Etek Motor : The Original E-bike Hot Rod

March 19, 2012

March, 2012

The Etek motor is a brushed 25-pound pancake shaped motor that puts out enormous power for its weight. Depending on amperage and voltage the Etek can easily provide between 15-horsepower and 30-horsepower reliably and consistently (11-kW / 22-kW). A perfect platform for a powerful electric bike if you do not mind the weight. Although brushless motors are considered more modern, a brushed motor like the Etek allows the builder to use very affordable controllers.

It was invented by Cedric-Lynch (read story here) and the technology was sold to Briggs and Stratton which made the Etek at a somewhat affordable price (around $600). In the late 90’s early 2000’s it was the way to go for a high-power / light-weight electric vehicle. Many small E-vehicle records were set using the Etek motor. Finally, we had a relatively lightweight and powerful electric motor available to the masses.

In essence, the Etek invented the hot rod electric bike. Before the Etek very few people had ever achieved 50mph on an electric bike. Even today, Etek motors (and newer incarnations of the Etek motor) are used to make some super fast electric bikes…and in the  case of Liveforphysics, the fastest E-bikes ever.  Liveforphysics used a newer version of the Etek (the Agni motor), to achieve speeds of over 70mph, and dominate a recent hill-climb event.

Check out our list of the top 10  fastest electric bikes on the planet here.

Every Etek I have ever ridden has been characterized by brutal off-the-line acceleration, usually to a point where you have to apply the throttle very carefully or get thrown off.

Check out this video of the Lifeforphysics Agni-powered bike  for an example of this phenomenon:

[hdvideo id=18 ]

However, it is possible to run an Etek at a lower voltage or lower amperage and have a very manageable, safe, and sane electric bike that will guaranteed not burn out on you, no matter what size of hill.
This is a photo tribute to the Etek motor and the original electric bike hot rodders:

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.

  • Jack Smith

    Is the Etek a sensorless motor? I am searching for an appropriate controller for this, but I can’t find one. Can you give me a link?

    • Kenneth Beck

      The etek is a brushed DC motor. any Brushed controller will run these motors. PWM controllers are precise, but you can also just attach it directly to a battery and it will run too. some people just put lead acid in series and run a contact between the connections to complete the circuit for and easy 12-24-36-48v circuit just by moving the contact point.

  • suresh

    I have a plan in mind that ,there is no need to charge battry,battry will charge automatically