Buried deep inside KTM's doom and gloom first quarter 2008/2009 financial results is one item of extremely exciting news: the KTM Zero Emission Motorcycle will enter mass-production next year. Yes, that's right, a major motorcycle manufacturer will be making a high-performance electric motorcycle in large numbers in 2010.
The KTM electric motorcycle is a race-ready dual sport with 29.5lb/ft
of torque. That may not sound like much, but at just 90kg (198lbs), it
weighs 7kg less than KTM's own 125cc enduro. That's the torque of a 250cc two-stroke -- all of which will be available from 1rpm -- wrapped
up in a package that's lighter than a 125. The lithium ion batteries
give the electric KTM a range of about 40 minutes under "race
But it's not just the performance that we're excited about; it's the noise,
more specifically the complete lack of it. Electric dirt bikes, since
they don't emit harmful gasses and run silently, will be able to access
areas hitherto inaccessible to motorized vehicles and will help
preserve what access still exists. KTM even envisions the return of
motorcycle racing to built up areas or even city centers, all thanks to
Of course, this isn't the first electric motorcycle to go on sale. The
Quantya Strada is a road legal enduro, the 2009 Zero X is a high performance
dirt bike and the Vectrix VX-1 is an electric scooter. What makes the
KTM so special is that it'll be the first from a major factory, coming
complete with the affordable prices, warranty, after sales support,
common parts usage and availability of a mass-production machine.
The full text of KTM's announcement reads:
"Other Events In the first quarter of 2008/09 the prototype of the KTM Zero Emission Bike, a noiseless and emission-free Enduro motorcycle, was presented. KTM sets another important step for future developments with this new drive concept. Mass production is planned for 2010."