The Roma of the French brand 2Twenty stands out from the competition on the sector of the electric scooter with a retro look well marked. But does it combine this difference with a fun scooter? It's more complicated.
Casually, electric scooters multiply. Less expensive that cars and more mobile to deal with urban traffic jams, they quickly appear as le the most efficient means of transport for daily commutes in the city. Problem: it is also a sector that was quickly invested by importers, simply posing a badge on Chinese scooters, without thinking long term, SAV or finishes. So it becomes difficult to find an electric scooter that is not made in China today, but some companies are trying to stand out. In France, this is the case of 2Twenty.
2Twenty is a company that has sought to give the electric a definitely retro genre. With his Roma, inspired by a Vespa, the company tries to impose itself on a market turned to scooters with futuristic and impersonal design. To this, she adds a house engineering, a spare parts storage to ensure the guarantee and a particular attention to the after-sales service. With a battery capable of ensuring 50 km of autonomy, the location for a second battery of equivalent capacity, a maximum speed of 50 km / h, and a homologation for two people, all within 3 000 euros on the official websiteRoma has something to seduce. Despite its imposing size, which jumps however to the eyes.
What about in practice?
Design and finishes
The least we can say is that this baby blue scooter that we take test for a week near the Porte Saint-Martin in Paris denotes. Parked in the middle of a crowd of scooters at scooter lookforming a gradient from midnight blue to black with a few touches of gray, Roma catches the eye. The plastic that makes up its frame looks like the metal used on the historical models from which it is inspired. It is only to the touch that we will notice a less cold and more flexible surface.
However, the finishes of Roma graze perfection. If the scooter has been made in China, we feel that the brand has emancipated from a catalog of parts and sought to do well. The shapes are very regular, the angles do not cut. Everything transpires robustness, from the particularly impressive handlebar to the seat, through the rear support. Nothing squeaks under the weight or the speed and we feel immediately safe.
Unlike models that incomprehensibly multiply the actions to access the compartmentsthe Roma is based on simplicity: the key makes it possible to switch on the ignition, to open the battery box under the seat by a second port and to open the small storage compartment by a third port. No odd quarter turn to do with the keys or hidden compartments: everything is accessible in the blink of an eye. The storage on the right can roughly put a bottle, a lock or charger for batteries. This will not allow you to store a headset or go on a weekend, but that's nice.
We find this care in the various controls, settings and displays. For example, Roma does not make a desperate strident noise for every action. We've tested too many electric scooters that punctuate every minute of driving by infernal biiiiipblinkers, reverse gear or, worse, veille. Even the best give in to this mode and we are happy to see that the Roma do without visual clarity, on the controls: the indicators are big and bright.
Last good point: the charger fan is remarkably low in decibels when used. He is not inaudible, but we did not have to move him to an isolated office room like most competitors.
Driving and autonomy
On the road
But enough time to look at the scooter: let's put the engine. Accustomed to electric scooters nervous and very small - those of Coup still refer among fans - we will not hide our surprise when we ... tried to accelerate with the Roma.
In energy saving mode, configured by default, the scooter will be left behind red lights by all thermal scooters, bother cars behind and even get caught by bikes or pedelecs. 2Twenty explained to us that a too abrupt start was criticized by the first users ... But maybe the brand went in the soft. Also, the slopes of Montreuil do not allow to exceed 30 km / h if we have not taken enough momentum. The time (long) to arrive at full speed, the scooter is already at the top.
Fortunately, a cheat code detailed in the manual will activate the sport mode which is roughly a default mode on competing electric scooters. Without being an arrow, the Roma becomes usable in the city and allows fast starts with a much more reactive acceleration recovery. This sport mode should have been the default mode for us: it is frankly not abrupt or destabilizing. Once we take the plunge, we like to drive in the middle of the Parisian exhausts, probably losing a minute of life per second spent on major arteries. At least we can go in front of everyone.
The maintenance on the track is very good, because the scooter is clumsy. It's a large scooter, which does not have a tapered profile. Several times, we had to check behind us if the steering angle made it possible to pass the rear of the machine. It will be a fault for lovers and lovers of fast mobility, and a quality for beginners and beginners seeking above all the comfort of driving.
Side braking, we had some frights on slippery and wet ground, but more because the machine is not very permissive on the brake pressure that because his system is failing. Without ABS to optimize everything, it is necessary to be vigilant and not too much to block the two wheels (left brake) and privilege a soft braking with the right brake - recommendations in conformity with what is taught on the motorcycle license. In dry weather, the Roma has no problem braking or steering in braking, and is very reassuring on this side.
Finally, if we appreciate that the brake completely shut down the engines when stopped (turn the throttle then release the brake will allow a start with all the available torque), we regret that the flashing does not have a central push button for give it to 0. As a result, we tend to forget it all too often in one position.
Unlike Askoll, which pumps on both batteries at the same time, 2Twenty chose to let the user change the battery. In practice, it's very simple: a cable to unplug and reconnect under the seat. The operation can be done in less than a minute and we realized it mid-way by bending us a few moments on a sidewalk. Our experience can confirm the technical sheet: we are left with more or less 50 km battery life, which can be recharged one after the other and therefore never be short.
On the other hand, the tested version of Roma has a problem that 2Twenty readily recognizes: the battery indicator is unreliable. In use, we found that it worked a little like that of electric scooters, showing the level remaining at a moment T and function of the effort required to the batteries. Typically, he can show you a bar on the total when you go up and find 3 or 4 on the dish. When you stop, you do not know how much battery you really have left.
The trick today is very low tech : Record the mileage shown after a stop and add up to find out where you are. bonus low tech : when there is about 10 km in a battery, the scooter is dragging like never before. This is a sign that we will have to reload. Correct this random operation, which is not a problem if your daily commute is less than 50 or 100 km is one of the objectives of 2Twenty for the next update of the Roma.
Indicative Note: 4 / 5
The Roma 2Twenty has, basically, no fatal flaw. It is even a well finished scooter, pleasant to drive and whose care and finishes will delight the most demanding road users. Even despite its energy saving mode too slow, its clumsy pace and concern for battery side display, we end up with a product that we come to appreciate. The French warranties and the parts available reassure us about its medium-term use.
He deserved an 3,5, a note that does not exist at home with our emotional rating system. If the next version corrects the small defects of Roma tested, its 4 will be deserved.
- Look, finishes
- Pleasant driving
- Company and French after-sales service
- Random battery display
- Really slow economy mode
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