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

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
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.
All eBike motors are not currently serviceable items. They are designed to be fitted and forgotten (Yes, I know we all know how that turns out). They are not currently designed to be taken apart and put back together on a regular basis.
Creaking / clicking under load, initially only when standing but now whilst seated!
Motor on motor off same creaking/clicking
Creaking and clicking is usually caused by something outside of the motor e.g. Motor bolts not quite tight enough causing the motor to creak against the frame. Front chainring bolts not tight enough causing the chainring to creak against the spider. Spider creaking on the motor drive. Crank arm creaking on the crankshaft. Pedal failing. Seat post creaking in the down tube. Rear quadrant bearings or pivots creaking. Rear shock linkage creaking. Rear cassette or freewheel hub creaking and finally, rear axle bolt creaking.
Yes, we have had all of these at some point or another and most people talking to us are just about to pull the trigger on a new motor! Always check motor bolts and chainring bolts first.
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'?
We have spoken to Brose about what parts are used and what are not! We have been assured that only parts in very good condition are ever re-used. I think I can assure you of this when they told me that most motors returned from the UK are scrapped because the motors have had water through them and are destroyed! (We can vouch for that!)
We also buy a lot of motors from overseas, if these come from a dry country, the parts are normally immaculate. And no reason they should not be used again.

When motors (any make) come out of warranty and their owners contact us, people like to tell us the back-story to their bikes and motor failures. Here is how the conversation normally goes:
Hello, eBike Motor Centre.
Hello, I think my motors' fooked!
OK, whats it doing?
The pedals are stiff to turn backwards and forwards.
Have you changed the front chainring lately?
Yes.
Did you use the Brose tool when you pulled the spider off?
No.
OK, send it in and we'll sort it out.

Or
Hello, eBike Motor Centre.
Hello, I think my motors' fooked!
OK, whats it doing?
The pedals are stiff to turn backwards.
Is it possible that your motor has water in it?
No, I never pressure wash it, I don't hose around that area, I never go through deep water.
Do you use a car rack to transport your bike?
Yes. We had a great trip up to Bike Park Wales last week. It rained all the way up there, but a great day.
OK, send it in and we'll dry it out and fix it.

I could do a 100 of these, and none of them will be the motors fault (Yes, I know it should be waterproof but it isn't). My point is; if you get through 4 or 5 motors in a thousand miles, it may not always be down to the motor 🤷‍♂️
 

Snrbrtsn

Active member
Apr 7, 2021
204
158
Uk - Scotland
All eBike motors are not currently serviceable items. They are designed to be fitted and forgotten (Yes, I know we all know how that turns out). They are not currently designed to be taken apart and put back together on a regular basis.

Creaking and clicking is usually caused by something outside of the motor e.g. Motor bolts not quite tight enough causing the motor to creak against the frame. Front chainring bolts not tight enough causing the chainring to creak against the spider. Spider creaking on the motor drive. Crank arm creaking on the crankshaft. Pedal failing. Seat post creaking in the down tube. Rear quadrant bearings or pivots creaking. Rear shock linkage creaking. Rear cassette or freewheel hub creaking and finally, rear axle bolt creaking.
Yes, we have had all of these at some point or another and most people talking to us are just about to pull the trigger on a new motor! Always check motor bolts and chainring bolts first.

Many Thanks for your response, it gives immense confidence in your respect for customer base!

I‘ve all but exhausted your suggestions, apart from chainring & bolts, crank arms and spider
Chain ring is likely worn and shall be replaced whilst refitting fork and replacing headset bearings
Crank arms are an easy check, though I hate removing cleaning then torqing beyond RFt
Pedals have just been replaced,
I’m left with spider creaking on motor drive, think I’ll have the LBS check as don’t have the socket though an opportunity to buy I guess
Also thinking of dropping motor & refitting, anything to detract my attention from that expensive bike website……..

Thanks!
 

salko

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Aug 29, 2019
1,235
834
SLO
Have you changed the front chainring lately?
Yes.
Did you use the Brose tool when you pulled the spider off?
No.
OK, send it in and we'll sort it out.
🤷‍♂️
I thought you can remove the chainring without removing the spider on all Levos, I have done it multiple times with 32t chainring on my Gen2 Levo ...
 
Last edited:

Coburn

Member
Aug 18, 2019
72
39
Somerset
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'?
I’m not sure on failure type for each motor and haven’t kept any records, typically i think they have all ended the same way with grinding noise and what feels like the belt slipping, although i have read that this slipping feeling isn’t the belt but symptom of something else!
 

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
I’m not sure on failure type for each motor and haven’t kept any records, typically i think they have all ended the same way with grinding noise and what feels like the belt slipping, although i have read that this slipping feeling isn’t the belt but symptom of something else!
This is the perfect example of what we see with most of the motors. A small amount of water gets into the outer crankshaft bearings, predominantly the right hand side needle roller bearing. As these bearings begin to wear they do it very quietly because they are also supported by the centre crankshaft bearing which takes some of the load. By the time you hear the grinding these bearings have let enough water through to work its way along the crankshaft to corrode and damage the crankshafts sprag clutch bearing. When this starts to slip is when people stop to take a close look at their motor.
You can see how this happens in the picture below.

Picture4.jpg
 

Tekmotiv

Tekmotiv.co.uk
Subscriber
Dec 28, 2021
30
17
Cambridge UK
We've sold a lot of Fantic EMTB all with Brose over the past 2.5 years, and from memory only one issue, which was wiring related. We don't see this level of failures......
 

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
We've sold a lot of Fantic EMTB all with Brose over the past 2.5 years, and from memory only one issue, which was wiring related. We don't see this level of failures......
I think your statement backs up the fact that, not as many motors fail as you read about on forums. However, when you have as many bikes out there as Specialized, get ready for a hard time! 🤪
 

fraatti

Member
Jun 1, 2020
99
41
Finland
@Bearing Man Is it normal that gen2 v2 crank is louder than gen2 v1 engine when revving pedals backwards?
Both bikes are 2020, quieter is original and louder motor is exchanged 2021.
 

rod9301

Member
Oct 10, 2020
143
70
US
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.
There's no way they have 1 percent failures. A lot of my friends have had motors replaced. So a LOT more.
 

rod9301

Member
Oct 10, 2020
143
70
US
All eBike motors are not currently serviceable items. They are designed to be fitted and forgotten (Yes, I know we all know how that turns out). They are not currently designed to be taken apart and put back together on a regular basis.

Creaking and clicking is usually caused by something outside of the motor e.g. Motor bolts not quite tight enough causing the motor to creak against the frame. Front chainring bolts not tight enough causing the chainring to creak against the spider. Spider creaking on the motor drive. Crank arm creaking on the crankshaft. Pedal failing. Seat post creaking in the down tube. Rear quadrant bearings or pivots creaking. Rear shock linkage creaking. Rear cassette or freewheel hub creaking and finally, rear axle bolt creaking.
Yes, we have had all of these at some point or another and most people talking to us are just about to pull the trigger on a new motor! Always check motor bolts and chainring bolts first.

We have spoken to Brose about what parts are used and what are not! We have been assured that only parts in very good condition are ever re-used. I think I can assure you of this when they told me that most motors returned from the UK are scrapped because the motors have had water through them and are destroyed! (We can vouch for that!)
We also buy a lot of motors from overseas, if these come from a dry country, the parts are normally immaculate. And no reason they should not be used again.

When motors (any make) come out of warranty and their owners contact us, people like to tell us the back-story to their bikes and motor failures. Here is how the conversation normally goes:
Hello, eBike Motor Centre.
Hello, I think my motors' fooked!
OK, whats it doing?
The pedals are stiff to turn backwards and forwards.
Have you changed the front chainring lately?
Yes.
Did you use the Brose tool when you pulled the spider off?
No.
OK, send it in and we'll sort it out.

Or
Hello, eBike Motor Centre.
Hello, I think my motors' fooked!
OK, whats it doing?
The pedals are stiff to turn backwards.
Is it possible that your motor has water in it?
No, I never pressure wash it, I don't hose around that area, I never go through deep water.
Do you use a car rack to transport your bike?
Yes. We had a great trip up to Bike Park Wales last week. It rained all the way up there, but a great day.
OK, send it in and we'll dry it out and fix it.

I could do a 100 of these, and none of them will be the motors fault (Yes, I know it should be waterproof but it isn't). My point is; if you get through 4 or 5 motors in a thousand miles, it may not always be down to the motor
I have two bosch bikes and never an issue even though i ride in the rain and transport it in the rain or snow
 

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
@Bearing Man Is it normal that gen2 v2 crank is louder than gen2 v1 engine when revving pedals backwards?
Both bikes are 2020, quieter is original and louder motor is exchanged 2021.
Unfortunately, It's common but not normal. In your case the left hand crankshaft bearing is in desperate need of replacement. As this bearing sounds so bad, I would suspect a few of the other bearings too.
Well done for doing this simple test and spotting this issue though! You may have saved yourself from having a totally destroyed motor soon.
 

fraatti

Member
Jun 1, 2020
99
41
Finland
Unfortunately, It's common but not normal. In your case the left hand crankshaft bearing is in desperate need of replacement. As this bearing sounds so bad, I would suspect a few of the other bearings too.
Well done for doing this simple test and spotting this issue though! You may have saved yourself from having a totally destroyed motor soon.
Ok, thank you. There is one year left warranty for this motor. I have watch this carefully, is it getting worse.
 

fraatti

Member
Jun 1, 2020
99
41
Finland
@Bearing Man Is it normal that gen2 v2 crank is louder than gen2 v1 engine when revving pedals backwards?
Both bikes are 2020, quieter is original and louder motor is exchanged 2021.
For a comparison, this is from almost new gen 3 bike (brose 2.2). Sound is completely different than from brose 2.1. What is making that whining, sprag clutch with metal cage?

 
Last edited:

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
For a comparison, this is from almost new gen 3 bike (brose 2.2). Sound is completely different than from brose 2.1. What is making that whining, sprag clutch with metal cage?

There are no different bearings or seals in the 2.2 motor, but watching the way the crank is dragging, it sounds and looks like someone has fitted a dry O-ring between the crank arm and the motor case?
 

Alexbn921

Well-known member
Sep 27, 2021
545
502
East Bay CA
The new new 2.2 have an o ring between the crankarm and the spider that is not on my 1 year old motor. Not sure if there are any other extra sealing.
 

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
The new new 2.2 have an o ring between the crankarm and the spider that is not on my 1 year old motor. Not sure if there are any other extra sealing.
Unfortunately, the O-Ring is not a Brose part. And there is still no extra sealing on the current 2.2 motors.
 

Sinkrate

Member
Jan 27, 2020
23
4
Uk
This thread is interesting reading from someone who’s about to buy a Kenevo! Being stranded miles away does not sound fun with the weight on this bike
 

Sinkrate

Member
Jan 27, 2020
23
4
Uk
It does seem a v good warranty but needed. Any difference in the SL motors v FF as far as failures go?
 

fraatti

Member
Jun 1, 2020
99
41
Finland
There are no different bearings or seals in the 2.2 motor, but watching the way the crank is dragging, it sounds and looks like someone has fitted a dry O-ring between the crank arm and the motor case?
Ok, I thought that they have changed more than just belt between first s-mag and latest 2.2? There has been three different version of belt? Is belt spinning if you turn pedals backwards?
 

Snrbrtsn

Active member
Apr 7, 2021
204
158
Uk - Scotland
Many Thanks for your response, it gives immense confidence in your respect for customer base!

I‘ve all but exhausted your suggestions, apart from chainring & bolts, crank arms and spider
Chain ring is likely worn and shall be replaced whilst refitting fork and replacing headset bearings
Crank arms are an easy check, though I hate removing cleaning then torqing beyond RFt
Pedals have just been replaced,
I’m left with spider creaking on motor drive, think I’ll have the LBS check as don’t have the socket though an opportunity to buy I guess
Also thinking of dropping motor & refitting, anything to detract my attention from that expensive bike website……..

Thanks!

I thought it only fair to add my efforts from yesterday, having been out of country working, looking and deciding on new bike & shopping for bike tear down bits to rebuild & eliminate my frustrating noise, believing motor fault!

My Fork & shock was sent for service
Headset Bearings replaced and fitted on install
Cranks removed & cleaned
New 36t Chainring fitted with new bolts
New Chain, Cassette & Jockey wheels acquired and fitted
Motor bolts checked - x6
Lower chain stay bolt removed, cleaned and refitted
Full bolt check, (break/make lube & torqued) tyre, fork & shock pressures set
‘Road’ test bike & its a keeper.

Sublime silence has been restored without the need for motor 4
Real difference noted in Fork/shock service but more importantly no creaks or cracks
I did come back with scuffing brakes, though easily adjusted!

Woohoo! My motors not Phwacked!
Great pointers @Bearing Man certainly gave the enthusiasm to not give up & concide!
 
Last edited:

Bearing Man

Ebike Motor Centre
Patreon
Sep 29, 2018
851
2,004
UK
Ok, I thought that they have changed more than just belt between first s-mag and latest 2.2? There has been three different version of belt? Is belt spinning if you turn pedals backwards?
Brose are a company that do continuous small rolling changes without updating the model number. This is until there are enough little changes to warrant a whole new number. One thing this means for example, when they went from 2.1 to 2.2, there was not one big change. In fact there was no real big change at all! It was just an accumulation of small changes that had happened over the life of the 2.1. This is obviously continuing over the life of the 2.2 that will itself one day become the 2.3.

*NEWS FLASH* We have just heard that Brose may now be fitting a seal or seals in their motors, like we have for the last three and a half years! This has only happened in the last couple of months so we have yet to see one, but will keep you posted if this is true! (this may also explain some of the stiff squeaky crankshafts we have seen on new motors!).

There has been 5 belt changes over the years, with the latest belt belt being made from a polymer instead of carbon.
 

billium

Member
Jul 10, 2022
93
84
Sussex
*NEWS FLASH* We have just heard that Brose may now be fitting a seal or seals in their motors, like we have for the last three and a half years! This has only happened in the last couple of months so we have yet to see one, but will keep you posted if this is true! (this may also explain some of the stiff squeaky crankshafts we have seen on new motors!).
Very interesting - & timely!
I will be buying a new bike in the next 2 weeks and Levo would be my first choice but for the motor.
If they have finally decided that waterproofing is a good idea ( duh) then that would change my mind.
It is just external compression seal or more like your mod with internal seal too?

Please keep us updated if you hear more.
 

Kimmoi

Well-known member
Jul 6, 2018
391
384
Finland
This is the perfect example of what we see with most of the motors. A small amount of water gets into the outer crankshaft bearings, predominantly the right hand side needle roller bearing. As these bearings begin to wear they do it very quietly because they are also supported by the centre crankshaft bearing which takes some of the load. By the time you hear the grinding these bearings have let enough water through to work its way along the crankshaft to corrode and damage the crankshafts sprag clutch bearing. When this starts to slip is when people stop to take a close look at their motor.
You can see how this happens in the picture below.

View attachment 112072
Two years and soon 9000km behind with my Levo. Water, dirt, cold weather. No problems.
I live in Finland, i ride all year round. -25celsius to +30 celsius. Lots of wet conditions.
 

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