Xiaomi M365 Alternatives: 9 Scooters to Get Instead of the Budget King
The Xiaomi Mi M365 Is No Longer Available in North America!
Updated 8/2023. This is not a scooter review of the Xiaomi Mi M365!
Chances are, you already know something about the Xiaomi M365 electric scooter, the scooter that started taking over U.S. streets after its introduction by Chinese electronics company Xiaomi (pronounced “Shau-mee”) in 2016.
The Xiaomi electric scooter became a base model for shared scooter fleets from companies like Bird, who launched the first “dockless” electric scooters in 2017 and rebranded the Xiaomi M365 as the now-extinct Bird One electric scooter (or as it came to be called, “the Bird scooter”).
The Xiaomi M365 scooter also won two prestigious design awards in 2017. Some would argue years later that it retains top honors as the ideal entry-level electric scooter.
Dozens of copycats have been deemed inferior to the original. Why? Because the M365 set the bar high for an adult electric scooter that could handle the rigors of the daily commute and also feel comfortable, safe, and fun to ride.
Then Xiaomi raised the bar again with the Xiaomi Mi M365 Pro. And while the Xiaomi M365 Pro, like its older sibling, is still one of the most sought-after entry level scooters around, we think there are many scooters on the market that are as good, if not superior to, this most popular scooter.
What Made the Xiaomi Mi M365 So Popular?
When Xiaomi first launched their Xiaomi Mi M365 scooter, there was little else that could compete with the scooter’s design, a practical balance of speed, ease of use, reliability, comfort, portability, and a fairly long range battery. In 2021, six years after its release, Rider Guide proclaimed the M365 “still the reigning king of electric scooters” for its continued relevance.
No wonder so many entry-level e scooters today still look like Xiaomi Mi M365 or Xiaomi Mi Pro M365 clones. For under $500 the M365 could do it all, mostly, from speed and portability to solid braking and decent range, and it’s so easy to ride thanks to pneumatic 8.5 in tires, wide stable deck, and low center of gravity.
Xiaomi M365 Mods, Repairs and Replacement Parts
Another reason the M365 gained widespread popularity has to do with the availability of replacement parts and the easy repairs and mods for the electric scooter.
Owners don’t really need much mechanical and technical know-how, and they can upgrade the scooter with new parts, such as a more powerful 500W motor, that enhance its already great qualities.
As time goes on, however, the M365 will become harder and more expensive to maintain as parts become harder to find.
The Best Xiaomi Mi M365 Alternatives
What’s changed since the M365 went off the market? Maybe not a whole lot when it comes to electric scooters at the under-$500 price point, which explains the enduring popularity of the M365.
Shock absorption is still a rarity, since these are scooters built for short distances. Pneumatic tires often come standard, but solid tires can be the better option if you’re riding city streets which tend to have mostly paved roads (even if most are not well-maintained).
The M365 has become a legend, a seriously nicely designed scooter that seems to get more attention every year, even as it gets harder to find. In a shocking twist to the demand and supply principles, the M365 has, however, disappeared as a new product and can only be purchased in various states of preowned.
Otherwise, the features of the M365 at around $500 or less still represent a great value. While many of the scooters listed below have better performance on hills and rough terrain, thanks to more power or larger pneumatic tires, they are all solidly built alternatives to the bygone Xiaomi scooter.
9 Electric Scooters to Get Instead of the Xiaomi M365
Design-Forward, Short-Commute King
Unagi Model One
Unagi Model One Voyager
The Model One Classic and new Model One Voyager are both excellent alternatives to the Xiaomi M365 scooter.
While at full price, Unagis cost about twice as much as the Xiaomi electric scooter, these are the only models you can subscribe to, for around $60/month, with no contract and a low, one-time sign-up fee. The rental option makes this one of the most affordable electric scooters to ride in terms of up-front costs.
Despite a rougher ride due to vented solid tires, the Unagi Model One is a great short distance commuter scooter with excellent climbing ability because of its dual 250W motors, and a tested top speed of 20 mph. The Model One Voyager has a larger battery and about twice the range.
Both versions of the Model One, in a range of colors, are some of the most beautifully designed and portable electric scooters you can buy…. or lease.
Best All-Arounder with a Unique Look
Fluid Freeride City Rider
Looking nothing like a Xiaomi clone, Fluid Freeride’s CityRider is an excellent low-cost M365 alternative notable for its portability and speed.
Its solid, honeycomb tires are surprisingly comfortable, even without suspension, and will never get a flat and leave you walking.
Granted, the CityRider’s solid wheels, grippy, skateboard-style wooden deck and lack of an IP-rating suit this scooter for drier climates. (If you need a scooter to ride in the rain, look at several of the options below.)
But otherwise, the CityRider’s light, 28-pound weight, solid steel frame, and impressive lighting package for its price (turn signals!) make it an ideal choice for a lightweight urban commuter.
Best Swappable Battery Option
Turboant X7 Max
The TurboAnt X7 Max is a budget champ that made our list of 12 longest range electric scooters of 2022 and matches or beats the M365 in most performance categories while incorporating some of its best design ideas.
The X7 Max has an ESG tested maximum range of 18 miles (the manufacturer claims 32), and a swappable stem-mounted battery for potentially twice the range. It’s also got a tested top speed of 18.6 mph and a water resistance rating of IPX4.
Unfortunately, it’s not the most portable Xiaomi alternative, since at 35 pounds the TurboAnt is almost ten pounds heavier, but the X7 Max is one of the best electric scooters you can purchase in this class.
Zippy, Fun, and Charming
The ANYHILL UM-1 is an excellent commuter electric scooter for a number of reasons, not least of which are ease of use, light weight, good acceleration and climbing ability, and great ride quality.
With a water resistance rating of IP54, comfortable pneumatic tires, and a maximum weight rating of 250 pounds, the scooter is a good choice both for light rain and for heavier riders. And it only weighs 31 pounds!
Larger riders will probably want to step it up to the UM-2, a great scooter with a max rider weight of 300 lbs and a small removable battery for twice the range.
The Best Xiaomi M365 Clone in the World
The Hiboy S2 is definitely the most Xiaomi-looking of the bunch, but it looks great next to the M365 for several other reasons: It’s got some very notable torque and a tested top speed of 19 mph.
The S2 is fairly light at only 32 pounds and has a max rider weight of 270 pounds, but larger riders beware: the S2’s narrow, solid tires do not make for the most comfortable ride.
Solid tires aside, the Hiboy remains a serious competitor as a reliable, lightweight budget electric scooter with solid dual braking, good power, and an IP54 water resistance rating.
Picking up the Budget Scooter Baton
GOTRAX G3 Plus
GOTRAX is truly the highly-affordable brand that has carried the baton for Xiaomi in their many absences over the years, with several excellent alternatives to the Xiaomi M365.
At this point, GOTRAX is probably the most famous and high-volume brand that sells extremely budget-friendly models, even edging out household name brand Segway.
The G3 Plus goes tire-to-tire with the M365 for $100 less, and step up to the G5 for just under $600 for more range and speed and GOTRAX’s first electric scooter with suspension.
Built like a Lexus at a Budget Price
NIU KQi2 Pro
At 40 pounds, the NIU KQi2 Pro is much heavier than the Xiaomi and thus not nearly as portable. It’s also more expensive. But it’s otherwise an exceptional budget alternative with its 10-inch pneumatic tires and excellent build quality.
NIU’s simple, easy-to-read dash recalls the M365 but it has many other touches the Xiaomi lacks.
Apollo Air 2022
- Front suspension and pneumatic tires for best-in-class ride quality
- Compatible with Apollo’s awesome app
- Front suspension and pneumatic tires for best-in-class ride quality
- Compatible with Apollo’s awesome app
Can You Still Get a Xiaomi Mi M365?
But can you still buy an original M365? You might get lucky and find one in excellent or almost new condition for around half the full retail price, whether branded by Xiaomi or Bird. But you might want to think twice before ordering.
Should You Get a Xiaomi Mi M365?
Now that the company is no longer invested in maintaining inventory or innovating the product, we wouldn’t expect much in the way of customer service (although Xiaomi is offering repairs for scooters made with a faulty aluminum hook as part of its folding mechanism).
Not every rider is mechanically inclined or prepared to assume the risk of making repairs to their own electric scooter. Whether you spend a few hundred or a few thousand dollars on your scooter, it’s important to have warranty options and a relationship with a retailer or service center who can help diagnose and fix potential issues.
Rather than buying a used M365, we recommend choosing one of the alternatives above, or another high quality electric scooter from a reputable seller. See our post here on the best places to buy an electric scooter to find a quality distributor with great warranties and service policies.
Electric Scooter FAQ
A: Electric scooters require minimal maintenance: you should check the battery, brakes, and tires regularly. Additionally, keep the scooter clean and regularly inspect for any damages or wear and tear. For more information about maintenance and repair, see our post here.
Q: What accessories do I need for an electric scooter?
A: At a minimum, you should consider investing in a lock and a helmet for your electric scooter. Other accessories, such as reflectors, phone mounts, and headlights can be especially helpful as well. Learn more about scooter accessories at our post on the 10 Best Electric Scooter Accessories.
Q: How much does a good electric scooter cost?
A: Prices for electric scooters can range from as low as $300 for basic models up to several thousand dollars for performance scooters. Prices will vary based on range, speed, suspension, and other features. Generally, whatever your budget, you can find a great scooter at an affordable price.
Q: Do I need to wear a helmet when using an electric scooter?
A: Riding an electric scooter requires the same safety precautions as riding a bicycle; therefore, riders should always wear a helmet while operating an electric scooter. Different jurisdictions have different rules, so it is important to be aware of and follow the laws in your area. What kind of helmet should you get? See our guide to learn more about electric scooter helmets and visit the Rider Guide electric scooter helmet database.
Q: What is the best way to store an electric scooter?
A: The best way to store an electric scooter is to place it indoors in a cool, dry area. If the scooter needs to be kept outdoors, be sure to invest in a scooter lock for added security and try to keep your scooter covered and out of the rain.
Q: How far can an electric scooter travel?
A: The range of an electric scooter can vary depending on the model and battery life. An average electric scooter can travel between 10-20 miles before needing to be recharged.
Q: How long do electric scooter batteries last?
A: It depends on the battery size and manufacturer. Generally, the smaller the battery, the shorter the range. Some batteries can last up to 40 miles on a single charge, while others last only a few miles. Learn more about electric scooter batteries here.
Q: Are electric scooters legal?
A: Rules and regulations on electric scooters vary by city or state, so it is important to contact local authorities for more information. See this Comprehensive Electric Scooter Laws article to learn more about specific laws for every state in the U.S.
Q: Can you ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk?
A: This depends on the city or state regulations. Generally speaking, electric scooters should be ridden on bike lanes, trails, or roads with the flow of traffic. It is also important to make sure that you keep your electric scooter away from pedestrians and make sure it is not blocking any public pathways. See Comprehensive Electric Scooter Laws to find out where and when it might be safe and legal to ride on the sidewalk.
Q: Are electric scooters safe?
A: Most electric scooters are considered safe if ridden responsibly on roadways that allow them, and in accordance with the speed limits in your area. Additionally, wearing a helmet and other protective gear is always a good idea while operating an electric scooter. See our Ultimate Guide to Scooter Safety for more.
Q: Can electric scooters be used off-road?
A: Some electric scooters are designed for off-road use, but it’s important to check with the manufacturer to make sure the scooter is designed to handle off-road terrain.
Q: Is it safe to ride an electric scooter in the rain?
A: That depends on the scooter. Please see our post on Best Electric Scooters for Riding in the Rain to learn more about which scooters function best on wet roads and how to navigate bad weather on your scooter.