Testing 6S Mini Quad with High KV Motors

by Oscar

I tested some high KV motors with 6S and the result is pretty interesting. Generally it’s recommended to use low KV motors around 1700KV for 6S and 5″ propellers. But when I first heard the idea of using high KV motors on 6S I was a bit skeptical so I decided to find out for myself :)

Low KV on 6S

I recently built a 6S Mini Quad and it’s great fun to fly! (Build log and videos)

The idea is to choose a low KV motor for 6S, so the “theoretical maximum RPM” is similar to a 4S mini quad with 2500KV motors.

Despite of the similar max RPM, the performance of my 6S quad really stands out. It has great acceleration and punch, yet there is so much low end resolution which makes it noticeably “easier to handle”. It’s extremely responsive and puts much less stress on the batteries.

I wrote an article about the differences between 6S and 4S in more detail.

High KV on 6S

So what happens if we use higher KV motors with 6S? Well, It’s basically the same as using higher KV motors with 4S.

Higher RPM, more power, and faster!!

But your quad will be pulling a lot more current at full throttle, it’s going to be really bad for your components, especially your battery, ESC and motor.

Motor RPM and current draw has an interesting relationship, they are NOT proportional! Amp draw increases more rapidly than RPM. This means you will lose efficiency in high throttle.

Setting up a Throttle Curve

In order to use high KV motors, we will have to use a throttle curve to lower the top of the throttle. The way I see it is, not only it lowers current, you also get better resolution on the throttle range that is meaningful to you when racing.

Here is a tutorial on setting up throttle curve in the Taranis.

Another cool thing with high KV on 6S is you can remove the throttle curve and run 4S or 5S! :)

So here is my curve for the 6S setup.

I basically started from 100% (-100 to 100) and worked my way down by monitoring current at full throttle. At 70% (-100 to 40), the amp draw drops to about 65A-70A max which is about the same as my previous low KV setup (1720KV).

As an interesting observation, the 1720KV motor has a max RPM of 43344, which is about 73% of the 2350KV of 59220. :)

Once setup, you should verify if the throttle channel is actually outputting the value you want at full throttle.

Update (May 2019): Betaflight 4.0 now has two features for adjusting the power of your quad too. These allows you to scale throttle, which effectively lets you turn down the throttle input.

2350KV on 6S

I simply swapped out the old 1720KV motors with these 2305 2350KV, which are rated for 2S to 6S.

Here is a video of my test flight.

Somehow these 2350KV motors are extremely noisy, even when I run 4S, so I am pretty sure there is something wrong with them. Apart from the noise the quad still handles great and it was enough for me to complete this test :)

Are High KV Motors Better for 6S?

I think it depends.

If you want to keep the same efficiency, and have the same amp draw as running lower KV motors, you can use a throttle curve to limit throttle. But then the flight performance really just feels like running lower KV motors… Maybe I haven’t flown it enough or tested enough motors to tell the subtle differences, but that’s what I experienced so far.

In my opinion, the biggest advantage is you can “unleash” the power of higher KV motors whenever you want by removing the throttle curve, or slightly raise the limit. This can be flexible for the different types of flying and race. And you can also run 4S and 5S on the same setup which is great :)

Lastly I think lower KV motors are more efficient and give me slightly longer flight time for similar flying.

Next, 2750KV on 6S!

No, No, No!

The quad flies terrible on these high KV motors (RCINPower Mark1 2306 2750KV). There is so much oscillation at mid/high throttle I can’t get rid of. I tried adding more capacitors, more FC and motor soft mounting, nothing seem to help. I even swap out the frame for a more sturdy one. Same issue.

I don’t blame these motors, they have excellent build quality, and they fly great on 4S, just not the case on 6S.

Maybe Pro racers can benefit from the extra power of higher KV motors, but for casual pilots I really don’t see the point and cannot recommend it. I will stay with lower KV motors for 6S for now.

Anyway it’s been a fun experiment, and I learn a few things along the way such as using throttle curve to limit current draw :)

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Dasj 4th October 2019 - 5:44 pm

Why not simply use a lower pitch prop?

James 6th July 2019 - 3:08 am

I have the armattan marmotte which runs 2306 2150kv motors it says 3-5s would I burn up my motors if I run a 6s battery with no throttle curve

Markus Brandstätter 29th March 2019 - 8:28 am

Hi Oscar! Thanks for this article. I wonder why there is not more content available in the internet regarding usage of 6S battery with high KV motors as many people have 4S setups and might use the benefit (more efficiency) of 6S batteries. I want to try out the same once my 6S batteries arrive. What I thought about was that 2400kv are 100% throttle limit (my current 4S setup). 1720kv motors are typical 6S motors so the throttle limit should be around 71%. I would configure that rather in Betaflight directly than at the remote control (throttle_limit = 70, throttle_type=scale). What do you think? Why aren’t you using Betaflight are there any benefits using the remote control to adjust the throttle curve?

Ben 24th August 2018 - 10:43 pm

Have you looked at the physical differences between a 4S and a 6S motor (for example)?

Would the 6S have thicker wires? Less windings? Different magnets? Why would one be rated higher than another?

MARCUS 27th May 2018 - 2:04 am

Armattan titan 2306 2450kv are rated for 4s to 6s.

I have the rooster and was wondering if I should go 6s or 5s to be on the safe side of things

Quadpodge 22nd August 2018 - 7:26 pm

I also have the rooster with the titans. I thought it was 6s spec too. One UK site lists them as 3-6s. On the armattan site though it’s 4s. I been running 5 and 6s on this rig and had to fit capacitors to keep the quad from desyncing on 6s. 5s is my favourite on this quad, though nothing wrong with 4s either. I think 6s is a bit on the edge for this quad. Only problems I’ve ever had on this quad relates to 6s. I feel that I hold back allot when using 6s because of the fear of desyncing right though the neighbours window. Not so with 5s

Fraser Steen 17th April 2018 - 6:37 pm

Worth noting that the PID loop will still have access to full throttle even if the radio is set otherwise. This has obvious benefits for control but partly explains the efficiency loss.

The second thing is that the motors we run tend to be most efficient when running ~20% load at full throttle so you will be sacrificing some efficiency by staying in the lower portion of the motors capabilities for a given voltage.

Oscar 17th April 2018 - 9:40 pm

Yes you made some really good points!

Livid_fpv 17th April 2018 - 4:59 pm

I run 2600kv 6s and I don’t use a throttle curve. I think it has taught me very good throttle control, and changes my flying habits. When I’m racing around a garden I don’t go full throttle, and it’s ludicrously fast. But when you want all that power, to dodge that tree, fit through that gate or just to punch out to space it’s there, and that power is very addictive haha. Imo ~2150kv is the sweet spot for 5x5x3 6s and I think a lot of people will transition to around that kv for racing.
Thanks a lot for this article. Every time I say something like this I get flamed and laughed at

Pavel 17th April 2018 - 10:12 am

Thank you Oscar for your activity!

tib 17th April 2018 - 8:37 am

hi oscar where can i find your stick for m9 gimbal ?

Oscar 17th April 2018 - 9:32 pm

I wrote about the sticks upgrade in this post.