With escooters booming in popularity across the world's urban centers, I couldn't resist picking up Xiaomi's offering. While I don't want it to replace cycling, they are ideal for many commutes, fun, easy to use, and relieve you of burning gas and parking a huge mass of metal and rubber.
Plus, if you're into DIY, they're an insanely fun hobby. Here's what I've done to mine so far. This article will be updated for awhile as I do research and try things out.
Oil the column hinge lock
You might have found that when you push it up to lock it, getting it unlocked again requires two hands and a lot of effort. From the factory, the lever that locks the handlebar column jams metal on metal, but it's an easy fix.
Grab a small paper towel/napkin/tissue paper and some oil. I used simple household olive oil. Carefully drop a tiny bit directly on the hinge. This is easiest with it open. Move the whole column around to make sure the oil gets worked into the joint. Clean up any excess with the paper.
Tighten the brakes
From the factory the hardware brake barely works. The reason it's at all effective is mostly the motor brake kicking in.
Tighten the cable. Grab the cable lightly with pliers, release it, and gently sinch up the tension.
Adjust the two screws mounting the whole caliper assembly so the close pad is as close as possible without rubbing.
Undo the tiny screw in the back and bring in the far pad so it's perfect.
You want the pads as close as possible to the rotor (metal disc) without it obstructing the rotation of the wheel too much. The thing is, some rubbing is fine. Between the possibility of being slightly warped and being at an off-angle, I found that tightening even with rubbing was required to get enough brake grip. I also observed that each adjustment in the assembly shifts over time while riding it such that this issue corrects itself.
Prop the scooter up so you can rotate the rear wheel freely, and spin it + squeeze the lever after each adjustment.
Use a flashlight and close one eye to line up the pads.
Keep the tension screws on the actual brake line at their most relaxed point. Start tensioning them over time when you start to feel the pads wearing down.
Give the 'engine' a tune up (if you have Android)
This turns your scooter into a hill climber and gives you lots more acceleration via custom firmware. Of course, remember you mod at your own risk. However, if you're reading this, you probably know that life's all about this stuff. ;-)
Some abbreviations and basics to know:
DRV: "Driver" or the main controller. This is what you customize.
BMS: Battery Management System. Manages battery charging & discharging.
BLE: Bluetooth Module or the handlebar controller. Sits behind the power button.
CFW: Custom Firmware
DYoC: Do your own CFW
KERS: Kinetic Energy Recovery System. What puts drag on the motor when not accelerating.
Xiaomi dislikes these mods and is engaged in a game of cat-and-mouse to prevent the usage of custom firmware. Currently, they've locked down DRV versions 1.4.2 and 1.4.1. The DRV firmware is moddable only at 1.4.0 and below.
The modding community has produced an open-source firmware customization tool. It's exposed as a web app at http://m365.botox.bz. To use it, install the patched .apk (on the page), create your .bin via the tool, and flash it via bluetooth to your scooter.
If you need inspiration, this is my config.
Keep the rubber sleeve on the fender hook
The factory throws on the rubber sleeve without any binding agent. If you have some spray adhesive or superglue, put a drop/tiny spray of it on the hook. Slip the sleeve back on and evenly distribute by pressing it around.
Protect the tail light wire
A known defect is that the wheel can fray the wire coming out of the red tail light on the rear fender. I used a small scrap bracket to protect it, but many are using a 3D printed piece of plastic to do the job.
Buy spare tubes
Your first flat won't be fun. You should have a patch kit and try patching first. But it still doesn't hurt to have a set of spares. Don't want to be waiting to get back on the road.
Note you need one front, one back - Xiaomi Mijia M365 Electric Scooter Tires
Cool mods to consider
Bag hook - Cheap and adds a lot to the utility of the scooter. Aliexpress
Carrying bag - Also pretty cheap and allows you to more easily take the scooter inside. Aliexpress
Sandpaper footboard - Several options on Aliexpress
Russian modders have developed two awesome displays that show you speed, battery level, and other metrics. One requires soldering and mounts on the handlebar, and the other doesn't require soldering and mounts above the power/battery display in the center of the handlebars.
Info is on their Telegram group: Display for Xiaomi Mijia m365
Order form: Order form