Sunday, February 25, 2024

Specialised Turbo Levo SL Evaluation: This Gentle Weight eBike is Definitely worth the Wait


The Final Path Motorcycle. That’s a daring observation. Specifically in case you’re lumping each e-bikes and usual mountain motorcycles into the similar class. Hyperbolic claims apart, Specialised is dedicated to creating the most efficient eMTB they may be able to, which doesn’t all the time come simple. They have been just about in a position to release this motorcycle in 2022, simply with an absolutely other motor. There was once even a media release tournament for the motorcycle.

But it surely wasn’t “without equal path motorcycle” but, so that they went again to the strategy planning stage. Actually.

The important thing to the good fortune of the Turbo Levo SL Gen 2 lies within the motor, which is totally new from the bottom up. Specialised claims that now not a unmarried bolt or section was once reused from the 1.1 SL motor to create the 1.2 SL motor. But the all-new 1.2 continues to be the precise length and weight of the former motor – simply with much more continual and torque.

Mixed with the already superb body, would this new motor be simply what the next-generation Levo SL wanted? We headed to California to determine.

Environment Up the Turbo Levo SL Gen 2

Specialized Turbo Levo SL ebike setup
Footage. Lear Miller / Specialised

Going down the week earlier than the Sea Otter Vintage, a large number of California was once nonetheless drying out (or melting out) from epic storms. Thankfully, the paths have been in excellent form in Temecula, so the Specialised team packed up and headed to SoCal.

By the point we arrived, the motorcycles have been arrange and looking forward to us close to Greer Ranch trails in Murrieta, CA. After a handy guide a rough suspension environment, there wasn’t a lot to do rather then dial within the cockpit and test tire pressures. At 5’8″, I’m most definitely between an S2 and S3, however opted for the S3 and felt straight away at house.

After using the primary day, I did finally end up converting the shift button orientation at the AXS Transmission shifter although. I discovered that I’d favor the shift order reversed, which was once really easy to switch with the AXS app. As soon as the motorcycle is attached to the app, then choose the shifter and assign the button the most well liked transferring motion. As soon as you determine the way it’s performed, this will also be performed in no time.

Whilst the Specialised Project Keep watch over app and MasterMind General Keep watch over Unit be offering immense customization choices, you’ll principally simply leap at the motorcycle and pass. A easy press of the ability button wakes the gadget, and from there, the entirety will also be simply managed in the course of the far flung at the left facet of the bar. The +/- buttons toggle via help modes going from off, to Eco, Path, and Turbo. A protracted press of the button additionally means that you can input the MicroTune environment the place help will also be adjusted in 10% increments.

Turbo All of the Time?

Despite the visual display unit being situated at the best tube as an alternative of at the bars, it’s nonetheless really easy to peer the numbers and settings as you’re using. It’s additionally now not distracting whilst you don’t wish to see in case you’re nonetheless in Turbo mode. All of that is to mention that the gadget could be very intuitive and simple to function. You’ll be able to actually dial to your settings with the Project Keep watch over app, however you’ll additionally simply leap at the motorcycle and journey with out opening your smartphone as we did for 3 days.

As we have been rolling out to the primary trails, I were given accustomed to the extent of continual and help from the brand new motor. You’ll be able to inform it’s now not a full-power ebike, however that may be a excellent factor. Specialised’s motto is “you, simplest quicker,” and the brand new Levo SL gives precisely that. Certain, you’ll let you know’re using an ebike, but it surely feels such as you’re simply having your highest day at the motorcycle.

Perhaps the most efficient factor in regards to the new motorcycle is how quiet the motor is. Below maximum instances, you’ll fight to listen to anything else out of the peculiar. Most effective on steep climbs with complete Turbo continual will you pay attention anything else from the motor or even then, it’s a quiet whir – now not the obnoxious whine many full-power ebikes emit. For the individuals who ask, “why now not simply get a motorbike?” for me, the quietness is likely one of the primary causes. With the Levo SL, maximum of what you’ll pay attention is your tires rolling down the path.

Greer Ranch MTB

Whilst we have been using at Greer, deciding on Turbo mode was once sufficient to make the steep climbs with tight switchbacks a rebellion. It was once nonetheless a exercise, but it surely was once method extra amusing than it could were mountain climbing those self same trails with out help. It was once additionally straight away transparent we weren’t on full-power e-bikes when a gaggle of riders on full-power ebikes was once ready to catch as much as us moderately temporarily as we have been motoring uphill.

On the best, it was once time to bomb backtrack which is the place the body design actually got here into its component. Any ebike can climb moderately neatly with sufficient continual, however how a motorcycle handles whilst descending is the actual take a look at. Ceaselessly whilst descending, you’re now not using the motor’s continual so you might be successfully piloting a 40+lb motorcycle downhill. If the suspension or geometry isn’t dialed, you’ll temporarily in finding out.

Spectacular Battery Lifestyles

The Levo SL Gen 2 alternatively was once begging to be driven quicker. This is a motorcycle this is simply as glad rocketing downhill as it’s casually mountain climbing again up. During our time at Greer Ranch and tomorrow at Vailocity Motorcycle Park, we sampled the entirety from XC, to waft path, to gnarly rock gardens and rapid, chunky downhills. Don’t be fooled by means of the ‘SL’ within the title, this motorcycle is each bit as succesful as you’d want it to be.

We have been using the motorcycles as they arrive out of the field – 29″ entrance, 27.5″ rear wheel, center headset place, and the low BB place. I’d love to mess around with the other settings simply to peer the way it impacts the journey, however in Temecula, it wasn’t wanted. The geometry felt spot on, and in spite of many technical rocky sections, pedal moves have been saved to a minimal.

For the reason that I used to be using with folks higher and quicker than me (together with Curtis Keene), I discovered myself most commonly using uphill in Turbo mode. Even on some descents I might stay it in Turbo, however would regularly drop all the way down to Path mode. I infrequently used Eco mode, and but the battery existence was once nonetheless very spectacular. I by no means were given with regards to draining the battery regardless of my heavy use of Turbo and a large number of steep climbs. On the second one day, Specialised recharged the batteries whilst we had lunch to be at the protected facet, however I don’t it could were essential for me. I coated 21 miles that day with simply over 3k toes of mountain climbing, and at lunch was once nonetheless above 50% of battery existence. For actually large days, the variety extender would take you lovely a long way particularly if you’re environment friendly together with your help.

SRAM Transmission Licensed

This was once now not my first time using SRAM Eagle Transmission, but it surely was once my first time using it on an ebike. I’ve to mention that it makes much more sense on an ebike than it does on a typical motorcycle. You’ll be able to be below complete Turbo continual and nonetheless know that in case you hit the AXS shift button, the derailleur will simply slam it into tools with out fuss. There was once one motorcycle within the team that was once having problems with the derailleur staying put, however that looked to be a torque factor with the mounting bolt and was once in the end mounted.

I’m additionally nonetheless now not utterly glad with the location of the shifter pod after attempting each the bar clamp and the SRAM Matchmaker clamps. It’s now not an enormous deal, however to me, it feels just like the pod may use some other axis of adjustment to actually dial it in – like if it had a ball joint the place the pod meets the bracket.

Turbo Levo SL S-Works

We have been using the S-Works construct degree, which incorporates SRAM XX Eagle Transmission, SRAM Code Stealth Final brakes, Fox Manufacturing unit suspension, Royal Traverse carbon wheels, and Specialised Butcher/Eliminator 29 x 2.3/27.5 x 2.3″ tires. The one exchange made was once so as to add a Grid Gravity casing tire on the rear for the chunky terrain. There have been no residences.

An S4 S-Works construct is said to run about 39.6 lbs which is heavy for a path motorcycle, however lovely gentle for an ebike. It was once discussed all through the go back and forth that that is necessarily a complete Aethos lighter than a complete continual Turbo Levo. It’s imaginable to make it lighter, however there’s little wish to. Even at 40 lbs, the motorcycle is impressively nimble. Every now and then, it feels just like the added weight even lets you care for traction on free corners, and not looks like a handful.

I really like that you’ll nonetheless are compatible a full-size water bottle within the S3 body, although if you select to run the battery extender you’ll have to hold water for your again (which you’d most definitely wish to do anyway because you’re in for a large journey). Word that the battery extender cable is other than on earlier fashions. And for fast trailside changes, the SWAT CC steerer tube built-in software with a series software and hyperlink is a smart contact.

It’s slightly onerous to imagine that the primary Specialised Levo product wasn’t offered till 2016. Beginning with the Turbo Levo FSR in Moab, I’ve ridden lots of the Levo generations since. Annually the motorcycles have got higher, however the Levo SL Gen 2 takes issues to some other degree totally. This unmarried motorcycle turns out to mix the most efficient attributes of the more than a few Levo platforms into one impressively succesful ebike – that doesn’t actually journey like an ebike.

In relation to having my very own ebike to often journey on my house trails, I’ve been at the fence for years. However this motorcycle adjustments that. I would like one. To not substitute my non-ebikes, however to complement them. The Levo SL Gen 2 looks like a motorcycle it’s essential to journey on the subject of any place, and feature an absolute blast doing it. Perhaps that does make it “without equal path motorcycle?”

For extra main points at the Specialised Levo Gen 2, take a look at our tech piece right here.


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