Minimotors Dualtron Thunder vs Thunder 2: Why We Still Love The Original

Minimotors Dualtron Thunder 2 electric scooter in folded configuration
Dualtron Thunder II | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

Dualtron Thunder vs Dualtron Thunder II

In this head-to-head comparison of the Dualtron Thunder and Dualtron Thunder 2 (aka Thunder II), we reveal how Minimotors took one of the world’s fastest and most well-respected sport-commuter scooters to an entirely new level of performance.

Dualtron Thunder II electric scooter in front of a bay
The aluminum footrest gives the Thunder II its signature look | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

At first glance, the differences you’ll see are the Thunder 2’s ultra-modern rubber deck and machined aluminum footrest with an integrated taillight: signature features, but far from being our favorite new things about the Thunder 2.

Under the surface, Dualtron’s Thunder 2 is full of surprises: mind-boggling “double-click” acceleration, record-breaking range, and game-changing flat-proof pneumatic tires.

The biggest surprise: why we still often reach for the original Thunder when it’s time to commute home.

Minimotors Dualtron Thunder vs. Minimotors Dualtron Thunder 2 Comparison

Results below are based on our independent performance testing and not data provided by the manufacturer.

Dualtron ThunderDualtron Thunder II
Price $3,699 $4,299
Max Rider Weight270 lb270 lb
ESG Tested Specs
Weight92 lb104 lb
Top Speed50.0 mph58.3 mph
Range45.2 mi59.5 mi
Acceleration
0 to 15 mph2.0 s2.2 s
0 to 20 mph2.8 s2.8 s
0 to 30 mph5.0 s4.4 s
0 to 40 mph9.0 s6.6 s
Features
BrakesFront: Hydraulic Disc
Rear: Hydraulic Disc
Front: Hydraulic Disc
Rear: Hydraulic Disc
Tires11 in x 4 in
Front: Pneumatic (Tubeless)
Rear: Pneumatic (Tubeless)
11 in x 4 in
Front: Pneumatic (Tubeless)
Rear: Pneumatic (Tubeless)
SuspensionFront: Rubber
Rear: Rubber
Front: Rubber
Rear: Rubber
LightsFront: High
Rear: Low
Front: High
Rear: Low
IP RatingNoneNone
Throttle TypeTriggerTrigger
Dimensions
Deck Width12.2 in12.5 in
Deck Length22.5 in20.3 in
Folded Length50 in49 in
Folded Width13 in13 in
Folded Height22 in23 in

Performance

Chart comparing acceleration of the Dualtron Thunder and Dualtron Thunder II electric scooters
Acceleration curves for Dualtron Thunder and Thunder II | Credit: ESG

Choose your flavor: Fast or OMFG-fast!

The original Thunder was already one of the “10 fastest scooters in the world” (according to actual test data), so the logical thing for Minimotors to do for an encore was to make the sequel faster (way faster).

Dualtron Thunder electric scooter deck and lights
The original Thunder is still one of the fastest in the World | Credit: ESG

Experiencing full-throttle on the Thunder 2 was mind-blowing. At the 15 second mark, the world was rushing toward me in a blur as I blew past the original Thunder’s 50.0 mph top speed, still accelerating.

At this point, I did what any right-thinking Thunder 2 owner would do: double-click the throttle, unleashing ten additional amps from each controller. That’s 1680 extra watts or roughly one Dualtron Eagle Pro worth of boost!

The double click is no joke and feels like you’ve suddenly caught a colossal tailwind, urging you forward to a measured top speed of 58.3 mph (63 mph indicated).

The original Thunder’s acceleration is nothing to sneeze at, but you will eventually get used to it. The Thunder 2 pushing 60 amps?

I doubt anyone will get used to that.

One downside of the double click is that it makes launches feel a little awkward if you’re applying it right from the start: i.e., go- pause-GO! (you can see it in the data).

I understand why they did it, though. Having 60 amps available all the time would make it hard to accelerate smoothly out of low-speed corners. Think of it as the red safety cover over a missile launch switch.

Close up of the Dualtron Thunder II front wheel and hydraulic brakes
The Dualtron Thunder II has beefy Nutt hydraulic brakes | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

The Nutt hydraulic brakes and 160 mm rotors feel impressive and direct on both scooters, stopping from - about 10 ft.

Thunder “1” stops 5 inches shorter due to an 12 lb weight advantage and extra deck space that lets the rider squat further rearward when dropping anchor.

Either scooter will let you climb any hill at just about any speed. The Thunder 2 and Thunder are the 3rd and 8th fastest scooters, respectively, to ever climb our 200 ft 10% grade test hill.
Any scooter that can hang with our top 10 is a world-class hill climber. (To show just how fast these two are: the Vsett 10+ holds the #10 spot.)

Oh, and do feel free to use that power to climb hills at speed.

You’re very unlikely to need the battery power later.

The Dualtron Thunder 2 crushed our all-time range record covering 59.5 miles in top performance mode during 3-hours of urban riding on our range test circuit.

The original Thunder took honors for the 5th best range ever at 45.2 miles (real-world).

Dualtron Thunder Pros + Cons

MiniMotors Dualtron Thunder electric scooter
The original Dualtron Thunder | Credit: ESG

Pros

  • Super huge comfortable deck. More deck room than the Thunder II because there isn’t a (removable) carrying handle in the way — you’ll stay comfortable on long rides.
  • Relatively smooth throttle control. It still requires care, but it’s smooth enough that you don’t have to think too hard about it while riding.
  • Cheaper. The original Thunder is a bargain, retailing for $3,699 while the Thunder II at $4,299 is a whole different category.

Cons

  • Less portable than Thunder 2. Despite being 12 lbs lighter, it’s harder to lift when the stem is upright because there isn’t a good place to grab onto the rear of the scooter. It’s a very awkward lift.
  • Can’t tell what mode you’re in. You won’t know whether you’re in dual motor or single motor mode until you pull the throttle.
  • Needs a bright high-mounted headlight. Easy to add, but it should come with one. 
  • Both have the standard Dualtron stem creak.

Dualtron Thunder II Pros + Cons

Minimotors Dualtron Thunder II electric scooter
The Minimotors Dualtron Thunder 2 | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

Pros

  • The most range of any scooter we’ve ever tested. While both models have astounding range, the Thunder 2 can go further than most riders want to ride. After >3 hours (59.5 miles), I’d had enough! 
  • Flat proof tires. These are an absolute game-changer. We’ve tested them, and they work! Hopefully a sign of things to come! You can install these tires on the Thunder as well, but they come standard on the Thunder 2.
  • So much swag! No scooter comes close to Dualtrons for swag lights, and every generation, they find more places to put them (swingarms? sure why not).
  • Never-ending adrenaline on tap. There are many features you’ll get used to after a week of ownership. The acceleration of the Thunder 2 isn’t one of them. 
  • New control panel with a high-end feel. Backlit stainless steel buttons are nicer than any of the buttons in my German car. 
  • EY3 is bright but beginning to look old. That said, we’ll take “looks ordinary, but works perfectly” over the converse.

Cons

  • Not very portable. At 104 lb, it’s heavy.
  • Low deck traction. On a scooter this intense, the lack of traction is noticeable, but this is easily fixed with some well-placed grip tape.
  • Double click is super fun but ultimately a little clunky. A sinewave controller could give you the control you need without making you hiccup.
  • Needs better headlights. A scooter this fast deserves a bright high-mounted headlight.
  • Creaky stem (easily fixed but still annoying).

Verdict

Dualtron Thunder

Close up of Dualtron Thunder electric scooter deck
The Dualtron Thunder | Credit: ESG

The original Thunder is a classic for a reason.

It has well-balanced power, braking, and handling that, when added together, just feel right. In other words, the moment you get on board and plant your feet on the roomy grippy deck and zoom away, you feel the urge to go for long fast rides, many long fast rides.

The throttle is rapid but controlled. This is the Aston Martin of electric scooters; the electric scooter James Bond would ride. The smooth-and-fast ride characteristics make The Thunder Chuck’s favorite of the two for commuting home.

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Dualtron Thunder II

Minimotors Dualtron Thunder II on shore of bay
The Thunder II | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

We think it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself wishing you bought something faster or with more range than the Thunder. But, if you want more of everything: range, top speed, adrenaline — the Thunder 2 is just the right kind of Bonkers.

Even without the double-click throttle, the Thunder 2 picks up well beyond where the Thunder leaves off.

And with the double click?

Just be sure you’re ready.

Our content is independent, but buying through our links may earn us a commission.

 

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About the Author

Paul

With a background in applied physics, Paul is ESG’s Hardware Program Manager and a former motorcycle roadracing champion and manager of scooter repair workhouses for Lime and Skip; Paul has spent more of his life riding (and working) on two wheels than four.

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