FAQs – Motors in General
My motor is creaking, is it the bearings?
Bearings do not usually creak. When people bring their bikes to us with these noises, here are all the reasons we have found for motors, of all types, creaking or cracking, so far: Motor bolts loose, (causes motor to creak against the frame), chainring to spider bolts lose, crank arms lose, pedal creak, seat post creaking, rear suspension linkages creaking, front sprocket loose (normally wrong type of sprocket fitted to Bosch or worn spider carriers for Yamaha). Loose spokes in the rear wheel or rear wheel spindle creaking. (when we say loose, this does not mean undone, but not tight enough to stop creaking)
Is my motor waterproof?
The answer is, probably not. Currently, it would be commercial suicide for ebike motor manufacturers to properly seal a motor because this would lead to added friction and lower battery range. This does not look good on comparison charts when people are deciding what bike to buy. Most road bikes don’t require seals and mountain bikes make up about 10% of the market. Get the picture. Most current bike motors rely on the bearings dust seals rather than any dedicated water seal. This situation is good enough for most road bikes but bikes used off road will struggle.
How can I protect my motor from water ingress?
There are aftermarket products for some motors, but not all. There are also some simple steps that can help: Wash your bike upright, not on its side. Store your bike upright, in a dry area. If you transport your bike behind a vehicle, ensure the motor is covered if the roads are wet. Do not direct a water hose at the motor, especially the crankshaft area. Never pressure was your bike (it’s not a motorbike, none of the motor bearings, wheel bearings or frame bearings have protective seals in front of them). Do not ford any water deeper than the bottom of the motor.
If water gets into my motor, will it dry out?
Yamaha do have a small breathable membrane that allows the motor to dry out over a very long period of time. If the water is more than a drip, the motor will be in trouble. Most other motors do not have this small membrane and once water is inside, it cannot escape. (motors are definitely not designed to have moisture of any kind inside them).
My crank is sometimes seized when I push my bike out the garage?
This is because water has entered a bearing during washing or your last ride. Water will rust the balls of the bearing to the bearing race. This generally signifies the beginning of the end for the bearing.
Is it ok to put some oil on the bearings or down the crankshaft?
No! If you feel you have to put oil on bearings there is already something wrong that requires attention. Also, these motors are not designed to have oil inside them. It can cause issues with clutch bearings, circuit boards, coatings and lubricants. Above all it makes a horrendous mess that we normally have to clean out! Even just a couple of drops every now and again will build up over time.
Does riding in turbo/power mode cause extra wear or damage to the motor?
Turbo or power mode is adding slightly more power through the drive train and therefore will possibly wear the motor out maybe a few miles faster than some of the lower power levels, but to be honest, we have not witnessed any difference in any motor used extensively on full power to any other motor used predominantly in low power. We have not yet seen a motor worn out or failed because it was used in its higher power levels.
Do tuning dongles or chips cause any damage?
We have never seen any damage to a motor caused by the use of a de-restricting device.
What can cause damage or wear to a motor apart from water and dust?
We see slightly higher wear rates in motors used with low cadence in high gears, so the motor is spinning relatively slow but trying to add full power. Pedaling at higher cadence (rpm) is definitely better and more efficient for the motor. Damage can be caused by pedal strikes and crashing, but that’s about it! Motors are generally very resilient if looked after.
Should I get my motor serviced?
Most ebike motors are not serviceable items and if kept dry will last for thousands of miles. Yamaha and Impulse motors are an exception to this rule as they have a particular grease that wears away or dries out, this can cause excessive drag and wear. Yamaha and Impulse do not give a recommended mileage for this but from our experience we would service a Yamaha used off road after 1,500 to 2,000 miles and if used on road 3,000 to 4,000. We would recommend servicing an Impulse motor 1,500 miles at the latest.
Can I get more power from my motor?
Currently, it is not possible to achieve this in a simple way.
Can I change my motor for a newer model?
In some cases this would be possible, but not as easily as it sounds. Motors can differ greatly from one model to the next; size, crank type, mounting bolt size and position, wiring plug type and position etc. These can all change, along with compatibility with older batteries and controllers.
If you get over these issues, then aligning the chain, crank height, crank position fore and aft etc. Then you have chainring size, gearing etc.
Normally, at the end of the day, it’s currently cheaper and easier to buy a new bike.