It’s finally happened, Alan from Electric Race Technologies is marketing a 3000W external controller to pair with the BBSHD to allow you to run 50 amps and/or 72v through your stock BBSHD for $159.95 right here. I hooked up a 65Amp Lyen controller to my BBSHD (and promptly melted the nylon gear) about a year ago, but the BBSHD now seems to be able to run pretty well at 50 Amps without getting destroyed. I’ve been testing the BBSHD for hundreds of hours on a 52v 50Amp Ludicrous controller on the street and in the woods and I can say that I have had zero drive issues with this setup. The BBSHD motor was designed to run at over 2500W peak, there is no question in my mind. I believe that Bafang massively overbuilt this motor so they could release more powerful versions over time when the 30 Amp version has proved itself. What has happened is that people are just refusing to wait for Bafang to do that and are working out their own solutions on how to pump more power into the drive themselves.
The stock 30Amp BBSHD goes over 30 mph without any issues, but if you want to get it to go over 40 mph then you will probably need to mount the stock BBSHD on a skinny tired road bike (super scary) or get a more powerful controller. I don’t really recommend going 40mph on an ebike for any length of time because frankly it’s pretty dangerous (not to mention totally illegal). That being said the rule of thumb is if you want more power add more amps, if you want more speed then add more volts. This controller will allow you to do either or both. The ERT controller has a High Voltage Cutoff of 100v meaning you can run it at 88v (insane) for the ultimate in high speeds. I’m told that the ERT controller can also do 60Amps, although it is still advertised as a 50 Amp controller.
For an extra $150 option you can add a Cycle Analyst v3 to your controller which will allow you to set up the PAS system as well as thermal sensing on the BBSHD. At 3000W I would not plan to run the motor continuously at the highest power level, it will heat up and stuff will stop working.
To be clear I have not purchased this item and tested it (I hate writing articles without testing stuff) but for people who want to upgrade their BBSHD’s this is an option that has not been available commercially yet so I felt like it was important to get the information out there and let the readers decide if they want to go for it.
- You can add it to any BBSHD drive unit without having to buy a whole ebike to get the Ludicrous controller
- It’s $100 cheaper than the 50Amp Ludicrous controller option (without the CA)
- You can do thermal sensing & PAS with the CA3 ($150 extra)
- Allows you to pump 3000 tire shredding watts through your poor drivetrain
- If you don’t like the controller you can easily switch your BBSHD back to the stock controller
- You can use the existing Temp Probe in the BBSHD and existing PAS sensor inside the drive unit
- Can run a 72v or a 88v battery with the BBSHD, no problem
- You will have to silicone the connectors to keep water from getting into the drive unit
- It’s a large, heavy controller that is going to ugly up your ebike and has to get mounted somewhere air can flow over it for cooling
- You have to program the controller if you want to change the settings (unless you have a CA3)
- 3000 Watts is going to probably make stuff fail pretty fast on your ebike drivetrain or at least stretch your chain awfully quickly
- There is a good chance you will smoke your nylon gear or windings if you run this baby at 3000W for any real length of time
- It’s going to be a pain to wire to the existing PAS and thermal sensors inside the drive unit (read ‘not for beginners’)
- A smaller chainring is going to be necessary for higher power on the drive unit (30T Luna Mighty Mini shown in picture) if you don’t want to shred the internal gears
The primary difference between the 50 Amp Ludicrous controller is that the Ludicrous controller mounts onto the BBSHD directly and although the cooling fins are larger than the stock one, the shape is mostly the same. The ERT controller looks like a standard ebike controller and would be mounted on the frame (probably on the underside of the the downtube) and is wired into the BBSHD directly. You will need to waterproof the connectors using silicone and heat shrink the phase wires on the ERT controller. The other main difference is that Luna is only selling the Ludicrous controller when you buy one of their bikes and does not sell them separately to the public. The Luna Ludicrous controller has a HVC of 60v meaning you can only use a 52v pack on it, but the ERT controller has the capability to use a 72v or even a 88v pack which should make the BBSHD have a much faster top speed.
I’m anxious to see how the BBSHD performs with a 72v pack, as the 3000W Cyclone system is worlds better than running it at 52v (as shown when I tested Curt’s Luna custom cargo bike). If it were me I’d make a choice to run the BBSHD at either 50 amps if you want more power or at 72v if you want higher top speeds, but I probably wouldn’t do both. If I did do both I would be pretty careful not to thrash on the throttle too hard as you’re putting over 3000W intro a drive unit designed to run nominally at 1000W.
The good news is that you can take any high power ebike controller and hook it up to the BBSHD if you can get the hall sensor wires run correctly. When I did my testing I just grabbed a controller off my ebike parts shelf and promptly burned out my plastic gears. There is a lot of fancy settings with these ebike controllers that I have absolutely no understanding of, so there is a chance that using any old controller off the shelf is going to have problems with the BBSHD motor. This ERT controller is the first external high voltage controller I’ve seen advertised for the BBSHD. With a full 30 day warranty (controller only, not the BBSHD), and at just $159 I’m sure there is a market out there for it.
If you’ve tested the BBSHD at 72v (or higher) and like the way it performs, please leave a comment below so we can all learn from your insight.