Specialized motor in the Turbo Levo 2018 line offers "instant engagement"?


New member
Local time
3:17 PM
Jul 28, 2020
I am looking at the Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 2018 e-bikes.

I've read on review sites that the Brose motor in the Turbo Levo bikes responds to cadence; so apparently if you are starting at the bottom of a hill and not strong enough to turn the crank, you will get no input or assist from the motor.

This is in contradistinction to the Yamaha PW-X motor which apparently responds quickly to torque on the crank; rotating the crank is not necessary for the motor to assist.

But the Specialized website says: "the custom motor is also the only one on the market that features instant pedal engagement, so you get immediate power the moment you need it, and consistent torque throughout the entire cadence range."

Is this true? Does the Specialized motor assist instantly upon applying torque on the crank?
Or am I misinterpreting what "instant pedal engagement" means?

Last edited by a moderator:
I've got a 2018 levo and demoed the 2017 before that. The 2018 certainly engages and provides assistance quicker than the 2017, probably within about an 1/8 of a revolution of the crank.
The engagement is almost instantaneous on the Kenevo which has the v1.3 motor system. Haven't read up on it too much so I don't know if it's torque sensing or if there's an encoder on the BB spindle, but it definitely works. I can start from a standstill in the middle of a steep grade that would be difficult on my normal MTB with SRAM Eagle.
I just demoed both back and forth and the ‘18 is amazingly smooth (levo) The power comes on fast and smooth. No jerk. I am smaller so not a lot of torque on the pedals but comes on fast.

I had a demo ride last month on a turbo levo and tried riding up some stupid steep hills I've never been able to ride. I even stalled out in the middle of one such hill and was able to restart and complete stupid steep hill climb without blowing the drivetrain up. Totally impressed!