eLofty Direct Drives: A Tearful Start With A Very Happy Ending

Originally published at: http://esk8.news/elofty-direct-drives-a-tearful-start-with-a-very-happy-ending/

The movie starts with me looking longingly at the upcoming Torqueboards Direct Drive motors for the 87th time and then kicking some dirt in a vacant lot. The camera then goes P.O.V. and looks into the vast, yawning emptiness of my wallet. We hear a sad slide whistle. Then it’s back to me as I look resignedly at the eLofty Direct Drives for the 87th time, shrug palms up, and make my fateful decision. Then the dumb movie theme device ends and the review starts.

It all started with an eBay listing that showed a feature image of the motors, a set of ABEC adapters, an RKP hanger, and two “bacon strip” all-terrain wheels (described as not included). There were other photos in the listing that showed Kegel adapters and a TKP hanger, but I assumed those were options. Since I had a set of ABEC 107s just itching to be used, I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger.

An obstacle appears.

(Yes, I lied. I’m still doing the movie thing. Shut up. It’s my review.)

Later in the day, I decided that I better make sure I was getting the ABEC and RKP setup, so I messaged the seller. With a language barrier in place on both sides, we then engaged in an epic back-and-forth struggle in which I became even more confused with what I was getting or perhaps more importantly, what I wasn’t getting. There was no winner. I shared some of it on the builder’s forum, so others could enjoy my pain and torment me for my apparent foolishness.

In spite of all that, eLofty was amazing with their willingness to help, the lightning responses I received (we share a time zone), and the impressive patience they displayed with my befuddled self. That was my first glimpse that the seller was not just selling one-off stuff to make a quick buck, but was in it for the long haul.

So on the messaging went (62 replies in all), and over the course of the next few days, it turned out that what I was getting was Kegel adapters, a TKP motor hanger, and a TKP front hanger. Time to scramble for wheels and baseplates. Thanks to a friend I scored a set of Popocas locally and I found some really subpar TKP trucks and repurposed the kingpin and plates. I also bought a pair of esc-side easy connectors from the same seller. You’ll want them.

To say that my experience with eLofty got off to a rocky beginning would be a supreme understatement. But the weather was about to change for the better.

Shipping was really quick (another good sign), and before I knew it, they were in hand. As luck would have it, I had managed to kill 3 of my 4 vescs in the previous week (I’m really smart, experienced, and talented), so I hooked them up to, of all things, a Diyeboard 1.1 ESC. Yes, the one with the decent acceleration curve and the worst brakes in esk8 history. (Cue the Sleeping Lion comments.)

With a feeling of resignation and low expectations, I headed out for my first ride with the eLofty Direct Drives.

Love conquers all.

Five minutes later, I was actually laughing internally at what I was experiencing. The power came on smooth and strong, the torque was plentiful and controllable, and the brakes were linear and powerful. All this using an absolute porta-potty of an ESC.

The next day, I took them on both directions of my usual 22km route. There’s a great mix of bumpy sidewalk, tricky overpass inclines, long stretches of smooth tarmac, poorly-placed construction plates,  a short section of what appears to be WWII-era London, and and one awful little steep hill with virtually no run-up and a nasty turn at mid-point.

I hadn’t really done much turning and carving with the first run, and these are the widest trucks I‘ve ever ridden. But much to my surprise, I loved the extra width and found confident turning, good tracking and impressive comfort. Sure, the Popocas deserve some of the credit, but this was good stuff.

The acceleration also continued to impress me. I weigh 220 with nothing on but my tutu and tiara, so I’m not the easiest bag of meat to get moving. I usually kickstart to save battery and take the burden off my motors, but I didn’t need to do that with the eLofty setup. Even running unsensored, I had little problem getting underway. With some of my other boards, I’m always wishing for more of one thing and less of another. But with the eLofty, I was able to dial the performance in and out exactly to my wishes and it responded to my every whim. (I am often whimsical.)

A villian surfaces.

It handled the overpass inclines with no issue whatsoever and before I knew it, I was faced with my greatest nemesis: the shitty little steep hill. On my other boards, I can get up this but only crawling forward with great drama, whinging, and reluctance. With the eLofty drives, it was like going through a wall of wet tissue paper with a bulldozer, and we emerged victorious at the top, hugging each other in glory, and shaking our fists in derision at our vanquished foe.

These motors have literally turned my frown upside-down, and couldn’t be more pleased to have them in hand. I could be happy with them and the Hitler’s butthole ESC as a daily driver, so I can’t imagine what they will be like with proper VESCs. They have quickly become my #1 option, and my other planned builds have faded into the distance. (I’ll still do them as I have no life, but it sounded more dramatic the other way.)

Secrets are revealed.

Now, to be fair, there are some things that need improving.

  • The front axle is bit too short so it doesn’t leave a lot of room for the nut (but enough), and it has an odd notch (akin to a keyway) after the threading. Which makes getting the bearing past it harder than it should be.
  • The rear axle is a bit too long, and I think the milling could be a little more precise. One of my bearings got stuck and I needed to pull it out with twine.
  • The paint on one of the cans was good, but the other was a bit spotty. (Personally, I don’t really care about this, but there are folks with a far greater aesthetic interest.)
  • The motor wires are a bit thin. They are uncomfortably close to the size of the sensor wires.

The soaring conclusion.

The eLofty Direct Drives are not only worth the money, they’re worth your money. The initial lows I experienced have given way to impressive highs, and as time goes on, these motors go from strength-to-strength.

I also became a fan of the seller/manufacturer, who could have taken the easy road and instead of answering my numerous questions, thrown me a wordless refund. Instead, they not only came through in every way I expect a company to deliver, but in ways I didn’t really expect.

At some point, I want to try the Torqueboards Direct Drives to see how they compare, and I won’t be surprised if they are not only as good, but a good bit better. But the real question for me is this: will they be twice as good for roughly twice the price? I can’t possibly see how, but I’m fine with being proved wrong.

Until I have the answer to that question, I’ll be riding off into the sunset on my eLofty Direct Drives wearing a big shit-eating grin on my face, and I strongly suggest you do the same.

I will be updating this piece later on when I can properly feed these motors from my pair of FocBoxes because I want to see what they can do with decent gear, and they deserve better than an ebay ESC. So please check back.


Fade to black.

Credits roll.

Well written man




I came twice


She said… That’s it… lol


Noice review. Awaiting feedback after good amount of miles done :love_you_gesture:


Infotaining! If that’s not a word, well now it is.

I look forward to your updates with VESC based ESCs.


I put in the 75KV and 150mm Bergmeister wheels into the esk8 calculator.
Max speed:
10s li-ion: 65km/h :open_mouth:
12s li-ion: 78km/h :grimacing:

Seems like 10s could be a nice combo, but a lower KV version would be much appreciated. I wonder what would be the best trucks to pair this with for stability at those speeds.

In any case, I’m glad the world has an affordable direct drive now! Let’s just hope no wires fry or magnets get loose over time :smile:

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Actually, you also have to think about the net voltage under load. Like when you are going up a hill or on non smooth roads/terrain. Under those conditions the top speed drops significantly. So that KV, might just work out well. I am planning to use these with AliExpress 6x2 wheels.

BTW, I just ordered a pair of elofty. Can’t wait to hold them in my hands.


Wonderful read that. Now theres something else I want…thanks.


Uhh I can’t keep adding drive kits to my collection

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Dude, I know them pockets deep. I am envious, as my only source of income is donating sperm to the @Brenternet “bank.”


Thanks for saying that and for the picture. Good to see that they didn’t send the xmas coloured bushings I’ve seen in some of their listings.

I hope they pass the sniff test. Pins and needles here.


Yup, that’s the prototype version that fooled me. I was so innocent then…

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It looks alright gents but is it worth the money at $150 less than Dexter’s?


if they sold the motors separately i would consider it

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I was just going off that website price link.


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The eBay price (where I got them) is $319 and it’s the same here:

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For the link that you gave above, including shipping to USA it’s $348.

We got it at a good time. If we did a group buy I am sure we can get sub 300 shipped to each person.


What are those grey wheels? Me wants. What diameter?