Ongoing reliability of Kalkhoff/Focus Impulse 2 motors

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
4,729
1,670
Basildon
I bought a Kalkhoff Agattu Premium 3 years ago for £2695.00. The bike is excellent apart from the motor. I had a replacement 2.2 motor 18 months ago (still under warranty) and this one has started making horribly load cracking noises although so far it is still rideable. I suppose I am going to have to ask for a replacement motor again. I would not buy a Kalkhoff again and I could not recommend them. The design and quality of the bike is first class it is just let down by this wretched motor.

The problem is that when you have spent this amount on a bike you are reluctant to just give it up as a lost cause.
I wonder if it is possible to install another make of motor or am I stuck with the Impulse motor ?
Any advice as to the way forward would be much appreciated.
There's a repair service now that might make it viable to keep it.
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,099
4,278
57
West Sx RH
All the time it's under warranty with each motor continue to use that avenue if otherwise you are happy with the bike, once any warranty runs out then use the guy at Performance Bearings for after warranty/ rebuild work
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,099
4,278
57
West Sx RH
Excelle
I was lucky the frame broke on my Kalkhoff & they replaced it with a model with the Bosch moter & all cool now Cheers David
:cool:Excellent result, a lucky break.
 
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kosio86

Just Joined
May 28, 2019
4
1
I want to share my experience with Focus Thron 2016 and Impulse Evo RS. I imported it from Germany as there were no ebikes sold in my country at this time. No service shops either.
I bought the bike November 2016 and started using it April 2017.

1. When it was ~500km old I had the following bug: When charging the battery it would sometimes not stop when it has 5 leds on and the charger starts making some high pitch noise every couple of seconds. At some point the battery shuts off (some protection), but when mounted on the bike assistance range shows 0km, while battery meter shows full.
I tried contacting Derby and they referred me to a local "dealer" who did not have any cables, or tools for this kind of motor. He said that he had to pay 300Eur to Derby, so that they could send him the cables and grant him access to the system(I think because the bike was bought from another location). So he was unwilling to pay it, just for one customer. I was then referred to the service shops in the neighborhood countries. So, I got used to not charging my battery to the top (using mains socket timer) and found out that even if I do overcharge it, I could slightly discharge it by using walk assist mode for 20 minutes and slightly applied back brake,and that was making the bike usable again. This was more of a software bug, which I wasn't able to fix by updating the system, due to my location.
At this point I gave up of my warranty, that I cannot use without sending everything abroad and waiting for exchange.
2.When 700km old I started experiencing some clanking noises randomly-this was fixed by disassembling the motor and re-lubricating the pawls, which already had some visible wear on them. Since then, I am looking for replacement ones, as spare parts are not available by the dealers, or the manufacturer. They however seem generic, so if someone knows how to source them it would be great. The motor was opened and closed professionally by another bike shop servicing other ebike brands. I had to pay for this myself. There was no warranty-void sticker.
3.Around 1400km (Sept 2018) the support started cutting off when ridden more than 5km on steep trails. Restart was fixing the problem. Later it started doing in randomly . It felt as if the torque sensor was acting up. Later "Waiting for drive" started appearing together with the cut offs. At some point I was not using the bike because I was not sure if I would be able to ride it up back home. This was magically resolved by the same shop opening the motor and cleaning up the torque sensor. Nothing seemed defective, I suppose it was some calibration issue, or another software bug. Torque sensor did have part number, but we couldn't find anything by searching it in internet. The problem disappeared since then.
4.This year ~2000km- after some happy time riding the bike without issues, I rode in heavy rain for couple of hours (it just caught me in the mountain and I had to go back home) - I parked the bike wet in my garage and removed the battery ( as always) to store it in a warm place. Yesterday ( 2 weeks later) I put the battery back on the bike - and surprise surprise- nothing happens- the battery is fully charged, awaken, and still shows 100% capacity, but the display doesn't turn on- as far as I just read here- water damage. I however don't see any moisture anywhere and keeping it 2 weeks without battery should have been enough time for any moisture to dry up, but I don't have other explanation. I will have to check all wires and probably open the display to check for moisture.

To summarize - I have another ebike with yamaha pw motor that has been waaay more reliable, so far (knock on wood), however I really like the Impulse's huge battery, range and higher bb clеarence. I also upgraded the fork and the brakes in the past, so I really like the bike when it works. Unfortunately I might have to sell it for parts soon, as I don't have any more time to waste with this buggy "German quality" motor. I prefer riding, than fixing my bikes when I have spare time.
 
Last edited:
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Tomwal

Pedelecer
Mar 28, 2016
31
15
74
London NW2
I want to share my experience with Focus Thron 2016 and Impulse Evo RS. I imported it from Germany as there were no ebikes sold in my country at this time. No service shops either.
I bought the bike November 2016 and started using it April 2017.

1. When it was ~500km old I had the following bug: When charging the battery it would sometimes not stop when it has 5 leds on and the charger starts making some high pitch noise every couple of seconds. At some point the battery shuts off (some protection), but when mounted on the bike assistance range shows 0km, while battery meter shows full.
I tried contacting Derby and they referred me to a local "dealer" who did not have any cables, or tools for this kind of motor. He said that he had to pay 300Eur to Derby, so that they could send him the cables and grant him access to the system(I think because the bike was bought from another location). So he was unwilling to pay it, just for one customer. I was then referred to the service shops in the neighborhood countries. So, I got used to not charging my battery to the top (using mains socket timer) and found out that even if I do overcharge it, I could slightly discharge it by using walk assist mode for 20 minutes and slightly applied back brake,and that was making the bike usable again. This was more of a software bug, which I wasn't able to fix by updating the system, due to my location.
At this point I gave up of my warranty, that I cannot use without sending everything abroad and waiting for exchange.
2.When 700km old I started experiencing some clanking noises randomly-this was fixed by disassembling the motor and re-lubricating the pawls, which already had some visible wear on them. Since then, I am looking for replacement ones, as spare parts are not available by the dealers, or the manufacturer. They however seem generic, so if someone knows how to source them it would be great. The motor was opened and closed professionally by another bike shop servicing other ebike brands. I had to pay for this myself. There was no warranty-void sticker.
3.Around 1400km (Sept 2018) the support started cutting off when ridden more than 5km on steep trails. Restart was fixing the problem. Later it started doing in randomly . It felt as if the torque sensor was acting up. Later "Waiting for drive" started appearing together with the cut offs. At some point I was not using the bike because I was not sure if I would be able to ride it up back home. This was magically resolved by the same shop opening the motor and cleaning up the torque sensor. Nothing seemed defective, I suppose it was some calibration issue, or another software bug. Torque sensor did have part number, but we couldn't find anything by searching it in internet. The problem disappeared since then.
4.This year ~2000km- after some happy time riding the bike without issues, I rode in heavy rain for couple of hours (it just caught me in the mountain and I had to go back home) - I parked the bike wet in my garage and removed the battery ( as always) to store it in a warm place. Yesterday ( 2 weeks later) I put the battery back on the bike - and surprise surprise- nothing happens- the battery is fully charged, on, and still shows 100% capacity, but the display doesn't turn on- as far as I just read here- water damage. I however don't see any moisture anywhere and keeping it 2 weeks without battery should have been enough time for any moisture to dry up, but I don't have other explanation. I will have to check all wires and probably open the display to check for moisture.

To summarize - I have another ebike with yamaha pw motor that has been waaay more reliable, so far (knock on wood), however I really like the Impulse's huge battery, range and higher bb clarence. I also upgraded the fork and the brakes in the past, so I really like the bike when it works. Unfortunately I might have to sell it for parts soon, as I don't have any more time to waste with this buggy "German quality" motor. I prefer riding, than fixing my bikes when I have spare time.
When I have not ridden my Kalkhoff for a while the display will not come on and it looks dead. I just press that red circular button on the side and it fires up and all is normal.
 

Tomwal

Pedelecer
Mar 28, 2016
31
15
74
London NW2
I want to share my experience with Focus Thron 2016 and Impulse Evo RS. I imported it from Germany as there were no ebikes sold in my country at this time. No service shops either.
I bought the bike November 2016 and started using it April 2017.

1. When it was ~500km old I had the following bug: When charging the battery it would sometimes not stop when it has 5 leds on and the charger starts making some high pitch noise every couple of seconds. At some point the battery shuts off (some protection), but when mounted on the bike assistance range shows 0km, while battery meter shows full.
I tried contacting Derby and they referred me to a local "dealer" who did not have any cables, or tools for this kind of motor. He said that he had to pay 300Eur to Derby, so that they could send him the cables and grant him access to the system(I think because the bike was bought from another location). So he was unwilling to pay it, just for one customer. I was then referred to the service shops in the neighborhood countries. So, I got used to not charging my battery to the top (using mains socket timer) and found out that even if I do overcharge it, I could slightly discharge it by using walk assist mode for 20 minutes and slightly applied back brake,and that was making the bike usable again. This was more of a software bug, which I wasn't able to fix by updating the system, due to my location.
At this point I gave up of my warranty, that I cannot use without sending everything abroad and waiting for exchange.
2.When 700km old I started experiencing some clanking noises randomly-this was fixed by disassembling the motor and re-lubricating the pawls, which already had some visible wear on them. Since then, I am looking for replacement ones, as spare parts are not available by the dealers, or the manufacturer. They however seem generic, so if someone knows how to source them it would be great. The motor was opened and closed professionally by another bike shop servicing other ebike brands. I had to pay for this myself. There was no warranty-void sticker.
3.Around 1400km (Sept 2018) the support started cutting off when ridden more than 5km on steep trails. Restart was fixing the problem. Later it started doing in randomly . It felt as if the torque sensor was acting up. Later "Waiting for drive" started appearing together with the cut offs. At some point I was not using the bike because I was not sure if I would be able to ride it up back home. This was magically resolved by the same shop opening the motor and cleaning up the torque sensor. Nothing seemed defective, I suppose it was some calibration issue, or another software bug. Torque sensor did have part number, but we couldn't find anything by searching it in internet. The problem disappeared since then.
4.This year ~2000km- after some happy time riding the bike without issues, I rode in heavy rain for couple of hours (it just caught me in the mountain and I had to go back home) - I parked the bike wet in my garage and removed the battery ( as always) to store it in a warm place. Yesterday ( 2 weeks later) I put the battery back on the bike - and surprise surprise- nothing happens- the battery is fully charged, on, and still shows 100% capacity, but the display doesn't turn on- as far as I just read here- water damage. I however don't see any moisture anywhere and keeping it 2 weeks without battery should have been enough time for any moisture to dry up, but I don't have other explanation. I will have to check all wires and probably open the display to check for moisture.

To summarize - I have another ebike with yamaha pw motor that has been waaay more reliable, so far (knock on wood), however I really like the Impulse's huge battery, range and higher bb clarence. I also upgraded the fork and the brakes in the past, so I really like the bike when it works. Unfortunately I might have to sell it for parts soon, as I don't have any more time to waste with this buggy "German quality" motor. I prefer riding, than fixing my bikes when I have spare time.
Sorry, to clarify - I mean the red button on the side of the battery.
 

kosio86

Just Joined
May 28, 2019
4
1
Thanks, I know what you mean. The one that you describe is when the battery is fallen asleep to prevent discharge during long periods of storage. My case is not the same, unfortunately. I woke the battery up first (I always do before ride so I can check the charge level) and then placed it on the bike.
 

Cmbhappy

Just Joined
Feb 25, 2018
1
0
Plymouth uk
Hi Folks, this is my first time of posting, I'm on my 4th electric bike and this last one has the impulse 2 motor.
Privately I recently bought a used but like new Kalkhoff Shael i8 with an impulse 2 motor and the 17ah battery.
It had only 130miles on it and I got it for the "right" price. It had originally been supplied by 50cycles.
It might yet turn out to be a bargain, though, yes, I realise it's going to fail soon, if it's not already failing.
I normally use a Yamaha powered Haibike Sduro, it's perfect for getting around a big festival rapidly but just too big/heavy for the van.
I do a lot of work a lot at festivals and a lightweight compact electric bike is often the ultimate way to get about. This frame/20" fold flat configuration is perfect for the purpose when you are living in a VW T5 for up to 2 weeks at a time!
Now the Impulse 2 questions.

Compared to the Yamaha the Shahel only turns out about 25% of the power ie the Yamaha on it's lowest eco mode provides more assistance than the Shahel on full power, sound right? It's fine on the flat but always down to the lowest gear on grassy hills.
Is there any motor that can be viably fitted in place of the impulse? I'd love this Shahel frame configuration with the Yamaha power system.
 

Scottish David

Just Joined
Jun 15, 2020
2
0
Now on my fourth major problem. 1 Battery failure, 1 display failure, 1 control switch failure and one weird one where the motor was cutting on and off irrespective of whether I was pedalling
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,099
4,278
57
West Sx RH
Kalkhoff with Impulse drive is as reliable as a Carrera with Suntour drive.
 
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octopusenvy

Just Joined
Jul 5, 2020
2
0
Greetings all from New Zealand.

I may be a very gullible person, as I heard about the issues of older Kalkoff/Impulse motors, but got a 2017 Jarifa with an Evo Impulse 2 motor for my wife...then got a 2018 Jarifa i29 with the big panasonic 603ah battery and same Evo Impulse 2 motor for me. Wife's bike seems fine, but yesterday my bike gave me the "HINT 1/1, Wait For Drive" message and there was no assist. I was able to stop and start maybe once and get the normal assistance, but the message returned and power disappeared again. Is this the beginning of the end? I have no loud noises, the motor is quiet and I really love the bike! Of course I got it for a fantastic used price with only 600kms on it. I see the new bearing kit available, but this seems like another issue as the drive seems to work well up until yesterday. There was ZERO hard use when this happened, just very gradual ECO mode use. That being said, I am a 95kg rider and I do ride aggressively. I've had the bike at the mtb park trails a few times and it was flawless and enjoyable. Help please (and I don't mean just saying get rid of it)! Mine is a 2018 with integrated battery in the frame, but perhaps I don't have the best or newest motor from Kalkoff/Impulse? Not sure how to check if it's the 2.2 or not.
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
10,546
4,340
even the evo motor fails so there not fit for purpose you can buy new motors but not cheap and dealer support has all but gone these days.


 

octopusenvy

Just Joined
Jul 5, 2020
2
0
Just updating that I still haven't solved the issue on my Impulse EVO RS motor. I mistakenly labeled it and my wife's as an EVO 2.0, but they are the better/newer EVO RS. Hopefully it's just a contact, but I'm going to plug it into a diagnostic at the LBS to see if it comes up with any codes. I don't see any on the screen, but there may be something there I can't see. I will also clean the contacts on both the battery and on the bike etc. It seems to be just a comms error, but not sure where that poor connection is happening. Any other suggestions?
 

Nealh

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 7, 2014
11,099
4,278
57
West Sx RH
Comms error can be any where, it is often a fault on the 5v line. So may not just be confined to the display or cable. Controller 5v regulator could be at fault on the PCB or any 5v ancillary line.
 
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