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Dualtron Storm electric scooter review: Great for big riders with bigger wallets

Speed, lights and battery life make the Storm stand out.

Joseph Kaminski/CNET

After riding the Dualtron Storm electric scooter for more than 1,500 miles, I can honestly say I have found my scooter soulmate. It handles well regardless of road conditions, it's durable with hefty suspension and strong disc brakes and it has a ridiculous amount of power from its battery and motors. I've ridden quite a few scooters over the years, and the Dualtron Storm works for me both as a big person and for my not-so-big apartment. It has a price to match its big personality, too: $4,490, or roughly £3,170 or AU$5,800 converted. 

Weighing in at 102 pounds -- 27 pounds of which is the removable battery -- the Storm makes most electric scooters look like toys. It supports riders up to 330 pounds and does not choke under pressure. There are many scooters that claim to support this much weight physically but lack the power for acceleration and speed with added heft. The Storm can handle it all, though. 

For example, I'm able to start on an incline and I don't have to adjust the throttle any more than I would if I were on level ground and without a change to my speed. This is thanks to the dual 1500-watt hub motors. The throttle is very sensitive and the scooter takes off aggressively, which takes some getting used to. The motors hum like a jet turbine, which sounds really cool and people can hear you coming down the street. 

Joseph Kaminski/CNET

Digging into the advanced settings, you'll find the Storm has an adjustable 0 to 5 acceleration level, with 5 being the slowest. (The default is 3.) Most of my riding has been in 5 and in a power-saving Eco mode, and the scooter still takes off with enough power to wheelie. As for Eco mode, I can hit 40 miles per hour (64 kph) making it easy to conserve battery yet not be limited to unbearably slow speeds. 

Depending on the rider's size and terrain, Dualtron claims you can hit 52 mph and travel close to 80 miles, which might be possible at slow speeds. My personal best was 47 mph without trying to max it out. As for distance, I never let the battery get too low due to the long recharge time.

Joseph Kaminski/CNET

The Storm ships with a single standard charger that takes about 19 hours to fully charge the battery. Two standard chargers can do the job in about 10 hours, but there is also a single fast charger that will do it in about six hours. After riding approximately 37 miles, the battery dropped to 44%. This was mostly in Eco mode while occasionally shifting to full power. The battery itself has an Indiglo voltage meter on it that can be toggled off and on from the battery's belly and requires a key to access. 

Aside from the aggressive acceleration, the ride is enjoyable. It rides on 11-by-4-inch tubeless tires that are good on both wet and dry pavement. It's durable enough to ride off small curbs (though it's not recommended). It has hefty suspension arms with internal lights that I found to be stiff but great for takeoffs, just not so much over bumps. Dualtron makes three different suspension cartridges that are fairly easy to swap out.

Joseph Kaminski/CNET

The deck was redesigned from previous models and has a replaceable outer covering/shielding to protect against drops. The scooter's deck is wide enough to stand in a staggered stance or side by side. Due to its power, I would suggest staggered to start and possibly side-by-side once moving.

Taller riders might find it necessary to have a handlebar riser installed. I am 6-feet tall and found the handlebars to be a little low which put too much pressure on my palms. It was night-and-day better with a riser that made the scooter more maneuverable and eliminated discomfort.

One other issue I ran into was with folding it for storage. There isn't much slack on the cables running internally through the downtube. Folding the handlebars down several times for storage caused a short in the wires. It's an inexpensive easy fix and shouldn't happen in something this expensive, but something to be aware of if you end up going through it. A scooter like this you don't want to get repaired in a bike shop. There are many places that specialize in repairs and modifications, Mini Motors NYC is where I went to have it worked on.

The Storm, like other Dualtron scooters, has brightly lit branding on the deck and steering tube. These lights can be customized to light in different colors, flash, scroll up and down, you name it. The light show is controlled with a small remote that ships with the scooter. The scooter also projects the Dualtron name on the ground -- something you see on some cars when the doors are open.

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But if for some reason all these lights don't help people see you coming, the Storm is equipped with a horn that's loud enough to be heard through closed car windows. Riders have access to all these features via their left thumb on the scooter's small LED-lit control panel. The Storm also has rear signal, brake and hazard lights.

The Dualtron Storm is generally a great scooter but there is no getting around that big price tag or its size. The Storm is the top model in the company's lineup, however, with nine more options and starting at a more reasonable $1,499.