California E-Bike Malibu: Segway slayer

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Making the Malibu move forward is as easy as leaning forward.

Making the Malibu move forward is as easy as leaning forward.

CD-R King is well known for providing Filipinos with more affordable items ranging from electronic consumables like blank compact discs and USB drives, to home appliances including rice cookers and LED televisions.  Last year, the company embarked on providing mobility for the environmentally conscious by introducing California E-Bike motor scooters, and now, a self-balancing, two-wheeled scooter copied from the Segway.

Called the Malibu, this personal mover operates almost exactly like a Segway.  It helps people cover more ground, where walking may take too long but driving does not seem to make sense.

This environmentally friendly mode of transportation comes with three lead-acid batteries that hold a charging capacity of 24ah.  The two wheels are powered by two 750-watt motors (1,500-watt total), which can carry a maximum load of 125 kilograms, at a maximum speed of 18 kilometers per hour.  Depending on the weight of the passenger, the maximum distance the Malibu can travel with a full charge is 25 kilometers.

Riding the Malibu around the village was a breeze.  Once the Malibu is powered up and activated (by stepping on the right foot-pad), the gyroscopic sensor activates and automatically balances the personal mover. Once the user has both feet on the vehicle, all that he or she needs to do is to lean forward or backward for the Malibu to move in the direction intended. The more weight placed forward, the faster the Malibo goes. To stop, all the operator has to do is put some weight toward the back, which slows it down. Turning the unit can be done by pushing the handle-bar in the direction of the turn (either left or right). It’s that easy!


With the unit fully charged, we tried to go around the village with no problem.  The Malibu is fitted with 19-inch (diameter) tubeless off-road tires that made the ride very comfortable.  Going over large road humps as well as ruts, at any speed, was no problem.  Despite my weight almost breaching the load capacity of the Malibu, its 1,500-watt motors proved to be quite adequate as it sped up sufficiently in a long, uphill road with a 5-percent gradient.  After my personal test, I had my kids (who were much lighter in weight) ride the Malibu around the village.  The kids took turns riding the Malibu and after over an hour of riding, the battery needed a recharge.  Full charging took five hours.

After the Malibu passed the village testing with flying colors, we took it to a seaside resort that had rolling roads and inclines with 30-percent gradient.  The Malibu was able to climb up the steep uphill (100 meters long at 30-percent gradient), albeit at a much slower speed, because of my weight.  After the steep ascent, I rode the Malibu through three kilometers of rolling hills, but the drain on the battery became evident, as the cruising speed became slower.  For the final test, I brought the Malibu to a 300-meter-long, 20-degree climb.  Although it still had half the battery charge, it could no longer bear my weight and failed to climb the hill. Luckily, my son, who was riding a bicycle behind me was there, and had him ride the Malibu back to the house.  With a much lighter driver and just enough battery power, the Malibu was able to return to the house, and covered a total distance of seven kilometers, between charging.

We also tried bringing the Malibu off-road.  However, its gyroscopic sensors seemed to have a slow time processing the data of the terrain, which only allowed it to move at a very slow pace.

The Malibu works great in bringing people to and from places, with ease. And although we proved that it lags behind the Segway in terms of features and performance, its P68,000 asking price definitely makes up for all those shortcomings (as compared to the Segway’s P450,000 price tag).

Unlike the customary five-day warranty CD-R King provides for its products, the Malibu comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. Buyers can also avail of the free charging facilities at all CD-R King/California E-Bike outlets.

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