What does the Turbo Levo SL mean to me as a Levo owner?

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What is a Turbo Levo SL? It is the name of a mountain bike created by Specialized and it is a type of mountain bike which has slowly started gaining traction, it is an electric mountain bike. First and foremost, an electric mountain bike in this category is not the same as an electric motorbike. It doesn’t have a throttle which means that in order to engage the electric motor, you have to pedal your bike!

Only yesterday, Specialized launched a new version of their electric mountain bike series called the Turbo Levo SL. To give you a background, currently in the full suspension mountain bike range, Specialized makes two models, the Turbo Levo and the Turbo Kenevo. The Turbo Levo is targeted for trails and the Kenevo for the more aggressive rider. Both of these bikes weigh from 21kg onwards and have large batteries and powerful motors. I am an owner of one such.

My 2018 Turbo Levo Comp Carbon

The bike is heavy but it gives you the planted feel on the trails. It provides 90Nm at 100% turbo mode which definitely helps heavyset riders like me get out of a pinch or climb a technical section. Still, handling a bike that heavy down the trails is never easy.

Enter the Turbo Levo SL where the SL stands for super light.

This is a bike which Specialized has built to weigh only 17.5kg. To give it a comparison, my manual YT Capra 29 enduro bike weighs in at 15.5kg. So at only 2kg heavier, I still get a motor assist to help me in those tight spots.

Because I want to travel around and ride trails in places like Chiang Mai and Indonesia, I can’t bring my EMTB as the battery is too large and doesn’t meet any of the airline regulations. So my strategy is to employ a two bike strategy, my Turbo Levo and my YT Capra (which I want to swap out for a better sizing frame).

So instead of going into the technicalities which I am sure people can find out from the countless reviews and YouTube videos out there, I want to talk about the Turbo Levo SL from the perspective of a Turbo Levo owner and a guy who wants to travel. With the introduction of the Turbo Levo SL, the first thing that came to my mind was, “can I employ a single bike strategy?”.

This means I only have one bike to ride locally as well as ride overseas. I also plan on joining some enduro events as well so that needs to be factored in my decision as well.

Here are the key consideration factors which I want to confirm before making a decision.

  1. How is the motor tuning and would it give me enough power? I have gotten used to having a 20km blast on Sunday mornings with the Turbo Levo gang and that is with a 500Wh battery. Would an ebike with reduced power and battery give me the same thrill and excitement?
  2. Can the battery be removed if I needed to travel with my ebike overseas? The answer so far is yes, but it requires a bit of effort to take the battery out and some steps include removing the motor to accomplish that. From what I have heard so far, whilst we can’t take the main battery on the plane, there is a possibility that we can bring the range extender battery instead.
  3. Can I survive with the 150mm/150mm travel in all of the trails both in Malaysia as well as outside? I would like to think that I can. Currently, my YT Capra has both 160mm/160mm travel for a 29″ enduro bike whilst my Turbo Levo has a 160mm/150mm travel.

And the best way to find out about it is to get on a demo bike at your local Specialized store. If you are in the Klang Valley area, hit me up at mark.leo@gmail.com and I will definitely get you connected.

If you would like to find out more about the Specialized Turbo Levo SL, check out these videos below.

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