Levo Gen 2 Are Brose & Specialized Fixing Their Motor Problem ?

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
97
86
Sussex
Fitting a seal is now standard practice for us and all our partners worldwide, including Michael in the US who made this lovely video. We always add this and several other layers of sealing when repairing these motors.
The picture below shows a cutaway of the crank assembly where you can see our X-ring outer seal a layer of waterproof grease, then our rotary shaft seal, followed by the internally sealed needle roller bearing.

You can also see at the bottom, the gap that the grease fills and what happens to a motor without this sealing.

View attachment 110930 View attachment 110931 View attachment 110932
As someone who is in the market for a new bike in the next few weeks and has Levo on my shortlist, that third pic really scares me! This is such a glaringly dumb design deficiency.

Question:
Assuming that you are not allowed to perform warranty service ( or upgrades) and thus don't see motors until they are out of warranty, do you know with any certainty what (if any) modifications have been made by Brose recently to mitigate the water ingress issues?

Are they just adding the external compression x-ring or are they also adding the internal seal and grease at the factory now?

It would be better all around if :
1. They added the whole seal upgrade at the factory - costing them pennies.
2. You were made a factory approved service center so you can work on all motors - old and new without voiding the warranty. This would presumably get you access to the parts they won't sell to anyone too.

I for one would not think twice about paying a little extra to get a new bike's motor upgraded for UK weather.

Until that happens, if I do decide to buy a new Levo anyway then I suppose I will need to 'hope for' ( wink wink):) a warranty motor replacement just before my 2 year warranty runs out and then immediately send the new motor to you for upgrade.
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,157
2,076
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
As someone who is in the market for a new bike in the next few weeks and has Levo on my shortlist, that third pic really scares me! This is such a glaringly dumb design deficiency.

Question:
Assuming that you are not allowed to perform warranty service ( or upgrades) and thus don't see motors until they are out of warranty, do you know with any certainty what (if any) modifications have been made by Brose recently to mitigate the water ingress issues?

Are they just adding the external compression x-ring or are they also adding the internal seal and grease at the factory now?

It would be better all around if :
1. They added the whole seal upgrade at the factory - costing them pennies.
2. You were made a factory approved service center so you can work on all motors - old and new without voiding the warranty. This would presumably get you access to the parts they won't sell to anyone too.

I for one would not think twice about paying a little extra to get a new bike's motor upgraded for UK weather.

Until that happens, if I do decide to buy a new Levo anyway then I suppose I will need to 'hope for' ( wink wink):) a warranty motor replacement just before my 2 year warranty runs out and then immediately send the new motor to you for upgrade.
We have Bosch Gen 4 motors and live about an hour from @Bearing Man

Our 2 year (Trek Rail alloy) motor warranties expire in early January 2024 and whether or not we require warranty replacement motors between now and then, both our motors will be going there ^^^ for "The Full Monty" treatment in December 2023.
 

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
889
2,123
UK
As someone who is in the market for a new bike in the next few weeks and has Levo on my shortlist, that third pic really scares me! This is such a glaringly dumb design deficiency.

Question:
Assuming that you are not allowed to perform warranty service ( or upgrades) and thus don't see motors until they are out of warranty, do you know with any certainty what (if any) modifications have been made by Brose recently to mitigate the water ingress issues?

Are they just adding the external compression x-ring or are they also adding the internal seal and grease at the factory now?

It would be better all around if :
1. They added the whole seal upgrade at the factory - costing them pennies.
2. You were made a factory approved service center so you can work on all motors - old and new without voiding the warranty. This would presumably get you access to the parts they won't sell to anyone too.

I for one would not think twice about paying a little extra to get a new bike's motor upgraded for UK weather.

Until that happens, if I do decide to buy a new Levo anyway then I suppose I will need to 'hope for' ( wink wink):) a warranty motor replacement just before my 2 year warranty runs out and then immediately send the new motor to you for upgrade.
We do get access to most new motors and models to "investigate" sometimes before they are officially released. (Times are moving on). Unfortunately, we are often contractually bound and can't say what we have seen or not seen.
I can say that Brose are not currently adding seals or grease at this time 05/04/23.

For us to add a seal or some grease etc. is a relatively simple process, we fit the seal test it and if it works we use it! It's basically the same process for a manufacturer but then they have to approve the concept and test the idea to set criteria. We can fit a seal and know that it's proven technology and will not fail. To comply with corporate dictate a manufacturer would have to do an extended salt spray test, maybe a 10,000 + mile run test, etc. This is not to mention the hours and hours of meetings for finance, warranty, manual rewrites, training changes, factory process changes etc. etc. etc.

"You were made a factory approved service centre" :censored:
 

Bndit

Active member
Jul 14, 2022
166
207
Finland
As someone who is in the market for a new bike in the next few weeks and has Levo on my shortlist, that third pic really scares me! This is such a glaringly dumb design deficiency.

Question:
Assuming that you are not allowed to perform warranty service ( or upgrades) and thus don't see motors until they are out of warranty, do you know with any certainty what (if any) modifications have been made by Brose recently to mitigate the water ingress issues?

Are they just adding the external compression x-ring or are they also adding the internal seal and grease at the factory now?

It would be better all around if :
1. They added the whole seal upgrade at the factory - costing them pennies.
2. You were made a factory approved service center so you can work on all motors - old and new without voiding the warranty. This would presumably get you access to the parts they won't sell to anyone too.

I for one would not think twice about paying a little extra to get a new bike's motor upgraded for UK weather.

Until that happens, if I do decide to buy a new Levo anyway then I suppose I will need to 'hope for' ( wink wink):) a warranty motor replacement just before my 2 year warranty runs out and then immediately send the new motor to you for upgrade.
As someone who is in the market for a new bike in the next few weeks and has Levo on my shortlist, that third pic really scares me! This is such a glaringly dumb design deficiency.

Question:
Assuming that you are not allowed to perform warranty service ( or upgrades) and thus don't see motors until they are out of warranty, do you know with any certainty what (if any) modifications have been made by Brose recently to mitigate the water ingress issues?

Are they just adding the external compression x-ring or are they also adding the internal seal and grease at the factory now?

It would be better all around if :
1. They added the whole seal upgrade at the factory - costing them pennies.
2. You were made a factory approved service center so you can work on all motors - old and new without voiding the warranty. This would presumably get you access to the parts they won't sell to anyone too.

I for one would not think twice about paying a little extra to get a new bike's motor upgraded for UK weather.

Until that happens, if I do decide to buy a new Levo anyway then I suppose I will need to 'hope for' ( wink wink):) a warranty motor replacement just before my 2 year warranty runs out and then immediately send the new motor to you for upgrade.
I have had Levo for two years now, 2600km`s on it, two Finnish winters. I love it and there hasn`t been any problems. My Gen4 Bosch for my commuter was replaced last year after 4000km`s/ 1 year because of some electrical problem. My friends EP8 was gone just before 2 year warranty expired and was replaced.
 

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
97
86
Sussex
We do get access to most new motors and models to "investigate" sometimes before they are officially released. (Times are moving on). Unfortunately, we are often contractually bound and can't say what we have seen or not seen.
I can say that Brose are not currently adding seals or grease at this time 05/04/23.

For us to add a seal or some grease etc. is a relatively simple process, we fit the seal test it and if it works we use it! It's basically the same process for a manufacturer but then they have to approve the concept and test the idea to set criteria. We can fit a seal and know that it's proven technology and will not fail. To comply with corporate dictate a manufacturer would have to do an extended salt spray test, maybe a 10,000 + mile run test, etc. This is not to mention the hours and hours of meetings for finance, warranty, manual rewrites, training changes, factory process changes etc. etc. etc.

"You were made a factory approved service centre" :censored:

Damn,

I really was hoping they would see your mitigation and just adopt it given that it would cost perhaps 75p for the seal (in volume) and an extra 10 seconds of assembly time.

As for the corporate nonsense, I have run many contentious design review/change meetings and agree that process can often slow changes to a crawl. But, there are times when changes are so simple and low risk that the manager can just say ‘do it’ without any drawn-out verification testing - particularly if the cost is low and any imagined worst-case outcome is better than doing nothing at all.

Here, I cannot imagine any scenario where Brose performing your mod at the factory could be anything but beneficial.


p.s. I seriously doubt Brose have ever run a spray test on this motor– if they had, this would have been fixed long ago at the design stage!
 

brigcampbell

Active member
May 30, 2022
176
126
SoCal
Brose knows it's a design flaw and has decided it's not worth it to make the change. That's unfortunate.

We know they saw the belt as a significant issue because they changed it resulting in a "gen 2" version.
 

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
97
86
Sussex
Brose knows it's a design flaw and has decided it's not worth it to make the change. That's unfortunate.

We know they saw the belt as a significant issue because they changed it resulting in a "gen 2" version.
With the belt, there was probably a substantial additional cost for the new belt material - probably over €40 that they have to eat forever so that one would ( & should) need some careful thought.

But for the seal mod, the 'worth it' is an absolute no-brainer! Say €1 for seal & grease + extra 10 seconds of assembly time to keep water out of the motor and substantially improve its reliability.
How could anyone at Brose production argue against such a small cost vs benefit?
 

irie

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
May 2, 2022
2,157
2,076
Chichester, W.Sussex, UK
You have to be realistic about the importance of eBike motors to Brose corporation.

 

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
97
86
Sussex
You have to be realistic about the importance of eBike motors to Brose corporation.

Even big companies want to make money at each vertical.

If people raise enough stink about this then perhaps corporate will notice as they did with the belt issue. After-all that resulted in an expensive part change and temporary warranty doubling worldwide. Clearly they thought that issue was 'important'.

I suppose it is possible that the Brose motor product manager gets regular reports of failure modes of examined samples of returned motors and can then bring resources to bear when issues like this become statistically significant.
But that takes work. I suspect all motors just get binned and nothing changes until their sales department starts screaming about bad press and angry dealers.
 

Jedman5c

Member
Aug 25, 2020
12
9
Simi Valley
Even big companies want to make money at each vertical.

If people raise enough stink about this then perhaps corporate will notice as they did with the belt issue. After-all that resulted in an expensive part change and temporary warranty doubling worldwide. Clearly they thought that issue was 'important'.

I suppose it is possible that the Brose motor product manager gets regular reports of failure modes of examined samples of returned motors and can then bring resources to bear when issues like this become statistically significant.
But that takes work. I suspect all motors just get binned and nothing changes until their sales department starts screaming about bad press and angry dealers.
The Brose motor problem is so rampant that I would guess that there are way too many motors to just throw them in the bin. It would cost them way too much money to replace all those motors out of new stock. My guess is that replaced motors get rebuilt and go back in the recirculation as new to shops around the world. And….the problem isn’t relegated to just 19-21. My gen 3, 22 S-Works Levo is in need of its 5th motor..
 

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
97
86
Sussex
The Brose motor problem is so rampant that I would guess that there are way too many motors to just throw them in the bin. It would cost them way too much money to replace all those motors out of new stock. My guess is that replaced motors get rebuilt and go back in the recirculation as new to shops around the world. And….the problem isn’t relegated to just 19-21. My gen 3, 22 S-Works Levo is in need of its 5th motor..
I'm not sure whose guess is worse:
  • They just bin returned motors and have no idea about the water problems - 'we fixed that belt issue so everything is fine now".
  • Or, they do refurb the motors and thus are well-aware of water intrusion issues but are still not interested in adding an inexpensive seal + grease (with zero part changes) to improve water resistance.
 

Bndit

Active member
Jul 14, 2022
166
207
Finland
Or then there isn`t many motor failures and it`s cheaper to replace those that fails. People seem to forgot how many specialized ebikes are sold in last few years plus all other Brose motor bikes… and there`s something to upgrade for the new version of this motor 😀
 

Jedman5c

Member
Aug 25, 2020
12
9
Simi Valley
There definitely is “that” many motor problems. Just in my immediate riding group alone I can count close to 30 motor replacements over the last few years.
 

brigcampbell

Active member
May 30, 2022
176
126
SoCal
There definitely is “that” many motor problems. Just in my immediate riding group alone I can count close to 30 motor replacements over the last few years.
Yeah, it's not the total number of motor failures that's the metric. It's the number of failures per bike.

What is the chance of a Brose failure in the first two years? 1 in 3?
 

Doomanic

🛠️Wrecker🛠️
Patreon
Founding Member
Jan 21, 2018
8,539
10,039
UK
I'm not sure whose guess is worse:
  • They just bin returned motors and have no idea about the water problems - 'we fixed that belt issue so everything is fine now".
  • Or, they do refurb the motors and thus are well-aware of water intrusion issues but are still not interested in adding an inexpensive seal + grease (with zero part changes) to improve water resistance.
It’s the latter. This has come up many times over the years this forum has existed and I can’t be arsed to find the actual thread where the question was answered definitively.
 

Christox

Member
Aug 12, 2020
85
76
Freiburg/ Germany
The new plastic Belt looks promising.
When i'm right i see in-moulded Kevlar fibres 🤩





9AC0B5A7-5462-4294-A1C0-696ECCB33BB8.jpeg

E1A64DDA-8782-4C37-929A-110F7AEA7C73.jpeg


D4DAD24D-5EE5-42BF-A1D2-0569B161AAC5.jpeg
 

boBE

Active member
Apr 12, 2020
415
361
FL
I ride with two 2019 Vados (class 3) that have over 6000 miles, no belt problems. These have been ridden primarily on dirt/sand/gravel, in heavy rain and puddles, washed frequently.
One recently developed a noise like cicadas, the LBS got Specialized to replace the motor at a good price.
Out of all the bikes Spec sold with Brose motors Levos may be a small percentage, the number of failures may be a small percentage of Levos. The company I worked for stopped production if failures in warranty reached 1%, Brose may use similar numbers (or not).

The number of failures is a real problem but we don't know how many, apparently not enough to get Brose and Spec to take action.
 

Andy__C

Active member
Apr 11, 2020
101
104
South Wales
I'm going to have to ammend my post in this from last summer in this thread (3 years, same original motor).

After 3.7ish years my '19 expert is getting a new motor. Weirdly, the motor hadn't failed, I ended up taking it back to the shop for a dead tcu - probably from water ingress (this last 6 months in wales has been crazy wet). Kindly this will be replaced out of warrantly)

I've heard back from the shop that the motor also feels very grainy/notchy and with play so they have managed to get a warranty replacement approved - unprompted from myself.

Timing wise I guess this probably works out well, not quite 4 years and past the warranty period. I have always assumed I've been "one of the lucky ones" (a rarity!) as I ride twice a week mostly in South Wales whatever the weather and trail conditions. the bike gets a quick hose when its really bad and mostly clearing the drivetrain and bearings.

Aaaaaanyway...... watching some of the Ebike motor centre (PLB) youtube videos i guess it was only a mattr of time with internal rusting/wear of the bearings before something happens.


I'd love to get another 3 years out of this motor but i'm aware of not tinkering too much affecting warranty. Has there been any further thoughts/progression on any preventative treatment for issues like the X-ring seals or application of grease @Bearing Man ?

Outside of that once this motor is hopefully progressing through its warranty period it makes 100% sense to get it into the ebikemotorcentre for the Brose upgrade and sealing. Shame it can't be done inside of specialized/brose's warranty period.
 

Doomanic

🛠️Wrecker🛠️
Patreon
Founding Member
Jan 21, 2018
8,539
10,039
UK
The warranty ends 4 years from the date of purchase, not the date of replacement. You might as well get all the upgrades as soon as you get it back.
 

Doomanic

🛠️Wrecker🛠️
Patreon
Founding Member
Jan 21, 2018
8,539
10,039
UK
Not to my knowledge. Lots of people have misinterpreted the extended warranty Spesh offered on the 2019/2020 bikes.
It probably stems from Bosch offering a rolling warranty on the old Gen 2 Performance CX but it was never officially recognised and stopped when the Gen 4 was released.
 

Binhill1

🍊 Tango Man 🍊
Mar 7, 2019
2,868
4,318
Scotland
I'm going to have to ammend my post in this from last summer in this thread (3 years, same original motor).

After 3.7ish years my '19 expert is getting a new motor. Weirdly, the motor hadn't failed, I ended up taking it back to the shop for a dead tcu - probably from water ingress (this last 6 months in wales has been crazy wet). Kindly this will be replaced out of warrantly)

I've heard back from the shop that the motor also feels very grainy/notchy and with play so they have managed to get a warranty replacement approved - unprompted from myself.

Timing wise I guess this probably works out well, not quite 4 years and past the warranty period. I have always assumed I've been "one of the lucky ones" (a rarity!) as I ride twice a week mostly in South Wales whatever the weather and trail conditions. the bike gets a quick hose when its really bad and mostly clearing the drivetrain and bearings.

Aaaaaanyway...... watching some of the Ebike motor centre (PLB) youtube videos i guess it was only a mattr of time with internal rusting/wear of the bearings before something happens.


I'd love to get another 3 years out of this motor but i'm aware of not tinkering too much affecting warranty. Has there been any further thoughts/progression on any preventative treatment for issues like the X-ring seals or application of grease @Bearing Man ?

Outside of that once this motor is hopefully progressing through its warranty period it makes 100% sense to get it into the ebikemotorcentre for the Brose upgrade and sealing. Shame it can't be done inside of specialized/brose's warranty period.
Good run that I must say.. I got one replaced about 16 months ago no problems with it but they picked up an error and changed it. I've got 3000mls out of that till it broke new one in the post hopefully a 6000 miler. Reckon you get more rain than we do up here.
 

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
889
2,123
UK
I'm going to have to ammend my post in this from last summer in this thread (3 years, same original motor).

After 3.7ish years my '19 expert is getting a new motor. Weirdly, the motor hadn't failed, I ended up taking it back to the shop for a dead tcu - probably from water ingress (this last 6 months in wales has been crazy wet). Kindly this will be replaced out of warrantly)

I've heard back from the shop that the motor also feels very grainy/notchy and with play so they have managed to get a warranty replacement approved - unprompted from myself.

Timing wise I guess this probably works out well, not quite 4 years and past the warranty period. I have always assumed I've been "one of the lucky ones" (a rarity!) as I ride twice a week mostly in South Wales whatever the weather and trail conditions. the bike gets a quick hose when its really bad and mostly clearing the drivetrain and bearings.

Aaaaaanyway...... watching some of the Ebike motor centre (PLB) youtube videos i guess it was only a mattr of time with internal rusting/wear of the bearings before something happens.


I'd love to get another 3 years out of this motor but i'm aware of not tinkering too much affecting warranty. Has there been any further thoughts/progression on any preventative treatment for issues like the X-ring seals or application of grease @Bearing Man ?

Outside of that once this motor is hopefully progressing through its warranty period it makes 100% sense to get it into the ebikemotorcentre for the Brose upgrade and sealing. Shame it can't be done inside of specialized/brose's warranty period.
Will PM you.
 

davosaurusrex

E*POWAH Master
Apr 21, 2018
611
360
Worthing
Not to my knowledge. Lots of people have misinterpreted the extended warranty Spesh offered on the 2019/2020 bikes.
It probably stems from Bosch offering a rolling warranty on the old Gen 2 Performance CX but it was never officially recognised and stopped when the Gen 4 was released.
Shimano also did the rolling two year warranty, at least for the E8000, never official though. I got two replacements on my early 2018 E-Sommet, last one went within the 2 year period and it was rejected as the bike was deemed too old. I don't know what the policy is for newer bikes now.
 

Coburn

Member
Aug 18, 2019
73
40
Somerset
The Brose motor problem is so rampant that I would guess that there are way too many motors to just throw them in the bin. It would cost them way too much money to replace all those motors out of new stock. My guess is that replaced motors get rebuilt and go back in the recirculation as new to shops around the world. And….the problem isn’t relegated to just 19-21. My gen 3, 22 S-Works Levo is in need of its 5th motor..
I have a 2020 Kenevo on its 6th motor only 2 off which have latest any length of time / miles. The 1st and 4th motors latest x10 that of the others. I think these motors were new based on the fact the first was supplied in a new bike and the 4th was dropped out of a new bike and I suspect all the other motors were reconditioned.

I have no problem with reconditioned motors in fact id encourage it provided they are fit for propose. Why they can’t just set up a decent servicing scheme via my LBS I’d be happy to pay out for a maintenance every 6 months.

PS cant wait to get out on Saturday motor permitting....
 

Snrbrtsn

Active member
Apr 7, 2021
215
167
Uk - Scotland
Think… I’m looking at motor no4…
Creaking / clicking under load, initially only when standing but now whilst seated!

I’m in denial, so far, only circa 1000km on motor no3 though I’m guessing mileage has no relevance,
I’m currently blaming the headset bearing having changed the front wheel bearings, replaced the chain, cassette, have put on the original rear wheel, original chainring is going on, dropping the fork for a service tomorrow checked all the motor & linkage bearings & bolts, seat post has just been out during brake upgrade…

Motor on motor off same creaking/clicking

I kind of get this push on Ev Eco power as if it was petrol power I’d throw a match in the tank!
 
Last edited:

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
97
86
Sussex
I have a 2020 Kenevo on its 6th motor only 2 off which have latest any length of time / miles. The 1st and 4th motors latest x10 that of the others. I think these motors were new based on the fact the first was supplied in a new bike and the 4th was dropped out of a new bike and I suspect all the other motors were reconditioned.

I have no problem with reconditioned motors in fact id encourage it provided they are fit for propose. Why they can’t just set up a decent servicing scheme via my LBS I’d be happy to pay out for a maintenance every 6 months.

PS cant wait to get out on Saturday motor permitting....
Interesting,
So, the two known-new motors lasted much longer than the four reconditioned units.
Were these bearing failures?
If they were corroded drive side bearings then the crank would probably have to be replaced along with the rollers as part of the 'recon' since the crank is effectively the 'inner race' of the bearing but if they are going cheap on repairs and just replacing the rollers I can see why recons would not last long with new rollers rolling on an old pitted crank.
Also, although it was nice of your dealer to pull a new motor from another bike for you I wonder if that bike got a real new motor or a 'recon'?
 

EMTB Forums

Since 2018

The World's largest electric mountain bike community.

531K
Messages
26,402
Members
Join Our Community

Latest articles


Top