The much awaited Shimano EP8 motor dropped today and it is taking the eMTB space by storm. eMTBikers are an insatiable bunch — always salivating for lighter, sleeker, more powerful tech — and the sprightly Shimano EP8 does not disappoint.
This motor is an upgrade from the Shimano STEPS E8000 with more power and less weight. The EP8 has a whopping 85Nm of torque but only weighs 2.6Kg (300g less than the E8000) so riders get accelerated speed and increased power with minimal weight. Shimano is all about providing the ultimate riding experience which is why the EP8 is designed to let you ride harder for longer — up hills, down canyons, or along your local bike trail. The EP8 also features a magnesium casing which reduces both motor width and volume by an estimated 10%. A few key upgrades in software functionality give the motor a more natural feel out on the trails. Shimano’s E-Tube Ride and E-Tube Project apps allow riders to customize the three support modes to match rider weight, terrain, anticipated distance and desired torque at each level.
EP8 (DU-EP800) Features:
85Nm torque (vs. 75Nm on the STEPS E8000)
2.6kg motor weight (vs. 2.9kg on the STEPS E8000)
Magnesium drive unit casing is lighter
Hollowtech crank spindle boosts stiffness
Decreased pedal drag by 36%
20% increased range in Eco mode (holds motor torque to 30Nm)
Enhanced cooling fins better manage heat so the motor can operate at max torque without overheating or affecting performance
Quieter: more inline with the E7000 for total noise output
Narrower 177mm Q-factor
Same mounting pattern as E8000 and E7000
XT-Level crank arms don’t require axle spacers
Crank arms available in 160mm, 165mm, 170mm and 175mm lengths
New SW-EM800L remote has concave buttons for added comfort and control
Compatible with Shimano’s 603Wh or 504Wh batteries
Software upgrades boost power for more torque per assist level
Boost mode: 20Nm of rider power = 85Nm motor torque
Trail mode: 60Nm of rider power = 85Nm motor torque
Eco mode: 30Nm motor torque for extended range
Torque can be customized in the E-Tube Project app
Multiple rider profiles can be set for different assistance based on anticipated riding
Profiles can be switched on the display while riding
Ride history and live maps features now included in E-Tube app
Ride details now automatically sync with Strava
Shimano has designed the EP8 to be ultimately customizable which makes it a great option for both high-tech MTB terrain where you want every bit of that extra power, as well as longer trekking or urban rides. Since riders can adjust the assist in each level — and create multiple profiles that can be changed on the fly — the EP8 will support extended rides where the assist is set low so you have just enough umph to get you and your gear over the next pass. The customization options make the EP8 a great option for all kinds of riders and all kinds of rides.
Our Favorite Features:
New Display & Concave Remote buttons
The EM800 display is new with the EP8 — although it looks nearly identical to the display matched with the STEPS E8000. This display has good visibility in both high and low-light conditions so you can read it in full sun out on the trails or back in your dim garage. The main changes to this display are internal — it has a faster chip and syncs easier with smartphones or GPS devices such as Garmin or Wahoo.
The new EM-800L remote tidies up the cockpit by repositioning the concave buttons so they are easier to reach — this design also creates a more streamlined look on the left grip.
Updated E-TUBE Apps
The Shimano STEPS E8000 introduced the E-TUBE apps which allow riders to customize power output. The updated version of both apps sync with the EM800 display for added customization options.
E-Tube Project App
Shimano E-Tube Project allows riders to wirelessly customize assist settings, update firmware, and identify and fix errors.
The updated version of this app has two ride profiles that can be selected on the handlebar display.
Power output, assist support and sensitivity are configured in the app (on your phone).
Provides Walk Assist
This app is designed for daily riding — and works as a computer display while you ride, recording route, maps, and riding metrics. This supplements the handlebar display with more information and navigation.
Great for high-power mountain biking; also works well for Trekking or Urban commutes
Shimano has designed the EP8 to be ultimately customizable which makes it a great option for both high-tech MTB terrain where you want every bit of extra power, as well as longer trekking or urban rides. Since riders can adjust the assist in each level — and create two profiles that can be changed on the fly — the EP8 will also support extended rides where the assist is set low so you have just enough umph to get you and your gear over the next pass. Trekkers and urban riders will use the Eco setting more, while trail and mountain bikers will favor the Trail and Boost modes.
Quieter — Uphill
The E7000 motor is quieter than the more powerful E8000 and somehow Shimano has provided even more power in the EP8 while reducing noise output roughly equal to the E7000. This motor is very subtle on flat and even moderate uphill ground. At higher torque output the EP8 creates a bit more whirring noise — but it is still quieter than the E8000. There is also more noise working downhill as the internal gear box can make a clunking sound over boulders and other drops, but the power is managed nicely despite a bit of background noise.
Smaller But More Powerful
The new EP8 motor is lighter and slimmer than previous models but still adds more torque. You get more riding power on a smaller motor that is tucked up underneath the frame which creates more ground clearance while riding. The added power is especially noticeable in Boost mode, but can be customized per each rider’s weight and anticipated terrain.
Overall Comparison Shimano EP8 with the STEPS 8000
The STEPS 8000 is over four years old, so an upgrade was due from Shimano. And, in true Shimano fashion, this new motor provides much needed features that are impressive and timely. Regardless of the assist you choose — or how you customize them — the EP8 provides more power and a smoother feel while riding. Especially useful to MTB riders is the customization option that allows users to dial down assist in Trail mode and add more in Boost. For those of us who only need a touch or two of supplemental power most of the time, this extends range while retaining that added jolt in Boost when it’s needed. This customization option also allows those who want to use the EP8 for trekking or extended urban commutes to extend range by mitigating preset power settings.
The added torque can be felt in all assist levels and this makes a huge difference especially considering the reduced size and weight. Power is also released smoothly and with more control so Boost won’t throw you off the mountain or cause the back tire to spin out.
The new Shimano EP8 is a powerful and sporty motor with a strong Boost mode, more torque at every level, and easier to handle and control than the STEPS 8000. This motor is sleek, provides more clearance, and is quieter on flat and uphill terrain. We look forward to a full ride report in the near future! P.S. Don’t forget to join the Electric Bike Report community for updates from the electric bike world, plus ebike riding and maintenance tips!