Bosch CX Race Limited Edition Motor gets exclusive 400% Assist Race Mode

Bosch has announced the CX Performance Line Race Motor, a lighter, more supportive eBike motor that offers up to 400% assistance. It does not replace the current Performance Line CX Motor; rather, it is a limited edition drive unit that will be distributed among twenty leading eMTB manufacturers to sell with their most race-focused eBikes. At the Tweedlove Festival in Scotland we got a very quick spin on one of those; a 2023 Trek Rail, but it was enough to notice some tangible performance-related benefits.

“It is like taming a bit of a wild horse at times, but it’s just learning its characteristics, learning how to ride it, pre-empting some of it, making sure you’re in a good body position, making sure you’re riding aggressively, and then it’s awesome. If you’re a bit, sort of, resting on your laurels, out for a cruise, it can definitely take you for a ride” -MTB Legend, Tracy Moseley.

2023 trek rail bosch cx race motor

A 2023 Trek Rail sporting the Bosch Performance Line CX Race Motor is on its way

Bosch Performance Line CX Race Limited Edition Motor

The Bosch Performance Line CX Race Motor offers direct support of up to 400% of the rider’s power in its exclusive Race Mode. That compares to the maximum of 340% offered by the Performance Line CX motor in Turbo Mode. They don’t look vastly different from one another, save for the color of the magnesium casing and the fact that it has Performance Line CX Race written across the non-drive side. Indeed, the two motors share the exact same bolt pattern, making it easy for manufacturers to add a top-level race-focused eBike model to their existing line-ups. 

bosch performance line cx race limited edition motor on 2023 trek rail

That doesn’t mean you can upgrade your current Bosch-equipped eBike, however. While you could theoretically switch out a Performance Line CX Motor for the new CX Race Motor (the batteries and hardware are all cross-compatible, the motor itself won’t be available as an aftermarket upgrade; it is OEM only. 

Hopes dashed, let’s take a closer look at the Bosch CX Race Motor that could be on your next eMTB.

The Race Motor isn’t any more powerful; it still offers a maximum torque of 85 Nm, and still cuts off at the regulation-stipulated 25 km/h. In Race Mode, the 400% assist simply gets you up to speed faster, i.e. it accelerates harder.

Joris Ryf, Swiss eMTB Pro said, “The most important thing for me was a drive unit that would get me up to top speed faster and keep me at top speed for longer – and we succeeded.”

tracy moseley power stage ews-e tweed valley 2021 testing exclusive cx race motor mode

Credit: Bosch eBike Systems

An early version of it was tested at the EWS-E in 2021 under MTB Legend, Tracy Moseley. In fact, it was actually a Performance Line CX motor that had received some tweaks, with a special Race Mode that was tailored to her specific needs. 

However, it’s not just some new firmware on the Bosch CX Race Motor; it’s actually a bit lighter, too. Bosch aren’t too specific here, but the materials used for some of the internals parts are lighter, allowing them to shave 150g off the motor’s weight, bringing it down to a claimed 2.75 kg, making it the lightest drive unit in the entire Bosch portfolio (still a bit heavier than the 2.6 kg Shimano EP8).

What modes are available in addition to Race Mode?

bosch cx race motor 2023 trek rail kiox display unit

That will be up to the eBike manufacturer to decide. On the 2023 Trek Rail we rode, the modes offered were as follows:

  • Race
  • Turbo
  • eMTB
  • Tour+
  • OFF
bosch cx race motor race mode red led control unit

The Bosch Remote cycles through different LED colors to indicate which mode the system is operating in; Red is for Race Mode

What’s Tour+? A Bosch spokesperson tells us that the Tour+ Mode on the CX Race Motor offers a range equivalent to Eco through to the 400% assist Race Mode, a bigger range than that offered by the regular Tour Mode on the Performance Line CX Motor that operates over a shorter range equivalent to Tour to Turbo. The nomenclature is a bit confusing to be fair, and actual numbers would be easier to understand, but in the absence of that information, here’s a quick overview of how each mode behaves from Bosch.

bosch performance line cx motor modes explained turbo tour tour+ sport eco auto cargo

How does the CX Race Motor ride?

Having wrecked myself on the trails that morning, I was up to little more than a spin around the park. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to be able to notice any tangible differences in how the motor performs. How wrong I was.

2023 trek rail ebike bosch cx race motor 400% assist mode extended boost

We are told the 2023 Trek Rail will run the very same frame as the current Trek Rail, but it seems a high-end model with the Bosch Performance Line CX Race Limited Edition Motor is on the horizon.

Of course, the step change from Turbo Mode into Race Mode was appreciable, the acceleration offered by the Race Mode satisfyingly faster than that offered by Turbo. While that’s cool, it was something else about how the motor behaves that, at first, shocked and appalled me, and then put a big smile on my face as I started to realize the implications for technical climbing.

When I stopped pedaling, the motor carried on delivering power to the rear wheel. That is the case on the Performance Line CX Motor, too, but that “Extended Boost” feature in the exclusive Race Mode is somewhat enhanced. It felt like the motor was still dishing out Watts up to a full second after I had stopped pedaling. When I asked Bosch about this, they made it clear that the distance traveled is the limiting factor here.

The Extended Boost will give you an additional 2 meters of distance traveled after you’ve stopped pedaling. So, the time that the Extended Boost operates over depends very much on how fast you are going. I was tinkering about at speeds close to stopped, both along the flat and on a very steep banking, so the Extended Boost felt almost throttle-like. Tracy Moseley used the words “lunge” and “surge”. I could just tease the pedals through a quarter of a pedal stroke, and be consequently sent.

tracy moseley skills session glentress bosch performance line cx motor technical rocky climb

Tracy Moseley delivered an eMTB Skill Session to us journalists at the Glentress Trail Center, prior to introducing us to the new CX Race Motor. Credit: Marc Marshall.

The benefits that will offer to certain technical climbing scenarios are obvious. Consider yourself faced with a steep, rocky, technical climb not dissimilar to what the EWS-E racers at Finale Ligure will be faced with today. It’s the kind of climb wherein completing a full revolution of the pedals runs the risk of smacking one of those pedals into a rock, resulting in, at best a stall and a quick dab, and at worst, a complete departure fro your bike.

With the Extended Boost offered in Race Mode, riders could conceivably be teasing the bike up such gnarly technical climbs, without ever having to risk a complete pedal stroke. Of course, that could actually be a disadvantage when faced with a sniper root-ridden slippery slope, at which point I imagine one would drop down into one of the lower assistance modes to prevent the rear wheel spinning out.

The other tangible difference in ride feel offered by the Bosch CX Race Motor was the abrupt cut-off in power that occurs at the 25 kph assist limit. Whereas the Bosch CX Performance Line motor curtails its assistance as it approaches the 25 kph limit, the CX Race Motor delivers full assistance right up to the limit. It’s definitely more of a shock to the system, feeling a bit like you’ve started dragging the brakes, but it does mean the motor will help riders go faster for longer.

Will the Bosch CX Race Motor be at EWS-E Finale Ligure?

tracy moseley to race 2022 ews-e finale ligure on bosch performance line cx race limited edition motor 2023 trek rail

Credit: Marc Marshall

It sure will! We can confirm that MTB Legend, Tracy Moseley, will be on the latest Trek Rail sporting the production CX Race Motor for the very first time. Given that the EWS and DH World Cup Seasons are now over, Tracy’s Trek Factory Racing Team members, Jamie Edmondson and Hattie Harnden, are on the start list, too; they could also be on a Trek Rail powered by the Bosch CX Race Motor.

flo espineira herreros 2022 ews-e series leader riding bosch equipped orbea wild-fs ebike

Current EWS-E Series Leader, Florencia Espineira Herreros, could be benefiting from the new Bosch CX Race Motor in Finale Ligure, too. Credit: Bosch eBike Systems

Now for some speculation… Given today’s announcement of the Bosch CX Race Motor, we wouldn’t be all that surprised to see this final race of the EWS-E Season offer a glimpse of some new eBikes. Lapierre, Orbea and Scott all have enduro eBikes that are frequently raced at the EWS-E, so keep an eye on what bikes are underneath Adrien Dailly, Antoine Rogge and Kevin Marry (Lapierre), Edgar Carballo Gonzalez and Florencia Espineira Herreros (Orbea) and Remi Absalon (Scott).

cannondale moterra lt with bosch cx race motor

Looks as though Cannondale will soon offer a Bosch CX Race Motor-equipped Moterra LT

Bosch-eBike.com

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geemy
geemy
2 months ago

the percentage of assistance doesn’t mean much, it’s just a parameter change in the settings, and sure it’s good to have a wide range of settings, bit this just means you can trigger the max torque more easily, and you also lose some fine control over the power delivery.
another way to look at it is a cadence sensor is like a torque sensor with infinite gain, and with a slower response, but at some point it just gets closer and closer to and on/off response

Marc Smith
Marc Smith
2 months ago

This is going to be awesome for indigenous plants and forest floor… just put a turbo on it why not…

Mr Pink
Mr Pink
2 months ago
Reply to  Marc Smith

Your average expert class racer still puts more power out than an above average ebike rider however. So your point is null and void as it’s based on ignorance

Speshy
Speshy
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

(deleted)

GaJep
GaJep
2 months ago
Reply to  Marc Smith

More unfortunate ignorance

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
2 months ago

“…their most race-focused eBikes…”
.
This is an unpleasant group of words.

Mr Pink
Mr Pink
2 months ago
Reply to  Roger Pedacter

Super exciting actually. Buy an ebike and ride it for a few months you’ll see.

Roger Pedacter
Roger Pedacter
2 months ago
Reply to  Mr Pink

I have a ebike. It’s a treat. But ebike racing does not tickle my funny bone

nooner
nooner
2 months ago

Spec already had 400% assist, they are the top dog. Shimano has less assist but great worldwide warranty support, Brose and Bosch are in the middle.

Dirt McGirt
Dirt McGirt
1 month ago
Reply to  nooner

Specialized IS Brose. And let’s not start on their battery warranty recalls or the fact that they had to extend their DU warranty by a year because all Brose’s sh*t the bed 2.5 years down the road like clockwork.

Bosch already had 400% as well in the cargo line DU. This CX Race DU is basically a rebranded cargo line DU with a slightly different program. And Bosch’s support is way better than Shimano. Shimano doesn’t make any of their own chips, so they’re out of a lot of parts right now. No parts to send= not good support, basically. Bosch has almost everything except smart system small parts in stock. And those are quite close on the horizon.

Alas, I am but a lowly ebike shop manager and not a keyboard warrior. What do I know?

Liam
Liam
20 days ago

Still there’s is little benefit from it, and we can’t get like 30km or more