Ongoing reliability of Kalkhoff/Focus Impulse 2 motors

grey delite

Just Joined
Sep 16, 2015
1
2
82
I've been following this thread for a long time now and have just renewed acquaintance with it as my bike was making noises. Turned out it was a buckled wheel, but took some diagnosing.
I've just waded through the 45 pages of comments and have just got around to adding in my two penn'orth. I must say I have dreaded posting saying "the situation is not as bad as you think". A claim that "My bikes OK" would surely have led the next week to catastrophic failure and subsequent eating of humble pie.

My story is I bought a Kalkhoff Tasman with the dreaded Impulse 2 engine three years ago from 50cycles. The first motor was changed at 7000 miles just outside the warranty period unfortunately. No clacking noises etc, but the bottom bracket bearings seemed faulty and apparently that meant the whole engine needed replacing. That cost £250 from 50cycles, but the new motor has 2 years warranty so I'm listening carefully as this time I want to make sure if the slightest bit is wrong that it's changed within the warranty. So far and 2000+ miles more it's still OK and a year to go yet. So, comments about all Impulse Motors failing at 2000 seem to be hype. I ride 98% in eco as I want to get exercise, maybe that means the motor is not really stressed, which may help.

A comment on bike shops and their ability to repair ebikes. I'm choosy where I go for repairs and 50cycles in Twickenham is further away than I want to go, so I have frequented three or four near me of what I would regard as 'proper' bike shops, for routine repairs. Few were interested in anything other than routine 'bike' stuff when I asked about repairs on the 'electrical motor' side, so comments on this forum about taking it in to a regular bike shop for replacing the pawls (whatever those are - I do know, but would never venture to look at stuff like that) would seem to me to be hopelessly optimistic.

I'm glad to hear that there's an Aftersales manager at 50cycles. It fills me with more confidence than I must say I felt with the sales guys assurances, especially when they tell me that the mechanic in the showrooms is only there on Fridays.
 

Will Tinker

Pedelecer
Apr 14, 2015
221
163
I've been following this thread for a long time now and have just renewed acquaintance with it as my bike was making noises. Turned out it was a buckled wheel, but took some diagnosing.
I've just waded through the 45 pages of comments and have just got around to adding in my two penn'orth. I must say I have dreaded posting saying "the situation is not as bad as you think". A claim that "My bikes OK" would surely have led the next week to catastrophic failure and subsequent eating of humble pie.

My story is I bought a Kalkhoff Tasman with the dreaded Impulse 2 engine three years ago from 50cycles. The first motor was changed at 7000 miles just outside the warranty period unfortunately. No clacking noises etc, but the bottom bracket bearings seemed faulty and apparently that meant the whole engine needed replacing. That cost £250 from 50cycles, but the new motor has 2 years warranty so I'm listening carefully as this time I want to make sure if the slightest bit is wrong that it's changed within the warranty. So far and 2000+ miles more it's still OK and a year to go yet. So, comments about all Impulse Motors failing at 2000 seem to be hype. I ride 98% in eco as I want to get exercise, maybe that means the motor is not really stressed, which may help.

A comment on bike shops and their ability to repair ebikes. I'm choosy where I go for repairs and 50cycles in Twickenham is further away than I want to go, so I have frequented three or four near me of what I would regard as 'proper' bike shops, for routine repairs. Few were interested in anything other than routine 'bike' stuff when I asked about repairs on the 'electrical motor' side, so comments on this forum about taking it in to a regular bike shop for replacing the pawls (whatever those are - I do know, but would never venture to look at stuff like that) would seem to me to be hopelessly optimistic.

I'm glad to hear that there's an Aftersales manager at 50cycles. It fills me with more confidence than I must say I felt with the sales guys assurances, especially when they tell me that the mechanic in the showrooms is only there on Fridays.
It's great that you have had better luck with your Impulse 2 than so many users on this thread. I don't think anyone is claiming that ALL motors are failing before 2,000 miles. Simply that the failure rate on the Impulse 2 has been high, as backed up here and pretty much every independent source on the subject.

Good though to hear that your experience has been positive. I wouldn't wish mine on even my worst enemy.
 

Nezam

Just Joined
May 11, 2017
1
2
49
France
Hi,
Kalkhoff Integrale 8 bought in february 2017, 3000 km until now (13 km every day in Paris).
Third motor Derby Impulse Evo RS is about to be replaced soon by a new one due to high metalic noise level.
Thanks.

Hi,

I am trying to ascertain who is having issues with Impulse II motors on Kalkhoff or Focus e-bikes (both made by Derby Cycles).

Personally, I had a first motor replacement after 900 miles (4 months, loud clacking/clicking noise), and then another failure at around 900 miles (7 months, very weak assistance, some loud clacking once).

I have found the following people reporting issues too on this forum (usually on fairly new pedelec bikes and low mileage/kilometers):

Username/Model/Age/Mileage
reggie_electric - Agattu - 6 months - 800km
nemesis - Focus Jarifa - 4 months - ???
Jean-christophe Saville - S11 Alfine - 14 months - 2800 miles
Lothlean - ??? - 10 months - ??
Will Tinker - Pro Connect 9 - 5 months - 500 miles
Oriteroom - Focus Aventura Impulse S10 - 10 months - 3000 miles (3rd motor)
Roger R - ??? - 6 months - 1000 miles
nightrider - Endeavour S10 - ?? - ??
bernharvey - Agattu - ?? - 400 miles
Reseg - Focus Aventura - 10 months - ?? (3rd Motor)
lowranger - Impulse 10 - ?? - 2300 miles
Biscitt - Agattu - ?? - 350 miles
Biscitt - Tasman - ?? - 100 miles
Tomtomato - Pro Connect 10 - 7 months 900 miles (2nd fault)

Please reply to this thread if you had a motor issue.

It seems quite clear to me that there is a design/quality issue with the Impulse 2 crank-driven motors, and that those should be able to last a lot longer (given the high prices of the bikes), without requiring some expensive replacements (£600, once out of warranty). Kalkhoff are not willing to provide a warranty beyond 2 years on those motors, and have made people pay for replacement out of warranty, even when low mileage was done.

After first saying that there were no issues, they confirmed that Kalkhoff knew about the issue, and it had been sorted. A software update can apparently prevent some clacking issues leading to failure. However, I am not aware of a recall to do so by Kalkhoff (are they just waiting for bikes to fail?).

The 2015 motor replacement I had (supposedly the new reliable version) failed again after a small mileage, so I am not sure the issue is really sorted.

Thanks,
T.
 

50cycles

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 21, 2006
623
73
Bali, Indonesia
It's great that you have had better luck with your Impulse 2 than so many users on this thread. I don't think anyone is claiming that ALL motors are failing before 2,000 miles. Simply that the failure rate on the Impulse 2 has been high, as backed up here and pretty much every independent source on the subject.

Good though to hear that your experience has been positive. I wouldn't wish mine on even my worst enemy.
A bit unfair. So you would not wish a refund on your worst enemy. That Kind of makes sense I suppose!
 

English Tim

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 22, 2017
20
1
64
Dorset
I have a 2017 Kalkhoff Include Premium. I do a lot of miles and it’s a great help on locally steep hills.

Initially I expreienced poblems where the motor cut out and a message, “waiting for drive” was displayed. I had to back pedal or disconnect the battery to solve this. Dealer suggested changing settings and doing a software update, which worked at first.

He then fitted a replacement Impulse Evo motor, which has been fine, but no I get a clicking noise in 5/6 gear, similar to an old football rattle.

The new motor had four speed settings, including ultra, whereas it’s predecessor had three.

Is anyone able to advise?
 

Wicky

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 12, 2014
2,243
3,016
Colchester, Essex
www.jhepburn.co.uk
If you go back a few pages (top of pg43) get Joe at 50cycles to remove the rock in your new motor ;-)

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

#841Aftersales 50cycles UK, Nov 10, 2017
 

Jst_at_home

Pedelecer
Jul 8, 2014
36
13
67
I have a 2017 Kalkhoff Include Premium. I do a lot of miles and it’s a great help on locally steep hills.

Initially I expreienced poblems where the motor cut out and a message, “waiting for drive” was displayed. I had to back pedal or disconnect the battery to solve this. Dealer suggested changing settings and doing a software update, which worked at first.

He then fitted a replacement Impulse Evo motor, which has been fine, but no I get a clicking noise in 5/6 gear, similar to an old football rattle.

The new motor had four speed settings, including ultra, whereas it’s predecessor had three.

Is anyone able to advise?
Unfortunately I have lost confidence in Kalkhoff and have bought a Cube Cross Pro.

My Kalkhoff Tasman had its motor replaced under warranty at 2 years old. Last summer I reported to the dealer that it did not appear to be giving the same level of assistance as it had and I noted that the battery life was longer. I don't think it was down to my fitness!

Cut to April this year. Although the "walk" function still operated, I was convinced there was little or no assistance. Without seeing the bike, the Sealer suggested it may have been a problem the Torque Sensor which would require a new engine. The price of a new engine was said to be £600 but they would replace it for about £350.

I decided that rather than throw money into what was by now a 4-year old bike I would (a bit reluctantly) buy a new one. I sold my Kalkhoff on eBay as "for parts or repair".

John
 
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Reactions: redalexx and flecc

English Tim

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 22, 2017
20
1
64
Dorset
Unfortunately my dealer doesn’t do servicing, sourcing it out and doesn’t offer much advice, so it is a problem.

At least the motor is under warranty, but if it does need to be replaced, at what point is the bike not of a satisfactory quality, to seek a refund.

Moral to be learned from this, ask plenty of questions prior to purchase and ask who does the servicing.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,560
4,344

Crockers

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 19, 2014
817
686
66
Who is your dealer? Does he just sell bikes or does he do servicing if everything bar the electrics on an electric bike
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,560
4,344
how long have you had the bike ? cos if the motor is clanking it will fail and they just give you a new motor with the same problem.

id just take it back and ask for a full refund and show them this thread the impulse 2 motor is not fit for purpose.
 

English Tim

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 22, 2017
20
1
64
Dorset
Bought it a year ago, fault first reported in autumn, but motor not replaced until May this year. 2nd motor very noisy on long run yesterday, but much quieter on short run today, so I’ll keep monitoring, as they will nay diagnose a problem if I can show there is one.
 

English Tim

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 22, 2017
20
1
64
Dorset
A quick update, I recorded the clicking noise on my iPhone, but can’t work out how to paste it onto here.

Retailer’s third party mechanic is currently testing the bike and will report to retailer, who will then consult with Kalkhoff as to what happens next.

If it’s another new motor, I’m inclined to reject it, as I have little confidence and would like a Bosch.
 

Trevormonty

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 18, 2016
1,135
563
13
NZ
A quick update, I recorded the clicking noise on my iPhone, but can’t work out how to paste it onto here.

Retailer’s third party mechanic is currently testing the bike and will report to retailer, who will then consult with Kalkhoff as to what happens next.

If it’s another new motor, I’m inclined to reject it, as I have little confidence and would like a Bosch.
Try to get money back, otherwise next time you risk being stuck with faulty motor out of warranty.

The bosch drives aren't perfect but most failures are CX drive on eMTBs due to drive bearing failure from water ingress. Lot of this water comes from hosing down of bike after ride. Not something to worry about on road bike.
 

English Tim

Finding my (electric) wheels
Sep 22, 2017
20
1
64
Dorset
Warranty issue is confusing.

First motor failed after four months, but a fix and software update were recommended, so motor wasn’t replaced until 11 months. 2nd motor has only been on bike for two months. I believe motors have a two year warranty.

Ironically, my wife has just bought a Raleigh, with Bosch motor and now my bike is ‘sick’, so we still can’t go riding together!
 

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