As proud KL-lites, we’re used to walking short distances. Not only that you get to daydream for a short bit, but also complete your 10,000 steps requirement every day (some of us are in fitness programmes, okay?). So when Beam scooters begin popping up in the streets of KL, the SG-based company added another alternative for micro journeys.

If you’re new to Beam, the company began operating in Malaysia in 2019 and their scooters have since been seen in city centres like the Golden Triangle, Subang, PJ and more. We’re sure you’ve seen quirky short videos of youngsters cruising around town with their bright purple scooters on TikTok.

The good news for us is Beam agreed to lend us an e-scooter for a whole month. As someone who lives in suburban areas near shop lots with very few parking spots, you can imagine our joy when we received the news.

From our experience with Beam, here’s what we gathered:

Exciting cruise experience

This is the best part of it all: the cruise. You know the viral video of Nathan Apodaca cruising on the freeway drinking cranberry juice while Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ pleasantly plays in the background? That’s exactly how we felt cruising with the scooter. In quieter places and sleepy neighbourhoods, the cruise can be quite therapeutic. Personally, we wouldn’t mind cruising every other day as a way to destress.

On the practical side, cruising saves more time. With more than 20 KPH, you can get to your destination in a shorter time period for an affordable price. Why not, right?

Easy setup and access

You must’ve thought about this before. These scooters are just lying around in public places - what’s stopping anyone from stealing them? It’s simple. All rental affairs, including locking and unlocking the vehicle, are done via the Beam app. Easily downloaded, accessible and free, the Beam app tracks their scooters using their geolocation technology - so if you ever bring them home, they’ll know where you live and find you. Maybe in a less Liam Neeson-Taken kind of way, but you get the message.

From collecting to payment, everything can be done via the app and the usage is incredibly easy.

Medium-to-High Availability

The likelihood of you seeing someone on a Beam scooter is pretty high in the city centre, which is understandable considering how un-walkable Kuala Lumpur is or can be. Thankfully, Beam stations aren’t rare sights as you can probably find one near landmark areas. If you can’t find one, then follow a fellow Beam rider and see where they go (follow, don’t stalk and be a creep-lah).

The more accessible these Beam stations are, the faster people can go and come back from work every day.

Best way to explore cities with

Imagine this situation: you’re in Bukit Bintang and you promised your partner to go for a romantic walk at the KLCC park. You can either go for option A, which is drive there and pay an expensive fee for parking, or option B, walk there and get a bit tired from the journey. Now, there’s a third option, where you can Beam your way to KLCC without a sweat.

And that’s only a one-way trip. Imagine being able to travel from Bukit Bintang to KLCC, then to Jalan Raja Laut for coffee, Jalan Panggung for sightseeing and Petaling Street for shopping without having to move your car and pay three times the parking rate? An absolute bargain, on top of a fun cruising opportunity!

Our personal experience

As most of us know, Bukit Jalil was at the centre of attention on the 10th of September as two major events clashed on the same night. At the national stadium, fans of Terengganu FC and JDT travelled all the way from their home states for the FA cup final while Axiata Arena hosted legendary Indonesian band Dewa 19’s 30th-anniversary concert, gathering 16,000 fans to the area. The result? A massive traffic problem and filled parking lots.

As Dewa fans, we had to walk almost 3 kilometres to reach Axiata Arena. Fortunately, a Beam scooter station was nearby, cutting our travelling time short by 15 minutes or so, on top of helping us save energy for the big concert. Our tired legs were thankful for the scooters after the 30-song set!

However, beyond a few of these examples, frankly I didn't get a super positive experience, which may not have anything to do with the product itself. Firstly, it's not practical for me to use it all the time as I'm based at a location that requires me to travel via car or public transportation. During the weekends, I'd usually travel away from the city, so you can imagine how impractical it was for me, personally. As someone who lives in the suburbs, the e-scooters are great for joyrides but to use it regularly for groceries? Considering how dangerous some Malaysians drive on the road, I'd rather not.

On another note, the e-scooter that was loaned to me had recurring admin issues. For some reason, I had to deal with an annoying error that prevents the scooter from speeding past 5KMPH, which completely threw me off and disrupted my overall experience - irritated me to the point that I gave up and went jogging instead. This came up for quite a bit but critically, it may not happen to you as it was more of an admin glitch rather than a consumer one.

All in all, if you don’t prefer walking to your destination, maybe a cruise would suit you whenever a bright, flashy-looking scooter dashes near you.