Bafang are among the biggest ebike motor manufacturers. But they’re not focusing much on the European market. Many of their motors are illegal to use in the EU because the rated power output is too high and because the speed limit can be adjusted. The Bafang motors have a few advantages. Many of the more popular models are easy to service and spare parts are available.
Bafang M600S – a legal motor
Elife, the Norwegian ebike manufacturer, wanted a durable motor that could be serviced and repaired. So, they had Bafang make a legal version of the powerful M600 motor. The M600S and the M600 are quite similar. They look the same, weight (3.9kg) and size is the same. The M600S is rated at 115 Nm of motor power, 5 Nm less than the M600. There are some differences in internal component. The M600S has composite internal cogs, these are a good compromise between durability and noise. And the motor software is of course different.
Both motors have the same characteristics. So even though M600S isn’t available for most, this review will be relevant for the M600 too. We’ve made a video of the motor review and we recommend you watch it. Hopefully it will illustrate what we try to describe. In this article, we will just give a short description of the motor behaviour.
Cadence sensor biased
The Bafang M600S has got both a cadence and a torque sensor. This is common, all the big ebike motors have got these sensors. But the Bafang motors use the sensors in a different way, they depend heavily on the cadence sensor. This sensor simply monitors that the rider is pedalling. The torque sensor will measure force applied to the pedals. The Bafang-motor will detect when the pedals are moving, and check that a minimum of torque is being applied before activating the motor power. It will ramp up before applying maximum power. Since the motor doesn’t care much about the torque sensor, it can be difficult to adjust the speed by adjusting pedalling force.
When the motor engages, it will enter a start up sequence. The motor will ramp up the power and the bike will start moving. This will last for some tenths of a second, regardless of whether the rider keeps pedalling or not. This behaviour makes the motor more difficult to control on technical and slippery trails. But it can be an advantage too. The motor is very good at keeping the speed up over demanding trail surfaces.
This is a very powerful motor, especially when the pedalling frequency (cadence) is high. We do a few tests comparing it to the Bosch Performance CX 85 Nm, and the M600S definitely is more powerful. One of the tests is a hill climb where the Bafang motor scores 29 seconds with a rider input of 75W. The Bosch takes 31 seconds with 125W from the rider. Both motor behaviour and power is thoroughly described in the video above.
The Bafang M600S behaves a bit differently compared to the other well known emtb motors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can take some getting used to. This is the motor for those who think motor power is the most important thing. Or for those who want a motor that can be repaired and last for years.