Using off-the-shelf Motors in ESK8

Hey everyone! I’m currently a High School student, and am planning on building my own electric skateboard over the next few months. I saw that in most guides, they often refer to specific electric skateboard motors from big companies (Flipsky, Maytech, MBoards, etc.). But I was wondering, would it be possible/advisable to use off the shelf motors in a custom build? What makes electic skateboard motors special? And if I were to purchase off the shelf motors, what would some things to look out for be?

Thank you in advance!

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For motor to be suitable for esk8 it must meet several conditions:

  • lightweight and compact enouhg to fit your build
  • motor mounting must fit your brackets unless you make custom ones
  • powerful enough to give some fun (above 1000W generally, sometimes over 5000W)
  • correct motor voltage and KV

most builds novadays are run with either 10s or 12s systems, meaning 30-50 volts battery voltage. Motor must work correctly with said voltage and be spinning with manageable speed, so you do not have to gear it down too much (limits to about 7:1 single step drive either belt, chain or gear) which gives target motor KV in 150 to 250 range (means 150 to 250 rpm per volt of supply voltage).

Which means you cannot use drone motors with very high KV of 500 or above bencause then it would require too much gearing to work (despite such motors being very lightweight compared to their power). If such motor is used without correct gearing it wont develop its rated power and board will be sluggish on level and still on any inclines.

Another thing is to include motor/maker/brand reliability - do not buy nameless crap unless you want to buy twice and crash due to some failure.

So unless you are a crackpot who makes/rewinds motors before dinner stick to the above. Find good deal fitting your target power and stick to it.


ESK8 specific motors are usually designed to take the extra abuse that comes with being bolted to a skateboard. Often they have oversized bearings, thicker insulation on the phase wires and come with a hall sensor harness already installed. Do you absolutely need hall sensors for an electric skateboard? No. But they have smoother startups.

While there are a few motors from the Rc world and elsewhere that will fit the bill, Like @FullMetal_Machinist said, take into consideration the way they are built before attempting to use one. What size and how many bearings do they use? Are they easily serviceable? How hard is it to change bearings? Whats the motors kv rating?

Good luck with your build and let us know how it works out. :+1:

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