This bike is so damn sleek and lean that you’d be hard-pressed to pick it out of a mug shot lineup as an E-MTB. FOCUS claim that their latest JAM2 rides like no other competitor, but is this just hype?

FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY | € 5,499 + € 499 TEC | 21.30 kg | Shimano

Once you’ve slung a leg over the FOCUS JAM2 , you get the first taste of luxury – never before has it been such a pleasure to press the power button on an E-MTB. Unconvinced? There’s a striking button on the toptube that rouses the Shimano motor and downtube-integrated 386 Wh battery. The Factory spec version sports the ultimate high-end components that FOCUS employees deem satisfactory for their own rides, ensuring that value for money is considered too. As a result, the build spec doesn’t give any rise for complaint. The RockShox Yari RC fork, MAGURA MT5 brakes, and lovely DT Swiss XM1501 SPLINE ONE wheels all perform faultlessly. However, the steep price of € 5,499 promises more than the budget SRAM NX shifters and house-brand Concept cockpit can deliver. If you’re dissatisfied with the range of the integrated battery, then you can shell out for an addition 386 Wh battery for € 499. This can be mounted onto the downtube and connected to the bike.

The JAM2 has a handling package that’ll make you get up and out of bed each day with a bounce. It’s by far the most agile E-MTB we’ve thrown around the trails, which makes airtime from every little trail feature incredibly easy. This sort of agility is no mean feat considering that the JAM2 is still 21.30 kg – although the presence of the second battery changes the handling somewhat. The bike gallops up climbs despite having a bit more of a puttering motor than the rest of the test fleet, which is down to its modified software. Once you mount the second T.E.C. battery on the JAM2 for longer rides then you’ll have an extra 2.22 kg under you. It raises the centre of gravity, and unfortunately turns the once impeccable ride into just a regular E-MTB. The suspension continues to shine at the top of its game, but the handling gets that bit less cooperative.

Helmet Specialized Ambush | Jersey ION TEE SS TRAZE_AMP | Shorts ION BIKESHORTS TRAZE_AMP

The FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY in Detail

Fork RockShox Yari RC 150 mm
Rear shock RockShox Deluxe R 140 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano Steps E8000 MTB / 386 Wh (per Battery)
Brakes Magura MT5
Drivetrain SRAM NX
Seatpost Concept Drop
Stem Concept 55 mm
Bars Concept MTB760 mm
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,8″
Wheels DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One

Extra power
Set up with the additional T.E.C. battery pack, the FOCUS has a huge 760 Wh battery capacity. The bonus range comes at the cost of its handling, basically lowering it to a level on a par with the average handling in this test fleet.
Airflow
FOCUS created some air ducts near the headtube so that air can ventilate and cool the integrated motor.
Practical
Forego the second battery and mount a bottle cage to carry a tube and CO2 cartridge instead.
Efficient
Using FOCUS’s own F.O.L.D. rear suspension design, the JAM2 is mega-efficient at the rear, soaking up everything on the trail masterfully. The design is reputed to be particularly long-lasting, as FOCUS chose to position the linkages and bearings inside the rear triangle.

The geometry of the FOCUS JAM2 FACTORY.

Conclusion

The FOCUS JAM2 raises the bar in the handling game, riding with tons more precision and agility that its competitors. However, this wow-effect is limited to the single battery mode. The subsequent heavier weight and higher centre of gravity with the additional battery certainly impinges on the handling, but also drastically increases the range.

Strengths

– Outstanding handling
– Very efficient rear end
– Top integration

Weaknesses

– Price
– Less agile with the additional battery (T.E.C. pack)
– Minimal range without the additional battery

For more information head to focus-bikes.com!

For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: What is the Best E-MTB of 2017? – 14 Models in Test

All bikes in test: BULLS E-Core Di2 FS 27,5+ | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 Action Team | FLYER Uproc7 8.70 | Giant Full-E+ 0 SX | Haibike XDURO AllMtn 8.0 | Lapierre Overvolt AM 900+ Carbon | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 900E | NOX EDF 6.7 Hybrid | ROTWILD R.E+ FS PRO | SCOTT E-Genius Tuned 700 Plus | Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Expert 6Fattie | STEVENS E-Sledge+ ES | Thömus Lightrider E1

Words & Photos: Christoph Bayer

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Christoph Bayer