Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Looking Good on the TGA Vita

Due to my innate laziness and disorganisation I rarely (never?) check my comments, so unsurprisingly missed this one below on the TGA Vita post:
Hi, I just wanted to say, I have just purchased the Vita (in white as above) and my mother has the sporty orange model. And we absolutely love them! They are very comfortable, roomy, sturdy and very smooth to drive. On our first day out with them last Tuesday, we were quite amazed at the amount of people who commented on them and the amount of notice they had. We just can't wait to get back out again for another day out on them! Dani, Wrexham
Now if any manufacturers out there still have any doubts about there being a market for stylish, modern looking scooters there is your answer! While on the subject of the Vita, Heartway (the Vita's Taiwanese manufacturers) have released a three wheel version. Much as it pains me to say it it is actually quite ugly. This seems to be the conundrum faced by scooter designers, how can you design a scooter that looks good in both a three wheel and four wheel form? Heartway got it right I think with the Royale 4 and Royale 3 but this Vita just seems to look a little odd. In other news the Vita is now available in green. I haven't managed to get a pic yet, but in the mean time if you want to ogle some Vita's check out this video from TGA...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Days Strider Mobility Scooters

Days Medical have redesigned their Strider range with six new models from the ultra light weight boot scooter the Strider ST1 to the heavy duty luxury of the Strider ST6.

Days Strider ST1

The Strider ST1 is an ultra lightweight boot scooter, the most interesting feature of which is the new split chassis. The split chassis allows you to take disassemble the chassis without having to fiddle with tools or connectors, this means that the ST1 can be broken down into even smaller pieces for travel or storage. To aid portability the heaviest piece of the ST1 is only 40 pounds. Of course all this comes at a price: the range of the ST1 is only 10 miles per charge. Probably perfect for shopping trips or short jaunts on holiday, but it is not the scooter to get if you are looking for it as your main mode of transport.

The Strider ST1 retails between £400 and £500.

Days Strider ST2

Now this is a strange one. The Strider ST2 is specced almost identically to the ST1, but offers a shorter range of a paltry 6.4 miles per charge. This may be a typo, our unusual honesty about range, but untill I can test it out I can't say, all I can say is for an extra £30-£40 pouns you seem to get an under powered ST1. Go figure.

The Strider ST2 retails between £450 and £550.

Days Strider ST3

The Strider ST3 is the top of the range travel mobility scooter from Days. Like the ST1 and ST2 the ST3 features the split chassis and light weight components. The ST3 is slightly wider than the other two giving it more stability and a greater weight capacity (21 stone versus 18 stone). The ST3 also has a more reasonable 15 mile range, putting it slightly ahead of the Go Go Traveller Plus and just behind the Sterling Pearl, both scooters in the same price range offering similar specifications.

The Strider ST3 retails between £750 and £850.

Days Strider ST4

One thing of note with this new Strider range is that Days Medical have decided to focus on either end of the mobility scooter market. The first three scooters are all boot scooters; the last three are all class three 8 mile an hour scooters.

The first of the class three scooters is the ST4. The ST4 is a compact 8 mile an hour scooter in the moul of the Mercury Neo or the Shoprider Cadiz. It is just over 50" long, and just under 25" wide, has a ground clearance of 3" and is supplied with full sized 11" pneumatic tires and full suspension both front and rear. The ST4 has a low centre of gravity, which keeps it feeling stable even during cornering.

The Strider ST3 retails between £750 and £850

Days Strider ST5

The Days Strider ST5 is a bariatric class mobility scooter. It has a huge maximum weight capacity of 35 1/2 stone, almost as much a the Mercury M48 GT. The Strider ST5 is like the ST4 on steroids: its wheels are a full two inches bigger; the batteries are 25Ah bigger; its range is 5 miles longer (30 miles to the ST4s 25) and it is ten inches longer and three inches wider. Unlike the ST4 the ST5 is supplied with a wrap around delta tiller that most people find more comfortable. The ST5 looks like being a good option for those who need a heavy weight mobility scooter without a heavyweight price tag.

The Strider ST3 retails between £1,500 and £1,700.

Days Strider ST6

The Strider ST6 is the top of the new Strider range, and it is a full sized luxury mobility scooter. The ST6 is clearly targeting the stylish end of the market that Heartway have made their own with the Royale and the Vita.

The ST6 is proportioned similarly to the Heartway Royale, and is only an inch longer at 63 inches. The ST6 has a greater total weight capacity of 35 ½ stone, and a greater stated range of 35 miles per charge (as ever take these figures with a pinch of salt; they are provided by the manufacturers!). The Strider ST 6 has excellent specs, and is supplied with 15" split rim alloy wheels with pneumatic tires, oil damped rear suspension, coil sprung front suspension, and an upholstered adjustable swivel reclining seat with headrest.

The Strider ST6 has one main advantage over the Royale: Price. The ST6 retails at around £2,900 which is a good two to three hundred pounds lower than the best real price on the Royale.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Police to Target Mobility Scooters

Now I don’t know exactly what to make of the Police Specials site, but I was drifting through cyberspace today when I ran across this little tit-bit on their forum:
Whilst at a neighbouring station a few weeks back i couldnt help noticing district priorities and one of the top one in some wards was mobility scooter accidents. So i guess they are a bit of a problem. Anybody had any dealings with Mobility Scooter accidents/incidents?
read the whole thread Now I don't know what districts he is talking about but the idea that mobility scooter accidents being a priority is alarming to say the least. I don't want go over old ground but the mobility scooter menace is VASTLY overstated, and seems to be just another manifestation of the new 'fashion' for demonising mobility scooters and their drivers. Quite why the police are making this a priority (if indeed they are) is beyond me. Whenever people start talking about the 'menace' they either bring up some example of rudeness (unpleasant, but probably shouldn't be criminalised) or the two case that always get trotted out, that while both are certainly tragedies but are extremely isolated. Can you imagine if every time there was an accident involving a bicycle it made it into the papers?

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Shoprider Sovereign

If you had to describe the most boring mobility scooter in the world it would have several defining characteristics. First it would have to be red. Not Ferrari red or a rich scarlet, it would have to be the colour best described as 'disability red'; a kind of purpley red something like the colour of a fresh bruise and an old wine stain. Second it would have to have a wicker basket on the front. Well I say wicker, more faux wicker. Well I say faux wicker, let's just call it plastic. It wouldn't be road legal. Or transportable. It would have a top speed of 4 miles per hour. It would in fact be the Shoprider Sovereign.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The Mobility Scooter Menace (Again)

The ongoing threat to mankind posed by mobility scooters has been drawn to the attention of our glorious leaders. On January 7th the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) debated the matter; the discussion was none too edifying. Jeff Ennis (Lab) told the stories of Madison McNair, the toddler who was injured in an accident with a mobility scooter, and the sad story of Lillian Macey, who died after another scooter accident. Mr Ennis then followed up these two tragic cases with a couple of rants from his constituents, who had "witnessed near misses" and seen mobility scooters driven at "worrying speeds". Mr Ennis also quotes some interesting "statistics" about number of scooter acccidents. Sort of. The number of accidents in the category that contains mobility scooters went up 60% in the last three years (1,970 in 2006, to 3,238 in 2008), but as that category also includes ambulances, fire engines, motor caravans and quad bikes the number that can actually be attributed to mobility scooters is unknown. In fact if you factor in the the estimated growth in scooter users during the same period, from 100,000 to 300,000 you could argue that scooters are getting safer. Fortunately while he echos the concern of his constituents Mr Ennis doesn't advocate their solution - a mandatory test administered by suppliers. Assuming that a mandatory test WAS a good idea, giving suppliers responsibility for it would be a case of the fox guarding the chicken coop. Mr Ennis instead recommends making available voluntary training, similar to that offered by Great Yarmouth Constabulary. The Great Yarmouth course takes 25 minutes and is essentially a spin around some cones. Whether or not this has any real effect on the skills of the scooter driver remains to be seen. Hugh Bayley (Labour, City of York) then spoke about the need for people to be compensated when they are involved in accidents with mobility scooters, citing the "fact" that on the Motability Wheelchair and Scooter scheme
Those who get scooters under that scheme are required to insure the scooters, both for injury to third parties and for fire and theft.
This may come as a surprise to those who thought that insurance was a feature of the scheme not a requirment. I imagine Mr Bayley will also be campaigning for road side assistance to be mandatory as that is included on the scheme too. Sadiq Kahn, the The Minister of State, Department for Transport then responded in an entirely reasoned manner, thanking his honourable friends for being having honour and being friendly before dropping in this bizarre comment:
The hon. Gentleman will be aware, perhaps from Christmas presents he has bought for younger people, that it is possible to buy a remote control car that, when it comes into contact with an object, such as a table, TV or CD rack, will do a U-turn to avoid hitting that object. As a lay person, I do not have technical expertise on that, but I do not see why mobility scooters could not do something similar. I would like to look at that in the design standards and in any consultations we have as well.
Lost. For. Words.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Pride XL8

The Pride Celebrity XL8 is dead; long live the Pride Colt XL8! Over at Mobility Review they look back at one of the iconic (is that too strong?) scooters of the last few years, the Celebrity XL8 and look at some of the alternatives available now it has been discontinued. Else where they look to the present, and the scooter that for now seems to have replaced the Celebrity XL8 in the pride range - the Colt XL8. While on the subject of the Colt XL8, I thought this was rather amusing - an ill disguised rant at the practice of re branding mobility scooter.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Freerider Royale?

Not any more, nor in fact was it ever. After a flurry of activity from Niagara Health Care's (NHC) marketing department the internet is well on its way to being purged of the name Freerider Royale. The accepted nomenclature is Heartway Royale or NHC Royale. The move does in fact make sense, Freerider is a brand in its self and the only tie between the Royale and Freerider is that they are both distributed in the UK by NHC. While the move makes sense it goes against common usage, a search today on google for "freerider royale" (in quotes to match the phrase) returns 3,570 results, where as a search for "nhc royale" returns only 78 matches. While in the long run this will clarify and simplify things for consumers it is bound to lead to some confusion while people struggle to understand why most dealers don't stock the Freerider Royale any more.