Shimano has launched an all-new EP600 (EP6) electric bike motor, which the brand claims offers EP8 performance at a more affordable price point.
Shimano’s EP8 motor was released in August 2020 and, as part of this latest launch, the brand’s flagship assistance system has also been upgraded.
Like EP600, EP801, as the new motor system is known in full, can now accept Shimano’s second-generation batteries, features additional accessory ports and gains compatibility with the new Shimano XT HyperGlide+ and LinkGlide Di2 electronic drivetrains, as well as the new CUES Di2 drivetrain for e-commuter bikes.
Shimano says its expanded and upgraded range of electric bike motors is designed to be an “integral part of the new XT Di2 drivetrain systems”. Both systems are also compatible with internal hub gear systems and typical mechanical drivetrains.
Availability and pricing is to be confirmed but Madison, Shimano’s distributor in the UK, has confirmed it will be offering EP6 and the second-generation EP8 motor on new ebikes only, rather than as individual aftermarket components.
Like the original EP8 motor, the new mid-range EP600 drive unit is claimed to feature a maximum torque of 85Nm and has a continuous rated power of 250 watts. The claimed weight is 3kg.
It includes Shimano’s new Free Shift and Auto Shift with Manual Override features.
When you shift, the XT Di2 system prompts the EP drive unit to simultaneously advance the drivetrain at the chainring and make smooth, pedal-less shifts.
Auto Shift with Manual Override takes this concept one step further and automatically shifts your gears for you.
When paired with a compataible Di2 drivetrain, the system is claimed to have the ability to make predictive gear changes based on your speed and cadence.
EP600 also features a Fine Tune mode on Shimano’s eTube app for power profile customisation.
Finally, Shimano has included a CAN port for expanded compatibility with accessories.
EP8 becomes EP801
As part of this launch, the original EP800 (commonly known as EP8) – one of the best electric mountain bike motors available – has been upgraded to EP801.
The new motor features the same software and hardware updates as the second-tier EP600 system, in a lighter package.
Like EP600, EP801 sees compatibility with the new XT HyperGlide+ and LinkGlide Di2 drivetrains.
Once again, Shimano’s Free Shift and Auto Shift with Manual Override functions, along with Fine Tune mode, are available through the eTube app.
It continues to offer 85nM of max torque with a continuous rated power of 250 watts. The system weight is claimed to be 300g lighter than EP600 at 2.7kg.