Following the theme set by the four-stroke Freeride 350, this new two-stroke KTM Freeride 250 R aims to make dirt riding extremely accessible, even for new riders. Something it does by shedding a further 16lbs for an all-up weight of just 204lbs.
Rather than dedicated endurance racers, KTM’s Freeride range aims to expand the appeal of dedicated dirt bikes to a non-competition audience. “In its first year on the market, it got a lot of people very excited who always fancied doing a little off-road riding without any pressure,” explains the Austrian company. None of the Freeride range — 350, this new 250 or even the electric E — have yet to go on-sale in the United States.
Like the 350, this new 250 R uses a forged aluminum swingarm pivot bolted to a steel tube frame and plastic rear subframe. Over the 350, the 250 R raises its ground clearance by 60mm thanks to a new, side-route exhaust. Both the fuel tank and air filter are then located under the seat; the former taking a nod from street bikes to lower the center of gravity while the latter benefits from increased protection from dirt and submersion.
Rather than the de-contented dirt bike you’d maybe expect from this description, the Freeride 250R instead retains an impressively high spec level — fully-adjustable WP USD forks, a dinky, two-pot radial brake caliper, wavy discs and a linkage, adjustable WP shock. Great care has been taken to make the bike as slim as possible, something that also helps it achieve an enormous amount of bar lock and a tiny turning radius.
The engine is based on that of the competition 250 EXC, but detuned for lower maintenance requirements and a torquier power delivery. No power or torque figures have been released. Also in pursuit of ease-of-use, the 250 R is fitted with electric start. Compared to that competition model, the 250 R’s seat is 1.8 inches lower, at 36-inches flat.
This is going to be a light, easy-to-ride, but still very capable dirt bike.