Kaabo Mantis Review: Overview
This review is an in-depth look at the Kaabo Mantis — one of our favorite scooters of 2020. It packs punchy dual 1000-watt motors, nimble steering, semi-hydraulic brakes, and top build quality into a 61 lb package. The Mantis will give you at least 30 miles of maxed-out urban commuting, based on our real-world range tests.
|Tested top speed: 40 mph*|
|Tested range: 29.1 miles*|
|Weight: 62 lbs|
|Max rider weight: 265 lbs|
|Water resistance: None|
* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.
|Very fast and nimble|
|Locking stem for easy carrying|
|Top-notch suspension and build quality|
|61 lb weight|
|The trigger-style throttle is not ergonomic|
The Kaabo Mantis is one of the newest electric scooters on the scene and packs a lot of power, range, and features at its very competitive price point.
First off, the Mantis is a rocket and scored some of the better acceleration and braking times we’ve seen. Not only is it fast, but its large pneumatic tires and quality suspension keep the scooter pinned to the road and permit precision carving. The smaller capacity 17 Ah “base” version we tested can also go the distance — scoring nearly 30 miles in our rigorous max-power range test.
Another notable feature is the bomb-proof stem folding mechanism that means zero creaking/wobble in the handlebars. The handlebars also lock to the rear fender and allow carrying by the stem. Though it tips the scales at 61 lbs — by no means ultra-portable — this feature will help you lift or carry the scooter for short distances.
Finally, like the Wolf Warrior, its older brother, the Mantis delivers a ton of value, power, quality, and range at a ridiculously competitive price. The base version has semi-hydraulic brakes and a locking mechanism for carrying — features absent on some much more expensive scooters.
Note: We reviewed the Kaabo Mantis 17.5 amp hour version; however, there is a seriously upgraded Kaabo Mantis Pro available.
If you are looking for a fast but nimble scooter that feels like a monster but doesn’t have monstrous weight, the Mantis is a great choice. It is basically a budget Dualtron Spider — similar feel and performance — but at a steep discount and higher weight. If you splurge for the Mantis PRO version, then you’ll also get a MiniMotors drivetrain, controller, EY3 display, and LG-branded batteries.
Other Scooters to Consider
- To keep it simple, check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.
- Lighter weight: The Zero 9 is lighter, more compact, but not as powerful
- Less expensive: The WideWheel is less expensive but still quick. Compare
- Lower maintenance: The Zero 8X is more compact, and has flat-free airless tires
|Kaabo Mantis (17 Ah)||40 mph||29.1 mi||62 lb||$1649|
|Zero 9||28.4 mph||21.7 mi||40 lb||$1050|
|WideWheel||25 mph||18.8 mi||45 lb||$999|
|Zero 8X||34 mph||21.3 mi||73 lb||$1600|
** Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.
Kaabo Mantis Review
Results below are based on our independent testing and not data provided by the manufacturer. Read about our testing methodology or compare with other scooters on our electric scooter performance testing page.
|Acceleration (0 to 15 mph)||2.5 seconds|
|Top speed||40 mph|
|Braking distance (15 to 0 mph)||11.1 ft|
|Hill climb test||9.2 seconds|
The Kaabo Mantis rocked the acceleration test. The dual 1000-watt electric motors and 25 amp controller propel it to 15 mph in 2.5 seconds, to 20 mph in 3.9 seconds, and let it fly past 30 mph in 7.7 seconds.
How does this translate to feeling? Simply put: very fast, arm-yanking acceleration up to about 25 mph. After 25 mph, it cools down but still pulls all the way up to its top speed of ~40 mph. The motors are very torquey; you can readily spin both wheels at full throttle.
The throttle response is slightly laggy. By this, we mean the time between squeezing the throttle control and feeling the motors activate. On the Mantis, the lag is a fraction of a second, but noticeable if you test a lot of high-end scooters.
We wonder if accelerator lag is better on the Mantis Pro, which uses the MiniMotors eye throttle. The Pro version also has a beefed-up 1470 Wh LG battery, 27 amp controller, and higher torque motors, which should make it even faster.
The Mantis completed our 200 ft (61 m), 10% grade hill climb test in 9.2 seconds with an average speed of 14.9 MPH (24 kmh). We test all scooters on the same hill climb with the same 165 lb rider.
Compare with other scooters on our performance page.
We were able to hit 39 MPH with a 165 lb rider — very close to the claimed 40 mph top speed.
We performed a range test on our urban test track in California with the Mantis in its maxed-out dual motor power mode. The range test simulates a challenging urban commute, with frequent starts and stops, hills, and rough terrain. We test all scooters on this same loop with the same 165 lb rider.
The lower capacity 17 Ah, 1050 watt-hour version we tested made it 29 miles before running out of battery.
The Mantis has massive semi-hydraulic disc brakes that help keep its power in check.
The Mantis has fantastic braking — among the best we’ve tested. The grippy pneumatic tires plus cable-actuated dual semi-hydraulic disc brakes help keep your speed in check. Brake control is smooth. The hydraulic calipers amplify your braking efforts. The scooter also has an adjustable electronic braking system that can be quite strong.
In our braking test, the Mantis went from 15 mph to a stop in just 11.1 feet. The only scooter to perform better than this is the record-setting WePed GT 50E with its massive kart racing tires.
The dual coil-over-hydraulic shocks give the Mantis one of the best suspensions we’ve tested. The scooter feels very stable, agile, and has standout suspension — it delivers on nearly all terrain.
The Mantis is thrilling in the turns. As you lean into a curve, the contact patch between the tire and road remains constant thanks to the rounded profile of the 10-inch by 2.5-inch pneumatic tires. This makes the Mantis feel very nimble to whip around. Control over this scooter is much better than other large-tire scooters that have vague steering input.
Another standout feature is the dual coil-over-hydraulic suspension — reminiscent of the Zero 10X — that provides a firm ride on smooth roads yet is soft enough to eat rough terrain or potholes readily. Not only is it highly functional, but it is dead quiet. Overall, this ranks among the top suspension systems we’ve tested.
Kaabo Mantis Features
The Kaabo Mantis is heavy and sizeable — even when folded. Yet its locking stem makes it very maneuverable for occasional lifting.
The Mantis is 61 lbs (65 lb for the PRO version) and has Its 24-inch, non-folding handlebars that are unpleasantly wide for bringing onto a packed commuter train during rush hour. Even folded, the Mantis is BIG — 49-inches by 24 inches by 19-inches (124 by 61 by 48 cm) — about 6-inches longer and 6-inches (15 cm) wider than the typical 27 lb (12 kg) budget scooter.
However, the Mantis does have two standout portability features: a quality folding mechanism and a locking stem. The stem folding mechanism is easy to use, and rock-solid once locked into place.
Stem Folding Mechanism
The stem folding mechanism for the Kaabo is absolutely rock solid. The clamping mechanism has two opposing quick-releases that are fast to use and don’t require annoying adjustments. Once locked into place, there is zero stem wobble and no bending/creaking when pushing on the handlebars.
Finally, the folding stem locks into place once folded. When the scooter is folded, the handlebars have a latch that secures it to the rear fender, allowing it to be carried by the stem. This helps make the Mantis portable enough to throw into the back of a car or carry up a short flight of stairs.
Overall, the Mantis has a fairly standard cockpit with wide bicycle-style handlebars and a trigger-style throttle. It has dedicated buttons for controlling motor mode (single or dual) and power (eco or the faster turbo mode).
The trigger-style throttle, which has become commonplace on performance scooters, can be uncomfortable for prolonged use.
One thing we did not like is the index finger controlled throttle. It requires your finger to be outstretched and is uncomfortable for prolonged use. Unfortunately, this has become the standard type of controller for all high-end scooters (save the Boosted Rev).
The throttle trigger is built into the information display LCD. The display is easy to read in full sunlight. Many so-called P-settings can be tuned by clicking through the mode and power buttons.
Handlebar grips are somewhat cheap foam ones but have held up decently well. If this were a personal scooter, it would probably be one of the first upgrades we’d do.
The Mantis has deck side LEDs that will help make you visible to cars at night. Note: side deck lights are white, not blue.
The Mantis has side LED deck lights, front button lights, and rear red button lights. None of the lights are particularly bright, nor are they mounted in a high position.
For riding at night, you’ll definitely need more lighting for better visibility.
The Mantis has large-diameter 10-inch by 2.5-inch pneumatic inner tube tires with rounded profiles that give it excellent ride quality. They help keep the scooter feeling surgically precise and pinned to the tarmac when cornering.
The Mantis has a spacious deck that is covered in Mantis-branded rubber that keeps your feet planted when pulling serious G’s.
The Kaabo has a spacious, 20.3-inch by 8.3-inch (51 by 21 cm) deck that gives 6-inches (15 cm) of ground clearance. The deck is covered with a grippy emblemized rubber mat that provides excellent traction in wet or dry conditions. Deck-to-handlebar height is 37-inches (94 cm).
Warranty / Post-Purchase Support
Purchased through Fluid FreeRide, the exclusive distributor in the United States, the Mantis comes with a 6-month warranty.
The Kaabo Mantis has the same exceptional build quality that we noted when we reviewed the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11. It has very solid construction with lots of thick metal parts that are all buttoned up very nicely. The scooter is deathly silent with no rattling noises — even on the worst terrain — save for the pleasant hum of the massive motors.
Kaabo even got some of the small touches right. The scooter has A LOT of cables, but they are routed well and wrapped up in a protective mesh that bundles them together. Kaabo even got the kickstand right — an often overlooked feature.
The Kaabo brand, in general, seems to have a solid reputation and quality to match.
Kaabo Mantis: Review Conclusions
The Kaabo Mantis packs a lot of performance and features into a decent-sized 61 lb package. We love the acceleration, handling, and ride quality. It really feels like a budget Dualtron Spider and is stiff competition up against the Zero 10X.
The Pro version brings even more to the table — including fully hydraulic brakes and a MiniMotors drivetrain — at a significantly higher price but is also very competitive.
Kaabo Mantis Technical Specifications From Manufacturer
Note: This may differ from our tested specifications.
|Folded dimensions||49 by 24 by 19 in|
|Motor power, continuous||2000 watts|
|Top speed||40 mph|
|Battery capacity||1050 Wh|
|Battery recharge time||6 to 9 hours|
|Max rider weight||264 lbs|
|Brake type||Dual Disc + Electronic|
|Tire type||10-inch Pneumatic|
|Built-in lights||Front + Rear + Side|