Making the N1s faster

Because this is, and probably will ever be the #1 question asked, and the corresponding FAQ entry got by far the most hits, here it is: The dedicated Making the N1s faster post.

First, it’s not for the faint hearted: If you have two left hands and 10 thumbs, if you’re scared about loosing warranty and/or getting into trouble with your local authorities then don’t do it.
Still it can be informative how it’s been done over in China 😉

Theory…

As there is no (known) way to directly “patch” the original NIU controller (in China they call it “CPU”), a different route was taken  making the N1s faster:  Add a second controller – often called a ‘dual controller setup‘ – and have him talking to the motor while the original controller faces the rest of the system and keeps everybody happy 😉

Depending on the 2nd controller used, the new limits for the three modes will be 20, 43 and ~70km/h…

…and Practice

Now that you know how it works in theory here’s the shopping list. You’ll need:

  • A 2nd brushless DC motor controller. Most people tend to prefer the model 72152 (max 60km/h) or 72182 (70km/h) from Ling Bo.
  • A ‘Y-cable’, spitting the signals from the main system to both controllers (and back)
  • (optional) a mounting-plate for both controllers
  • Courage, some handyman talent and about 30-60 minutes time

All righty… still sure about making the N1s faster? So let’s have a look at the parts one by one:

El Cheffe… the controller.

As mentioned in the shopping list, most tuners use controllers from Ling Bo, namely the models 72152 and 72182 – or LBMC 072152/072182 as they’re officially called. They are no unknown players in the market, you might have met them looking into an Unu scooter for example.
While the 72152 is good for ~60km/h the 72182 will squeeze out up to 70km/h.

There are many models around, so this for example is the 72182:

The Y-Cable

While just a bunch of boring cables, it’s a very important part of the job. Some plugs are so special, you won’t get them anywhere in Europe.
Also pictured the (optional) RS232-to-USB converter for programming the LingBo controller.

Mounting plate

Some Chinese how-tos completely work without one of those. But I’d say it’s safer/cleaner to use one.
It’s been placed where the original NIU controller was originally mounted and offers screw-holes for a side-by-side mounting of both controllers…

…like so:

Put together

The whole cabling looks something like this:

The loose/tangling cable contains the Hall lines:

  • Red, black, blue, green, yellow: to the 72152/72182 controller
  • Black, blue, green, yellow, to the NIU controller

So both do their work, but the motor is only connected to the LingBo controller.

Both controllers are also connected to a small PCB featuring 3 ports, namely P1, P2, P3:

  • P1: connects 72152/72182 controller
  • P2: connects to the bus on the scooter
  • p3: connects the original NIU controller

Videos

It’s hard to embed videos from Chinese portals… so all I can do for now offering links to some crappy how-to videos:

http://video.tudou.com/v/XMjQ2NzczMjEyMA==.html
(having some Michael Jackson, too :-/)

another one, controllers side-by-side with sticky tape:

http://video.tudou.com/v/453758197.html (currently broken 🙁 )

Ling Bo hacking/Software

Finally – and this is work in progress – you can program the Lingbo controller pretty freely. That said: You can kill things pretty easy, too.

As mentioned above, you can connect a PC to the controller through USB (or even Bluetooth!).
The data line driver and debugging software can be downloaded here:
http://www.lingbo-mc.com/upLoad/down/month_1511/201511251655443034.rar

This archive contains some PDF docs (different controller) but also the Windows .exe, USB drivers and an Android apk to use the BT connection for the fearless beneath you guys – But like the romans said: cave canem!

More to come… stay tuned 😉

77 thoughts on “Making the N1s faster

  1. Good one!

    I was wondering what controller I should buy. I want to go ~60km/h. I don’t want to go too fast because it will drain the battery for sure. And can this always be put back without losing guarantee?

    Thank you for this article!!!

    1. Yeah, first and foremost, this “mod” is totally reversible. Just remove the 2nd controller and Y-cable, reconnect the original one to the motor and everything’s as before. But as always: If you killed your motor/battery using this tunig method, reversing won’t help… I have to say that, right? 😉

      It’s actually difficult to say what model you should choose. For just 60km/h the 72152 should be sufficient.
      But to my understanding you can completely program the Ling Bo controller… and because the price difference is just $30, I’d go for the 72182 like offered in
      this kit. You could then limit the ‘oooomp’ through software then.
      OTOH it’s not very well documented (yet)… working on it.

      1. So If i instal this can I still use the niu app. and is this 72152 plug and go or do I need a computer? I want singing that is plug and go and I can still use the app 🙂 ?

        1. First of all, 72152 is not widely used here in China & there’s not much update on this controller, btw Lingbo controllers are Niu compatible like SuNiu & Niutech4.0 this is plug and play controller, APP remains the same but of course you can adjust the speed parameters using laptop/pc.

  2. Sure, burning the motor/battery is your own responsibility.

    It should be perfect if the speed can be limited by a simple switch.. Do you know if this is posibble already?

    It’s not possible to change parameters inside the current NIU controller?

    1. Not out-of-the-box. That said, you can connect to the controller through Bluetooth (using a rs232-to-bt adapter).
      So theoretically it should be possible to change profiles on the fly… I’ve added a link for downloading an archive with docs, the software and an Android APK for Bluetooth control. Use at your own risk 😉

    2. I don’t recommend because original N1s 72122 original controller can’t stand the heat after long period of time. Tried it burns the wires. Best is you change Lingbo controller if you want fast.

      1. 1st of all, Ryan, thanks for your cool answers and being so active here! Very much appreciated!
        And you’re right, tuning is a over-all concept. All pieces have to fit together! No different to petrol engine tuning.

  3. Thank you very much! You’re doing a great job mate.

    The only thing for me is to make sure I do have the type “X” controller. Do you know if the controllers from this link; https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=526970879733 contain the type “X” controller?

    And what about the Wire-harness.. What gen. is suitable for the NIU N1S 2018? Makes it any difference?

    I’m also very curious about your mapping? Do you already did some tuning?

    1. First of all, I don’t have such controller nor did I mod my N1s (yet). I’m just the messenger, so don’t shoot me 😉
      Also I have no idea if something got changed with the electronics of the 2018 models – but I doubt it. To me, those are more facelifts with different programming.
      The “X” type mentioned in the PDF files inside the archive are something I never read about before. Not sure if that’s really needed. All the Chinese how-tos I saw did never mention such as a must-have.

    2. First of all, don’t buy at this site, find a seller in taobao that says, this controller is for „before2018 and after 2018. There’s a lot of 182 controller here SuNiu is more used and now there new ECU SPD which is im using it for my N1s Sports version with 35Ah ngt battery.

  4. First of all, thank you for this article !

    I own a NIU M1 pro 2017 and wanted to know, if this controller thing is the same in this Model or not. Maybe you have some Informations about this ? Or is there a Kit like the one for N1S?

    1. I have no clue about the controller used in the M1, but I’m sure that theoretically this method should work in the M1, too.
      The cable harness is most likely different… have you tired searching e.g. Taobao for M1 controllers?

      1. In my opinion, this way really should work too for the M1 model.
        But there is no Kit on Taobao or anywhere else to buy like for the N1S model 😢
        Searched for it 2 hours online ..

    2. No its not the same controller with N1s. Different products number, different sku but we haven’t tried it. Sorry

  5. Thank you so much for putting this NIU page together!
    I live in Shanghai now for 2 years and happily ride a NIU N1S Sport (1200 W engine, 60 Volt 26 A battery) now for close to 2 years and 2700 km. After reading your article I ordered an N1S 72182 Controller with the 2 Y cables and mounting plate from Taobao. Installation was pretty easy, took 90 minutes. Here are the changes:
    Factory setup scooter on main stand speed test:
    1. “gear” 19 km/h
    2. “gear” 39 km/h
    3. “gear” 53 km/h
    Real world riding up to 53 km/h with full battery.
    Dual controller setup (72182 added) scooter on main stand speed test:
    1. “gear” 38 km/h
    2. “gear” 58 km/h
    3. “gear” 78 km/h
    Real world riding top speed run 62 km/h lying on seat. Acceleration feels way stronger and punchier now up to 50 km/h. Above 50 km/h it runs out of power and more speed builds slowly.
    It might work better with a smaller 50 kg rider and not a 100 kg 1.90m one…
    Next maybe a the NIU 1500 W or 3rd party 2000 W motor…
    Again thank you so much…

    1. The slow acceleration at high speed is IMHO just caused by the fact that on an electric motors torque is high on low RPM but flattens on higher revs.

      PS: will get my N1s soon, so happy I found this forum!

    2. Hi Andre, cool another Shanghai rider, can you add me on wechat: Celso74?

      so you think the 1200W motor is the issue for a heavier passenger, I tried one with a 1200W motor that went 75 km with me on it at 1.86cm / 95KG. It did have 3 batteries to make it even heavier so maybe some other tweaks can be made?

  6. You can use the Google Chrome Browser and turn on automatic translation of Chinese to your Native language. That helps a lot navigating Taobao. I bought from this Taobao shop:

    https://h5.m.taobao.com/awp/core/detail.htm?id=562768601125&spm=a2141.7c.123456.d1&main_itemid=565825575329&go_item_id=562768601125&scm=1007.10765.82697.&pvid=8102ce6c-4082-41e4-951f-efc39c412bf0

    With Taobao you need a working Ali Pay account. I do not know how do you order items from Taobao outside of China, since I live in Shanghai now. However there is also an international Taobao page. It should be possible to order from there. There might/will be additional costs for shipping and import/customs.

    1. Very helpful, thanks! I just ordered it, at least, I pressed confirmed multiple times. Got myself the controller, cable and plate. (And a backrest in Matt black to match my scooter) I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

    2. Hey Andre, what model of the N1s do you have? 2018? 2017? (You gear controller is straight and black or round and gray?
      Could you give some more information about the whole installing process of the new ECU?
      Thanks

  7. Great post ! I was looking on TaoBao some controllers and found 3 types… 72152 -> 60 Kmh / 72182 -> 70Kmh / 72252 -> ?? Kmh
    Any clue about 72252 ?

  8. I ordered and just got the 72182 Kit. Unfortunately the EU4 Controller of the N1S has no 6pin connector so the y-cable can Not be installed and whole Thing seems so have Compleately different wiring…

    1. Oh boy, thanks for the update and sorry for the disappointment.
      Could you probably post some pictures? Maybe it’s just a “plug issue” which needs another adapter.

  9. Same issue here my controller doesn’t have the 6 pin connector but I’m sure there can be a workaround with the second generation of controllers shown on taobao? Did your seller provide a solution?

    1. I guess everything about the “news” are reported already. New cockpit and handlebars and minor things like footmat and spring-out footrests. That’s more or less it.

      1. I guess what the poster was asking for — or anyway, what I’m asking for now, is there any news regarding replacement speed controllers etc. for the 2018 EU4 models?

  10. what about the N1S Pro version. 1500W motor. would be interesting to see how that ECU can perform.

    (those are hard to find scooters, just saw they are sold again in China)
    I live in Xiamen, will try to get one.

    1. AFAIK the Pro series are not going to be sold to the international market. We’ll get the GT and GTX over here…

  11. Axel,

    I’m looking to up the speed of my Unu scooter that is now limited to 25km/h (dutch law prevents you from wearing a helmet).
    But all normal scooters are legally limited to 32 km/h so everybody passes me;)
    I’ve torn the Unu’s computer apart and it looks very similar to the N1 pictures on this page. Will this second controller also work on the UNU 3000W version?

    Kind regards,
    Leo

    1. Unu … well, while that’s a tooooootalyyyyyy different league (not ;-)) – theoretically a 2nd parallel controller should work as well. All you need is a proper cable harness which keeps the main-controller happy while the added DC motor-controller has the correct connection to the motor. I.e. you need a wiring-map.

  12. Why is nobody selling this as a plug and play setup for the 2018 models? I would be willing to pay 300€ if I can just order it and install it…

      1. You can sell it for experimental use only and in the end it is the buyers choice to drive with it on public roads. Maybe I have a big private property where I need a faster NIU… 😀

    1. I don’t think it’s illegal to sell. You can legally bua all sorts of tuning stuff for motorbikes and cars. It’s then your responsibility to use it or not.
      I guess we are just so few, nobody gives too much attention to after sale stuff. I am starting to see way more UNU scooters around (I don’t really like their look), I wonder if they can be tuned up.

      1. I did some more research and the Unu 3000W models have the LBMC072352 units in them. So I guess with the normal Ling Bo software you should be able to manipulate them. How and what to alter in the software I don’t know. Maybe Axel knows…
        The only thing missing to connect the LBMC072352 with your computer is an USB cable, I just ordered it from this site; https://www.yoycart.com/Product/536687560717/
        I hope I can connect it and program it with my computer.

  13. I ordered the „V3 after March 2018“ version to test…should get the first testing results in a few days

    1. I am looking forward to your review. I will probably order it as well. I wonder if it can be programmed like the Lingbo controllers to go 60 km/h and not 70. That would make it still somewhat legal.

    2. Hey Andy, looking very much forward to your review! Could you share the link of this V3 you are talking about? Cheers

    3. Hello,
      I read older posts
      I am going to order the Niu mqi + sport 25 km (holland)
      Ho fast are the different gear settings original when I buy 25km (no helmet) ?
      What is possible at this moment for tuning?
      Is there an easy way to hack or Easter egg?
      I want it to go 37 km real speed.
      What should I do?

  14. For those who have received a 182-kit and cannot use it because of missing 6-pin hall control plug: I do have matching controller layout. I can buy your kit. Offers per email to x.10.myniu@spamgourmet.com
    I am in Germany. Will pay per SEPA transfer.

  15. I’m Looking very very forward! Want to speed up my Niu N1s after 4000km so badly…

    1. That one looks good, single controller. Connection looks correct. Gonna look into it too..

    2. Very cool, this looks good. But does it go together with the actual controller or it substitutes it? I wonder if it is plug and play…

  16. Ok, I have just ordered one….. I hope it’s not scam or the thing is useless. Can’t wait to try…. 🙂

      1. I really doubt that they care. This method of using two controllers for more speed has been used since the N1 was first introduced in China – so there are many scooters out there that have this installed. Of course you probably lose your warranty.

  17. I now have the correct controller. Sadly it is not working because the cable is not correct (what the supplier said) i will have to wait some more days for the new cable…

    1. So is it a complete replacement or is it installed in parallel to the original controller?

    2. Andy, I have ordered the same kit yesterday. Was it a mistake from them? Or I need to order a special cable? Let me know if I need to correct my order right away!
      Could you please post some photos?
      Thanks mate!

  18. It is, as far as i understood, a complete replacement. So the original controller is no longer needed. In my case they told me that there is a New cable available since this week and the old could be the problem i have now.

  19. Axel, do you think we could move this conversation to the forum so we can post photos in future posts? This is getting interesting 😉

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