The Xiaomi M365 electric scooter is a relatively well-designed and classy-looking e-scooter. It comes equipped with many nice features, including those increasing the rider’s safety.
However, as is the case with nearly every new product introduced to the market, the Xiaomi M365 also has a number of flaws. Some of these issues are plain annoying, while others potentially pose a threat to the rider’s safety.
Safety modifications will make the Xiaomi M365 more pleasant and safe to ride.
If you already own an M365 or are considering purchasing one, then stay with me. This article will talk about additional custom safety modifications that you can implement which may just as well save your life some day.
Is Xiaomi M365 Safe?
As is the case with nearly all personal electric vehicles, electric scooters including the M365 can be dangerous if used improperly or in an unsafe manner. Riders need to check their equipment prior to riding and exercise caution while traveling. It should come as no surprise that these same general common-sense rules apply to cars, motorcycles, bicycles and electric scooters.
Proper behavior while riding is one important factor affecting an overall rider safety. Another factor is the general shape of the vehicle – in this case an M365.
Xiaomi M365 was introduced to the market in 2017. Since its market debut a number of significant safety issues became apparent. Not all of them may apply to the particular M365 model that you may own, because in most cases Safety Notices and Recalls involve only a certain number of scooters with specific serial numbers.
The Xiaomi M365 is a relatively safe electric scooter, provided that the models affected by safety recalls have been serviced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Custom Safety Modifications
I have been riding my Xiaomi M365 for quite some time. As such I consider myself a “power user”, if you will. Having ridden in all kinds of weather conditions and terrain, I have come up with a number of modifications that you may want to consider if safety is your highest priority.
Mod #1: Folding mechanism bolt and screw
This single bolt is one of the most important parts of the scooter. It is a component of the steering column hinge mechanism that allows the user to fold the M365 for easy handling. This mechanism adds convenience, but unfortunately can be hazardous at the same time.
There have been reports of the screw becoming loose. When this happens the entire steering column comes off from the rest of the scooter, quite frequently resulting in a nasty fall.
In my list of the most important safety mods, this one is at the top of the list.
Here is what you can do to minimize the risk of an injury associated with a loose folding mechanism screw:
- Check tightness of the screw at least once a week. Do this more frequently if you have been riding on a particularly bumpy terrain.
- Apply LockTite to the screw. This will make the nut much less likely to become loose and fall off.
- Replace the nut and bolt every year, do this even more often if you tend to ride on a particularly bumpy terrain.
- Install a Rigid steering column brace. This solution will give you the most safety and piece of mind, but it will also make the folding mechanism obsolete. You simply will not be able to fold you scooter anymore. This brace is an aftermarket part sold specifically for the purpose of fixing the safety issues associated with the folding mechanism. It is composed of two thick metal plates that wrap around the steering column along the entire length of the folding mechanism. The two pieces of metal are joined together by 4 bolds ensuring a strong hold.
Here is a link to the Xiaomi M365 Recalls page.
Mod #2: Folding mechanism hook/notch
This was probably the first major safety problem associated with the Xiaomi M365. Here’s the problem: It was noticed that some of the earlier M365 models had an aluminum hook/notch that was part of the folding mechanism. It is an important component of this apparatus because when engaged it keeps the steering column from folding down.
Imagine riding the scooter full speed and suddenly experiencing the steering column fold, even slightly from its perpendicular position. Chances of falling are very high. Instances of this have been reported with riders suffering some nasty injuries.
Here is a link to the Xiaomi M365 Safety Notice page.
Mod #3: Folding Mechanism Spacers
The issue with the steering column becoming loose in the vicinity of the folding mechanism is common and well-known throughout the M365 community. It is safe to say that each and every M365 will, at some point, develop a wiggly steering.
In my opinion this is more of a nuisance than anything else, but some people are really bothered by it. Obviously, if the steering wheel loses its rigidity and wiggles uncontrollably then it will pose a safety risk.
Fortunately, there is an easy and inexpensive solution to this problem in the form of thin plastic spacers that are placed inside the folding mechanism. These spacers come in various thickness, because the mechanism gets looser with time.
Mod #4: Rigid Steering Column Brace
Remember all the problems I mentioned above? This remarkable piece of metal gets rid of them all for good. The only downside is that you also lose the ability to fold the steering column, which may be a dealbreaker for some individuals.
However, if safety is your #1 priority or if you often ride your Xiaomi M365 off-road, then this is a must-have safety modification.
In order to install this steel brace, you will need to take out the folding mechanism and replace it with the brace. Essentially all it does is connect the upper steering column with the lower part of the M365 eliminating the need for the faulty folding mechanism.
A steel brace similar to this one can be purchased online for about $40. I personally think that it is a perfect solid safety modification, especially if you don’t need to be folding your M365.
Mod #5: Turn Signals
As you are probably aware, the Xiaomi M365, just like almost any step-on electric scooter, does not have turn signals. While this may sound like a stretch of imagination, trust me, if you happen to be riding at least part of your commute in traffic, turn signals will prove to be an important safety feature and a convenience.
Why turn signals? Can’t you just stick your left or right hand out? The answer is: no! It is very difficult to ride the M365 single handedly. You’re risking a fall. It’s not safe and it’s definitely not recommended.
I will be posting detailed instructions on how to install turn signals on your M365, so come back often if you are interested in learning how to do that. Turn signals are really an easy and inexpensive safety modification for the M365.
Mod #6: Rearview Camera
Having used my Xiaomi M365 regularly for a long period of time, I have come to realize that the lack of a rear view in the M365 is a real safety concern.
I personally know of an individual who was happily riding his M365 in a bike lane until the moment when he swerved a bit to the side. As he was slightly changing his lane of travel, a bicycle approaching from behind rammed into his scooter. They both fell and suffered some nasty injuries, including broken legs. Had he had a rearview mirror or a rearview camera installed on his M365, this accident probably would not have happened.
Xiaomi M365 Safe Riding Tips
- Wear protective gear. A helmet is an absolute minimum. Wrist guards, elbow and knee pads will help minimize the risk of injury in the event of a fall. Remember, everyone will fall, it’s just a matter of time, so be prepared for it.
- Don’t treat your M365 as a toy, because it is not. Xiaomi M365 is a personal electric vehicle and should be treated as such.
- Don’t ride your M365 in flip flops of high-heels, they make you less stable. Ideally, you should be wearing non-skid flat shoes with closed-toes.
- When changing lanes always look back to see if nothing is approaching you from behind.
- Avoid riding in the rain or snow. Slippery conditions increase the risk of falling.
- Make sure you are well aware of your surroundings. For this reason never ride with headphones on. That’s just plain stupid.
- Don’t ride your M365 one-handed. As I mentioned earlier, riding one-handedly is very difficult and you risk falling if you happen to ride over a small obstacle on the road.
- Never ride your M365 when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Above all, use common sense at all times!
The Xiaomi M365, just like most electric scooters, can be a very handy and practical mode of transportation for both commuters and leisure riders. It will bring plenty of happiness and smiles on your face.
However, all electric scooters must be treated as vehicles, not toys. Incorporating the safety modifications I detailed here, following your local traffic laws and above all using common sense will help you minimize the risk of injury.