After upgrading the motor of the Specialized Levo SL motor back in May 2023, the Californian manufacturer is introducing an updated version of the Kenevo SL. While at first glance, the latest iteration of Specialized’s gravity-orientated eMTB looks almost identical to its predecessor, we all know that it’s what’s on the inside that counts – isn’t it?
The wait is over! Three years after the launch of the first-gen 2021 S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL, Specialized are unveiling the next evolutionary stage of the Turbo Kenevo SL, the Turbo Kenevo SL 2. The original, full-fat Kenevo is the most potent bike in Specialized’s eMTB portfolio and is primarily aimed at riders who favour descents over climbs but don’t have access to a lift or shuttle service. With the Kenevo SL, Specialized introduced a slimmed-down version of the Kenevo, which was the perfect solution for riders who wanted something a little “lighter”. It was developed around the frame platform of Specialized’s analogue bruiser, the Enduro, which shares the same suspension kinematics, 29” wheels and 170 mm of travel (f/r). However, the Kenevo SL also comes with a fresh breeze of artificial tailwind, which is provided by Specialized’s minimal-assist motor, the SL drive. Needless to say, this makes it easier to squeeze in a few extra laps on a fun day out in the mountains. The first generation of the Kenevo SL relied on Specialized’s in-house SL 1.1 motor, which became outdated since the launch of the new Specialized Turbo Levo SL 2023. Now the successor to the SL 1.1 motor, the SL 1.2 drive, has finally found its way into the new Kenevo SL 2. After riding the predecessor of the new Kenevo SL on countless occasions, we can say that it never managed to convince us in terms of climbing performance, struggling to keep up with the competition on its way up the mountain.
The new Kenevo SL should be more capable in this regard.
The flagship Kenevo SL model retails at a whopping € 13,500 and tips the scales at 19.04 kg in size S4 (manufacturer’s specifications).
Specialized Kenevo SL 2 2024 – What’s actually new?
For starters, the new Kenevo SL 2 comes equipped with Specialized’s new, in-house SL 1.2 motor. This churns out 320 watts and is the same used on the new Levo SL, which was introduced last May and also features a brand-new frame. While maintaining the same 320 Wh battery, the new Kenevo SL 2 is 33% more powerful than its predecessor – at least on paper – delivering 50 Nm torque instead of 35 Nm.
As usual, you can increase the range using Specialized’s optional range extender, which might add some weight to the bike but allows you to squeeze in a few extra laps.
New specs and features of Specialized’s new Light eMTB.
While the first-gen Specialized Kenevo SL was already compatible with SRAM’s UDH mech hanger, the revised Kenevo SL 2 uses it as standard. As you’d expect, the flagship Kenevo SL 2 model comes equipped with SRAM’s new, top-tier Transmission XX1 drivetrain, which makes a UDH-compatible frame mandatory. Although the 2021 Turbo Kenevo SL already had a remarkably clean cockpit, the Kenevo SL 2 takes integration and tidiness to a whole new level with its SRAM Code Stealth Ultimate brakes. For the suspension, Specialized still rely on the same components, although from the latest 2024 model range. Apart from the new motor, the Kenevo SL 2 has only received minor technical updates. Oh, and the colours are new too!
The good news is that the 2024 Turbo Kenevo SL 2 is also 10% “cheaper” than its predecessor, retailing at €13,500 instead of €15,000.
As far as we can tell from the geometry table, Specialized still haven’t addressed the seat tube’s shallow insertion depth.
The new 2024 Specialized Kenevo SL 2 at a glance
Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL 2
Motor Specialized SL 1.2 50 Nm
Battery Specialized SL 1 320 Wh
Display Specialized MasterMind TCU
Fork FOX 38 Factory 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 170 mm
Seatpost RockShox Reverb AXS 170 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE Stealth Ultimate 220/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM XX Eagle Transmission 1x12
Stem Deity 35 mm
Handlebar Roval Traverse SL Carbon 800 mm
Wheelset Roval Traverse SL 29 29"
Tires Specialized Butcher Grid Trail T9/ Specialized Eliminator Grid Trail T7 2.3"/2.6"
Size S2, S3, S4, S5
Weight 19,5 bei S4
Kickstand mount nein
|Seat tube||400 mm||420 mm||440 mm||465 mm|
|Head tube||105 mm||115 mm||125 mm||135 mm|
|Chainstays||447 mm||447 mm||447 mm||447 mm|
|BB Drop||25 mm||25 mm||25 mm||25 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,228 mm||1,258 mm||1,287 mm||1,316 mm|
|Reach||435 mm||460 mm||485 mm||510 mm|
|Stack||618 mm||626 mm||635 mm||644 mm|
Conclusion to the new Kenevo SL2
Perhaps, Specialized Kenevo SL 1.5 would be a more suitable name than Kenevo SL 2. The latest iteration of Specialized’s Light eMTB employs the same identical frame as its predecessor and also relies on the same components, only from the current model year. – and the only real upgrade is the new SL 1.2 motor! As soon as we get our hands on a new Kenevo SL 2, we’ll put it through the wringer to find out whether the additional torque makes it a better climber or if its strengths still lie on the descents. At least the € 1.500 discount makes it more “affordable” ;).
You can find out more about at: specialized.com
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Words: Benedikt Schmidt Photos: Specialized