Motorcycles

Second generation KTM electric enduro can go the distance

Second generation KTM electric...
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in action
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in action
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The electric motor and battery combo of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC
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The electric motor and battery combo of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC gained in practicality with more battery power
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC gained in practicality with more battery power
The steel frame of the 2018 Freeride E-XC is coupled with a short, plastic sub-frame, just like in every other enduro model in KTM's lineup
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The steel frame of the 2018 Freeride E-XC is coupled with a short, plastic sub-frame, just like in every other enduro model in KTM's lineup
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC weighs 111 kg (244.7 lb) and produces a maximum of 24.5 hp (18 kW)
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC weighs 111 kg (244.7 lb) and produces a maximum of 24.5 hp (18 kW)
The new Power Pack of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be quickly removed by undoing four screws
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The new Power Pack of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be quickly removed by undoing four screws
This display on the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC informs the rider of battery status and the selected power mode
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This display on the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC informs the rider of battery status and the selected power mode
With a simple eccentric attachment plate, the footpegs of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be adjusted horizontally by 8 mm
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With a simple eccentric attachment plate, the footpegs of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be adjusted horizontally by 8 mm
Rider's view on the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC 
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Rider's view on the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC 
The 2018 Freeride E-XC is styled after KTM's enduro range
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The 2018 Freeride E-XC is styled after KTM's enduro range
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC sports 50 percent more battery power
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC sports 50 percent more battery power
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be fully charged in 80 minutes, or reach 80 percent in 50 minutes
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be fully charged in 80 minutes, or reach 80 percent in 50 minutes
As of 2018 the KTM Freeride E-XC employs regenerative braking
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As of 2018 the KTM Freeride E-XC employs regenerative braking
The lightweight digital display of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC
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The lightweight digital display of the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC
The new KTM Freeride E-XC will start rolling off production lines in January 2018
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The new KTM Freeride E-XC will start rolling off production lines in January 2018
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in action
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in action
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in trail-carving action
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in trail-carving action
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in action
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The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in action
View gallery - 17 images

When KTM took its first stab at electric off-road bikes, it came up with what can be best described as expensive toys. With the second generation Freeride E-XC, the Austrian manufacturer adds 50 percent more battery juice for more practical range, and rounds it off with race-proven suspension.

Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO and majority shareholder, is more than just a successful Austrian industrialist; from his position as president of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers he knows well that electric mobility is set to boom in the next decade.

His company hopped on the battery-powered train several years ago, with the first Freeride model hitting the market in 2012. Despite it being as well designed and enjoyable as any typical KTM off-roader, its limited range made it look more like a rich boy's toy than an actual alternative to the company's similarly-priced petrol bikes.

The Freeride family started off with a non-road-legal motocross model, before expanding to include enduro and supermoto versions. The motocrosser only needed to provide race track fun for a limited time, but the later arrivals could take to the streets, meaning that only offering up to an hour of riding weighed down heavily on their practicality.

The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be fully charged in 80 minutes, or reach 80 percent in 50 minutes
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC can be fully charged in 80 minutes, or reach 80 percent in 50 minutes

For 2018 KTM has announced a new 260 V lithium-ion Power Pack with 50 percent more capacity, jumping from 2.6 to 3.9 kWh. This translates to equally more range, so the new Freeride E-XC can be ridden for roughly up to an hour and a half – obviously depending on a number of factors, such as terrain, rider weight and riding style.

In comparison to the previous generation of Freeride batteries, charging time hasn't changed, requiring 80 minutes for a full charge and 50 minutes to reach 80 percent.

The liquid-cooled, permanent magnet, synchronous motor is still as first introduced. Its rated power is 9 kW (12 hp), under the limit of Europe's A1 novice driving license, but it can peak at 18 kW (24.5 hp), and its torque output reads a constant 42 Nm (31 lb-ft).

KTM says that it worked on the motor's thermal stability, with new insulating pads between the stators and the waterproof aluminum casing. As before, there are three selectable power modes, Economy, Enduro and Cross, and a Freeride novelty in the shape of regenerative braking.

The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC sports 50 percent more battery power
The 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC sports 50 percent more battery power

One other change that will probably make the Freeride E-XC more desirable is its new suspension. KTM opted for the WP Xplor series, with a set of 43 mm inverted split-action forks – compression adjustment on one leg, rebound on the other – and a PDS rear shock. An upgrade over the previous model, this set-up shares similar parts to those used in the rest of KTM's range, though still not the beefier and heavier 48 mm Xplor forks of the EXC enduros.

Weighing just a little more than its predecessor, the 111-kg (244.7-lb) Freeride E-XC is slated to enter production in January 2018, with retail pricing yet to be revealed.

This turn to more practicality may not exactly constitute a paradigm-shifting change for the Austrian company, but it certainly is a move in the right direction against growing competition in the electric motorcycle field. Sooner or later, the changes applied to the electric enduro will probably filter down to the other two Freeride models, SX and SM.

More generally, KTM's Freeride press release also reveals plans to put an emphasis on e-mobility in the future, with a range of machines from 250 W to 11 kW coming until 2025. These will include electric minibikes, an electric scooter, and a new partnership with Pexco for a series of electric bicycles.

Source: KTM

View gallery - 17 images
4 comments
guzmanchinky
This bike is SO cool. But no one I know only rides for an hour and a half. Once these bikes have the kind of range a normal bike does (120 miles or so in moderate off road conditions) it will be lights out for a normal fuel powered bike (for me at least)...
Joshua Tulberg
If I owned my own property with a course, or had an easy way to get it to a trail, I'd totally dig this.
ljaques
Not available here in the US, but Zero's FX is similar, though more powerful, and a grand or two cheaper. These both look like nice basic electric bikes, with enough power to be usable yet not so much as to suck trons too awfully badly. I really like the config of the KTM but not the color scheme. Urpy Parrot?
stephen83
in Austria there are dirt riding places where a kid can rent one of these in an urban area that would not allow the noise of regular dirt bikes. That, or even indoors is the only use I can imagine for these high priced, short ranged toys. Out in the woods you could take some spare gasoline, but you cannot carry a spare battery, on a miniature urban course pushing is probably a worst case option. As is , gas powered motorcycles already less range in general than the average car, and trail bikes often have even less. There is a lot of resistance to rolling through sand or softer materials , so range will go WAY down fast!