KTM FREERIDE: electric supermoto and enduro coming to Tokyo

Dailies -


KTM_FREERIDE_Electric_Supermoto.jpgKTM is planning to show both supermoto and enduro versions of its new electric bikes at the 2010 Tokyo Motorcycle Show next week and thanks to some tricky work in Photoshop from Grant, we’re able to bring you exclusive details and images. The KTM FREERIDE twins are an evolution of the KTM Zero Emissions Motorcycle that was shown in prototype from in October, 2008, but unlike that bike, these use a twin-spar aluminum frame, beefy WP forks and full-size motorcycle wheels.

Update: KTM describes these two bikes as, “”Near-series prototypes which in one year’s time will transfer the “Ready to Race” sporting spirit of the brand into a series model fit for the 21st century.” Which means these are slightly blingier versions of production bikes coming for 2011.
KTM_FREERIDE_Electric_Enduro.jpgIn fact, these two bikes look like such a drastic departure from the
Zero Emissions prototype that its specs – 29.5lb/ft of torque, Lithium
Ion batteries 40 minutes of operation under “race conditions,” a 90kg
(198lbs) weight – probably can’t be applied to these apparently
production-ready motorcycles.

KTM previously committed to mass producing an electric motorcycle this
year, but more recent rumors have indicated that production could be
delayed until 2012 due to the financiapocalypse. These two models appear
to indicate that production plans remain on track.

After lightening up KTM’s dark teaser shots, both the enduro and
supermoto models look identical with the exception of wheels. In the
supermoto’s case, they’re clearly 17s, but the enduro’s appear to be the
same 21″ front, 18″ rear items that are used on other KTM EXCs. This is
an important point, even if its a bit boring. The prototype used a
mountain bike-like 21″ rear wheel that may have compromised both
performance and reliability.

We’ll be bringing you full details on March 25.


  • Epyx

    Wow, EV bikes that actually look cool. Hopefully they sound like tie-fighters!

    • johnny

      totally agree. Electric bikes desperately need a style injection. The Brammo is OK, but to me it looks like it’s been put together from a parts bin. KTM make very stylish bikes..I’d buy one tomorrow

  • TeeJay

    KTM missed the first Eco Enduro Race. Shame.

  • TeeJay

    I have to disagree on the rear wheel size. For me it seems to be 19″ just like on the SXs.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      18 or 19″, at least its a real motorcycle wheel.

  • Willing to keep an open mind

    As far as I’m concerned these bikes can’t come soon enough. I’m sick of having to change oil and adjust valves every 15 hours on my KTM 525EXC.

    These things would be virtually maintenance free. Oil the chain and go riding. Right On.

    • Sean Smith

      Kibblewhite valves are where it’s at for the 525s. They don’t cup like the stock ones do, and because of that they’ll go for about 3 times as long. What that means for you is less wrenching and more riding. ;)

  • PeteP

    Huh? I only adjust my KTM’s valves once a year. Then I go ride my two-stroke. lol.

    Looking forward to seeing these bikes. The other manufacturers dirt offering are too much like powered mountain bikes.

  • http://www.1977mopeds.com DAN

    With Gas Gas now playing with electric trials bikes, I wonder how long until most manufacturers offer an electric version?

    I want to go to the Tokyo show! I bet it is going to be crazy.


  • Willing to keep an open mind

    Will Gas Gas have to change its name to Volt Volt?

    KTM and Red Bull co-sponsor a lot of riding events. And these eBikes will fit right in with Red Bull’s marketing, blending extreme sports with eco avant garde. I’ll bet we see eBike Supercross within 5 years.

    Interesting that KTM is introducing Aluminum frames- they are the last major manufacturer still using cromoly, arguing it’s just as light and much narrower (they don’t have to do perimeter frames to get the same rigidity). I assumed they would make the jump directly to Carbon Fiber based on their collaboration with Dalara race car company on their X-Bow sports car.

  • gene sherman

    Everyone’s missing the biggest advantage of these bikes…..FREEDOM!!!

    I can now ride just about ANYWHERE and never be seen or heard. Backyards, alley, local hills, drainage canals, riverbeds,urban sites, etc…..

    Can I have mine now??? I’ll pass buying the DUKE690 for these. BUT, if they are $5,000 or more, forget it! You CANNOT charge more than for a gas bike. There is SOOOO much less to an e-bike (no trans, engine, gas tank, FI/carb, etc…)

    • Matt

      Yeah, but there are low volume sales, fresh R&D costs to recoup, ‘spensive batteries, etc. I feel where you’re coming from, and I feel like you’re in for disappointment.

  • Willing to keep an open mind

    They’re still noisy though, not nearly as loud as any motorbike, but if you play the video on this website of the Bramo dirtbike, there’s plenty of suspension/chain chatter and whining motor noise to bother neighbors. But you’re right, you could ride these things in a bunch more places without getting hassled.

  • Duge

    In terms of the lack of “style” of these bikes: The manufacturers are using familiar lines and style to show us “gas-lovers” that what we are seeing is “exactly what we have now, except its electric.” Otherwise if they drop a radical new design on us, we may be hesitant to accept/buy due to the fear of the unknown or standing out….in time style will come.

  • shinigami

    Glad I saw this, as I will be in Tokyo for the rest of the month and totally forgot about the show.

    Dealing with crowds at the Big Sight is a royal pain but it might be worth it.

  • Steve

    Duge, I agree with you. The fact is the majority of the electric bikes today are abhorrent exercises in design that fail miserably at incorporating both form and function. Now we just need to find ourselves a Massimo Tamburini for the electric world and we’ll be one step closer to those hoverbikes they promised us as kids that we’d all have by now!

  • Esteban

    very cool.! please post a lot of pictures when available

  • Brett Vegas

    I feel vindicated with ktm jumping into the fray.
    I did most of the design work on the old electricmoto ‘blade’.

    The ktm will be $8-10k like all the others, batts are still $$$. BMS and chargers are a pain also. Good batts are $2-3k alone

    I do dream of an electric taking on gassers on their own turf, dirt(or supermoto) is the first place that can happen.

    We built a trials bike in ’89. It was a little underpowered(~9hp), but fairly cool. Suffered from not having a clutch. There are some batts out there that can deliver power at very low weights, a sub 120lb bike is buildable.

    I have converted from electric to gas, ride an old k100 and a DR400, do miss the throttle response of the lecky, but don’t miss the range limitation. Don’t miss the starving artist lifestyle either…

  • Willing to keep an open mind

    The lack of a Clutch on an electric Dirtbike; I hadn’t considered that. You do need a clutch to lift your front wheel over obstacles when trail riding.

    KTM specializes in trail bikes, I’m sure they’ll address this.

  • Brett Vegas

    I don’t think a trail bike needs a clutch, but a trials bike does(swap that ‘a’ and ‘i’ and you got very different bikes). The low end grunt is pretty good on a ‘leckky, but trials is weird, to get a bike to ‘jump’ up a ledge the rider needs to dump a wad of torque. You see riders redline their bike and work the clutch at events, to get a sub .5 sec spurt. Alot of the time they do this already up on the rear wheel. That said, it may not be a bad idea on a regular bike, a runaway is f*cking scary on an electric, the slower you go the more torque the motor develops.

  • Willing to keep an open mind

    No, I know you’re talking about observed Trials. We have that at my riding area; I’m very familiar with it.

    Yes, I’m talking about Enduro bikes like your DR400.

    On difficult single track trails, you encounter obstacles similar to observed trials boulder climbs. I’ve heard them referred to as “steps”. You approach them slowly with your clutch pulled in, blip the throttle, and pop the clutch in order to wheelie over the top of the step, throwing your upper body over the bars to carry the momentum forward. I’m sure you’re familiar with this having done it plenty of times on your DR.

    So you need a quick burst of full power to lift the wheel. I think even with the immediate torque of an electric motor, you would still need a clutch as you found with your electric Observed Trials bike.

    KTM has some of the best factory Enduro riders in the world, I’m sure they’ll figure this out for us shortly. But I really enjoy hearing your experiences pioneering these bikes.

  • Brett Vegas

    Oop, sorry. Trials is such a nitch that I assume nobody knows what the hell it is.

    The nice thing about a motor is the ability to deliver bursts of torque, esp at low speed. It is way easier to get the front end up than on a gasser, as long as the bike hasn’t been nerfed with a low current controller, or some lame attempt to smooth out the throttle response. It just isn’t enough to get you up a 4ft cliff, like in observed trials. Not quick enough. Good enough to pop the front wheel up over a log.

    I rode a ‘blade’ pretty much into the ground, commuting and off road. I sleapered it around town, no tags/lights, probly couldn’t get away with that kind of thing these days. When I got pulled over, I just told the occifer that it went 25mph, never was ticketed. Backally ninja hooliganism, very fun.

    The range was horrid, lead acid, ten miles tops, halve that if you wern’t careful.

    I did enter a couple of supermotos, did pretty good running in minimotoclass, aside from running out of power the last lap.

    Travis pastrana(sp?) destroyed one of our bikes backfliping into a foam pit, the bike landed ‘nose down’, and bent the head tube back 15 degrees. Funny.

    I like to think we helped break down some of the walls, we didn’t make them go far, but made sure that the bikes were just a bit scary. Grab a fistfull, you will be put on your butt. Nearly every electric out there uses the same motor.
    At the time we looked at li-ion, packs from saft(mil spec) were $40k for a 50lb pack.

    I’d actualy think about buying a KTM, if it come to market. Have to ride one first, the EE’s tend to nurf electrics.

    None of the electrics will realy run with 450′s untill they bump the voltage, 96v+. Might be able to stay with the 250′s at 72v, If the track has lots of turns. When leccys beat gassers in a fair race everybody will stop talking and ask ‘hey can I ride that?’

  • Willing to keep an open mind

    If they can get these bikes anywhere near the performance of a 250 four stroke motocrosser they will sell. 450s have more power than an average rider can use. Very few can master them.

    The feature that will sell these bikes is low maintenance. Motocrossers are athletes, not necessarily gear heads. Imagine all the mountain bikers that will get drawn into the sport. I’ll bet Red Bull will start co-mingling eMotocross and Mountain Bike races.

    You should use your experience to form an aftermarket performance parts company once these bikes take off. All the pipe benders and cam grinders won’t have a clue how to hop these things up.

  • Brett Vegas

    I have a real job now, still interested in the evolution, but not enough to be willing to starve some more. Leave it to the youngsters.

    It is important to understand the origins of all of these bikes, they are stripped down golf carts.
    The controllers still come out of that industry, if not the motors. Until demand gets to be real, dedicated components won’t be made. There is nothing realy wrong with that, but ingratiating the controller/charger is a necessary step. Regen is a difficulty, most golfcarts are series wound motors, bikes are permanent magnet(series motors are heavy). Carts shunt regen to a resistor, it take different electronics to stuff the energy into the batts. The biggest thing riders comment on is the lack of motor braking, with the motor acting as a flywheel, a bike damn near goes faster when you chop the throttle.

    There is maintenance, batts are still sorta delicate. Low resistance li-ion(hi power density) are still a bit dodgy. If you don’t keep an eye on them, you will end up buying yourself a new pack. The management systems are getting better, but there isn’t a ‘parent’ industry behind BMS stuff. The most obvious solution is to limit current, which is why I say EE’s nerf electrics.
    When KTM first released info about their bikes they claimed 9kw. We were building bikes with 20kw in ’90. Hopefully the riders slapped the EEs around a bit.

    72v@400a=29kw, almost what a modern 2504s makes.
    May need to be 96v to realy run against them, 96v@400a=38kw. Now we are talking. 20kw can make the same kind of torque as a much bigger bike, but racing is usually about horsepower. Amps=torque, volts=speed.

    I don’t think any of these bikes(street or dirt) will take off until they race head to head against gassers. Putting electrics into their own class makes it an exposition race. It is harsh, but there it is.

  • http://www.dvsshoes.com shoes

    i am wasting my time. I would be better off out riding right now, but i cant because of the damn snow!