Electric scooters are growing in popularity, but with the technology still in its infancy, many manufacturers fall into the same limitations - sluggish acceleration, low top speed, batteries taking up valuable storage space, and not the greatest of range. Silence, however, has switched things up slightly to try and change the game and I have to say I am impressed!

Brought over in early 2021, the Spanish manufacturer Silence is a relatively new brand to the UK. As an electric scooter brand as a whole, however, has been established since 2012 and actually build their bikes in their Barcelona-based factory.

They are very popular across Europe so; it was only a matter of time until they reached UK shores and mix up a market that’s pretty dominated by Chinese offerings.

The S01 Connected is Silence’s current flagship scooter and sits in the 125cc equivalent bracket, which means it can be ridden on L plates in the UK from the age of 17 if you have a valid CBT. 

In October 2021, Silence UK made some changes to their range, and the S01 now comes in two options, the cheaper option being the S01 Urban, which funnily enough is best suited for around towns and cities, and then there is the S01 Connected which has improved battery capacity, range, speed, acceleration, and app integration when compared to the Urban. In today's review, it is that flagship S01 Connected which I got to test ride.

‎Styling

Green in nature and colour, the S01 was delivered to BikeMatters HQ in a bright green colourway. It won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure, but for many, I think the clear ‘green’ and ‘electric’ vibes radiated by the S01 will be perfect. If you do want something less obtrusive and dazzling though, it’s also available in white or black.

When it comes to design, the S01 is clearly following standard scooter design with the addition of Silence's out-of-the-box creativity and green thinking. Love it or hate it, the styling is unique and definitely stands out from the crowd!

With a large and contemporary circular LED headlight, integrated indicators, small windscreen, sleek modern lines and relatively large dimensions plus a decent sized seat suitable for pillion use, the S01 is designed to excel as a city commuter but the extra stability offered means it can also handle 60mph roads pretty well too.

‎Motor

Compared to its competitors, there is no denying that thanks to its motor, the S01 packs some punch and there’s a lot to know about it too.

It’s in fact a hub motor, located in that rear wheel, packs 7kw of power that peaks at 9kw (AKA 12hp) and allows for speedy acceleration – getting to 30mph in less than 4 seconds. When it comes to the top speed, again, the S01 does rather well and can easily reach 62mph (dash indicated), and gets there relatively quickly, which is a massive bonus, and means the S01 can handle roads with 40-60mph speed limits relatively easily.

‎Riding modes

It has three standard riding modes which are ‘Eco’, ‘City’ and ‘Sport’, that basically work in 10mph increments. ‘Eco’ has a top speed of 43mph, ‘City’ is 53mph and ‘Sport’ 62mph.

There is, however, a fourth mode which is reverse. To get this going all you need to do is push in the little green button on the back of the left switchgear controls and twist the throttle slowly to propel yourself backward.

‎Battery

When it comes to their battery technology, Silence has done things completely differently. And what I mean by that is where many throw the batteries under the seat, sacrificing most available storage space, Silence has thoughtfully designed the S01 to not only keep that storage space (more on this later), but also placed the battery so well that it helps the centre of gravity and rideability of the scooter.

It relies on one removable battery which is pretty sizeable and hefty, weighing in at 40kgs. Initially, this heavier weight may ring a few alarm bells. However, you needn’t be Hercules to lug the S01 battery about, because rather cunningly Silence has developed a fold-out trolley. Labelled as a ‘click and go’ system to allow easy movement of the battery. It simply pops out of the left side and wheels away to be charged via a normal kettle lead (inverter is conveniently built-in too!). It’s also worth pointing out that putting the battery back in position is done relatively easily, though it might take a couple of attempts when you get the knack of it, you’ll be well away.

Though if you have a nice and accessible power supply, you can just park your S01 beside it and plug the provided kettle lead into a three-pin plug socket and the port under the seat.

The battery itself has a max capacity of 5.6kwh, which should allow a range of up to 80 miles. A full charge will take between 6-8 hours, and again rather cleverly, Silence have integrated a small 55w heater to help warm the battery up on those colder days to keep it in optimum condition for when it comes to charging – smart move!

The one comment I would add is there are benefits and negatives to either having a single battery or a dual battery, there is no overall winner, just what would work for you personally. Maybe I’ll do a full article to explain these further hhhmmmm…maybe.

‎Technology

As you’d expect being green and ultra-modern, Silence’s S01 electric scooter packs a decent level of technology. With a large LCD display that’s clear, easy to read and spaces out all data including battery management, temperature, clock, speedo, odometer, range, riding modes, brake regen and trip, well. It might not be a colour display, but there is no denying it does its job well.

The S01 is also compatible with the ‘mySilence’ app that has numerous cool features, such as route planner, find my scooter, seat unlock, power on or off, battery management and even a basic carbon footprint report. The app is available to most as it can be found on both the App Store and Google Play.

And, almost obligatory on any scooter being produced in 2021, there is, of course, a USB port for your charging convenience.

Unsurprisingly, the S01 has full LED lighting so you are well covered when it comes to illumination. But it’s not just headlights, rear lights and indicators no, the battery itself includes a large circle outline (Silence’s logo) that is an LED light too. This also swirls with light when it is charging and that’s another nice touch!

‎Storage

Another string to the S01’s bow is the rather generous under-seat storage – enough for two full-face helmets, in fact (check yours for compatibility though!). This in itself is a huge benefit to have. It’s great to see an electric scooter designed so well to allow for such storage as many others (not all) don’t have enough storage for a single helmet, let alone two like the S01!

Whilst on the subject, it’s also worth saying that at the bottom of the under-seat storage you can find the lever which releases the battery.

‎Braking

On the front wheel the S01 packs a 260mm braking disc, with a three-piston caliper, however, only two pistons are activated by the front brake lever, the remaining third piston is activated by using the back brake due to the combined braking system.

On the rear is a 240mm disc with a two-piston caliper. As I mentioned, the S01 does run a combined braking system, so no ABS can be seen here, but this is comparable to other electric scooters on the market.

When using the front brake the S01 does use and engage regenerative braking, so it does try to put a bit more juice back in the battery and even displays on the top of the digital dash when the regen is working so you can see when in action.

‎Suspension

Suspension at the front of the scooter is provided by 33mm forks which are non-adjustable, and the rear is provided by a right-sided mono-shock which, again, is non-adjustable.

‎On the Road

Parking my derriere on the S01 and stretching my shorts legs down, I’m admittedly slightly tiptoeing to touch the tarmac, but this is quite standard stuff for me on a scooter of this size. Welcomed by a large comfy seat, decent leg and feet room and nicely positioned handlebars, I was ready for the off.

Pulling back on the throttle, I was pleasantly surprised by how rapidly the S01 accelerates. Noticeably fast compared to most of its rivals, it isn’t just to 40mph it's spritely, it actually gets to 60mph pretty damn quickly too which is a breath of fresh air for an electric scooter. This makes it an electric offering which is more than OK on the faster open roads too, though I do think you might want to upgrade to the larger windscreen if faster or more exposed roads are a regular occurrence to beat the worst of the wind buffering.

Thanks to the 15” front wheel and 14” rear, the S01 is nice and stable at higher speeds. It may weigh in at 150kg, but with the battery centralised and down low, means it feels pretty light to ride and you’d think it weighs less. Overall, I think it holds the road really nicely! When in-town, filtering is done with ease and on faster roads, it feels really nicely placed. Though don’t get me wrong, I’d still likely avoid 70mph speed limit roads where I could.

Suspension is everything you’d expect for a scooter, it does the job around your average UK roads. Hit some larger lumps and bumps and you’ll feel it especially on the rear where things get a little firmer, but for everyday riding, riders will have a pleasant and smooth ride.

Braking is pretty impressive on the S01. Throw on the front brake and it is sharp and responsive, not forgetting that regenerative braking engaged with this front brake and something you become accustomed to. The rear brake is fairly responsive too, but that is more likely due to the fact it runs a combined braking system so by hitting the rear brake it will also activate one piston on the front brake caliper too. All in all, the braking on the S01 was good on test and confidence-inspiring. ABS would have been nice, but as with pretty much most of the electric scooters I know in this category run CBS too, so the Silence is in good company.

Using up plenty of battery juice and covering a fair few miles around town and the muddy country lanes of Norfolk, I found myself really enjoying my time on the Silence. The bike's dimensions are for the most part pretty well designed. The seat is generous and comfy (though longer stints can get a little achy), the footboards seem pretty spacious which isn’t always the case with many electric scooters. And the seating position is relaxed and neutral so helps to add to the comfort.

‎Summary

For me, the Silence brings something a little different to the UK electric scooter market. They have clearly designed the S01 around their beliefs of what would best serve a scooter rider and you can clearly see this, and I for one really like this approach. It is very well thought out and designed.

At £4,995, for what is equivalent to a 125, there is no denying the S01 is a premium scooter, and for me, it is quite a jump to take when you have some great and very frugal Japanese petrol scooters which can be had for under £3,500. Though make sure to factor in the likely 1p a mile, and ultralow maintenance costs, and the S01 looks even more attractive. Like most things though the S01 can be more affordable for some on a finance deal, where it can be had for just £99 a month over 47 payments with a deposit of £1,050.50 (price correct time of publishing - please check with your Silence dealer for latest offers).

Don't forget though, if your electric scooter isn't going beyond typical busy streets of towns and cities, then you could look to save yourself a few quid and opt for the Silence S01 Urban, which is a toned-down version of the S01 Connected, with a 62-mile range, 5-7 hour charging time and a top speed of 52mph. With a price of £4,395 it is £600 cheaper than the S01 Connected, and on finance can be had for £85 a month over 47 payments with a deposit of £974.00, though again do check with your dealer for latest available deals on this.

When I compare the S01 to the others on the electric scooter market I can’t help but be very impressed. With large dimensions, huge amounts of under-seat storage, a powerful hub motor kicking out up to 9kw, great acceleration (for this class of bike) and a range of up to 80miles (expect slightly less than this), the Silence S01 offers rather a lot and is definitely one of the market leaders for me.

One of the biggest takeaways is that the S01 is really great fun to ride and probably offers the closest performance to a petrol scooter I’ve ridden to date in this category! How responsive it is and how the weight has been placed, allows for very enjoyable riding. It may still have some of the typical electric scooter limitations, but there is no doubting for me that the Silence S01 is a great electric scooter, and definitely up there as one of the best available right now. I truly admire how Silence has designed this scooter their way.

If you are after an electric scooter and have a suitable budget, then I’d recommend checking out one of these out in person to see if it ticks all your boxes! I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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