In simple DC and universal motors, the rotor spins inside the stator. The rotor is a coil connected to the electric power supply and the stator is a permanent magnet or electromagnet. Large AC motors (used in things like factory machines) work in a slightly different way: they pass alternating current through opposing pairs of magnets to create a rotating magnetic field, which "induces" (creates) a magnetic field in the motor rotor, causing it to spin around. You can read more about this in our article on AC induction motors. If you take one of these induction motors and "unwrap" it, so the stator is effectively laid out into a long continuous track, the rotor can roll along it in a straight line. This ingenious design is known as a linear motor, and you will find it in such things as factory machines and floating "maglev" (magnetic levitation) railroads.
Using the ohmmeter, find the pair of wires that has the highest resistence as measured in ohms. This will give you your common and lowest speed tap. Using each of these two leads in turn, find the pair that gives you the the second-highest resistance. This should provide you the common and second-lowest speed tap and should also allow you to isolate which of the two leads from the first test is the common.
Motor cables are defined as long when the motor frame is not bonded close enough to the drive panel to be considered a single ground plane. To be considered a single ground plane, the parts must be connected by a surface which is no longer than ten times its width.
Magnetically soft materials, however, tend to be more expensive. The motor manufacturer must find that proper blend of just enough magnetically soft material to do the work required without putting too big a dent in the customer wallet.