I would like to make my ebike to have the minimal look, so adding big hubs or mid drive motors isn't really an option since it also costs more. I found this Keda brushless outrunner 2000w 190KV motor on hobbyking and wondered if it can move my bicycle? It's 2000w so it should easily move it yes? Or do RC motors work differently, will it overheat? Do I have to use zippy battery packs or can I build my own 10s battery? And finally, if it can't move me on its own could I make it pedassist?

Here's the link https://hobbyking.com/en_us/kd-53-30-high-voltage-brushless-outrunner-190kv.html


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    Been there, done that. What will happen is that either your motor is going to overheat or simply break ... for reasons already listed in the answer of @mattnz. For me the biggest challenges were getting the transmission and mechanical setup right, though. And you also need some wiring for your ESC, since you most likely want to control the RPM in some way.
    – Num Lock
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 10:35
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    Depending on your location in the world, 2 kW of power is an electric motorbike and needs to be registered and insured as a motorbike. Having pedals doesn't make it a pushbike. In my country the limit is 300W and in others it may be a maximum speed permitted by the motor. 2kW is ludicrous levels of power.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 0:45
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    Another thing that will give it away would be the uprated brakes - there's no way normal bike brakes are up to the task of stopping you from speed. So you will be needing a massive un-subtle downhill-style rotor on the front wheel minimum
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 0:50
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    @Criggie any set of good brakes should easily be able to stop you from highway speeds, albeit a bit slower than a car. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:21
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    @AidenP If you're looking for torque, then you need to look at the motor's torque, not its power. I'd expect a motor designed to turn the prop of a model airplane wouldn't need to be very torquey. Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:53

8 Answers 8


Its designed to attach the prop of a model aircraft directly, i.e its designed to drive a fan that cools it. It has little (or none) weather protect, and would be destroyed on a bike in months. Another concern I would have with that motor is the shaft size- its one thing to deliver 2000W to a prop, but to connecting it to a mechanical drive train that can load it with sudden changes in forces is likely to destroy it, you would need to get very creative with shock isolation from the drive line.

As far as costs, I doubt the basic motor part of the bike kit costs all that much more, after all, its only a few coils, a shaft and bearings.

The very best current commercial mountain bikes come, despite a lot of frame design and engineering, with a a huge, ugly and heavy mid drive motor. With all the R&D, and money to be made creating the perfect E-Bike, do you honestly think if the big boys could add a 2000W motor weighing 670gram and the size of a bottom bracket, they would not have done it already?

As far as battery packs, with the right controller you can roll your own easliy enough.

  • I thought of all that just wanted to be sure. I want a small motor that would fit inside the bottom tube of the bike. Like specialized did here. electricbikereview.com/wp-content/assets/2017/01/… Could there be a similar motor that is small enough?
    – Aiden P
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 11:43
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    The issue is that even if you find a similar motor, you'll need to engineer a gearbox to make it work, then figure out the batteries, the weather-resistant solutions, the mounting points, the throttle/activation system, the reliability and safety matters, etc. That's a tremendous amount of work for a somewhat satisfying result. This is a job that would require years of work and developement for sure.
    – mtdp
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 13:44
  • The "big boys" with lots of engineers don't nessesarily build the small lightweight motor. They develop something that fits the specs that they got told from market research (maybe .. "250W, weight doesnt really matter bc people will use the assist anyway"), they need to provide something with a 2year warranty, and also something that costs as little as possible in production of - say 100'000 units.
    – Apfelsaft
    Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 12:42

The important number is not power, but torque. The linked page doesn't say it, but that 2000W is probably achieved at a huge speed (thousands of rpm). To get enough torque to drive the bike (and to step down the speed to usable levels, i.e. in the region of 50 rpm), you'll need a reduction gearbox.

Finally, regulations for ebikes usually specify a max. power of 250 W and a cutout speed of 25 km/h, so your motor would be illegal/would require registering your bike as a motorbike (depending on country. In the Netherlands, there's a moped category for 350W/45 km/h max, anything above that is a motorcycle).

  • As a moped*. There is no rpm rating but there is KV which is rpm per volt.
    – Aiden P
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:49
  • 190 kv, 90 A at 2000 W is 22 V, so ~4200 rpm max.
    – Hobbes
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 10:43

These RC motors are made to be used on much smaller and lighter objects than a bike+human combo. So even if it delivers 2k W, it will most likely just surge and either overheat, break its inner components, or at worst explode. Another issue you'll have with such a motor is that it's not waterproof so first water encounter and the thing is fried.

Regarding the battery, I would highly suggest you not to go with a custom made one for this kind of setup. You don't want an overheating battery coupled to an overheating motor just under the seat. Plus 10S lipos aren't that expensive, I wouldn't cheap out on this.

What would also be hard to figure out is power management. With this kind of motor you would need to throw it to full throw to expect the smallest assistance, which is far from being efficient. Running that way will get your batteries dry in no more than an hour (and I'm being generous) for an at best tiny assistance. Worst case you won't feel any difference with or without the engine. And using it as a pedassist would actually be letting the motor run freely for not effective improvement. Considering how tiny the thing is and the power your lower body can develop, you'll easily outrun the motor even with the tiniest effort. Not only you'll outrun it but you'll destroy it also. It is design to deliver power but not to resist to any received force.

Commercial E-bikes look the way they do because at this point, that's what we need to have an efficient setup. To get to these levels of efficiency you'd need some massive engineering and incredible costs (for reference, check out this doc from a french tv). This isn't really doable for us mortals...


This is a supplementary answer. You're concerned about your conversion screaming ebike. I'd like to challenge this premise.

Some of the new geared hub motors are small enough to hide behind rear disc brakes and/or look like an IGH hub and are hardly noticeable. You can then hide the controller in a seat bag and hide the battery in a water bottle for the total stealth look.

rear hub ebike

  • Looks cool. How much watts is that hub if you know maybe?
    – Aiden P
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:51

I did this. It is not impossible and very fun, some electronics skills required.

Derate the motor: if the maker says "10Kw @ 100V" you know that the max admitted Amperes are 100. Cut that down to 40-50.

Use a sensored Drive: RC motors` rotors position is determined mainly by reading back-emf. That doesnt work fine when you need to start the motor with a heavy load on it.

Use (or build as I did) a controller with CURRENT LIMITING. That is the key not to burn it.

Have fun!

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    Pics? I'd like to see it if possible :)
    – Aiden P
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 9:52
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    What gearbox did you build?
    – gschenk
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 22:26

You could use one but to avoid damaging the motor you would be better off using a one way bearing on the shaft so if there's any sudden stopping there wouldn't be any load on the shaft and motor

  • Could you give more detail? Most of the existing answers say that this motor is completely unsuited to powering a bicycle so, if you're going to contradict that, it would be really helpful to explain why the motor is appropriate to this application. Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 12:48
  • Welcome to Bicycles. We recommend that new members take the tour to make best use of the site. As David Richerby says, details are important, details and pictures are even better.
    – David D
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 15:48

That motor will not work for a few reasons BUT other rc motors might!

That one won’t work because 1: it needs a ton of cooling, as the others have said and 2: it is very High RPM.

It is posible to find a rc motor that will work for this though. I’ve found a few videos of people using high power rc motors on their builds.

These motors are usually very low rpm (under 5000rpm) and either have a cooling fan built in, or are water cooled. Shaft size may also be an issue, so it is probably best to find the largest shaft size possible. For example “Tom Stratton” used motors very similar to rc motors, but he needed to make a 3D printed cooling system for it. He ran 2 motors at once.

Running a custom 10s pack will work too as long as it is done correctly, although the issue with that is with the BMS board (battery management system) which helps all the cells charge to the correct amount. You need to find a charger that will work with that as well.

Hope this was a little helpful and IT IS POSSIBLE. Just wanted to share my opinion and experience with this, although I am not a professional by any means with ebike stuff. Thanks

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    Would it not be better to find a solution that doesn't require active cooling? A water-cooled motor on a bike sounds like quite at lot of extra weight.
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 0:32

What you need is https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=84905 It's a Kepler design, researched and developed. And it works great

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    Welcome to Bicycles SE. We prefer answers on this site to be self-contained. That way, the answer is still valid if the link dies. Please use the edit button to summarize the information is contained in the linked content within the body of your answer. Otherwise, it is likely to be downvoted, flagged for moderator intervention, and possibly deleted. Also, are you affiliated with the linked product? f you are, you must disclose that affiliation within your answer. bicycles.stackexchange.com/help/behavior
    – jimchristie
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 17:26
  • Looks like another variation on the Rubbee - a friction drive that pushes the tyre around via the tread.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 19:39

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