KTM takes to the streets with Freeride E-SM

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Freeride E-SM is KTM's first street-legal electric bike(Credit: KTM)

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The third model of the Freeride E family is KTM’s first street-legal electric bike. After the Motocross and Enduro versions, the Supermoto is a battery-powered playbike that can also double as one of the coolest commuters out there.

Officially unveiled at last year’s Intermot, the E-SM joins the E-SX and E-XC in the electric branch of the Freeride series. Unlike its siblings it is road-legal and, most importantly, accessible to holders of the A1 European driving license. Restricted to 125 cc or 11 kW (15 hp) this license class is the compulsory gateway to motorcycling for young Europeans.

At the heart of KTM’s new supermoto lives a liquid-cooled brushless, permanent-magnet, synchronous motor which can produce a continuous output of 15 hp, with short bursts at its peak power of 22 hp. Maximum torque reaches up to 42 Nm.

Power is conveyed to the rear wheel through a fixed gear transmission, eliminating the need for a clutch and allowing the allocation of the left hand lever on the handlebars to the rear brake – a scooter-like configuration. The motor’s management offers three different ride modes, each with a different power delivery: economy, standard and advanced. The rider can select the mode of choice at the touch of a button on a panel located between the saddle and the steering head.

The power source for the motor is a 300V li-ion battery developed in cooperation with Samsung, weighing 28 kg (62 lb) and producing 2.6 kWh. It requires 80 minutes for a full charge or just 50 to reach 80 percent. At full capacity it can power the bike for a maximum of one hour, depending on output level and riding style. Designed to be easily removable, once exhausted it can be swiftly replaced with a pre-charged spare.

Just like every other member of the Freeride family, the E-SM is built around a composite frame consisting of two aluminum central braces, connecting a steel tubular structure that uses the motor as a stressed member with a heavy duty polyamide fiber subframe. Suspension is supplied by KTM’s long-term partner WP, with a 43-mm upside-down fork and a PDS shock absorber. The typical supermoto package includes 17-inch Giant wheels with sticky Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires. Braking duties are tended by a pair of radially-mounted Formula brake calipers with four pistons at the front and two at the rear.

Weighing just 108 kg (238 lb) in "Ready to Race" trim, the E-SM can be a short-distance commuter or an incredible playbike – as the talented French stunt rider Julien Dupont demonstrates in KTM’s official video presentation below. With an average price tag north of €11,000 (about US$12,000) in European markets, it can also prove to be a rather exclusive ride.

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