MTB with easy to add/remove motor

Let me first explain my use case. I do kite landboarding. It’s about 8 km to the kite spot I use most often. Easy to do on a MTB… if it has a motor. But once on the kite spot, a regular eMTB would not be practical for kiting. It’s just too heavy. If only it could be easily converted back to normal MTB.

Here’s my ideas. Batteries and electronics don’t seem to be a problem. I could attach them to (the top of) the board with straps and they should come off and back on easily. The motor and the motor mount is the hard part. I’m thinking of using two pairs of trucks – normal and motorized. Swapping them is a matter of dealing with 4 bolts and can be done in less than 5 minutes. It’s a bit of hassle but seems worth the extra fun from riding to the spot on the MTB (rather than driving).

Questions: Has anyone tried that before? Can it work or is it just a completely stupid idea?

Also, is there a better way than swapping the trucks? If the motor mount was easy to undo that would be ideal. Pulleys on the wheels could stay. That’s negligible extra weight. But it would be necessary to remove the belt/chain, so I guess it would have to be long enough to come off around the wheel… or use direct drive.

BTW: I’m not looking for a super-powerful/sturdy setup since I don’t plan to do any hard-core off-road riding. My commute is mostly a good road. It could be done on an electric skateboard, but then that would mean carrying the kite AND the MTB on my back.

Cheers, Jan

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Interesting idea for sure… Trampa or Idea Belt Mounts only use 2 screws so detaching them would be a task of 5 minutes i think. Only the belt would be a pita to attach and detach all the time. Maybe a gear drive would be a good choice?

Maybe a clamping gear drive design would be best for your situation, a motor mounts that can be attached using only one or two screws and a simple inner gear on the wheel.

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Thanks for your response @Der6FingerJo. I decided I will keep things simple and try to build something without having to do modifications. I got in touch with Idea regarding a motor mount for my MBS Core 94 board and will try to complete a simple single drive build with standard parts. I’m considering getting some of the Turnigy SK3 and LIPO batteries (probably 4x5s for 10s2p) from hobbyking and I wrote to stewii asking about his new ESCape. I will also get an extra pair of trucks and test the truck swapping idea as a proof of concept. I will iterate from there unless it turns out this kite spot commute was a bad idea.


My suggestion would be to take velcro for batteries and ESC, and for drivetrain our gear driven kit. Motor can be removed with two screws really easy from the outside. No need to take wheels or anything else, just the motor mount plate.

Oh wait I guess its not trampa board…

Truck swapping might not be the worst solution. With the motor mounts you would only have to change 2 screws instead of 4 but i think it’s better for the whole system when the mounts aren’t constantly attached and detached.

Yeah, but then again I wouldn’t need to carry an extra pair of trucks and wheels if I could just detach the motor.

@Kug3lis: That mount looks neat. I suppose it’s attached to the trucks with bolts, right? It doesn’t hold on to the wheel only. Just thinking if changing the wheel would be an alternative to unmounting the motor. Also, is it possible to buy only one?

It mounts via a special adapter to the hanger with 2 grub screws and then gets pressed by wheel so it’s no way of moving. In my opinion, I think it’s better just to remove the motor with its mounting plate from the main plate, then changing wheels.

Wheel gear weight like 300g so it’s nothing much. Motors I don’t think would survive heavy abuse like jumping and etc.

P.S. Yes, it’s possible to arrange single drive only.

@Kug3lis Thanks. Are there plans for making that mount available for other types of hangers? Like MBS ATS 12 for example? :slight_smile:

Nice to see someone else thinking the same thoughts I’ve been thinking!

I’ve been reading and planning for quite a while now, and finally know what I want to do…

My plan is very similar to yours. I already have a mountainboard as I’m already a mountainboarder (just plain mountainboarding - not kiteboarding) and want to make an electric board with a completely removable electric system so I can ride to various spots (dirt jumps and tracks etc.) to go mountainboarding.

I have a Trampa, so will be going the removable truck route (well just the hanger really); so remove the springs and kingpin to swap out the powered hanger + wheels with the unpowered hanger. I have spare sets of wheels so will probably also use one set exclusively for the powered set-up whilst riding my usual tyres for normal mountainboarding.

I also plan to come up with some nice removable mounts for my battery box rather than just straps, but I’ll have to see what I can figure out.

Good luck with yours!

It is possible, but you will need to provide the whole truck to make a fitting for it.

Cool! :slight_smile: And thanks for the “just the hanger” idea. I never thought of that. On my MBS ATS 12, that’s actually a breeze. There’s only one nut that keeps the hanger to the board mount. These trucks have no springs. Replacing the hangers should be a matter of 1-2 minutes. Much easier than replacing the whole trucks!

I’d be very interested in your battery/ESC attachment ideas. I will probably use a big piece of velcro that will cover the whole surface of the bottom of the battery (ESC) and add one strap to help keeping it in place. Since I’m considering a lightweight single drive setup, I might be able to put the battery and the ESC in the same compartment and have only a single thing to detach.

Good luck with your build as well!

Yeah the skateboard style trucks should be dead easy to change a hanger! I may try coming up with a spring compressing tool to make my truck change easier, otherwise it’s springs out first before removing the kingpin. Still not too bad though.

I am planning twin motors, but battery and ESC wise I also want to get it all in one central case. It’s supposed to be better to have any cable length in phase wires rather than power wires, so it makes more sense to me having it all central anyway.

@Kug3lis How long do you think it would take? To be honest, I don’t really want to send out the trucks. First, I don’t suppose this will be a project for a few days and I would miss my trucks. Second, they are really cheap – like 30 EUR – so economically, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to ship them back and forth since the shipping fees would more or less equal the trucks value. It would be best if you could purchase ones for the development. I’m happy to buy them from you then. I would use a spare. Another doubt, though, is around the hub part. Would it fit MBS FiveStar Hub? The profile looks very similar to Trampa SuperStar, but it’s hard to tell whether there are no subtle differences in the positions of the screws.

I was trying to do some reading on the topic, but couldn’t find any resources here. Could you please give me some pointers? All of the MTB builds with the battery in the center that I have seen have the ESCs at the end of the board, right next to the motors. I couldn’t find any with the ESCs in the central battery box. I wonder why people prefer doing it that way. Maybe it’s better for cooling the ESCs? Or they want to show them off rather than hide them in the battery box? :slight_smile:

@AndyBigD BTW, have you seen this? That looks like the perfect solution for convertible – you just swap the hangers. No need for velcro or anything like that.

The first version of my mtb build has everything in one center box. Guess why? I wanted to be able to convert it for landkiting by switching the hanger and take off the center box. :joy: I’ve also read about it’s better to have long phase wires than power wires. I had 85cm long phase and sensor wires and everything was working without problems :grin:

But now I have it seperated bacause otherwise it’s almost impossible to swap batteries.

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