Consider the following question: What area do you live in? How much is your outdoor sports experience? How fast do you want to go by electric skateboard? Then let’s dive into the electric skateboard motor. The motor is probably the essential component on electric skateboards, the same as the vehicle engine. But unless you are an e-skate enthusiast, you might feel confused when you look at various e-skateboard motors.
Whether you are choosing a finished brand-new electric skateboard or you want to build your electric skateboard. Having a basic understanding of motors is important. This is not only related to the speed index but also concerning your whole riding experience.
What kind of motor should I choose?
Typically, there are two mainstream types of electric skateboard motor, belt-driven motor and hub motor. And another two not often used motor types, direct-drive, and gear drive.
I’m going to give you a chart of the first two types. In the meantime, detailed information is provided under the graph.
Belt drive motors
Belt drive motors are common to see in many traditional machines. Belt-driven motors are a motor that attaches to your electric skateboard and runs a belt that’s connected to a pulley. It is one of the most popular motors equipped in the electric skateboard by now. I don’t mean this type is out of style. We find there are so many off-road electric-skateboard adopting belt drive motors.
This type is also widely adopted in DIY skateboards because you can customize your wheels and gearing ratio; otherwise, you won’t have the chance to DIY in a hub-motor.
The belt drive system is a great riding option if you live in a hilly area or plan to use your skateboard in scenarios including downtown and the countryside. The combination between the pulley and belt provides the electric skateboard high torque and high speed, making you freely skate and enjoy high performance.
One problem with the belt drive system is that you need to protect it against small objects during riding, such as rocks and dust, which can reduce the durability of the entire motor system (usually, the belt drive system is exposed for heat dissipation). Also, you need to consider problems like the belt’s worn-out problem; if the belt breaks or loses its toughness and flexibility, you need to replace it.
I genuinely advise that if you are pretty enthusiastic about the belt drive system, whether for its customization or strong power. You’d better possess very strong hands-on skills. Otherwise, you should constantly visit the electric skateboard community to learn new skills and knowledge. The reason is that if your electric skateboard brand does not provide after-sales service, when you go to the professionals to repair, the repair costs are enough to make you a headache.
Hub motors, on the other hand, are a little different from the belt-driven engine. Like the name itself, the motor is built into the wheel, being a hub to drive the wheel moving. Hence, this is no need to install a pulley system, and you cannot choose the wheel size at your will. But advantages without a pulley system include, even if there is no electricity, you can still slide on the ground like a regular skateboard. And, the hub motor system is much quieter than the belt-driven motor. Hub motors usually don’t require you to do technical operations, and most of us don’t know how to deal with machine faults. Be aware of the indicators that appeared on the product detail page.
Direct drive motor
The direct-drive motor is connected directly to the ends of the truck axle and fit by other parts to the wheels. It integrates the advantages of hub motors and belt-drive motors, with high torque, high speed, and low noise. And because a direct drive motor has no belts, all the power goes straight to the wheels. When the engine is turning, the wheels are also rotating, so the gear ratio is 1:1, making this motor group very efficient.
Apart from that, the advantages of a direct-drive motor include great heat dissipation, making it a good choice to climb hills. Ideally, you can put on any wheels adapted to direct drive motor, like off-road tires or city-passed high-speed tires, and enjoy your ride.
But the most obvious disadvantage is low passing ability. Since direct drive motors are fit on the truck axle, they are close to the ground. So, if you encounter obstacles during the riding, the motor kit is prone to be damaged. In a way, this is similar to the belt drive motor.
Some technical specs you need to know.
If you happen to see a motor attached with a label (see the picture downside), such as 6355, basically that means the engine is 55 millimeters wide and 63 millimeters tall. And the rule of thumb is quite simple, typically the bigger the motor, the more powerful the motor is. But the internal structure and working principle of the motor are also important factors that affect the motor’s power, such as wire material and magnets inside, etc.
When you choose a motor, remember that you cannot consider the size of the motor alone. The motor and the whole skateboard should be fit together. Make sure the skateboard has enough space to adapt to the motor, or your hard work would be in vain.
kV means rpm, per volt of the motor. Say your motor’s kV rating is ten and you have 10 volts of electricity, so with this battery life, your skateboard is going to have one hundred rotations per minute. And for belt-driven electric skateboard, according to statistics, it is suggested a motor with around 200kV is quite suitable.
Watts is used to measuring power, as we learned it from high school. A high wattage motor directly means the electric skateboard can have more torque and go faster. A hub motor can have power ranging from 250W to 1000W, depending on the customer’s needs.
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