MOTIV “M-Code” Brushless RC Motor –
A New Sheriff in Town
Around 12 months ago a rumor popped up in the Midwest about a new brushless motor and battery company. Shortly thereafter, a new logo started appearing on racers shirts but it really offered no explanation if the two were tied together. Well, here we are today and we now know the name of the company, MOTIV, and the man behind it is none other than Paul Lemieux.
If you don’t know who Paul Lemieux is I am going to assume you don’t really live under a rock but instead conclude that you don’t follow on-road racing all that often if at all. As I implied earlier, Paul is a ROAR On-Road Champion numerous times over and has won many prestigious events such as the Mile High Indoor Champs, Snowbirds, IIC and has qualified for and been in the A finals for the IFMAR worlds events numerous times.
Ok, enough about Paul because this article is about the MOTIV line of “M-Code” line of motors. The “M-Code” motors come in many flavors; 21.5T, 17.5T, 13.5T, 10.5T, 8.5T, 7.5T, 6.5T, 5.5T, 4.5T, and 3.5T. The “T” stands for turns for those of you who have trouble following my logic. So if you are looking for a 540 sized motor, which most 1/10th scales use, they should have what you need.
Every MOTIV motor is hand checked, assembled and packaged by a professional in house at our WI, USA office. During this process every motor component must meet MOTIV requirements before assembly and packaging. Included is a specification check list which is filled out on a motor to motor basis all through the testing and assembly process to ensure the quality of our finished product. I have witnessed this process first hand so I know it is true.
The motor that I was able to purchase was the 17.5 turn. I consider this motor to be a short stack motor because the stator measured out at 19.4mm which is above the minimum specification set by ROAR. I consider motors above 20mm to be a regular stack. As far as I can tell, Motiv only offers this motor in this short stack configuration.
Since each motor is hand assembled and checked before it leaves Motiv, I would expect the spacing/gap to be set properly, meaning not rubbing on the sensor board. It turns out this motor was spaced just the way I like them to be spaced which means not rubbing on the sensors. As you can see in the picture the spacing is what I consider good. The reading of the motor on the I-Gauss meter was 1615 which is one of the highest readings I recorded for a 12.5mm in size.
Sensors can make or break a motor and a check on the G-Force unit showed that each sensor were within 2 degrees of each other. Here is a little secret, I have tested around 10 motors and of which 4 of them where new and 2 degrees is good if not the best value I have measured. Others have been off more than that but the Motiv M-Code’s 2 degrees is one of the best motors I have tested.
Next up is the difference in resistance windings of the stator. This motor showed similar resistance across each terminal, A,B, C. All of them were within .1 of each other.
So when this motor was assembled at the factory, I must have been lucky, each resistance reading was similar. In fact, it was some of the lowest values that I have seen when I tested each stator at the same temperature setting. I suspect the low reading had something to do with the material and plating that was applied.
Now it is on to the dyno to get an idea as to what this motor can do. While these tests are not exactly a true factor of a motors performance it will allow me to compare it to other motors. Besides, when was the last time you seen guys racing dynos on the track, most likely never. Anyway, if you have read my previous article you will know that I have established a new motor to use as a benchmark so let’s take a look at the results.
While not many people run their motors this low, 35 degrees, I think you would find some benefit if your track has a lot of 180 degree turns. At this setting, when you look at the graph, it doesn’t lose a lot of RPM like the higher timing and the power curve is a little flatter. With the right gearing, this could work for you.
My motor came out of the package at the 40 degree setting on the can. These results show a true measured reading of 40 degree’s using the G-Force meter. What I found is that the markings on the can were not off by much and this should give you an idea of what to expect on the track. If your track layout is flowing, then perhaps you could turn the timing up but remember, gear for lap times and not temperature.
I personally have settled on setting the motor at 45 degree’s for my off-road track. This track doesn’t have a lot of start and stop or 180 degree turns, ok maybe one 180 degree turn but I am willing take the benefits of the motor everywhere else. At this setting, for me, it pulls hard and doesn’t seem to bog down to much unless I overshoot the corner and crank on the wheel.
Ah yes, the 50 degree mark. While I did run the motor at this setting I decided to go back to 45 degrees for myself. If you are a smooth driver and your car maintains speed as it rolls through the corner this might be good for you. What I did find, and this pretty much applies to all motors, is the amount of change in RPM from low amp draw conditions to high amp draw conditions. The higher I turned up the timing the difference between RPM was noticeable. This is probably one of the reasons why the oval guys run lower timing on their motors than most others.
Overall I am extremely pleased with this motor. It doesn’t turn the RPM’s of the D4 1S but it does have the torque so I can run one more tooth on the pinion than what I ran on the D4 1S. Each motor goes through a highly detailed quality control process which is documented by the assembler. It doesn’t come with the price tag (high) of some of the others tuned motors on the market but still includes quality components. The performance on the track is noticeable as long as you don’t completely miss out on gearing. The motor runs cool and doesn’t drop off towards the end of the run, at least it didn’t for me. One additional benefit is that it comes in a reusable motor tube so when I don’t have it in my car I can put it in the protective tube for safe storage.
Be sure to check out the Motiv thread in the forum section of RC Tech and see what other racers have found!
I have been involved in R/C since the early 90’’s. I have participated in dirt oval, carpet and paved oval, on-road and off-road racing. I have found ideas that work and ideas that seem to be good on paper but fail for one reason or another. I have been involved in the rules decision process and tech inspection for one of the largest indoor on-road only events held in the U.S.