Specialized’s Turbo Kenevo SL2 gets more power for e-MTB trail raving

Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL2 being jumped on a gnarly trail
(Image credit: GuyKesTV)

One of the best e-MTBs available and the longest travel bike in Specialized’s lightweight e-MTB range, the Turbo Kenevo gets a more powerful but quieter motor for 2024. Unsurprisingly, it’s the same SL1.2 motor that really impressed me when I rode the Turbo Levo SL2. But it uses internal tweaks and new gearing to increase power by 33 percent and 43 percent more torque. This means it’s definitely one of the most punchy engines we’ve used in the latest generation of lightweight MTBs. A new magnesium casing means it’s also quieter, lighter and more efficient with Specialized’s claiming up to five hours run time in ‘Eco’ mode from the 320Wh internal battery. Run times can be doubled by adding the 160Wh booster battery and the software is set up to use that first so you can ditch the extra battery weight after a few runs. The Kenevo SL2 also benefits from the excellent MasterMind Turbo Control Unit and Specialized App with MicroTune ‘on the fly’ power level adjustment.

Specialized SL1.2 e-MTB motor

The second generation Turbo Kenevo SL2 uses the same SL1.2 e-MTB motor as the second generation Turbo Levo SL2 (Image credit: GuyKesTV)

If it ain't broke....

Otherwise the bike is unchanged, but then it’s been so well reviewed (we gave it four out of five stars) that’s not really an issue. The 170mm travel, 6-bar suspension is extremely impressive and the new motor means the new bikes are likely to be even lighter and more ‘standard enduro bike’ agile than before. The multi-adjustable geometry covers a wide range of potential sweet spot setups. It’s really easy to make those adjustments with standard trail tools too, so they’re legitimate ‘change between runs’ options not necessarily a workshop workout.

The new Turbo Kenevo SL2 launches in three different options – S-Works ($TBC, £12,500, €TBC ) Expert ($TBC, / £8,500, €TBC ) and Comp ($TBC, £6,500, €TBC ) – which all use the same FACT 11M frame with two different colorways per model. Headline specs are Fox suspension from Factory to Rhythm/Performance levels and SRAM stop/go kit from GX/NX to XX Eagle Transmission and Traverse SL carbon wheels on the S-Works version. They’re still sticking with relatively lightweight Butcher and Eliminator Grid Trail tires though which seems a brave choice on a 170mm travel bike with a 63.5 degree baseline head angle. It's also interesting that if Specialized's weights are to be believed all the models weigh in between 42 and 43lbs / 19 and 20kg despite the amount of carbon fiber that makes the 42.2lb / 19.06kg (size S4) S-Works  build £6,000 more expensive than the Carbon Comp.

Dusty riding shot

Multi adjustable DH style geometry and 170mm of highly sophisticated suspension travel have already established the Turbo Kenevo SL as a trail ravers favourite (Image credit: Specialized)

SL2 is ready to rave

Pricing is optimistically ‘pre crash’ too, especially considering you could buy the previous version of the S-Works bike for half price from Specialized Concept stores not long ago. However, the fact that the level of support offered by Specialized’s stores is always first class and backed up with lifetime frame and Roval wheel warranties (on the S-Works version) should always factor in your shopping decisions. Presuming it has a similar effect to the speed and efficiency of the Turbo Kenevo SL2 as it did to the Turbo Levo SL2, it is a very noticeable step up too.

I’ll hopefully be testing the bike myself very shortly but I also reached out to Matt ‘SlipMatt’ Nelson. He's not a mountain biker as far as I know, but he did have a number two hit in the UK (number 42 in Belgium) with the iconic 'On a Ragga Tip' tune under the artist name SL2. I’ve currently not heard back from him but obviously I’ll update this new piece with any classic rave/house feedback on this eponymous e-MTB if we do.

The Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL2

The Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL2 Expert (Image credit: Specialized)

Tech specs: Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL2

  • Price: $TBC / £12,500 / €13,500
  • Weight: 42.2lbs, 19.06kg (claimed weight for size S4)
  • Head angle: 63 to 65.5 degrees
  • Frame material: Specialized FACT 11M carbon fibre
  • Motor: Specialized 1.2 SL Custom Rx Trail Tuned Motor
  • Battery: Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh
  • Fork: Fox 38 Factory 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Factory 170mm travel
  • Size: S1-S5 
  • Wheel size: 29in
  • Wheels: Roval Traverse SL 29
  • Chainset: SRAM carbon e-MTB 
  • Rear mech: SRAM Eagle AXS XX T-Type
  • Shifter: SRAM Eagle AXS XX 
  • Cassette: SRAM Eagle XX CS-1299 12-speed 10-52T
  • Brakes: SRAM Code Stealth Ultimate 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes with 220/220mm rotors 
  • Tires: Specialized Butcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON T9 compound 29x2.3” front, Specialized Eliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON T7 compound 29x2.6” rear
  • Bars: Roval Traverse SL Carbon, 800 x 35mm
  • Stem: Deity 35 x 35mm 
  • Grips: Deity
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb AXS 125 - 170mm stroke dropper post
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Bridge Ti

Tech specs: Specialized Kenevo SL2 Expert

  • Price: $TBC / £8,500 / €9,000
  • Weight: 43lbs, 19.5kg (claimed weight for size S4)
  • Head angle: 63 to 65.5 degrees
  • Frame material: Specialized FACT 11M carbon fibre
  • Motor: Specialized 1.2 SL Custom Rx Trail Tuned Motor
  • Battery: Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh
  • Fork: Fox 38 Performance Elite 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Float X2 Performance Elite 170mm travel
  • Size: S1-S5 
  • Wheel size: 29in
  • Wheels: Traverse 29
  • Chainset: SRAM alloy e-MTB 
  • Rear mech: SRAM Eagle GX, T-Type
  • Shifter: SRAM Eagle GX
  • Cassette: SRAM Eagle GX 12-speed 10-52T
  • Brakes: SRAM Code Silver 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes with 220/220mm rotors 
  • Tires: Specialized Butcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON T9 compound 29x2.3” front, Specialized Eliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON T7 compound 29x2.6” rear
  • Bars: Specialized Trail Alloy, 800 x 35mm
  • Stem: Deity 35 x 35mm 
  • Grips: Deity
  • Seatpost: One-Up V2 150 - 210mm stroke dropper post
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Bridge Comp

Tech specs: Specialized Turbo Kenevo SL2 Comp Carbon

  • Price: $TBC / £6,500 / €7,000
  • Weight: 42.6lbs, 19.27kg (claimed weight for size S4)
  • Head angle: 63 to 65.5 degrees
  • Frame material: Specialized FACT 11M carbon fibre
  • Motor: Specialized 1.2 SL Custom Rx Trail Tuned Motor
  • Battery: Specialized SL1-320, fully integrated, 320Wh
  • Fork: Fox 38 Rhythm 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Performance 170mm travel
  • Size: S1-S5 
  • Wheel size: 29in
  • Wheels: Specialized 29
  • Chainset: SRAM alloy e-MTB 
  • Rear mech: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Shifter: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Cassette: SRAM Eagle 12-speed 10-52T
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes with 220/220mm rotors 
  • Tires: Specialized Butcher, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON T9 compound 29x2.3” front, Specialized Eliminator, GRID TRAIL casing, GRIPTON T7 compound 29x2.6” rear
  • Bars: Specialized 6061 Alloy, 800 x 35mm
  • Stem: Deity 35 x 35mm 
  • Grips: Deity
  • Seatpost: X-Fusion Manic 125 to 170mm stroke dropper post
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Bridge
Guy Kesteven
Technical-Editor-at-Large

Guy has been working on Bike Perfect since we launched in 2019. Hatched in Yorkshire he's been hardened by riding round it in all weathers since he was a kid. He spent a few years working in bike shops and warehouses before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. To make sure he rarely sleeps and to fund his custom tandem habit, he’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and talks to a GoPro for YouTube, too.


Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Forbidden Druid V2, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg