Other Levo Expert vs Kenevo SL Expert

JCU Delt Ox

New Member
Apr 22, 2022
8
2
Ohio, USA
Any try to make the choice between the standard Levo and a Kenevo SL? I'm looking for capability but not necessarily max power. I'm coming from a Rise with 65NM and 540WH. Both of those figures were just fine, it was the frame and suspension that was the limiting factor. I would love a little more capability without a ton of weight.

One of my favorite loops is about 37 Miles with 4,400ft of elevation.

The Kenevo SL looks killer but having not been restricted to 35NM before, I wonder if it's enough power or the range is satisfactory? The standard Kenevo is definitely too much bike.

The Levo has more than enough power and a geo that would still be more capable than the Rise at the cost of a couple more pounds.

Who's had to make this choice and which direction did you go?
 
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Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
5,052
3,648
Weymouth
If your main priority is rough terrain capability.........but you also need that sort of range ( 37 miles) I would go for the full fat Kenevo. It has a reputation for being a ble to deal with roughest terrain as well as still retaining good climbing capability and if your type of riding is not twisty single track I dont think bike weight makes any difference because what you need is stability/capability beyond that of a trail bike. In terms of power you can of course tune that to suit.
 

MM5K

Member
Jan 24, 2022
22
30
Bay Area
I can chime in, as I have both, although I currently have the KSL listed for sale.

First point is the motor and battery. The difference in torque is massive when comparing turbo vs turbo. Trail on the Levo feels a bit more powerful than turbo on the KSL, and the Levo's eco feels a bit more powerful than the KSL's trail. Realistically, turbo and trail on the KSL are both huge when you're coming off a regular bike, and it's enough for me to get up anything, to the point where traction is the main concern, but then turbo on the Levo is just truly bonkers. I did an accidental burnout on my garage floor when I was first testing it out.

The battery capacity is really the big one for me. I like being able to do at least 6k rides on the weekends, and with the KSL, you have to dial the power down so much, it just feels like a fast XC bike. I've even done a 50mi/10k ft ride on the KSL, which took me over 6 hours with battery to spare (with range extender), but I was just moving along at analog pace (9.2mph avg). I just bought the Levo a couple weeks ago, because I want to do big rides at ebike speed, and the 700Wh battery lets me do that. As a bonus, I don't have the range extender taking up my bottle cage. Here's my range table for the KSL - I don't have enough data on the Levo yet:

Screenshot 2023-01-24 at 1.40.10 PM.png


Regarding handling, throw the idea of weight out the door. I don't notice the difference in weight at all, but what I do notice is the handling that comes from geo and suspension setup. The KSL descends like an Enduro, and the Levo descends like a Stumpy Evo. KSL is much more planted and point-and-shoot, whereas the Levo is much more snappy and laser-precise. On capability, put it this way - if you can't ride it on the Levo/Stumpy Evo, you won't be able to ride it on the KSL/Enduro. IMO, the bigger bike just makes the ride more comfy with more margin for error, but not necessarily the difference in being able to or not being able to ride a certain feature, especially given the geo adjustments on the Levo.

If the KSL had a full-sized motor and battery, I'd have a tough time choosing between it and the Levo, but for me, the Levo is hands down the obvious choice for me, with how I like to use it. FWIW, I have a couple other buddies who've owned both, but quickly ditched their KSL's for Levos as well - and we're all young, fit guys. It's not about doing less work with the bigger motor/battery, it's about going faster. The speed is really addicting. I also find that I'm typically a little faster downhill on a slightly smaller, stiffer bike (suspension-wise), as it pumps and carries speed better than a big squishy bike.

Here's a couple clips from some filming I did on the Levo yesterday - As you can see, it turns very well!
 
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Olivier Clg

Member
Nov 15, 2021
28
27
France
I think the choice really depends on your playing field and what you expect from your bike. I have owned the Levo Gen3 since the end of December 2021 and the KSL since the end of October 2022. To date I have done 5700 km with the Levo and just under 1000 km with the KSL. But...my favorite practice is more fun enduro (with an average of 35 km for 1600 m of elevation gain) than long hiking. Certainly the Levo allows you to climb faster and to pass more easily through trials and steeper sections than the KSL thanks to its more powerful engine, but I find the KSL much more pleasant to ride on all descents (and that's what I look for). It suits me much better on the technical and steep rocky descents that I like. For me the KSL is a mtb with assistance, that is to say that it is the bike that assists me when I need it. The Levo is an emtb ie it's me who assists him😝 Feeling different. To date, I put my Levo on sale and I keep the KSL which, for me, is almost perfect. I love it🤩
 

ebikerider

Active member
Oct 1, 2019
537
345
Australia
I’ve had both. I do love the KSL and it is almost perfect….almost. For me it needed a little more power and the rear end had a annoying trait of feeling rough AF on one specific type of trail. Riding the KSL it basically turns you into a very fast XC rider going up. Even when in turbo with the KSL, when riding with full fat bikes in trail mode it's a workout and takes a little of the joy out of the ride when you are getting flogged trying to keep up. KSL is definitely in a happy place when riding alone or with very fit riders on analogues or a group of SL's. Riding with FF bikes isn't good ime. Also the motor is a little whiny (mostly it's fine but some days it was annoying). Bike handles beautifully and feels super well balanced front to rear and generates a heap of grip.

Levo does everything the KSL did but overall does it faster (as the KSL gets destroyed uphill). With a 170 fork and even on the standard rear link the Levo is super capable. Zero worry about range with the big battery. Ample power everywhere. The extra weight is slightly noticeable on change of direction and hard braking but you would need to ride them back to back to really notice it. A KSL with a 50Nm motor 'might' get me thinking of one again but honestly, the Levo is bloody good.

KSL looks better imo.
 

JCU Delt Ox

New Member
Apr 22, 2022
8
2
Ohio, USA
You guys are absolute killing the responses on this. Much of what you're saying mirrors my own thoughts. With the more trail-focused riding that I do, the Levo will be more than enough. It's too bad the Levo SL hasn't had the geo and travel updates the Levo has. If the Levo SL was a 160mm bike from the start, that'd be the ticket.
 

MM5K

Member
Jan 24, 2022
22
30
Bay Area
You guys are absolute killing the responses on this. Much of what you're saying mirrors my own thoughts. With the more trail-focused riding that I do, the Levo will be more than enough. It's too bad the Levo SL hasn't had the geo and travel updates the Levo has. If the Levo SL was a 160mm bike from the start, that'd be the ticket.
Keep an eye out, possibly some time middle of this year. I may or may not have seen the new Levo SL - it looked pretty much identical to the Levo, but in an SL package. Same geo adjustments and mullet configuration. I don’t have any motor info, but I heard the battery should be ~70Wh larger.
 

Mr. Light

New Member
Jan 3, 2023
6
8
Los Angeles
I can chime in, as I have both, although I currently have the KSL listed for sale.

First point is the motor and battery. The difference in torque is massive when comparing turbo vs turbo. Trail on the Levo feels a bit more powerful than turbo on the KSL, and the Levo's eco feels a bit more powerful than the KSL's trail. Realistically, turbo and trail on the KSL are both huge when you're coming off a regular bike, and it's enough for me to get up anything, to the point where traction is the main concern, but then turbo on the Levo is just truly bonkers. I did an accidental burnout on my garage floor when I was first testing it out.

The battery capacity is really the big one for me. I like being able to do at least 6k rides on the weekends, and with the KSL, you have to dial the power down so much, it just feels like a fast XC bike. I've even done a 50mi/10k ft ride on the KSL, which took me over 6 hours with battery to spare (with range extender), but I was just moving along at analog pace (9.2mph avg). I just bought the Levo a couple weeks ago, because I want to do big rides at ebike speed, and the 700Wh battery lets me do that. As a bonus, I don't have the range extender taking up my bottle cage. Here's my range table for the KSL - I don't have enough data on the Levo yet:

View attachment 105143

Regarding handling, throw the idea of weight out the door. I don't notice the difference in weight at all, but what I do notice is the handling that comes from geo and suspension setup. The KSL descends like an Enduro, and the Levo descends like a Stumpy Evo. KSL is much more planted and point-and-shoot, whereas the Levo is much more snappy and laser-precise. On capability, put it this way - if you can't ride it on the Levo/Stumpy Evo, you won't be able to ride it on the KSL/Enduro. IMO, the bigger bike just makes the ride more comfy with more margin for error, but not necessarily the difference in being able to or not being able to ride a certain feature, especially given the geo adjustments on the Levo.

If the KSL had a full-sized motor and battery, I'd have a tough time choosing between it and the Levo, but for me, the Levo is hands down the obvious choice for me, with how I like to use it. FWIW, I have a couple other buddies who've owned both, but quickly ditched their KSL's for Levos as well - and we're all young, fit guys. It's not about doing less work with the bigger motor/battery, it's about going faster. The speed is really addicting. I also find that I'm typically a little faster downhill on a slightly smaller, stiffer bike (suspension-wise), as it pumps and carries speed better than a big squishy bike.

Here's a couple clips from some filming I did on the Levo yesterday - As you can see, it turns very well!
This says it perfectly. The SL platform is the gateway Ebike for those of us that may have struggled with the idea of getting an Ebike. Let me do you a favor and advise you to just get the Levo and skip the hassle and expense of getting the KSL first.....because you WILL eventually end up on the Levo.

The KSL is a fantastic bike but the extender is a bummer and the lighter weight is advantageous on few trails. Truth is, you get used to the difference in weight quickly. The drivetrain on the Levo is so much smoother and just ridiculously powerful.....which no, you don't NEED but it's just so much nicer.

I got the long shock kit from Cascade and 170mm fork, there isn't a trail that the Levo isn't capable of (can't recommend this upgrade enough).

I had to really kill myself to eek out 5500' of climbing on the KSL where every ride on the Levo is 5000+' and I still have energy and battery left. 7k' is very achievable.

Have I said enough?
 

Ken B

Member
Jan 6, 2020
3
1
Plymouth
One of the main considerations is Motor reliability Ive had the full power Levo and Kenevo. Levo had 7 yes 7 new motors and the Kenevo 3 new motors. All covered by the warranty but that's gonna run out at some point. I now have the KSL and no motor issues at all. The Brose Motor is just not fit for purpose.
 

jimslade

Member
Jun 14, 2019
71
48
south lake tahoe, ca
I had a Levo and traded it for a Levo SL. There are lots of posts on the forum comparing the two. The two bikes exist for a reason and you need to sort what is going to work for you. I’d encourage you to rent/borrow/demo both if you can.
For me I didn’t like the extra weight of the FF and didn’t use the extra power. Yes it’s tough keeping up with my brother on a FF. I’m much happier with the SL.
 

Twindaddy

New Member
Nov 29, 2022
13
51
Chino Hills
I can chime in, as I have both, although I currently have the KSL listed for sale.

First point is the motor and battery. The difference in torque is massive when comparing turbo vs turbo. Trail on the Levo feels a bit more powerful than turbo on the KSL, and the Levo's eco feels a bit more powerful than the KSL's trail. Realistically, turbo and trail on the KSL are both huge when you're coming off a regular bike, and it's enough for me to get up anything, to the point where traction is the main concern, but then turbo on the Levo is just truly bonkers. I did an accidental burnout on my garage floor when I was first testing it out.

The battery capacity is really the big one for me. I like being able to do at least 6k rides on the weekends, and with the KSL, you have to dial the power down so much, it just feels like a fast XC bike. I've even done a 50mi/10k ft ride on the KSL, which took me over 6 hours with battery to spare (with range extender), but I was just moving along at analog pace (9.2mph avg). I just bought the Levo a couple weeks ago, because I want to do big rides at ebike speed, and the 700Wh battery lets me do that. As a bonus, I don't have the range extender taking up my bottle cage. Here's my range table for the KSL - I don't have enough data on the Levo yet:

View attachment 105143

Regarding handling, throw the idea of weight out the door. I don't notice the difference in weight at all, but what I do notice is the handling that comes from geo and suspension setup. The KSL descends like an Enduro, and the Levo descends like a Stumpy Evo. KSL is much more planted and point-and-shoot, whereas the Levo is much more snappy and laser-precise. On capability, put it this way - if you can't ride it on the Levo/Stumpy Evo, you won't be able to ride it on the KSL/Enduro. IMO, the bigger bike just makes the ride more comfy with more margin for error, but not necessarily the difference in being able to or not being able to ride a certain feature, especially given the geo adjustments on the Levo.

If the KSL had a full-sized motor and battery, I'd have a tough time choosing between it and the Levo, but for me, the Levo is hands down the obvious choice for me, with how I like to use it. FWIW, I have a couple other buddies who've owned both, but quickly ditched their KSL's for Levos as well - and we're all young, fit guys. It's not about doing less work with the bigger motor/battery, it's about going faster. The speed is really addicting. I also find that I'm typically a little faster downhill on a slightly smaller, stiffer bike (suspension-wise), as it pumps and carries speed better than a big squishy bike.

Here's a couple clips from some filming I did on the Levo yesterday - As you can see, it turns very well!
Nothinf to add as I only have the levo (and love it), but this is a fantastic response!
 

Gyre

Well-known member
Subscriber
Jan 25, 2021
610
406
Pasadena, CA
You guys are absolute killing the responses on this. Much of what you're saying mirrors my own thoughts. With the more trail-focused riding that I do, the Levo will be more than enough. It's too bad the Levo SL hasn't had the geo and travel updates the Levo has. If the Levo SL was a 160mm bike from the start, that'd be the ticket.
KSL is really an Enduro with some pedaling help. I rode a Levo and KSL at Mammoth this past summer and on blue trails the Levo is fine, not giving up much at all to the KSL. It's when you're getting on the edge of your comfort zone that the KSL really comes into its own.
 
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Rockon391

Member
Jan 2, 2020
35
17
USA
This says it perfectly. The SL platform is the gateway Ebike for those of us that may have struggled with the idea of getting an Ebike. Let me do you a favor and advise you to just get the Levo and skip the hassle and expense of getting the KSL first.....because you WILL eventually end up on the Levo.

The KSL is a fantastic bike but the extender is a bummer and the lighter weight is advantageous on few trails. Truth is, you get used to the difference in weight quickly. The drivetrain on the Levo is so much smoother and just ridiculously powerful.....which no, you don't NEED but it's just so much nicer.

I got the long shock kit from Cascade and 170mm fork, there isn't a trail that the Levo isn't capable of (can't recommend this upgrade enough).

I had to really kill myself to eek out 5500' of climbing on the KSL where every ride on the Levo is 5000+' and I still have energy and battery left. 7k' is very achievable.

Have I said enough?

Have you tried running the 170 without the Cascade kit? That is what I want to do.
 

Mr. Light

New Member
Jan 3, 2023
6
8
Los Angeles
Have you tried running the 170 without the Cascade kit? That is what I want to do.
Yeah it was terrible, IMHO. Might sound dramatic but I don't think I would have kept the Levo if the Cascade link wasn't an option.

The front end felt great at the stock 160mm, that was never a problem. The rear was very unforgiving and I found myself flinching, bracing for impact on drops or even chunk. Now it's like butter, night and day difference.

Gotta keep in mind, the Levo was designed as a trail bike, KSL is basically a mini DH (I digress, I know). If you're riding blue trails, flow, etc, the stock 160 setup is great. I don't think you'd even need to mess with the fork. But an airshaft is a cheap upgrade, wouldn't hurt
 

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