Ongoing reliability of Kalkhoff/Focus Impulse 2 motors

Aftersales 50cycles UK

Finding my (electric) wheels
Dec 29, 2015
13
12
Dear D8veh,

I am just trying to help and letting you know the motors are now solid as rock and the manufacturing process has been updated with the bikes now coming with a 3 year warranty.

In our opinion the Impulse system still has the most range and power and we continue to order them in heavy numbers and sell 100's per month of this system and this forum actually is making the situation look 10x worst than it actually is. What would be described in politics as fake news.

Thanks for your input and giving us the opportunity to set things straight.

Kind regards

Joe
 

tillson

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 29, 2008
5,173
3,037
You're trying to play down the matter and play the part of the helpful service manager, when you personally tell forum members over the phone that you're not going to help them because they posted details of their problems on the forum, then your boss follows up with threatening emails. I guess that you didn't count those ones in your 50.
If that is happening, it’s not acceptable.

The internet is a great platform for bringing issues to the attention of a wide audience. Before the days of internet forums, it was common practice to tell customers that their particular issue was a one off, or that they had never seen that fault before, thus shirking their moral and legal responsibilities. Nowadays, things have changed, the whole situation can be laid bare, people are able to identify trends and spot problems.

Not being an Impulse 2 owner, but an observer, I can identify several facts:

1) I see a 42 page thread concerning one particular fault with one particular motor type.

2) I personally know one person who owns an Impulse 2 motored bike. That bike has had at least 3 new motors fitted since it was new in 2015, the latest motor having to be paid for.

3) I have never seen a common complaint like this with Panasonic, Bosch, Yamaha or other crank drive motor, or one extend to anything like 42 pages, 839 posts and continue for 18 months.

If I was asked to decide whether I thought there was a serious and unresolved issue with the Impulse 2 motor, based on what I see here, I would be forced to say that I think there is and my decision would be not to buy one. It’s simply a case of probability and the 3 points listed above, for me, make it more likely that there is an issue than there is not an issue.

Joe at 50 C sees more motors and customers than I do and if he is saying that he has only heard or seen 50 faults from thousands of bikes sold, then his opinion will be justifiably different to mine. 50 faults out of “thousands” of units sold is acceptable and unless we can show anything to the contrary, then it would be unfair to say that this is untrue. We can still hold our own opinion on the matter though.

Regarding whether 50 C have refused to help owners who have posted on this forum, or have threatened owners, again we need to see evidence of this. It’s a serious charge and an experience that I have not had in any of my dealings with 50C.
 
Last edited:

Phil1701

Pedelecer
Aug 19, 2014
26
13
63
Dear Phil,

That does not sound right at all please forward your customer order number so we can arrange collection of your bike and replace the motor for you so you can get some joy from your bike or at least sell it with a new 3 year motor warranty if you have an alternative bike.

We really cannot let one customer go un-satisfied and with a little reasonable care and understanding from both parties I am sure we can get this matter satisfactorily sorted out for you.

Kind regards

Joe
Dear Joe,

Thanks for the understanding reply and I am grateful for the offer to put things right and resolve my issue. I will contact you directly early next in order to progress this matter. Apologies if I came across as being over critical of 50 cycles but I'm afraid I let my frustration get the better of me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tillson

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 29, 2008
5,173
3,037
Dear D8veh,

I am just trying to help and letting you know the motors are now solid as rock and the manufacturing process has been updated with the bikes now coming with a 3 year warranty.

In our opinion the Impulse system still has the most range and power and we continue to order them in heavy numbers and sell 100's per month of this system and this forum actually is making the situation look 10x worst than it actually is. What would be described in politics as fake news.
Joe
A statement was published some time ago stating that the issues with the Impulse motor had been resolved via a software update. Problems seemed to continue after that statement was made.

Fake news implies lying. It is also a term which is gaining wider usage in order to discredit some genuine information which is an inconvenient truth. What is your evidence that anyone on this thread has lied?
 
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D

Deleted member 4366

Guest
Regarding whether 50 C have refused to help owners who have posted on this forum, or have threatened owners, again we need to see evidence of this. It’s a serious charge and an experience that I have not had in any of my dealings with 50C.
I can send you evidence by PM if you want it. I don't think it would be right to publish it, but you can see that Joe didn’t dispute that point because he knows that it's true and if he disputes it, I'd provide the evidence.

The only fake news I've seen are various posts from 50C from themselves masquerading as punters saying how great their bikes are, and the reviews posted on various websites, including their own, look highly suspicious.
 
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Keterick

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 15, 2011
14
3
Dear Tilson,

It really is not as bad as what this forum makes out we have had 50 motor failures out of thousands of bikes sold and all apart from Phil if he can supply an order number have been resolved at no cost or inconvenience for the customer.

As a customer we have also provided you with a good service and we would be happy for this to continue by offering to get your current Panasonic Pro Connect back on the road for just the cost of the motor and a free service. Seeing as you are one of our founding Kalkhoff customers.

If you would like to email me directly on aftersales@50cycles.com you can arrange to bring your bike in to me.

Kind regards

Joe

Hello Joe,

Sorry I had a blazing row with you on the phone when you rang me this morning about the clicking noise on my two and a half year old Tasman Impulse 2, and the word "pedal" appearing on the console screen. Although on the phone you stated in no uncertain terms that I would have to pay you £600 to repair it, in the email you sent, you stated that I could get the software upgraded, in order to repair the problem. So how can I do that. I live in Cambridge. I do not have any other form of transport, as I explained, and I live on an extremely small income so there is no way I can afford £600 for a bicycle that shouldn't need such a major repair at this early stage its life span.

- K
 

tillson

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 29, 2008
5,173
3,037
I can send you evidence by PM if you want it. I don't think it would be right to publish it, but you can see that Joe didn’t dispute that point because he knows that it's true and if he disputes it, I'd provide the evidence.

The only fake news I've seen are various posts from 50C from themselves masquerading as punters saying how great their bikes are, and the reviews posted on various websites, including their own, look highly suspicious.
Some points in here that I had forgotten about and now you have reminded me. I don’t need to see the messages, I’ll take your word for that Dave.
 

tillson

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 29, 2008
5,173
3,037
Hello Joe,

Sorry I had a blazing row with you on the phone when you rang me this morning about the clicking noise on my two and a half year old Tasman Impulse 2, and the word "pedal" appearing on the console screen. Although on the phone you stated in no uncertain terms that I would have to pay you £600 to repair it, in the email you sent, you stated that I could get the software upgraded, in order to repair the problem. So how can I do that. I live in Cambridge. I do not have any other form of transport, as I explained, and I live on an extremely small income so there is no way I can afford £600 for a bicycle that shouldn't need such a major repair at this early stage its life span.

- K
Knowing someone who’s bike had the software upgrade, im sceptical. He had another two motors after the upgrade.

What did the Tasman cost? £2000 ish? You have had the bike 30 months and now it’s useless, so £66 / month. They think this is ok and what you should expect from a Kalkhoff? Well they must do if they intend charging you £600 to fix it.

I really dislike this. My friend had a series of motor failures throughout the warrant period and had to pay for the most recent replacement. The bike was only just out of warranty. This was / is a continuation of a problem which has existed since day one and it is a problem which was not satisfactorily resolved.

Now this from Keterick.

People considering a Kalkhoff, take note and decide carefully.
 
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Keterick

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 15, 2011
14
3
Well all I know is that I feel very sad that people have spent their money on something that wasn't what they thought it was, wasn't what was promised and people who ride bikes are usually decent people who care for the environment and maybe don't have enough money to run a car. Personally I feel like I've been treated ruthlessly, and that I will end up trapped indoors without my bicycle because I am disabled and I cannot walk very far. It is very sad and I actually feel depressed now.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,645
28,489
Well all I know is that I feel very sad that people have spent their money on something that wasn't what they thought it was, wasn't what was promised and people who ride bikes are usually decent people who care for the environment and maybe don't have enough money to run a car. Personally I feel like I've been treated ruthlessly, and that I will end up trapped indoors without my bicycle because I am disabled and I cannot walk very far. It is very sad and I actually feel depressed now.
I don't know if they can do it in this instance, but 50cycles have sometimes sent out the kit to load the software fix on other motors, for the user to post it back afterwards. Ask Joe and he may be able to do this for you. 50cycles are capable of excellent service at times and I've twice been a recipient of service from them that went far beyond the call of duty, so don't despair.
.
 
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redalexx

Pedelecer
A statement was published some time ago stating that the issues with the Impulse motor had been resolved via a software update. Problems seemed to continue after that statement was made.
Current situation at the german Forum:
Since summer there are only a few failure posts, most from the new Impulse2.2. On the other hand there are several problems with the EVO, clacking noise, metalic grinding noise, you know!

Current situation at Ebikemonitor (Pedelecmonitor):
I got only some new mails with failed Impulse2.0 units. Nearly all were 2015 and 2016 motors. 3 units were from 2017.

So either the problem is solved and the failure rate reaches an acceptable number or there are just a few biker left with impulse motors.

The current situation in this forum:
the last 10 pages are most discussions about derby, daum and 50cycles. Compared to end of 2016 just a few new failed units.

Current data from begin of November:


and the new 2.2


Give it a few more month, but my feeling is, it's getting better.
 
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Keterick

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 15, 2011
14
3
I don't know if they can do it in this instance, but 50cycles have sometimes sent out the kit to load the software fix on other motors, for the user to post it back afterwards. Ask Joe and he may be able to do this for you. 50cycles are capable of excellent service at times and I've twice been a recipient of service from them that went far beyond the call of duty, so don't despair.
.
Hi Flecc, I could, with a struggle, go to their showroom , it's a two hour train journey from Cambridge , and I could manage a small fee for the software upgrade, but I have not received a reply to my post to 50cycles regarding how to go about getting this upgrade. I think 50cycles needs to understand that it is not at all unreasonable for people to get very upset at paying a huge amount amount of money for these bicycles for them only to start going wrong before the 1,000 mile mark/three years (with reasonable care by the owner). It is morally the right thing to do to provide a free software upgrade at the very least to all of the Impulse bicycles which were from bought 50cycles which have displayed these faults (no matter if the ownership has been passed on, as long as the rest of the bike has been kept in good condition) I do not think it is nice, decent, fair or good practice for 50cycles to be hostile about that, no matter how upset the owner is. I am waiting to experience the good customer service you speak of, Flecc.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
50,645
28,489
I do not think it is nice, decent, fair or good practice for 50cycles to be hostile about that, no matter how upset the owner is. I am waiting to experience the good customer service you speak of, Flecc.
I understand Keterick, but always remember that if you stand in the other's shoes the view can be very different. No-one likes to be on the receiving end of a verbal battering no matter how justfied, so it can pay to be restrained and very courteous no matter how real the grievance. Let me illustrate that with my experience.

Years ago I bought a popular and normally reliable e-bike from 50cycles, long before the Kalkhoffs. By 100 miles it was grinding badly and the motor seized at 200 miles. I rang them and poitely offered to drive the 300 mile round trip to have it repaired which of course suited them. They suggested a day on which the bike's designer was visiting from the Orient so I could meet him, a nice benefit, but unfortunately my car was due MOT and booked for that day. Telling 50cycles that brought the immediate offer to see if the garage next door at that time would do it for me. A pause on the phone while they checked and it was arranged.

So a couple of days later I drove up, the garage did the MOT immediately while the designer of the bike fitted the new motor in person and I was able to have a long chat with him about e-bikes in general and his in particular. It couldn't have been better service and far beyond the call of duty, all from keeping my cool and making a generous offer to bring the bike to them. I've no doubt that if I'd blown my top about the very early motor failure it wouldn't have happened that way.

That wasn't the end of the good service though. Many months later and riding over a "chocolate bar" speed bump the battery weight bouncing shattered the plastic battery platform. I araldited the bits together and posted the incident in this forum with photos.

The next morning to my surprise I received a new battery platform by first class post! 50cycles had spotted my report of the incident in here and had immediately posted the new platform without even telling me or posting about it. Service just doesn't get any better than that.

These events were well over a decade ago and the first one before this website even existed, so to 50cycles I was just another person, not someone possibly having influence.

So my advice is to practice extreme restraint and courteously try to get the problem resolved with Joe and 50cycles. I'm sure they will respond by sorting the problem to your satisfaction. Working together usually solves problems.
.
 
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Keterick

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 15, 2011
14
3
I understand Keterick, but always remember that if you stand in the other's shoes the view can be very different. No-one likes to be on the receiving end of a verbal battering no matter how justfied, so it can pay to be restrained and very courteous no matter how real the grievance. Let me illustrate that with my experience.

Years ago I bought a popular and normally reliable e-bike from 50cycles, long before the Kalkhoffs. By 100 miles it was grinding badly and the motor seized at 200 miles. I rang them and poitely offered to drive the 300 mile round trip to have it repaired which of course suited them. They suggested a day on which the bike's designer was visiting from the Orient so I could meet him, a nice benefit, but unfortunately my car was due MOT and booked for that day. Telling 50cycles that brought the immediate offer to see if the garage next door at that time would do it for me. A pause on the phone while they checked and it was arranged.

So a couple of days later I drove up, the garage did the MOT immediately while the designer of the bike fitted the new motor in person and I was able to have a long chat with him about e-bikes in general and his in particular. It couldn't have been better service and far beyond the call of duty, all from keeping my cool and making a generous offer to bring the bike to them. I've no doubt that if I'd blown my top about the very early motor failure it wouldn't have happened that way.

That wasn't the end of the good service though. Many months later and riding over a "chocolate bar" speed bump the battery weight bouncing shattered the plastic battery platform. I araldited the bits together and posted the incident in this forum with photos.

The next morning to my surprise I received a new battery platform by first class post! 50cycles had spotted my report of the incident in here and had immediately posted the new platform without even telling me or posting about it. Service just doesn't get any better than that.

These events were well over a decade ago and the first one before this website even existed, so to 50cycles I was just another person, not someone possibly having influence.

So my advice is to practice extreme restraint and courteously try to get the problem resolved with Joe and 50cycles. I'm sure they will respond by sorting the problem to your satisfaction. Working together usually solves problems.
.
Hi Flecc, Thanks for your thoughtful reply. You are quite right, it is important to try very hard to be courteous, and I am glad to know you have been treated with due respect and care by 50cycles, and I hope you always will be.
 
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the_killjoy

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 26, 2008
822
226
When the car makers issue a recall, not always safety related, there is never any issue about from whom/when the vehicle was purchased.

I would have thought a recall for a software update to prevent motor failure was something a car maker would do - even if just to prevent warranty claims.
 

Tomwal

Pedelecer
Mar 28, 2016
32
16
76
London NW2
I was getting some noises from the belt and motor on my year old Agattu. I had done 1200 miles and it was still performing Ok but I was concerned about the noise. I therefore rode down to 50cycles new Twickenham shop. They asked me to leave the bike with them and that they would check it over and get back to me. The next day they emailed me to say that they were going to get a new motor from Germany. A week later they emailed me to say that the motor was replaced and the belt adjusted and that I could collect the bike. The bike now has the new 2.2 motor and is working well. They also told me that the new motor is under 2 years warranty. There was absolutely no fuss or quibbling and I am really pleased with the service I received. I would recommend 50cycles at Twickenham and I must say I do like my Agattu bike.
It is very well finished and comfortable to ride and I have never regretted buying it. Mind you the Twickenham store is really nice and has some tempting new bikes. I particularly like the Scott e-bike with the Bosch CX performance motor. I expect some of you will say that this is just an ad and that I actually work for 50cycles. Well I don't - I am just a satisfied customer.
 

hannesd

Pedelecer
Nov 12, 2017
31
3
45
belgium
has anyone ever tried to fix these engines, not for the "regular hobby-man) but more specialized craftsmen?
my impulse 2 motor is running ok, i'd say 80% for now.
when the engine engages, then i hear a sound but that's not worrying to me.
what bothers me is the support from the engine is sometimes gradually fading away. then after a hard step on the pedals i can bring it back to life. that's the only complaint i have sofar.
bought the bike (univega renegade) mtb second hand.
doesn't have 500km on the counter yet...
if i can't get warranty (previous owner claims his bookkeper can't find the invoice anymore) then i'll try to see what i can do to fix this. don't plan on buying a new motor on my expense...

cheers, Hannes.
 

Keterick

Finding my (electric) wheels
Oct 15, 2011
14
3
has anyone ever tried to fix these engines, not for the "regular hobby-man) but more specialized craftsmen?
my impulse 2 motor is running ok, i'd say 80% for now.
when the engine engages, then i hear a sound but that's not worrying to me.
what bothers me is the support from the engine is sometimes gradually fading away. then after a hard step on the pedals i can bring it back to life. that's the only complaint i have sofar.
bought the bike (univega renegade) mtb second hand.
doesn't have 500km on the counter yet...
if i can't get warranty (previous owner claims his bookkeper can't find the invoice anymore) then i'll try to see what i can do to fix this. don't plan on buying a new motor on my expense...

cheers, Hannes.
Hi Hannes, I know what you mean about power fade/engine atrophe. I used to have a Pro-Connect with a Panasonic motor. It had much better torque and no jerky on/off power issues like what we are both experiencing with these Impulse motors. I am going to get the sofware on my Impulse updated, I will report back to you when I've had this done at Rutland Cycling (do you know which software version your running on? I think mine is C005, because it flashes up when I get the display error).