Clacking noise - Kalkhoff Impulse 2 motor

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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
36
#1
Hi,

I have a Kalkhoff Pro Connect 10 bike, purchased a couple of months ago.

I have done about 1,000 miles with it so far, mainly on flat towpaths (so with the minimum assistance most of the time).

Originally, some loud "clacking" noise came from the motor when I was using the maximum assistance level. However, today, the noise also started after about 2 hours when using the lowest "eco" mode one (basically, one loud "clack" per front sprocket full rev). Sometimes, pedaling in reverse for one full rev is fixing the issue, as if the chain was not engaged properly on the front sprocket.

I am sure it's not the chain, derailleur or anything else, as the noise stops as soon as the motor is switched off. The noise does not specifically happen either when changing gears, which are changing fine and the chain does not have to be changed yet.

I can see old threads regarding the Panasonic motor having similar issues, but this is an Impulse 2 Kalkhoff motor.

I am going to send my bike for a maintenance check to 50 cycles soon, but would be interested to know if other people have a similar issue with crank noise.

Thanks,
Tom

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
50cycles Statement (Feb 2016)

'After our annual service meeting with Derby Cycles it was pointed out to us that a simple software update will rectify the timing issues with both Pedal and Torque sensors that previously may have damaged the motor.

The result of this was a slight clicking sensation in the crank arm that if continued without the proper update could cause damage to the pulls which in turn would cause a lack of drive assistance leading to eventually a motor failure.

However this does not effect any warranties and has been dealt with promptly in all cases. For those customers that have been caught out of warranty they have been offered for their motors to be reconditioned. This error only occurred in a small volume of models during 2013/2014 models.

It has also been discovered that this error could occur by fault of the customer when either dropping the bike or having a collision that impacted the motor such as kerbing the bike with the riders full weight.

This potentially could cause a fault to the sensors resulting in a similar problem as above. However these sensor are covered under warranty and are dealt with as such. Again this only happened with Pre 2015 models and has since been resolved.'
 
Last edited:
Jan 23, 2015
68
7
28
#2
I had a clacking noise on an Impulse 1 motor. My noise was not every rev but when significant pressure was applied to the pedals, for example when starting of in too high a gear. Even though the noise was not present when the motor was turned off, it was not the motor but the effect of the increased chain tension caused by the motor. I found that making sure the chain was properly tightened largely solves the problem.

So in your case, a problem with chain tension or chain/sprocket wear could be being exacerbated by the motor so only noticeable when the motor is running.

Also since your problem is once per rev then the chain may be hitting the chain guard or battery housing, again possibly more noticeable under load.
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
36
#3
To be honest, issue is not happening when I pedal very hard without the motor, so I think it's coming from inside the motor, as opposed to other mechanical components still in use when I cycle with the motor being off.

The noise is also not happening all the time. Motor can be very quiet for 1 hour, and suddenly make that noise for 20 minutes and then stop again...It was usually happening before on a slope, when using the maximum assistance, so it could be related to motor torque/strain...
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
36
#5
Heavy clicking noise happened again yesterday, after about 90 minutes (motor was quiet before that).

The motor was making some loud clicking noise, in all assistance modes. Clicking was stopping as soon as the motor was switched off (but still pedaling the same way), so nothing to do with the chain or "normal" mechanical components (bike has a normal derailleur, cassette, chain etc).

I was also pedaling hard going down on a slope, and with the motor off, the bike was not making any specific noise, so that's excluding torque impact on chain etc...

Sound recording: http://vocaroo.com/i/s0UKNeQV9ZQz
(sorry for the wind noise, it's difficult to pedal and hold a smartphone by the motor at the same time!)
 
Last edited:

marwigan

Pedelecer
Oct 15, 2014
49
11
Wigan and Mid-Wales
#6
correction to previous but one post should read 'my Raleigh Leeds ' , which of course is a Panasonic crank motor; incidentally lubing the chain etc has improved my noise and clack problem pretty much- well enough to stop me wondering about buying a spare/another bike etc [as you do...]
 

Roger R

Pedelecer
Jul 6, 2015
50
10
64
#7
Hi,

I have a Kalkhoff Pro Connect 10 bike, purchased a couple of months ago.

I have done about 1,000 miles with it so far, mainly on flat towpaths (so with the minimum assistance most of the time).

Originally, some loud "clacking" noise came from the motor when I was using the maximum assistance level. However, today, the noise also started after about 2 hours when using the lowest "eco" mode one (basically, one loud "clack" per front sprocket full rev). Sometimes, pedaling in reverse for one full rev is fixing the issue, as if the chain was not engaged properly on the front sprocket.

I am sure it's not the chain, derailleur or anything else, as the noise stops as soon as the motor is switched off. The noise does not specifically happen either when changing gears, which are changing fine and the chain does not have to be changed yet.

I can see old threads regarding the Panasonic motor having similar issues, but this is an Impulse 2 Kalkhoff motor.

I am going to send my bike for a maintenance check to 50 cycles soon, but would be interested to know if other people have a similar issue with crank noise.

Thanks,
Tom
Hi Tom. I think I've read in another thread you had your motor replaced due to the noise problem. I had a load noise going up hill in power mode soon after purchase. I have since not had much of a problem due to mostly riding in Eco. However there is still a noise and I recorded this today. Could you let me know if this is similar to the problem you had

Thanks Roger
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
36
#8
It's hard to say if it's the same noise (my own sound recording is a few messages up).

However, the Impulse 2 motor is supposed to be very quiet, so if you get any clicking or grinding (and if it happens only when the motor is on), then there is possibly an issue.

Mine was only doing some noise on the top assistance mode, but then was doing it almost all the time, in all modes.

The new motor is quiet in all modes. Most of the time, because of speed or wind, I can't hear it.
 

Roger R

Pedelecer
Jul 6, 2015
50
10
64
#9
Another recording from today. Same story - going up a hill in top power setting
 

oriteroom

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2008
272
21
#10
Another recording from today. Same story - going up a hill in top power setting
Roger. Your noise sounds different from Tomtomato. Did you have the motor hum noise before this clacking, and Tomtomato, how quiet is your new motor, do you get a low level hum/whirring noise or is it completely silent?
 

tillson

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 29, 2008
5,145
326
#11
This might not be related, but a friend of mine has a Pro Connect fitted with the Impulse 2 motor. He cycles to work most days and hence does a lot of miles. His motor developed this clicking noise which was initially intermittent. Through continued use, the clicking became worse until eventually the motor failed to drive.

50C replaced the motor under warranty after diagnosing the cause of the problem as being failure of one or more of the pawls within the motor's freewheel. To some extent, this may explain why the noise was / is initially intermittent. He reported that by back pedalling momentarily, the noise went away. This may be because the damaged or broken pawl was not transmitting as much power from the motor when its position was changed by the back pedalling action.

The new motor now has some mileage on it and unfortunately there is some evidence of a slight clicking starting to appear.
 

oriteroom

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2008
272
21
#12
This might not be related, but a friend of mine has a Pro Connect fitted with the Impulse 2 motor. He cycles to work most days and hence does a lot of miles. His motor developed this clicking noise which was initially intermittent. Through continued use, the clicking became worse until eventually the motor failed to drive.

50C replaced the motor under warranty after diagnosing the cause of the problem as being failure of one or more of the pawls within the motor's freewheel. To some extent, this may explain why the noise was / is initially intermittent. He reported that by back pedalling momentarily, the noise went away. This may be because the damaged or broken pawl was not transmitting as much power from the motor when its position was changed by the back pedalling action.

The new motor now has some mileage on it and unfortunately there is some evidence of a slight clicking starting to appear.
This is getting to be quite a concern. I also know that Osho, a member here, who lives close to me is having noise issues with his Tasman Impulse 2 motor now in lower gears, after only about 400 miles use. Would seem that Impulse 2 motors could have a serious inherent fault. I'm getting nervous about the Tasman we purchased in Feb, I seriously doubt it will be as reliable as the ProConnects we bought back in 2008 which are still going strong. We are going to have to use the Tasman a LOT more just to iron out issues before the warranty runs out in Feb 2017.

Nothing I read about the latest generation of Kalkhoff Ebikes changes my mind that the Panasonic powered bikes were the pinnacle, since when Kalkhoff have taken their eye off the ball. I am losing confidence in the brand, and whilst in the past have many times sung the praises of Kalkhoff bikes, I am now extremely reluctant to recommend the latest breeds. In fact, I often remark that a good well looked after Panasonic powered model might prove a better buy.
 
Apr 14, 2015
219
27
#13
This is getting to be quite a concern. I allow know that Osho, a member here, who lives close to me is having noise issues with his Tasman Impulse 2 motor now in lower gears, after only about 400 miles use. Would seem that Impulse 2 motors could have a serious inherent fault. I'm getting nervous about the Tasman we purchased in Feb, I seriously doubt it will be as reliable as the ProConnects we bought back in 2008 which are still going strong. We are going to have to use the Tasman a LOT more just to iron out issues before the warranty runs out in Feb 2017.

Nothing I read about the latest generation of Kalkhoff Ebikes changes my mind that the Panasonic powered bikes were the pinnacle, since when Kalkhoff have taken their eye off the ball. I am losing confidence in the brand, and whilst in the past have many times sung the praises of Kalkhoff bikes, I am now extremely reluctant to recommend the latest breeds. In fact, I often remark that a good well looked after Panasonic powered model might prove a better buy.
My Kalkhoff Imlpulse is now 350 miles in, so reading these threads with interest.

No problems so far for me (touch wood).
 

oriteroom

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2008
272
21
#14
My Kalkhoff Imlpulse is now 350 miles in, so reading these threads with interest.

No problems so far for me (touch wood).
Keep touching that piece of wood;). It would be good for all Impulse 2 motor Kalkhoff owners to keep in touch and report any motor problems here, so we can get a measure on how common the problem is becoming. I think I count about 5 so far, and Tlllson's report that a replacement motor is showing tell tale signs of incipient failure is a concern.
 

JohnCade

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 16, 2014
1,486
43
#15
This is getting to be quite a concern. I also know that Osho, a member here, who lives close to me is having noise issues with his Tasman Impulse 2 motor now in lower gears, after only about 400 miles use. Would seem that Impulse 2 motors could have a serious inherent fault. I'm getting nervous about the Tasman we purchased in Feb, I seriously doubt it will be as reliable as the ProConnects we bought back in 2008 which are still going strong. We are going to have to use the Tasman a LOT more just to iron out issues before the warranty runs out in Feb 2017.

Nothing I read about the latest generation of Kalkhoff Ebikes changes my mind that the Panasonic powered bikes were the pinnacle, since when Kalkhoff have taken their eye off the ball. I am losing confidence in the brand, and whilst in the past have many times sung the praises of Kalkhoff bikes, I am now extremely reluctant to recommend the latest breeds. In fact, I often remark that a good well looked after Panasonic powered model might prove a better buy.
I’ve never heard of these problems with the Impulse 1 motor, so it might be that by upping the power and torque with the 2 they have run into a limiting weakness with some of the motor internals. That sort of thing seems to happen with e bikes more now in drive trains particularly, and there is something of a 1950’s Detroit power war going on between manufacturers.
 

nemesis

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 14, 2011
510
57
#16
I agree that the panasonic motors in the earlier kalkhoffs were very reliable but i now have the impulse 2 speed motor bought in may this year ,it now has 5000km on it that have been ridden hard with no problems or noises,does the speed and legal versions have different internals because it has been said they are the same even though there is a price difference?
 
Mar 16, 2015
40
6
66
Lyminge, Kent
#17
Mine does make a clicking noise occasionally. I wasn't sure if it was the pedal, then the noise stopped when cycling in Isle d' Rey. Recently the noise returned intermittently :-( A bit of a worry, if 50 cycles know what is causing the issue I hope they will advise customers of the steps needed to resolve it. I'm still Very Happy with the bike. I don't mind replacing parts if they wear, I just hope it is just simple replacement of parts that have worn, preferably with an improved part :)
 
Apr 14, 2015
219
27
#18
I agree that the panasonic motors in the earlier kalkhoffs were very reliable but i now have the impulse 2 speed motor bought in may this year ,it now has 5000km on it that have been ridden hard with no problems or noises,does the speed and legal versions have different internals because it has been said they are the same even though there is a price difference?
Yep - hoping you are in the majority. And I must say, my experience with Kalkhoff has been solid so far.
 

Roger R

Pedelecer
Jul 6, 2015
50
10
64
#19
I'm hoping these issues are rare example and I get my motor replaced. I'm really pleased with all other aspects of the bike. The best 2k I've ever spent in terms of enjoyment
 

oriteroom

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 13, 2008
272
21
#20
Mine does make a clicking noise occasionally. I wasn't sure if it was the pedal, then the noise stopped when cycling in Isle d' Rey. Recently the noise returned intermittently :-( A bit of a worry, if 50 cycles know what is causing the issue I hope they will advise customers of the steps needed to resolve it. I'm still Very Happy with the bike. I don't mind replacing parts if they wear, I just hope it is just simple replacement of parts that have worn, preferably with an improved part :)
I think that the clacking noise leads to ultimate motor failure, which means a replacement motor. Don't think it's just a replace wearing part job. OK whilst under warranty, but 2 years can soon pass, hence my need to thoroughly test Mrs 'O' new Tasman by getting her off her old ProConnect, which she loves.
 
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