I am really puzzled by my small car build with balloon tires (55976). I tried swapping between an XL and an M (PF) motor, both geared down (up?) to about the same torque (I tested by how sleep a slope it can climb), both motors virtually run the car at the same speed.

I would have thought with the same torque output (just about 3-4 cogs of different sizes in both cases till the differential) the XL would give me much higher speed, at least 1.5 times if not twice, but to the contrary it looked to me like the M motor runs a hair bit faster.

Any ideas guys? I know this is a bit generic, but what could it be?

  • there are frictions but in both of my cases they should be roughly the same
  • the XL motor is quite a bit heavier
  • the IR receiver (v1) has limited output or my batteries don't? (6 AA kind), there is only one more M motor (for steering, so it is off during my test) on the IR receiver, IR receiver attached to the battery box directly
  • I am using 2 u-joints for the drive axle instead of a cv joint - could that make so much of a difference?
  • The LEGO motors could be geared to produce a similar speed/torque output across the different sizes. If that's the case going to M you're losing weight without reducing the torque. I would expect the larger motor to keep more things turning, but they wouldn't go any faster.
    – chicks
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


It seems like you're mixing up gear ratio with torque with power. It sounds like you have the following scenario:
- same gear ratio
- same overall vehicle
- two different motors
- (almost) same final speed

And you're asking why the different motors don't change the speed much. Here's what I know:

  • The vehicle's mass and internal friction place a load on the motor. This is approximately constant for your vehicle, because practically the difference in mass of the M and XL motors is negligible compared to the total load anyway.

  • The M motor has a higher unladen speed but a lower overall torque than the XL motor. This means that for the same load, the M motor's speed will be more greatly affected than the XL motor.

  • So in this case: your vehicle might drop the XL motor from 200 to 150 RPM, but drops the M motor from 600 to 175 RPM, because the M motor is affected more. Coincidentally this particular load drops both motors to almost the same final RPM.

  • If your vehicle were even more massive, the XL motor's speed would drop, but the M would drop even further, quickly becoming slower than the XL. Add enough weight and eventually that M will drop to 0 RPM while the XL will still be chugging along.


I interpreted it differently, I think the OP DID gear down/up the motors until in his opinion they produced the same torque... However I think his methodology to test if the motors have the same torque is widely inaccurate. I don't think you can conclude that two motors with gearing have the same torque if they can handle the same slope when mounted on a vehicle, it would appear to me too many other factors play a role (friction of driving surface, weight, weight distribution,...) Also quite important I think is the current consumption, could very well be that a motor is stalled earlier than te other although they have the same torque because the current is higher and the IR or battery-box protection kicks in.

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