Ongoing reliability of Kalkhoff/Focus Impulse 2 motors

Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
As per the other 'clacking noise' thread:

Unfortunately, you can now add me to the list whose motor has succumbed to the dreaded 'clack'.

Until now it had only been a slight and occasional problem, but this past week especially it has become frequent and rendered my bike much more difficult to cycle.

It also makes a horrible creaking noise when I stop pedalling - no idea what that is.

Now reached the point where I don't think I can ride it anymore, so I am taking it into 50cycles tomorrow.

They've been really nice to me so far so I'm hoping they will sort this out without fuss.

I do agree on the recall comment though. If there's a known fault, a car manufacturer will issue a recall and pay to replace the faulty part with a non-faulty replacement. Whereas all Kalhoff are doing is giving us a new unit with the same fault, thus keeping the time bomb ticking and leaving us to await the inevitable again.
 
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Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
Just to quickly update - taken my bike in to 50Cycles. No fuss from them whatsoever. They'll swap out the motor.

Re: the clacking, the guy in the store does think there was a revision to the Impulse 2 to try to rectify that. I'm not technical enough to understand what it was (though he did try to explain it).

Disappointed my motor failed so quickly. But happy with 50Cycles.
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
Remember that, if you have purchased your bike after October 2015, the Consumer Act 2015 will apply, and you can reject the product after the retailer was given one opportunity to resolve the fault.

Therefore, after one motor replacement, you can reject the product if the fault occurs again, and ask for a refund.

50 Cycles will surely do whatever they can not to comply with the Consumer Act, and legal action will probably be required, but it's always good to know your rights.

For people who have purchased before October 2015, the Sales of Good Act (aka SOGA) will apply, and the retailer still need to provide products that are "fit for purpose, and of suitable quality".

An expensive electric bike that breaks down after a few months and low mileage is neither of those.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
I had the impulse 2 motor and have had two replaced so if it has been revised it hasn`t been a solution to the problems.
When did you get your last motor replaced? How many miles did you do with it?

Mine was replaced in October 2015, but still failed after a low mileage.
 

nemesis

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 14, 2011
516
340
When did you get your last motor replaced? How many miles did you do with it?

Mine was replaced in October 2015, but still failed after a low mileage.
The first motor was replaced in october and ran great even better than the original motor but after a few months it was making the duck quacking noise and lost power.
The bike had another motor fitted in april and was with them for six weeks but it wasn`t as powerful because i think they had downgraded the software for lower torque.I have decided to cut my losses and the bike has now been sold at a loss to get away from the impulse motor and the dealer.
I have a Cube bike with the Bosch CX motor and it performs like the day it was new in february this year.
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
I know 50Cycles get a bad rap here, but they're being absolutely fine with me.
If you have just brought the bike back for your first motor replacement, then I guess you have nothing to complain about (yet).

Arguably, they knew you had a bike with a motor prone to failure, and they didn't contact you proactively to install that magic software update that is supposedly preventing such issue from occurring...

If they keep your bike for a long time for the repair, give it back with motor wires exposed and other damages done, and if you have another motor failure again, you may start getting upset.

You also need to think about what will happen if you get a motor failure once the bike is out of warranty (which is a high risk, and would cost £600 an occurence, or whatever 50 Cycles feels like charging at that time, as the part is not available for purchase): I suggest you ask them to commit to provide a suitable warranty for the expected life of the motor (as the product should be fit for purpose and of relevant quality, as per the consumer act), and then see if you still have confidence in them, when they reject your request.

Anyway, I think you may be fine, as according to their website, they provide a...

"First Class Service
We specialise in providing the best electric bikes and the smartest cycling accessories in the UK. We also offer the most responsive and knowledgeable after sales service."
 
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Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
Well, I've been advised that it will take no longer than a few days, and will post an update here once I know the quality of the repair work completed.

I don't think it is unusual for a business to want to charge on work done outwith the warranty, but in a situation where we have a known fault I think it needs to be Kalkhoff who take the responsibility.
 

Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
will post an update here once I know the quality of the repair work completed.
Please do.

To be honest, I am still puzzled by someone stating that he/she is happy with 50 Cycles, when 50 Cycles knew in advance that your motor would be likely to develop a fault, and didn't do anything to prevent it (e.g. apply their software update pro-actively).

Now, you have to bring your bike back to the shop, wait a few days, collect it back, but you are fine with that.

I guess people have different levels of expectations when it comes to services. Personally, I expect a much better service, in line with the high price paid, and the high margins they make...

I think it needs to be Kalkhoff who take the responsibility.
The responsibility is with the retailer in the UK. They can deal with Kalkhoff (e.g. return bikes and get refunds), and that's what they are paid for... I once contacted Kalkhoff via their website, and never received a reply, so it would be meaningless to contact the manufacturer directly.
 

LeighPing

Esteemed Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
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The Red Ditch
This thread reminds me why I've chosen to view ebikes as being a bit like 'white goods'. After the warranty period, it'd be easier just to buy another less expensive brand than to throw pots of money at junk and sharp practices.
 
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Ted B.

Pedelecer
May 28, 2016
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Guildford
Yes the new 2016 evo motor,there doesn`t look like any have failed
When I visited them a while ago to check their bikes, I overheard a customer who was bringing a new evo model, complaining about the motor cutting off...

Sounds like even the new modals have issues!!!
 
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Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
Please do.

To be honest, I am still puzzled by someone stating that he/she is happy with 50 Cycles, when 50 Cycles knew in advance that your motor would be likely to develop a fault, and didn't do anything to prevent it (e.g. apply their software update pro-actively).

Now, you have to bring your bike back to the shop, wait a few days, collect it back, but you are fine with that.

I guess people have different levels of expectations when it comes to services. Personally, I expect a much better service, in line with the high price paid, and the high margins they make...



The responsibility is with the retailer in the UK. They can deal with Kalkhoff (e.g. return bikes and get refunds), and that's what they are paid for... I once contacted Kalkhoff via their website, and never received a reply, so it would be meaningless to contact the manufacturer directly.
Well, I'm simply basing what I write on my experiences so far, and not on yours, which is the right thing to do if being honest and impartial.

I don't really see what else 50Cycles could do, short of give us a completely new bicycle that doesn't have the Impulse 2 and hope that it gives us a mileage that we deem acceptable for years outwith the warranty period.

That would be great, but I don't think it's realistic. They can keep replacing the motor, but ultimately it is up to Kalkhoff to find a more satisfactory solution, since the fault lies with their manufacturing and not with 50Cycles.

I previously had a Giant Prime bicycle, one of which had an almost immediate motor issue and another (warranty replacement) that developed a more serious one after 900 miles. Both occasions, I had to find a way to post the bike back to them (and pay for a box), then wait up to 2 months for a resolution. On the second occasion, the retailer (JE James) accused me of fiddling with the bike (untrue) and asked a bunch of technical questions to try and catch me out on the Warranty eligibility.

THAT to me is bad after-sales. If on the other hand 50Cycles are true to their word and give me a new motor within a week, no questions asked and no fuss, and if that motor is installed to a satisfactory standard, then yes I will be satisfied.

If I have another motor failure within the 2 years warranty (of which I have almost 14 months remaining) I will likely get the replacement motor, then sell my bicycle and cut my losses, thus getting me out of any predicament completely. I may have legal rights that I am entitled to pursue but frankly, I have neither the time nor patience to do that.

I sincerely hope that you are successful though. It sucks that Impulse 2 has poor reliability.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
I don't really see what else 50Cycles could do, short of give us a completely new bicycle that doesn't have the Impulse 2 and hope that it gives us a mileage that we deem acceptable for years outwith the warranty period.
Before giving a new bike with an Evo motor, 50 Cycles could at least pro-actively contact people who have an Impulse 2 motor (they have their details), and advise them that they require a software update to possibly mitigate the risk of the motor developing a fault at a later stage.

I am assuming a software update can be done in a matter of minutes while the customer is waiting in the shop (at a time convenient to them), hence minimizing inconvenience (and possibly cost out of warranty), compared to a full motor replacement.

Unless...the motor has to be replaced anyway, in which case the "magical" software update is just a decoy not to admit a design flaw, and that's why there is no recall.

That would be great, but I don't think it's realistic.
It would be realistic for Kalkhoff to retrofit Evo motors (or change the design of their Impulse 2 motors) on the current bikes, and 50 Cycles to stop selling Impulse 2 powered-bikes.

Regardless of warranty period, the retailer (50 Cycles) have an obligation to provide goods of quality and fit for purposes for many years, and I have the feeling the relationship with Kalkhoff is going to turn sour soon (maybe a reason why 50 Cycles are diversifying now...).

However, not my concern as a customer, nor under UK laws.
 

Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
Before giving a new bike with an Evo motor, 50 Cycles could at least pro-actively contact people who have an Impulse 2 motor (they have their details), and advise them that they require a software update to possibly mitigate the risk of the motor developing a fault at a later stage.

I am assuming a software update can be done in a matter of minutes while the customer is waiting in the shop (at a time convenient to them), hence minimizing inconvenience (and possibly cost out of warranty), compared to a full motor replacement.

Unless...the motor has to be replaced anyway, in which case the "magical" software update is just a decoy not to admit a design flaw, and that's why there is no recall.



It would be realistic for Kalkhoff to retrofit Evo motors (or change the design of their Impulse 2 motors) on the current bikes, and 50 Cycles to stop selling Impulse 2 powered-bikes.

Regardless of warranty period, the retailer (50 Cycles) have an obligation to provide goods of quality and fit for purposes for many years, and I have the feeling the relationship with Kalkhoff is going to turn sour soon (maybe a reason why 50 Cycles are diversifying now...).

However, not my concern as a customer, nor under UK laws.
Well, I got the software update and unfortunately this did not help me.

However, the problem I have may not be the same anyway. All I know is, my motor started making noises and the pedals started to clack/slip under high pedalling pressure.

It would be realistic for Kalkhoff to retrofit, yes, and I agree that would be the best solution. But it looks as though this is not the approach Kalkhoff has decided on, and 50Cycles hands are pretty much tied at that point.

Yes, the diversification of 50Cycles' stock does seem to me to be interesting timing. I did wonder, the same as you, whether their patience with Kalkhoff may be running out. Nothing but personal speculation though.
 
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Tomtomato

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 28, 2015
388
196
Well, I got the software update and unfortunately this did not help me.
So I am assuming you took your bike to the shop (after reading on this forum, as opposed to being contacted by 50 Cycles) to get the software upgrade while the original motor, and the motor still failed after that anyway?

That's a very different story from what 50 Cycles are telling their customers. Their position is that the reliability issue has been completely fixed now by the software update...
 

Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
So I am assuming you took your bike to the shop (after reading on this forum, as opposed to being contacted by 50 Cycles) to get the software upgrade while the original motor, and the motor still failed after that anyway?

That's a very different story from what 50 Cycles are telling their customers. Their position is that the reliability issue has been completely fixed now by the software update...
In my case, I took my bike in for a free service (which was offered when I purchased my bike). At this point I had done a little over 500 miles. I was already hearing an occasional sound from the motor but it was slight, and did not affect the bike's rideability. 50Cycles did the software update as part of the service.

After that, the motor was largely the same up until 2,000 miles (occasional noises but nothing major). Since then (in the past couple of weeks), the frequency and effect on the pedalling became much more pronounced.

The motor was still functioning but becoming quite unpleasant to ride.
 

Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
162
Just a quick update on my Pro Connect 9:

Problem was confirmed as motor.

50Cycles have put on a new motor. Took them just 3 days, so really happy with how prompt they were. The motor looks to be installed properly - I can't see any problems there. No clacking - it's as smooth as anything currently. Totally solved the problem (well... for now).

Kudos to 50Cycles for how they responded.

However, this is just another Impulse 2 so we'll see how long this one lasts. I'll keep you all updated.
 
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