Bussin Sportster | DIY take an on Onsra

This is one of those stories where the goal was to build a simple board, but things kept breaking and I had to keep rebuilding it until in the end I got something inferior to a prebuilt for 2x the price. So follow along and learn from my mistakes!

This board is meant for my youngest brother. The only requirements were:

  • enough range to commute to school
  • dual drive
  • rideable in the rain

He liked the Bustin Sportster deck, and learned how to longboard the summer prior on it, so that + eboosted’s enclosure was the base for this build.

Version 1 - go cheap af

I repurposed the 90mm Olin Popoca wheels from my other brother’s board, as well as BN motor mounts from two previous boards. I also built a 10s3p NESE with 30Qs that was sitting around, bought from @malJohann a few years back. I went with e-caliber trucks, thinking he’d be light enough to not need anything better, but unfortunately they were already slightly bent, which caused the pulleys to scratch. A speed-ring solved that issue, but I definitely wanted to replace the hanger. Also I’m using anti-sink plates I got for free from @3DServisas. Thank you! :heart:

Pictures will help with explaining, so let’s get some going:

I’m using MT-30 connectors for the phase wires, and these 6-pin connectors for the sensors:

The screw part comes loose since it’s plastic against plastic, but a small bit of duct-tape fixes that. These connectors are epoxied into the side of the enclosure. A large downside is how long the connectors extend – this ended up biting me in the ass later.

I also made the LED connector hole too big. Was supposed to be for an XT-30, but now an XT-60 fits. Lol.

Now let’s look at the internals of the board:

There’s a lot going on here! As you can see, I had to crimp a bunch of small series connections for the NESE pack since the enclosure is segmented. (I put fishpaper on the enclosure to avoid any abrasion.) I’m using a 10s Daly BMS for balancing, and a Flipsky smart enhanced antispark on top. Then there’s two Maker X Min-FOC+, a Metr module, mini remote receiver, and a buck converter! The buck converter goes to a sim card based GPS tracker, and a switch that toggles LED lights in the front and back.

Let’s pause and look at where I drilled holes for the power button, charge port, and led switch. Yup, at the front of the deck. That was not intentional, I just fucked up when I was drilling. Since I had space with the NESE modules, I decided to keep them there, and epoxied the buttons in. (This will end up biting me in the ass later.)

Now let’s take a look at the FUCKING SICK led lights this board has!

These are COB LED strips epoxied onto the sides of the deck. I used a ton of rubber bands to achieve this:

Unfortunately, what I didn’t foresee is that when you store your board sitting on the nose, there’s a lot of force pressing down, and the front LED strip got destroyed in days :cry:

One thing you might have noticed by now, is how I did the inserts for this deck. I was tired of using the screw-in inserts, so I went with barrels that slide in from the top. Unfortunately the concave of the bottom and top of the deck don’t match, so the inserts don’t sit flush, and the bolts don’t always come out of the enclosure holes perfectly, so some washers end up sitting on the sides, and some bolts are completely missing :see_no_evil:

Drivetrain issues

  • On these mounts you adjust the belt tension using an idler. But this means the other side of the belt can be loose and skip. So I drilled new holes and had Kevin send me some extra idlers. No more skipping :slight_smile:
  • These mounts hold their angle using friction. They can slide down until the bolts hit the end of the clamp gap. To solve this I drilled new holes in the mounts for new bolts that would already sit at the end of this gap. Now the mounts stay fixed in place. (As you can see though, motor clearance isn’t the best. Motors get smashed going up and down curbs :confused: )
  • One of the motors had a faulty temperature sensor. It would occasionally report over 300 degrees C and then that motor would refuse to work. I have a TODO item to add a toggle in vesc tool to ignore temperature sensors, but in the meantime I just unplugged that wire.
  • My little brother was starting to grow tall and big, and these hangers were not going to survive in the long run. They were bending.

Remote issues

  • The mini remote is just not reliable. My friend who used to use one + this build have had random cutouts with it.

LED issues

  • The LEDs would occasionally stop working. I never got to the bottom of it, but based off another build that had this issue, I think the buck converters I’m using have shitty wires that break off when under stress and vibration.

Usability issues

  • How do you pick up a reverse-mounted board with no handle at the back? You gotta use two hands and pick up the whole board, it sucks!
  • Range was not enough. 10s3p got my brother 15km of range. To successfully complete our group rides you need 15 for the ride + extra to get there and back. So I would have to build a new battery for this board…

Version 2 - TB Direct Drives

I bought a steel Radium hanger for TB direct drives that I had. That + a duck handle should solve the issue with carrying the thing. Front uses a BN220 hanger.

I did a 3-way wheel swap with @Rudi and @RDs to get my hands on some Onsra 115mm rubber airless wheels. (They’re really comfy.) Now this build will really be rideable in the rain + my brother didn’t want pneumatics. Nor could we do that without running into wheelbite issues.

But most importantly – I had to build a new battery. With the buttons in the front, and the back full of electronics, I did not have space for a 12s P42A battery. I could have gone 10s, but I was transitioning my entire board fleet to 12s so that my family didn’t have to pay attention to what chargers we use. So I got busy playing li-ion cell jenga, and I came up with the following layout:

12s4p with 18650 cells :sunglasses: This will let me put the enclosure on with butyl tape since no thick gasket will be required. I ordered reclaimed VTC6 cells for cheap, dremelled leftover welds from them, and built the thing:

I’m using an LLT BMS from Apex so that I can monitor the cell voltages / diagnose battery problems. Must have for any board that’s made water-tight with butyl tape, since taking that off SUCKS. Also you’ll notice that I have closed-cell neopreme foam around the battery modules, and beneath them. This is to prevent them from sliding around, and adds another layer of protection. Took a while, but it’s nice :slight_smile:

Looking at the insides, the changes this time are:

  • No buck converter yet
  • ESC is now a MakerX DV6 for more power
  • Robogotchi with a Metr GPS module (did not work)
  • Flipsky VX1 Pro
  • GPS tracker was replaced with an airtag
  • Battery is fused
  • External panel-mount XT-90 for connecting another battery pack in parallel for INCREASED RANGE

As you can see, I’m routing the sensor wires above the enclosure, because guess what – the connectors were too long so they were touching the direct drives :see_no_evil:

My friend rode the board to a group ride. Seemed alright, although we ran out of battery at the end. Then I rode it once to test something, and it was a pretty rainy day, and I was still using the jank neopreme foam as the only gasket.

The board thermal throttled on me in 3 minutes time. Later in the city, one motor completely refused to work. I thought I had killed something with water damage, but it turns out the ESC just forgot its motor config. Nice. Also there definitely was a bit of muddy water on the inside when I opened it. Luckily the kapton over the battery caught most of it.

I don’t know what’s up with these drives, but they’ve been nothing but a headache for me since I bought them. I’ll be putting them up for sale later, but for now I knew one thing – I needed another drivetrain swap. Also the VX1 Pro cut out on me on the next ride (had no signal for a whole 5 seconds), so I don’t trust that thing either. Also up for sale soon.

Version 3 - Go expensive

I put a set of Savage TKP trucks on this board. It’s the only drivetrain I had that would give the motors enough clearance so that they’d be finally safe.

The trucks also have a grab-handle, which is AMAZING. I do wish it was just a solid bar without those waves, but whatever. The front wheels also stick out far enough that you can roll the board completely vertical by the handle – very nice :smiley:

Also I’m running a 15:48 ratio with 330mm belts and there is 0 skipping :blush:

I did run into two problems though. One is that the included locknuts were crap and one got stuck, so I ended up unscrewing the whole axle and then destroying the axle to get my wheel back :sweat_smile:

And another problem is that the clamps for the mounts just slide onto the hanger – the only thing keeping them from sliding out is the grab-handle, but even that doesn’t do a great job since it’s so far away. It hasn’t been an issue yet, but I can slide the mounts outwards and into the pulleys with not that much force, so it does worry me. I think I’ll buy a long M3-rod and bolt the 2 clamps together with it :laughing:

I also replaced the VX1 Pro with a puck. My brother hates the form factor, but hopefully a poastmote or batwing shell will make him happier.

I modified the antispark switch to have a 10kOhm resistor across the output, because the switch was constantly turning back on after a shutdown on me. Now that problem is fixed :slight_smile:

Oh, and I cleaned up the inside of the enclosure of course:

There are a couple of changes I haven’t done yet, but want to mention under this section:

  • Replace the barrel inserts with countersunk bolts from the top, and use washers and locknuts on the bottom. Then replace the griptape.
  • Get front lights sorted (waiting for Hoyt on that one)
  • Wire in the step-down converter for the lights
  • Replace the Robogotchi with Metr CAN + SD + GPS
  • Replace the airtag with Metr LTE
  • Use butyl tape to waterseal the board of course


  • Don’t do DIY unless you have a good reason to do so lol.

I wish I had more pictures of the history of this board to share, but my phone died, so here are some beautiful pictures of Autumn in Sigulda from today. This was my first test ride of the board in its current form, and it performed really well, except for the range – I only got 15kms :sob: Anyway, enjoy! :slight_smile:


Haven’t read through it all yet but looks dope as hell. Really like the lights.



It’s a GMMK Pro with some aliexpress keycaps, and zealios v2 switches :slight_smile:


What a saga :rofl: how good is diy :rofl:


How are those wheels when compared to just thane wheels? comfort, range, and whatever else is important. I’ve been looking at those or very similar wheels for a bit as they look like a good in between of going full tube tires and thane.

I had a similar issue but with under the board LEDs that died in maybe about a month? possibly less

Can you not just pick the board up from the middle with one arm? I do it all the time and while using both arms is easier, it isn’t exactly hard to use the one even with my weak shoulders. Typically, I’ll get a less than ideal grip/ board position but then I throw it up and catch it to fix how I’m holding it. Great for when you just want to get done grocery shopping fast. Not great when it becomes a habit and you do it a week after severely injuring your arm and shoulder.

Although I am also too short to be able to comfortably use a grab bar at the back of my board anyway. Even just carrying it by the back truck is uncomfortable/ awkward.

I have a set of those wheels on my BKB Duo…with 10S battery, I am 240lbs…I love them.

They suck up the battery…but 10miles around the neighborhood is about my range, and 20ish is top speed. They are heavy chunks of rubber.

I had them shipped from overseas so my total cost was 167 or so, and I don’t regret it. I sold off the iwonder clouds…

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Do you think they’d perform better at almost half your weight? Also I’m guessing you mean your top speed is 20 and not that the wheels can’t go faster because if that is their top speed then that would be an issue for me.

I was thinking of getting the slightly smaller version that is available at 105mm instead of the 115 mm version. Both made by different companies but they are extremely similar in design.

I am not sure I am comfortable recommending them due to how fast they wear if you ride hard. This is after around 300-350 km riding in total. 150 or so on a low power board, 150-200 km on a high powered one. Only used it in hot weather though.

Other than the wear, the comfort is really good for their size and they grip really well, only flat-ish pneumies around 150-160mm and the stooges are what’s going to beat them in grip I think. They also hold up in the wet.

They butcher your range - when I switched back from the Onsras to PUs, my range went from 45km to 67km for about the same riding style. That’s 50% extra range with PUs!

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I would say yes, just based on physics…less mass. I personally keep it under 20ish…but not at all because of the wheels. Once your are rolling, they are like a flywheel…keep on going.

If you are close to Chicago you could give them a try.

I didn’t know there were 105s avaliable…pm me link?

My roads stink, and these wheels make life less stressful, I am really hoping that the hollow wheels come through as a lighter alternative.

No idea on other’s opinion on them but they look extremely similar to the Onsras wheels but just smaller, different holes, and a different tread pattern.

I am in Texas so it is always hot with very few exceptions, but thanks for letting me know they wear so fast. Not sure if they’re worth it with how much they cost and how little use they’d last for. Which is a shame because of all the designs that weren’t tires they looked the most promising.

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I had the belts set too tight for my test ride. That’s why I only got 15kms of range at 28Wh/km consumption :see_no_evil:

I’ll ride the board some more later this week and report back accurate efficiency numbers.

Comfort wise the wheels are very nice. Grip wise they feel like they’re going to slide out on me when I do turns, but when harshly braking they don’t even skip a beat, so there definitely is grip to them. They work well offroad too. Will be interesting to see how long they last, but so far I highly recommend them if you don’t mind the weight :+1:

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Well, I loosened the belts. Board is nice and quiet now. Unfortunately the efficiency has only gotten worse now that I’ve been using this board to commute (all my other boards are broken lol), which means riding at full speed most of the time :sweat_smile:

I will try to put Evolve 6" wheels on it and see if that makes things better or worse. For summer months I’ll probably put mad wheels on this thing.

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I like the use of the double idlers, I tried to do the same after I read through your post. But I guess my belt is too short for double idlers. I’m at a weird state where I can’t us any amount of idlers without getting new belts, and I just don’t feel like it…

It was interesting seeing this build evolve from something that was finished over night for event and falling to peaces from wet loctite :grin:, to a quite respactable build who’s shortcoming is the history that can’t be undone on the battery side of things. Last iteration not shown here has PU wheels and was quite nice to take for a ride today. If I was you I would stick to onsras or any other PU’s to retain efficiency, then again as a Beer/milk run board it was running great on the 6’s. Looking forward to seeing it in it’s final form. :slightly_smiling_face:


Yeah – I put Evolve 6" wheels on the board to see if I’d get better efficiency out of them compared to the Onsras. And I kinda did! 28Wh/km on my ride to the station, and 24Wh/km during our chill group ride today. So they are slightly better than the Onsra airless, at least for my weight.

Then again, my little brother got 15Wh/km on the Onsra wheels, so it will be interesting to see tomorrow what efficiency he gets with these. Or if he even likes them. I was getting heel-bite, but I suspect that he might not and could prefer the larger wheels. I felt safer on these as well, felt gripper. We will see.

(For anyone planning a similar setup – larger wheels would get wheelbite, so stick to 6" or smaller. I’m using 10mm spacers between the MBS hubs and the Radium 62T pulleys, locknut has just enough axle room to screw on properly. I’m using Riptide 90A Krank (green) tall cone boardside front, regular cone roadside front, barrel-barrel in the back. I weigh 74kg. My little brother is lighter than me, so I swapped to an identical setup but with Krank white for him. He tried WFB but got wobbles and fell :joy: )

Also: For 62T and 15T pulleys you want 370mm belts, for 48T and 15T pulleys you want 330mm belts. Assuming normal motor mount length.


Also god damn do I wish I my LTT screwdriver had shipped. Assembling wheels without a ratcheting screwdriver SUCKS


Dude bravo, i was chuckling at first…then i started laughing at your misfortune, then for the coupe de’tat i came to the battery configuration and my sides were splitting lol. Ill bet you had ppl tell you “buy expensive buy once” or stuff like that and you were just like…meh fuck it. :smile: i felt and could see the frustration taking place getting your wheel back. Ah man that was a good read before bed lol. Hilarious

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Short update!

My brother’s efficiency on the 150mm 6" Evolve wheels was 22Wh/km. That’s only slightly better than what I got, and a lot worse than his efficiency on the Onsras. + the wheels were pumped up to 40bar and he complained that the Onsras were softer and felt better. Also I noticed on my ride that I got a bit of belt skip with the 62T wheel pulleys and normal length motor mounts.

TL;DR: The Onsras win and will be staying on this board!

Also switched to Krank white bushings for my brother, he said he felt a lot more stable on them :slight_smile:


Nice post, I’ve got a bustin deck sitting on the shelf that’s gonna be my next build, I’ve started making an enclosure for it.

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