Turbo Levo Warranty extension & Firmware Update for all 2019/20 Levo/Kenevo with 2.1 motors


Specialized Rider Care

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To all owners of 2019/20 Turbo Levo & 2020 Kenevo featuring the Specialized 2.1 motor, here's a letter to you from Mike Sinyard - our founder and CEO.

Thanks for all of your support & feedback on this forum. We'll keep a close eye on this thread and do our best to answer any questions.
 

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Specialized Rider Care

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Some questions (and answers) that our retailers already asked -

Why are you focusing on the Specialized 2.1 motor?
Some time ago it came to our attention that we were experiencing a small but unacceptable number of early-life failures with our 2.1 motor systems. Symptoms typically have been a lack/failure of support/drive to the crank whilst the motor continues to spin at high speed.


Why are you offering a 4-year motor warranty to owners of a 2019/20 Turbo Levo and 2020 Kenevo?
A number of affected riders have expressed to us that they are concerned for the longevity of their purchase, we want to speak directly to this concern by offering peace of mind and demonstrating confidence in our products. We’ve made running improvements to 2.1 motors fitted to the latest MY21 bikes and we want to offer the same peace of mind to all existing owners.


Which bikes are covered and how will the 4-year warranty work?

All 2.1 motors fitted to model year 2019/20 Levo & model year 2020 Kenevo bikes immediately carry a 4-year warranty from the date of purchase. No certificate or new warranty document is required, our authorised retailers will base any motor warranty claim on bike serial number.


Is this warranty transferrable if a rider sells the bike?
Absolutely – the rider must pass on their proof of purchase as this is a pre-requisite of all warranty support.


What have you been doing about this and why has it taken so long to identify?
We have worked relentlessly with our motor partner to drive improvements in our 2.1 motors. Although the symptom is typically a failed belt or freewheel, the root-causes are complex - the reality is that continuous improvements have been made to both hardware and firmware in order to improve overall reliability. And we’ll continue to work together with all technology partners to drive meaningful improvements to performance and reliability. Innovation at Specialized will never stop.


What hardware improvements have been made to the 2.1 motor?
Since 2018 when the 2.1 motor was launched, a number of hardware and firmware updates have been made - including steps to reduce operational noise, fitting a stronger belt, updates to the freewheel (sprag clutch) assembly and numerous optimizations to address strength and overall reliability.


When did these hardware improvements go into production?
There has been continuous improvement since the 2.1 motor was launched in 2018 – we’re focused on any field failures to our products and will continue to drive improvements into the future. The most recent hardware changes affecting reliability have been made to motors fitted to MY21 Levo / Kenevo.


What firmware improvements have been made to the 2.1 motor?
Recently we identified an issue with 2.1 motor firmware that has contributed to reduced belt-life. Based on specific riding styles & terrains, some riders have experienced ultra-short periods where torque was significantly higher than component tolerance levels – accelerating belt failure. To address this we’ve released optimized motor firmware that removes these “spikes” without affecting bike performance.


Has the new firmware reduced motor power or changed the riding experience?

Motor power and bike performance is the same as before, torque spikes were too short to be noticed by the rider. The only change riders will notice is to the walk-assist function which has been reduced in power to comply with recent legislation.


When will you release this firmware?
The new firmware was released to all retailers on 28th July. Riders can arrange with retailers to have this firmware installed at their convenience - please do book in advance and bear with retailers during this season of unprecedented demand for bike service.


Why have some riders experienced multiple failure rates?
Whilst the vast majority of riders have experienced no issues at all, some riders have had more than one replacement motor. Our recent focus areas have been riding style, terrain, climate etc to better understand why field failures have occurred, however we know how frustrating this is for our riders and we’re committed to delivering products that meet their expectations.


Will you replace motors proactively?
No - we won’t replace any motor that is working correctly. The vast majority of riders have had no issues and we believe our latest firmware update will bring meaningful reliability improvements.
 

Roger20

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Mar 6, 2020
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West Yorkshire UK
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2020 Turbo Levo Comp
This is really good news and great credit to Specialized for being so open and up front about these motor issues. Most of the comment has been about sprag clutch and belt failures, along with updated motor firmware to alleviate stresses. As a rider in Yorkshire however, my concern has also been about water ingress and particularly crankshaft sealing.

My question for @Specialized Rider Care - do the new motor improvements include upgrades to internal water sealing?
 

Specialized Rider Care

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This is really good news and great credit to Specialized for being so open and up front about these motor issues. Most of the comment has been about sprag clutch and belt failures, along with updated motor firmware to alleviate stresses. As a rider in Yorkshire however, my concern has also been about water ingress and particularly crankshaft sealing.

My question for @Specialized Rider Care - do the new motor improvements include upgrades to internal water sealing?
Thanks for the question @Roger20 - I don't believe there are any changes related to water sealing made to the 2.1 motor since release. Having said that, water sealing has steadily improved with our motors since the 1.1 was released in 2016.
 

AWB

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Jul 9, 2020
22
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Germany
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Levo
My question for @Specialized Rider Care - do the new motor improvements include upgrades to internal water sealing?
Now thats something I am curious about, too. Especially after the pictures as shown here by @Bearing Man, though I doubt there would be any inclination for correcting this faulty construction. (The Ford-Pinto-Syndrom, you know;))
 

jsharpe

Member
May 15, 2019
99
68
USA
Really sorry to hear @Murch - Will PM you and we can check for you.
I recently had my motor replaced (first time) The SN of the new motor indicates a build date of 04/23/2020. Is that considered a "2021" version? I'm mostly concerned about the sprag clutch since that's what failed on my last motor (2020 Comp with a 10/2019 motor).
 

Manxbiker

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Jul 20, 2020
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@Specialized Rider Care I've been told by my local bike shop, that because I didn't buy the bike there I will be charged for this update, is this correct as the bike is a month old and obviously a required update to fix a known issue?
This is with an authorised specialized retailer by the way
 

Specialized Rider Care

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Specialized
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I recently had my motor replaced (first time) The SN of the new motor indicates a build date of 04/23/2020. Is that considered a "2021" version? I'm mostly concerned about the sprag clutch since that's what failed on my last motor (2020 Comp with a 10/2019 motor).
Hi @jsharpe - sorry to hear about the motor failure and yes this new motor has the latest revisions.
 
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Four Flusher

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Jun 24, 2019
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@Specialized Rider Care I've been told by my local bike shop, that because I didn't buy the bike there I will be charged for this update, is this correct as the bike is a month old and obviously a required update to fix a known issue?
This is with an authorised specialized retailer by the way
I'd like hear an answer for this since my dealer closed up shop!
 

Specialized Rider Care

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@Specialized Rider Care I've been told by my local bike shop, that because I didn't buy the bike there I will be charged for this update, is this correct as the bike is a month old and obviously a required update to fix a known issue?
This is with an authorised specialized retailer by the way
Thanks for asking @Manxbiker - the bottom line is that we don't want riders to be charged for this update. I'm guessing a few others may have the same question and I don't have the bandwidth to respond to every request, but whilst there are a couple of regional differences in general we'll cover this scenario for our retailers. Will PM you to see if I can help out.

That said - if you take your bike in and it needs one or two other things checking / sorting then the retailer should rightly charge you for this - it's quite normal that our retailers should check over your bike if they touch it and recommend preventative maintenance where they see it's necessary.
 

Kiwi in Wales

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Jan 24, 2018
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To all owners of 2019/20 Turbo Levo & 2020 Kenevo featuring the Specialized 2.1 motor, here's a letter to you from Mike Sinyard - our founder and CEO.

Thanks for all of your support & feedback on this forum. We'll keep a close eye on this thread and do our best to answer any questions.
Hey @Specialized Rider Care,
A huge thank you for listening and actually doing something about all our concerns regarding the motor failures. An FOC extended 2 year warranty period is a very customer focused thing to deliver and shows your company does actually care about a big section of your customer base. I am lucky enough to have 2 x 2019 Levo so I am covered 👍
However....... It is a real shame you are not doing something for the older Levo’s and Kenevo’s. Do you have any thoughts or comments on possible future support for these guys?
 

dogzilla

Active member
Aug 1, 2019
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Turbo Levo
It's brilliant to see a manufacturer step up and extend warranties like this. My 2019 bike is coming up to be a year old soon and unfortunately I haven't put as many miles on as I have liked. I'm now back riding again and I was worried I would hit some issue after the warranty was over.
It's good to know I'm covered for the next 4 years. Rutland Cycles have contacted me and I will be arranging the firmware update.
 

jsharpe

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May 15, 2019
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68
USA
Hi @jsharpe - sorry to hear about the motor failure and yes this new motor has the latest revisions.
Awesome! And I'd like to restate the obvious and say how cool it is the way you have stepped up the support for this issue. Even with my failure, I couldn't be happier with the the bike and really glad I went with Specialized for my first eMTB.

p.s. while I have your attention, I'm still waiting on a warranty replacement for a defective Charger for my Lyrik fork. I don't suppose you would have any information on when a replacement might be available? The LBS where I purchased it (Double Shot Cyclery) was only able to give me a rough estimate of "August". I've obviously still been able to ride it, but with no damping it's a bit of a handful on the rougher stuff :O
 

MrSimmo

Newbie
Apr 24, 2020
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Hi @Specialized Rider Care

In the UK we have a law that if a product has deemed and accepted to have a manufacturing defect (which the CEO has done with his letter) but it cannot be demonstrated (ie in this scenario the motor hasnt failed yet), it is still the responsibility of the manufacturer to offer a replacement at their cost to a remediated revision or alternative.

We love our Specialized Turbo bikes but the unknown potential failure at any given (and potentially remote location) moment is driving us to competitor products.

I personally purchased a Levo in June 2020 only to find it has a motor from April 2019 fitted. This was less than two months prior to the 2021MY bike release and therefore I would have expected to have a more recent motor which would have already had the “rolling” and “continuous” improvements fitted, but clearly hasn’t.

Please could I ask that you follow this up internally as really Specialized should be replacing all motors with a potential defect whether they have yet failed or not. At least for UK customers (I cannot speak for the laws of other countries).

Many Thanks
 

Roger20

Newbie
Mar 6, 2020
53
18
West Yorkshire UK
Ride
2020 Turbo Levo Comp
Hi @Specialized Rider Care

In the UK we have a law that if a product has deemed and accepted to have a manufacturing defect (which the CEO has done with his letter) but it cannot be demonstrated (ie in this scenario the motor hasnt failed yet), it is still the responsibility of the manufacturer to offer a replacement at their cost to a remediated revision or alternative.

We love our Specialized Turbo bikes but the unknown potential failure at any given (and potentially remote location) moment is driving us to competitor products.

I personally purchased a Levo in June 2020 only to find it has a motor from April 2019 fitted. This was less than two months prior to the 2021MY bike release and therefore I would have expected to have a more recent motor which would have already had the “rolling” and “continuous” improvements fitted, but clearly hasn’t.

Please could I ask that you follow this up internally as really Specialized should be replacing all motors with a potential defect whether they have yet failed or not. At least for UK customers (I cannot speak for the laws of other countries).

Many Thanks
With the belt, sprag clutch and firmware improvements I feel much more confident that this motor is no longer going to leave me stranded somewhere remote. It remains to be seen though whether water ingress will cause other internal failures but we should get much more notice of this hopefully. So a 4 year warranty does give very good long term peace of mind now.

3 years down the line - lets see just how good the water sealing is in the Mahle SL motor. I'm not aware of any bottom bracket on an analogue bike being bullet proof when ridden in the sort of bad winters and wet riding conditions we encounter in the UK. It should be possible to build a motor which gives a much longer life than the Brose 2.1 (or Bosch, Yamaha etc). But bulletproof for "life" - unlikely.

The question is - what are "reasonable" expectations, knowing the sort of riding conditions we encounter?
 
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Stefan-SS

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Aug 7, 2019
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Haibike Fullnine
To all owners of 2019/20 Turbo Levo & 2020 Kenevo featuring the Specialized 2.1 motor, here's a letter to you from Mike Sinyard - our founder and CEO.

Thanks for all of your support & feedback on this forum. We'll keep a close eye on this thread and do our best to answer any questions.
This is fantastic news!

I am in the market for a new bike and was looking at the Levo Comp, I did not dare to buy one. Now I feel that I can. Or could, there are no bikes to be had by now since this corona crisis have made people go out and buy bikes. I will have to wait for the 2021 models but still, it´s great to se a company take resposibility for their product like this. It´s also great that the warranty is transferrable.

/Stefan
 

RodC

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May 28, 2020
156
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Queretaro, Mexico
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Spesh T Levo 2020
Thank you Specialized. I haven’t had any issue on my 2020 Levo. But I feel great with this backup.

You won a customer for long time.

PS I hope it’s also valid in Mexico. I just read “worldwide” so it’s great
 

Specialized Rider Care

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Specialized
Jul 12, 2018
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Hi @Specialized Rider Care

In the UK we have a law that if a product has deemed and accepted to have a manufacturing defect (which the CEO has done with his letter) but it cannot be demonstrated (ie in this scenario the motor hasnt failed yet), it is still the responsibility of the manufacturer to offer a replacement at their cost to a remediated revision or alternative.
Hi @MrSimmo. Tough question but thanks for asking all the same - our position is that the firmware update we've released is meaningful for existing owners - the vast majority of whom are riding without issue anyhow - as it will extend the life of existing motors. Additionally, Mike's letter to riders at the beginning of this thread explains that we've made a number of running changes to this motor since launch. There is no single change/date where we move from 'faulty' to 'fixed', rather we're continually improving and will continue to improve. As an example, after strengthening the internal belt - we still saw field failures (albeit reduced) and this led us along with our motor partner to find the firmware bug we describe. We released this firmware to tackle an underlying driver of field-failure but have extended warranties (before any warranty had elapsed) to give retailers and riders the peace of mind they deserved.

I trust that answers your question. Similar laws exist in most countries (between buyer and seller) to protect you when all else fails, however I hope everyone reading can see that our aim here is transparency, to provide clarity to retailers and riders so that everyone globally receives the same level of support.
 

MrSimmo

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Apr 24, 2020
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UK
Hi @MrSimmo. Tough question but thanks for asking all the same - our position is that the firmware update we've released is meaningful for existing owners - the vast majority of whom are riding without issue anyhow - as it will extend the life of existing motors. Additionally, Mike's letter to riders at the beginning of this thread explains that we've made a number of running changes to this motor since launch. There is no single change/date where we move from 'faulty' to 'fixed', rather we're continually improving and will continue to improve. As an example, after strengthening the internal belt - we still saw field failures (albeit reduced) and this led us along with our motor partner to find the firmware bug we describe. We released this firmware to tackle an underlying driver of field-failure but have extended warranties (before any warranty had elapsed) to give retailers and riders the peace of mind they deserved.

I trust that answers your question. Similar laws exist in most countries (between buyer and seller) to protect you when all else fails, however I hope everyone reading can see that our aim here is transparency, to provide clarity to retailers and riders so that everyone globally receives the same level of support.
Thanks for taking the time to reply @Specialized Rider Care , and I'm sure I can speak for everyone on here to thank you and the company for thinking of your customers with the ongoing enhancements and extension of the warranty.


Two other questions, a number of us on here have had warranty replacement motors also fail with some failing recently. In fact, talking with a couple of well established and reputable LBS's, they are reporting more motor failures within the last month; so:

1. Are you taking steps to remove potentially defected motors from the warranty replacement pool? I.e. will any replacement motors from this point on contain the latest revisions to firmware and hardware?

2. Is there a view internally to refresh the 4 year warranty (from the perspective of the failing component) from the date of a motor replacement (i.e. a rolling warranty) or is it a fixed 4 years from the date of purchase of the bike as a whole?


Many Thanks
 

Specialized Rider Care

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Thanks for taking the time to reply @Specialized Rider Care

1. Are you taking steps to remove potentially defected motors from the warranty replacement pool? I.e. will any replacement motors from this point on contain the latest revisions to firmware and hardware?

2. Is there a view internally to refresh the 4 year warranty (from the perspective of the failing component) from the date of a motor replacement (i.e. a rolling warranty) or is it a fixed 4 years from the date of purchase of the bike as a whole?
Thanks for your support @MrSimmo. In reply to your questions: -

1. All motors in our global service inventory carry the latest revisions. Additionally, all retailers will update bike firmware to the latest versions if they change a motor (standard practice).

2. The 4 year warranty is from date of original purchase for bikes specifically mentioned.