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HKM390: Brushed vs. Brushless Motors

Today I received the HKM-390 On Road Bike from HobbyKing. As you know by now, the excitement you feel when you receive a package from HobbyKing feels as exciting as seeing on the presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Just like a kid on Christmas, I opened the box as quickly as I could.


The box comes with a carbon fiber frame of the bike partly assembled, as well as sidebars to stop the bike from tipping on turns and fairing to dress up the bike. Additionally, you will find the fairings and the rider, which comes unattached. So you will have to attach the rider to the frame yourself, using the split pins supplied in the box. This is quite a quick and straightforward process. Once, this is done, you can place the decal stickers, which come separately to give you the flexibility to use them as you desire. In addition, the box comes with the radio, which will require 4x AA batteries that are not included in the box.


The HKM-390 bike has significantly improved and evolved since the release of the original. For example, it has a built-in mechanical gyro which provides better stability for a smooth ride, making it the ideal bike for a beginner, even on difficult and challenging tracks.

Additionally, the rear end of the bike has a dual belt system that is great for using the bike at low-speed, it also has a spring loaded centre shock absorber giving the bike better suspension.

The front end of the bike has shock absorbers on the wheel, as well as two steering ledges, which not only improves the feel but it makes it smooth to drive and easier to handle as it improves its flexibility.

Brushed vs. Brushless

Now, for the age-old question of whether to use a brushed or brushless motor?

I think it is important to preface this discussion by noting that the bike does come with a brushed motor. The reason for this is because it was made with the advice and help from beginners and newcomers into the RC Bike hobby, who have shared insightful information on their needs and wants. Previously, they shared with HobbyKing that the current on-road bike range that HobbyKing has to offer, with brushless motors and without gyros, made it to hard for them to handle. With this in mind, HobbyKing delivered a quality bike for beginners, which is easy to control and handle. The design, with the inclusion of a brushed motor, is ideal for beginners and entry-level drivers, as it is built to support low-speed performance.

However, it is possible to change your model to enable the use of a brushless motor and ESC.

One of the most major benefits to changing your model from a brushed to a brushless motor, is that the brushless motor makes the bike faster and more powerful, however, the bike is still very stable and smooth even at higher speeds.

So to conclude, I think it’s safe to say there are definitely pros and cons to using a brushed motor over a brushless motor, especially on the HKM-390 On Road Bike. Ultimately, it comes down to the skill level of the driver and the preferred speed of the individual.

Written by Rebecca


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