Doing Due Diligence Sucks But Is Required

Because Instant Gratification Can Be Very Expensive.

The electric skateboard world is a damn quagmire sometimes. OK, most times.

I’m interested in the Unlimited drivetrain but not to the extent I’ll plunk money down on something so new with so few owner reports behind it.

Over at their Kickstarter comment page, things continue to raise questions about this company’s longevity, never mind the product itself.

Today, via Reddit, I learned a bit about the history of the hub motors Unlimited is using, via the eSk8builders forum.

And that part of the story is not good.

Quoting:

Approach with caution guys.

These are the exact same hubs esk8hubs had up for sale last year which failed for a lot of reasons.

In fact we paid thousands to have these made for pulseboards but that’s another story.

[. . .]

Original build thread using these hubs. I cant explain in detail but just trust me when I say you should avoid these like the plague. They may work for some but th way the universal cone is built some of you will have the phase wires tear from the cone attachment holding the motors to the trucks because it may come loose.

The manufacturer also is Sunray. Same manufacturer many of the Chinese motors come from. Don’t believe me? Send them a message and ask em

Any who, lots of drama behind this and I cant say more or I’ll explode. Lol

Good luck for those who do buy them and may the esk8 force be with you.

P.s. this doesnt mean they aren’t good motors, it just means that they are not exactly DIY or plug n play friendly. They also don’t like FOC.

Last quoted message from the person I dmed back and forth on here, he said “the motors are shit and I threw them out” .

Boldfaced emphasis added by me. Pay attention to that.

The manufacturer, Sunray, has one of the crappiest websites I’ve ever seen. This is 2018. How is something that bad even allowed on the Internet?

To top things off, there’s a version of robbing Peter to pay Paul going on too. From several sources, I’ve been told that Kickstarter backers are being given lower priority over full-paying customers. So, for instance, if I were to place an order, I’d get a kit before a backer! This is apparently so the profit from a sale can go towards fulfilling orders for the backers.

That just doesn’t sit well with my conscience.

On the one hand, I’d be helping backers get their kits. On the other hand, I’d feel like a line-jumper.

Plus, if things are that financially constrained over at Unlimited, what does that say about the ability of the company to stay in business? Are they counting on people posting to YouTube and Reddit to spread the word? They’re in for a hell of a surprise if they think that can save them. There are very few sources at either site I would trust. It took me months to cut through the jungle of bullshit to conclude that the Onan Booster X2 was utter junk to be avoided. With well-poisoning like that, how could Unlimited ever think similar hype — even if the user reports are 100% true — can save them?

And… the product itself shares the sketchiness revealed the eSk8builders forum. Here is Unlimited themselves saying so on the Kicktarter comment page:

We have received comments from a few people where the motor has spun damaging the wires. Under normal conditions this is not covered by warranty as it is an user-error by not installing the motor properly. If the motor is installed properly it WILL NOT SPIN over the truck hanger, as the gripping torque capacity that the system provides is about a hundred times (or more) the torque capacity of the motor, meaning, it is totally fixed to the hanger in every way.

That said, we have changed the motor to these few people since they are Kickstarter backers (and will continue to do so as long as it is reasonable for us and we have inventory) and it is a way for us to show you guys that we really appreciate all your patience and support through this journey.

More info for all of you that have kits or want to try the powertrain in other boards:

The motor is designed to grip onto the truck hanger when all hardware provided is used AND the nut is tightened hard (please read the manual, there is an image showing the hardware and the order). If you don’t have a torque-meter, use the skate-tool we provided (or a small 1/4 drive ratchet tool, if you have one) and tighten it HARD, the tool does not have a too-long lever so you will not damage the nut this way (unless you are very strong). If you over tighten the nut you can damage it and cause the motor to spin (it will feel soft and not tight), so pay attention, but it is not really difficult to do it properly.

To remove the motor, just use the skateboard tool provided and undo the nut just as you do for any standard skateboard wheel. MAKE SURE to get all the hardware too and safely store it together with your motor, as you will need it to install the motor in whatever other truck you are thinking of.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Ummmm… so they’ve just confirmed what was stated in the eSk8builders forum!

You know, that’s a problem that could be solved if Unlimited would offer the option of installing the damn things on a truck to begin with. I understand people favor certain trucks. Fine. But offer a damn option where people can either send in the truck they want or Unlimited buys and installs onto the truck for them. Installation would, of course, cost extra — which would mean more profit to help the Kickstarter backers finally get theirs — but it’d then have to be covered by warranty. So is Unlimited trying to skirt warranty because there’s an inherent design flaw?

Raising questions like this is what due diligence is meant to do.

And due diligence is made even more difficult because people don’t like to admit they’ve been suckered. People gave Onan the benefit of the doubt for months before admitting they wasted their money on something that was irredeemable junk.

And, even worse, the number of variables involved in problems just expands. Was it a bad batch? Was it an anomaly? Was it a design flaw to begin with? Was the company lying to begin with? (Lies from companies are all over the place in the electric skateboard market!) And so on.

I am thisclose to admitting I’ll be without an electric skateboard of the type I want for this year. Summer is ending, the night temperatures are dropping, and sunset is happening minutes earlier each day.

But that’s fine. I want to buy something I won’t regret.

So far, I’m not seeing anything out there.

Previously here:

Ride Unlimited’s Electric Skateboard Drive
Reference: eSkateboard Weight Frustration, Again
Today Was BoardUp Research Day
Reference: eSkateboard Weight Frustration
Mellow Drive On A Folding Skateboard
The In-Progress Eon eSkateboard Kit
eSkateboards category

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8 Responses to Doing Due Diligence Sucks But Is Required

  1. I see your point but I feel blaming the spin damage on unlimited is just utterly unjustified… I have an unlimited kit myself and I’ve changed my motors between trucks like 5-6 time by now and it has been fine every single time. If anything it’s a flaw with the user not tightening the motor enough (which isn’t even hard?) so i don’t understand your argument there and besides if you do order a complete from them everything is already assembled and you just power on and cruise. Easy peasy mate and so far the kit works flawlessly and wonderfully only real complaint would be the battery dosen’t hold up as suggested maybe as most really.

  2. Ekmopon says:

    Unlimited R-kit owner here. I haven’t had any problems with installation at all, and tightening the motors is easy. That said, motors that can spin loose and damage wires seems like a big design flaw, even if it isn’t a major issue for most riders.
    So far I’m really happy with it!

  3. MyName says:

    To whomever might be reading this blog, please also see the reddit thread about this.

    This blog post is highly speculative without any real proof that the motors are the same.

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