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How You Can Upgrade the Motor on an Electric Bike

After using an e-bike for a little while, you might wonder if there’s any way to upgrade the motor to make it faster, more efficient, etc. Upgrading the motor of an electric bike is no easy task.

You can upgrade your electric bike motor and not just for speed – different motors can offer a longer range and a lighter overall package as well. Still, you need to make sure the option you pick matches your bike’s controller and battery, or you may need to upgrade them too.

This can be a pretty complex topic because whether you can do this or not is very dependant on the model and manufacturer of your e-bike. Read on to find out the ins and outs of upgrading an electric bike motor!

What Do You Need To Know To Upgrade Your E-Bike’s Motor

Powerful electric bike motor

Upgrading your electric bike’s motor is no simple task. Some bikes don’t allow for motor upgrades, and you’ll have to factor in your battery and controller. Let’s take a deeper look!

You’ll first need to know if your model of bike can take a motor upgrade. This will depend on your motor type and model of bike. Many hub drive motors won’t be able to give any more speed due to their design. You’ll also need to consider your bike’s frame and overall design to see if upgrading your motor is even an option.

If it is an option, you’ll have to then look at your controller and battery. You’ll need to know the nominal wattage range of your motor to see what limits it can handle. The nominal wattage range is the average wattage the motor can take without any malfunctions.

To find this out, you’ll have to look online and find the manufacturer’s specifications. Don’t be drawn in by the peak wattage, as this is an inaccurate representation of what your motor can handle.

You’ll then need to consider how you’ll handle heat dissipation. Pumping more amps through a motor is typically fine but will increase the heat. There are DIY options for heat dissipation, like adding fans or drilling holes, but these may not be beginner-friendly.

How do an E-Bike’s Motor, Controller, and Battery Work Together?

The three main components of an electric bike are the motor, controller, and battery. Each of these parts works together to deliver speed and power. Without one working correctly, you’ll lose performance and potentially run into malfunctions. What does each component do, and how do they work together?

The Motor

The motor on an electric bike is the driving force; it’s what gets you from point A to B. When looking at e-bike motors, you’ll want to look for the nominal wattage range. The nominal wattage range is the average wattage the motor can take without any malfunctions.

The Controller

The controller acts as the brain of your electric bike. Both your battery and motor connect to the controller. The controller takes input from your battery, pedaling, throttle, and pedal assist. All this information is usually shown on a screen of some kind. All these inputs are then used to deliver power to your motor.

The controller needs to match the voltage of your battery or at least be in an acceptable operating range. This ensures your controller is operating at peak performance and won’t burn out. 

The Battery

The battery of an electric bike is what powers the motor and controller. The battery is potentially the most critical part of any electric bike. Without a proper battery, your motor and controller cant perform their best.

 Upgrading your battery is the quickest way to increase speed and acceleration. Increasing the amps adds acceleration while volts increase the speed. When upgrading your battery, it’s essential to focus on the volts. If you provide your controller with too many volts, it can short circuit and fail entirely. Amps are less of a concern; your controller will only draw the number of amps it can handle. Ensure your battery has a higher maximum amp draw than what your controller will draw at its peak.

How To Pick A Replacement E-Bike Motor

Once you have all of your electronics and logistics in order, you can start looking to pick out a replacement motor. What should you be looking for in electric bike motors?

When looking at replacement e-bike motors, you’ll need to consider power, range, and weight. Keeping these goals in mind when making a purchase will ensure you’re making the right choice. It’s also important to note; suitable motors can be hard to find and source. You might need to check eBay or local listings to find the perfect motor.

If you’re looking for less weight, check out the Specialized SL 1.1 or similar motors. This motor is incredibly light and can handle up to five hours of riding. The fact that it’s lightweight adds to the overall feel of the bike and increases range. The downside is, this motor’s meant for fitter riders who aren’t opposed to pedaling more.

The Shimano EP8 and similar motors are ideal for speed. This motor is lightweight, handles heat very well, and has increased power output. This motor might not fit all bikes as it requires specific cranks. The power you’ll receive might also be too much for regular commuting, but it’s a solid option to consider.

If you’re looking for more range, you’ll want to check out lightweight models. One model to look at is Yamaha’s PWSeries CE. This motor is incredibly lightweight, quiet, and compact. It’s a perfect motor upgrade for regular commuters who are looking for a bit more range from their setup. Keep in mind it does lack some extra oomph that some other motos might provide.

Make sure to look at your overall goals and bike setup when choosing motor upgrades.

How Hard Is It To Replace An E-Bike Motor?

Upgrading your electric bike’s motor is no simple task. This isn’t necessarily a DIY-friendly option and should be handled with care.

In most cases, after you figure out all the electrical components, you’ll need to take your set up to a bike shop. Prices can vary from shop to shop and location.

If you do decide to go with the DIY option, you’ll need some tools to get started. You may need a specific cassette removal tool (on Amazon). Alternatively, you may need a flathead screwdriver and rubber mallet to perform the job. You may also need an impact drill to remove certain screws within the motor.

For a professional, this job could take under 30 minutes to complete. For a complete beginner, your time will vary. If you do decide to go this route, set aside an afternoon to ensure you have enough time to properly install your new motor.

How Long Do E-Bike Motors Last?

Electric bike motors typically last quite a long time. From some motors,, you can expect up to 10,000 miles before requiring a replacement. In general, you might need to replace your motor once a year, depending on how often you use your bike.

To increase the life span of your motor:

  1. Make sure you are taking care of all the necessary components.
  2. Keep your bike’s motor dry to avoid rust.
  3. Make sure the motor isn’t overheating by having the proper electrical components in place. You should also check the drive chain and sprockets to ensure your motor is in peak condition. 


Wednesday 17th of August 2022

The BMS board had failed on my Mercedes Smart ebike.This part is no longer available from dealer.Can so suggest an alternative so i can keep the bike going.