"What other models have you read about that get good reviews?"
Several of the bikes I have read about get good overall reviews, but the one that seems to get the best comments ("Climbs well, descends well, great fun to ride, no weaknesses, has agility and stability" type of comment) is the Merida e-160. Obviously the top-spec e-160-900 gets the best comments, but the lower spec e-160-800 clearly won the 11 bike "under 5,000 pound" test here:
http://ebike-mtb.com/en/review-11-e-mtb ... omparison/
This review has links to the detailed reviews for each of the 11 bikes.
and the -900 spec had won the similar comparison for a higher price bracket.
"Why would the 29" version only have 120mm travel?"
2 reasons: Most MTB manufacturers seem to be offering the 29" wheels in more "cross country" rather than "all mountain" or downhill bikes. One reason I have read is that the larger diameter wheels are more fragile and cannot take side force and big hits as well as the smaller diameter wheels.
Also, they roll over bumps easier than smaller wheels and don't need as much suspension.
But I take your point about the outside diameter of a 2" 29 and a 3" 27.5 being close. One e-MTB I have read about does offer a reversible insert for the rear axle to convert the bike between 27.5" wheels and 29" wheels, implying that there is a difference. However, possibly that bike is not set up to run 3" tyres with the 27.5" rims.
"Wow, you're almost describing Frey's current AM1000 exactly"
If I had been less busy yesterday I had planned to look at the specs for the AM1000 before posting, but ran out of day. That's great.. looks as though they are doing their homework.
It would be interesting to know what the rear centre distance is on that bike. With the bulk of the Ultra motor unit, the Horst link back suspension and the clearance for big tyres, I imagine it is well over 450mm.
I watched a YouTube video about Bafang's products including the M600, and they specifically said that they had designed the motor unit so that short rear-centre lengths were possible, which is great. The comments from the tests above, and others I have read, indicte that too long a rear centre distance reduces the bike's agility, but of course it is all a compromise.
Weight: All of the bikes in the comparison test mentioned above were between 22 and 24kg. It would be great if Frey could get into that range as well, or not much more.
Battery capacity: My 2 hour ride on the Turbo Levo used about half the battery capacity, and maybe 80% of my personal fitness, so I doubt that I personally would need a battery bigger than 400 or 500 Watt-hour capacity. Saying that, I am not so young any more, and there are many others who would be able to keep riding all day. Possibly offer a battery around 450Wh standard with an optional higher capacity battery at extra cost?
If only one battery offered, make it at least 500Wh so it is up with the opposition brands in spec, and you can get a decent ride out of it.