Riding Xiaomi M365 In The Rain

If you happen to own a Xiaomi M365 electric scooter, chances are that you have used it for daily commute to work at least on some occasions.  As a commuter, you know very well that at times you may be tempted to ride your e-scooter in the rain.  It’s just a part of being a commuter.

Is Xiaomi M365 waterproof?

The M365 is rated IP54, which means that it is water resistant against splashing water. It is not waterproof. 

First digit: “5” rating implies that there is protection against dust.

Second digit: “4” rating states that the contents are protected against splashing water.

Can you ride Xiaomi M365 in the rain?

According to the user’s manual, the Xiaomi M365 should not be used in the rain.  

If you happen to be caught in the middle of a downpour, you risk damaging the electric scooter, as well as injuring yourself.

Xiaomi M365 can handle light rain or minor splash of water, but exposure to larger amounts of moisture may cause damage to several crucial components of the scooter.  Even more importantly, riding in wet conditions poses safety hazard for the rider.  More on this below…

Safety hazard

The single most important reason against riding in the rain is the rider’s safety.  This alone should be enough to avoid riding your e-scooter when it is pouring.  But I know from my own experience that there may be times when you have no other choice but to ride your M365 in the pouring rain.

Everyone knows that wet pavement is slippery, an asphalt surface even more so than a concrete.  The M365 has two very small tires that provide limited grip.  When exposed to wet surface, the riding only gets more dangerous.

There are two main mechanisms by which you can fall:

  1. Skidding on a wet surface while accelerating.  This is especially true if you happen to ride into a small puddle, or even worse a thin sheet of ice.
  2. Losing grip while braking.  The small tires on an M365 provide very little grip.  If you happen to suddenly apply the brake, you are almost certain to skid and fall. 

No matter what the potential mechanism of a fall might be, my main point is: don’t ride your M365 in the rain.

You must also realize that wet brakes (as in riding in the rain) have a longer distance to stop, because they are wet and there is less friction between the brake pads and the disc.

If you absolutely must ride in the rain, ride slowly with extra caution and with the lights turned on.  Please understand that you are riding at your own risk.

Risk of damage

Besides the obvious risk of damage caused by a crash itself, riding in the rain may damage several key components of the Xiaomi M365 due to water damage.

First and foremost is the damage to the power switch, which can happen in two ways.  Repeat exposure to light rain will cause the water accumulated in the groove of the switch to drip down onto the circuit board located in the dashboard.  This type of damage won’t happen overnight, rather it will be a slow process eventually leading to erosion of the switch.  Another way of potential damage is exposure to a large amount of water, which will immediately drip onto the circuit board and cause a short circuit.  Please note that this type of damage applies only to the M365; the M365 Pro has been upgraded with a waterproof power switch. 

The electric motor located inside the front wheel can easily get damaged if you happen to ride into a larger-sized puddle and immerse the motor in the water.  This will cause a short circuit, potentially damaging the motor.  I admit that I have used my M365 in the rain a few times.  I tried to avoid puddles and splashing water, and my motor has been running fine so far.

Battery on the M365 is located in the deck compartment, so it is close to the ground and vulnerable to potential water damage.  Fortunately, the entire battery compartment is fairly well protected against splashing water.  The actual battery is wrapped in a plastic wrap which provides additional protection.  Furthermore, the compartment is protected by a plastic covering, which is tightly attached to the frame by 17 screws.  This creates a relatively reliable protective barrier.  However, in case some of the screws get loose, the plastic cover cracks, or you happen to be riding in puddles of water, then the battery is likely to become soaked with water and damaged.

The rear brake light located on the mudguard looks fairly nice on the exterior, but if you look underneath you will notice that there is a wire running in the space between the mudguard and the wheel.  That is the dirtiest and most water-soaked part of the entire M365.  Yet, the designers didn’t care  about protecting the wire from the elements!  None. Nada.  

It should come as no surprise that a malfunctioning brake light is a common problem with the Xiaomi M365.  Fortunately, a replacement light (with the wire) can be purchased online for next to nothing and will take about 20 minutes to install.  For those of you who prefer prevention over repair, there are plastic covers also available online that should help prevent most problems (but not all) with the brake light, but I have not tested them so can’t really say much about their effectiveness in practice.

Waterproofing the Xiaomi M365

The concept of making Xiaomi M365 waterproof is fairly broad.  There are many custom upgrades that you can do.  However, the specific choice of waterproofing and the number of upgrades should ultimately depend on how and where you expect to be riding your Xiaomi M365.

For example, if you intend to use your e-scooter for leisure, then I would say waterproof the power switch and you should be fine.  On the other hand, if you are planning to use it for the daily commute to work, then I would suggest taking more time and waterproofing it some more.

There are 3 areas of the Xiaomi M365 that are vulnerable to water damage.  

They are:

  • Power switch / dashboard
  • Battery compartment (the deck)
  • Rear brake light (taillight)

Power switch

The power switch is susceptible to water damage

People have come up with numerous ways of waterproofing the power switch along with the dashboard.

You can buy a rubber cover that is placed over the entire dashboard.  It’s a decent option, mainly because it doesn’t require any elaborate installation.  Simply place it on the dashboard and you are done.  I personally am not a big fan of these covers because they can get lost easily and they obscure the dashboard display. 

Another option that I have seen people do is to literally soak the circuit board in liquid rubber.  I strongly discourage anyone from doing this, because you may end up damaging the circuit board.  You see, if you cover the circuit board with rubber or silicone, then you will cut off any ventilation needed to cool off its components.  In other words, you may ultimately end up frying your circuit board.  Another reason that I think covering the circuit board with rubber is not a good idea is that when you do that, the component of the power switch that is attached to the circuit board will still remain unprotected, so water dripping from the dashboard will eventually damage the switch anyway.

The most effective way of protecting the power switch from water damage is, in my opinion, a simple clear and waterproof sticker placed over the switch.  That’s all.  It’s unobtrusive, inexpensive and removable.  You just have to be sure that the sticker is waterproof.

Watch my YouTube video explaining how to waterproof your Xiaomi M365 video.

Waterproof sticker placed over the power switch will minimize the risk of water damage to your Xiaomi M365

Battery compartment

The rechargeable battery in the Xiaomi M365 is located in the deck.  It is relatively well protected from an occasional splash of water by a tightly closed plate at the bottom, a gasket and a plastic wrap covering the entire battery.  It is relatively safe to say that the Xiaomi M365 is water resistant.  However, it is not waterproof, meaning you can’t ride it in in puddles of water and expect no damage.  Should the battery compartment get submerged in water, chances are that the battery will get damaged.

I want to point out one thing.  The bottom plate is made of plastic and it may crack at some point.  When this occurs, the entire battery compartment will no longer be protected and will be in danger of becoming damaged by water, even in light rain.  Replacement bottom plates made of aluminum are available for purchase online.  I haven’t tried one yet, but will be buying one soon.

The original battery compartment plate offers some protection against water.
However, it is prone to cracking.

Some people put silicon around the edge of the bottom plate.  I think this approach is useless because it won’t protect against water submersion, even if it did protect the battery, water this deep would destroy the motor that is located in the front wheel, before causing any damage to the battery itself.

I strongly believe that the factory-original plastic foam gasket that is placed along the edges of the bottom plate provides enough protection against an occasional splash of water in the event of riding in the rain.  Obviously if the gasket gets broken in a few spots then the chance of water seeping through becomes higher.  Similarly, if you open the bottom plate a few times and are not careful when closing it, you may damage it as well.

Check out my post to learn more about the Xiaomi M365 battery.

Xiaomi M365: plastic plate, foam battery support and gasket

Rear brake light (taillight)

As I mentioned earlier, taillight of the M365 along with its wiring are poorly protected from the elements, if at all.  In order to protect it, some people buy a small plastic cover that is placed over the exposed wiring connections.  In my opinion, this little piece of plastic does offer some protection from direct water damage, however it does nothing to completely eliminate moisture in the circuit.

Until people at Xiaomi realize how badly-designed this is and do something about it, I think I may have found a solution to the problem.  There is a product on the market called “Spray rubber” or something similar.  It’s in a can, it is dispersed as a spray that you can use literally anywhere.  From what I heard, it is also easy to remove if needed.  While I haven’t tried it myself, yet.  I am looking for it online so that I can put it to a test.  

Taillight wiring has no protection against water damage

Safe riding in the rain

Before I begin, let me set this straight: there is no safe riding on an electric scooter in the rain.  But, for people who commute on their electric scooters it is only a matter of time until they will have to ride their M365 in the rain, or worse, snow.  

I have ridden my Xiaomi M365 in the rain in the past.  Not because I wanted to, but because I had to.  For the most part, light drizzle is not a big problem.  Your biggest issue will be water hitting your eyes and the rest of your face.

The biggest issue is with water puddles.  You see, as you’re riding the scooter water puddles, especially shallow ones, are not well visible.  By the time you see one, it’s usually too late to maneuver your way out.  When you go through a water puddle, you risk damaging your scooter, but more importantly you are very likely to skid.  When this happens, it will take about 3 seconds until you will find yourself on the ground.  Not a happy scenario.

So, my rules of riding in the rain are as follows:

  • Don’t ride if you don’t have to
  • Be extra careful of your surroundings
  • Drive slowly
  • Try to avoid water puddles, but at the same time do not make any sudden maneuvers which would increase your chance of falling
  • Always wear proper safety gear

Read my post on riding the M365 in the rain.

Can you ride Xiaomi M365 in the snow?

Theoretically, it may be possible to ride your M365 in the snow.  Similarly to riding in the rain, you risk falling and damaging your scooter with water.  However, the chance of falling is way higher than when riding in the rain.  Your M365 tires will practically have no grip, so there is a high likelihood that if you get moving, you will fall in a short period of time.

In my humble opinion, riding the M365 in the snow is not recommended by any stretch of the imagination.

Tips for increasing range of travel

The distance that your Xiaomi M365 will be able to travel depends on these factors:

Weight. The higher the weight, the shorter the distance you will be able to travel.  Remove unnecessary weight to increase your range.

Riding mode.  Xiaomi has three riding modes: Sport, standard and eco.  You will save battery power by riding in eco mode.

Acceleration.  Try to ride at constant speed, avoid accelerating too much.  Overall, constant speed is the key to a longer range of travel.

Tire pressure.  Keep your tires fully inflated if you want to ride a longer distance.  Under inflated tires are bad for the range of travel.

Battery.  Last but not least, the general state of your battery will matter the most.  One of the simplest ways of increasing the travel range is to make sure that you battery is fully charged.  Another option that many commuters choose is to get a second external battery, which in many cases may double the range.  Besides using an external battery, you can also place some battery cells into the deck and the steering column.  It is physically possible to place 10 extra battery cells inside the scooter.  I will write a post clearly explaining how it is done.  This process however, requires some knowledge of wiring, soldering and general battery handling.  So it may not be an option for everyone.

Read my post on practical tips to increase the range of electric scooter.

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