Dualtron Thunder 2 vs Dualtron Thunder – is it worth upgrading? – My Review
It’s been over 4 years since the Dualtron Thunder was released. Back then, it was a model that shook the escooter landscape, and pushed the standard further. Fast forward four years, the Dualtron Thunder 2 hit the shelves.
In today’s review, I’d like to answer a few important questions: What new features does the Dualtron Thunder 2 bring to the table? Is it worth the money? And is it a good idea to sell your old trusty Dualtron Thunder to jump on this new model? Let’s find that out!
Dualtron Thunder 2 Review
Dualtron Thunder 2 Unboxing
Further pushing the limits
Let’s set the tone of this review by saying that the Thunder 2 is one of the fastest Dualtrons to date, with the Dualtron Storm LTD and the Dualtron X II Up beating it by a small margin. With an acceleration of 4.4 s (0-30 mph) and a top speed of up to 100 Km/h (62 MPH), thanks to the Dual 2700W BLDC Dual Hub Motors, the Thunder 2 is indeed a racing scooter.
One of the key features Dualtrons were known for is the ability to save power by manually turning one of the two motors off. However, this changed on the Thunder 2. On this scooter, both motors are always engaged, similar to how it is on the Dualtron X and Dualtron X 2. This prevents overcharging one controller, as well as accidentally boosting while on one motor. This is a very welcome feature to see, as it is simple to double tap the thumb throttle by accident.
This comes with a downside though. The Thunder 2 is hard to control on low speeds since both motors are always engaged, and pushing the throttle even slightly makes the scooter bolt forward. It also doesn’t help that the ECO mode button is hard to reach on the dashboard. This makes riding the Thunder 2 on busy streets feel awkward at times.
New controllers and Boost mode
The Thunder 2 also features new controllers. The current ones are 72v 45A + 15A boost. How boost works now is that you simply double tap the throttle, and enjoy an extra power delivery of +15A per controller (for a total of +30A) for 10 second intervals. Once the boost is over, a cooldown activates, which prevents you from boosting for the next minute or so, and gives the controllers some time to cool down. It’s a pretty simple and smart design choice if you ask me.
One hell of a battery
The Thunder 2 is the perfect scooter for long distance commuting. Not only does it allow you to get to your destination fast, it also lets you drive for about an hour non-stop.
The Thunder 2 comes in two battery configurations: 72V 32Ah and 72V 40Ah. The website states that the max range of the scooter is 130 Km (80 Mi) and 170 Km (105 Mi), respectively. As we all know though, this is only achievable in lab conditions (steady speed of 25km/h, perfectly flat road, lightweight driver). In reality, unless you have all the time in the world, you’ll be pushing on that throttle as hard as you can.
Real Range of the Thunder 2
We tested the real range of the scooter for you. We took it out to the road and depleted the full battery while racing as aggressively as we could. Unsurprisingly, the weight of the driver plays a huge role in battery life. Here are our results:
- 100kg (220 lbs.) rider = 50km (31 Mi)
- 75kg (165 lbs.) rider = 60km (37 Mi)
You can obviously make that distance a lot longer by driving more carefully but please do not expect the full advertised 170 Km (105 Mi) / 130 Km (80 Mi).
A huge improvement
The Thunder 2 comes with a LG-M50LT 21700 battery that can easily hold the 10,800W peak power, something that was not possible with the old MJ1 18650.
Revamped regenerative brake
One huge issue the Dualtron Thunder has is that the regenerative brake can burn the controller. This happens when the electric brake is set on max power, and engaged on a full battery. This issue has been addressed in the Thunder 2. Now, the regen brake is automatically disabled as soon as the 83.5V mark is reached. You can now safely set your regen brake settings to max level without the need to worry about the safety of your controller’s MOSFETs.
The longevity of a battery is measured in charge cycles. Basically, the more you use a battery, the more it loses capacity. Based on my calculations, the Thunder 2 should start losing performance after 25-30.000 km, which is a lot for an escooter. One cycle is counted when battery is charged 85% unlike Thunder at 95%.
Safety and control
Minimotors are known for enhancing the braking system with every new model that is released. The Thunder 2 is sadly an exception to the rule. If you remember, the previous model comes with the ‘Nutt’ brake system, which is both reliable and powerful. The Thunder 2 features the ‘Nutt 2’, which is supposed to be an improvement over the previous model, but it’s actually not. Let me explain why.
‘Nutt 2’ Brakes
Good brakes should be (a) powerful enough to stop the vehicle fast, (b) easy to activate and (c) be durable. While the ‘Nutt 2’ does fulfill criteria A and C, it does fall behind in point B when compared to the previous model.
First of all, the ‘Nutt 2’ comes with longer levers which makes the braking process take longer. The gap between the pads and the disk is so wide you have to pump the brake 2-3 times before it fully kicks in. Talking about the disk, it’s the same as found on the first ‘Nutt’ model – there was no improvement in that area.
Secondly, the brake is now harder to install. The caliper tube, which used to be flexible in the ‘Nutt’ model, is now rigid, making it hard to fix the brake in a good place.
At this point, I’d recommend you change the brakes as soon as you get the scooter. The ‘Magura Mt5e’ and ‘Magura MT7 PRO’ are good options, and even the first ‘Nutt’ model would still be a better alternative than the ‘Nutt 2’.
The Thunder 2 comes with 11-inch ultra-wide no-flat tires. Basically, the tires are now filled with a sealant that instantly reseals any puncture. While a welcome feature, the sealant also makes the wheels heavier. I might be lucky but I haven’t got a flat a single time in my 4 years of riding my Thunder, so I’d rather keep using the lighter PMT 90/65R 6.5″ T41 SLICKs instead.
The Thunder 2 comes with turn signal lights on the rear side of the deck only. While it’s a great improvement over the first model, it’s still not ideal missing the front. I manged to manually install turn signal lights on my Dualtron Thunder, I had to install two yellow caps in front by carbonrevo and with the help of an electrician we were able to create the turn signal lights with current light controller and to install a button switcher.
Less wobbly but still not perfect
Most electric scooters come with a folding mechanism that makes it possible to carry them around. While it’s a nice feature to have, it also means that there is one extra mobile part that can get wobbly, or even loose. The Dualtron Thunder was no stranger to these issues. As you could see in one of my previous videos, Thunder users have to manually disassemble and tighten the nut on the steering bar periodically.
The Thunder also has issues with the headset piece, and the only way to fix that is to replace it completely with a kit manufactured by Sonken Engineering, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ds-Xw4W66U.
The Thunder 2 tries to address those issues by featuring a completely new folding system. Now, you have two big washers that tighten it, as well as a double folding clamp to hold the stem in place when unfolded. The big screw that used to be on the bottom of the steering bar is now gone too, as it used to get loose often.
While better, the system is still not ideal. The stem still gets wobbly after a couple hundred kilometers. There are, once again, community-made parts that can solve the issue. The first one is to install the upgraded folding clamp for Dualtron Thunder 2 (link). Check this forum thread for more details https://forum.madcharge.com/d/143-dualtron-thunder-2-loose-steering
Minimotors could avoid this issue completely by simply using the same headset design as the one on the Thunder. This screw in particular could have stopped the wobbling completely if they secured it better than on the Thunder. Oh well, the Thunder 2, once again, takes two steps forward and one step backwards.
Comfort and Portability
The Thunder 2 comes with quite a few improvements in the comfort department.
The new scooter now finally features a footrest. It’s a feature that has been requested for years because it helps to achieve better foot positioning. Besides, the footrest itself makes room for the tail and brake lights.
The new deck is coated in anti-slip rubber. It’s a huge improvement from the Thunder.
The new kickstand is wider and sturdier than that of the Thunder.
Reworked Deck Neck
The new deck neck has extra LED bars on the sides that show the Dualtron logo. The LED controller is also moved inside the deck.
Sadly, the Dualtron Thunder 2 is only shipped with a 1.4A charger, which is definitely not enough. For instance, if you are using the 72V 40Ah battery, it will take you up to 28 hours to recharge the scooter. Minimotors does offer the option to buy either an additional 1.4A charger to cut the charging time in half, or a 5A one to cut the time down to 6 hours or less.
On a brighter note, the ports themselves have seen some improvements. In this model, they come with better caps that cover the pins completely. This prevents moisture from getting on the pins, and can potentially save you a big headache in the long run.
Dualtron Thunder 2 – Accessories
The Thunder 2 is shipped with an insane number of accessories. Besides what I have already mentioned, this model features:
With how silent escooters are, horns are a must have to warn the passengers. While a great addition, the horn on the Thunder 2 is external. I wish it was internal like in the Storm but oh well.
The LED lights have been changed from analog to digital. Compared to the first model, this one comes with extra LED strips on the deck, as well as on the wheel arms.
You can change both the colors and the animations of the lighting – there are several patterns to choose from– all of which make the scooter look amazing.
New command/button switch
The Thunder 2 comes with an extra command panel in addition to the Ey3 throttle. From that little panel you can turn lights ON and OFF, control the signal lights and horn, activate the hazard light, and switch between ECO and TURBO mode. Each button is lit by a LED light, and the box itself is made of aluminum. It looks and feels sturdy.
Dualtron Thunder 2 vs Dualtron Thunder
Dualtron Thunder 2
|Max. Speed||100 Km/h (62 MPH)||80 Km/h (50 MPH)|
|Range||170 Km (105 Mi)||100 Km (62 Mi)|
|Weight||47 Kg (104 lb)||43 Kg (95 lb)|
|Max Load||150 Kg (330 lb)||150 Kg (330 lb)|
|Motor power||10,080 W||5,400 W|
|Battery||72V, 40A LG 21700, M50T||60V 35Ah LG 18650 MJ1|
|Tires||11″ RSC tubeless with no flat sealant||11″ ultra wide tubeless|
|Suspension||45-Step Adjustable||45-Step Adjustable:|
|Brakes||Nutt 2 Hydraulic Brake + 160mm disk||Nutt Hydraulic Brake + 160mm Disk|
|Price||USD 4,299||USD 3,499|
(*) Prices in US dollars. Both prices are discounted, as they appear on Minimotors USA, as well as Voro. The base price is $4500 for either model.
Other new features and upgrades found on Dualtron Thunder 2:
- Motors all time dual, no more single or dual switch
- Reworked regenerative brake
- Controllers with 72v 45A + 15A boost.
- New Folding/Steering system
- Arm deck reworked
- Footrest with taillight and brake light added as standard
- Horn also as default installed
- Better tires with no flat sealant included
- New rubber deck, completely new to electric scooters
- Upgraded kickstand
- Better charging ports protection
- LED lights from analog to digital
- Turn signal as default installed but only on rear
- New button switch controller for lights, eco, horn etc..
Dualtron Thunder 2 Specs
- Max Speed: 100 Km/h (62 MPH)
- Max Distance: 170 Km (105 Mi)
- Battery: 72V, 40A LG 21700, M50T
- Motor Wattage: 10,080 W
- Max Load: 150 Kg (330 lb)
- Gradeability: 70% (~35°)
- Tires: 11″ RSC Tubeless Tire (No Flat Tire)
- Suspension: 45-Step Adjustable: 5 cartridges, 9 positions
- Brakes: Nutt 2 Hydraulic Brake + 160mm Disk
- Lights: Arms & Handlebar Sides LED Lights, Brake Light, Dual LED Headlight, Dual LED Taillight, Turning Light
- Dashboard: Smart Eye Throttle
- Weight: 47 Kg (104 lb)
- Unfolded Size: 1208x609x1267 mm
- Folded Size: 1208x317x577 mm
Dualtron Thunder 2 With Upgrades
- Steering Damper: https://www.madcharge.com/product/steering-damper-for-dualtron-thunder-2/
- Wildman Bag: https://www.madcharge.com/product/wildman-bag/
- HNDGTYR Lights: https://www.madcharge.com/product/hndgtyr-hgtr60-2000-lumen-front-light/
- Handlebar Grips: https://www.madcharge.com/product/tanke-silicone-handlebar-grip/
- Handlebar: https://www.madcharge.com/product/ullicyc-carbon-handlebar/
- Handlebar Stem: https://www.madcharge.com/product/jood-handlebar-stem/
- Wireless Alarm: https://www.madcharge.com/product/wireless-alarm-with-remote-control/
- Dualtron Stem Extension: https://www.carbonrevo.com/product/carbonrevo-dualtron-stem-extension/
- PMT Tires: official https://www.pmt-tyres.it/en/prodotto/100-55-r6-5-b-stradale/ amazon https://geni.us/PMbStradale
- Fast Charger: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32922633046.html
- Angel Eyes: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33014445820.html
- Upgraded Folding Clamp: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003626104869.html
- Handlebar Holder Adapter: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003337047738.html
Where to Buy Dualtron Thunder 2
Recommended Accessories and Upgrades
Conclusion – Is the Dualtron Thunder 2 Worth the Money?
It’s obvious that despite the numerous improvements, the Thunder 2 still has its flaws. On one hand, it is a scooter with a faster engine, and a robust design. The smaller touches like the addition of turning lights, no-flat tires, and a footrest are welcome quality of life improvements most drivers will appreciate.
On the other hand, most of those new features aren’t implemented all that well. The double clamp, while great, is not sturdy enough to prevent wobbling; the signal lights are only located on the rear, the eco mode button is great but it’s a pain to reach, etc.
This review would have been a lot harsher if the Thunder 2 didn’t cost the same as the previous model. Right now, the Thunder is being sold at a huge discount but once that is over, the base price for both models are exactly the same.
What are your thoughts on the Dualtron Thunder 2?