How to Make a Motorized Off-Road Skateboard

Written by simon breedon
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How to Make a Motorized Off-Road Skateboard

More than a hobby, motorised skateboarding is a growing trend in off-road sports. It doesn't take much to order all of the parts off of craigslist or eBay, or from a hobby store, but the assembly process can be tedious. Follow these instructions and you will be riding in no time.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Standard motorised skateboard package
  • Socket
  • Hex key wrenches set
  • Sawhorses
  • Hammer
  • Clamps
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Hacksaw
  • Drill and bits
  • Metal files
  • Wire stripper
  • Jigsaw and blades
  • Metal

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Collect the parts. If you don't already have a motorised skateboard kit, collecting all of the parts separately either from electronic stores or offline can run you about £227 for everything. There are also motorised skateboard packages sold by hobby stores and online that tend to be pricey but protect you from missing parts during assembly.

  2. 2

    Mount the sprocket. The MBS brake you purchase should come with mounting equipment like spacers and screws. Line the brake rotor up with the sprocket. Drill holes into the sprocket that are perfectly aligned with and that match the pattern of the holes on the rotor.

  3. 3

    Install the support bar. Measure the rear foot strap so that you can cut a notch in the support bar that can fit over the truck. The ends of the board (truck) should be bent up, which will create a visible gap between the truck and the tires. Remove the left flap to make room for brakes which you will attach later. Use a bolt the same diameter as the foot strap bolt, only make sure it's longer, to connect the support bar to the board. Make sure you use rubber washers and padding when tightening it to prevent scratching.

  4. 4

    Mount the motor. When mounting the motor, cut a rectangle in the steel sheet large enough to fit the motor but small enough for the motor to fit between the two bolts. Align the motor on the sheet to fit the two sprockets, and mark the motor mounting bolts. Drill the holes.

  5. 5

    Wire the throttle and batteries. The controller should come with a paper that explains the meaning behind each connector's wire colours. There should be four wires on the motor, but three wires on the controller. The fourth wire can be used as a power on indicator, by splitting the red wire of the power light connector on the controller and connecting it to the fourth wire from the motor.

    How to Make a Motorized Off-Road Skateboard
    This is an example of a custom electronic controller box that can be ordered off eBay.
  6. 6

    Place the throttle on the end of the brake handle. Remove the rubber cap feed the wires down the handle and sleeve along the with the brake cable.

  7. 7

    Connect the battery. Mount the two 12-volt scooter batteries to the middle of the board (they should already come with tie-down straps).

  8. 8

    Install the brakes. Remove the rear wheels by unscrewing the silver axle nuts. Deflate the tires. Unscrew the black hub screws and then remove the top half of the hub. Place brake rotor spacers over the hub screw holes and then place the brake rotor on, making sure the holes are aligned. Then reinflate the tire. The controller is attached to the deck of the board the same place where the brake leash is usually attached. This cord should already be connected to the brake pad, so just make sure it's aligned well with the cords from the controller. Attach wheels back onto the back axles, and then line up the brake pad onto the rotor arm. Connect the brake arm to the wheel axle and then to the rotor wheel.

  9. 9

    Make needed chain adjustments. The chain that connects the board to the rotor of the tire can be readjusted now that everything is connected and fastened to the board. This can be the most difficult. Just keep readjusting the chain until the right amount of tension is set up. It usually works best to keep the chain as short as possible so it will be tight. Be sure to stand on the board as you adjust the chain so that the length you choose can account for your weight. Not doing this is a major mistake many riders make when adjusting the chain length.

  10. 10

    Use zip ties to keep all of the cords neatly pressed together and pressed against the bottom of the board so they don't hang loosely. The wires can be put in the foot strap of the battery so that they stay out of the way.

Tips and warnings

  • Depending on how long it takes you to collect the parts, the entire process should take you about a week--3 to 4 days for the parts to be delivered and 2 to 3 days to actually construct the board.

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