Rider Guide’s Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested more than 100 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.
Kaabo Mantis Summary
Our Take: The #1 Best Electric Scooter of 2021 (as Voted on By Riders)
First off, the Mantis is a rocket and scored some of the better acceleration and braking times we've seen. Not only is it fast, but its large pneumatic tires and quality suspension keep the scooter pinned to the road and permit precision carving. The smaller capacity 17 Ah "base" version we tested can also go the distance — scoring nearly 30 miles in our rigorous max-power range test.
Another notable feature is the bomb-proof stem folding mechanism that means zero creaking/wobble in the handlebars. The handlebars also lock to the rear fender and allow carrying by the stem. Though it tips the scales at 61 lbs -- by no means ultra-portable -- this feature will help you lift or carry the scooter for short distances.
Finally, like the Wolf Warrior, its older brother, the Mantis delivers a ton of value, power, quality, and range at a ridiculously competitive price. The base version has semi-hydraulic brakes and a locking mechanism for carrying — features absent on some much more expensive scooters.
This review is for the Kaabo Mantis 17.5 amp hour "base" version as well as seriously upgraded Kaabo Mantis Pro.
If you are looking for a fast but nimble scooter that feels like a monster but doesn't have monstrous weight, the Mantis is a great choice. It is basically a budget Dualtron Spider — similar feel and performance — but at a steep discount and higher weight. If you splurge for the Mantis PRO version, then you'll also get a MiniMotors controller, EY3 display, and LG-branded batteries.
Kaabo Mantis Review
How does this translate to feeling? Simply put: very fast, arm-yanking acceleration up to about 25 mph. After 25 mph, it cools down but still pulls all the way up to its top speed of 39.3 mph. The motors are very torquey; you can readily spin both wheels at full throttle.
The throttle response is slightly laggy. By this, we mean the time between squeezing the throttle control and feeling the motors activate. On the Mantis, the lag is a fraction of a second, but noticeable if you test a lot of high-end scooters.
We wonder if accelerator lag is better on the Mantis Pro, which uses the EY3 throttle where the Mantis comes with a QS-S4 throttle. The Pro version also has a beefed-up 1470 watt hour LG battery, 27 amp controller, and higher torque motors, which should make it even faster.
Compare with other scooters on our ESG certified performance page.
The lower capacity 17 Ah, 1050 watt hour version we tested made it 29.1 miles before running out of battery.
The Mantis has fantastic braking — among the best we've tested. The grippy pneumatic tires plus cable-actuated dual semi-hydraulic disc brakes help keep your speed in check. Brake control is smooth. The hydraulic calipers amplify your braking efforts. The scooter also has an adjustable electronic braking system that can be quite strong.
In our braking test, the Mantis went from 15 mph to a stop in just 11.1 feet. The only scooter to perform better than this is the record-setting Apollo Pro.
The Mantis is thrilling in the turns. As you lean into a curve, the contact patch between the tire and road remains constant thanks to the rounded profile of the 10.0 inch by 2.5 inch pneumatic tires. This makes the Mantis feel very nimble to whip around. Control over this scooter is much better than other large-tire scooters that have vague steering input.
Another standout feature is the dual spring suspension — reminiscent of the Apollo Pro (though not quite as good) — that provides a firm ride on smooth roads yet is soft enough to eat rough terrain or potholes readily. Not only is it highly functional, but it is dead quiet. Overall, this ranks among the top suspension systems we've tested.
Kaabo Mantis Features
The Mantis is 62.2 lb and has Its 24 inch, non-folding handlebars that are unpleasantly wide for bringing onto a packed commuter train during rush hour. Even folded, the Mantis is BIG — 48 inches by 24 inches by 19 inches — about 6 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the typical 27 lb budget scooter.
However, the Mantis does have two standout portability features: a quality folding mechanism and a locking stem. The stem folding mechanism is easy to use, and rock-solid once locked into place.
Stem folding mechanism
Finally, the folding stem locks into place once folded. When the scooter is folded, the handlebars have a latch that secures it to the rear fender, allowing it to be carried by the stem. This helps make the Mantis portable enough to throw into the back of a car or carry up a short flight of stairs.
The trigger-style throttle, which has become commonplace on performance scooters, can be uncomfortable for prolonged use.
One thing we did not like is the index finger controlled throttle. It requires your finger to be outstretched and is uncomfortable for prolonged use. Unfortunately, this has become the standard type of controller for all high-end scooters (save the Boosted Rev).
The throttle trigger is built into the information display LCD. The display is easy to read in full sunlight. Many so-called P-settings can be tuned by clicking through the mode and power buttons.
Handlebar grips are somewhat cheap foam ones but have held up decently well. If this were a personal scooter, it would probably be one of the first upgrades we'd do.
The Mantis has side LED deck lights, front button lights, and rear red button lights. None of the lights are particularly bright, nor are they mounted in a high position.
For riding at night, you'll definitely need more lighting for better visibility.
The Kaabo has a spacious, 19.8 inch by 8.3 inch deck that gives 5.6 inch of ground clearance. The deck is covered with a grippy emblemized rubber mat that provides excellent traction in wet or dry conditions. Deck-to-handlebar height is 40.5 inch.
Kaabo even got some of the small touches right. The scooter has A LOT of cables, but they are routed well and wrapped up in a protective mesh that bundles them together. Kaabo even got the kickstand right — an often overlooked feature.
The Kaabo brand, in general, seems to have a solid reputation and quality to match.
Kaabo Mantis: Review Conclusions
The Pro version brings even more to the table — including fully hydraulic brakes and MiniMotors components — at a significantly higher price but is also very competitive.
If the Mantis doesn't suite your needs, check out our suggested alternative scooters. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.