With the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1, the German manufacturer enters our 2023 group test under € 7,000 with a lightweight, full-carbon e-mountainbike. Retailing at € 6,699, it comes equipped with a new Shimano EP801 motor, big 750 Wh battery and a fancy automatic Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain. How did it fare against the rest of the test field?

Bulls Sonic Evo EN-SL 1 Carbon | Shimano EP801/750 Wh | 160/160 mm (f/r)
22.10 kg in size L | € 6,699 | Manufacturer’s website

If you’ve never heard of BULLS, you must be new to mountain biking. The German brand is part of ZEG, Europe’s largest dealer cooperative, and one of the country’s major bike manufacturers. Their wide portfolio includes everything from urban bikes to eMTBs. As the name suggests, the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 belongs to the EN model range, which consists of enduro-specific, long travel bikes for the rough stuff. The SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 is one of a kind in this test field: it’s the only competitor that comes equipped with the new Shimano EP801 motor and Shimano XT Di2 automatic drivetrain. Despite the large 750 Wh battery, the BULLS is the lightest full-power E-MTB and comes with a full carbon frame alongside the SCOTT Lumen. The frame silhouette relies on a modern design language with straight lines. The top tube merges seamlessly into the seat stay, making the BULLS one of the most elegant competitors in the entire test field together with the SCOTT Lumen.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 for € 7,000 – 7 budget eMTBs in our eMTB group test

Exciting key data – What distinguishes the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 from the competition?

At first glance, the SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 strikes with a clean, minimalist look. Upon closer inspection, however, you’ll notice several clever features, including a removable MonkeyLink headlight mount under the stem, and mounting points for both a FIDLOCK bottle and multi tool on the underside of the top tube. BULLS also throw in a standard kickstand mount adapter for the carbon swingarm, along with trailer approval. The new Shimano EP801 motor churns out 85 Nm of torque, providing shed-loads of power on the trail. The drive unit draws its power from a big 750 Wh battery that can be easily removed from the top of the down tube at a 45° angle. An interesting feature is the battery’s carbon housing, which doubles as the sidewall of the down tube: the one-piece design is extremely practical and helps keep the weight down to a very reasonable 22.1 kg (size L). The charging port above the motor is easily accessible and protected by a magnetic rubber cover.

The Fine Tune mode in the E-TUBE app allows you to create up to 15 different levels of support.
Get it out!
The big 750 Wh battery can be easily removed from the side of the downtube without the need for keys or tools, while the carbon housing around it doubles as the sidewall of the down tube.
Easy life
With the clever Free Shift and Auto Shift functions, the electronic Shimano XT Di2 drivetrain offers both a semi-automatic and fully automatic shifting mode, which can be fine-tuned using the E-TUBE app.

The RockShox suspension consists of a 160 mm Lyrik Select fork and matching 160 mm Super Deluxe Select+ air shock. While this setup might struggle to keep up with the top-tier FOX Factory suspension of the RADON, the few adjustment options of the shock make it easy to set up, regardless of your technical knowledge. Together with the long seat tube, the 150 mm Limotec Alpha 1 dropper post restricts freedom of movement on the bike. For the brakes, BULLS rely on Shimano DEORE four-piston stoppers, which deliver the similar braking performance as the flagship XTR model but forgo the tool-free reach adjustment. The brakes are paired with big 200 mm rotors front and rear. Shimano also supply the XT Di2 LINKGLIDE drivetrain, which makes the BULLS not just the only bike with electronic shifting, but also the only one with an automatic drivetrain. Using Shimano’s E-TUBE PROJECT Cyclist app, you can customise the behaviour of the EP801 motor and fine tune the drivetrain’s automatic mode. The latter is particularly suitable for relaxed touring, while semi-automatic Free Shift mode comes in handy for trail riding. For the wheels, BULLS rely on a robust Mavic E-Deemax 30 alloy wheelset, which was developed specifically for e-mountainbikes.

The BULLS has countless hidden features, like the MonkeyLink headlight mount under the stem, which holds the headlight securely in place via a magnet and draws its power directly from the bike’s main battery.
Not great
The RockShox Lyrik Select fork is quick and easy to set up, but responds poorly on rough terrain.

Bulls Sonic Evo EN-SL 1 Carbon

€ 6,699


Motor Shimano EP801 85 Nm
Battery BMZ 750 Wh
Display Shimano SC-EM 800
Fork RockShox Lyrik Select 160 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ 160 mm
Seatpost Limotec Alpha 1 150 mm
Brakes Shimano DEORE BR-M6120 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DEORE XT Di2 1x11
Stem Poligon BULLS 50 mm
Handlebar BULLS Riser 785 mm
Wheelset Mavic E-Deemax 30 29"
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Trail Evo Soft/Schwalbe Big Betty Super Trail Evo Soft 2.4/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 22.10 kg
Perm. total weight 130 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 107 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

FIDLOCK bottle holder
MonkeyLink lightholder

Size S M L XL
Top tube 595 mm 615 mm 637 mm 660 mm
Seat tube 400 mm 440 mm 480 mm 510 mm
Head angle 65.0° 65.0° 65.0° 65.0°
Seat angle 74.0° 74.0° 74.0° 74.0°
Chainstays 450 mm 450 mm 450 mm 450 mm
BB Drop 23 mm 23 mm 23 mm 23 mm
Wheelbase 1,202 mm 1,223 mm 1,246 mm 1,271 mm
Reach 420 mm 441 mm 460 mm 481 mm
Stack 635 mm 635 mm 644 mm 653 mm
Helmet Giro Merit Spherical | Glasses 100% Glendale | Backpack Thule Rail | Jersey Fox Indicator
Shorts Fox Ranger | Kneepad Pearl Izumi Elevate | Shoes Unparallel Up Link
Socks Vans Classic CREW | Gloves Leatt GLOVE MTB 4.0 Light

Touring around – The BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 in review

The BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 has everything you need for a long day in the saddle. The relaxed pedalling position ensures good riding comfort while the stiff, efficient rear suspension allows you to grind your way up fire roads without breaking a sweat. On the other hand, the BULLS doesn’t swallow up bigger hits as confidently as the Moustache. The most exciting thing is that you don’t have to worry about shifting gears, because the automatic mode does the work for you. On technical climbs, you’ll have to actively weight the front wheel to prevent it from lifting, while the EP801 motor struggles to keep up with the powerhouses from Yamaha and Bosch. Nevertheless, the agile handling and low system weight make it easy to pull the BULLS over obstacles and to wind your way up narrow trails.

As light as a feather
The agile handling and low system weight make it easy to pull the BULLS over obstacles and to negotiate tight corners.
A wild ride
In nasty rock gardens, the BULLS requires an experienced rider.

On flowing trails, the agile handling is a free pass into trail fun nirvana. The stiff suspension allows you to generate plenty of speed by pumping through rollers and, together with the low system weight, makes it easy to throw the bike from one berm into another. The BULLS encourages you to play with the trail and to pop off edges. When the going gets rough, however, the handling turns from playful to demanding, requiring a precise, vigilant riding style to hold your line. Overall, the Specialized Levo is far more composed and has more reserves. This is partly due to the BULLS’ RockShox Lyrik Select fork, which shakes things up in nasty rock gardens. For active riders, the agile handling and stiff suspension make it easier to gap over nasty rock gardens. When you come across an unexpected climb, the Free Shift function is a true godsend, allowing you to shift gears without having to pedal, at the push of a button.

The stiff suspension of the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 allows you to generate plenty of speed by pumping through rollers.

Who should take a closer look at the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1?

The BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a relaxed tourer with clever everyday features and a bunch of modern technology. The BULLS is also an excellent companion if you tend to spend most of your time on flowing trails and moderate singletracks. On the other hand, sporty riders who want a thoroughbred downhill machine might be better looking elsewhere.

Tuning tip: Fit a Supernova M99 light to the MonkeyLink for touring and night rides

Riding Characteristics


  1. unbalanced
  2. coherent


  1. cumbersome
  2. clever


  1. flop
  2. top


  1. low
  2. high


  1. demanding
  2. intuitive


  1. boring
  2. lively

Intended Use

Gravel roads

Technical climbs

Flowtrail descents

Technical descents

Our conclusions about the BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1

The BULLS SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 convinces with a sleek look and clever everyday features. The comfortable riding position and automatic shifting make it an excellent touring companion, while the agile handling and low system weight ensure plenty of fun on flowing to moderate trails. On more technical trails, the SONIC EVO EN-SL 1 is slowed down by its own spec, requiring an experienced rider to keep it in check.


  • Sleek look
  • High everyday suitability
  • Nimble handling


  • Not the best climber
  • Slight suspension bob on technical trails

You can find out more about at bulls.de

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 for € 7,000 – 7 budget eMTBs in our eMTB group test

All bikes in test: Bulls Sonic Evo EN-SL 1 Carbon | Haibike Nduro7 (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Trail 5 (Click for review) | RADON Deft 10.0 750 (Click for review) | SCOTT Lumen eRide 910 (Click for review) | SIMPLON Steamer Pmax (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Levo Comp Alloy (Click for review)

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Words & Photos: Mike Hunger

About the author

Mike Hunger

From slopestyle and landscape photography to enduro and action shots. Mike enjoys trying new things and loves action. He also loves craftsmanship, regularly going on road trips with his VW Syncro van, which he restored and converted himself. Of course, his bike and his camera are always with him so that he can ride the finest trails from Italy to the Alps and capture the most beautiful moments. Thanks to his training as an industrial mechanic, his experience in cycling and his photographic skills, he can apply his know-how perfectly as a bike journalist, testing the latest bikes and components and documenting his findings. As a photography nerd, he also captures the reviews with his camera and ensures that the magazine features only the best images.