What if you could take the power, speed, range of the Dualtron Thunder, shave off several hundred dollars – and several pounds off the weight – and then equip it with chunky, knobby tires ideal for off-road riding? Well, you can, and it’s called the Dualtron Ultra. Retaining the pedigree and feel of the rest of MiniMotors’ extreme-performance scooter line, the Ultra keeps its ferocious demeanor alongside a durable aerospace-grade aluminum and steel frame. This one’s for scooter lovers, off-road enthusiasts, and thrill-seekers – but not for the faint-hearted. However, there’s no mistaking that there are better scooters for a fraction of the price.
Dualtron Ultra Review: 10 Things You Need to Know
Who is it Best For?
Will the Dualtron Ultra Be a Good Fit For You?
Comparing the Ultra’s spec sheet with that of the Thunder can, at first, be confusing. They look similar, sport the same top speed and hill-climbing capabilities, boast equal mileage, and support an identical maximum rider weight.
So, what’s the difference?
One glance at the Ultra’s tires should tell you as much. These knobby, gnarly beasts are designed to help you navigate the uncertainties of off-road tracks. Unlike the Thunder – which, while it can cope with forest trials, is predominantly a city-slicking scooter – the Ultra is tailor-made to help you handle whatever those challenging dirt road circuits throw at you.
Make no mistake – the Ultra is no child’s toy, but a powerful, take-no-prisoners machine, capable of propelling you up to speeds of 50 mph. It’s not designed for commuting, either, and it’s certainly not recommended as a first foray into the world of electric scooters.
The Dualtron Ultra is for experienced riders only. I only recommend it for adrenaline junkies looking to make the step up into the premium line of off-road electric scooters.
I’ll let you in on a secret though, there are two extreme-performance scooters that rival the Ultra. Bursting onto the scene like a pack of ferocious canines, the Wolk King and Wolf Warrior are the ultimate off-road scooters. A popular choice among the electric scooter community, they take everything good from the Ultra and up-the-ante.
Pros and Cons
- Very fast
- Extremely strong and durable
- Lighter than similar spec Dualtron models
- Knobby tires are perfect for off-roading
- There is no kickplate – meaning less control
- Stem wobble
- Lighting is ineffective
- Braking system is lackluster for the price
Is the Dualtron Ultra Comfortable to Ride?
Sporting wide handlebars that maximize steering column control, an enormous deck that affords a comfortable riding stance, and the combination of large grippy tires with a high impact polyurethane swingarm suspension system, the Ultra has been equipped with almost all the right tools to soak up rough terrain and deliver a comfortable ride.
But, it is missing something. That something is a kickplate. From our tests, high-performance scooters that are equipped with kickplates are more enjoyable to ride than those that aren’t. This becomes even more important when you consider the terrain you’re going to be traversing.
Rider stance can affect how you ride, especially at high speeds and over rough terrain. A kickplate affords greater confidence and control over your scooter allowing you to lean into the ride. Whilst I love the Dualtron range as a driving force in the extreme-performance scooter world, the lack of the kickplate pulls the Ultra down a notch or two. As a result, I suggest checking out the Wolf King and Wolf Warrior – both have kickplates, superior suspension systems, big chunky tires, and are comfortable to ride no matter the terrain.
As with all Dualtron’s scooters, the handlebars are where most – if not all – the magic happens. Here’s where you’ll find the Ultra’s smooth-to-pull throttle, twin handbrakes, and pair of ergonomically shaped grippy, rubberized grips for safe riding.
Of course, it’s also where the Ultra’s smart EYE display – an innovative, feature-rich LCD dashboard that offers a glance into your scooter’s speed, battery life, and riding mode. Plus, from the display, you can customize your scooter’s configuration to your liking (more on this in the “Extra Features” section).
The Ultra’s handlebars also come with a pair of colored buttons. The red one allows you to toggle the Ultra’s motors (single or dual), while its yellow companion activates the hazard warning lights, in case of emergency.
Intelligence aside, the handlebars offer plenty of brawn to go with all the brains.
Measuring up at a monstrous 23.6-inch span – that’s over a third wider than a conventional commuter scooter – the Ultra’s not only built for rider stability but, like the mainframe, the handlebars are made of a tough-as-nails aviation-grade aluminum alloy, so they’re extremely durable, too.
The one thing the Ultra’s handlebars don’t do, however, is fold. While this is unlikely to be a huge dealbreaker, it’s something lovers of the Dualtron range have come largely to expect from its most recent releases. For example, the upgraded Ultra 2, as well as the Storm, and even the X 2, all have foldable handlebars.
With a towering, terrifying demeanor and a midnight-black color scheme, there’s no mistaking the Dualtron Ultra for a puny commuter scooter.
Looks-wise, this thing means business. Yet the Ultra is way more than just a pretty face. Matching the frame’s aesthetic qualities is a firm focus on strength, stability, and solidity.
The Ultra’s 5 mm neck – reinforced with an additional 3.5 mm sleeve – provides an extra layer of robustness. It’s designed to improve the durability and hardness of the Ultra’s stem and to give you more insulation against the extra strain that the jumps and hops of off-road riding impose.
Spanning just over 12 inches wide, the Ultra’s enormous deck is around double the width of the narrow, board-like strip of a conventional scooter. Robust and reliable, the deck offers plenty of room to strike a comfortable stance without having to contort your feet and body into an uncomfortable position.
However, as mentioned earlier, the deck is missing a crucial component – a kickplate. High-performance scooters that are equipped with kickplates are more enjoyable to ride than those that aren’t since they allow you to lean into the ride when traveling at high speeds over rough terrain.
Whilst you may have seen the colorful lighting setups on other Dualtron models, I’m sorry to inform you that the lights, positioned in the front and rear of the deck, are lackluster. Where some models, like the Thunder, have style by the bucket-load, the Ultra lacks the colored, customizable LED lighting that I have raved about in some of my other reviews.
A scooter’s wheels are paramount for ride quality. And, when you begin to venture outside the confines of smooth, well-maintained asphalt to rocky dirt tracks, your wheels become even more important.
Fortunately, the Ultra’s 11 x 3.5 inch pneumatic tubeless tires pass the litmus test.
To put the size of these into perspective, they have the 3rd biggest profile of any other in our database of 100+ scooters. They are just about as big as electric scooter wheels get, only beaten by the likes of the VSETT 11+ (11 x 4), Dualtron Thunder (11 x 4), and both Dualtron X models (13 x 4).
They don’t just lay claim to a podium position for tire size, though. Their increased size perfectly complements the swingarm suspension by dampening harsh hits. Plus, the knobby texture – not entirely dissimilar to what you’d see on a mountain bike – maximizes traction on sand, gravel, and any other loose material you can think of.
These tires can be both a blessing and a curse. Whilst they are perfectly suited for off-road scooting, if you ride over urban terrain, you won’t be able to hit the top 50 mph speed. This is a result of a reduced contact-patch with the road, meaning less traction. Ultimately, they are not as effective for street riding as slick tires are. This probably isn’t a major concern for you since you are most likely reading this review to see if the Ultra is right for your off-roading adventures but it is worth bearing in mind.
Build Quality & Durability
Off-road scooters and flimsy build quality are like oil and water – they simply don’t mix.
Coveters of the Dualtron Ultra will be pleased to learn that its components – which are made of the finest, aerospace-grade quality – are built to last.
As is the case with the Dualtron range at large, the Ultra’s frame and handlebars are made of a dense, durable aluminum alloy, while its reinforced stem is SCM440 – one of the toughest steel blends around. Hard-wearing polypropylene plastic makes up the mudguards.
In brief, it has been forged from the same stuff used to build highly stressed applications, bridges, cranes, and other heavy-duty structures.
There is one major drawback to the Ultra’s design, though. Because the folding mechanism is located at the base of the handlebar post, the stem tends to wobble even when locked into place – which, if you plan to ride at high speeds, can be unnerving. This issue isn’t unique to the Ultra, other Dualtron scooters that share the same folding mechanism are plagued by this issue as are other scooters, like the Zero range.
Weight & Load
The Ultra – while by no means light – is, by Dualtron’s standards at least, a trim customer.
Still, that considerable ‘slimming down’ doesn’t mean the Ultra can’t cope with as much weight as its bulkier siblings. Supporting a maximum payload of 265 lbs, the Ultra’s camel-like qualities are equal to that of both the Thunder and the X.
However, if we put the Ultra under scrutiny and compare it to our database of 100+ scooters, its load-bearing capacity isn’t overly impressive. For instance, 30 other scooters can support more weight. These include the likes of the Wolf King (400 lbs), Wolf Warrior (330 lbs), and the upgraded Ultra 2 (330 lbs).
Folding & Portability
Against the context of the X and Thunder – not to mention the Wolf models, which tip the scales at over 100 lbs – the Ultra is relatively light. But, that doesn’t mean it is portable.
One thing it does have going for it, though, is its neat folding mechanism. Like the rest of the Dualtron range, the Ultra folds in half, via a quick-release lever at the stem’s base. Plus, the folded stem locks into place meaning it can be more easily maneuvered compared to the likes of the Wolf models that don’t lock into place. However, the folding mechanism can lead to the dreaded stem wobble discussed earlier.
As previously noted, the Ultra’s handlebars don’t collapse inward, though this is something that the Ultra’s successor (predictably titled the “Ultra 2”) fixed. Released in the summer of 2020 during the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ultra 2 boasts sleek, sexy ‘two-touch’ double folding handlebars that, quite frankly, make the design of the original look like old news.
Refreshingly, the Dualtron Ultra comes pretty much pre-assembled.
Of course, there’s still a little work to do. You’ll have to attach the Ultra’s handlebars to the mainframe, which involves tightening a few screws with a 5 mm Allen wrench (included in the box), and then fasten the front fender into place.
Assembly only takes 15-20 minutes. What’ll take you a little longer is to get to grips with the EYE display’s settings.
Performance & Safety
Speed & Acceleration
Strap yourself in, because the Ultra can reach a mouth-watering top speed of up to 50 mph.
It is indeed. In fact, the Ultra’s impressive top speed is one of its best features.
Powered by the 5,400W maximum output from its dual hub brushless DC motors, the Ultra isn’t just quick but accelerates like a race horse at the sound of the claxon. Be warned, this thing doesn’t just talk the talk – it talks the torque.
There is one scooter that puts the Ultra to shame, though. If you like the sound of upping-the-ante whilst also saving a bit of cash, then the Wolf King will be ideal for you. It costs $2,999 vs the Ultra’s $3,149, and here’s the kicker:
The outrageously large 1500W dual motors combined with the dual 72V 40A controllers produce up to 6720W of power. This not only matches that of the Dualtron X – which costs double the Wolf King – but, it delivers 1320W more power than that of the Ultra. As a result, the King can hit 15 mph in just 1.9 seconds, and 50 mph in 4.8.
Just short of the Thunder’s 80 mile range, the Ultra comes in at a manufacturer quoted 75 miles.
This is super impressive, particularly when you consider that the Ultra costs a cool $550 less than its thunderous counterpart. The Ultra will also score you slightly more mileage than Kaabo’s Wolf Warrior (70 miles – but, remember the Warrior is $350 cheaper), and 50% more than the Wolf King (50 miles).
It is worth bearing in mind that you’re unlikely, in practice, to get the full 75 miles. Relax – this is in no way reflective of a lack of quality or indicative of false advertising on Dualtron’s part.
It’s just a fact of life when it comes to electric scooters. The maximum mileage is based on a best-case scenario which often includes a 165 lb rider, flat terrain, and keeping the scooter in its slowest speed setting.
In brief, the more you work the throttle, the less distance you’ll achieve. This is especially the case with off-road scooters like the Ultra because the dual motors have to work overtime to get you up and over bumps, and through cross-country circuits.
Realistically, you can expect around 33 miles if you ride aggressively off-road.
With a name like “Ultra”, you’d expect Dualtron’s premium, off-road scooter to deliver on the hill-climbing front. And, with the capability to climb hills of up to a huge 47% incline, it does.
The Ultra’s gradient-guzzling credentials match those of the Thunder, propelling it into the upper-echelon of hill-climbing scooters.
Moral of the story? With the Ultra propelling you up even the steepest of gradients with purring ease, you can feel comfortable going head to head with even the most intimidating of off-road tracks.
Shock Absorption / Suspension
The 11-inch tubeless tires provide a base level of shock absorption, but it’s in the scooter’s front and rear swingarm suspension that give the most dampening.
A misconception of the Ultra’s suspension is that it can be adjusted. Unlike the interchangeable rubber cartridge suspension system that can be customized on other Dualtron scooters (from hard to soft across 5 different levels), the Ultra’s suspension is fixed.
I can’t skirt around the fact that the suspension pales in comparison to that of the Thunder. Released after the Ultra, the Thunder features the latest innovation from Dualtron’s labs – a patent-pending suspension system with a staggering 45 levels of customizability. You can read more about this in my in-depth review of the Thunder.
The upgraded Ultra 2 also improves on its predecessor with customizable rear suspension that can be tuned to 5 different levels.
To sum up, the Ultra’s suspension is perfectly adequate for off-road circuits, but you can get better for cheaper. Any guesses which scooter, or should I say scooters, I’m going to recommend? That’s right, the Wolf King and Warrior. I know I sound like a broken record but let me explain why their suspension systems are far superior to the Ultra.
They both boast motorcycle-grade inverted hydraulic front shock absorbers and dual rear springs. In brief, they combine the best of both suspension types to deliver a level of shock absorption that can soak up the harsh hits from rock-strewn terrain. The only other suspension system that comes close is that of the VSETT 11+ and both Dualtron X models (which cost more than double the King and Warrior).
Let’s face it. Dancing with danger, and taking on the pulse-quickening uncertainties of the dirt road circuits is fun.
Having bad brakes, though, isn’t so enjoyable.
Despite being fitted with 160 mm disc brakes in the front and rear, the braking system is underwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, they do the job and will bring you to a stop but they are a far cry from the effectiveness of other braking systems that can bring you to a halt in quick succession.
For a scooter costing over $3,000, you should expect it to be fitted with a hydraulic system. Take for example both Wolf models, these are equipped with full hydraulic braking systems that are far more powerful than that of the Ultra. Going further down the cost scale, scooters like the Varla Eagle One ($1,599), Apollo Phantom ($1,949), and well-loved Mantis Pro ($2,299) all have hydraulic disc brakes.
Another slight downfall of Ultra is the lack of an anti-lock braking system (ABS).
As a Dualtron mainstay (at least for the majority of models), ABS technology prevents the brakes from locking up and causing the tires to skid. It works by relying on a sensor ring that detects when the tire is beginning to seize up and overrides the braking function to gain back control. When enabled, you’ll feel the ABS kick into action, as it induces vibrations that can be felt throughout the scooter. This is especially important for scooters, like the Ultra, that are capable of propelling you at speeds of up to 50 mph.
The Achilles heel of the Ultra – heck, the entire Dualtron range – is its lengthy, 20-hour charge time.
That’s almost an entire day. So, if you’re the kind of person that’d rather spend more time on your scooter than off it, it’s well worth spending some extra cash for Dualtron’s fast charger. It’ll set you back an extra $150, but it’ll juice the Ultra up in around 6 hours.
If $150 is slightly beyond your budget, all hope is not lost. You can buy an additional standard charger from MiniMotors for $55. With two regular chargers (this additional one, plus the one included with the scooter), you can get your Ultra fully charged in 10 hours.
Smart EYE Display & Throttle for Customized Performance Configuration
It wouldn’t be a true high-performance scooter without the EYE display.
So what can the display do? From its chunky, circular screen, you can monitor your speed, battery life, and accumulated mileage, as well as toggle the scooter’s customizable performance settings. These include adjusting the power of the electronic brake system and selecting the scooter’s start function (whether that’s zero or kick start).
LED Lights and Emergency Hazard Signals
Whilst you’ll find LEDs buttoned on the front and rear edge of the deck, they aren’t overly powerful. Sure, the rear lights are perfectly adequate as they blink into action whenever you brake, but you will need to pick up an additional headlight. You can find rechargeable USB lights almost everywhere – and for pretty cheap.
The light setup is a little bittersweet. I can’t help but feel like I’ve been spoiled by the LED arrangements of Dualtron’s other models. Take the Thunder’s customizable, colored mood lighting, for instance, or the illuminated, kaleidoscopic stem of the Eagle Pro. They ooze fun and vibrancy.
One thing the Ultra does have going for it, though, is its emergency lights. These can be activated by pressing the yellow button on the left of the handlebars. Once engaged, the taillights blink when the brake is operated.
Motor System Selection Button
Similar to its fellow high-performance compadres, the Ultra comes with a motor system selection button. This allows you to select which motors you want to engage and has the advantage of letting you run the scooter as efficiently as possible.
As is common on Dualtron scooters, the red button is located on the left-hand side of the handlebars, and it has two modes – out and in.
When you want to enjoy a more relaxed ride – and enable the rear motor alone – you’ll want the button out. Pushing that button again – so it’s in – will activate both the front and rear hub motors. This setting is perfect for when you need that extra injection of power behind you – or feel like taking a shot at breaking the land speed record.
The Ultra is, as you’ll know by now, at its best when it’s tearing up forest trails, dirt tracks, and rock-strewn terrain. So, while it’s unlikely you’ll be getting a huge amount of use out of its cruise control feature – which allows you to maintain a constant speed over long distances, without having to keep the finger throttle depressed – it’s certainly still a nice feature to have.
To engage cruise control, head to ‘Settings’ on the EYE display, and select ‘Cruise’ (P6 setting). To deactivate it, simply hold and release the brake.
Heat Sinks to Expel Unwanted Heat and Protect Controllers
Who turned up the heat in here?
The Ultra cranks things up a notch by introducing a feature not sported by many of its fellow Dualtron models. I’m talking, of course, about the special heat sinks built into its design. But what does that mean, exactly?
Well, when you’ve got motors working as hard as the Ultra’s dual hubs – which, as you’ll remember, have a maximum output of a fiery 5,400 watts – they’re bound to get a little hot to handle.
Here’s where the Ultra’s heat sinks kick in. They expel any extra heat generated by your twin motors – helping safeguard the health of your scooter, and ensuring the efficiency and longevity of your ride over time.
Optional Fingerprint Scanner (Anti-Theft Function)
For an extra $125, you can add Dualtron’s fingerprint scanner to your Ultra.
Bestowing both style and deterrence value on your shiny new scooter, the fingerprint scanner stores your biometric data, allowing you – and only you – to unlock it.
While it may seem a steep add-on cost – particularly given the already significant money you’ve put down to secure the scooter – I’d recommend making the investment. After all, the scooter is more than three thousand bucks and its slick design combined with its high-spec pedigree may make it a target for thieves.
Optional Seat Attachment
It’s basic math. Long rides + standing = tired legs.
Fortunately, this equation must have entered the MinMotors team’s thinking during design, because they created an optional seat attachment.
Attaching to the rear of the Ultra’s frame – slightly in front of the back wheel – this attachment costs $125, and will take you just two minutes to install.
Of course, you might be thinking that no true off-road scooter rider needs a seat. Who takes on jumps and adventurous cross-country tracks sitting down, after all? Remember, though, the Ultra has a maximum mileage of up to 75 miles, which is a long-distance to stay standing up for – whether you’re on the road, or not.
Specification: Dualtron Ultra
Value for Money
Is it Worth the Price Tag?
While the Ultra is a Dualtron scooter with a ferocious demeanor that exudes style, there’s no mistaking that there are better scooters for a fraction of the price.
Take the Wolf Warrior, for example, it matches the Ultra’s peak 5400W power output delivering a top speed of 50 mph and has an almost identical max range, yet it sports a superior suspension and braking system and is $650 cheaper.
Alternatively, if you want a scooter that screams luxury and delivers power and performance in excess, the killer gold aluminum finish of the Wolf King and its 6720W maximum output – that matches that of the Dualtron X – will be the perfect candidate.
What Other Scooters Should You Consider?
Warranty & Post-Purchase Support
MiniMotors USA – inventor, supplier, and official US distributor of the Dualtron high-performance scooter brand – stocks all parts and accessories.
It offers a warranty of 6 months as standard on its scooters.
Be warned, though, that this warranty is limited to manufacturing defects only, and includes just the motor, controller, battery, and throttle. It doesn’t cover wear and tear, or ‘acts of God’. For insurance purposes, this is typically defined as ‘an accident or event that is not influenced by man', and includes weather damage – another reason to think twice about taking your Ultra out on a wet day or hitting a muddy forest trail in the rainy season.
Accessories – which include grips, rubber caps, brakes, and brake pads, screws, and tires – aren’t covered under Dualtron’s warranty, either.
Dualtron’s scooters don’t come with an enormous amount of online support resources, and the Ultra’s manual doesn’t contain quite the same level of detail as that of the Thunder’s or X’s.
For anything you can’t solve with the manual, you can get in touch with the team at [email protected] for additional support.
Or, if you need assistance setting-up, maintaining, or replacing any of the Ultra’s components, you can call the MiniMotors USA team, and receive friendly help and support, in real-time. The number is (917) 688-4318.
Specification: Dualtron Ultra