Whether it's upgrading your bike to a moped or getting a new motor for your lawn care equipment, you want to ensure you choose the best electric motor available. You may not understand the terms used for electric motors and what those terms mean for your application, so note a few simple suggestions. This will ensure you get the right motor that will work best for you.
1. Torque versus horsepower
For a bike, riding lawnmower and the like, you may be interested in horsepower or the speed the motor can provide. This is very important as the higher the horsepower, the faster the wheels of the equipment will turn.
However, torque is very important if your motor will be attached to anything heavy or if you will be towing something. Torque is the force needed to make an object spin, meaning the drive of the motor itself. A motor with higher torque will be stronger and able to manage more weight or towing, even though it may not make the wheels spin faster. If you're going to be hauling a trailer with your bike or will be running your mower through thick, tall grass, you want a motor with more torque.
2. Intermittent duty versus continuous duty
A continuous duty motor is meant to run for long periods of time, whereas an intermittent duty motor is meant for frequent stops and starts. The continuous duty motor might have a stronger or larger fan and other cooling options, as it's more likely to get very warm when it's run continuously. The intermittent duty motor, because it's meant to be started up again and again, will usually have better wiring in the starter so that it doesn't fail from these continuous, repetitive demands.
Consider how you will use the motor; for a motorbike, you might start it and run it for a long time as you get from one destination to another. However, for a lawnmower, elevator, power tools and the like, the motor may need to constantly stop and then start working again.
Note the motor enclosure. For lawnmowers that are subject to wet grass and other debris or for industrial applications in areas with lots of dust, you need a solid casing or housing. For a motorbike that isn't subjected to so much debris and which might keep the motor running continuously, you may prefer a housing with vents for added cooling.