The colors or numbers themselves are often a clue, but they alone may not provide sufficient information. There is always the trial and error method, but I do not recommend that because of the potential for destructive results. Instead, the Motor Doctors suggestion is to equip yourself with an ohmeter (don nott settle for just a continuity tester) and learn to perform a few simple tests with it.
Avoid splicing motor power cables when ever possible. Ideally, motor power cables should run continuous between the drive and motor terminals. The most common reason for splicing is to incorporate high-flex cable for continuous flexing applications.
Suppose we bend our wire into a squarish, U-shaped loop so there are effectively two parallel wires running through the magnetic field. One of them takes the electric current away from us through the wire and the other one brings the current back again. Because the current flows in opposite directions in the wires, Fleming Left-Hand Rule tells us the two wires will move in opposite directions. In other words, when we switch on the electricity, one of the wires will move upward and the other will move downward.
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.