My BBSHD Was Evil And It Deserved To Die A Horrible Death

I’ve been threatening to run my BBSHD though my 65 Amp 18FET Lyen controller to anyone who would listen since I got it 3 months ago. I finally got around to smoking it, and as I wagered, the primary nylon gear was the first thing to go. Actually, it wasn’t the first thing to go, the granny gear on my cassette was. In case you just got off the bus, the BBSHD 1000W maxes out at 30Amps, but it is totally overbuilt for that wimpy power level.

How to beat the late winter blues. Destroy something you love.

How to beat the late winter blues. Destroy something you love. Destroy everything you touch. Destroy something beautiful.

I spent about 2 hours pulling off the old controller, cutting the wires to the hall sensor and mounting the Lyen controller. I worked very carefully because I wanted to make sure everything was done just right for the BBSHD’s execution. It was a little tricky because the cords are pretty short and I had to mount the controller on the underside of the downtube.

As I tested the bike with the rear wheel in the air all seemed fine and it only pulled 1 amp. I didn’t see much of a problem so I put the bike together and went out onto the front lawn. From a stand still I very carefully touched the throttle and I heard a very loud noise as my expensive 42T granny gear on my new Sunrace cassette completely broke apart into pieces. I carefully dislodged the chain from the wreckage and then adjusted my derailleur so it wouldn’t go into that gear and then took off again, this time in a higher gear, while the bike was already moving, just to be safe. I didn’t want to stop when I was off to such a great start.

The power and acceleration were really exhilarating, it was even more fun than on the 3000W Cyclone kit, but I knew it wasn’t going to last. The drive unit had not even heated up yet so I did a speed run down the road and the BBSHD easily hit 35mph, GPS verified. The top speed was not really that exciting, but the wheelie popping constant power through the entire power zone was pretty exciting. The power felt like it just kept coming. I went about 1/4 mile then turned around to test the speed in the opposite direction. The drive easily got to 35mph for about a minute and then the nylon gear self-destructed and started grinding, then it pretty much stopped engaging at all and the motor just spun freely. I pedalled home in defeat.


Normal bicycle parts live in mortal fear of me. I guess that crappy overpriced cassette couldn’t take 3000 watts. Note to self: “Next time get all steel”.

I had been waiting for Luna to stock the nylon gears for the BBSHD before I did this, as it is a royal pain to get these nylon gears from China. Instructions on replacing the nylon gear on the BBS02 are here and the BBSHD is similar except it is a royal pain to get the motor out. You will need to lever it from both sides with 2 flathead screwdrivers at the same time to pop it out. Be careful not to strip the Phillips screws that hold the cover to the nylon gear in place. It helps to use the right size bit and then to lean on the screwdriver with all your weight and turn it with a pair of vice grips attached to the screwdriver.


The Lyen controller is highly regarded in the ES ebike builder community, but I was underwhelmed.

The Lyen 18 Fet controller runs about $200 directly from Lyen, but in all honesty, I can’t recommend it. It is incredibly large, stupidly heavy, and the power delivery is pretty jerky (and not beef jerky either, more like twerky). The controllers are a royal pain to program and although Lyen is an easy enough guy to deal with, it looked and felt to me like just another cheapo Chinese controller with a couple of decent mosfets that didn’t totally suck. In all fairness, it did work and it didn’t fail so maybe I should just shut the hell up. Why doesn’t someone make an awesome controller similar to the Castle Creations controllers for an ebike and sell it for $100? These giant hunks of crap are ridiculous.

If you want to copy my build (you really shouldn’t but if you do please use a lot less power) then you can use this wiring setup from Mike Keefer on ES. Mike Keefer and I agree that you should be able to read Endless Sphere at work and get paid for it, but that’s pretty much all we agree on. If only I actually had a job.

I have had better days.

Peanut Butter. Yum.

Lyen Controller -> BBSHD Motor:


Yellow -> Grey

Green -> White

Blue -> Purple


Yellow -> Yellow

Green -> Blue

Blue -> Green

The testing setup was a 48v pack that was charged to 50v or so and the controller was set for 65 Amps for a grand total of 3250 watts, give or take.

Ride On …

Or ride till something catastrophically fails then pedal your broken pile of crap home if you still can.

That BBSHD had it coming. I just can’t stop thinking about how much fun that BBSHD was to ride at 65 amps.

23 thoughts on “My BBSHD Was Evil And It Deserved To Die A Horrible Death

  1. Another good article.

    Now the question I want to know is what would be the next thing to break if the nylon gear was metal?

    Any thoughts?


    • the final reduction gears are not properly lubricated from the factory- poor design, with just a dollop of grease nearby ( which might have ok when 250 watts), gears can be very short lived as is, stock 1kw. what is needed is a redesign with their own sealed oil supply motorcycle style. they would then have a chance of handling larger current. better motor mounts are needed also!


  2. That rear cog that got beat up does not surprise me. I taco’d my 42 tooth rear cog with only 1350 watts and that was with a half decent chain line as well. Thanks for the detective work, Awesome as always Karl!…wayne


  3. Can you replace the gear and try some lower power settings like 40 amps and go up incrementally. It would be great to know what the practical limit of gear is. It would be great to find out how long it survives at 40 amps. Thanks for all the great work!


      • Hi Karl.

        Thanks for all your great articles.

        Are there any chances of increasing the amps on the stock Bafang controller further than the 30? I’m tempted to go further but man – these external controllers are big !



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  5. Any plans to do similar testing with one of your BBS02 units? I recently picked one of these up and was thinking of upgrading to the ASI/GRIN FOC controller. If I’m already looking at over $100 to get the factory upgraded 3077 mosfets, I may as well forego that and just upgrade the drive technology to eek out some extra mph and efficiency!


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  8. Mr. Karl, so all I need to juice up a BBSHD is to find the 3 hall sensor wires from the motor? It seems like the Cyclone controller from the 3000 watt kit might be perfect. It’s only $50 from Luna and it’s already programmed to 40 amps. 52 Volts at 40 Amps gives ~2000 watts, could be a good reliable boost. Any idea what the wiring connection would be for the cyclone controller?


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  13. Mine overheats with stock programming from Luna on assist level 3 of 5. 1200 watts or so I can’t imagine 3200 lol.
    Anybody have any tips for keeping it cool?


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