Ather Rizta Z 2.9 kWh First Ride Review: Almost Perfect

Published on 24 May, 2024, 4:18 AM IST
Updated on 24 May, 2024, 4:18 AM IST

Jehan Adil Darukhanawala
6 min read
Car & Bike reviews
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TVS Ather Rizta Z

Ather’s change of focus has worked well but there’s still room for improvement

Think Ather and you are instantly filled with a sense of thrill and excitement because that is what the brand has been able to deliver for the past six years with its 450 platform. However, from 2024 onwards, Ather is changing focus a bit. It wants to become homely, welcoming and friendly to all riders of the family, not just for the young at heart. Hence, the Ather Rizta is a very important e-scooter for the firm. Does it seal the rishta for your family’s commuting needs?

Stylish And Not Sporty

As futuristic and alien as the 450 X, 450 S and now the 450 Apex look, the Rizta is equally as simple, straightforward and conventional. And yet, it can be termed as stylish and a handsome looker, especially in the dual tone colours found on the Z trim that we have on the test. It brings about that sense of approachability and eye comfort that potential buyers stayed away from when they took a look at Ather’s sportier offerings. And yes, it is fairly reminiscent of the TVS iQube but both are easily recognisable when parked next to each other.

Ather Rizta Z

Seated Comfortably

Shorter riders will be happy to hop on as the seat height is just 780 mm. Larger set riders would find the long, flat seat to be quite roomy to find their favourable riding posture. Taller riders needn’t worry either cause the floor space is generous enough to gobble up a small suitcase, so their feeting won’t be much of an issue. Even when executing sharp U-turns, the handlebar doesn’t foul with your knees. And since it is packing the largest seat fitted to an Indian scooter, ICE or electric, two generously proportioned riders can sit very comfortably.

Even the 165 mm of ground clearance is decent enough to crawl over any major humps that one might encounter on their daily commute. The 119 kg heft might be a bit much to hustle in the parking lot but nothing too strenuous on the go. Sadly, there’s no main stand to prop the Rizta on, something that Ather feels isn’t quite as necessary for electric scooters as there’s no kick starting the electric motor as you would on ICE scooters.

Ather Rizta

So, clearly, Ather has addressed the comfort angle from the 450s from the ergonomics view. But what about the ride?

Bumpy Ride

Here’s the sore point of the Rizta as the family-friendly quotient isn’t quite as high when one negotiates bad stretches of tarmac. Compared to the 450X and 450S, there’s a remarkable difference in bump absorption. However, there’s still a firmness to the ride that you do not really expect from a family scooter. Ather needs to tune this to be a bit softer and more pliant than what it currently is. When speaking to some of its officials they did state that since the underlying 450 platform is the same, Ather couldn’t really go that far in making the Rizta mushy and plush. So, commutes might be a bit tough if the roads in your area are under construction or non-existent.

Convenience Galore

Thankfully, there’s quite a bit of storage space underneath the long seat of the Rizta, 34-litres to be precise, which is large enough to fit a daily backpack and even my riding jacket and gloves. Ather claims it will fit two half face helmets or 1 full face basic ISI-rated one. It does manage to gobble up a few ECE-certified helmets too but if you have larger shell sizes, chances are that the seat will not close.

Ather Rizta

Must Also Buy

If you do pick up the Rizta, we would say that two items from the accessories catalogue must be bought in conjunction with the e-scooter. Firstly, the USB charging dock that supports 18W of charging, which should be enough for most phones, tablets and even some laptops.

More importantly, Ather has devised a very clever storage organiser for the boot space. This has the capabilities to hold a lot of knick knacks and groceries. And once filled to the brim, there are carrying straps to use it as a carry bag, or, as Ather CEO Tarun Mehta calls it, a Thela. It is just so simple and cool and we wonder why no one else could come up with this clever bit sooner.

Neutral Handler

As it is built on the existing 450 platform, the Rizta’s handling was bound to be quite decent. It isn’t sharp or corner happy but fairly neutral and sure footed when negotiating the bends. The tyres are a bit of the low rolling resistance kind and yet the grip levels were far more than adequate for the task.

Ather Rizta

The Rizta stops decently too. For a CBS setup, the rear end does tend to step out slightly under hard braking but nothing to worry about in general. 

Humble And Likeable Performance

We were riding the mid-spec 2.9 kWh Z version of the Rizta. The motor has a peak power rating of 4.3 kW and the top speed is restricted to 80 kmph. The claimed real world range in Smart Eco is 100 km and would drop down to about 75-80 km in Zip mode. 

Ather has kept the riding experience fairly simple on the Rizta, just two modes with honest performance capabilities. So, if you get the e-scooter with the Pro Pack, you get Smart Eco and Zip ride modes. In Smart Eco, the Rizta will comfortably commute at speeds up to 50 kmph but it does tend to get slightly monotonous. If you would like a bit more oomph but then Zip provides you that right balance of effortless commuting with a bit more juice to get past slow traffic. Ather has tuned the Zip mode in such a manner that it is quicker than the Ride mode but slower than the Sport mode of the equivalent 450 S trim. 

Ather Rizta

Mind you, we got the scooter with 85% charge at the start of the day and primarily rode in Zip mode with speeds higher than 55-60kmph for the majority of the time. Hence, the range we got on our short ride was roughly 43km from this mid-spec 2.9 kWh variant. How much would it be in the real world? We’ll answer that once we get it for a proper real world test.

Safe, Smart And Superb

With the Ather Stack 6, Ather has kitted out the Rizta with quite a lot of safety tech that even the 450s don’t quite get. For starters, the Magic Twist feature to slow down the scooter by using forced regenerative braking is superb but it is something that requires time and muscle memory to get used to.

It has SkidControl that is basically traction control but Ather claims that since it can be monitored a 1000 times quicker than what you could on an ICE two-wheeler, the system’s intervention is far smoother and we sort of tend to agree on that. 

Ather Rizta

Lastly, amongst the many other features, the Rizta will come with Live Location Sharing to a preset contact without you having to remove your phone to do so. The feature is still in development and hence couldn’t be tested here but one would be able to do that by simply pressing the joy cube right thrice.

Rizta Pukka?

Price (ex-showroom Bengaluru)

Rizta S 2.9 kWh

Rizta Z 2.9 kWh

(on test)

Rizta Z 3.7 kWh

Effective Price

₹ 1,09,999

₹ 1,24,999

₹ 1,44,999

Additional Pro Pack Cost

₹ 13,000

₹ 15,000

₹ 20,000

So rishta manzoor between the Ather Rizta and your family? Well almost. The Rizta Z does sit two family members comfortably, has performance capabilities that are likeably exciting, scores highly when it comes to convenience and since it is an Ather, has clever tech that left us wondering, why hasn’t anyone else thought of such a thing before? The bug bear remains the firm ride that might not be to everyone’s liking. So, if your commute involves riding on buttery smooth roads, then one should definitely look at the Rizta. Else, it might be a bit challenging.

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