What makes a good mountain bike? Of course you need a durable frame, good suspension, and capable wheels and tires. When you slap on an electric motor, things get a bit more complicated. Sure, you can have tons of power, but on a mountain bike, this just blurs the lines between e-bike and e-motorcycle. It’s precisely for this reason that e-bike brands are dialing down power and weight in the hopes of retaining a natural pedal feel and riding dynamics.

A good example of this comes to us from German bicycle brand Focus. The company has long been making non-electric bikes with a particular focus on performance, and so when it came time to develop the VAM2 SL, it pretty much already had the recipe in its pocket – a lightweight frame, premium suspension, and a compact, responsive, and capable motor.

German Bike Brand Focus Goes Lightweight With New VAM2 SL E-MTB

The top-range Focus VAM2 SL 9.0 gets fancy Fox suspension and a Sram X0 drivetrain.

Tipping the scales at 16 to 19 kilograms (35 to 41 pounds) it’s only a few pounds heavier than a mid-tier non-electric full-suspension mountain bike, but thanks to the Fazua Ride 60 its powered by, means that riders can conserve their energy to enjoy the downhills rather than crank away when climbing. The VAM2 SL manages to keep its weight this low thanks to a carbon frame. It also gets a one-piece stem and handlebar setup that’s also made of carbon, and the fact that the cables and hoses are routed internally adds a touch of sleek elegance into the equation, as well.

At the heart of the Focus VAM2 SL is the Fazua Ride 60 motor. The Porsche-owned e-bike motor manufacturer is known for its compact motors with respectable power outputs, and most of all, a natural-feeling pedal assist. Here, the motor is rated for 60 Nm (about 44 pound-feet) of torque, and provides assistance up to a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour (15 miles per hour). As for the battery, a 430-watt-hour battery pack promises ample range, which is made even better thanks to the bike’s low weight. For riders looking to eke out extra miles, a 210-watt-hour range extender can also be optioned in.

German Bike Brand Focus Goes Lightweight With New VAM2 SL E-MTB

The Fazua Ride 60 motor in the VAM2 SL has a boost mode that provides a surge of power when sprinting uphill.

German Bike Brand Focus Goes Lightweight With New VAM2 SL E-MTB

Lightweight e-bikes like the Focus VAM2 SL are all about conserving your energy to enjoy the downhill sections of trail.

For a more fine-tuned experience, the Focus VAM2 SL provides three support modes and an additional “boost” feature for high-powered bursts when sprinting uphill. Furthermore, the Fazua app allows riders to customize additional settings such as maximum power, pedal assistance ratio, and responsiveness and acceleration. Of course, the three modes all optimize these settings for either efficiency, smooth performance, or outright power.

In its highest trim level, the Focus VAM2 SL 9.0 is quite an impressive machine. It gets Fox suspension complete with Kashima coating for smooth suspension actuation. On top of that, it’s rocking Sram’s top-tier X0 12-speed drivetrain. With that being said, it commands an astronomical price tag of 10,999 euros, or about $11,875 USD. There are, however, more “affordable” versions of the VAM2 SL, with equipment supplied from the likes of Shimano and SR Suntour. These models carry prices ranging from 5,799 euros ($6,260 USD) to 8,699 euros ($9,391 USD).

German Bike Brand Focus Goes Lightweight With New VAM2 SL E-MTB

The lightweight Fazua Ride 60 is at the heart of the new Focus VAM2 SL. 

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