2015 KTM Freeride E SM First Look

October 1, 2014
Bryan Harley
By Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it’s chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to ‘Merican, he rides ‘em all.

KTM continues to lead the e-production bike charge amongst OEMs with the release of its third Freeride electric motorcycle, this time a supermoto version. The 2015 KTM Freeride E SM was unveiled at Intermot, the zero emissions motorcycle joining the pre-existing Freeride E-SX and E-XC.

KTM’s electric supermoto will be powered by a brushless permanent magnet synchronous electric motor with a claimed output of 21.5 hp at 4500 rpm and 31.0 ft-lb. of torque available as soon as the throttle is twisted. To keep the electric motor from overheating, a radiator circulates water through the motor casings. Its Engine Control Unit (ECU) is also water-cooled. Seeing how the bike is claimed to only weigh 238 pounds race-ready, it should really boogie.

2015 KTM Freeride E Supermoto
The KTM Freeride E Supermoto is claimed to charge completely in 80 minutes, a full charge good for about an hour of riding time.

Paired to the electric motor is KTM’s lithium-ion PowerPack claimed to charge up to 100% in 80 minutes and reach 80% charge in only 50 minutes. The PowerPack is comprised of 360 lithium-ion cells. A full charge will get you about an hour’s worth of riding time, which varies depending on conditions and riding habits. Hill-climbing and heavy throttle hands have been known to sap batteries quicker. A different route is to have a second battery on-hand to swap out while the first one boots back up, KTM simplifies this process as the battery is easily accessible in its perch under the seat with only four bolts to remove. The battery even has a convenient handle to lift it out by.

The Freeride E SM frame starts with a chrome-moly steel top section “braced by bolted aluminum profile elements” according to KTM. The lower section uses the engine as a brace while the subframe has been constructed of fiber reinforced polyamide. It also has an aluminum baseplate.

A 43mm WP inverted fork stabilizes the front end while a WP PDS shock anchors the rear, both stated to offer 9.8 inches of travel. The E SM runs a single Formula disc front (260mm) and back (230mm), while Giant provides the lightweight rims.

The KTM Freeride E Supermoto is nice and slim, making it an optimal ride for splitting lanes during commuter traffic, or filter as our Euro counterparts say. Seat height is 35.4 inches, but a KTM PowerParts kit is available that reduces suspension travel another 25mm. The bike’s basic information is displayed in its digital gauge, including speed, odometer, battery charge, and power mode. It’s got the necessary bits to make it street-legal: headlight, turn signals, mirrors and both ignition and steering locks.

The “non-binding recommended retail prices in Germany is 11,595 Euro” ($14,631 US), so e-tech doesn’t come cheap. No word whether it will be available here in the U.S.