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When Ather Energy started hyping its upcoming ‘family’ scooter, I was a bit confused. Afterall, scooters were always meant to be a family thing, weren’t they? So, what’s the big deal about making a scooter that does… Well, scooter stuff. Scooters claiming to be the comfiest and the easiest to ride are ten a penny today. Knowing Ather, I knew that the new Rizta wouldn’t be far from what was being advertised, but after riding it, I feel I understand what the young company meant.


The Rizta story is incomplete without the 450X. That’s because the bratty-yet-suave electric scooter shaped Ather identity… the identity that it had to distance itself from to make the Rizta. This time there is no sharp, edgy design but a more industrial, almost-generic one. Is it bland? No. But more importantly, does it look like an Ather? Unfortunately, no. But maybe, it had to look this way. I mean, this is a design that wouldn’t be ‘too much’ for the golden-agers nor too drab for gen-z. 


Unlike the sculpted side panels of the 450X, the Rizta has boxy panels because they hide a new sub-frame which not only can accommodate the long seat but also makes room for the 34-litre underseat storage area. And complementing that is the roomy floorboard that could accommodate my size 13 feet. Though the floorboard appears to be tall, it ends up creating the perfect riding posture. Once on the saddle, the Rizta feels like a pakka family scooter. 


And on the move, the feeling is even more resounding. That’s because the Rizta doesn’t scare with all that instantaneous torque. It has a softer throttle response compared to the 450X, even in Zip mode. The acceleration feels so calm that even new riders won’t feel intimidated, and that’s also because of the skid control that Ather has introduced.


 In Smart Eco mode, the performance is capped even further, which to me, makes it a tad lethargic in the city. I would probably use the Rizta in Zip mode all the time and make the most of the ‘Magic Twist’ to sustain the charge. For the uninitiated, this feature allows 15 degree of reverse throttle to use regenerative braking and reduce dependency on the brakes, which, by the way, are very different from those on the 450X. Even under hard braking, the Rizta feels composed, and that’s primarily because of how Ather has tuned the braking keeping the family use in mind. Yes, there’s no ABS on the Rizta, but the combined braking system works just fine. 

What doesn’t work fine is the instrument console. The TFT unit is bright and easy to read. However, the current AtherStack 6 UI is a bit laggy, which can get on your nerves. However, knowing Ather, it is a matter of a few weeks and a smoother, glitch-free UI can be expected.


The Ather Rizta is a big step away from the 450X. Right from the way it looks to the way you sit and experience the product is completely different, which I reckon must have been a tough thing for the company to sacrifice some of its best-known traits. Come to think of it, isn’t that what family is all about? Understanding the need of the hour and making those small sacrifices for the greater good of everyone?