Performance scooter
  • High speed PEV
  • Battery powered
  • Customizable
Specifications

  • Brand: Varla
  • Weight: 77 lbs
  • Range: 40 miles minimum
  • Battery: 52V/18.2Ah Lithium-ion battery
  • Max. Load: 330 lbs (max), 265 lbs (recommended)
  • Lights: LED Front/Rear
  • Brakes: Dual disk brakes
  • Height Adjustable Handlebars: No
  • Foldable: Yes
  • Age Suitability: 16+
Pros

  • Great battery life
  • Incredible suspension
  • Fast acceleration and high top speed
  • Great for adrenalin junkies
  • Long battery range makes it great for commuting
  • Works well on and off road
Cons

  • Heavy and large
  • Expensive for some people
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The Varla Eagle One is an electric scooter. But it isn't just any scooter. This scooter is a big, bad, bully of a machine. It steals smaller scooters' ice creams and kicks sand in their eyes. Seriously, if you think you've ridden an electric scooter, you haven't until the Varla Eagle One has you tearing along at a terrifying 40 miles per hour, irrespective of the terrain.

The Eagle One retails at $1,699, which isn't unreasonable considering what you're getting for your money; which is an eScooter with excellent battery life, capable of high speeds, and with enough suspension to cruise so smoothly, you feel like you're riding it on a sheet of glass.

If you want an eScooter that chews roads up and spits them back out as ferrite dust, without you even noticing, the Eagle One is it. Here's why.

What's In the Box?

The absolutely gigantic box that the Varla Eagle One comes in has everything you need to rip up the local roads. You get:

  • Varla Eagle One electric scooter
  • Scooter charger
  • Spare inner tube
  • Four deck grip boards of various designs

You can also order several upgrades for the Eagle One, including a seat (which essentially turns it into a moped), a handlebar bag for storing small items, and some grippy off-road tires so you can tackle (almost) any surface the ground throws at you.

Now, you know what you get in the box, let's deal with assembly, as some components need fixing in place.

Constructing the Eagle One

varla eagle one handlebar front

In reality, there is very little you actually need to do in order to get the Varla Eagle One up and running, but those few things are all pretty important, like attaching the brake levers to the handlebar and fixing the handlebar computer in place.

With this in mind, prepare to do some manual hex key work in order to fix those handlebar components in position. You'll need to do more if you order the seat, as this fastens to the deck. I didn't review the seat, so I can't tell you how easy or difficult that element of the process is.

Other than that, if you want to swap the deck grip boards, it is simply a case of removing the existing one and sticking the replacement down. And that is really all assembling the scooter involves. Simple!

A Hulking Form

The Varla Eagle One is by far the largest electric scooter I have ridden. The wheelbase alone is just under 40 inches. Overall, it is just over 50 inches long, so it is quite hefty compared to most urban eScooters, like the Niu KQi3 which we recently reviewed here at MUO. The total width (at the handlebars) is 25.5 inches, and the deck itself is 9.1 inches. So, a brute.

Taking a tour around the scooter, from floor to handlebars, we have two 10-inch wheels with pneumatic tires. These wheels house the 1000-watt front and rear motors, and sturdy aluminum alloy mudguards sit just above. The mudguards also carry red reflectors, remembering safety first. You'll also notice the dual disc braking system if you look at the wheels.

Varla attaches the wheels to the deck with separate arms (as opposed to attaching the wheels through the deck itself, as with the Niu KQi3 mentioned earlier) which are bolted to the scooter deck. This affords them the ability to pivot around the connection point; an important factor when taking the dual shock suspension into account.

varla eagle one rear suspension

Speaking of which, the suspension is something to behold. The 4-inch springs don't just look effective, they work pretty damn effectively, too. But we'll discuss how effective those are later, when we talk about performance.

On to the deck, and the front and back edges hold the lights, while the bottom of the deck carries the 52 V 18 Ah Lithium battery. The battery has a charging port on the right-hand side. On top you have a locator for the seat (near the back of the deck, obviously), and the grip board. The front of the deck arches above the front wheel, and this is where the main rod sits.

The main rod folds back, and you lock it in place with a clamp. With the stem upright, the handlebars are at around chest height. The handlebars have left and right brake levers, and on the right handlebar is the key-operated switch to turn the scooter on, and next to that a battery voltage indicator (essentially this tells you how much charge is in the battery). The left handlebar carries the motor controls, which we'll talk about later.

The right handlebar also carries the control unit. This has a throttle trigger, power button, and mode button on the right, and the LCD Display on the left.

In terms of overall dimensions, the scooter measures 50 x 48 x 25 inches (the 25 being the width of the handlebars). It weighs 77 lbs, so don't be thinking you'll be hopping on and off trains, or up and down subway steps, with the Varla Eagle One. You won't. If you're going to the office on this scooter, then you'll have to make the full journey on it.

And that, thrill-seeker, is what the Varla Eagle One looks like. But how about operating it?

Smooth and Simple Operation

varla eagle one in use 1

The Varla Eagle One is incredibly easy to use. As with many eScooters, it is a case of pressing a button/lever and off you go. However, there are several modes of operation that work in various settings.

Dealing first with the motor controls, which sit on the left of the handlebar; this has two buttons, an orange one marked Eco and Turbo, and a red one with Single and Dual printed on it.

The Eco/Turbo button toggles the top speeds for each gear. With Turbo mode in operation, the scooter goes faster, while in Eco it will go slower, reserving battery. The Single/Dual button will toggle the use of one (the front) motor, or both motors. If you have both motors in operation, your scooter will accelerate faster.

I can confirm that these buttons both alter the speed and acceleration of the scooter respectively, thus doing their jobs. However, I should point out that you mustn't operate these buttons when you are riding, or you might find you have an accident. The scooter must be stationary before you operate the Eco/Turbo and Single/Dual buttons.

So, on to operation during riding. With many eScooters, they require you to push off first with your foot before the throttle will operate. Not the case with the Eagle One. Get on it, press the throttle lever on the right of the handlebar, and you're cutting through the streets like some sort of upright Ghost Rider before you know it (hopefully your head isn't on fire at this point, in which case consult a physician).

varla eagle one ride computer

The gears are easy to operate, too. Switching the power on will immediately place the Eagle One into first gear. Pressing the MODE button on the ride computer will shift gear into second gear and pressing MODE again will knock it up to third gear.

The first gear is the default gear that the Eagle One runs in. The max speed in first gear is 15 mph (which is the legal limit for eScooters in some countries, the UK included). At 15 mph, you're going to get much more out of the battery, but it doesn't get you anywhere particularly fast. Second gear has a max speed of 25 mph, which is (obviously) faster and more exhilarating. Third gear is where all the fun happens, with speeds of 40 mph possible.

Switching between gears is easy and is simply a case of reaching across to the MODE button when you want to go faster. Gear changes are smooth and you can feel the increase in speed and acceleration as you move up through the gears. Again, all very simple to operate.

Holding the MODE button for three seconds turns the front and rear lights on. As with the rest of the eScooter, a very easy option to toggle while you're riding along.

Braking is excellent. The front and rear disc-brakes allow for a controlled stop or a more abrupt stop in an emergency. The anti-lock brake system means you can adopt a safe stopping approach, as it (obviously) prevents the wheels from locking up, so you won't go skidding off into the path of other traffic if you have to slam on for any reason.

Pulling on the brakes causes the rear lights to flash, warning anyone behind you of your intention to slow down.

A very simple to operate scooter, in my opinion.

High-Powered Performance

varla eagle one front left

The Varla Eagle One is an excellent scooter if you're after something with a bit more bite than your average eScooter. Varla positions the Eagle One as a performance scooter… because it is. However, there is one thing I would avoid if you're using the scooter, which I'll come to shortly.

Battery performance is excellent. It holds its charge for 180 days even without use. However, you shouldn't leave it dormant for this long if you want the battery to last. Depleting it entirely through lack of use can actually damage the battery, reducing its efficiency.

During use, you'll notice the battery lasts well. I certainly did and have remained impressed by the device's performance in terms of battery life.

For example, a 7 mile round trip from home to office and back won't see the ride computer's battery indicator budge at all, especially if you make the commute in first gear. Varla's claim that the battery will keep you going for 40 miles means that the scooter will last you roughly a full working week, based on the above work-distance assumption.

As a minor caveat to this point, I work from home, so have only made short journeys on the Eagle One during testing, rather than major journeys spanning county borders.

However, even if you work further away from home, thanks to the speed the Varla Eagle One can reach, you can be at an office 20 miles away in just 30 minutes, give or take. The battery will obviously deplete at a higher rate the faster you go, though, so keep this in mind. You can just take your charger with you to overcome this, though, and charge at your destination.

Anyway, all this talk of work is boring and, frankly, not what the Varla Eagle One is all about. I took the scooter to some private land (a car park owned by a friend's company, for transparency, and as per local restrictions on the use of eScooters) to have a bit of fun on it, rather than pretending I'm heading out to the office.

varla eagle one skidding to a halt

This is what the Eagle One is all about. Tearing around the (thankfully) empty car park was an exhilarating experience, and one which would translate to any off-road setting, providing the kind of fun you'd expect hurtling around any expanse of land at 40 mph.

The car park terrain isn't exactly the smoothest, yet—despite my flying around the car park like a misfired rocket—the ride still feels buttery. This is thanks to the dual suspension, which chews through any bumps and divots like nobody's business, making the ride even more pleasurable.

Compare this to the Unagi scooter I also own, and you'll really notice the difference in the ride. The Unagi has no suspension. It also has solid tyres instead of pneumatic ones. So, riding the Unagi on anything other than sheet glass will certainly result in a few teeth rattling free. Not so with the Varla Eagle One, though. This is a perfect ride, no matter what surface you take to.

However, you know I'm a bit of a stickler for IP ratings, and the Eagle One carries an IP54 rating. So, this protects it against dust (the 5 in the rating), with any minor ingress of dust unlikely to cause damage. It isn't dust-tight, though, so I would avoid riding it in areas with very fine sand or dirt, such as right next to a beach. The rating also means the scooter can withstand splashes of water from any direction (the 4 in the rating). So, with this in mind, I would avoid exposing the scooter to torrential downpours.

Puddles are probably fine, as long as said puddle isn't so deep you submerge the deck, and therefore the battery, in water. This is an expensive piece of kit, so I would err on the side of caution, even with high-speed, off-road adventuring in mind.

The manual also states that you should avoid wet conditions if you want to ride your Eagle One. This likely means wet road surfaces, which could lead to you aquaplaning at 40 mph; a phenomenon which is terrifying enough in a car, nevermind on what is essentially a board with wheels controlled by a stick, with a lunatic manning the steering.

varla eagle one in use 2

Taking that into consideration, I highly recommend wearing protective gear. This, at the very least, means knee and elbow pads, gloves with wrist protection, and a helmet. Take it from someone who has tumbled at top speed from just a 15 mph scooter; roads hurt. You don't want this happening when you're hitting top speed on the Eagle One.

If you plan to take the scooter off road, then I suggest you invest in the off-road tires as well. The default road tires aren't suitable for all off-road surfaces (although they cope will with loose gravel). The supplied tires do not cope well with grass, especially if it is damp. They're quite smooth in comparison to the off-road tires, so will slip and slide everywhere on dewy grass.

Performance-wise, though, the Varla Eagle One outshines any other eScooter I've ever used. It might not be a little urban runaround, but it is one hell of a ride.

Should You Buy a Varla Eagle One?

Do you want to hurtle around almost any environment at 40 mph? Then yes, you should buy the Eagle One electric scooter. Admittedly, it is quite expensive, which will out-price it for some. However, adrenalin junkies are going to love this device and, if you are one of these people, I wholeheartedly recommend buying one.

Aside from the thrills and spills, the scooter offers an excellent alternative to taking the car on short journeys to the office. Anything up to ten miles away and you've got two days of battery in the tank before you need to recharge (which you can do at most office locations, anyway).

The Varla Eagle One is an incredibly fun ride, no matter what you use it for. As long as you're careful…

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