Hub Motors VS Geared Hub Motors VS Satellite Motors

It is a very exciting time for the electric skateboard industry.

The range of electric propulsion concepts for electric skateboards have increased substantially in 2015. Just last year the only common option was using a satellite motor, motor mount hardware, drive belt & pulleys to propel your eboard. This was the motor configuration of choice for the now famous Kickstater campaign by Boosted Boards. This satellite motor option is basically the standard for every other brand of electric skateboard currently on the market.

Then, in Early 2015, the option of hub motors was on the radar. With the successful KickStarter campaign by InBoard making the option of a “Hub Motor” become a broadly accepted (if not tested) electric skateboard propulsion configuration. Now Mid 2015 we have Geared Hub motors being offered by another Succesfully funded Kickstater campaigner called Stary…

The interesting thing about these three campaigns is the only tried & tested propulsion option so far is a Mounted motor with gears & pulley, which from now on I will classify this as a Satellite Motor Configuration.

  • So what will be the dominate motor configuration option for DIY Electric skateboard builders in years to come?

  • Will the hub motor or geared hub motor prove to be a reliable choice?

  • Can the performance of a hub motor truly satisfy the the adrenaline seeking e-board riders who want ball tearing torque & acceleration?


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Satellite motor config is still the way to go for me: I can change gearing, change wheels, and its easy to fix/replace one or another if something goes wrong. With a hub motor, you are going whatever speed it was made to go, with whatever torque it has, on whatever size wheels they feel are best. There isn’t any flexibility. The only thing I hate about the motor mount, is that I can’t rotate it 360 degrees around the truck: this is why the new one up for pre order on diyelectricskateboard looks promising. I have a dropdeck that I REALLY like, but I have to put on a 1 inch riser to get clearance with my enertion motor mount- even with that, it still hits the board 50% into my turn… If I could mount it coming off the back of the truck, I wouldn’t need risers, and wouldn’t have turns being hindered. as for the electrical components being under a deck so low, I wouldn’t even bother with it: the way my deck is, I could easily top mount a 8s right in the middle. Maybe you (onloop) could make separate aluminum piece for your new CF motor mount that would reverse the mount so it faced off the back of the truck. Then, you could just sell it as a separate product for people who want a rear facing mount. I know its not ideal for kicktails, but if you don’t have a kicktail, and you want max clearance, I think it is better than front facing.

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i have to agree with @cmatson on every point. Satellite motor configurations definitely give the most flexibility for adjustment as well as custom builds. Hub motors are cool and stealth and sexy, but there is almost zero flexibility, and if you crave that speed, you need belts and pulleys.

In general, i’m a fan of component based systems over integrated ones anyway. They give you complete control over every part of the system and can lower the cost of maintenance by allowing you to replace only the damaged parts.

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Also one thing I am worried about is the what the impact does to the hub motors. I assume, it experiences a lot more vibration and direct forces when compared to the satellite configuration. So I guess I am questioning the longevity of the motors.

On the other hand there is the cost issue. If I go with the hub motors+ paris trucks from @Hummie then I can have a DD electric skateboard build with less than $300 for very little effort. I recently build a DR configuration with 2x6355 motors from @torqueboards for $430( everything except battery charger) but I did have to invest hours in machining the mounts and aluminum brazing them.

I am new to this website(2 weeks), so please let me know if I break any forum rules.

I was completely set on a satellite setup until I too noticed that a hub setup is much cheaper. From DIY’s site I can get the hub motor kit for $210 or I could get the satellite mechanic kit and motor for a total of $335. The only thing I’m concerned about are hills, does anyone have experience with %15-20 inclines using only a single 130kv hub motor on 6s? I have a feeling that this is not even possible

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What’'s the ‘‘price point’’ now for different hub motors? I saw hubs for 210$ exluding shipping, I know at least one more source for hubs

though, the main question lies -

is it cheaper to buy hub motors versus using belt drive system?

Is it possible to run hubs with FVT 120esc (6s) or the voltage is way too low for hubs?

I know people run hubs with VESC and at relatively high voltage (10-12S)… so is it possible to make a somewhat decent speed out of them using, perhaps 6-8s (car esc’s preferrably)?

Would love to gather some more data!

Some comparison sum up of the belt drive vs hub motors. Was quite handy to read this:


I know this is a stupid question, but what is a satilite configurations?

It is just another name for belt drive. Cause the motor is remote like a satellite. It is away from the wheel.

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