Dualtron Thunder Review
The Thunder sits firmly among the upper echelons of Dualtron’s premium electric scooters. Weighing far less than Dualtron X, but sporting almost all of the lightning-quick speed (sorry – couldn’t resist), the Thunder is a top contender in the extreme performance bracket. Like a bull ready to charge and a level of customization that is almost unparalleled, the Thunder is ready to tackle anything thrown its way. If this scooter was a weather pattern, it wouldn’t be thunder. It’d be a hurricane.
Dualtron Thunder Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Dualtron Thunder Be a Good Fit For You?
Ready to enter the eye of the storm?
If you’ve read my review of the Dualtron X, you’ll know that the Dualtron range – MiniMotors’ extreme performance band of scooters – isn’t to be messed with.
And the Thunder – with its nerve-shredding top speed, bulky frame, and an array of advanced controls and configurations – is no different. It’s not made for learners or casual riders, nor is it a simple commuter designed to get you from A to B.
In fact, if you compared it to a commuter scooter, the Thunder would get you from A to Z in the time the commuter takes from A to B.
It’s equally comfortable burning rubber on city roads as it is exploring off-road routes and crushing cross-country circuits.
Adrenaline junkies will find plenty to get excited about – as will seasoned electric scooter enthusiasts – but I’d only recommend the Thunder for those with plenty of experience.
Pros and Cons
- Superb top speed
- Excellent range
- Customizable LED lighting
- Strong acceleration and hill-climbing abilities
- Emergency hazard signals
- 45-step suspension
- The battery takes 20 hours to charge (without the fast charger)
- Doesn’t support as much weight as other scooters in its class
Is the Dualtron Thunder Comfortable to Ride?
That depends. Are you comfortable hitting the streets at speeds that motorcycles can? If so, then absolutely.
Jokes aside, the Dualtron Thunder is a super smooth ride. With 45 stages of adjustable suspension handling most of the shock absorption – and the scooter’s 11-inch pneumatic wheels taking care of the rest – you can be sure of a comfortable ride.
After all, the Thunder is home to the most adjustable suspension system of all scooters.
Befitting its size, speed, and generally imposing demeanor, the Dualtron Thunder boasts a set of durable, grippy hand grips.
With a span of 24 inches, the handlebar affords riders a stable, comfortable riding experience with full control over the steering column. To put this into perspective, it is around 7 inches wider than the average commuter scooter.
Attached to the right of the handlebars is the Thunder’s smart EYE LCD display – from which you can monitor your speed, battery, and ride time, as well as toggle between riding modes. On the left, you’ll find the scooter’s emergency hazard and motor system selection buttons. And, of course, the handlebars house all the usual stuff – the dual handbrake levers, for instance, and its finger-throttle.
What’s almost as intriguing as all these handlebar-based gadgets, though, is what isn’t there. The Thunder’s handlebars also have room for a range of optional attachments: including a fingerprint scanner for security, and an extra stock bar, onto which you can add a phone holder or GoPro.
And, for all you aesthetes out there, the Thunder’s handlebars not only fold neatly – via a quick-release lever in their center – but the stem lights up, too.
Made of the same high-quality, aviation-grade aluminum alloy frames that we’ve come to expect from the Dualtron line, the Thunder is a seriously sturdy number.
Oh, and the color scheme certainly doesn’t disappoint. Fans of black, black, and more black – myself included – will find plenty to admire in a paint job that goes hand in hand with the Thunder’s menacing frame. There’s even a small splash of red in the accents on the deck and rear brake caliper, to add a touch of class.
Those of you wanting to show off the fact that you’re riding one of the finest scooters won’t be let down, either. The Dualtron brand name is rendered vertically along the steering column and lights up when the stem lighting is turned on.
Measuring a whole foot wide, which is double that of run-of-the-mill scooters, the deck provides ample space for riders of all sizes to find a comfortable stance without contorting their body.
A stylish one, too – the underside of the Thunder’s deck is lit with a line of colored (and surprisingly bright) LED lights. Like the rest of the Thunder’s impressive LED setup, the color of its under-deck lighting is fully customizable. The scooter comes with a remote, so you can switch up your ride’s style as often as you want, to fit the mood you’re in.
There’s also plenty of room here for an optional seat, which you may want for long journeys.
The ultra-wide, super-sized tires – which measure 11 x 4 inches – are of a pneumatic, tubeless design, that’s built to withstand both punctures and general wear and tear.
They’re the largest tires you can expect to see on a scooter of this size. And, given the rubber-shredding speeds this thing’s capable of, that’s just as well because the Thunder’s large, airless tires help to not only give you extra control and stability but, (along with the Thunder’s interchangeable rubber cartridges) plenty of suspension, too.
Oh, and – given this thing’s built more like a motorcycle than an electric scooter – you’d expect it to be difficult to change the tires. Thanks to Dualtron’s modular design, though, it’s a cinch to slip off the Thunder’s tires (in the rare case of a flat) and make the change.
Build Quality & Durability
Okay, so it doesn’t drop your jaw and raise your eyebrows in quite the same way as the Dualtron X’s huge, hulk-like size and design. But make no mistake, the Thunder is made from the same stuff as its super-charged sibling. In the Thunder’s mean, menacing design, you can see the early strands of DNA that would eventually end up as the incredible Dualtron X.
As with the rest of Dualtron’s range, the Thunder is built to last. The frame and handlebars are forged (probably in the fires of Mount Doom) from a durable, aviation-grade aluminum alloy, while the shaft is made from a steel composite. Even the mudguards do their bit, made from wear-resistant polypropylene plastic.
One thing to bear in mind, though, is that the Thunder – which, if you’re familiar with any of Dualtron’s other souped-up scooters, will come as no surprise – is not water-resistant. Riding this one in the rain isn’t recommended: it may not be safe, for one, and any damage caused by wet conditions won’t be covered by the Thunder’s 6-month warranty.
Whilst only 40% of electric scooters have a water-resistance rating, it is disappointing not to see one on the Thunder, especially considering that it costs an arm and a leg.
Weight & Load
At 95 lbs, the Dualtron Thunder weighs as much as a small person.
It is not a light scooter. Heck, even among the Dualtron line – which is made up exclusively of heavy scooters – it’s a behemoth and outweighed (and outperformed) only by the Dulatron X, X 2, and Storm.
Load-wise, the Thunder will support up to 265 lbs of rider weight, which is about standard for Dualtron scooters: the Dualtron 3, Ultra, Eagle Pro, and Compact are the same. If you’d prefer a ride with a little more weight-bearing capacity, you could try any of the Apollo Pro models or the Kaabo Wolf Warrior, which supports up to 330 lbs, or the VORO Emove Cruiser, which has the heaviest load-bearing capability of any scooter at 352 lbs.
Folding & Portability
Here, it’s probably wise to separate the terms ‘folding’ and ‘portability’.
Does the Dualtron Thunder fold? It does – the handlebars collapse in via a simple quick-release folding mechanism, while the scooter itself folds at the base of the steering tube. When folded, the Thunder retracts to less than half its unfolded height.
Does that make the Thunder more portable? Absolutely. But does it make the Thunder portable to move around? No.
While its folding handlebars and frame are undoubtedly nice touches, the Thunder is still a bulky being and certainly doesn’t lend itself to comfortable placement in the trunk of a car, or to be picked up and carried.
This goes back to the Dualtron Thunder not being a commuter scooter. It’s never going to be a scooter that you’ll be able to tuck away in the luggage compartment of a train or lug around an office building.
The Thunder isn’t there to be a companion on your journey – it is the journey.
The Dualtron Thunder comes nearly fully assembled – you’ll just have to take it out the box and unfold it. Make sure to lock both the stem and handlebars into place, and tighten the finishing screws of the folding levers until they’re nice and snug.
Turn on the main switch and the LCD display, and ensure you know where everything is (and what it all does) before attempting your inaugural ride. Oh, and allow yourself to bask in the Thunder’s glory, of course.
Make sure it’s fully charged, get your helmet and safety gear on, check it’s not raining, and get out there.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
With a top speed of an asphalt-scorching 50 mph, the Dualtron Thunder should satiate even the most voracious need for speed.
Powered by a maximum output of 5,400W from its dual motors, the Thunder – being only 5 mph slower than the Dualtron X – is one of the fastest scooters. Better still, the acceleration is just as responsive as the beefier, beastlier X – meaning you won’t have to miss out on the indescribable thrill of taking off at speed.
You can expect to hit 15 mph in just 2.1 seconds. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you want to up-the-ante whilst saving a bucket load of cash, you should check out the Apollo Pro 60V ($2,299) and Wolf Warrior ($2,799) – both reach 15 mph in less than 2 seconds (to be precise, 1.7 and 1.9 seconds, respectively).
Equipped with an ultra-long lasting LG battery, the Thunder sports an impressive range of up to 75 miles.
Fans of the Dualtron line will be quick to point out that, although this doesn’t quite compare to the whopping 93 mile range of the Dualtron X, 75 miles of range is more or less standard for scooters made by MiniMotors USA.
The Dualtron 3 and Ultra both have a 75 mile range, as does the Speedway 5 – so you can rest easy that you’re not missing out on too much more mileage elsewhere. But what about outside of MiniMotors’ range of scooters? I’m glad you asked because there are some phenomenal scooters that offer exceptional ranges.
Take for instance the newest addition to the electric scooter world, the VSETT 11+. This beast is capable of delivering an astonishing maximum range of 140 miles when ridden conservatively. The best bit is that it goes quicker than the Thunder (53 mph) and is considerably cheaper too, costing $2,999. Alternatively, you could drop the price even further with the VSETT 10+ R ($2,599) and still take advantage of 115 miles with a top speed of 50 mph to match the Thunder.
It is important to note, that if you push the Thunder to its limits (which, come on, you probably will), then the range you can expect is more in the region of 40-45 miles. Still, that’s really good going, and it’s a level of endurance that the average scooter won’t ever come close to matching.
Speed and range aren’t the only tricks the Thunder has up its sleeve.
With those dual motors putting out some tremendous torque, the Thunder can climb hills with a 47% incline grade. That’s more than most ski slopes and means that – should you find yourself in Dunedin, New Zealand – you’ll be more than capable of taking on Baldwin Street. With a 35% incline, it’s the world’s steepest residential road, but it’s still no match for the Dualtron Thunder.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
The Thunder’s shock absorption consists of its 11-inch pneumatic tires paired with a front and rear rubber cartridge suspension system.
While not the most impressive suspension Dualtron’s ever put out – for that, look no further than the Dualtron X’s springy, sinister-looking coil-over-shocks – the Thunder’s rubber cartridges still offer plenty of customization.
Thanks to MiniMotors’ patent-pending adjustable shock absorption technology – which offers 45 levels of personalization – you’ll be able to tinker with the strength of your Thunder’s suspension, without having to call in a mechanic.
In practice, that makes the Thunder well-suited to a range of surfaces – whether that’s keeping pace with cars in the city, or tearing up the dirt roads of more adventurous environments.
The Dualtron Thunder is like a bull ready to charge. Thankfully, then, its engineers didn’t skimp on the brakes when it comes to making this thing safe to ride.
Doubling down on the brakes, the Thunder’s dual hydraulic brake calipers respond to even the lightest touch. Of course, sometimes highly responsive brakes can be a double-edged sword, and make a scooter jerky and unpleasant to ride. But don’t worry – there’s none of that with the Thunder.
What there is, though, is an optional anti-lock braking system (ABS), which prevents the Thunder’s wheels from locking up when you hit the brakes. You can find out more about this in the “Extra Features” section.
Do you want the bad news first, or the good?
The bad: the Thunder can take a mind-numbing, painstaking, annoyingly long 20 hours to reach full charge.
That’s when you’re using the standard charger, though. The good news is that with the fast charger – which, handily, is compatible with all Dualtron models – it takes just over 5 hours to reach full juice.
You can get your hands on one of MiniMotors’ fast chargers for just $150.
Smart EYE Display & Throttle for Customized Performance Configuration
With a chunky, luminescent green interface, the Dualtron Thunder’s smart EYE LCD display is hard to miss.
And that’s a good job because it means the info the screen displays – which includes your speed, battery life, and current ride time – is just a glance away.
As well as being super multi-functional, the Thunder’s smart EYE display (which is a staple across the Dualtron range) is also the brain of the Thunder.
You can tinker with the Thunder’s braking power, its optional anti-lock braking system, and riding mode. You can also toggle between start methods (either zero or kick start), and easily alter the type of unit – whether that’s miles or kilometers – in which you want the screen to display your speed.
You’re also able to access the scooter’s auto-timer off settings, adjust the screen’s brightness, and engage its battery saver mode. There’s not much you can’t do.
Motor System Selection Button
We know that the Dualtron Thunder’s powerful 5,400-watt brushless DC motors are capable of handling steep inclines, high speeds, and putting out an impressive amount of torque.
Equally impressive, though, is the Thunder’s motor system selection button that allows you to choose which motors to engage when you take to the streets. When you push the big red button (sounds alarming I know, but bear with me), you’ll be riding with both the front and rear motors. Pushing that button again – so it’s out, rather than in – will activate rear-wheel riding mode only.
The main benefit to you is that you can run the scooter as efficiently as possible. For example, when you want to enjoy a leisurely cruise, you can enable just one motor and save on battery power. Then, when you hit a long straight, you can bump the second motor into action and turn your scooter into a certified land rocket.
All scooters worth their salt are equipped with some form of cruise control, and the Dualtron Thunder doesn’t disappoint.
As is the case with the rest of Dualtron’s high-spec performance scooters, you can engage the Thunder’s cruise control via the smart EYE display. First, go to ‘Settings’, and select the ‘Cruise’ function.
Then, it’s simple. Simply maintain a constant speed for 7 seconds, and the Thunder’s cruise control will kick into action. This mode will enable you to maintain a constant speed over the long distances that the Thunder has in its locker, without having to worry about keeping the thumb throttle held down the whole way.
Coming out of cruise control is as easy as holding and releasing the brake.
LED Lights, Color Changing Remote Control, & Emergency Hazard Signals
When it comes to lighting, the Thunder’s impressive LED setup tops anything Dualtron has put out.
On top of the standard front and rear lights you’d expect from a scooter of this caliber, the Thunder features savvy under-deck lights, as well as an illuminated handlebar stem. Cool, right?
Well, what’s even more eye-poppingly attractive is that the Thunder comes with a remote control that allows you to customize the lights to fit your vibe. You can select up to 20 preset colors with the remote, or go DIY and create your own hues, before saving them to form your own, unique color palette.
Better still, you can use your remote (which uses infrared technology) to adjust the brightness of your Thunder’s LED lights, and the speed at which they wax and wane. With the remote, it’s also simple to customize the density of the colors, and set them to automatically switch between your favorite tones.
Putting my obvious enthusiasm for the Thunder’s legendary LED setup aside for a moment, let’s talk about the scooter’s emergency hazard signals.
Activated by a yellow button on the left side of the handlebars (it’s next to the red motor system selection button that we discussed earlier in the review), the Thunder’s hazard lighting triggers the scooter’s front lights to flash. Similar to the emergency lights you’d find on a car, the Thunder will send out an SOS of blinking lights.
45-Step Adjustable Rubber Suspension System
If there’s anything that Dualtron’s scooters are particularly good at doing (apart from being fast, durable powerhouses, of course), it’s pushing the limits of customizability.
On the Thunder, we’ve already seen this with its personalizable lights, and the range of settings the smart EYE display lets you tinker with. But it’s in this scooter’s 45-step (yes, 45) rubber suspension system that Dualtron unleashes the full scope of its customizability credentials.
Dualtron’s innovative, patent-pending system allows you to adjust the Thunder’s shock absorption level across three metrics. These are motor shaft distance (3 steps), arm angle (3 steps), and the interchangeable rubber cartridges (5 steps). The math whizzes out there will be way ahead of me here (3 x 3 x 5 = 45, after all), but it’s the scooter enthusiasts that will be most thrilled by the above calculations.
That’s because 45 steps of suspension is pretty amazing, particularly considering that it underlines the versatility of the Thunder.
Whether you need a high level of shock absorption for the bumps and bruises of off-road tracks, or a firmer ride for a fast-paced smooth, urban riding experience, the Thunder has you covered.
Anti-Lock Brake System
If the Dualtron Thunder isn’t the first high-spec scooter you’ve investigated, it’s likely that you’ll already be familiar with the benefits of an anti-lock braking system (ABS).
If you’re not, though, the Thunder’s user manual explains it quite well:
“It uses the principle that maximum static friction force is larger than kinetic friction, so that braking distance (distance from braking to stopping) is shorter than that of a normal brake. It also has the advantage that the vehicle does not slip when the wheel is rotating, [allowing you to] stop more safely without wheel lock and slip.”
Science aside, you don’t need to understand too much about how the ABS works. Just know that it serves two main purposes, which it performs well: helping you brake safely, and keeping you securely on the scooter.
It is important to note though, that when enabled, you’ll feel the ABS kick into action as it induces vibrations that can be felt throughout the scooter.
Folding Handlebars for Enhanced Portability
The Thunder’s handlebars fold – slightly unconventionally, perhaps – via a quick-release lever located in the center of the handlebars.
Loosening this lever releases the locking slide, which you simply pull outward to fold the handlebars. It’s a nice addition, and – while it doesn’t exactly make the Thunder’s 95 lb hulking mass any easier to carry around – it certainly gets points for making it ever so slightly more compact for storage.
Optional Turn Signals
Whereas the X comes in-built with pretty much every premium feature your mind can conjure up (and has the price tag to show for it) with the Thunder, they’ll cost extra.
In my opinion, this is a good thing. The Dualtron Thunder is almost half as expensive as the X, and why? Because you’re not paying for the features that you don’t need.
Okay, so I’m not saying you don’t need Dualtron’s optional turn signals (they do look pretty cool on the X, after all). I’m just saying it’s a bonus the Thunder doesn’t come with them. It helps to drive down the scooter’s overall cost, and if you’re dead set on adding the turn signals, you can easily do so for an extra charge. Or can you?
At the time of writing this review, it doesn’t look like MiniMotors is selling turn signals on its website at the moment, so it's hard to say exactly how much you’ll pay right now. Watch this space, though – I’ve got a feeling they’ll turn up.
Optional Fingerprint Scanner (Anti-Theft Function)
Another example of the kind of feature you’ll have to pay extra for is the optional fingerprint scanner.
This one’s an innovation as cool as it is self-explanatory, and allows you to secure your Thunder from sticky fingers. When you activate Dualtron’s fingerprint scanner, your unique biometric data will be required to unlock and ride the scooter.
Considering how much the Thunder costs, it’s vital that it has a robust anti-theft system to stop others from riding it away – and the fingerprint scanner delivers this in spades.
With all that in mind, I’d certainly recommend grabbing this addition. It’ll cost you $125.
Optional Seat Attachment
Riding a scooter is fun. The sun on your face, a light breeze rifling through your hair… what’s not to like?
Well, when you’re hitting the streets for long periods or pushing the Thunder’s 75 mile range to its limit (40-45 miles under realistic conditions), your legs are going to get tired. That’s why, refreshingly, most of Dualtron’s scooters come with space for an optional seat attachment.
Attaching to the rear of the Thunder’s frame (just in front of the back wheel), this seat costs $125 and takes only a couple of minutes to install.
I’d recommend it for longer journeys. But, considering the extra expense involved, you can probably go without it if shorter, urban rides are going to be more your thing.
Alternatively, you could opt for the aforementioned Apollo Pro 60V ($2,299), add the Apollo Seat ($119), and save some money.
Specification: Dualtron Thunder Review
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
The Dualtron Thunder comes in at $3,699. Now, that’s an undeniably large price tag, and potential buyers should be under no illusions about the costs here. What’s more, bonafide bargain-hunters will likely be more drawn to other models, such as the VSETT 11+ ($2,599, faster, and longer range), VSETT 10+ R ($2,599, same top speed, and longer range), or Apollo Pro 60V ($2,299 and with a better warranty, but lacking the Thunder’s powerful specs).
Meanwhile, riders that are looking for an off-road scooter, may want to opt for Kaabo’s Wolf Warrior. You’ll save $1,200, and score a scooter that outperforms the Thunder for acceleration whilst matching it for range.
When you put it that way, there are good deals elsewhere – it just depends where your priorities lie. Price? Or the ability to customize your ride and lay claim to a Dualtron of your own?
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
MiniMotors USA, which is the supplier and official US distributor of the Dualtron electric scooter range, stocks all parts and accessories, and offers a warranty of 6 months as standard.
However, I should note that this warranty is limited to manufacturing defects. This includes the motor, controller, battery, and throttle. It doesn’t cover wear and tear and, as MiniMotors USA puts it, ‘acts of God’. In insurance terms, this is typically defined as ‘an accident or event that is not influenced by man‘, and is included (but not limited to) damage from hurricanes, cyclones, tsunamis, and, well… thunder.
This includes rain. And, as I mentioned earlier, the Thunder doesn’t bear a water-resistance rating. Should any damage occur as a result of you riding your new Dualtron in the rain, then, you can’t claim under warranty.
Accessories – such as grips, screws, rubber caps, brakes, brake pads, and tires – also aren’t covered.
Should you require any assistance with setting up, maintaining, or replacing any of the Dualtron Thunder’s components, you can call or email the MiniMotors USA team for real-time assistance. The number is (917) 688-4318.
Dualtron’s scooters don’t come with a huge amount of online support resources. That said, the manual contains an impressively granular amount of detail. It’s not the easiest to read but should give you everything you need to learn the ropes of your new ride.
You can also reach out to the team at email@example.com for additional support.
Checkout How the Dualtron Thunder Stacks Up Against the Dualtron 3 and Spider
From its ultra-wide tubeless tires to its powerful disc brakes, and exotic swag lights, take an in depth look at what the Dualtron Thunder has to offer.
*Photos courtesy of MiniMotors USA
Specification: Dualtron Thunder Review