Gogoro Philippines unveiled its electric scooter lineup last November, followed by the pricing announcement in December 2023. The price swayed many potential buyers when they learned about the steep price and the additional mandatory monthly fee of at least 800 pesos for battery swapping. Unfortunately, there were no alternative options like pay-per-use or charging at home, leaving riders with a fixed monthly payment regardless of their battery usage.
Now, we finally get hands-on experience with the Gogoro S2.
Design and Build Quality
Let’s begin with the design and construction of the Gogoro S2 Premium. The overall aesthetic features smooth, curvy angles that contribute to a cute and approachable appearance, rather than a sharp and aggressive one associated with speed. Positioned at the front are vibrant LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), which intelligently adjust their brightness based on the time of day. Housed within the DRL is the headlight, capable of emitting both high and low beams. However, I find the headlight somewhat disappointing, particularly in its high beam functionality. Unlike traditional motorcycles or cars where the high beam supplements the low beam, in this model, activating the high beam results in the deactivation of the low beam. Additionally, the facia includes rubber bushings at the center, possibly serving as a provision for attaching accessories as needed.
The dashboard of the Gogoro S2 Premium strikes a balance between simplicity and intuitiveness. It effectively displays essential information such as speed, odometer readings, tripmeter details, remaining range, signal indicators, and various warning signs. Positioned at the center of the dash is the capacitive Go button, requiring a press to start the scooter.
The buttons on the dash gives a premium feel, distinguishing themselves from those on other electric bikes. They are conveniently placed for easy reach, and users familiar with traditional motorcycles will find a seamless transition without a steep learning curve. Below the handlebar, there’s a compact compartment. While it may not accommodate larger smartphones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it does house a USB port for charging devices, complete with a small hole for cable management a commendable touch by Gogoro. Additionally, a robust and deep hook is provided underneath the handlebar for securing groceries during errands.
The step board of the Gogoro S2 Premium provides ample space for my legs, even with a pillion rider. Moving to the side profile, it maintains a clean and straightforward appearance, featuring retractable pillion footrests that seamlessly flush when not in use. Now, let’s proceed into the compartment, which can accommodate a half-face helmet but falls short for a full-face helmet due to the presence of the two Gogoro batteries housed inside. An appreciated addition is the anti-odor feature that prevents unpleasant smells within the compartment.
Turning attention to the rear, the taillight mirrors the brightness and visibility of the front, ensuring clear visibility during nighttime rides. Integrated within the taillight are the signal lights, contributing to the scooter’s overall sleek design. However, the grab bar, positioned at the tail rather than the side, may pose a challenge for the pillion rider to hold comfortably.
In summary, the build quality of the Gogoro S2 Premium exceeds expectations. It impressively avoids unnecessary squeaking sounds, even when traversing uneven roads or rough terrains, setting it apart from other scooters I have tested.
Performance / Range / Battery
Let’s proceed into the performance aspect of the Gogoro S2. Notably, this electric scooter offers a customizable power adjustment through its app, providing users the flexibility to tailor the performance to their preferences. Additionally, there’s a convenient one-click button for activating the performance mode, clearly indicated by a racing flag on the dashboard, unleashing the scooter’s full potential power. What impressed me most was the remarkably smooth power delivery paired with rapid torque, a departure from the common issue of abrupt initial power in many electric scooters that can be intimidating when aggressively throttled. The Gogoro S2 maintains a reassuringly smooth power delivery even under hard acceleration.
Accelerating to 50 kph in less than 5 seconds is a proof to its impressive acceleration capabilities, with a personal top speed reaching around 100 kph. It’s worth noting that activating the performance mode will reduce the overall range up to 50% of expected range, but the convenience of swapping batteries at nearby GoStations in under 30 seconds mitigates any range concerns. While the availability of GoStations may currently limit the extent of long rides, the expectation is that as more stations become available, riders will have greater freedom to explore locations such as Tagaytay, Tanay or any other destinations.
The typical range per swap is around 70 kilometers, do take note that this is in “walwal mode” no range anxiety in mind just riding it hard as I can.
In summary, the Gogoro S2’s power delivery is more than sufficient for everyday city commutes and even lends itself well to spirited weekend rides, providing an overall impressive performance.
Let’s talk about how the Gogoro S2 rides. The suspension, especially in the front, is a bit stiff for my liking. The back suspension is adjustable, which is nice, but you can feel the bumps on the road, especially on roads like Edsa. It can feel a bit like a roller coaster, and after a ride, my hands can feel a bit numb.
The seat is low, which is good for beginners and makes it easier to filter through traffic at slow speeds. However, the downside is that the scooter has low ground clearance which could scrape the bottom part of the scooter. This is good for speed and taking corners, but it can be a problem on uneven roads with bumps.
Despite the bumpy ride, using the Gogoro S2 in Metro Manila is less tiring, whether you’re stuck in traffic or moving along. The low seat height makes it easier to handle during city commutes.
The Gogoro S2 boasts a variety of features that enhance its functionality. One particularly handy feature is the automatic cancellation of signal lights, addressing the common oversight of forgetting to turn them off occasionally. The IQ System introduces several conveniences, such as using Apple Wallet for scooter unlocking instead of the dedicated card. Additionally, Apple Find My integration allows users to track the scooter’s location through the Apple Find My app. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is another notable inclusion among the array of features provided by the IQ System, and a comprehensive list of these features can be found on the Gogoro website.
The Gogoro app complements the scooter experience by facilitating tasks such as locating GoStations, locking and unlocking the scooter, adjusting power settings, and more. However, it’s essential to note that, unlike some models with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), the Gogoro S2 incorporates the Synchronize Braking System (SBS) or combi-brakes in conventional motorcycles, ensuring optimal braking performance.
For a detailed overview of all features, the Gogoro website offers a comprehensive list. Moreover, the scooter’s commitment to continuous improvement is noteworthy, as it regularly sends software updates to solve software-related issues and introduce new features, resembling the update process seen in smartphones. This dedication to enhancing functionality contributes to a dynamic and evolving user experience.
Cost of Ownership
In terms of the cost of ownership, the Gogoro S2 Premium comes with a price tag of Php 255,000, which may appear steep when compared to traditional scooters. However, it’s important to recognize that the Gogoro S2 targets a different market and offers better quality compared to its counterparts. While the initial investment is higher, you are getting a reliable electric scooter with above-average build quality.
It’s worth noting that if the price seems high for you, it might be because you’re not currently in the target market. As prices potentially decrease over time, there may be increased interest in owning one, considering the unique experience and enjoyment it brings. The ownership cost involves an additional expense of at least Php 800 per month for battery swapping at GoStations, totaling nearly Php 10,000 per year. This cost, however, ensures that you won’t have to worry about battery degradation, as you can regularly swap it for a well-maintained one.
Comparatively, for the same price, you could explore alternatives like the CFMOTO Zeeho AE8, which comes with ABS and the convenience of home charging without a compulsory monthly payment. Alternatively, there’s the CFMOTO NK450 for those seeking an express legal bike. Ultimately, the choice depends on individual preferences and priorities.
Parts and Accessories
Most necessary parts and services for the Gogoro S2 Premium are readily available at their service center. Additionally, for those interested in accessories, a selection is offered at their flagship store in Makati. This ensures that users can conveniently access the required components and services for maintenance and customization, providing a comprehensive and hassle-free support system.
In conclusion, the Gogoro S2 Premium electric scooter stands out for its unique design, advanced features, and impressive performance. With a focus on user-friendly technology, smooth power delivery, and a comprehensive set of features such as the IQ System, the scooter offers a premium riding experience. While the initial cost may be higher, the investment ensures a reliable electric vehicle with accessible parts and services. The monthly battery swapping fee contributes to worry-free ownership, emphasizing convenience and long-term sustainability. As riders look forward to GoStations becoming more widely available in Luzon for extended journeys, the Gogoro S2 Premium proves to be a compelling choice, delivering an enjoyable and futuristic urban commuting experience. Personally, I would wait until more GoStations are established in Luzon, but with extra cash on hand, I would purchase this product without hesitation, recognizing it as a truly exceptional and worthwhile investment.