A closer look at the KTM Freeride E

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As the first electric motorcycle from an established manufacturer, this KTM Freeride E is a significant bike. When we unveiled it last night, we expressed some concerns over specs that seemed inferior to those of the Zero X. Now, with full data, can an Austrian dirt bike company hope to compete with a Bay Area startup?

The KTM produces 29.6bhp (peak) and 31lb/ft of torque. Continuous power is just 10bhp. No details, but we’re guessing its “disc armature” motor is air-cooled. It Lithium Ion battery holds just 2.1kWh of power. Enough, KTM says, for 90 minutes of riding. There is apparently a facility for hot swap, but no word on how much extra batteries will cost. A full recharge with a 220v outlet will take just 90 minutes. KTM big ups the dust-proof, water-proof nature of the powertrain’s construction, but this is nothing new. You could ride most electric bikes underwater if a few of the circuit boards were sealed first. The whole shebang weighs 95kg/209lbs. No word on price.

The 2012 Zero X makes quite a bit more torque — 50lb/ft — and, despite carrying 3.0kWh, weighs just 213lbs. The Zero doesn’t have hot-swap capability, but it does claim a 60-120 minute range.

Despite crisp styling, an established dealer network and nice componentry, all this leaves us more than a little disappointed in the KTM. The one factor that’s still unknown is price. Could KTM leverage its manufacturing base and ties with Bajaj to undercut the Zero’s $9,950 price tag? It needs to.

  • protomech

    The 2011 and 2012 Zero X battery packs (as well as MX, XU) are indeed hot-swappable.

    “To extend ride times, the aircraft grade aluminum Zero X frame is designed to accommodate quick power pack swaps.”


  • http://plugbike.com/ skadamo

    I have a hard time believing that KTM pack is swappable. Looks pretty sealed up. I want to see that happen.

  • pplassm

    An important difference between the Freeride and the other MX/Off-road electric bikes is the KTM uses standard dirt bike wheel/tire sizes, ergonomics and components. The KTM appears to be more of a purpose designed offering.

    The guy in the video implied the pack was swapable. Not sure what that means.

    It’s all conjecture on my part, though, as I have seen none of these bikes in the flesh. I will contact my dealer and see if I am “select” enough.

  • Campisi

    I think the difference between this and the Zero offerings is that KTM doesn’t seem interested in this as a core product. While Zero produces their electrics as their core bikes, KTM appears to be approaching this as an intriguing offshoot of their “normal” bikes. Zero’s bikes need to boost the bottom line; KTM’s Freeride E merely needs to feel out uncharted waters.

  • Zirq

    Any word on if this will be street legal or street legal-able in the great state of CA?

  • Samuel

    When comparing specs I think the one bike that really takes the cake is the BRD Redshift MX. https://www.faster-faster.com/bikes.html

    40hp peak, 25hp continuous. A 5.2 kWh battery pack with an estimated 2hr range and a weight of only 250 lbs when kitted for non-street use.

    For just 37 pounds over the Zero X I would say this bike definitely makes a statement for what’s possible… if you’re willing to pay for it. $$