About Shimano motors
The Japanese company Shimano was founded back in 1921. It is one of the most important and successful manufacturers of bicycle components and accessories worldwide. It is a fact that today Shimano dominates the market in all areas of bicycle components - especially in shifting technology, the company is actually the world market leader in all price categories. It is therefore not surprising that Shimano has also entered the booming e-bike market: In 2010, the company presented its first own e-bike drive called Shimano STEPS ("STePS" stands for "Shimano Total electric Power Systems"). However, the first version, still equipped with a front motor, proved not to be too successful, especially due to the rather low range. Therefore, the drive system was completely revised and greatly improved, whereupon the new version of the Shimano STEPS system was launched in spring 2014, but now with a mid-mounted motor and greatly increased range. The "new" Shimano Steps systems then became a complete success. Shimano STEPS mid-mounted motors are now used in e-bikes by many well-known brands, which clearly speaks for the quality of the system (Giant, Hercules, Falter,...).
Shimano e-bike motors
With the Shimano STEPS system 2014, consisting of a mid-mounted motor, battery, bike computer (display), crankset and chain, the company was able to stand up to the powerful competition from Bosch for the first time. This Shimano mid-mounted motor scored points for its powerful performance, low weight and harmonious handling. In addition, the battery belonging to the system had an exceptionally long range (up to 150 kilometres in eco mode).
Shimano STEPS E6000 and E8000 drive systems
With the Shimano Steps drive systems, a distinction must be made between different variants, namely first and foremost between the classic E6000 and the new E8000 drive system, which was specially designed for e-mountain bikes.
The compact, lightweight Shimano Steps DU-E6000 drive offers a torque of 50 Nm. You can choose between 3 different drive modes (Eco, Normal & High). In Eco mode, the battery offers a decent range of up to 150 km. There are several recommended tuning options for this drive.
The E8000 is a completely redesigned, extremely powerful drive that was specially developed for e-mountain bikes. The motor scores with an extremely low weight (under 3 kg). The maximum torque is a solid 70 Nm. The battery power has been increased from 418 Wh on the E6000 to 500 Wh. In addition, the display is no longer in the centre of the handlebars (as on the E6000), but on the right in the triangle between the stem and handlebars. You can choose between 3 support modes (Eco, Trail, Boost), which can be controlled via easy-to-grip Firebolt shifters, which should ensure particularly harmonious shifting. The system is now considered by many experts to be one of the very best MTB drives on the market - the riding experience is said to be extremely close to that of conventional mountain bikes without a motor.
Important note: The E8000 Shimano STEPS motor is compatible with Shimano's 10- or 11-x shifting components in electronic or mechanical versions.
The Shimano EP8 motor is the long-awaited successor to the E8000 drive. Compared to its predecessor, the EP8 has even more power; for example, the torque has been increased from 70 Nm to 85 Nm. This means that the EP8 has around 20 percent more power than its predecessor. Nevertheless, the volume of the EP8 engine has been reduced once again. Since the engine suspension has remained the same, drivers now benefit from even more ground clearance. But the EP8 has not only been made smaller, it has even been made about 10 percent lighter - with a weight of just 2.6 kg, the EP8 weighs about 300 g less than the E8000. In addition, there are various other optimisations on the EP8, e.g. a shorter trail and reduced pedalling resistance above the 25 km/h threshold. In addition, you can now switch between two individually configurable riding parameters via the display. It is also great that there is no longer an error code W013 when you apply pressure to the pedal when switching on (an old shortcoming of the E8000).
There are already recommended tuning products for the new Shimano EP-8 motor, e.g. the RedPed for Shimano or the MBIQ sensor.
With electronic Di2 shifting and / or without electronic Di2 shifting?
Some E8000 drivetrains are equipped with the electronic Di2 mountain bike shifting system (this is supposed to ensure particularly clean shifting processes). There are also tuning solutions here.
Can Shimano STEPS motors be optimised?
Yes, since the Shimano STEPS system is already used by various renowned e-bike manufacturers, it is not surprising that many recommended tuning tools for Shimano STEPS motors are now available on the market.