In our huge 2023 eMTB group test, FOCUS enter the race with their first ever Light-eMTB, the JAM² SL 9.9. While at first glance, it looks a lot like other models in FOCUS’ portfolio, it employs the new F.O.L.D. 3.0 four-bar linkage rear suspension system. Retailing at € 8,499, it’s also the cheapest Light-eMTB in this test. Can it hold its own against the expensive competition?

FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 | FAZUA Ride 60/430 Wh | 160/150 mm (f/r)
19.36 kg in size L | € 8,499 | Manufacturer’s website

When developing the JAM² SL 9.9, FOCUS refused to simply slim down a full fat eMTB all-rounder and sell it as the new, big thing. Instead, the German development team sat down at the drawing table and designed a bike from the ground up. While they were at it, they overhauled their existing, proprietary F.O.L.D. rear suspension system, breaking with the family tradition of the linkage-driven single pivot design. Instead, they used a brand-new four-bar linkage. Quite clearly, FOCUS were happy with the results, because they’re using the same system for the SAM² and JAM² 6.9, which also take part in this test. The German manufacturer’s first Light-eMTB comes equipped with a 60 Nm FAZUA Ride 60 motor and matching 430 Wh battery. According to FOCUS, the JAM² SL 9.9 is ready to lead you to a new rider’s high.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

Flying under the radar – What is the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 capable of?

FOCUS were evidently up for a change, waving goodbye not only to the old F.O.L.D. rear suspension but also to their somewhat tawdry paint finishes. The JAM² SL 9.9 comes with a discrete new look and elegant black-grey finish with minimal branding. Despite its understated appearance and compact FAZUA Ride 60 drive system, FOCUS’ Light-eMTB struggles to hide its electric DNA – something the SIMPLON and Trek TQ bikes do significantly better.

One Spagbol, please!
Why do we always crave spaghetti when looking at FOCUS’ proprietary C.I.S. stem?
Full steam ahead
The Boost function delivers 450 W maximum output for 12 seconds while riding, and 4 seconds from a standstill.
No way around it
The JAM² SL 9.9 is the only bike without a charging port in the entire test field, meaning that you can’t charge the battery on the bike. That being said, removing the battery only takes a few seconds.

Like all FAZUA bikes, the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 features a FAZUA LED HUB display in the top tube and a minimalist FAZUA ring remote on the handlebars. The latter is easy and intuitive to use but is made of cheap plastic, providing poor haptic feedback. Moreover, the FOCUS is the only bike in the entire test field to renounce a charging port, meaning that you’ll have to remove the battery every time you want to charge it. That being said, the lack of a charging port helps save weight, and removing the battery only takes a few seconds: just loosen the locking bolt on the battery cover a quarter of a turn using the 6mm Allen key hidden in the thru-axle, and clip out the battery – job done!

Pound shop remote
The FAZUA ring remote is intuitive to use but looks and feels way cheaper than its competitors.
It’s revolution, baby!
By breaking with the family tradition of the linkage-driven single pivot design, FOCUS have taken one big step forward.
Rubik’s Cube
The FOX 36 FLOAT Performance Elite fork forgoes the fancy Kashima coating but employs the superior GRIP2 damper, which allows for countless adjustment options.

The FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 is specced uncompromisingly for functionality and doesn’t care too much about aesthetics, renouncing fancy suspension coatings, wireless drivetrains and other electronic wizardries. For € 8,499, you’ll get FOX suspension consisting of a FOX 36 FLOAT Performance Elite fork with GRIP2 damper and 160 mm of travel and matching FOX FLOAT X Performance shock taking care of the 150 mm of rear suspension. The fork offers exactly the same adjustment options as its bling Factory counterpart and is an excellent choice given the price point. Shifting and braking is taken care of by a Shimano XT groupset. At 820 mm, the handlebars are too wide, so we recommend cutting them down to size. The Schwalbe tire combo with soft rubber compound at the front and harder compound at the rear is a great choice, but we would have preferred the more robust Super Trail casing at the front too. Without cheating to keep the weight down, and relying partly on cheaper components, the JAM² SL 9.9 in size L, tips the scales at 19.4 kg – just like the expensive SIMPLON and Forestal.


€ 8,499


Motor FAZUA Ride 60 60 Nm
Battery Fazua Energy 430 Wh
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Performance Elite 160 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X Performance 150 mm
Seatpost Post Moderne 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano DEORE XT 1x12
Stem FOCUS C.I.S. 50 mm
Handlebar Race Face Atlas 35 820 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss HX1700 LS 29"
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Ground Soft/ Schwalbe Nobby Nic SuperTrail SpeedGrip 2.4/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 19.36 kg
Perm. total weight 135 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 115 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features


Tuning-Tipps: Cut handlebars to size | Upgrade front tyre to a tougher Super Trail casing

Better safe than sorry – what is the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 capable of?

When you swing your leg over the saddle, it’s almost as if the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 is trying to compensate for its plain looks, integrating you nicely between its wheels and striking an excellent balance between agility and composure. This allows you to flick the bike from corner to corner and invites you to reconsider the limits of your capabilities, even when riding at high speeds. With its excellent handling, the FOCUS is far more predictable than the other FAZUA bikes in this test, the Pivot and Haibike. On steep, technical trails, the high front end inspires huge amounts of confidence, while the new four-bar F.O.L.D. rear suspension makes you feel at ease from the get-go, providing far more support and better progression than its predecessor. Since our first ride review, FOCUS have reworked the shock tune, radically improving the spongy ride quality we had criticised in our initial test. As a result, the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 is now a pretty fine all-rounder that can convince both on flowing trails and demanding terrain, which makes it a good option for all types of riders, from newbies to seasoned trail veterans.

Better? Better!
The new kinematics offer significantly more support, which gives the rider much more control over the bike.
Safe is good
With its high front end, the FOCUS integrates nicely with the frame, inspiring huge amounts of confidence on steep trail sections and nasty ledges.

While the plain look doesn’t promise much, the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 really delivers on the trail.

Uphill, the JAM² SL 9.9 retains its mellow character, getting you to the trailhead in a relaxed pedalling position that’s well suited for long days in the saddle. The rear suspension isn’t the most efficient out there but provides a good level of comfort, ironing out potholes and bumps while at the same time generating tons of traction on technical climbs. Here, the high front end shows its dark side, forcing you to actively weight the front wheel to keep it tracking. A little trick for nasty climbs: holding the FAZUA ring remote upwards for a few seconds activates the Boost function, which delivers 450 W maximum output for 12 seconds while riding and 4 seconds from a standstill. However, this requires good timing and a pre-emptive riding style, unless you want to stall halfway up the climb.

Size S M L XL
Top tube 578 mm 608 mm 637 mm 672 mm
Seat tube 390 mm 420 mm 440 mm 460 mm
Head tube 100 mm 100 mm 120 mm 140 mm
Head angle (slack/steep) 64.5°/65.5° 64.5°/65.5° 64.5°/65.5° 64.5°/65.5°
Seat angle 76.5° 76.5° 76.5° 76.5°
Chainstay (short/long) 440/447 mm 440/447 mm 440/447 mm 440/447 mm
BB Drop 25 mm 25 mm 25 mm 30 mm
Wheelbase 1,209 mm 1,234 mm 1,274 mm 1,308 mm
Reach 430 mm 460 mm 485 mm 515 mm
Stack 614 mm 614 mm 631 mm 650 mm
Helmet POC Tectal | Glasses uvex Sportstyle 235 | Backpack POC Column VPD Backpack 8L | Jersey POC Reform | Shorts Fox Ranger | Kneepad Fox Launch D3O | Shoes Endura Hummvee | Gloves dirtlej MTB Gloves

Who should take a closer look at the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 and who should look elsewhere?

Simply put, the JAM² SL 9.9 makes an excellent companion for all sorts of riders. The price is more than reasonable, making the FOCUS the perfect gateway to Light-eMTBs, and thus a great option for the price-conscious buyer. Beginners, experienced riders, and everyone in between will enjoy its tremendous trail performance and huge reserves as well as the solid, well thought-out spec. Sporty tourers who can (or want to) do without a full-fat motor should take a closer look at the JAM² SL 9.9 with its relaxed pedalling position. Its versatility, combined with the very fair price, also makes the FOCUS Jam² SL 9.9 our well-deserved Light-eMTB Best Buy Tip!

The fact that the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 can do everything well but nothing perfectly, makes it one of the best all-rounders among the Light-eMTBs in this group test.

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

Conclusions about the FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9

The FOCUS JAM² SL 9.9 is the people’s Light-eMTB. Despite its understated look, the JAM² SL 9.9 delivers on the trail, striking an excellent balance between composure and agility while at the same time inspiring huge amounts of confidence downhill, regardless of whether you’re a newbie or seasoned shredder. Moreover, the relaxed pedalling position and comfortable rear suspension make the JAM² SL 9.9 a great companion for sporty tourers. The best thing about it? All of this is available in a harmonious overall package with a very solid spec for just € 8,499.


  • Solid spec
  • Good-natured handling
  • Strong all-rounder amongst the Light-eMTBs in this test


  • Tires don’t do justice to the potential of the bike
  • Battery has to be removed for charging

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

All bikes in test: Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD (Click for review) | Bulls SONIC EVO SL EN-1 (Click for review) | Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 (Click for review) | Flyer Uproc X 9.50 (Click for review) | Focus SAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus JAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus Jam² SL 9.9 | Forestal Siryon Diōde (Click for review) | Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Ltd (Click for review) | Haibike Lyke CF SE (Click for review) | Ibis OSO (Click for review) | KTM Macina Prowler Exonic (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 (Click for review) | Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Orbea WILD M-LTD (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01 (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR (Click for review) | Radon Deft 10.0 (Click for review) | Rotwild R.X735 Ultra (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SCOTT Lumen eRide 900 SL (Click for review) | Simplon Rapcon Pmax TQ (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Levo Expert (Click for review) | Transition Repeater AXS Carbon (Click for review) | Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | UNNO Mith Race (Click for review) | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review)

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Words: Felix Rauch Photos: Peter Walker