Your guide to all the most popular mid-mounted e-bike motors on the market, from Bosch to Brose to Yamaha, Fazua and Shimano.


Brose, Bosch, Shimano, Fazua, Panasonic, Giant e-bike systems… which has more power, which has more battery punch, which is more reliable? Our guide to e-bike motors has the answers. While the motor isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to the very best electric mountain bikes, the best motors are often found on the best overall bike models.

E-Bike motor torque and max power at a glance

  • Brose Drive S-Mag: 90Nm/565w
  • Panasonic GXO: 90Nm
  • Bosch Performance Line CX: 85Nm/600w
  • Shimano EP8: 85Nm
  • Shimano EP801: 85Nm/600w
  • Giant SyncDrive
  • Yamaha PW-X2: 80Nm
  • Shimano E8000: 70Nm
  • Shimano E7000: 60Nm
  • Fazua Evation 1.0: 55Nm
  • Specialized SL 1.1: 35Nm/240w
  • Specialized SL 1.2: 50Nm/320W
  • TQ HPR50 (Trek Fuel EXe): 50Nm/300w
  • Forestal/Bafang Eondrive: 60Nm/400w
  • Fazua Evation Ride 60: 60Nm/450w

Rule #1: Don’t buy an e-bike based solely on its motor

Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in the stats and worry about getting left behind in a drag race to the trailhead, but never lose sight of the fact that a motor is only one aspect of what makes a good e-bike. The frame, suspension, geometry, sizing, and components all play a huge part in creating the overall ride quality and handling performance of an e-mtb. So while the motor is important, a great motor won’t make up for poor suspension or geometry.

Which Motor?

All the crucial tech specs, along with our take on the relative performance merits of the most popular drive systems on the market. 

Bosch Performance Line CX motor Trek Rail 9.7 2023 eMTB review

Bosch Performance Line CX

  • Motor weight: 2.9kg (2.75kg for the Race version)
  • Modes: Eco, Tour, eMTB, Turbo
  • Power: 600W 
  • Torque: 85Nm
  • Battery: 500Wh, 625Wh, or 750Wh
  • Charging: 5.4 hours for 625Wh battery, with standard charger

Bosch’s considerable experience in consumer electronics and motors is obvious in the highly polished Performance Line CX motor. There’s plenty of power, but it’s easy to control and ultra responsive. The modes are well judged, with eMTB giving you copious grunt when you need it, then dialling back the power to maximise range. In Turbo there’s plenty of overrun, which lets you boost over uphill obstacles. Bosch control units were always its weak point, being big and bulky, but the latest integrated top tube System Controller and wireless, Bluetooth Mini Remote are discreet and a joy to use. For less weight, a hair trigger response, and extended two metre overrun, the limited edition Race motor is something special. 

Read our full review of the Trek Rail 9 with Bosch Performance Line CX motor

Motor unit on the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp 2023 electric mountain bike

Brose S Mag

  • Motor Weight: 2.9kg
  • Modes: Eco, Trail, Turbo
  • Power: 565W
  • Torque: 90Nm
  • Battery: 500Wh or 700Wh
  • Charging: 6 hours for 700Wh battery

This is the motor found on Specialized’s Turbo Levo, and while it has suffered from a high failure rate in the past, updates to the latest version seem to have cured the reliability issues. Relatively quiet thanks to its belt drive, there’s plenty of power and a nicely calibrated response that feels completely natural. Specialized’s Mission Control app lets you customise the performance, and the new integrated top tube Mastermind TCU gives you access to more data then you’ll know what to do with.  

Read our full review of the Specialized Turbo Levo Comp

Shimano EP801 motor

Shimano EP801 motor

Shimano EP801

  • Motor weight: 2.7kg
  • Modes: Eco, Trail, Boost
  • Power: 600W
  • Torque: 85Nm
  • Battery: 504Wh or 630Wh (third party options vary, up to 900Wh)
  • Charging: 6 hours for 630Wh battery, with standard charger

Shimano has just updated its flagship EP8 motor, but you’d never know from looking at it. Power and torque are unchanged, and the rattle when coasting also remains, but there’s better sealing and a couple of new accessory connections. EP801 is also compatible with Shimano’s Auto Shift drivetrain if you want to let an algorithm choose your gears. The control unit and display are neat and unobtrusive, but there’s no % display for battery life, so it’s not obvious how much juice you’ve got left. Equally, the range seems to be much better with third party battery options than Shimano’s own BT-8036 unit. 

Read our first ride review of the Shimano EP801 motor

Shimano EP6 motor

Shimano EP6 motor

Shimano EP6

  • Motor weight: 3kg
  • Modes: Eco, Trail, Boost
  • Power: NA
  • Torque: 85Nm
  • Battery: 504Wh or 630Wh
  • Charging: 5 hours for 500Wh battery, with fast charger

A cheaper option to the EP801, the EP6 gets the same power and torque but packaged within a heavier casing. It’s still compatible with Auto Shift. 

Giant Syncdrive motor

Giant Syncdrive motor

Yamaha PW-X3

  • Motor weight: 2.75kg
  • Modes: Eco, Basic, Active, Sport, Power
  • Power: N/A
  • Torque: 85Nm
  • Battery: 625Wh, or 750Wh
  • Charging: N/A

Yamaha’s latest motor is found on various Haibike models as well as Giant’s range of e-bikes, badged as the Syncdrive Pro. We’ve had long term test bikes from both Giant and Haibike fitted with this motor, and in both instances it has proven trouble-free. 

Read our review of the Giant Trance X Advanced E+1 with Yamaha/Giant Syncdrive motor

Rocky Mountain Dyname 4.0 motor

Rocky Mountain Dyname 4.0 motor

Rocky Mountain Dyname 4.0

  • Motor weight: 3kg
  • Modes: Eco, Trail, Turbo
  • Power: 700W
  • Torque: 108Nm
  • Battery: 720Wh 
  • Charging: 3hrs 55mins for 750Wh battery, with fast charger

Rocky Mountain was making mincemeat of its rivals way back in 2017 with its innovative Dyname motor. Driving the chain off an idler pulley, the motor packs a hefty 108Nm of torque and 700w of peak power. And you can immediately feel those numbers when you ride it – it’s a beast. Another benefit of the design is that it uses a standard BB and crank, so it’s serviceable and replaceable. It also allows Rocky Mountain’s designers freedom to put suspension pivots exactly where they want, and keep the geometry identical to their non-assisted counterparts. The latest version has a lighter motor, better sealing, improved calibration, a larger capacity battery and a neat display integrated into the top tube.  

New Bosch Performance Line SX eMTB motor

New Bosch Performance Line SX eMTB motor

Bosch Performance Line SX

  • Motor weight: 2kg
  • Modes: Eco, Tour, eMTB, Turbo
  • Power: 600W 
  • Torque: 55Nm
  • Battery: 400Wh with optional 250Wh range extender
  • Charging: TBC

Bosch has finally entered the ‘lightweight’ sector with the new Performance Line SX system. The new motor looks like a shrunken Performance CX unit with a magnesium casing and two-bolt mount. Weight is a reasonable 2kg – which is not the lightest on the market, but still competitive with the 1.95kg Fazua and Specialized SL 1.2.. It pumps out an impressive 600w peak power, making it on par with most full fat options and way ahead of its lightweight rivals. At 55Nm, peak torque is more in line with expectations, meaning it won’t be able to crawl up near vertical pitches like a full fat. 

Providing power is a new 400Wh internal battery backed up by an optional 250Wh range extender. This gives it the biggest potential capacity of all the lightweight units. With a battery weight of 2kg, you’re looking at a 4kg system – 3kg lighter than Performance CX – and complete bike weights in the sub-20kg range. 

Operating the familiar modes – Eco, Tour+, eMTB, and Turbo – is the existing wireless mini-remote and top tube mounted System Controller. The latter uses a series of coloured LEDs displaying the current power mode and remaining battery charge. 

Friction within the motor has been reduced by a claimed 50% over the Performance CX, and the Q-factor is 15mm narrower to promote more efficient pedalling. An important point because the Performance SX gives the most support at high cadences. 

Being compatible with the Bosch Smart System allows you to tune motor characteristics in the Bosch Flow app, as well as giving detailed information on battery status, security features and in-ride navigation.  

A brief ride revealed a motor that’s powerful enough to keep up with full fat e-bikes and a technical climbing prowess that mirrors Bosch’s Performance CX, even down to the extended overrun that lets you ratchet up rocky pitches without clipping pedals. The biggest question mark remaining is range – we’ll let you know once we’ve had more time on the system. 

Read our first ride review of the Bosch Performance SX motor

Pivot Shuttle SL

Pivot Shuttle SL

Fazua Ride 60

  • Motor weight: 1.96kg
  • Modes: Breeze, River, Rocket
  • Power: 450W
  • Torque: 60Nm
  • Battery: 430Wh (2.3kg)
  • Charging: 3.5 hours for 430Wh battery, with standard charger

Fazua’s evolution of the original Evation system ups the power, torque and range while remaining impressively light and low friction. Now you can tap into 450W of power for up to 30 seconds at a time, while the 60Nm torque is enough to wrangle up steep, technical pitches. The 430Wh battery will do 1,000m of climbing in the most powerful Rocket mode, which is impressive, but the Ring Control remote feels worryingly fragile. 

Read our review of the Pivot Shuttle SL with Fazua Ride 60 motor

New Turbo SL 1.2 motor on the Specialized Turbo Levo SL II 2023

Specialized SL 1.2

  • Motor weight: 1.95kg
  • Modes: Eco, Trail, Turbo
  • Power: 320W
  • Torque: 50Nm
  • Battery: 320Wh (160Wh range extender available)
  • Charging: N/A

Specialized’s lightweight motor option has just been upgraded and is now called the SL 1.2. Headline updates are that max power has risen from 240w to 320w and torque has increased from 35Nm to 50Nm. Specialized also claims a reduction in noise thanks to different internal gearing. The battery remains 320Wh, boosted by a 160Wh external range extender, so don’t expect to go as far on a single charge with the updated motor. 

Read our first ride review of the Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo SL with SL 1.2 motor

Trek Fuel Exe 9.9 XX1 AXS

Trek Fuel Exe 9.9 XX1 AXS


  • Motor weight: 1.85kg
  • Modes: Eco, Mid, High
  • Power: 300W
  • Torque: 50Nm
  • Battery: 360Wh
  • Charging: 3hrs for 360Wh battery

TQ’s HPR50 is the most compact motor on the market thanks to its harmonic design, where the motor runs concentric to the bottom bracket axle. Not only is it hard to see, it’s almost silent in operation, making it utterly stealthy in use. The control unit is also compact and the top tube mounted display gives just enough info in an easy-to-read package. We got 800m of climbing out of the 360Wh battery in High power mode, so it’s reasonably efficient too. The only downside of the small footprint is that it can get very hot. 

Read our full review of the Trek Fuel EXe with TQ HPR50 motor

Forestal Cyon

Forestal Cyon

Forestal/Bafang EonDrive 

  • Motor weight: 1.95kg
  • Modes: Eco, Sport, Race, Nitro
  • Power: 400W
  • Torque: 60Nm
  • Battery: 360Wh
  • Charging: 1hr 24mins to 80% for 360Wh battery

This petite Bafang unit has been tuned by Forestal and found on the brand’s range of lightweight e-bikes. In Nitro mode there’s stacks of power and torque, so despite the weight saving package, you can conquer some impressive climbs. There’s also a sophisticated colour touch-screen display embedded in the top tube, and a compact remote on the handlebar. With the stock 360Wh battery and no range extender, we only managed just under 700m of climbing in Nitro mode, so it’s not the most efficient option on the market. 

Read our review of the Forestal Cyon with Forestal/Bafang Eondrive motor