Dualtron Thunder Review
|Top Speed||50 mph||80 kph|
|Range||75 mi||120 km|
|Charging Time||5 hrs||Quick Charger|
|Weight||95 lb||43 kg|
|Motor (Dual)||5400W (Max)|
|Tire Diameter||11 in||28 cm|
|Load Capacity||265 lb||120 kg|
The Dualtron Thunder by Minimotors is one of the fastest and beefiest scooters on the market today. It was THE baddest scooter until Minimotors came out with the Dualtron X, which has blown the scooter community away as the craziest, fastest, biggest scooter on the market. The Thunder clocks in smaller and (slightly) lighter, but it is also about $2000 cheaper than the X, so it is a real alternative to consider when you’re looking for a serious riding scooter but don’t want to pay the price of the X. The Thunder will give you a lot of the same features for a much smaller price tag.
This scooter is very comfortable to ride and features many settings to customize the ride to the rider. But despite the comfort and customization, don’t confuse this scooter with the smaller, everyday road scooters on the market. The Dualtron Thunder is not the scooter for your daily commute to the office. First, it is heavy and not made to be carried for any extended period of time. Second, it is not street legal and is classified by the Department of Transportation as “Not for road use.” Some states have begun to allow registration of these scooters for road use. Check the regulations of your local municipality before riding this or any scooter on the road.
Another thing that makes this scooter overkill on a commute is its speed. It can reach a top speed of 50 mph. Even on a 15% grade it can still manage 45 mph. It is super-fast and could be a hazard to pedestrians and other riders if you are speeding down a sidewalk at those speeds. The Thunder is designed for speed and torque, which allow for tight maneuvering and uneven terrain. This scooter is much better suited to riding for pleasure than riding for function.
A nice bonus is that this scooter ships fully assembled, which means that it’s ready to go straight out of the box. Read on to get some details on the different aspects of the Dualtron Thunder to see if it is the right scooter for you.
Power is where this scooter really shines. True to its name, the Dualtron Thunder is powered by dual 1200-watt brushless motors. Together these motors have a combined peak output of 5400 watts, which is only slightly lower than the output of the X. With that level of power, you can get enough torque to spin the wheels at higher speeds. You can run both motors together for maximum power or only run one motor for more mundane rides. When running both motors at maximum power, this scooter can even outpace cars in acceleration off the line. While you may never need to go toe to toe with a car, it’s nice to know that this scooter can hold its own against anything else with a motor and two or four wheels.
At first glance, this scooter doesn’t look much different from other scooters on the market. But once you begin to inspect it a little closer, you notice that the design is much more solid than the typical everyday scooter. The deck width is a roomy 12 inches, over twice the width of most electric scooter decks. The increased deck width adds stability and makes the rider feel more confident when riding at high speeds. An additional plus of this wider deck is the ability to accommodate a variety of foot positions, which helps with both comfort and handling while riding.
The long neck of the Thunder will be familiar to those familiar with other Dualtron scooters. This longer neck allows for more play in the steering, allowing the rider to navigate tight or winding paths more easily. The handlebars are also well positioned for taller riders at 37 inches from the deck and 48 inches from the ground. On height alone, this scooter is not designed for young riders.
Minimotors has also designed this scooter to withstand more than the normal wear and tear. All of the structural elements that typically wear out through normal use have been strengthened with reinforced joints and screws. In case a part does wear out, this scooter also comes with a one-year warranty for parts and labor. However, owners should be aware that this warranty does not cover the cost of shipping the scooter in for repair, which, thanks to its beefy build, can run you up to $200.
With a scooter as powerful as the Dualtron Thunder, the ability to maintain control is important both from a standpoint of safety and ease of riding. As soon as you hop on this scooter, you’ll notice that it is designed to handle well on rough and uneven terrain. The 4-inch-wide, 11-inch diameter tubeless tires provide optimal support and track well while cruising down the road. You could even ride one handed at lower speeds, although that is not advisable from a safety standpoint.
This scooter is made to be customizable to each individual rider. It uses an adjustable suspension torsion bar system with three different suspension level settings. The suspension can be changed by both the torsion bar and interchangeable cartridge modules. Additionally, the scooter has replaceable rubber cartridges to soften or firm the suspension to suit the riders’ preference. This allows the rider to stiffen or soften the suspension based on your ride preferences and the road conditions/terrain. That level of versatility makes this scooter a good choice for both light and heavy riders. For riders in the 180-pound range, the medium setting is a good place to start. The ability to make those kinds of adjustments means that this is a scooter that is suited for multiple kinds of riders and multiple kinds of uses.
The Dualtron Thunder is a trailblazer in the brakes department. It is the first scooter to offer ABS brakes, which replaced the previous design’s cable brake system. The ABS brakes (made by NUTT) are fully hydraulic and allow the scooter to stop straighter and faster. The ABS system means the scooter stutters to a stop rather than sliding. Some more experienced riders have found the ABS system to create a rougher ride and have disconnected the ABS system to get a sportier feel.
The brakes feature 160mm rotors. They feel really smooth and the front and back braked engage simultaneously with minimal effort. The brakes feel similar to motorcycle brakes in that they provide both smooth delivery and incredible stopping power. Over time, some scooter brake systems lose power and performance. The brakes on the Dualtron Thunder have shown only minimal fading after repeated use.
One interesting feature of this scooter is the unique brake lights that come standard. Unlike typical scooter static red brake lights, the brake lights on the Thunder flash both yellow and red. Both the addition of yellow lights and the flashing action significantly increase nighttime visibility to keep the rider safe when riding after dark.
The Korean LG lithium ion battery on the Dualtron Thunder is a workhorse. It can go up to 85 miles between charges, although off-road or aggressive riding can reduce that range by up to half. The battery is safely protected inside a powder coated steel case that can withstand a direct impact of up to one ton of force. This means that no matter what beating your scooter takes, the battery will probably remain intact and operational. This can mean the difference between being safe or being stranded in the middle of nowhere. For an additional layer of protection, the battery has individual cell holders that can separate a potential bad cell from the rest of the battery. This further extends your battery life and performance.
The Dualtron Thunder has a 5A fast charging option that allows the battery to fully charge in 5.3 hours. Using a single standard charger the battery can charge in 20 hours. The battery has two charging ports, so with two chargers, the charge time is cut in half to ten hours fully charged. Pro tip: if you use the fast charger, set the termination point to 80% to extend the battery life by 4 or 5 times normal. Of course, the scooter also includes regenerative braking, which can extend that battery life as you brake. Every little bit of battery life helps on a battery that can take up to 20 hours to charge.
This scooter also provides a switch under the deck that allows the battery to disengage. This isolates the battery from the rest of the scooter’s electronics in the event that the scooter needs to be stored or transported. This is a nice detail and can extend the life of the scooter if you live in an area where you can only ride for part of the year and the scooter has to be stored for long periods of time.
In addition to its beefy build and insane power, the Dualtron Thunder also includes some pretty cool features that will make you the envy of your scooter-riding friends. The lighting options alone make this scooter quite the head-turner. The Thunder logo under the handlebars is backlit and can be seen clearly even in daylight, so everybody on the street will know what you’re riding. The scooter also has programmable LED “mood lighting” along the handlebar and under the deck. This lighting even comes with a remote control so you can light up the scooter from a distance. Forward facing deck lights come standard, but a headlight does not. If you plan on riding after dark, you should invest in an aftermarket headlight to affix to the handlebars.
This scooter does not come standard with a seat, but Minimotors does sell an aftermarket seat for an additional $140. The seat can be added for longer rides to make the trip more comfortable and removed for shorter rides or when you want to have more maneuverability. Whichever your preference, having the option for a seat is a nice touch and allows for a wider variety of uses for this scooter.
The controls on the Dualtron Thunder are organized by function to make everything easy to find and use while riding at high speeds. The Eye Dashboard, familiar to past Dualtron owners, shows the trip odometer, voltage meter, and your custom settings. It also shows the status of the regenerative braking system and the battery charge status. The Eye Dashboard is incredibly user friendly and really simplifies the ability to customize your ride settings. The left side of the handlebars houses a hazard light button and the single/dual butt that allows you to engage or disengage the front motor. This allows you to switch to rear motor only mode at the touch of a button.
A nice safety feature on the handlebars is an optional fingerprint sensor that allows you to lock or unlock the scooter with the swipe of a finger. Of course, the fingerprint scanner does not completely secure the scooter. You will want to invest in a lock to increase theft deterrence.
When it was released in 2018 the Thunder was the most powerful scooter in the Dualtron lineup. Recently it has been surpassed in the power department by the unbelievable Dualtron X. But the Thunder still offers a great combination of thrill, performance, and all of the latest features available in scooters today. The wide footprint of the tires coupled with the scooter’s hefty weight make this scooter feel very stable under your feet.
This scooter provides a very smooth ride and nimble handling at its max speed of 50 mph. But the speed and acceleration, when fully unrestricted and unlocked, might be faster than most people want in a scooter and could even be dangerous or unseasoned riders who can find it difficult to maneuver. Also, this scooter is not a last mile solution. Because of its weight this is not a practical scooter if portability is on your list of needs. Overall, the Dualtron Thunder is a scooter made with the experienced rider in mind. It has all the features you would expect to find on an extreme scooter and a few surprising extras that just sweeten the deal.