My Falco 750 W HX motor kit

James-Spokane

New Member
I bought (directly from Falco) a Falco 750 W HX motor with built in torque sensor and throttle control, a Falco 15 amp hour Lithium Naked Pack, and the wireless USB for adjusting settings from a computer. I installed it on my Trek aluminum frame mtn bike and added narrow 100 psi slicks for street use. Very powerful motor, and a sensitive throttle. After watching the You Tube videos by Falco owner Rakesh on how to use the wireless interface software to change the various motor settings, I have started dialing in the torque sensor settings that work best for me and started getting the feel of it. It seems to work fairly smoothly once you get it dialed in right. I would especially recommend buying the wireless USB to be able to customize the settings.

Uphills are especially smooth as the power is constant. On the flats you notice it as the power comes on and off, but if your settings are right it feels fairly natural. It’s possible to cruise along at pretty high speeds with as much or as little effort as you want, which makes it a real commuting machine.

Rakesh was very helpful in reprogramming the motor to improve the torque sensor operation. It looks like they are continuing to develop and improve the wireless interface software and will have more upgrades and features in the future (speed clamps, etc). I’m looking forward to experimenting with those also once they come out. Riding with throttle only is also very enjoyable, either with or without pedaling, depending on your desire. Since I have such a powerful battery (15 amp hours), I think it will be good for a long hilly ride with no risk of running out. So far I haven’t had a chance to take it on a long enough ride to deplete it much, just lots of shorter fast rides.

I think that the 500 W motor would have been plenty for me based on the power of this 750 W motor. In pedal assist mode assist level 2 is plenty for me. I can’t imagine using 4 or 5 in pedal assist unless I’m on a wide open straight road with no cars, or maybe going up a very very steep hill. But level 5 works fine with the throttle because you can control the power precisely. I do think the extra power of the 750 W motor though is nice to have though, in order to be able to throttle all the way up the long hill like we have here on the South Hill in Spokane.

I do have some issues between my wireless console and motor in terms of not staying paired, but Falco is sending me a new wireless transmitter module and says that they will fix that issue. I can’t wait. It will be great to change assist levels (and go to regen mode) on the fly from the console.

Since I mounted my big 15 aH naked pack on the rear rack, and the motor is in the back, the bike is obviously rear heavy, but it’s not too bad and is manageable. I believe Falco’s frame mounted battery would be ideal, and I believe now that their 48 V frame mount battery would be powerful enough and last long enough for most people. I was skeptical at first and that is why I bought the big naked pack.

IMG_0875.JPG
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Great writeup James, your bike looks solid. It's always nice to hear from a real owner and your thoughts on the power level (500 being enough vs. 750) and the size and mounting location of the battery are very useful. I like the Falco kits and their ability to work with different batteries but still deliver a high quality ride along with assist, throttle mode and even regen. How tall and heavy are you? this might be useful for someone else considering the different motor power options?
 

James-Spokane

New Member
Yes, good point Court. I'm 5'11" and only about 155 lbs, so for a heavier guy the 750 W motor (vs 500 W) certainly may become more valuable on the hills etc.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
James: Thanks for the comments and feedback. Our new setup with the downtube batteries would be ready to ship in 8 weeks' time. A lot of new upgrades and features coming up.

Rakesh,

I'm still awaiting your reply. :)

Remember, me and Mark wanted to test ride some of your bikes at the Dulles office.
Please let us know. Looking forward to test ride the new bikes with upgraded features.
 

James-Spokane

New Member
I wanted to post an update to my original posting here. The wireless pairing issue I had whenever I went over a bump is completely solved. I put a 3/4" thick piece of shipping foam under the naked pack battery (and on sides too), checked my plug in connections and also rerouted the cable a bit and no more problems at all. Rakesh was quite helpful and correctly diagnosed my original problem as a millisecond loss of power due some kind of loss of connection between the battery and the motor. Whichever change I did that fixed it I don't know, but I totally love the bike now and have the adjustable settings just perfect for me. It is awesome how you can change assist settings (1-5) on the fly with the console and go right into regen mode with a couple of clicks of the minus button. The power of the 750W motor is excellent, all that I'll ever need but it's really nice to have it on the long hills here. I can fly up a couple mile long hill at 23-25 miles per hour while pedaling at the higher assist levels. It is a great commuting machine and I can get most places in our part of the city about as fast as a car. 30 miles per hour on the flat for sustained periods is possible (but you have to be careful at that speed). Quite an amazing and transformative technology.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I bought (directly from Falco) a Falco 750 W HX motor with built in torque sensor and throttle control, a Falco 15 amp hour Lithium Naked Pack, and the wireless USB for adjusting settings from a computer. I installed it on my Trek aluminum frame mtn bike and added narrow 100 psi slicks for street use. Very powerful motor, and a sensitive throttle. After watching the You Tube videos by Falco owner Rakesh on how to use the wireless interface software to change the various motor settings, I have started dialing in the torque sensor settings that work best for me and started getting the feel of it. It seems to work fairly smoothly once you get it dialed in right. I would especially recommend buying the wireless USB to be able to customize the settings.
Rakesh was very helpful in reprogramming the motor to improve the torque sensor operation. It looks like they are continuing to develop and improve the wireless interface software and will have more upgrades and features in the future (speed clamps, etc). I’m looking forward to experimenting with those also once they come out. Riding with throttle only is also very enjoyable, either with or without pedaling, depending on your desire. Since I have such a powerful battery (15 amp hours), I think it will be good for a long hilly ride with no risk of running out. So far I haven’t had a chance to take it on a long enough ride to deplete it much, just lots of shorter fast rides.


Since I mounted my big 15 aH naked pack on the rear rack, and the motor is in the back, the bike is obviously rear heavy, but it’s not too bad and is manageable. I believe Falco’s frame mounted battery would be ideal, and I believe now that their 48 V frame mount battery would be powerful enough and last long enough for most people. I was skeptical at first and that is why I bought the big naked pack.

View attachment 1416

This bike would be a beast if it had slightly rigid frame (bigger guage tubing, coz 750W motor is heavy) and hydro disc brakes.
If you put this on a DH bike like Giant Trance + Shimano hydro brakes, it would become an extremely capable bike.

Very nice setup James. What is the range you're getting?
 

James-Spokane

New Member
This bike would be a beast if it had slightly rigid frame (bigger guage tubing, coz 750W motor is heavy) and hydro disc brakes.
If you put this on a DH bike like Giant Trance + Shimano hydro brakes, it would become an extremely capable bike.

Very nice setup James. What is the range you're getting?

I actually haven't had a chance to do a long enough ride yet to really test the range, just frequent shorter faster rides. I did one ride of about 15 miles one day though at very high speeds, 23-30 mph, including a 2.5 mile long winding hill (The South Hill here in Spokane) which I rode up at 23-27 mph the whole way. I think long hills like this is where its really nice to have the 750W motor. The voltage reading at the end of this 15 mile ride was about 47 Volts vs the original reading after charging of 53 Volts. Rakesh said that at about 42 Volts the battery would be close to depleted. But this was a very unusual high speed, very hilly ride on the maximum assist level (5). I'm sure at a lower assist level like 1 or 2 (which gives you 20 - 23 mph on the flat with relatively easy pedaling), you could go 50 miles or more (just a guess though). By the way, this fast hilly ride was on a hot July day here and I felt the motor and battery afterwards and it wasn't hot. Of course right after the hill, the motor was a bit warmer than resting temperature but it was moderate and not a concern at all I think.

The bike rides good without the motor on, any drag from the motor is not really noticeable. I'm thinking that this is a good advantage over other less well engineered electric motor kits. You would notice the extra weight of the battery and motor if going up a hill without the motor assist however. When starting off from a dead stop without the motor on, there is no noticeable cogging at all.
 

James-Spokane

New Member
I actually haven't had a chance to do a long enough ride yet to really test the range, just frequent shorter faster rides. I did one ride of about 15 miles one day though at very high speeds, 23-30 mph, including a 2.5 mile long winding hill (The South Hill here in Spokane) which I rode up at 23-27 mph the whole way. I think long hills like this is where its really nice to have the 750W motor. The voltage reading at the end of this 15 mile ride was about 47 Volts vs the original reading after charging of 53 Volts. Rakesh said that at about 42 Volts the battery would be close to depleted. But this was a very unusual high speed, very hilly ride on the maximum assist level (5). I'm sure at a lower assist level like 1 or 2 (which gives you 20 - 23 mph on the flat with relatively easy pedaling), you could go 50 miles or more (just a guess though). By the way, this fast hilly ride was on a hot July day here and I felt the motor and battery afterwards and it wasn't hot. Of course right after the hill, the motor was a bit warmer than resting temperature but it was moderate and not a concern at all I think.

The bike rides good without the motor on, any drag from the motor is not really noticeable. I'm thinking that this is a good advantage over other less well engineered electric motor kits. You would notice the extra weight of the battery and motor if going up a hill without the motor assist however. When starting off from a dead stop without the motor on, there is no noticeable cogging at all.

I wanted to list the software settings for the motor that I found to work best for me and my bike, in case it is helpful for anyone else:

Turn on speed 62 Turn on Delay 15
Base Activation: 0 Turn off Delay 18
TS Turn on Value: 5 Max TS Value 8
TS Offset Value 7
I shortened the Turn on and Turn off delay so the motor didn't stay on as long after applying torque to the pedals, and so it responded a little quicker to force to the pedal. You can turn it down a lot more, but smoothness can suffer if it gets too low. The delays seem to add smoothness to the power application. The response and smoothness of my motor seemed to improve noticeably by increasing the TS Offset value from the default 0 to 7, although I'm not sure exactly why. I have a slight angle to the dropouts though and so maybe it is compensating for that and that is why. A higher Max TS Value makes the motor assist more gradual as you increase torque from your legs, allowing you to use more of your own leg power before the motor gives it's maximum assist at the given assist level that it is in (1 through 5). So, the higher Max TS Value allows you to get more exercise if you want and lets the battery last longer I suppose. Sometimes I set the Max TS Value to the lower default of 5 though when I want an easier ride (less exercise).
 

kzee

New Member
how is the shifting under power? is the motor smart enough to back off or turn off or do you not really do much shifting when riding in PAS mode. i have been thinking about bafeng mid-drives for a cargo bike setup but one caveat that many people mention with those is that you really have to pay attention to shifting under power and anticipate shifting so the chain doesn't fly off. bafeng mid-drive don't have torque sensors, just pedelec sensors. bionX 350 motors have been known to overheat and turn off protectively under a load or going uphill, has your falco had any issue with hill climbing since you wrote your last post?
 

James-Spokane

New Member
Shifting is not an issue at all with a hub motor such as my Falco because the power goes directly to the wheel, not through the gears like a mid-drive. Only the riders power goes through the gears. So backing off is not necessary, the bike just accelerates smoothly (and accelerates fast). I live on a big long hill (the South Hill in Spokane) and I go up and down it almost every day with my motor and it is amazing, no problems at all. I usually cruise up the hill at 20 mph on the lowest one or two settings but I've done it a number of times on the highest setting at 25 mph- 27 mph in July and it never cut out. I felt it afterwards and it felt a bit warm but not hot. The bigger motor (750 watt) I think can do a lot more than a smaller one before it needs to limit itself from overheating.

how is the shifting under power? is the motor smart enough to back off or turn off or do you not really do much shifting when riding in PAS mode. i have been thinking about bafeng mid-drives for a cargo bike setup but one caveat that many people mention with those is that you really have to pay attention to shifting under power and anticipate shifting so the chain doesn't fly off. bafeng mid-drive don't have torque sensors, just pedelec sensors. bionX 350 motors have been known to overheat and turn off protectively under a load or going uphill, has your falco had any issue with hill climbing since you wrote your last post?
 

bareyb

Active Member
Hi James. Thanks for your great review. It is one of the reasons I purchased a Falco kit. I have had a few problems getting it set up at the dealer, but I think they have it worked out now and I pick it up today. Very excited. If you happen to get this message would check back in and let us know how your long term experience with the Falco kit has been, now that you have had it for a while?
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Can you please tell me the starting and ending street addresses. I would like to know if the motor would work on an 18% grade, at 10mph for 0.5 mile, for 210 pounds.
 

James-Spokane

New Member
Hi James. Thanks for your great review. It is one of the reasons I purchased a Falco kit. I have had a few problems getting it set up at the dealer, but I think they have it worked out now and I pick it up today. Very excited. If you happen to get this message would check back in and let us know how your long term experience with the Falco kit has been, now that you have had it for a while?

Hi,

I had a couple problems the beginning too, but once I worked through them it's been really great and reliable. If you have a naked battery pack mounted on the rear rack then I highly recommend putting a very squishy piece of foam under and around the battery to absorb vibrations. I was having a big problem with that before I figured it out. At any significant bump, the battery would somehow lose power for a millisecond which would cause the wireless console to lose its paired connection to the motor. I tried many things which didn't work until I put that nice piece of foam underneath and around the battery, which immediately and permanently fixed it. Never had a problem with that since. The only other issue is the occasional broken spoke because of the bumpy roads we live on and the relatively heavy weight of the wheel (I have the 750W). You do want to keep the wheel relatively true with good spoke tension, otherwise it throws off the torque sensor and it doesn't respond like it should. But other than that it has proven to be a bulletproof unit, I've ridden up long hills in the hot summer at 27 mph and it never had an issue.

You need to experiment with the customized settings to find out what works best for you and your bike. The offset value in particular was important on my bike in getting a good smooth consistent response from the torque sensor. You can change the settings yourself wirelessly from your computer to come up with what works best for you and your bike and then those can be reset as the default settings so you don't have to set them each time with your computer. Falco did it on the phone with me but the dealer can probably do it for you. Good luck.

Regards,

James
 

James-Spokane

New Member
Can you please tell me the starting and ending street addresses. I would like to know if the motor would work on an 18% grade, at 10mph for 0.5 mile, for 210 pounds.

Well, that is really steep, but 1/2 mile isn't that long either. The hill I normally ride up is much more gradual than that, but is about 2 miles long, with a gain of about 350 ft according to Google. I've gone up a 1 mile hill that gained 387 ft of elevation and it did just fine, but I'm only about 158 lbs and I used the lowest setting. The steepest hill in our is about 20% grade and I've done part of it with the bike, but turned off on a sidestreet to go a more gradual way, but not because I observed any problems. I think the 750 watt would do get up your hill just fine, but I would pedal with it and keep it on the lower assist setting, in order to not overstress the battery. If you did that hill every day your battery may not last as long as it would if you didn't, but I don't think it will hurt the motor at all. They say the motor will automatically cut out to avoid overheating damage if it ever gets that hot, but I've never had a problem. The motor on the highest setting, setting 5, is very strong so it will get you pretty much anywhere you need to go and if it ever starts to overheat it is designed to shutoff temporarily to protect itself. I hope this helps.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Well, that is really steep, but 1/2 mile isn't that long either. The hill I normally ride up is much more gradual than that, but is about 2 miles long, with a gain of about 350 ft according to Google. I've gone up a 1 mile hill that gained 387 ft of elevation and it did just fine, but I'm only about 158 lbs and I used the lowest setting. The steepest hill in our is about 20% grade and I've done part of it with the bike, but turned off on a sidestreet to go a more gradual way, but not because I observed any problems. I think the 750 watt would do get up your hill just fine, but I would pedal with it and keep it on the lower assist setting, in order to not overstress the battery. If you did that hill every day your battery may not last as long as it would if you didn't, but I don't think it will hurt the motor at all. They say the motor will automatically cut out to avoid overheating damage if it ever gets that hot, but I've never had a problem. The motor on the highest setting, setting 5, is very strong so it will get you pretty much anywhere you need to go and if it ever starts to overheat it is designed to shutoff temporarily to protect itself. I hope this helps.
I infer from your post that I would be better off with a center drive? Have you compared your powerful motor against an equivalent center-drive? Are they roughly equal?
 

bareyb

Active Member
Hi,

I had a couple problems the beginning too, but once I worked through them it's been really great and reliable. If you have a naked battery pack mounted on the rear rack then I highly recommend putting a very squishy piece of foam under and around the battery to absorb vibrations. I was having a big problem with that before I figured it out. At any significant bump, the battery would somehow lose power for a millisecond which would cause the wireless console to lose its paired connection to the motor. I tried many things which didn't work until I put that nice piece of foam underneath and around the battery, which immediately and permanently fixed it. Never had a problem with that since. The only other issue is the occasional broken spoke because of the bumpy roads we live on and the relatively heavy weight of the wheel (I have the 750W). You do want to keep the wheel relatively true with good spoke tension, otherwise it throws off the torque sensor and it doesn't respond like it should. But other than that it has proven to be a bulletproof unit, I've ridden up long hills in the hot summer at 27 mph and it never had an issue.

You need to experiment with the customized settings to find out what works best for you and your bike. The offset value in particular was important on my bike in getting a good smooth consistent response from the torque sensor. You can change the settings yourself wirelessly from your computer to come up with what works best for you and your bike and then those can be reset as the default settings so you don't have to set them each time with your computer. Falco did it on the phone with me but the dealer can probably do it for you. Good luck.

Regards,

James

Thanks. I just got it home and I'm ready to take it out. Fingers crossed... :)
 

James-Spokane

New Member
I never have ridden a center drive but my understanding is that they are typically rated a lot less power (ie. 250W), but that power does get leveraged through the gears, unlike a direct drive like mine which puts power directly to the back wheel. So, although your battery might last longer on a mid-drive if doing that hill regularly, I'm doubtful there would be any significant speed advantage on a hill between a 250W mid drive vs 750W direct drive. On the flat, however, the 750W direct drive will be faster and smoother I believe. However, if you got a bigger center drive motor than yes, of course it is possible to be faster on the hill etc. One advantage to a mid drive would be that the weight is not in the wheel, so acceleration without the motor (ie. just pedaling) would likely be slightly better.

So if the hill is your only consideration and is the main place you ride, then maybe the mid-drive would be the better choice. But there are some distinct advantages with a direct drive overall (and especially with the falco I'm familiar with)- the almost perfect quietness of operation (I think you're going to have some constant noise with the mid-drive), the smoothness, simplicity and inherent longevity of the motor, the ability to do regenerative braking and put energy back in the battery while slowing you down, avoiding problems associated with putting motor power through the bicycle drive-train when it may not really be designed to take that power, and the ability with the falco unit to not have am artificially low speed limit built in to the controller (ie. 18 or 20mph like many bikes and kits have these days). I would never buy a bike or kit with that kind of limiting factor. There are so many places where you want to at least go a little faster and it would be very frustrating to consistently have the motor cut out at that speed. I love the Falco for offering that "off road" option.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I never have ridden a center drive but my understanding is that they are typically rated a lot less power (ie. 250W), but that power does get leveraged through the gears, unlike a direct drive like mine which puts power directly to the back wheel. So, although your battery might last longer on a mid-drive if doing that hill regularly, I'm doubtful there would be any significant speed advantage on a hill between a 250W mid drive vs 750W direct drive. On the flat, however, the 750W direct drive will be faster and smoother I believe. However, if you got a bigger center drive motor than yes, of course it is possible to be faster on the hill etc. One advantage to a mid drive would be that the weight is not in the wheel, so acceleration without the motor (ie. just pedaling) would likely be slightly better.

So if the hill is your only consideration and is the main place you ride, then maybe the mid-drive would be the better choice. But there are some distinct advantages with a direct drive overall (and especially with the falco I'm familiar with)- the almost perfect quietness of operation (I think you're going to have some constant noise with the mid-drive), the smoothness, simplicity and inherent longevity of the motor, the ability to do regenerative braking and put energy back in the battery while slowing you down, avoiding problems associated with putting motor power through the bicycle drive-train when it may not really be designed to take that power, and the ability with the falco unit to not have am artificially low speed limit built in to the controller (ie. 18 or 20mph like many bikes and kits have these days). I would never buy a bike or kit with that kind of limiting factor. There are so many places where you want to at least go a little faster and it would be very frustrating to consistently have the motor cut out at that speed. I love the Falco for offering that "off road" option.
Many tradeoffs to consider! Thank you.

The hill is my primary problem. I only have 2 poor options. If I take the 18% grade road, I can avoid traffic. However, I must take a fire road that crosses a mountain lion den with two cubs. I would have to walk the bike through the park. I run in the park. I have seen cougar tracks twice in the past two weeks. Needless to say, I have stopped running in the park, although I love the park.

My only other option is a 10% grade hill with at 35mph limit. The downhill coasting speed is over 45mph, so the regenerative braking would make the brakes last longer.

However, the uphill is problematic. No bike lane! I would have to ride with the traffic in the right hand lane. Someone will run me off the road. I could pedal up the sidewalk, but I could get arrested for that.

Do you have any idea what the highest uphill speed for 210 pounds on a 10% grade, for about 1 mile would be?
Would you suspect any overheating issues on a 80-90F degree day?
 

James-Spokane

New Member
Many tradeoffs to consider! Thank you.

The hill is my primary problem. I only have 2 poor options. If I take the 18% grade road, I can avoid traffic. However, I must take a fire road that crosses a mountain lion den with two cubs. I would have to walk the bike through the park. I run in the park. I have seen cougar tracks twice in the past two weeks. Needless to say, I have stopped running in the park, although I love the park.

My only other option is a 10% grade hill with at 35mph limit. The downhill coasting speed is over 45mph, so the regenerative braking would make the brakes last longer.

However, the uphill is problematic. No bike lane! I would have to ride with the traffic in the right hand lane. Someone will run me off the road. I could pedal up the sidewalk, but I could get arrested for that.

Do you have any idea what the highest uphill speed for 210 pounds on a 10% grade, for about 1 mile would be?
Would you suspect any overheating issues on a 80-90F degree day?

Well, if you put it on a higher setting on a true 10% slope (10ft rise per 100 distance, right?) and pedal hard with it, I'm guessing maybe 10-13 mph, but that is just a rough guess. I checked Google elevation gain on the steepest hill in our city (Carnahan Rd) and it is 10% exactly for about 1/2 mile (between about 900 S and 1700 S). I should go try it sometime and see what it will do speed-wise. Maybe I'll do that in the next few days when I ride and let you know. As far as motor overheating, I would maybe cut back the assist to a little lower setting on really hot days just to be sure. But you could just try it at the highest setting and if the motor gets too hot it will shut down before damage occurs.

One other thing- I've studied the available battery chemistries a bit and it seems like the Lithium Manganese (LiMn) are the safest and best ones, and they happen to be a lot lighter per energy than the more common Lipo's. Lipo (Lithium Poly Iron Phosphate I think) are cheaper and are rated to give more total cycles per life than the LiMn but are heavier and potentially not as safe. When you would be stressing the battery pretty hard on hot days on that hill I would really consider going with the safer chemistry, just to drastically reduce the chance of any kind of overheating and battery fire. Most likely with a good quality motor and controller the motor would shutdown before the battery got to that critical point, but it would just give you extra insurance against ever having something catastrophic happen out there. Falco's batteries are all LiMn for this reason but you can get LiMn from other manufacturers as well.