Electric Motor Assist for Rover 8

I've been riding my Rover to work for over a year now and put over 600 miles on it.  My job has moved and my ride has increased to 7.5m with lots of hills so I'm looking to add electric assist to the trike. I've done some research and have seen solutions ranging from <500$ to over $2000.  The hub design motor seems to be the most popular however I'd like to keep the 8-sp hub if possible.  That leaves front sprocket or mid-drive kits (or maybe something else I haven't seen yet).  I'm not looking to convert the bike to a Veleomobile.  I'd just like to have motor assist for going up hills so I can keep a more steady pace.  Can someone provide a suggestion for a kit that is not too expensive and preferably with some tips on how best to mount it? 



  • cekrover,
    Have you looked at RideKick Power Trailer?  
    This will let you have power assist without major changes to your trike. 
    Good luck
  • Yeah, the Ridekick is the only reasonable answer, I think.  I've been looking at options for more than three years now.. knowing that one day the wife and I would need a little help on the hills and long rides with our Rover tandem.  Apparently Ridekick is now in between models and not shipping anything to dealers. The new and improved model is coming out in '15, they say.  You can contact the company from their web site.

  • I've read of a number of folks over on BROL that have used a 'RideKick' with their trike and are quite pleased with it.  I do agree that it seems to be the most simple solution to this issue.

    As an aside to the OP?  Have you driven/ridden all around from home to the new job to see if you could perhaps find a less direct route with smaller or less hills to deal with?  Net effort/time does not always mean the most direct route - just a thought?
    TerraTrike Rover W/N360 by NuVinci
    http://s1103.photobucket.com/albums/g475/Peter_CC/Peter_C Trike Album/
    (copy and paste into your browser) to see ---> My Trike Photos
  • Bought 2 Rover Nexus 8 speeds a year ago and have put many miles on mostly rail trails.  Time to venture out and take on some of the more challenging hills.  Purchased 2 Bafang BBS02 750 w Mid drives motors and 10ah batteries.  Waiting for delivery.  These units come with both throttle and Pedal Assist.  New brake levers come with built in cut off switches to the motor so that you can change gears without mashing them.  Will update as the build progresses.  Cost: motors: $550 each Batteries: $550 each.
  • Small problem with the length of cables.  Downtube battery has 12 inch wires that would normally be within 6 inches of the motor that also has 12 inch power leads.  With battery behind the seat the wires are too short to connect.  Easy enough to make extension cable but would like the same connectors.  Other problem more serious.  The replacement brake handles with motor cutoff switches normally go across a standard handlebar, but about 2 feet too short to go down across and up to the other brake lever.  Seeing that I will be replacing the Patterson shifter on the left handlebar with the thumb throttle I could use only one brake on the left to stop motor when it's time to upshift or downshift.  Releasing the throttle also shuts off the motor, but panic stops would be harder due to the motor still powering the rear wheel.  Timing is everything.  Emailed some Bafang Vendors to see if they have parts or info.  With 3 feet of snow on the ground looks like I will have plenty of time to get it all together.
  • Took more measurements of 'the missing link' and found a vendor that sells both the male and female connectors for the power leads (make your own cable) and male and female brake cables that need to be spliced in the middle.  Each is 18 inches long so it will give me 36 inches to play with.  Cost of the brake cable is $18.00 and set of connectors $5.00 each.  Total including priority shipping is: $38.00.  california-ebike.com is the vendor.  Asked my wife if she wanted to go with the thumb throttle or the left half twist throttle and as expected the arthritis rules and twist throttles will be purchased for each trike.  Caution that the cable is only 12 inches rather than the normal 18 inches.  Will also need the speed sensor extention cable to put the sensor on the left front wheel.  On to the battery.  At 8 pounds, not really an issue as to the placement, but there is plenty of unused space behind he seat.  If I make an aluminum cradle that hangs from the seat frame back and under the battery back to the seat frame underneath then the battery will never interfere with  the seat from being adjusted.  The other option is to mount is along the frame underneath the seat.  I will mount the motor and eveything but the battery and see how it works out.  A lot of the build images on the web show lots of cables haphazardly wrapped or curled up and spot tied.  I will be looking for a much cleaner appearance and try to get as stealthy as I can.

  • My wife at 65 has brain aneurisms that limit her level of exercise to keep her blood pressure from getting too high and is the reason for the assist motors in the first place.  She also has arthritis in her hands (as do I) and the thumb throttle could be an issue for any extended ride.  Plus it replaces the left hand twist shift for the Patterson and can keep the same half grip that will match the right half grip. 

    Purchased the following tools from Amazon for the Bafang
    BBS02 build: 
    Park Tool HCW-5 Lock Ring Spanner,  Topeak 2011 Update Universal Chain Tool, Park
    Tool Compact Crank Puller, KMC
    Z-72 7-8sp chain (Dark Silver/Brown). 
    Cost: $50.83 with free shipping. 
    Also purchsed the following from California Ebike:  SKU005-006 - Bullet connectors (pair), Male
    and female extensions bare ends, Left Half Twist Throttles, Speed Sensor Ext
    Cables 13".  Cost $155.00 with
    $15.00 express shipping.  Purchased
    a complete chain
    rather than individual links due to the 46T crank
    gear ring up front replacing the Patterson 25T 2 speed crankset.  Again, these items cover two Rovers.

    With 3 feet of snow on the ground, will go cross country skiing this weekend and leave the build for another day.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

  • Digitally_Impaired - what are the chances of a few pics of your set-up? I've been riding the fence on getting a Bafang for my Tour II....
  • I ended up buying a Bafang BBS02 500/750W motor kit from EM3EV.  I verified it will mount to the front crank hub no problem.  I still haven't purchased the battery because there seems to be a huge price difference depending on whether I buy it through a US company like EM3EV (probably the smart source) or a Chinese distributer such as VPower.  VPower offers a mounting kit but the specs for the 50V 10aH rectangle pack from EM3EV are more suited to the motor.  Has anyone found a source for a battery pack case or will I need to make the mount from scratch?
  • Had to purchase another tool to get the FSA Patterson crank off and the new Bafang on: Park BBT-19 is a heavy duty, shop quality tool for installing and removing 16-notch external bearing bottom bracket cups and can be used with either a 3/8" drive torque wrench, 3/8" ratchet driver, FRW-1 Freewheel Remover Wrench, or 1" wrench.  The BBT-19 is compatible with the following external bearing bottom bracket cups: Shimano Hollowtech II, Campagnolo Ulta-Torque and Power Torque, Race Face and FSA.  Should be her by Wednesday.  I have taken pictures of the build but haven't uploaded yet.  I will have to make an aluminum frame to hang behind the seat to hold the downtube battery.  Will be picking up some 1/2 x 1/8 stock to start the fabrication.  Being a downtube 10ah battery pack it is pretty well protected from the elements and needs no case or cover.  On a Delta frame bike it attaches where a water bottle normally would go.
  • Pretty much finished the first of two Bafangs builds.  The battery cage is finished with some minor modifications.  Using nylon 1/4-20 locknuts and had to change bolt length to 3/4 instead of the 1/2 which only cought a couple of the locking threads.  Also changed the original 1/8 x 1/2 aluminum stock to 3/4 for a more robust hanger.  Routing the cables to be out of the way, and less conspicuous is a more daunting task.  Ended up pointing the BBS02 down below the botton bracket and the three wires coming out run underneath the boom.  Ran a 3/4 aluminum tent pole cut to length from the motor to the cross bar and covered with nylon cable chase.  Used black nylon ties to hold it all together.  Ran the battery extension cable (old 16 guage power cord - black and round) along the top chain tube back to the battery bracket. I hope to have pictures on the web shortly to show the progression of the build.  I will notify this forum when they are ready.
  • Done!  Here is the link to the Bafang Build: 


    As with any project, mistakes are made and corrected, and better ideas pop up only after all the work is done.  I will keep up with any additional changes.
  • I am pretty impressed. I have not seen a Bafang on one of our trikes yet. Way to go! 
    TerraTrike - Customer Relations, Assembly, and Forum/ Facebook Administrator. 
  • The 10.4ah battery is about the smallest available but should provide about 45 minutes of continious full throttle on the flats.  If you fool the computer to think you have smaller wheel diameter, you can get more top end out of the setup.  Top speed is is less than 20mph if not modified.  After flying down the bike lane on a 5 mile downhill run at around 35mph, have decided that speed is unsafe and too twitchy to guarentee control.  Of course, that is not what it will be used for.  The primary purpose is to assist on uphills that increase heart rate to unacceptable levels and danger one's well being.  Some trails have huge climbs to the top that take all your energy away and leave your heart and head pounding.  The motor will go a long way to improving the quality of the ride and making it more enjoyable.  Hopefully will never have to say, "We can't get up that one, let's turn around."  
  • Have any of you heard of FlyKly? It is a beautiful system, hub, gearing, and battery all integrated into one sleek system.

    TerraTrike - Customer Relations, Assembly, and Forum/ Facebook Administrator. 
  • FlyKly: Nice looking hub motor with everything built in with your Android as the controller.  Better suited to the Rover single as that's all you'll have for gears unless you put a Patterson up front.  At only 250 watts and 20-45 minutes of run time, could be doing a lot of unassisted pedaling.  Braking provides regenerative feedback but probably not on a one to one ration.  Noticed the cost was at $1100 for a 20" wheel and another $200 for the charger.  The Bagang BBS02 48v 750w and 10.4ah battery (including the charger) come in at $1100 all with free shipping. Lot more to installing the Bafang than just replacing the rear wheel.  With the Bafang, I can always get another battery or a larger one.  The 10.4ah battery only gives a max wattage of 10.4 x 48 = 499.2.  Real world scenario:  Wife will probably use her battery more than I will.  As we near the end of our ride, she runs out of juice.  I switch her battery with mine and she gets an easy ride home.  Of course, it could be the other way around.  The Samsung 10.4 is rated for about a thousand charges.  That could be a few years before a replacement is needed.  Just sayin'.
  • Bafang Built # 2 almost complete.  Made a few changes due to shorter length boom and seat more forward.  Actually, it's a better idea containing most of the cabling between the motor and the cross member where 4 wires go left and one wire right.  Because of the shorter boom by 3 inches, there was more to route for a cleaner loop up to the handlebars.  Power cable is all that heads back to the battery.  New photos at: 


    Waiting for chain link pins to complete.  Tested electrics and motor and all seems well.  Three feet of snow on the ground and there will be something to plow in the morning.  It'll be a while before the big thaw comes.
  • The cable routing was a bit too aggressive in trying to keep all connections out of harms way.  By cable tying the power cable from battery to motor along the chain tube, when I tried taking off with just the throttle, the chain tube jerked (tightened the chain) and pulled both power leads apart just undreneath the seat.  Reworking now to route the cable with more service loop.  As a matter of fact, redoing all the cabling for neater appearance and no inadvertant disconnects. In order to lessen the chance of a brake cable disconnecting or breaking when stretching the cable in a sharp turn, I originally ordered male and female brake cable extensions.  These have to be soldered together to make one extention cable.  With all wires going up the left handlebar I made the extension for the right hand brake. This will put less stress on all connections and resolve the routing problems.  Rail trail opening day is March 28th.  Don't know if all this snow will melt before that so it may be just fat bikes hitting the trail.

    The patterson worked great in both high and low range, the only issue was there was a noticable efficiency loss in high range.  Rarely got into high gear high range except downhill.  Without a derailer post on the Rover, it was the obvious choice and I would do it again to get those midrange gears even with the loss pf efficiency.  Makes for a very clean layout and less than half the price of a Schlump.

  • Interesting week of taking the cable routing to heart and redoing most of it.  The issue is with the brake motor shutoff cables.  Need the extra length additional cables to stretch the distance between them.  So routing under the frame along with all the other cables is the way to keep them from being stepped on.  By covering with nylon 3/4 inch cable covers rocks or water shouldn't be an issue.  Also made a new bracket to hold the C961 Computer.  Left over aluminum strapping drilled to hold just the C961 and half of the Terratrike handlebar accessory mount.  Moved the power switch to the vertical handlebar and can be operated very easily with the left thumb.  Will try to upload pictures of changes to my facebook page. My biggest problem is getting everything ready for the first outing before I have to undergo surgery for lung cancer.  Had a CT scan 2 days ago and I did not dodge a bullet.  Probably be laid up for a while and not able to tinker with the trikes.  Should be a great way to rehab after getting the word to have at it.
  • Gone thru scores of black nylon ties trying to get this cable routing down to a science.  Added service loops to the connections where needed and tried to run all underneath the frame and cross piece.  Used 3/4" aluminum tubes to contain all wires and cut to form around connections and loops.  With everything tucked in to the tubes except the speedo cable (too short), they are covered with black ribbed nylon cable covering then tied to the frame.  The main holdup was the extra length cable needed for the right brake shutoff wire.  Made the jumper 14" which allows it to run across to the left side where the main connectors are.  Will take more pics of same and get them out to Facebook.
  • Here is an awesome light weight, batter/motor, integrated all into one IGH.

    It's a beautiful thing.
    TerraTrike - Customer Relations, Assembly, and Forum/ Facebook Administrator. 
  • edited April 2015
    Why hello elrique64. It doesnt seem like you favor the Flykly very much. As a matter of fact I do have experience with the flykly.

    Here at TerraTrike, one of my many jobs is to perform detailed tests on various products we receive from our vendors.

    I will agree with some of the information you provided, such as, yes you do have to send the unit in to have a battery replaced... if you have to have a battery replaced. Even if there is an issue, they will cover shipping and the repair cost for any warranty related issues. I'm sure having a positive attitude will help.
    I will also have to say, I do my best to steer clear from being to opinionated. Everyone has one, including myself, but it isnt my job to tell people what I do and don't like. 

    One question I do have for you... Do you have any personal experience with the Flykly?
    If not, I suppose an opinion is just simply an opinion.

    What I do enjoy about being an administrator for the TerraTrike Forum, and TerraTrike Facebook page is that I do get to talk to a lot of people with many, very different needs. I will share my opinion and extensive knowledge of any product I have tested, if someone asks me directly. I will certainly not go and plaster my opinions on my Forum, our my Facebook page. 

    For example:
    I have a customer who is looking for a simple upgrade, for simple riding, that is light weight, and low maintenance. "Awesome", I say. That is literally all I need to know. Am I going to tell them to go look into an E-bike kit? No. That doesn't meet their specific needs.

    If you want to personally ask me a question, email me. I'll give you opinions all day. I'm certainly not going to shoot down any product if it meets certain requirements for a specific customer.  

    After all, it's not up to me, or you to decide what is and what isn't good. Save that for the consumer. 
    TerraTrike - Customer Relations, Assembly, and Forum/ Facebook Administrator. 
  • Back from the living dead.  Just a lobectomy and no chemo.  Have sat on my trike in the basement for 2 minutes but got yelled at.  Dr.s say by end of May should be able to do some limited riding.  They didn't say anything about using the motor, so I'll be good and wait for the green light for any activity.  Gee, how bad can it be to lock my feet in, put it in 1st and hit the throttle?  When I run out of battery, just the beg the wife to swap, and make it back to the F150.  Just before surgery ordered from Amazon 3  89" folding aluminum ramps which should help getting the 65lb trikes into the bed.  For now, will just have to surf the web, watch the blogs and get back being fit.
  • Gave the trike a shot last week on just the battery - no pedaling. Just sat there with the throttle on for over 21 miles on a rail trail.  Would have done more but the high torque of the motor would not keep it neatly tucked under the bottom bracket and the rotation up yanked the controller cable apart.  On to mod 3 of the cabling.  Will mount the motor up on top of the crank and boom. Will still run the cables underneath the boom and have enough length to make all connections - except the speedometer cable.  Is seems to be about a foot short.  Rather than buy a premade extension, will splice in a 3 wire in the transmitter section.  Not moving too quickly and can't overdo, so it might take a bit to complete.

    Wife and I together had no problem pushing the trikes up the new ramps, then getting the ramps folded and stored between trikes.  Very little lifting required (I watched  and did as I was told).
  • Seems like the Rover is the trike to play around with and end up with a usable transport no mater what you do to it.  The quad sounds like fun project with a real winner in the end.  Sounds like reversing the crossbar would allow an even shorter boom length with more room for your heels as long as there is enough space behind the seat for that difference in movement.

    Made the extension cable for the speedo and have yet to cable tie things back up.  Not going to worry about appearance until I get this cabling right and not pulling apart under loads.  As set from the fatory, the level one setting (about 10%) runs the trike around 10mph with no pedaling.  Level 2 (about 20%) is about 14mph and level 3 (about 30%) about 18mph.  The battery display never dipped below 80% charge in over 100 minutes of use.  Max speed was 27.4mph and a bit twitchy - might need more toe-in.  Should get miles and miles out of pedalec and still have power to get up the bigger hills.

    Wife has a 30 mile rail trail run scheduled for Friday morning.  Better get crackin'.
  • Still recovering but was able to put on 29.7 miles using throttle only and didn't see any loss of amps on battery.  Left controller at 3 levels and it flies along at 18.x mph using level 2.  Still have issues with extended speedo cable and may move to rear wheel sensor.  Keep getting error 21 on both trikes.  Sensor and pickup are about 3mm apart but not sure when turning.  Come to a full stop and the screen comes back and adjustments can be made.  Found a new housing development off our favorite rail trail with long steep hills and nice curves.  Unbelievable sprinting up hills in level 2, 5th gear at 12 - 14 mph.  Rotate the pedals while going uphill and people think you are geriatric Superman (and woman).  They stop their gardening and wave.  Got up to 27.4mph coming down the biggest hill.  Still need to run the battery run down to 20% to see how long I have (need a small course so I don't have to walk too far to the truck).
  • Had a flat 17 miles from the truck so used wife's trike to blast back for the F150.  With somewhere between 60 and 80 percent power left I ran it on level 3 in 8th gear for 10 miles gaining 196 feet elevation and going between 27 and 35 mph and then the battery quit.
    Have ridden it for over 2 hours and over 35 miles on rail trails with no indication of power loss and all with the motor doing most of the work - still recovering.
  • Greatr looking bike!!

    I am looking at doing the same as you.
    It looks like the speck on the terratrike rover is 118mm bottom bracket and the Bafang BBS02 seems to have a speced to BB 68mm did that cause any problems.

    Thanks in advance,
  • Excellent / wonderful discussion and photos.  Just picked up a 36v 500W BBS02 from TYRO EVon amazon.  I am not the kind of person who waits so this model will work for me and the price is good.  I will check out the long thread on controllers.  Project completion objectives (Time line 1 Month Budget  $1300 High quality components and install).


  • Digitally,  I have purchased a Patterson to put on Rover.  Do you have any pics of the finished installation on yours?  Any advice for installation?
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