River Indie road test, review

Electric scooters swarm our streets and can now be spotted in nearly every major city in India. While most focus on charging solutions and performance, River has taken it upon itself to provide practical solutions for riders who need more storage. River launched the Indie towards the end of last year and dubbed it the “SUV of scooters”.  After a long wait, we’ve finally got our hands on this scooter back in Mumbai, where we can put its claims to the test. 
Twin LED headlamp setup provides good illumination and looks unique.

The design invites you to be enamoured by its lovely details and clean aesthetic. The Indie looks like a minion, and I must admit this design Gru on me. Puns aside, the rounded edges, curvaceous profile and streamlined appearance make the Indie look like a perfect blend of retro and modern. The front rails and pannier mounts give it a more utilitarian feel, while the large dimensions make it feel more significant than most scooters.

The Indie is equipped to be quite versatile should you accessorise it well, but even without the added optional storage, there is a lot the Indie can stomach in its colossal 43-litre boot and additional 12 litres of storage found in the glove box. River also offers panniers and a top box as accessories that will further increase storage by 40 litres and 25 litres, respectively.

Dash has a neat layout but lacks brightness on a sunny day.

The Indie has the ergonomics to suit most riders across a range of heights. There is no fancy TFT wizardry or any gimmicks on display, just good old-fashioned practicality. The headlamp design is unique; one can’t mistake the Indie for any other scooter. 

The Indie feels built to last and purposeful. That being said, certain areas can be improved and be more intuitive. For instance, accessing the charging port involves too many steps and one must open both the glove box (to access the port) and boot (to remove the large charger) to charge the scooter. 

12-litre space allows access to the charging flap and packs a USB port.

Secondly, the charging flap feels flimsy, and a sturdier option would age better. Once you look past these little niggles, the scooter feels solid and built to last. On the bright side, the dual-headlamp setup offers good illumination, and it only falls short on the highway where the high beam is either poorly adjusted on our scooter or underwhelming in how it performs.

Charging flap feels loose and not as sturdy as the rest of the scooter.

There are two USB charging ports, one in the glove box and one under the handlebar. River says an eSIM option will be available if you wish to use the River app. Next to the LCD screen are buttons to engage ‘park’ in reverse mode, which is helpful in tight parking spots or on inclines.

The 143kg Indie manages to shrink its size when you begin moving and feels quite sharp darting through traffic. The ride quality is good, with only the bumpiest roads able to make their way through. The front forks are a little on the firm side and you will feel some judder over Mumbai’s harsh roads, but in general, this is one of the most comfortable scooters out there. 

The Indie feels larger and more spacious than any rival.

River could have gone for a softer setup, but the current one grants them a near-perfect balance between ride quality and handling, which is a fair compromise. Braking performance is surprisingly sharp but the MRF Nylogrip Zapper tyres do a good job  of maintaining grip and never leave me wanting for more.

Foldable foot pegs allow the rider to really stretch out.


It is powered by a 6.7kW motor that can be fine-tuned using three different riding modes. The Indie feels too lethargic in Eco and the slow pace with which it crawls to 50kph isn’t good for life in a big city. Ride mode is the best blend between range and performance for most day-to-day use, and it’s the mode I enjoyed the most. Rush mode lives up to its name, making most overtakes exciting with a strong power surge. Our tests reveal that overall acceleration is brisk but not quite as quick as the Ather and Ola.

43-litre boot can hold the large charger and a full-face helmet.

River claims an IDC range of 161km and a real world range of 120km based on the mode. Our tests revealed a range of 100km in the Eco mode and 89km in its highest Rush mode. Mind you, this was when ridden very carefully, and that number can drop dramatically if you ride aggressively. 

The dual disc brake setup is sharp and stops the scooter on a dime.

During our range test, we also noticed that once the charge drops to 5 percent, the Indie will automatically switch to Eco mode in hopes of conserving as much juice as possible. Charging from 0-80 percent takes about 5 hours, while a full charge will take about six and a half hours of uninterrupted power supply.

The Indie was never designed to blow your socks off. Instead, it was designed to be practical and a value addition to your life. It is a very likeable scooter that gets better the more time you spend with it. Its charming looks and cheerful colours invite countless conversations at stoplights, and its practicality is also quite appealing. 

Though River will only sell these in Karnataka for now, their plans of expanding to the rest of the nation are still being worked on. That being said, the Indie is a very likeable scooter even if it is priced higher than some of its rivals, which offer similar performance and range. Only time will tell how River’s service and dealership network will pan out, and the company has a lot of catching up to do against the competition. Thankfully, they do have a charismatic and affable product on their hands.

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)
To Top