Article Is the Shimano EP8 a bad motor?

mark.ai

E*POWAH Master
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Jul 10, 2018
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Windermere
I don't understand the comments about reliability for Shimano motors compared to other brands - especially from people who have no experience with a Shimano powered bike! Shimano motors have been totally faultless for me the last 5 years: going out in all weathers and washing down with a hose pipe regularly. I always seem to read about other brands which stop working at just a hint of moisture ...

I thought I'd also compare the brands here: Discussion by Brand & User Reviews | Electric Bike Forums - Q&A, Help, Reviews and Maintenance (electricbikereview.com)
Every brand has a stickied thread for "known issues & problems" - Shimano has a really low post count, and Bosch one of the highest. Other main brands which have a high number of posts are Specialized and Giant.
 

Growmac

Well-known member
Subscriber
Dec 4, 2020
375
391
Wilts, UK
I don't understand the comments about reliability for Shimano motors compared to other brands
Nobody is complaining about reliability. Well, I guess that's not entirely true, but the point is, many of us are finding that Shimano are reluctant to help when there is a problem. Every ebike I ride with has needed a new motor. All four Bosch bikes have had the motor replaced no questions asked. I'm still arguing about mine (E8000). That, coupled with the E8035 battery which is absolutely garbage, is why I don't like Shimano.
 

Velociraptor

Member
Oct 10, 2020
103
80
Pacific Northwest
Can't comment on Bosch motors but had a 1st Gen Heckler with the E8000, and motor was way too abrupt with power, which made techy uphills really frustrating. The thing went through a battery very quickly on long climbs. I had a Bullit on order but cancelled after reading about battery life. Instead went for a Gen3 Turbo Levo and have been super happy with the Brose motor and battery life. Unless the successor to the EP8 is a huge improvement I will not buy a bike with a Shimano motor. Right now for me it's either Brose or probably Bosch.
 

franciscoasismm

Active member
May 31, 2021
192
216
Badajoz
Los ingenieros diseñan motores más compactos, ligeros y potentes.
Eso es lo que hacen.
Pero hay dos limitaciones en estos motores; Bosch, Shimano, Brose y Yamaha que son las mejores que probé:
1) La unión de electrónica y mecánica aguanta mal el paso del tiempo y el kilometraje.
2) Cojinetes con vida limitada ya que la lubricación no es constante.
Si solucionan esto los motores podrían durar 100.000 km, pero pesarían más y durarían mucho más.
Ni los fabricantes de motores ni de bicicletas están interesados.
Si consideras el motor como una pieza más de desgaste, como el cassette, plato, cadena, discos, pastillas, etc.
y no lo lavas mucho, con suerte te puede durar entre 10.000 y 15.000 km.
Buena suerte.
 

Hamina

E*POWAH Master
Subscriber
Mar 22, 2020
493
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FIN
Los ingenieros diseñan motores más compactos, ligeros y potentes.
Eso es lo que hacen.
Pero hay dos limitaciones en estos motores; Bosch, Shimano, Brose y Yamaha que son las mejores que probé:
1) La unión de electrónica y mecánica aguanta mal el paso del tiempo y el kilometraje.
2) Cojinetes con vida limitada ya que la lubricación no es constante.
Si solucionan esto los motores podrían durar 100.000 km, pero pesarían más y durarían mucho más.
Ni los fabricantes de motores ni de bicicletas están interesados.
Si consideras el motor como una pieza más de desgaste, como el cassette, plato, cadena, discos, pastillas, etc.
y no lo lavas mucho, con suerte te puede durar entre 10.000 y 15.000 km.
Buena suerte.

Engineers design more compact, lighter and more powerful engines.
That's what they do.
But there are two limitations on these engines; Bosch, Shimano, Brose and Yamaha which are the best I tried:
1) The union of electronics and mechanics does not hold up well over time and mileage.
2) Bearings with limited life since lubrication is not constant.
If they solve this the motors could last 100,000 km, but they would weigh more and last much longer.
Neither engine nor bicycle manufacturers are interested. If you consider the engine as one more wear part, such as the cassette, chainring, chain, discs, pads, etc. and you don't wash it much, hopefully it can last between 10,000 and 15,000 km.
Good luck.
 

chrismechmaster

Well-known member
Subscriber
Dec 7, 2020
800
411
Newbury
Good points!
This thread is really dissapointing to read. I have a Yeti E160 on order. Its just astonishing to me that Yeti would put that motor into a $13k bike with all the research and design work that went into that bike.
To be fair I would cancel the order !!!

I have a 8.5k orbea rise and if I knew what I knew now I wouldn’t buy sadly
 

Jamsxr

E*POWAH Master
Mar 30, 2019
518
632
Surrey
To be fair I would cancel the order !!!

I have a 8.5k orbea rise and if I knew what I knew now I wouldn’t buy sadly

What would you get instead?

Not had en Ebike for a few years so it’s disappointing to hear that motor reliability has not improved. The Rise was top of my list.
 

robbydobs

Member
Jan 31, 2021
82
65
Sussex, UK
All motors can have faults, but with Shimano it is not repairable outside warranty (other than doing bearing changes).
Options are:
- nearly 1000 pounds from a Shimano dealer for new motor
- an ebay motor with no warranty
- get a new bike / frame.

Other manufacturers motors are to some degree repairable.
 
You all are making me wonder how many miles I'll get out of the Bafang m620!

Availability of experienced local service, & parts, was part of what made me OK with buying a Bafang drive. (That, & a lot of research to determine that I could do better than the commonly applied configs!)

The shops around here *know* Bafang motors: Even the mid-drive Ultra, can be found all over the place. My *hope* was that the model would proliferate, leading to a long maintainability lifespan.

(With Bafang now joining in the proprietary anti-repair vendor lock-in crap, on their newer controllers, I worry their ubiquity may plummet precipitously & doom these new m620 motors to a foreshortened lifespan.)

Coming up on 200 miles & it's been great so far (once the torque sensing was calibrated, anyway!)... 🛣️🏞️💪

It's a powerful motor. (I often run at a max of 7% power.) Took some doing, to get the pedal torque response, dialed in so it's proportional, instead of feeling like it's all-or-nothing.

I keep finding myself trying things I normally wouldn't...

Hopefully it continues to perform many more hill climbs as well as it does now!?
 

Fordo 197

Member
Apr 2, 2022
31
42
Uk
I was recently in the market for a new ebike and discounted anything Shimano. Noisy and not great support, shame as I fancied a heckler
 

Jason Rathgeber

New Member
Apr 27, 2022
9
13
Victoria B.C. Canada
Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, It's the same here in North America with our trucks.

What are the percentages of Shimano motors in bikes?

Over here there are more Ford trucks sold every year by a large margin. More bad publicity with reliability issues, but Ford trucks are more common.
Is this the case with Shimano motors?

I'm on my second Ford F-150. In over 10 years they have never left me stranded, nor had any major issues.

I'm on my first EP8 that's in my new 22 Heckler. Absolutely in love with this machine! We shall see about the motor. Had I read the bad publicity with the Shimano motors before buying, I still would have. And I'm so glad I did!!
 

1oldfart

Active member
Oct 6, 2019
683
321
Outdoors
This is great, you are lucky you do not read. You probably ignore Shitmano batteries die young.
I love the excuse lots of complaints because we sell lots.
That is a ton of BS.
In the last 4 years i read many reports with lots of kms trouble free on Yamaha.
Why did i not read tons from Shitmano if they sell soooo many more?? ???? ??????
Please let us know how your motor and battery are doing in 3 years.
 

S13

Active member
Mar 1, 2021
231
136
NL
Ive had both of my Shimano batteries die while there was nothing obviously wrong with it. They just bricked themselves. Ive got them somewhat working again by bypassing the battery BMS, but its far from perfect. My Shimano E8000 has had its bearings replaced and now needs a new clutch mechanism. Obviously shimano doesnt provide these parts so im stuck with finding a donor motor and use those parts.

I will not be buying shimano for my next emtb.
Its not even that the motors are designed poorly (most of it is pretty ok), its just the way they handle errors, faults, spare parts and returns.
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,548
993
Tasmania
What would you get instead?

Not had en Ebike for a few years so it’s disappointing to hear that motor reliability has not improved. The Rise was top of my list.
You could research the rise here - there is a fair bit written about people's experience with it.
 

jimbob

Active member
Aug 3, 2020
518
429
East UK
I can't comment on the other manufacturers as I haven't owned them, and a lot of the discussions about reliability between brands is anecdotal.

I'm personally not happy with the shimano system I've got. The battery is degrading fast and shimano don't want to know. My first bike (which I've given to my dad) has a bearing failure and my current bike had an electrical issue. Both under 2000miles, which I think is poor.

I do wonder how much of the problem with the service is the bike shops though? Mine said they expected a replacement motor in 48hrs and they have never had an issue. It was delayed in the end, but only because they had no motors in the UK.

My dad is having o end of trouble on the other hand. But it sounds like they have never replaced a shimano motor and so don't know the procedure.

FWIW, my LBS said shimano and Bosch are similar with warranty replacement, and both have been fine in their experience. They've also replaced a similar number of each.
 

Growmac

Well-known member
Subscriber
Dec 4, 2020
375
391
Wilts, UK
After 9 months of intermittent arguing, I've finally got a new E8000 motor for my Merida. The actual replacement only took about seven days from the LBS sending the old motor to Madison to the new one being back and fitted, so no complaints there. Shame it was such a slog to get it sorted though.

Now to force the issue of the dodgy batteries. I'm hoping to get at least the original, knackered battery changed, but then the bike is going. I don't want to own a bike with such a low level of manufacturer support.
 

Rich-EMTB-UK

E*POWAH Master
Aug 11, 2019
369
282
UK
I don't understand the comments about reliability for Shimano motors compared to other brands - especially from people who have no experience with a Shimano powered bike! Shimano motors have been totally faultless for me the last 5 years: going out in all weathers and washing down with a hose pipe regularly. I always seem to read about other brands which stop working at just a hint of moisture ...

I thought I'd also compare the brands here: Discussion by Brand & User Reviews | Electric Bike Forums - Q&A, Help, Reviews and Maintenance (electricbikereview.com)
Every brand has a stickied thread for "known issues & problems" - Shimano has a really low post count, and Bosch one of the highest. Other main brands which have a high number of posts are Specialized and Giant.
I think forums are generally full of people with problems and those without issues rarely visit. I have Brose, Bosch and EP8 ebikes all with zero motor/battery issues. the first two having over three years usage in all weathers.
 

urastus

⚡The Whippet⚡
May 4, 2020
1,548
993
Tasmania
I think forums are generally full of people with problems and those without issues rarely visit. I have Brose, Bosch and EP8 ebikes all with zero motor/battery issues. the first two having over three years usage in all weathers.
I don't. It seems to me that people, like me, get an ebike then join this forum. Or they sit on this forum for a while, then get an ebike. How often have we read intro's like that - it seems all the time with new folk here. I'm in the 2nd camp - this forum was part of my education pre purchase. It seems that if an emtb is ridden like an mtb - well, that's when things go south. I'm OK, and many like me are OK, because we're not too hard on bikes, and maybe have some mechanical sympathy
 

chrismechmaster

Well-known member
Subscriber
Dec 7, 2020
800
411
Newbury
I don't. It seems to me that people, like me, get an ebike then join this forum. Or they sit on this forum for a while, then get an ebike. How often have we read intro's like that - it seems all the time with new folk here. I'm in the 2nd camp - this forum was part of my education pre purchase. It seems that if an emtb is ridden like an mtb - well, that's when things go south. I'm OK, and many like me are OK, because we're not too hard on bikes, and maybe have some mechanical sympathy

I think this really sums it up
I am very easy on my ebikes mainly because I don’t have the confidence that others have I also have mechanical sympathy I regularly see people powering up trail in boost up hill multiple gear changes the noise is unbelievable and they wonder why there drivetrains fall apart
I know these bikes should take a bit of stick but the amount of riders I see that have no mechanical sympathy no wonder things go wrong
 
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Rich-EMTB-UK

E*POWAH Master
Aug 11, 2019
369
282
UK
I don't. It seems to me that people, like me, get an ebike then join this forum. Or they sit on this forum for a while, then get an ebike. How often have we read intro's like that - it seems all the time with new folk here. I'm in the 2nd camp - this forum was part of my education pre purchase. It seems that if an emtb is ridden like an mtb - well, that's when things go south. I'm OK, and many like me are OK, because we're not too hard on bikes, and maybe have some mechanical sympathy
Hi, I must admit I did the same got the ebike and joined the forum was fairly active for a few months and then dropped off the forum for a year or so. Got a new ebike, EP8, and rejoined to get a view on the Shimano motor while waiting 6 months for the bike. My comment was based on some of the comments on here and also on other forums I have belonged to where if you took the postings at face value you would never waste your money on the products they concern. Personally I have had good experiences with e-bikes but if you dont have the skills on a normal MTB don't go jumping off of stuff and riding in areas beyond your ability just because its an e-bike. You will break it, yourself or both :)
 

lightning

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2021
715
409
UK
l've got a Kona with the Shimano E8000.

After over 3,000 miles (around 5,000km) of thrashing in all weathers here in the U.K., the motor is still perfect.

My friend has a Cube with the Bosch Gen 4 motor. He's on half the mileage l have done, His motor failed twice when out on rides with various error codes and we've managed to get it going again. The third time it failed it had to go back to the shop and they had it over three months before it was repaired.
 

Bruce B

Member
Apr 26, 2022
20
17
NZ
Well I probably won’t have any support with the BAFANG m600 as the dealer who sold me the kit is not that great at following up on any issues I have. However so far it goes very well tons power , doesn’t use a lot of battery 43v system.
Very quiet motor as well I may just buy another motor for a spare as they are only $700 Nz including shipping
 

Downhillr

Active member
Jul 2, 2021
215
100
SF Bay, California
I’ve not had any problem with EP8 on my SC Bullit, however, mileage is low (500). My bike’s noisier than I expected since I’ve ridden alongside Spesh/Brose powered ebikes that seem quieter. Im curious about just released 2023, updated EP8 (EP801) which mentions some evolutionary change and “2nd Gen” battery management.
 

Jamsxr

E*POWAH Master
Mar 30, 2019
518
632
Surrey
It seems totally hit and miss across all manufacturers in terms of reliability. I’ve been off eMTBs for a couple years, my last bike having the e8000 - I have no major complaints but I was always pretty aware that if something happened it was going to be a total pain.

Last weekend I was visiting my brother in Aberdeenshire, I had the chance to test the e8000 and ep8 back to back on the same bike. It wasn’t totally fair as my brothers e8000 Merida was a far higher spec than the ep8 rental. Nonetheless, although i could feel the extra poke from the ep8, it was much noisier heading down the trail and battery performance was no better. All in, I preferred the quieter ride of the e8000, although I’m sure many would tune out after some time with the ep8.

Anyway, after being adamant I would not buy a Specilized, I recently picked up a Levo. The updated geometry ticked my boxes, but more importantly, the support from my LBS is second to none. Frankly, with the cost of ebikes, the after sales support should be impeccable.
 

Bontee

Member
Dec 6, 2020
80
48
warwickshire
I dont think it is a bad motor, for every negative post on this forum my guess is that there are a hundred or more out there that are doing just fine. My experience is this, My EP 8 is now only 9 months old, it has done 940 miles (I ride non e bikes most of the time and use the e on big hard rides where it's a bit more fun to ride the e) but in that rather small 940 miles it has performed perfectly. It is still on its original transmission xt 12 speed but i fitted a sram xx1 gold chain when i bought it , the chain at 940 miles shows zero wear on the chain guage, not even close to the 0.5 limit as yet, the motor may blow up, who knows but up to now it is just fine, time will tell. So no complaints here, my
mate owns a bosch powered cube and is on his second motor at the same mileage, so, as our American friends would say, go figure.
 

Dirtyrig

Member
Dec 26, 2021
44
8
New York
I have the Orbea Rise M20 with a EP8 motor, have almost 1000 miles on it all very demanding rides, steep technical climbing and full on DH trails and I've had no issues with the motor. I personally like the feel of the EP8 over the Bosch Perf CX, much more "natural" feeling. Can't really say much on Shimano repair/returns yet but I'm sure eventually the motor will need to be serviced just like any part on the bike.
 
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