Your Shimano EP801 e-MTB motor can now get a free performance upgrade that improves Boost Mode and much more

The Shimano EP801 e-MTB motor
(Image credit: Mick Kirkman)

Shimano has just announced a new firmware update for the latest iteration of its top-tier e-MTB motor system, the EP801, that will bring a host of performance improvements.

Developed with the brand's EDR-E World Cup riders, the new software brings with it a greater level of motor assistance to Boost Mode, extended power carry-over when riders stop turning the cranks, and the ability to customize the feel of the power cut-off when you hit the legal assistance limit of 20mph (US) / 15.5mph (UK).

An EWS-E rider in competition

Shimano's EWS-E racers have already been using the new software in competition (Image credit: Shimano)

Boost Mode gets boostier

While the new software doesn't deliver any more power in Boost Mode than the current limit of a 400% maximum assist ratio, it will mean you can get to full warp speed on your electric mountain bike more rapidly – though Shimano hasn't supplied any specific stats on this as yet. The brand says the new setting has already been given a thumbs up by its EDR-E World Cup riders who have been successfully testing it in competition settings.

Get more overrun juice

Another feature developed on the E-Enduro circuit is what Shimano are calling 'extended assist carryover'. This means riders will still get assistance for up to 2 metres even after they've stopped pedaling – also known as overrun. This will be really useful for maintaining entry speed through technical sections whether you're racing or not. The assistance comes with three duration settings – short, medium and long – and can be canceled with a backward movement of the cranks.

Tuneable motor cut-off feel

Riding at the edge of your e-MTB motor cut-off feels horrible and is really annoying as the assistance cuts off and on. This third improvement may just help with that by allowing you to tune the power settings near the cut-off point to get a more natural feel, or even a more binary one if you want full gas for as long as possible.

Mick Hannah and some other riders chat to a man with a laptop

Mick Hannah has been involved with the performance improvements and looks pretty pleased here (Image credit: Shimano)

Auto Shift gets tweaked too

Developed with Yeti / Shimano EP Racing rider, Mick Hannah, who races using Auto Shift, the new software will give faster gear shifts during rapid changes in speed – ie braking and accelerating. Auto Shift can now be paused for those situations when only a human brain knows what gear they need the bike to be in – eg decelerating into a corner then pedaling hard out. 

Good and bad news

Happily, this update is completely free and available now, there is a but though, as for now at least, you won't be able to update it yourself using Shimano's E-Tube mobile app. That means EP801 owners will have to get it done at a Shimano dealer. However, Shimano says a new E-Tube mobile update will be available in the Fall/Autumn, which will allow riders to DIY the EP801 firmware themselves once that's dropped.

New EP801 bikes produced after June 25th will come with the latest firmware already installed.

Rich Owen
Editor, BikePerfect

Rich Owen is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He's worked as a journalist and editor for over 24 years, with 12 years specializing in cycling media. Rich bought his first mountain bike (a rigid Scott Tampico) in 1995 and has been riding MTB for almost 30 years.

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox, YT Jeffsy Core 3, Saracen Ariel 30 Pro

Height: 175cm

Weight: 69kg