Focus JAM² SL Review | Bridging the gap between full-powered and lightweight e-MTBs

The not-so-minor details


Focus JAM² SL 9.9


Focus Bikes


From $8,999 AUD ($12,499 AUD as tested)




- Fantastic all-round handling
- Adjustable head angle & chainstay length
- Smooth, traction-rich suspension
- Great motor support & plenty of range
- Solid build kit for the money


- The cable-swallowing stem & integrated headset
- No mullet compatibility
- Cut-out issues with the Fazua motor
- Frame lacks a charge port
- Not the quietest bike

Wil reviews the Focus JAM² SL

The Focus JAM² SL is claimed to be the first lightweight e-MTB from the German brand. Though strictly speaking, that isn’t entirely true.

Cast your mind back to 2016 when the original JAM² was launched. e-MTBs were still very much in their early stages, though Focus had already recognised that riders weren’t necessarily using all of their battery during each ride. As a result, many were carrying around bigger and heavier bikes than they needed. With that in mind, Focus took a gamble and decided to build the JAM² around a smaller 378Wh battery that allowed for a slimmer frame design and a lower overall bike weight. Coming in at just on 20kg, the JAM² was equipped with a Shimano E8000 motor and an optional piggyback battery that allowed you to double its capacity.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The original JAM² proved to be way ahead of its time when it launched all the way back in 2016.

We loved riding the original JAM², which proved to be way ahead of its time. Arguably the primordial lightweight e-MTB, the JAM² paved the way for the likes of the Lapierre eZesty and the original Specialized Levo SL. Nowadays almost every brand has a lightweight e-MTB in its lineup.

Fast-forward to 2024, and Focus has delivered us the modern incarnation; the JAM² SL. It arrived alongside updated versions of the regular JAM² and SAM², which are the full-powered options in the Focus lineup. The JAM² SL on the other hand, is a slimmer and lighter e-MTB that weighs a good 4-7kg less than its full-powered siblings.

Indeed the numbers it presents on paper are very compelling. Would it live up to our expectations and the reputation of its precursor? And how does it compare to its rapidly evolving competitors? To find out, we got our hands on the new Focus JAM² SL to put to the test.

Watch our video review of the Focus JAM² SL:

It’s got a bigger battery and a more powerful motor than many of its competitors, and for riders who have been on the fence, the JAM² SL may very well present the perfect compromise between a full-powered and a lightweight e-MTB.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The Focus JAM² SL is a compelling package on paper, but does it deliver on the trail?

An overview of the Focus JAM² SL

The Focus JAM² SL is a lightweight e-MTB that’s designed for all-round trail riding. It features a full-carbon frame, 29in wheels, a 160mm travel fork and 150mm of rear travel. That puts it into similar territory as the Specialized Levo SL, Trek Fuel EXe, Orbea Rise and Giant Trance X E+ Elite.

Unlike previous e-MTBs from Focus that utilised a single-pivot suspension design, the JAM² SL delivers its rear travel via a four-bar platform. This is claimed to offer more traction while reducing the impact of braking on suspension performance. The linkage is beefy, and double sealed cartridge bearings are employed at the key pivot points to reduce friction and improve long-term durability.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Focus has rolled out a new four-bar suspension platform for its latest generation full suspension bikes. Spoiler alert — it works really well.

The whirring heart of the JAM² SL is the Fazua Ride 60 system, which is the same as what you’ll find in the Pivot Shuttle SL, Santa Cruz Heckler SL and Transition Relay. The compact Fazua motor delivers up to 60Nm of torque and is fuelled by a removable 430Wh battery. There is no charge port built into the frame, so you’ll need to remove the battery to recharge it. This is a curious decision for a lightweight e-MTB, most of which utilise a bolt-in battery that allows the downtube to be fully enclosed. It means the JAM² SL has quite a chunky profile, especially compared to the much sleeker Shuttle SL.

The user interface is simple and discreet thanks to the LED Hub that’s integrated into the top tube and the Ring Control that sits next to the left-hand grip. Fazua offers an app for tuning the motor’s support levels, and there’s also a 210Wh range extender that can be purchased separately.

Focus JAM² SL geometry & size chart

Geometry on the Focus JAM² SL is right up to date, and it also incorporates some nifty shape-shifting features.

This includes adjustable headset cups from Acros, which are very similar to those found in the Scott Lumen. The JAM² SL comes with the headset cups oriented in the steep position to deliver a 65.5° head angle. Rotate the cups and the head angle slackens out to 64.5°.

You’ll also spot flip chips at both the seatstay and chainstay pivots. These are designed to be used concurrently to adjust the rear centre length without affecting the angles or BB height. Switching settings changes the effective chainstay length by 7mm, which is a decent amount. Cleverly, Focus ships the S/M frames in the short position (440mm) and the L/XL frames in the long position (447mm).

Despite all the adjustments, unfortunately there’s no official provision for setting the JAM² SL up with a 27.5in rear wheel. Given the popularity of mullet conversions in the e-MTB world, this is a missed opportunity on Focus’ behalf.

focus jam2 sl 9.9 geometry size chart
Focus JAM² SL Geometry & Size Chart
focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Up front is a 160mm travel fork that plugs into adjustable headset cups.

Focus JAM² SL price & specs

There are four models in the Focus JAM² SL lineup, with prices starting at $8,999 AUD for the JAM² SL 8.7.

All models feature the same Fazua Ride 60 drive system and a full carbon frame. However, the top two models utilise a higher-end MAX carbon frame that’s claimed to be 300g lighter thanks to the use of premium materials. This includes our test bike, the Focus JAM² SL 9.9, which sits one step down from the top.

focus JAM² SL 9.9 emtb electric fazua ride 60
The Focus JAM² SL 9.9 may be one step down from the top, but even if we had the cash to splash this is the model we’d choose.

Focus JAM² SL 9.9

Combined with the fact that you’ve got 4-5kg less mass compared to a full-powered e-MTB, the JAM² SL delivers great agility.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The Focus JAM² SL has a relatively long wheelbase, but the stack height isn’t overly tall.

Sizing & fit

At 175cm tall I’ve been riding a Medium size in the Focus JAM² SL. It’s a substantial-feeling bike, with a plentiful 460mm reach that’s accentuated by gargantuan 820mm wide riser bars. Those ape-hangers might suit taller riders on an XL, but I found them to be way too wide and so chopped them down to my preferred width of 770mm.

Even still the cockpit is quite spacious. I would have preferred a shorter stem but honestly didn’t want to touch the Focus C.I.S stem with its cable-guzzling faceplate and integrated headset spacers, so I just left it as is. I also wouldn’t have minded a slightly longer steerer tube to push the stem up a bit higher. Although Focus specs a generous 35mm rise handlebar, the short head tube and the way the C.I.S stem angles the bars down means the stack height doesn’t feel overly tall.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
We chopped the 820mm wide bars down to a more manageable 770mm.

As for the contact points, the stock grips are quite thick and I’m not a fan of the Fizik Taiga saddle. To avoid distractions I swapped both of these with my preferred options from Ergon.

Some riders will find that the Fazua Ring Control unit impacts on their brake lever position. However, the only alternative is to mount it inboard of the brake clamp where it will likely end up being too far away to easily reach with your thumb. There’s otherwise good adjustability with the Shimano dropper lever, and the 150mm travel post is sufficient. It’d be great to see a 170mm dropper on the Medium, but the interrupted seat tube will limit how long you can go.

Suspension setup

It’s recommended to set up the rear shock on the Focus JAM² SL with 30% sag. For my 67kg riding weight I went with 175psi in the Fox Float X shock and positioned the rebound damping a touch quicker than halfway (9/14 clicks).

While the suspension felt smooth, I found it to be a little doughy through the mid-stroke and susceptible to blowing through its travel. I was able to compensate by running more pressure, but this lifted and firmed up the back end more than I wanted.

The solution was to reduce the shock’s air volume. Over the course of several rides I went from the stock 0.3³ volume spacer up to 0.6³, which had a big impact on the overall ride quality. Of course there was greater bottom-out support on flat landings, but crucially the whole bike became more lively and responsive. If you own a JAM² SL and you’re looking for a bit more pop, I can highly recommend trying out a bigger volume spacer.

As for the Fox 36, I set this up as usual with two volume spacers and 74psi inside the air spring. Compared to a regular mountain bike, I added a couple of extra clicks of low and high-speed compression damping, and slowed down the high-speed rebound by a click, just to add a bit more control.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Our Focus JAM² SL test bike weighs in at 19.02kg with the tyres set up tubeless.

Focus JAM² SL weight

With the tyres set up tubeless, our Focus JAM² SL 9.9 test bike weighs in at 19.02kg.

That’s decent, and even with the larger battery it isn’t that much heavier than the Specialized Levo SL Comp (18.24kg), Orbea Rise M10 (18.38kg), or the Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 (18.6kg).

For those who are chasing grams, it’s worth noting that the top-end JAM² SL 9.0 is claimed to weigh just 17.9kg. A number of compromises have been made in order to hit that figure however, which includes the in-line Fox Float DPS shock, carbon wheels and Maxxis Dissector tyres with thin EXO casings.

In comparison, the JAM² SL 9.9 we have here keeps it real with a piggyback shock and a burly e-MTB specific DT Swiss wheelset (2,064g confirmed). Up front is a soft compound Schwalbe Magic Mary (1,102g), and out back is a Nobby Nic with the Super Trail casing (990g).

Sub-kilo tyres on an e-MTB still make me nervous, so as usual I plopped a CushCore insert into the rear wheel to reduce the chance of pinch-flats and rim damage. Pressures ranged from 19-21psi up front and 22-24psi out back.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
A CushCore insert was fitted into the rear wheel to help bolster the lightweight Nobby Nic.

What do we dig about the Focus JAM² SL?

Admittedly it took me a couple of rides to warm to the Focus JAM² SL. The Schwalbe tyres were a little skittish before the factory release compound wore off, and the front-end steering was a bit twitchy for my liking. I promptly rotated the headset cups into the slacker 64.5° setting, which made a big difference to the overall handling by boosting stability on the descents.

Along with dialling in the rear shock, the JAM² SL has settled in beautifully. The geometry is excellent and the suspension is sublime. Combined with the well-balanced weight distribution, this is a competent and easy bike to ride across a wide range of trail conditions.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The Focus JAM² SL is a calm and comfortable climber.

The relatively steep seat angle puts you in a comfortable and centred position on the climbs, and the long wheelbase means you don’t need a heap of input to keep the front wheel tracking on steeper inclines. On technical features the short 165mm crank arms provide useful clearance, and there’s plenty of traction on offer from the sensitive suspension and dual 29in wheels.

It really is an impressive climber, though it’s planted on the descents too. You can push the front end quite hard thanks to the Fox 36 GRIP2 fork, which offers smooth performance and superb control at speed. The Magic Mary is brilliant, and along with the powerful Shimano XT brakes, you’re not short on confidence when bombing rowdier trails.

When things do go pear-shaped, the sturdy carbon chassis and DT Swiss wheels do well to keep you from being spat off-line. The suspension soaks up a lot, and I found it did a great job of keeping the rear tyre connected to the trail even when things got particularly loose and rocky. It’s smooth and active, but not so plush as to get bogged down and rob you of momentum.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The long wheelbase and supple suspension provide loads of stability and grip on the descents too.

Nifty adjustability

The in-built adjustability of the Focus JAM² SL is also fantastic. Newer riders and those frequenting green-graded singletrack will appreciate the responsive steering of the stock setup with the 65.5° head angle. For me personally, I much preferred the stability of the slacker setting. Either way, I love that you don’t need to press in a different headset to make this adjustment. In fact, it’s easy enough to do on the side of the trail.

It’s the same with the flip chips. These are well-engineered and only require a single 4mm hex key to remove. I was pleasantly surprised that there weren’t a million small parts to fall onto the ground when making an adjustment, and everything went together smoothly with no creaking or accidental loosening to speak of.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Rotating the headset cups into the slack position helped to steady the steering at higher speeds.

I did try the long position, which like the headset cups provides a tangible change in handling. It made the whole bike feel incredibly stable, and it was particularly planted on steep climbs. The longer chainstays push more of your body weight onto the front wheel, giving it a ground-hugging ride quality.

It’s worth noting that you can adjust the chainstay and seatstay flip chips independently. I tried the long-and-low combination, which does provide a nice in-the-bike feel, albeit with way more pedal strikes when traversing rock gardens.

In the end my preference was for the stock short setting. This gave the JAM² SL a little more pop and made it feel nippier through the turns. Combined with the fact that you’ve got 4-5kg less mass compared to a full-powered e-MTB, the JAM² SL delivers great agility. It’s easier to place on the trail, requiring less effort when changing direction on flowy singletrack.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Weighing 4-5kg less than the regular full-powered JAM², the JAM² SL doesn’t require a whole lot of effort to change direction.

Goldilocks power

As for the Fazua Ride 60 system, the Focus JAM² SL set the scene for our first proper on-trail experience of this unique German motor.

It’s a compact and quiet performer, though it isn’t quite as stealthy as the class-leading TQ-HPR50 motor on the Trek Fuel EXe and Scott Lumen. The upside is that the Fazua Ride 60 offers noticeably more power compared to the TQ and Levo SL motors. Pickup is fast and it delivers better grunt at lower cadences, so you’re less likely to be punished for being caught in the wrong gear on a surprise pinch. There’s also more overrun, so when you need to pause on the pedals to push over a particularly awkward ledge, the motor gives you an obvious helping hand.

No, you don’t get the effortless pull as a full-powered motor set to Boost/Turbo, but it does well to bridge the current gap. If you mostly ride a full-powered e-MTB in the Eco or Trail setting, you’re likely to find the Fazua Ride 60 motor to be more than sufficient.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
We’ve been impressed by the power and responsiveness of the Fazua Ride 60 motor.

I’ve also been impressed with how smooth it is when transitioning at the 25km/h cutoff point. Thanks to the in-built sprag clutch there’s no perceptible drag, something that was obvious when I took the JAM² SL out for a ride without the battery. This dropped the total weight down to 16.9kg, which is close to many non-motorised enduro bikes. For those who are using their e-MTB for shuttle-based riding as well, the removable battery will be a great feature.

Understated controls

The user interface is simple and intuitive with three stock assist modes to choose from; Breeze (Green), River (Blue) and Rocket (Purple). The middle River mode is an adaptive setting that varies the motor’s output depending on your input at the cranks. Pedal lightly and you’ll be offered minimal assistance, push hard and you’ll get close to the same power as the Rocket mode.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The plastic Ring Control remote is quite flimsy and it can impact on your brake lever position.

Additionally, if you hold the remote upwards momentarily you’ll access a 12-second boost mode that lifts the motor’s peak power output from 350W to 450W. It’s a clever trick that’s useful for short and steep climbs, though be aware that the power drop-off after those 12 seconds can be awkward if you’re partway through a technical section.

For further tuning you can pair the JAM² SL with the Fazua app to tweak the motor’s power output, the support characteristic and ramp-up of each mode. You can even create a fully customised profile by completing a questionnaire that takes into account your weight, fitness and riding style. It’s pretty clever, and it’s a great way of fine-tuning the performance to help maximise range.

Range testing with the Focus JAM² SL

Speaking of range, the 430Wh battery means you can get a solid amount of riding out of the Focus JAM² SL, especially when compared to other lightweight e-MTBs with smaller batteries.

I mostly rode the JAM² SL in the middle River mode, which typically netted me 65-85km of riding with 1,500-1,800m of elevation gain. You can expect to get a lot more range by using the low-powered Breeze mode, and of course the opposite is true for the high-powered Rocket mode.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
We mostly rode the Focus JAM² SL with the Fazua system set to the adaptive River mode.

To get some more accurate comparative data, I subjected the Focus JAM² SL to our standardised range test. This involves climbing up a bitumen service road before bombing back down a variety of singletrack descents. The idea is to see how many laps I can accumulate before the battery went flat. As always, I set the motor to its most powerful setting.

Here’s how the JAM² SL compared to some of its competitors;

As you can see, the JAM² SL racked up more climbing than any other lightweight e-MTB that we’ve tested.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Thanks to its big 430Wh battery, the Focus JAM² SL outshone every other lightweight e-MTB in our range test.

As you can see, the JAM² SL racked up more climbing than any other lightweight e-MTB. It’s not exactly a surprise given it’s carrying a bigger 430Wh battery, but it’s still impressive.

I should also note that the climbing speed of the JAM² SL was quite a bit higher than some other lightweight e-MTBs. Whereas the Scott Lumen would average 13.5km/h and the Levo SL would average 14.5km/h, the JAM² SL sat around 16km/h. Again, this isn’t surprising given the Fazua Ride 60 drive unit offers notably more support than the motors on those two other bikes.

If you’re looking for more range again, you could always purchase the separate range extender battery that takes the total capacity to 640Wh. These aren’t available just yet however, and we’re also still waiting to confirm local Australian pricing.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
There’s scope for racking up a tonne of climbing on this mid-powered e-MTB.

What didn’t we like?

In terms of the overall ride quality there have been few letdowns from the Focus JAM² SL.

As mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t mind a shorter 40mm stem and a taller front end. The stock riding position does suit the intentions of the JAM² SL, but on steeper descents I occasionally found myself a little too low and forward. For this reason, taller riders may want to seek out a higher rise handlebar.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
A shorter stem and taller handlebar would help to support a more neutral descending position.

I do think it’s a shame that Focus didn’t build mullet compatibility into the JAM² SL, especially given the trouble it went to with all the flip chips and rotatable headset cups. While the JAM² SL is a fun and intuitive bike to ride, it doesn’t have quite the same level of playfulness as the Levo SL or the Trance X E+ Elite, and it’s not as effortless when tipping it over into a turn. I also buzzed my arse on the rear tyre a few times, which will potentially be a bigger deal for shorter riders on the Small size.

Of course there’s nothing stopping you from fitting a 27.5in rear wheel, though without a way to lift the BB back up to a reasonable height, pedal strikes are likely to be a real issue.

The upside is that the dual 29in setup offers a tonne of grip and stability, and it allows the JAM² SL to maintain more speed and momentum on rougher descents compared to its mullet counterparts.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The Focus JAM² SL is a fun and agile bike to ride, though we can’t help but wonder what it would be like with a mullet setup.

Fazua concerns

While I’ve been impressed by the overall power of the Fazua Ride 60 motor, the delivery of that power isn’t as smooth or as intuitive as the TQ and Levo SL 1.2 motors.

In the adaptive River mode, the assistance isn’t always predictable. Sometimes when pushing hard it felt like the motor was throttling its power output somewhat, resulting in a slight pulsating sensation. Other times it would churn out more power than I was expecting, even as I reduced pressure on the pedals.

It isn’t a huge deal, and I did get used to it after the first few rides. Alternatively you can use the Breeze or Rocket modes if you’re chasing a linear support characteristic, and it’s possible to use the Fazua app to tune the output of those modes to achieve your desired support level.

More of a concern was the fact that I had some cut-out issues. On three separate occasions the motor stopped briefly, before returning assistance a few seconds later. This was a bit strange, especially as the LEDs remained on. Annoyingly, I wasn’t able to connect the LED Hub to the Fazua Toolbox software on my laptop to run diagnostics.

We hope that Fazua is on top of its earlier issues, as the motor itself has shown a lot of promise on the JAM² SL.

santa cruz heckler sl fazua ride 60 problem issue
Unfortunately we ran into a critical failure with the Fazua Ride 60 system on our Santa Cruz Heckler SL test bike.

Now, you don’t exactly need to be a detective to find reports online from users and professional reviewers who have encountered issues with the Fazua system. We also recently had a problem with a Santa Cruz Heckler SL test bike, with a critical failure within the first 14km of riding. That bike has gone back to the distributor hopefully to be rectified and returned so we can complete the review, but obviously it wasn’t a good experience for an e-MTB that costs over $17,000 AUD.

Thankfully I’ve not encountered the same problem with the JAM² SL. It’s worth noting that Fazua is now up to its 9th firmware update for the Ride 60 system, with plenty of improvements and refinements that have been rolled out over the past year. We hope that Fazua is on top of its earlier issues, as the motor itself has shown a lot of promise on the JAM² SL.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The performance from the Fazua Ride 60 motor has impressed, but it doesn’t exactly have a flawless reputation.

Room for improvement

There are other areas that I’d like to see some improvement. The Ring Control unit works fine, but the plastic construction makes it feel quite flimsy. Be very careful when flipping your bike upside down on the side of the trail if you’re fixing a puncture.

The LED Hub also does its job well enough, though I’d prefer if it displayed the battery status in finer increments than the current 20% blocks. This forces you to pull out your phone to get an actual percentage of what’s left.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
We like the discreet LED Hub interface, but it only displays the battery status in 20% increments.

Speaking of the battery, having to remove it every time you need to recharge can get tiring. Focus said it didn’t incorporate a charge port to save weight, but surely building the frame with a massive hole in it for a removable battery adds a lot more weight compared to having a fully enclosed downtube and a fixed battery.

As an example, Orbea claims the frame on its latest generation Wild is nearly a kilo lighter due to a move to a fixed battery, since the enclosed downtube no longer needs to be reinforced with extra layers of carbon.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The thin plastic battery cover makes a helluva racket when deflecting debris spat up by the front tyre.

The other downside of a removable battery is that you’re increasing the chance for movement and vibration. While not as bad as the Trek Rail or Husqvarna Mountain Cross, there is a small amount of play with the battery on our test bike. Not helping things, the battery cover is also quite thin and flimsy, resulting in a distinct lack of damping when rocks smash into it. Combined with the big hollow carbon frame, the finned brake pads and some cable rattle, the JAM² SL isn’t exactly the quietest bike over rocky terrain.

On the note of cables, the fact that they route through the stem and headset will no doubt be a huge turnoff for some riders. It is possible to purchase an adapter that will allow you to run a conventional stem while routing the cables through the upper headset instead, though I’d just prefer if the frame had conventional cable ports to begin with.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The Focus JAM² SL is quite clean and tidy-looking, but it’s not the quietest bike.

Component highs & lows

Those complaints aside, I’ve otherwise been thoroughly impressed by the well-considered build kit on the Focus JAM² SL 9.9. It’s also great value compared to the likes of the Specialized Levo SL Comp ($11,900 AUD), the Trek Fuel EXe 9.7 ($12,499 AUD) and the Orbea Rise H10 ($12,999 AUD).

I’m happy to see that Focus didn’t go overboard with weight-saving techniques like some other lightweight e-MTBs have done. Here we have high quality suspension, powerful brakes with proper-size rotors, and tough DT Swiss alloy wheels with thicker rims and beefed up hub internals.

The Schwalbe Magic Mary is also a superb choice for the front of the JAM² SL and rarely put a foot wrong. The Nobby Nic is dependable for everyday trail riding, and the fast-rolling tread pattern and firm rubber compound adds notable zip, helping to improve efficiency and maximise battery range. That said, it does struggle for grip on loose and technical terrain, sometimes leaving the back end of the bike dancing to its own tune. Luckily the front is so dependable that it’s not always a disaster when the rear wheel skips out, though if this were my bike I’d consider a more aggressive rear tyre like a Hans Dampf or Big Betty, preferably with a beefier casing.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
The fast-rolling rear tyre adds to the overall pep, but it struggles for grip when things get loose and chunky.

Focus JAM² SL vs Specialized Levo SL

When it comes to other lightweight e-MTBs to compare with the Focus JAM² SL, it’s the Specialized Levo SL that I’ve spent the most time on over the past year.

The Levo SL also features 160/150mm of travel, and it incorporates several shape-shifting flip chips and adjustable headset cups. The geometry differs in a few regards however, with an equivalent S3 size Levo SL having a shorter reach (-15mm), a taller stack (+12mm), a lower BB (-5mm) and shorter chainstays (-8mm). It’s also available in six sizes.

The other big difference is that it comes stock as a mullet, and it possesses the ability to fit a 29in rear wheel should you have the inclination.

specialized levo sl comp carbon
The Specialized Levo SL is one of the best-handling lightweight e-MTBs on the market.

With the smaller rear wheel, the Levo SL is naturally a more playful bike. It’s got terrific pop from its custom-tuned Float X shock and there’s loads of grip to exploit when whipping through successive berms. The shorter reach, taller front end and 27.5in rear wheel also allows you to get your weight further back on really steep descents, which helps to bolster the confidence levels over the JAM² SL.

As for the motor, Specialized has developed its own SL 1.2 drive unit that delivers up to 50Nm of torque and 320W of peak power. There’s a fixed 320Wh battery inside the downtube, and an optional 160Wh range extender.

2023 specialized levo sl comp carbon emtb electric
However, the SL 1.2 motor and 320Wh battery just can’t match the power and range offered by the Focus JAM² SL.

The user interface is quite a few steps above the Fazua Ride 60 system thanks to the tactile remote and the excellent MasterMind TCU. Customisable through the Specialized app, the crisp display offers a huge range of metrics at your fingertips.

That said, the SL 1.2 motor isn’t as quiet and it doesn’t offer the same level of support, especially on steeper gradients. In comparison, the Fazua Ride 60 motor pumps out more power and allows you to climb faster. As a result, I found I was at less of a disadvantage when riding with pals on full-powered e-MTBs. Combined with the 29in wheels and longer wheelbase, the JAM² SL is for sure the better climber, and it’s also really well planted when descending. That’s especially the case on chunkier off-piste trails, where it carries more momentum and tracks straighter. Along with its larger battery capacity, the JAM² SL is a great option for taking on bigger backcountry epics.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
We’ve had a load of fun testing the Focus JAM² SL, which does well to carry on the same spirit of the original 2016 JAM².

Flow’s Verdict

In the world of lightweight e-MTBs, the Focus JAM² SL is no doubt an attractive option.

It’s got a bigger battery and a more powerful motor than many of its competitors, and for riders who have been on the fence, the JAM² SL may very well present the perfect compromise between a full-powered and a lightweight e-MTB.

It certainly delivers on the trail with a good amount of support and the ability to rack up a decent amount of range, albeit with a significant weight advantage over its full-powered brethren.

The Fazua Ride 60 system doesn’t exactly have a spotless reputation however, and there are some aspects of the JAM² SL that we’re less enamoured by.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a really well balanced e-MTB that climbs and descends bloody well thanks to its excellent suspension and sturdy stance. If you’re after a versatile all-rounder that’s capable of a wide range of riding, the Focus JAM² SL should be on your list.

focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
If you’ve been on the fence between a full-powered and a lightweight e-MTB, the Focus JAM² SL could very well be the ultimate option.
focus jam2 sl e-mtb electric fazua ride 60
Whether it’s exploring backcountry singletrack, or racking up lap after lap at your favourite bikepark, the Focus JAM² SL loves it all!



Bendigo, Victoria





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