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The axial-flux permanent-magnet machine (AFPM) topology is suited for direct-drive applications and, due to their enhanced flux-weakening capability, AFPMs having slotted windings are the most promising candidates for use in wheel-motor drives. In consideration of this, this paper deals with an experimental study devoted to investigate a number of technical solutions to be used in AFPMs having slotted windings in order to achieve substantial reduction of both cogging torque and no-load power loss in the machine. To conduct such an experimental study, a laboratory machine was purposely built incorporating facilities that allow easy-to-achieve offline modifications of the overall magnetic arrangement at the machine air gaps, such as magnet skewing, angular shifting between rotor discs, and accommodation of either PVC or Somaloy wedges for closing the slot openings. The paper discusses experimental results and gives guidelines for the design of AFPMs with improved performance.