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KTM Freeride Electric Motorcycle

Thursday, March 25, 2010
2010 KTM Freeride Enduro
KTM evolves its original electric prototype into the new Freeride, which debuts at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.
As the nascent electric motorcycle movement surges forward, KTM reveals its own take on the concept with its Freeride prototypes. The Austrian marque will display two versions of the new design, an enduro and supermoto, at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show (March 26-28 – not to be confused with the Tokyo Motor Show in October).

KTM Freeride

A lithium-ion battery provides power to the Freeride’s 2.5KW motor, with peak power claims of 30 hp and 31.7 lb-ft torque. Top speed is 70 km/h, that’s 43.5 mph for stateside readers, with the battery good for “approximately one hour” of “mixed off-road riding.” The plug-in battery can reach full recharge in 90 minutes, “but it can also be simply and quickly removed and replaced with another.” The battery is also good for a 500-recharge lifecycle.

2010 KTM Freeride Photo Gallery
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The Freeride frame uses what looks like steel frame tubes, with KTM PR saying it utilizes forged aluminum components as well. All told the claimed weight is 198.4 lbs (90 kg), lightweight but not as light as the spare design implies on first look, sans fuel tank and exhaust.

Riders of the Freeride won’t be doing anything with their feet except resting them on the pegs as the only inputs are at the bars, with a right-side lever squeezing the front brake and left side the rear. The gear shift pedal is unnecessary with a clutch-less transmission and single-gear chain final drive.
2010 KTM Freeride Enduro 2010 KTM Freeride Enduro KTM Freeride Supermoto

The designs part ways when it comes to suspension and tires. The enduro Freeride looks the part of an off-road machine, with inverted fork and rear shock, the chassis rolling on 21-inch trials tires. The supermoto has a more delicate look to its front end, with shortened fork tubes terminating well below the steering head and an odd little headlamp (or is it a flashlight) strapped on for illumination.
KTM Freeride Supermoto
The KTM Freeride Supermoto features an odd front end, more reminiscent of a bike than motorcycle.

Getting technical assistance from fellow Austrian firm Arsenal Research, KTM developed the Freeride from an initial electric prototype unveiled in October of 2008, and the Freeride concept will continue to evolve until planned production. Describing its enduro and Supermoto Freerides as “near-series prototypes,” KTM expects a finished street-legal enduro to hit Europe by the summer of 2011. KTM is also quite keen of promoting its plans to keep the MSRP under 10,000 Euros.

“With the electric drive system of the zero emission motorcycle, KTM has succeeded in taking a decisive step forward in the future of the motorcycle industry and two-wheel motorsports,” said KTM CEO Stefan Piere. “Above all, emission-free mobility with a motorcycle brings new impulses in the short-term and opens up completely fresh perspectives. KTM remains answerable on two counts. On the one hand we are “Ready to Race” and we want to do that
Zero Motorcycles - The Competition
Zero Motorcycles Electricross
KTM isn’t the first company to delve into electric MX territory, but it is the largest. But how does the Freeride compare to its current competition?

Ambitious California startup Zero Motorcycles are already in production and we just sampled the four-bike lineup at Daytona Bike Week (2010 Zero Motorcycles First Ride). Spec sheet comparison shows the Zero MX claim 23 hp and 50 lb-ft from a smaller 2KW motor, with a range “up to two hours or 40 miles.” Recharge is less than two hours. The Zero also sources an all-aluminum frame and is at least 25 lbs lighter, at a claimed 172 lbs. Plus, at $8295 MSRP for the base version – it's thousands less than the planned KTM.
with the latest technology, and on the other, as the worldwide number one in off-road sport, we must take care that the sport remains intact, and indeed, further develops!”

Bringing Off-Road to the City

KTM doesn’t presume its Freeride will replace its internal combustion machines anytime soon, rather it sees the electric design opening up a new off-road segment – urban riders. The Freeride’s zero emissions are touted, but not for green reasons – it’s the low noise emissions from the electric powerplant that makes it potentially attractive to urban riders.
With more off-road riding restrictions in general and more municipalities putting the kibosh on loud MX parks in particular, the notion of closed course parks promulgated by electric bikes sounds promising. KTM PR says of the quiet tones from its concept:

“With this development it is possible to bring offroad sport close to densely populated areas, to establish new parks and riding opportunities, where until now it has been unthinkable. The use of this sport machine closer to home may generate interest in the activities of new target groups.”

Whether we’ll see MX parks popping up next to high rises anytime soon remains to be seen. However, with one of the major players in the off-road world foreseeing a future in electric, how soon will it be until another OEM follows suit.
KTM Dirt Bike Reviews
2015 KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition First Ride
MotoUSA heads off road to see how the swath of improvements to KTM's latest FE model translate to the dirt in this review of the 2015 KTM 250 SX-F Factory Edition.
2015 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition First Ride
The 2015 KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition marks the forth year the Austrian marque has introduced a factory edition of its 450 MX platform. MotoUSA takes a ride.
2015 KTM Freeride 250R First Ride
The 2015 KTM Freeride 250R blends the best of enduro and trials motorcycles for a unique riding experience. MotoUSA hits the dirt in this first ride review.
2014 KTM XCF-W Comparison Review
We put 2014 KTM 250 XCF-W up against 3 other 250cc enduro dirt bikes to see which would be the best. Will the Austrian trail weapon be the best?
Other Dirt Bike First Looks
2016 KTM XC-W Models First Looks
KTM gives its 2016 XC-W line upgrades aimed at reducing weight and enhancing off-road protection and performance. Also back and better than ever is KTM's genre-bending two-stroke, the Freeride 250 R.
2016 KTM 500 EXC   350 EXC First Looks
KTM updates its popular 500 EXC and 350 EXC dual-sport motorcycles for 2016, reducing weight and offering improved off-road protection.
2016 KTM Motocross SX-F First Looks
KTM reveals complete overhauls of its 2016 MX lineup, with the 450, 350 and 250 SX-F models featuring changes that debuted on the 2015 Factory Editions.
2016 KTM Two-Stroke SX First Looks
KTM has released details on its 2016 line of two-stroke SX off road models, with major overhauls for the 125 SX and 150 SX models and minor revisions to the 250 SX.

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windump -no clutch?  September 3, 2010 09:01 AM
isn't the lack of clutch going to completely change the experience on the trail? we will have to become momentum riders
Almost There -I'll keep waiting  July 17, 2010 09:22 PM
Nice attempt KTM. The short ride time and very expensive price in the USA will keep it a rich mans toy. 1 hour (probably less) ride time will prevent it from being used in real offroad trail riding and what, we also have to pack a big expensive **gas** powered generator in the truck to charge it out at the trailhead? I think not. What's a spare battery cost? Probably thousands? Eccentric rich boys toy. I'll wait until the technology and range gets better and price gets reasonable.
Brian Lundgaard -Seller  July 10, 2010 08:18 AM
The KTM sure looks much better thought out than the weird bastard zero motorcycle. Now let's hope Honda joins in, and bring some CR flavor to these
Fletch Almighty -Mr. Almighty  April 21, 2010 12:51 PM
sounds pretty cool i would get one if they were cheaper because they would be great for going up woods and stuff doing mountain bike trails without causing any notice to land owners!! but i am surprised they cost so much for practicaly a souped push bike. still i would love to get one!
joeride10 -Give KTM some props  April 2, 2010 05:49 AM
I have a mountainbike trail in my backyard,if it could be an hour of dirt biking trail(with no one knowing)how cool is that.
Scott B -I would like to see...  April 1, 2010 03:15 PM
I want to see an all electric scooter like the Bergman or the Pacific Coast, or a Yamaha Majesty that will do 60 MPH, have a range of about 120 miles, and a price tag under $10,000. I think all that plastic could hide some extra batteries that would make it feasable. I would buy one and make it my primary ride to work bike!
yahya wawung -wonderfull tecnologies  March 29, 2010 10:13 AM
including the bike it's ferry heavy ,, wow
Hopeful -Someday....  March 28, 2010 12:45 PM
Quick change batteries, led lighting, supplementary solar panels on the fenders...
I already have the 'just have one charger at home and another charger under my desk' part figured out. But then if the batteries are so easily removable, they will require a considerable lock box to prevent theft. I suspect these batteries are in the $300+ range.
My only other pessimism is that a silent bike would be a kiss of death where drivers on their phones only notice you because you are affecting their 'oh, so important' conversations. Have you ever tried to 'share the road' on a bicycle?
twowheels -Great news!  March 27, 2010 01:09 PM
It's great to see more happening in this arena! Also great to see a big manufacturer get in there. This technology will advance more rapidly and we can start to ween off our over dependence on fossil fuels...especially for short trips that sooo many people do everyday! Yes it can't replace long distance usage yet, but that day will come too. Kudos to the forward thinkers at Zero, Brammo, Tesla, KTM, TTXGP...
mcguire -sewer rat  March 27, 2010 03:04 AM
Its a dirt bike. No lights in the power load. Commuter work isn't feesable on this. Keep trying though. I have seen some electric scooters that are practical enough for in town commuting but I drive 43 miles one way to work in the dark and there is nothing on the market that can sustain that puropose.
Mr. Obvious -@ frogman  March 26, 2010 01:13 PM
So let it top off automatically while you are at work. It looks like technology (new ideas) just caught up with you.

You're getting up to speed fast... -@ Bart  March 26, 2010 01:10 PM
You might want to check out those specs again and make a correction in the side box?


kW is measure of instantaneous input, while kWh is a measure of energy capacity over time. The MX stock motor is rated at 17.4 kW, its power system capacity at 2 kWh.

frogman -meh  March 26, 2010 12:58 PM
an hours riding time wont even get me to work and back everyday, the technology must advance far more than what it is presently for electric bikes to be a success.
Nitropeege -Seriously?  March 26, 2010 12:55 PM
I was big into Nitro R/C a few years back. When the brushless electric motors began to hit the market it was a joke, or so I thought. Now brushless technology is poised to replace nitro. I don't think it will be the same for e.p moto but then agian, who would have thought the 4 stroke would replace the two?
John -Wrong battery!  March 26, 2010 09:41 AM
500 cycles tell me it is a regular (exploding type) lithium-ion battery. The cheaper/lighter lithium-cobalt-oxide battery is OK but it is not worth burning my house down to save a few bucks and 10 pounds of weight! KTM will eventually get a higher power lithium (or ultra-capacitor) pack so I'll wait for generation 2 (or 3 or ???)
Colin M -500 recharges doesn't equal 500 hours  March 26, 2010 08:35 AM
Also, that isn't too far off normal large litium-ion recharge rates. Cell phone batteries obviously can cycle more than that but they are tiny.
WeaponX -500 recharges  March 26, 2010 05:55 AM
500 hours lifetime is a bit short for commercial success. For now, of course...
Tim B -KTM?  March 26, 2010 01:19 AM
This is the best looking electric vehicle I have seen so far. And this blows the look of all the others out the window by a huge margin. Too bad the performance can't match the awesome look of the bike.
TG -Awesome news  March 25, 2010 04:42 PM
This is great news. Not only is an experienced motorcycle manufacturer delving into the electric bike segment, but the recognize it is a different segment all together. If they can get the cost down, which they will with time, I see it being quite successful. Now, I just wish they had kept the supermoto a little more conventional, and put it in the US with a license plate on it (and...a little more range).