Picking Cobra Motors for Mini Quad – 2204 1960KV, 2300KV, 2206 2100KV

by Oscar

Mini quads are a very specific little flying machines that are created with speed in mind. They can be used for racing on a 3D race track or simply for acro freestyle flying. In both cases they need powerful motors that would allow for such demanding use.

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There are currently many brands of mini quad motors on the market, but one of them is widely being used amongst the “big name pilots” of the FPV racing world, such as Charpu, Metaldanny, Boris B, Mr Steele and BanniUK, and that is Cobra Motors.

There are 4 models of Cobra motors that are normally used on a mini quad:

  • 2204 1960kv
  • 2204 2300kv
  • 2206 2100kv
  • 2208 2000kv

The first four digits in the motor number indicates the dimensions, stator diameter and stator thickness (basically how tall, and how fat the motor is). The other four digits indicates the change of rotation speed of the motor with change of voltage without prop (which is RPM per Volt).

2204 size motors are pretty much the standard size now. 2206 motors are taller than 2204. 2208 motors are the tallest of all and also the heaviest.

Amongst those motors 2204 and 2206 are more popular due to the more compact size and lighter weight. 2208 motors are more commonly used on 300mm or bigger frames and with bigger props, 6″ or 7” for instance.

We will take a close look at the 2204 and 2206 motors.

2204 1960KV Motors

These motors are great when it comes to efficiency. Due to the lower KV number (RPM per volt) they require bigger props to get more thrust. Here is the thrust tests Oscar did.

What props to use with this motor?

6045 on 4S is the most powerful option. They give plenty of thrust for very fast flying but with a cost of less agility, due to slow change of motor speed. Flying with those props gives you a “floaty” feeling, very smooth and relaxed. Good for racing or acro freestyle.

If you want a less powerful setup, 5040 and 5045 props is also fine with this 1960KV motor, a bit more agile but they give less thrust.

5045 Bullnose doesn’t work very well on this motor, very inefficient combo.

What ESC?

For 6045 props on 4S, 20A is recommended. Even with 6” props on 4S amperage is still well under control and barely would go above 20A.

If you are running 5″ props, (non-bullnose), 12A ESC is adequate according to thrust tests.

What battery

3S runs well with 6” props, still a lot of power but needs a lot more of throttle in order to get to decent speed. Beginners might enjoy this combo more.
On 4S it runs very fast. Combined with high rates allows for acro moves, very smooth.

Who is flying them?

Charpu used to use them. Metalldanny and Jazzman251 are still racing on them.

What is the recomendation?

Good motors for any pilots with any skills. Very wide range of use. Amongst all of the others, these ones are pretty much for every style of flying.

Example videos

2204 2300KV Motors

These motors were originally designed for 3S batteries, but since they are proven to run perfectly well on 4S, they quickly became pretty much all acro freestyle pilots’ favourite motors. The higher KV really helps the change of motor speed and making the quad more responsive.

What props to use with?

Depending on what battery, with 3S either 5” or 6” props are perfectly fine. On 4S you are pretty much limited to 5″ props.

The most powerful combo would be 5045 Bullnose on 4S. 6” props are a bit risky with 2300 motors on 4S, you could damage the motor if you push it too hard.

What ESC?

To be on the safe side, 20A is recommended. Weight and Price difference between 12A ESC and 20A ESC is so small nowadays. Having 20A won’t hurt and it gives you room to grow.

What battery?

Although designed for 3S, they run great on 4S.

Who is flying them?

Pilots like Boris B. and Mr Steele use these motors on 4S.

What is the recommendation?

Those motors with 4S give the similar amount of thrust as 1960 + 6” but with more agility due to smaller prop, and higher RPM. Best motors for freestyle, tight proximity flying and racing. It will shine even more if you have damped light enabled on your ESC. They allow for pretty much instant moves with high C rating batteries. The right word describing their performance would be: “fire” :)

Example video:

2206 2100KV Racing Edition Motors

Newly released back in May/June 2015. Powerful motors, little bit bigger and heavier than 2204. For some reason those motors are still not as popular as the 2204 2300KV.

What props to use with?

5” and 6” props are perfectly fine, either with 3S and 4S. Lower RPM per volt is more forgiving in terms of power draw although for best performance 6045 is recommended.

What ESC

To be on the safe side, 20A is recommended.

What battery?

They will run 3S and 4S but because 2206 is a bigger motor, 4S is recommended.

Who is flying them?

Boris B. and BanniUK.

What is the recommendation?

Pretty much for all types of flying. A lot of thrust paired with either 5” or 6” props.

Example videos:

Cobra vs Cobra vs Cobra

Based on the above:

2204 1960 are best for beginners wanting powerful performance and longer flight time.

2204 2300 are best for more experienced pilots, wanting to fly 5” props with 4S battery and squeezing maximum performance and agility from the mini quad. Speed and agility – those are the best words describing setups with those motors.

2206 2100 are best for both beginners and more experienced pilots wanting to have solid performance on both 5” and 6” props with a bit more power than 1960 version can give but better battery life than 2300.

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Gabe 4th January 2018 - 7:35 pm

Great article. I’m lookong to build a 5 inch prop budget detuneded racer/criiser. Effecience/longer flight time over speed. Is the 2206 lower kv more efficient with proper prop than the 2304 or 2204? Which prop would you recomend for an effecient 2206? Thanks Im a newbee. Its my first build

Lukas 14th October 2017 - 1:54 pm

Hi Oscar
I know this is an old post but I hope you still look at the comments here.
From what I have read online, these cobra motors were pretty good at the time they came out.
I have found a store that sells some remaining stock of these motors for only 8$ per piece! That is a really low price but I am not sure if they are worth it because they are so old. I am not looking for super high thrust but more for efficiency.
What do you think?

Hopefully you find time to reply and if so, thank you very much.
Best regards,

Oscar 19th October 2017 - 3:49 pm

if you are building a cheapest possible quad, these are okay :)
but if you are after some good performance, there are many other alternatives, such as the Emax RS2205 or RS2205S, or the RCX RS2206 v3. These perform much better yet they are fairly cheap.

Jorge 9th December 2015 - 3:30 pm

Hi Oscar
Great explanation! Thanks a lot.
Im changing from 2206 2150kv cheap motors (Baby Beast v2 Hobbyking ) to 2204 1960KV nice Hovership motors (that expect to be on par with 2204 1960 kv cobras). 3S and 4S 6045HQ ZTW18a lite esc 285 Zuul Racehound. Aprox 650g AUW. I would love to increase FT and throttle control to fly in technical and precision courses (like a forest) so… looking for a bit more torque. Did I make the right choice ?

Oscar 14th December 2015 - 3:49 pm

i think you will benefit more from higher KV motors if you are flying in tight courses. higher KV means higher RPM and that makes the quad more responsive around corners.

Dazefpv 3rd February 2016 - 3:56 am

Hi Oscar. How is it possible to use a 20 amp esc on the 2206 motors when they pull 25 amps continuous current and on the website when you get them they say they recommend a 30 amp esc I think some of this page is inaccurate

Adrian Martinez 25th November 2015 - 4:22 pm

Hi Oscar,

Does anyone use 2208 motors like the Airbots that Readytoflyquads sells? Also they are selling a 2403 motor (24mm x 3mm stator) now. Could you look at these some time to see how they compare?

Really appreciate what you do!



Acrbling 12th November 2015 - 8:18 am


The explanations for the 2204’s are pretty much correct.

The 2206 2100kv info is not in line with my experiences with them. Although the 2206 has a lower kv rating than the 2204 2300kv motor, running on 3 or 4s on a 6″ prop yields more rpm and therefore thrust due to the higher torque of the motor. The 2206 draws more amperage, makes mode torque and spins up the 6″ props much faster than the 2204’s.

Bob 29th September 2015 - 8:28 pm

What do you think about 2206-1950 motors with 5045 bullnose 4s?

Oscar 1st October 2015 - 12:39 pm

not sure without testing…

Skud85 26th September 2015 - 3:28 pm

Great Artur.. beautiful explanations :)
Jacopo Di Florio