Varla Eagle One Review
Slick, stylish, and packing a serious punch when it comes to performance and ride quality, the Varla Eagle One is up there with the Apollo Ghost as the best entry-level performance scooter. Flaunting an inky black body with metallic red accents, it not only looks the part but is equipped to handle the most demanding on and off-road environments with ease. From buttery-smooth adjustable suspension to a generously sized deck, and powerful hydraulic disc brakes that can stop at a dime, the Eagle One rivals more expensive models. It is, pound-for-pound, one of the best value electric scooters.
Varla Eagle One Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Varla Eagle One Be a Good Fit For You?
Well, that depends. Have you outgrown the slower pace and more limited specifications of conventional electric scooters? Do you want to trade in your old commuting companion, and feel the thrill of something that ups the ante when it comes to torque and range?
If so, stay right there – because the Varla Eagle One is right up your street.
As an introduction to the world of performance electric scooters, you’re unlikely to find anything more affordable or accessible as the Eagle One.
Built for both urban and off-road environments and with a range of customizable performance settings, the Eagle One is a versatile scooter that wears many hats. It’s not quite at the level of the hell-raising, no-holds-barred speed and specs of Dualtron’s upper range of scooters (such as the X, Thunder, and Ultra), but let’s be honest – few scooters in this world are.
Crucially, though, the Varla Eagle One offers a ‘gateway’ into higher performance models; providing a safe, reliable, yet adrenaline-inducing ride that delivers best-in-class ride quality for its price point.
Pros and Cons
- Rapid acceleration
- Excellent suspension
- Key-start ignition
- Interchangeable on and off-road tires
- Comes with safety gear, an inner tube, and grip tapes
- Choice of free accessory when purchased (incl. off-road tires, a powerful headlight, seat, etc)
- IP54 water resistance rating
- Beastly hill-climbing capability
- Kickstand is flimsy
- Handlebars don't fold
Value for Money
Is the Price Tag Worth it?
It might seem counterintuitive to describe a scooter that costs over one and a half thousand bucks as ‘a steal’. But to be honest, there’s no other word for it – because, for what you get with the Varla Eagle One, it’s an absolute bargain.
Of course, at $1,599.00, it’s a step up in price from your average commuter scooter. The Eagle One costs more than three times the Turboant X7 Pro (our top-rated entry-level budget scooter) and a whopping five times as much as the GoTrax Apex (best scooter under $300). But, that huge step isn’t just a monetary one – the Varla packs a serious punch when it comes to performance and added extras.
The Eagle One goes twice as fast as your typical Segway-Ninebot, Hiboy, or Turboant model, and gets you a much-needed injection of mileage.
Varla’s flagship scooter has a lot in common with Apollo’s Pro and Zero’s 10X scooters- sharing everything that made these scooters front runners but for a fraction of the price.
And how about those features? With the key-ignition, adjustable suspension, IP54 water-resistance rating, and QS-S4 display, to name a few, the Eagle One is packed with premium features that perfectly complement its performance specs.
Oh, and if all that wasn’t enough to convince you, Varla throw in a care package of knee, elbow pads, and protective gloves alongside a spare inner tire tube, and 3 additional grip tapes for free. This is a nice touch that we haven’t experienced with any other scooters that have been sent to us. You also get the option to select another accessory for free when you buy the scooter (including off-road tires, a powerful headlight, seat, etc), which further bolsters value for money.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
While the Eagle One’s raw power doesn’t match the extreme performance of the $5,999-priced Dualtron X, the handlebars – funnily enough – punch well above their weight.
Measuring an expansive width of 25.5 inches, the handlebars are – wait for it – the second widest of any scooter I’ve ever reviewed (sitting just behind the Apollo Pro and Zero 10X at 26.7 inches). This is wider than even the most esteemed high-performance scooters such as the Wolf Warrior (24.6 inches), Dualtron Ultra (24 inches), and yes, even the Dualtron X (24.8 inches).
What’s the benefit of the wide handlebars to you? Their increased size affords a rider stance that is optimal for control, especially when it comes to keeping the steering column stable when hitting the 40 mph top speed.
Mounted on the handlebars is the Eagle One’s control center – otherwise known as the QS-S4 LCD display and finger throttle. This not only gives you a glance at your speed, gear, battery life, and mileage (both trip and total) but also the ability to customize the scooter’s configuration to suit your needs.
Directly below the display sits the battery voltmeter – which provides an accurate reading of battery power – and the key ignition.
Moving over to the left, you’ll find the bell alongside the Eco/Turbo and motor selection buttons.
To finish the handlebar controls off, there are hand-operated brakes on either side. The one on the right controls the front hydraulic disc brake, and the one on the left, the rear brake.
Last but not least, the handgrips have an ergonomic design that is easy to grip. They are the same as on the Zero 10X, and firmly fastened into place.
The Eagle One sports a frame forged from aluminum, which – though it lends the scooter a dose of durability – doesn’t make it particularly light. At 77 lbs, it’s one of the heaviest in our database of 100+ scooters.
Weight aside, there’s plenty to enjoy about how the Eagle One’s frame looks. Balancing an inky black body with metallic red accents around the handlebars, stem, and front and rear fenders, the Eagle One’s plumage screams character.
Spanning 21.6 inches in length and another 9.1 in width, the Eagle One’s engineers clearly had rider safety and stability at the forefront of their minds when sketching out the blueprint for this bad boy.
Not only does the super-sized stature of the Eagle One’s deck (which, incidentally, is just 0.4 inches shorter than that of the titanic Dualtron X) make for a comfortable ride, there’s even a kickplate at the rear of it. This raised, reinforced platform (which is supported by a piston-like spring suspension system), can take all your weight, allowing you not only to lean forward into the ride but feel safe doing so.
Speaking of safety, the Eagle One’s deck is fashioned in a sandpaper-like grip tape.
While deck tape is perfectly adequate to keep you gripped and onboard (we, for instance, had zero issues with it during test rides), as a rule, rubber surfaces tend to offer better grip – and it’d be nice to see this on any upcoming re-releases of the Eagle One.
Still, grip tape has its advantages – especially when it looks as good as it does here. The Eagle One comes with four different choices of grip tape: a flaming skull, a stylized, black and white American flag, an Apache helicopter, and a vibrant graffiti design.
Another positive of grip tape is that, unlike rubber, it can be easily changed when one wears out; saving you time, hassle, and money.
The Varla Eagle One sports a pair of 10 x 3 inch pneumatic tires.
I’m always happy to see pneumatic tires. They’re built with comfort and shock absorption in mind, and – unlike the solid variety – are well-equipped to handle the challenge of off-road terrain.
So, are the Eagle One’s wheels better suited for on or off-road surfaces?
The answer is both. That’s not a cop-out – the Eagle One simply offers two sets of tires. As standard, the Eagle One arrives with road tires. But, it can also be fitted with knobby, tread-threaded tires that work a charm on dirt tracks and cross-country adventures.
This second set of off-road tires – which, incidentally, are super straightforward to fit – costs just $99. Alternatively, they’re available to choose from as your ‘free gift’ at purchase.
Based on our tests with the road tires fitted, we found that the slick tire tread and wide 3 inch contact patch maintained traction at all times, making the scooter easy to control whilst accelerating rapidly and riding at high speeds. You’re not just limited to urban environments though, the road tires can take on dirt tracks but you may find the back wheel spinning occasionally as it tries to grip loose terrain – this is where the off-road tires shine.
Build Quality & Durability
The Eagle One is built to last.
As I previously noted, it is made of a sturdy aluminum alloy. Aluminum alloy is just about the industry standard when it comes to scooters, and you’ll find it across all major brands.
Since we’re comparing it to the Apollo Pro and Zero 10X, virtually every component of the scooter is identical. From the strong bolts to the durable pivots, everything about this scooter is solid.
Whilst some performance scooters suffer from wobbly stems as a result of their collar-style clamps, we had no issues – it stayed very secure during all of our tests.
Even when comparing it to (perhaps slightly unfairly) Dualtron’s range of super scooters, the Eagle One has something the X, Ultra, Eagle Pro, and Thunder can only dream of – a water resistance rating.
Unlike some scooters retailing for four times its price, the Eagle One has an impressive IP54 rating, meaning it’s entirely splash-proof. Ride it in the rain, get it dirty in the mud, and do it all with confidence.
The only gripe I have with the Eagle One’s build quality is its flimsy kickstand. It’d be great to see it with a beefier upgrade.
Weight & Load
To get the best out of the Eagle One you need to weigh less than 265 lbs – which, as it happens, is the maximum load supported by most of Dualtron’s scooters, as well as Kaabo’s Mantis.
However, the Eagle One can take on more weight. It is capable of supporting a payload of up to 330 lbs. To put that into perspective, 330 lbs is the same load that the Apollo Pro and Zero 10X boast – not to mention the likes of some extreme-performance scooters including the Wolf Warrior and Dualtron X 2.
The Eagle One’s load-bearing capabilities are only beaten by the EMOVE Cruiser (352 lbs) and formidable Wolf King (400 lbs).
The scooter’s weight goes hand-in-hand with its load capacity, clocking in at 77 lbs.
It’s almost as heavy as off-road behemoths like the Dualtron Ultra and EVOLV Pro-R. However, it is ever-so-slightly lighter than the Zero 10X (80 lbs) and sits in-line with Apollo Pro’s 77 lbs. Taking this into consideration, the weight of the Varla is befitting of its size, pedigree, and raw power.
Folding & Portability
The simple quick-release levers loosen the collar-clamp located at the stem’s base. This clamp then slides up the length of the stem, allowing you to easily fold the scooter.
However, as we have seen with a lot of performance scooters, the Eagle One, out-of-the-box, doesn’t have a locking system for connecting the stem to the deck. As a result, when folded, you have to lift the scooter by its deck as opposed to gripping the stem. For some riders, this won’t be too much of an issue, especially since the Eagle Pro has been designed to be the journey as opposed to part of it like commuter scooters that are lighter and more compact. However, having tested numerous scooters, you’ll almost certainly need to lift it one time or another and this can be extremely difficult with the Eagle One. There is a solution, though.
One of the free gifts you can choose when buying the Eagle One is a deck hook. This comes with two components, the first is a hard-wearing steel clamp with a folding latch attached, and the second, a hook that screws into the back of the deck below the kickplate. Once installed, the folding latch (attached just below the handlebars) slides into the deck hook. This secures the stem in place so you can lift it with ease (albeit the 77 lb weight).
Unfortunately, the Varla Eagle One’s handlebars don’t fold – but for the price point, we can let this slip. Besides, the Apollo Pro and Zero 10X don’t come with foldable handlebars as standard either, and they cost more.
The Varla Eagle One comes mostly assembled, and the stuff you need to do (which consists mainly of mounting and tightening the handlebars into place) is simple and intuitive.
The only drawback? You won’t get much help from the manual.
The Eagle One’s manual is essentially just a general overview of the scooter’s specs. It’s more like a piece of marketing material than it is a set of instructions, and – while it’ll show you how to fold the scooter, change some of the display’s P-settings, and adjust the brakes – it won’t tell you how to put it together.
Luckily, Varla’s online support resources are excellent and include how-to guides, FAQs, and after-sales email support. If I were you, I’d skip the manual altogether, and watch Varla’s Eagle One unboxing video to help you get this thing assembled. At less than five minutes long, it’s worth a watch.
One more thing – the Eagle One comes with a neat all-in-one tool for putting it together. The tool’s outer bank has all the Allen wrenches you’ll require, while the inner bank features screwdrivers, ratchets, and wrenches. Don’t let all that stress you out, though – you only need the Allen wrenches for assembly.
Is the Varla Eagle One Comfortable to Ride?
When you’re going to be crushing off-road tracks as much as you are burning the rubber on asphalt, your scooter needs to be comfortable to ride.
And on this front, the Varla Eagle One delivers.
The swingarm suspension is excellent, and you can easily adjust it by tightening or loosening each spring. The pneumatic tires play their part, too, with a healthy level of shock absorption as they eat up the terrain underfoot, while the deck – long, wide, and with a reinforced kickplate to help you lean into the scooter – adds to your overall stability and comfort.
For long rides, the Eagle One’s optional seat attachment will ease the burden on your legs, while a flawless cruise control setting does the same for your finger.
There’s no other way to say it: for the $1,599 price tag, its ride quality is best-in-class.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
The Varla Eagle One reaches a top speed of 40 mph.
In our database of 100+ scooters, it places in joint 10th position for speed, matching the likes of the INOKIM OxO ($2,599), Dualtron Compact ($2,649), and even the Dualtron 3 ($2,969), to name a few.
In fact, when we look at all 9 scooters that it matches for speed, the Varla Eagle One is significantly cheaper than all of them.
Not only does the Eagle One deliver the goods – giving you a taste of what performance scooters have to offer – but it does it without the hefty price tag. You get a surprising amount of value for your money.
The acceleration is fast, too.
When in ‘Eco’ mode, acceleration is smooth and silky, but be sure to properly prepare yourself when setting off in the souped-up ‘Turbo’ mode with both 1000W motors engaged. The throttle is sensitive to touch and can cause the powerful scooter to leap out in front of you if you’re not ready. We found that using the kickplate helps to lean into the ride and stay in control.
The Varla Eagle One has a range of up to 40 miles.
Now, mileage specified in a scooter’s marketing material should always be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, the amount of distance you’ll get out of a scooter depends on your weight, the terrain, and how hard you hit the accelerator.
Refreshingly, though, our tests found that, in practice, the Eagle One’s range is very close to what Varla promises. In large part, this is down to the scooter’s fantastic 52V 18.2Ah Lithium-ion battery, which you can easily monitor the capacity of via the Eagle One’s QS-S4 display and voltmeter.
On a 13-mile ride over hilly terrain, the battery was only reduced by 2 out of the 5 battery bars.
Depending on where you live or are planning on riding, steep inclines can be the Achilles heel for a lot of scooters.
To muster the power needed to ascend inclines you need a scooter that has the propensity to generate high levels of torque. The Eagle One is a prime candidate. With dual 1000W motors and a 52V controller putting out a circuit-crushing amount of torque, you’ll be able to tackle the steepest of inclines without breaking a sweat.
One of our hill tests was on a road with a 10-degree incline (17.6% grade). The scooter took this challenge in its stride and our speed only fell by a measly 1 mph for the entire ascent.
Beyond 10-degrees, the Eagle One is more than capable of scaling the likes of San Francisco’s Lombard Street, with its steep 15.1-degree angle (27% grade).
Shock Absorption / Suspension
The superb shock absorption owes its success to two things: the large 10 x 3 inch pneumatic tires, and the spring suspension.
Since we’ve already discussed the tires, let’s talk about the suspension system. The Eagle One has dual springs – one in the front, and one in the rear – which, combined with the swingarms, have enough travel to soak up bumpy terrain both on and off-road.
In addition to the already well-equipped shock absorption capabilities, both the front and rear coils can be adjusted. You can either loosen the springs for a more luxurious ride that is best-suited to off-road terrain or tighten them for when you want to burn rubber during high-speed road riding.
With dual hydraulic disc brakes, the Eagle One comes equipped with a great deal of stopping power.
Whilst testing the Varla, we were very impressed with the braking power. You feel in control of the scooter at all times but there are some things you need to be aware of:
Each hydraulic brake is operated independently. The lever on the left side of the handlebars controls the rear brake, and the one on the right controls the front brake. When you need to come to a stop, you’ll want to use the rear brake first for deceleration, then engage the front brake to bring the scooter to a controlled stop.
It’s important to remember this, especially if you’re going to be hitting the max speeds (up to 40 mph). The brakes are so powerful that even the slightest pull on them kicks the hydraulic discs into action. In fact, when you first pull on the brakes you feel the regenerative braking system starting to slow the scooter. This system simply takes the wasted energy from the process of slowing down and uses it to recharge the batteries. You can adjust the level of regen braking via the QS-S4 display, but we found setting it at 3 out of 5 gave the best balance of braking power.
It’s also worth noting that the hydraulic brakes dissipate heat quicker than traditional disc and drum brakes. This makes them more durable and means that the longevity of braking performance is increased. Better still, the anti-lock braking system, which – though it’s a feature that’s more or less industry standard when it comes to scooters of the Eagle One’s class – is a nice touch. More on that in the “Extra Features” section.
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the Eagle One has two charging ports, but comes with just one charger.
You can purchase an extra charger for $69, or choose it as your free gift at the checkout. I’d recommend doing this – with just one charger, the Eagle One reaches full juice after 9 hours.
With a second charger, it takes just 5 hours.
QS-S4 Throttle Display for Customized Performance Configuration
It’s one of the laws of nature – all high-performance scooters must come with either a QS-S4 or EY3 display. So, what can the Eagle One’s QS-S4 throttle display add to your ride experience?
Well, it’s where you’ll view your scooter’s speed, gear, and battery life, and get a glance into riding insights like the distance you’ve covered on your current trip, as well as total mileage. It’s colorful, backlit – a must for night-time rides – and even has a USB port, which you can use to charge your accessories (though this will drain the scooter’s battery, so I wouldn’t recommend it).
The QS-S4 also has two big buttons that simply scream push me! One turns the scooter on, and the other selects your riding mode. Among the other things you can do here are activate the cruise control function, adjust the strength of your regenerative brake system, and even tinker with the brightness of the display. Should you wish, you can also toggle the period after which the scooter will automatically switch off, too.
As a display screen that doubles as a throttle, the QS-S4 shares several strands of common DNA with the EY3 display that is found on models such as the Wolf Warrior and all of the scooters in the Dualtron range.
And, while I’ve got to say that the Eagle One’s QS-S4 display doesn’t come close to the EYE’s cornucopia of customizable features, the former certainly benefits from a trimmer, stripped-back look that suits Varla’s less bulky style. Plus, the QS-S4 comes with plenty of pedigree – it’s been used by just about every scooter brand known to man, from Apollo and Zero to Kaabo and EVOLV.
The only drawbacks? While the Eagle One itself is water-resistance, the QS-S4 isn’t built to withstand the elements. If it’s raining heavily, you might want to leave this one in the garage.
Driving Mode and Motor System Buttons
As with all performance scooters that are worth their salt, you can toggle between driving modes and select either single or dual motors.
The easiest way to think about these buttons is as follows:
- Eco/Turbo – this controls your top speed and acceleration strength. Choose Turbo for maximum speed and acceleration.
- Single/Dual – this controls the maximum power output of your motors. Choose Dual for maximum power.
To reach the full 40 mph potential, you need to turn Turbo mode on, engage both motors, and make sure you are in gear 3.
While the 5 battery bars on the QS-S4 display are a quick and easy reference point to scan battery life at a glance, the dedicated voltmeter on the right side of the handlebars, directly below the display, accurately shows how much power you’ve got left.
On long rides, it won’t just be your legs getting tired – it’ll be your finger, too.
Fortunately, the cruise control system is there to come soaring to the rescue. It’ll help you travel at a constant speed, without having to keep your hand cramped in the same, uncomfortable position, and have your finger forever depressing the throttle.
You can activate it through the QS-S4 display by selecting the P17 setting.
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Augmenting the heavy-duty, heat-dissipating hydraulic brakes is an E-ABS (electronic anti-lock braking system).
Though I could spend all day talking you through the science, let me just say that the E-ABS will stop your brakes from locking up and keep you upright, rather than horizontal. Like I said earlier, this feature has become pretty standard for electric scooters but it is still a welcome addition, particularly considering the high speeds at which you could be traveling.
Pretty standard fare here – the Eagle One comes with LED button lights in both the front and rear.
The taillights illuminate when you brake, yet the jury’s still out on the headlights, which aren’t particularly bright.
As always, I’d recommend investing in additional lights. Luckily, you can add a rechargeable USB headlight ($59) to your order when you buy the Eagle One, or select it as a free gift. Personally, though, I’d recommend just buying it separately – there’s a bunch of other free premium accessories on offer that I’d take advantage of.
Key-Ignition (Anti-Theft Function)
The Varla Eagle One – much like a car, which it shares some of its speed with – unlocks with a key-start ignition.
It’s a handy anti-theft feature and should serve to show would-be thieves that the Eagle One isn’t a scooter to be messed with. Nevertheless, if you do plan to leave your scooter out in public, make sure you lock it up.
Did you know that less than half of all electric scooters are protected from the rain? The Eagle One is one of them.
The IP54 water-resistance rating means it can withstand splashes from all angles – a title not even Dualtron’s top scooters can lay claim to.
Free Protective Pads, Gloves, Grip Tape Replacements, and Inner Tubes
If you asked any of the big scooter brands about the safety of their scooters, they’d be quick to tell you that the safety of their riders is their biggest priority.
Varla doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk.
To our surprise, the Eagle One came with knee, elbow pads, and protective gloves alongside a spare inner tire tube, and 3 additional grip tapes – all for free.
This is a nice touch that we’ve never experienced with any other scooters that have been sent to us. It is a testament to Varla going the extra mile for its customers.
Bonus: Free Gift
The build is strong, the speed is fast, and the look is pure style. Still, I’m almost ashamed to admit that one of my favorite features of the Varla Eagle One is its biggest gimmick… did somebody say free gift.
When you purchase your Eagle One, you’ll not only get those safety accessories I mentioned above but an additional gift. What’s more, you get to choose it by taking your pick from a range of accessories. So, what will it be?
- Extra charger (worth $69)
- Deck hook (worth $49)
- Detachable seat (worth $139)
- Handlebar bag (worth $49)
- A pair of interchangeable off-road tires (worth $99)
- Rechargeable front USB light (worth $59)
In my opinion, the off-road tires offer the most value here. If you’ll be sticking to the city, though, take the charger (you’ll need two to unlock the Eagle One’s 5 hour minimum charge time), or do your legs a favor and grab the seat.
Interchangeable Tires For All Type of Terrain
If there’s one thing the Eagle One has in spades, it’s versatility.
With the frame, build, and specs that suit both on and off-road riding, Varla’s flagship scooter also allows you to switch out the street tires for a pair of chunky, knobby, pneumatics. These will cost you $99 for a pair, or you can pick them up for free at checkout as your free gift.
Optional Seat Attachment
There aren’t too many seated scooters, and the Eagle One is one of the few performance scooters that caters for a detachable seat.
For long rides, the Eagle One’s optional seat attachment is likely to save your body some strain. It costs $139, or you can select it as your free gift at checkout.
Specification: Varla Eagle One Review
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
The Varla Eagle One offers a two-year warranty for its throttle, controller, and frame, and all come with free maintenance.
The motor, battery, and charger have a warranty of one year – probably because they’re the parts that have to do the grunt work. Good news, though – Varla promises maintenance of all these parts, at no extra cost.
All other components – that is, the inner tubes, kickstand, brake pads, and fenders – have a warranty of just one month or 100km. Maintenance isn’t included here, but you will be given free replacements of any of these components – provided the small print is on your side.
Aesthetic damage isn’t covered, and neither is anything deemed to be the fault of the rider – such as abuse, neglect, improper repair and maintenance, accidents, crashes, or any other unauthorized modification to the scooter.
Any labor or shipping costs – should there be any in the claim process – are passed to the scooter’s owner – a.k.a you. Luckily, the scooter is durable.
‘Wear and tear’ also isn’t covered by the warranty, and neither is ‘fatigue’, which Varla defines as frame damage that occurs in the course of the scooter’s everyday use. Any corrosion damage to the Eagle One’s electrical innards won’t be eligible for repair under warranty, either.
All in all, it’s a fairly generous warranty, and – though the small print isn’t the most forgiving I’ve seen – it certainly isn’t the most restrictive. You can submit a warranty claim to Varla via email and will need to include photos or videos of the affected parts of your scooter.
Varla boasts a range of online customer support resources, which you can view via its website.
We particularly found the ‘Guides’ section helpful. Here, you’ll find comprehensive ‘how-tos’ that walk you through everything you need to know about the Eagle One, from unboxing and assembly to replacing an inner tire tube and even using the plethora of P-settings in the QS-S4 display.
From Varla’s support page, you’ll also be able to view FAQs, track your orders, and view more info about the company’s shipping, refund, and warranty policies. You can also view an online copy of the Eagle One’s manual – though, as I mentioned earlier, it’s not the most informative of documents.
For anything not covered by those self-service resources, you can get in touch with Varla’s team for prompt, professional assistance.
The Best Entry-Level Performance Scooter: Introducing the Varla Eagle One
From buttery-smooth adjustable suspension to a generously sized deck, and powerful hydraulic disc brakes that can stop at a dime, take a look at one of the best value electric scooters.
Specification: Varla Eagle One Review