With the new SL 1.2 motor, the 170mm travel Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL delivers 33% more power and 43% more torque than before. All from the same sleek carbon frame.


When the Kenevo SL launched back in 2021, it pretty much had the long-travel, lightweight e-bike category all to itself. It was certainly a pioneering bike, but with its relatively low 35Nm torque it didn’t take long for other lightweight e-bikes to surpass its power-to-weight ratio. Bikes like the Trek Fuel EXe and more recently the Fazua equipped Pivot Shuttle SL to name but two. 

So for 2024, Specialized has rolled out an updated version with the SL 1.2 motor that was first introduced on the Specialized Turbo Levo SL 2 earlier this year. With 320 watts peak power and 50Nm torque the new motor instantly puts the Kenevo SL back in the mix with the best lightweight e-bikes on the market. 

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

With 170mm travel and big old 29in wheels, the Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2 is ready for rowdy riding

Need to know 

  • Same FACT 11 carbon fibre frame with 170mm travel
  • New Turbo SL 1.2 motor delivers 320 watts peak power and  50Nm torque 
  • Personalise you ride with 6-way adjustable geometry: three head angles, two BB heights/chainstay lengths
  • Same 320Wh internal battery and aftermarket 160Wh range extender 
  • 29in wheels front and rear
  • Top two models get SRAM AXS T-type drivetrains 
  • Three models:  Comp £6,500, Expert £8,500 and S-Works £12,500
  • Four sizes: S2 to S5 , with shorter 40mm stems on sizes S2 to S4
Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

More power. More torque. Same top quality carbon frame

So what else is new? 

In short, not a lot. The frame remains unchanged, so it’s still a full 29er with 170mm travel front and rear and, frustratingly, limited seatpost insertion on the smaller frames. Much to our disappointment it does not use the suspension layout that we anticipated from Specialized’s recent patent application. Maybe next year… 

Powering the new SL 1.2 motor is the same 320Wh internal battery. And with more power and torque, the range clearly won’t be as good as before. So you’re going to need the 160Wh range extender, which is sold separately for £340. 

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

The MasterMind TCU gives you all of the stats you need in one integrated, easy to read, display

Can I fit the new SL 1.2 motor to my old Kenevo SL?

Technically you probably could, given that the frame, motor cradle and 320Wh internal battery are identical. But Specialized currently isn’t making the new SL 1.2 motor backwards compatible for existing Kenevo SL owners. And the mechanics of the motor are different, so it’s not as simple as just a software update. Of course, this leaves existing owners out in the cold, but hopefully that will change going forward. You can read our full review of the original S-Works Kenevo SL here.

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

Same frame, new motor. It’s not backwards compatible though, so you can’t upgrade the old Kenevo SL

What geometry adjustment does the Kenevo SL 2 have?

The stock head angle on the Kenevo SL is 63.5º, in the low BB height and middle head angle setting. With the asymmetric upper headset cup supplied with the bike you can independently tweak the head angle by +/- 0.7º in a matter of minutes. Flip chips in the chainstay pivots also allow you to raise or lower the BB height by 7mm while simultaneously changing the chainstay length by 5mm. The two options are High/Short or Low/Long. The chainstay flip chips also change the head angle by 0.4º to give a total head angle range of 64.7º to 62.5º. 

Flip chips in the chainstay pivots offer two BB heights and two chainstay lengths

What’s this 6-bar suspension all about?

“Six bars, six pivots, one goal”… Probably to confuse the hell out of people? Specialized’s 6-bar suspension design is simply an FSR 4-bar with two tension links that drive the shock to deliver 170mm travel. Specialized also states that its FSR design “decouples braking forces”, which is clearly not the case. Again, the marketing department is in overdrive here. The bikes simply have relatively low anti-rise, so the suspension doesn’t squat as much under braking, and remains more active. The S-Works and Expert models both get Fox Float X2 shocks while the Comp uses a Float X. All three models come with Fox 38 chassis forks, also with 170mm travel. 

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2 has six suspension links, but it’s still a 4-bar design

Meet the 2024 Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2 range 

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

The Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL is the flagship model, with pricing to match

Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL £12,500

If you want a dream build then the S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL delivers. It has a full SRAM XX Eagle transmission with a carbon chainset and low profile SRAM Code Stealth Ultimate brakes. Where a 220/200mm rotor combo offers maximum stopping power. Kashima coated Fox Factory suspension and Roval Traverse SL 29in carbon wheels both adding to the bling factor. All that’s missing really, is the range extender that came free with the old bike. Claimed weight for size S4 is 19.06kg (42lb 3 oz).

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

The riders’ choice? The Kenevo SL Expert Carbon has everything you need. Bar a range extender. 

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL Expert Carbon £8,500

The highlight of the range has got to be the Kenevo SL Expert. It gets the same carbon frame, Fox Float X shock and Fox 38 fork chassis as the S-Works bike, but the Performance Elite kit strips back the Kashima coating to save money without compromising performance or adjustability. The wireless AXS SRAM GX T-Type transmission has rapidly become the new benchmark in shifting and with a lighter set of wheels the Kenevo SL Expert Carbon would easily weigh in less than the S-Works bike. Claimed weight for size S4 is 19.5kg (42lb 15.8 oz).

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL 2

The workhorse of the range is the Turbo Kenevo SL Comp Carbon and it only weighs 19.27kg

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL Comp Carbon £6,500

With no alloy options, the SL Comp Carbon is the entry point to the Kenevo SL range. Again, it shares the same frame, motor, battery and 170mm travel as the S-Work built, just with a more affordable specification. Suspension duties are taken care of by a Float X Performance shock and 38 Rhythm fork. The SRAM GX Eagle transmission isn’t T-Type or wireless, but that’s okay, and the SRAM Code R brakes are on the money too. Best of all, it’s actually lighter than the Kenevo SL Expert Carbon. Claimed weight for size S4 is 19.27kg (42 lb 7.7 oz).