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.
Occasionally, a technician or service person will ask me, "why not just increase the output by increasing the voltage (the current flow) to the motor?" While that may seem logical, increasing the voltage (in effect, creating an overvoltage situation) will not necessarily boost the output of the device. To understand why, you need to become familiar with a physical characteristic called "hysteresis loss."
You should be able to isolate into two groups any leads which have continuity with one another. The starting circuit is likely to isolate to two leads, the running circuit may have two or more leads that show continuity. If the running circuit has more than two leads, you will need to determine how those leads are to be used for voltage or speed changes.
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.