“With the Nami Burn-E, I rediscovered the sensations of traveling by bicycle”
Professional drone pilot for 8 years, Pablo Sotes captures in image the events organized by the Escooter Racing Club – ERC during the driving sessions on the circuit. The electric scooter was first a work tool during his filming before becoming a means of transport. Won over by its maneuverability, he now uses his Burn-E to cover long distances, off the beaten track.
How did the project of traveling by electric scooter come about?
The first time I rode a scooter was in Paris. I rented one, and I immediately appreciated the practical aspect of the vehicle. I then discovered that the scooter is also a perfect work tool during my filming, in particular to transport my drone equipment effortlessly, on gravel or on dirt roads, while saving time. So I invested in a new Dualtron, which was a good compromise because it’s a powerful but not bulky model. Then I reached its limits. I weigh 120 kg, I transport heavy equipment with loads of 30 kg, and I often use it on small paths. I encountered problems with the suspension because this model was not all-terrain enough for my uses.
The idea of the trip is therefore part of this daily practice that I knew through my profession. I am also used to traveling long distances on two wheels: for 15 years I have made several trips by bicycle. With my professional activity, I am often on the move and I no longer have enough time to continue playing sports. So I tried the experience of traveling by electric scooter.
Why did you choose the Nami Burn-E?
I knew Nami Electric through the Facebook club where a former co-worker posted Burn-E photos and comments. I then became interested in the model and the brand. I then discovered the posts of Michael Sha, explaining his project to design the scooter of his dreams. Creating a new brand through a company with startup accents and having the courage to try something different are elements that convinced me. Also, the design of the frame was the trigger. And by its technical characteristics, the Burn-E allowed me to face all the situations. I bought it in September 2021 and immediately appreciated its stability and power. When I had 10 days of vacation, I had the idea to test this scooter to find out if it was also a possible mode of travel. I chose to go to Corsica because I was in the southeast at that time and I didn’t know the island of beauty. Compared to the Dualtron New, the Burn-E is more sophisticated because you can customize each element of the riding mode. And having the ability to configure the front motor and the rear motor is a real asset.
What was your journey like?
I first traveled 100 km in the hinterland of Nice before boarding the ferry. Once in Corsica, I entered different routes on Google Maps via which I took paths where even a bicycle would not pass. I persisted because I don’t like to turn around and sometimes I had to push the scooter. I keep a good memory of it because it is always pleasant to get off the beaten track to go on the track.
It is also in this context of travel that I was able to appreciate the suspensions of the Nami Burn-E which, even for someone heavy like me, constitute the strong point of this scooter in addition to its versatility between the road and all terrain.
Crucial point: charging during the trip. How did that happen ?
I recharged the battery in cafes. It was a good opportunity to talk with the Corsicans on my scooter trip. Finding charging plans was a simple mission: I took advantage of the lunch break, the 4 p.m. break and dinner to plug in the scooter. The typical day was as follows: I started riding at 10 a.m., after two hours on the road I got to a little less than 50% battery. In 1h30, the battery was almost 100% charged. Depending on my journey, I adapt my speed and the load to pass the passes. Certain day, when I crossed the interior of the island, I traversed more than 3000 meters of uneven. In these cases, I made regular stops for short loads in order to ride without stress.
What was your equipment?
For the trip, I took two 25L panniers and put them on the front of the deck where the charging ports are with bungees and a backpack. In the future I will use the rear part of the scooter to make a bag holder, in order to lighten what I was carrying on my shoulders. And of course I wore gloves and a helmet throughout my trip.
What are the advantages of the scooter as a mode of transport for traveling compared to the bicycle?
The electric scooter is a good compromise for traveling and enjoying the environment around us.
The electric bike is more voluminous. You have to balance the loads to be able to ride, unlike the scooter with which you are always ready to go. The downside is the small wheels, especially downhill, which is offset by the advantage of going faster uphill: the passes are no longer a nightmare. After having traveled a day of 150 km, we are not tired.
With the electric scooter, we get closer to the experience of traveling by bicycle with all the pleasure that it provides. I find the sensations I had at the time, without effort. This tour of Corsica made me want to continue the trip by scooter and to do it in several stages. I would like to leave from the south of France and go as far as Greece via Italy and the Baltic countries.
What are the areas for improvement for a scooter 100% dedicated to travel?
After this experience, it would be necessary to gain 20 to 30% of autonomy to space out the charges. With a 50 ah battery, a midday charge of 2 p.m. will allow you to cover 2 x 80 km without any problem. Gaining autonomy gives the possibility of making a bivouac to take full advantage of nature.
For my next trip, I will prepare myself more in advance, especially for bags, with the creation of a luggage rack. I also imagine a speaker stand and a drone radio control stand placed above the Burn-E screen. The equipment will improve over the journeys. Corsica was a training point, I’ll think about a better set-up when I leave.