OKAI Panther
Portrait of Mitchel Anderson, Rider Guide's Editorial Lead
Mitchell Anderson
July 6, 2023

Mitchell has been fascinated by electric scooters since 2019. He began sharing his enthusiasm on his YouTube channel, “RK9 Rides,” in 2020. He joined Rider Guide in 2023, and between the two channels, he spends seven days a week riding, testing, and writing about electric scooters. He has tested dozens of models from dozens of brands and is always on the lookout for the newest and greatest scooters. His current favorite models are the Nami Klima and the NIU KQi3 Max.

Air 2022Air 2023
pros icon of thumbs up
PROS
Record Breaking Braking
Removable Battery for Long Range Potential
Great for Off-Road Use
Fully Functioning Color Touchscreen Display
Clean Modern Aesthetic
cons icon of thumbs down
CONS
The Scooter is Not Portable
Speed and Range Not at Par With Peers

Technical Specifications

Tested Top Speed:
35.1 mph
water resistance icon of raining cloud
Water Resistance:
IP55
Tested Weight icon of a scale
Max Rider Weight:
330 lb
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Weight:
96.0 lb
tested range icon of a path between to points
Tested Range:
21.8 mi
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Acceleration:
2.4 s
Based on our independent performance tests which may differ from manufacturer’s claims.

OKAI Panther Review Summary

The Okai Panther is Okai’s flagship high-performing, off-road scooter with remarkable braking, a state-of-the-art touchscreen dash, and loads of tech integrations.

Seasoned OEM manufacturer Okai not too long ago, decided to venture into the world of electric rideables. They hit the ground running with their now popular commuters–the Neon series. Having had years of success with high-value partners, Okai knew what needed to be done to become a global player while meeting consumer needs.

Now, they bring us their first high-performing scooter, the Panther. The Panther is one of our best-looking scooters–one that could effortlessly blend with the aesthetics of a nicely curated living room. But, looks aside, riders will absolutely love the tech integration on the Panther scooter.

Okai has delivered many firsts with the Panther. Stick around to find out whether their first foray into the big leagues is a success story or whether they are out of their depth.

The Okai Panther is a fine blend of aesthetics, functionality, and tech integration. The matte-black, one-piece chassis scooter carries the kind of sophistication you want from a semi-expensive scooter. Nothing feels or looks out of place.

The Panther doesn’t glide on looks alone. This scooter has an exciting spec sheet, with a few firsts we’ve been dying for.

First, it has a full-color touchscreen display. You’d expect more scooters to have it, considering how much we rely on dash interaction –but manufacturers tend to shy off from them, understandably because of dust and water penetration issues.

But that’s not all. We also recorded a new best-in-class stopping distance, with the Panther taking up the second runner-up for the shortest braking distance Rider Guide has ever recorded. This is quite the achievement–and we’ll tell you how the brakes feel. Hint: they are as subtle as they are grabby.

Next, we have the scooter’s off-road performance–the real star of the show. The Panther has a nice set of 12-inch knobby tires that work in tandem with the front fork suspension and rear shocks to eat through dirt roads. This, the massive torque from the motors, and excellent braking might make an adventurer of you should you get the Panther.

The scooter has a removable battery–something we’re always excited to have. In this class of electric scooters, this is the second one we’ve seen after the RoadRunner RS5. Swappable batteries make for good range potential and are an excellent security measure as taking it in with you to charge renders your scooter immobile or rather useless to steal.

The top speed is not what you’d expect; it’s relatively low. However, that does not make it a slow scooter. The acceleration is zippy and will give you a rush. And you don’t have to worry about getting caught in light, sudden showers since the e-scooter is IP55 rated.

We’re not going to summarize the incredible no-throttle function of the deployed kickstand; we’ll leave that and more for you to explore in our comprehensive review of the Okai Panther.

Cockpit

See the OKAI Panther

Our Take: The Future of E-Scooter Tech and Design is Here–Complete with New Features like a Functional Touch Display and Kickstand Lock.

Performance Summary

Top Speed

35.1 mph

Range

21.8 mi

Braking Distance (15 to 0 mph)

9 ft

Hill Climb

-

Acceleration

0 to 15 mph

2.4 s

0 to 20 mph

3.9 s

0 to 25 mph

5.5 s

0 to 30 mph

8.2 s

0 to 35 mph

13.5 s

0 to 40 mph

-

The Okai Panther is quick off the ground. You get fairly zippy acceleration. The scooter recorded a 2.4-second time from 0 to 15 mph and 8.2 seconds to 30 mph. It likes to settle in around 30 mph, offering a brisk but comfortable cruising speed for longer rides. And probably the best part is that the throttle feel and tension are done so well that maintaining lower speeds using manual throttle control (without relying on speed modes limits or cruise control) is no problem, even for long stretches.

Top Speed

So, if you’re looking for a speedster, this might not be the scooter for you–but we’re not calling it a slow scooter either. The top speed fell below average for scooters in its price class. The Panther managed a max speed of 35.1 mph.  

This might feel slow compared to other scooters like the NAMI Klima at 40.7 mph and the Apollo Phantom at 41.6 mph. However, it’s not a complete outlier since we also have other mid-tier scooters like the Road Runner V2, which reaches a top speed of 35.4 mph, and the other comparison scooter, the Segway GT1, with a 34.5 mph max speed.

That said, we noticed something interesting with how OKAI handled the Panther’s riding modes. It’s a little different than what we usually see. They have gone for a dual motor mode labeled “boost,” a single motor mode labeled with a “D,” presumably for “drive,” and a mode labeled “E,” which limits the top speed to 2 mph and repeatedly flashes the headlight. 

Only “boost” mode lets you reach the top speed, “Drive” mode limits your speed to around 20 mph to help extend range, and “E” mode seems like a walking mode, so you basically are only getting 2 usable riding modes. Also, it would have been nice to see an additional dual motor mode that limits the top speed to around 25 mph to extend range while keeping the scooter quick and fun to ride. 

Hill Climb

Okai rates their Panther scooter to climb inclines of a 35% max gradient. The dual-motor scooter has a nominal combined motor wattage of 1500 w, with a peak of 3000 w, putting it on the low side in its class. However, based on Okai’s 60 Nm torque rating, we can tell that, while this will not be the fastest scooter up the hill, you will not have to descend and push it up your standard hill, and the speed will be decent enough to get you up in good time.

Range

The dash on the Panther gives you a range estimate–but it’s not like you’ve seen with other scooters.

Let’s back up a little. The Okai Panther is fitted with a 52 v, 19.2 ah 998 wh battery with LG 18650 cells. We charged the Panther to 100 % prior to the range test, as is custom. This took about 5 hours with the scooter’s included 4 A charger. Mitchell set the scooter to ride in the highest setting, which in this case meant engaging dual motor mode. 

The estimate at the beginning of travel was about 15 miles, which is worrisome since most estimates are usually overly enthusiastic. Here’s the plot twist. Mitchell was able to go beyond the predicted 15 miles to actually cover a range of 21.8 miles. We conclude that the Panther calculates the range remaining to the minimum range you could cover based on the state of your battery and your riding mode, which is pretty cool.

That said, set in single motor riding mode, our Panther predicted the manufacturer stated 31 miles. And given how spot on it also was with the battery meter–the scooter turned on voltage protection and shut it off right as the displayed battery level hit 0%.

We can’t fail to note that the Okai Panther’s battery is removable. You can carry around an extra battery if you really need the range. With a second battery, you’re looking at a possible 43 miles, and it only weighs 16.8 lbs, which is manageable weight. It’s not cheap, so before you talk yourself into getting one, ensure that your range needs actually justify the purchase.

Braking

Ten hearty cheers for a new braking champ–well, not really, but the Panther comes in third place for braking distance of the hundreds of scooters we’ve tested.

From a speed of 15 mph, the Panther comes to a stop at 9.0 ft. Let’s put this in perspective. We have scooters like the worst scooter Rider Guide has tested that comes to a stop in 23.4 ft. Or the Glion Dolly that has a ridiculous stopping distance of 40.5 ft from 15 mph. Safety is key, and the Panther more than aced our brake test.

nutt brand hydraulic disc brakes on the okai panther electric scooter

The brakes feel good. The electric scooter has NUTT brand hydraulic disc brakes that feel amazing while riding, offering subtle, sensitive speed control and aggressive grabbiness based on your need.

Ride Quality

The Panther makes for an excellent off-road companion, both as marketed by Okai and as we experienced when testing the scooter.

Okai markets the Panther electric scooter as an off-road super e-scooter. We’re in complete agreement on the ‘off-road’ bit, but calling it a ‘super-scooter’ might be a bit of a stretch. That said, off-road riding may be where the Panther shines the brightest, and we’ll tell you why.

First, the scooter comes with big, knobby 12-inch tires and aggressive, stiff suspension, which is a good recipe for eating up dirt roads and rocky, rough terrain. The large spring suspension is reminiscent of the GT line from Segway but without the hydraulic damping or rebound adjustment. The suspension feels stiff, rebounding quickly and topping out constantly, even for heavier 215 lbs riders like Mitchell.

Next, the Panther has just the right amount of torque, and its top speed is more than enough for off-roading. It feels a bit like a Mercedes G-Class– it’s a luxury vehicle that most people would never dream of taking off the paved roads, but it is actually at its best when pushed to its limits in off-road situations. Mitchell promises a future video that takes a deeper dive into its capabilities, especially off-road, so watch out for that and stay subscribed to our Youtube channel so you don’t miss such moments.

When comparing the Panther to the Segway GT models, we also noticed the geometry. The center of the front wheel on the Panther is not in line with the steering tube. Rather, it is positioned ahead of it. This leads to more instability at high speed, similar to trying to run the wheel of a shopping cart in the opposite direction. 

The Segway GT has a similar suspension setup to the Panther but positions the wheel a bit behind the centerline of the steering column, thus adding stability. 

The Panther’s stem has a nice slack rake angle, seemingly in an attempt to counter the instability caused by the front wheel. It does some good but ends up pushing the handlebars closer to the rider, making them feel shorter than they are and making the cockpit feel a bit cramped, especially for taller riders. The swept-back angle of the bars only adds to this feeling. It makes the rider platform seem smaller than it is since you naturally want to settle toward the back of the deck as you ride.

In contrast (and to be fair to the Panther), Paul, who is a couple of inches shorter than Mitchell, didn’t feel cramped at all and liked the way the handlebars swept back toward the rider. Therefore, this might not end up being an issue depending on your height. The rear tail is at a nice shallow angle, making it comfortable to use and offering a bit of riding position flexibility despite the smaller feel of the platform.

This throttle is also a design we’ve never seen before and is one of our favorite things about this scooter. The Panther’s throttle is intended to be a trigger throttle and comes installed under the brake lever, which is awkward to use initially. However, it’s quite simple to rotate the throttle around to above the brake lever, which is more akin to the typical trigger throttles you see at this price. The other thing we noticed when adjusting the throttle is that you can position it a little further to the inside of the handlebars and flip it towards yourself to turn it into a thumb throttle! It is quite comfortable and usable this way. And in general, the responsiveness and tension of the throttle is fantastic.

Learn More

OKAI Panther Features

Portability

The Okai Panther is a 96 lbs electric scooter, so not exactly easy to lift.

It’s not exactly compact, either. Folded, the scooter measures 52.3 inches by 25.3 inches by 28.0 inches. Now, for anyone wanting to load the scooter into their trunks for adventure, you don’t necessarily need an SUV. However, it will be a tight squeeze in regular sedan trunks.

Folding the scooter is an okay experience. The stem latch is very standard with a simple tab system, and we had no issues with it during testing. There is no deck latch to keep the handlebars from moving around when folded, but it hasn’t been too much of an issue when loading up the Panther into a car.

It has a rear handle on the tail of the riding platform, but finding a good place to grab it upfront can be a little difficult.

The cockpit is another standout on the Okai Panther scooter.

The Panther has a completely different cockpit from any other scooter we have tested, starting with the centerpiece, the full-color touchscreen display. That’s right, we finally get a properly functioning touchscreen display on a scooter, and it’s about time! The touchscreen is responsive and intuitive to use and is something we would like to see more of in the future on other scooters.

The display is crisp and easy to read, with a number of different themes to choose from. The speedometer, riding mode, battery level, estimated remaining range, flight status, and cruise control are easily visible on the main screen. A swipe down from the top gives you access to the settings where you can change things like the riding mode and turn the ambient lighting on and off. 

okai panther electric scooter cockpit buttons

The few buttons that the cockpit has are clean and modern. You get a power button that doubles as a horn when the scooter is moving, and in case you were wondering, no, you can’t turn the scooter off while it is in motion. You also get turn signal buttons that turn the front light on when pressed simultaneously and a satisfyingly clicky gear adjustment tab

Lights

The Okai Panther comes with a bright, high-mounted headlight that lights up your riding track and helps you stay visible in low-light situations. You also have a programmable pedal light right where your front foot goes. It gives the scooter this cyberpunk feel, and the customizable glow looks pretty neat in the dark.

 And out back, the rear brake light and turn signals are integrated nicely into the curved rear end of the riding platform. Overall, this is a scooter you can confidently take out in the dark, seeing as it stays so visible.

Tires

okai panther electric scooter tailored tubeless pneumatic off-road 12 inch tires

The Okai Panther has a pair of tailored tubeless pneumatic off-road tires. The 12-inch by 3.5-inch tires look good and are great for exploring dirty tracks, climbing hills, hopping off curbs, and all your basic outdoor exploration. Maximizing shock absorption while still maintaining the unique portability that a scooter offers is what these large wheels are so good for.

We acknowledge that not too long ago, putting 12-inch tires on a scooter would have been a bold, unprecedented choice. Today, it’s not so crazy anymore. The Apollo Pro has paved the way for the 12-inch luxury class and proved that big tires are just better when you care about ride comfort. 

Deck

okai panther electric scooter 17.3 inches by 7.4 inches deck

The riding platform is a standard size–17.3 inches by 7.4 inches. It’s decent for most riders, but for taller riders, the swept-back handlebars sort of steal away from the usable deck space since you naturally want to settle toward the end of the deck.

The front has a lit-up foot pocket, while the end curves slightly to give you a comfortable resting position for riding, but especially for braking. The deck surface is covered in a ribbed mat for traction–which also makes it easy to clean.

Build Quality

okai panther electric scooter deck and wheels

As far as off-road scooters go, the Panther is one of the best-looking we have, and as you’re about to learn, it has a lot to offer from a technology standpoint.

The scooter is built onto a single-piece aluminum frame that is strong enough to support the 330 lbs rider weight capacity. At first glance, the Panther captures your attention with the curves of the single-piece frame and swing arms and the vented, sports car-esque cutouts. It has sharp angles in the right places, not to mention the big wheels that complement the Panther’s modern design. In Mitchell’s words:

“It’s honestly an art piece.” 

okai panther electric scooter kickstand switch and front tire

Next, a feature that we have mentioned in the past that we would like to see and that we expect to see on electric scooters in the future is a kickstand switch that prevents use of the throttle when the kickstand is down. Well, the Panther has it. We saw this previously on the Solar E-Clipse e-moto, and what a treat it is to see it again and so soon. A little warning pops up on the screen when you press the throttle if you forget to fold up the kickstand. This prevents you from taking off with the kickstand down and prevents accidental throttle activation when the scooter is parked.

Another great one. After years of seeing removable batteries almost exclusively on the low-end or super high-end scooters, This is the second scooter in the last few months around this price with a removable battery. The first was the Roadrunner RS5, but unlike the RS5, you don’t need to carry around a key to get the battery out of the Panther. Instead, you open the battery hatch using a button on the display. The battery bay latch can’t close when the scooter isn’t on, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally closing it when the battery is out. The battery uses a different charging cord when it is out of the scooter, but the cord does come in the box with the scooter.

Moving on, you can modify the scooter’s settings from the Okai app. It’s a neat feature, but not the only one. You can also use it to lock and unlock the scooter, plus use the app to add NFC keys that can unlock the scooter. So you could buy a programmable NFC card or something similar and pair it with the Panther if you want to be able to unlock the scooter that way. In our opinion, it’s easiest to just lock and unlock the scooter through the app if you want the extra security, and in any case, you should always be physically locking up your scooter with a chain or u-lock if you are going to be leaving it unattended.

Finally, the scooter is IP55 rated. With an IP55 dust and water resistance rating, the Panther should have no issues with puddles, sprinklers, and light rain, but avoid soaking it for extended periods. Also, it goes without saying that the touchscreen dash is waterproof.

Clearly, from a technology and design standpoint, the Panther offers a lot

It’s obvious that a large amount of time and passion went into making this a scooter you could proudly display in your living room. It’s immediately likable–here’s why. The matte-black coloring ensures it is eye-catching without being obnoxious. The programmable lighting adds a touch of color for a futuristic, cyberpunk feel.

It’s also as solid and well-built as it looks. It has a claimed rider weight limit of 330 pounds, and we don’t doubt it for a second. It has such a weighty, confidence-inspiring feel just standing on it. The Panther is definitely big-dawg approved.

 

Safety

There’s a ton of safety features on this scooter. We’ll start with the unique ones, like the kickstand safety. The Panther has a kickstand switch that prevents use of throttle when the kickstand is down. Next, we have multiple ways to lock up the scooter, including using the app or programming your own NFC cards. Also, the fact that the scooter has a removable battery means you could just take it with you and keep thieves from making off with your scooter.

We can’t also fail to mention one of the shortest braking distances recorded by RG–third on our list, ahead of literally hundreds of scooters. For night rides, the scooter is also well-lit to ensure that other road users see you. The lighting package includes a super bright headlight, a tail light with integrated brake and turn signal indicators, and an ambient customizable pedal light. And we can’t forget the IP55 rating and waterproof touchscreen display that allows riders to keep riding in the event of sudden showers.

OKAI Panther: Our Verdict, Is It Worth It?

The Okai Panther has given us a glimpse of the future of electric scooters, delivering-never-before seen features in a package that isn’t afraid to get dirty. If you like going off-road, then you will love the feel of the Panther’s 12-inch knobby tires and front and rear shocks. The massive torque and superior braking further elevate the riding experience, ensuring the ride is as thrilling as it is safe.

Again, those wanting the latest and greatest tech in their scooter and a design that would look at home in an art museum, the Panther is for you. It has the most beautiful full-color display, a curvy, well-designed frame in matte black, and programmable lighting. The app is world-class, and you have new features like no-throttle when the kickstand is deployed. Finally, hello swappable battery!

There’s plenty to love about the Okai Panther, and if you’re interested in getting your hands on one, then check it out on the link below .

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