Das Motorrad has blown the embargo on pictures and info of the KTM FREERIDE electric motorcycles, there's a scan straight from its pages below. What's been revealed? A diminutive pair of electric motorcycles that, while they appear to offer performance advantages over KTM's 125cc enduro bikes, aren't competitive with key rivals like the Zero X. At "just under €10,000" they're going to be expensive too.
Update: Gallery of more, larger images added.
That price translates to around $13,500, considerably more expensive
than the Zero X, which retails for $7,495. The KTMs produce 30bhp and
33lb/ft of torque and use a 2.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Weight is
90kg (198.4lbs) and the range is approximately 1.5-hours. While the
battery pack carries .5kWh more capacity than the Zero, the rest of the
specs don't match up flatteringly. The Zero produces 50lb/ft of torque
and 23bhp, while weighing in at just 73kg (161lbs).
And it's not like the KTMs are running incredibly beefy components to
make up for that weight. The spindly frame appears to be tubular steel
which, in the case of the enduro, is covered with some tacky silver
plastic to make it look like cast aluminum. The Zero uses a sexy
hydroformed aluminum frame that weighs just 13 pounds.
While the enduro and supermoto appear to share identical frames and
powertrains, they do differ in components, with the supermoto running a
bicycle-style threadless headset front end and dinky projector headlamp
in place of the enduro's conventional setup. One part that does look
seriously nice is the supermoto's sculpted swingarm.
Specs aside, we can't help but be disappointed with KTMs first electric
motorcycles. We were hoping for something sexy and fast like the KTM 125 Stunt and Race concepts from EICMA, yet are left with utterly
conventional near-production concepts that appear to utilize second-tier
off-the-shelf electric powertrain components. This doesn't bode well
for next year's production bikes that these concepts preview. An
established motorcycle manufacturer like KTM should be able to leverage
its numbers and supply chain to produce bikes that are either high-end
or low cost, these bikes appear to be neither.
One slim glimmer of hope: there's talk of a battery leasing scheme in
the article, which at least indicates that someone's thinking about an
alternative business model for selling these. In an ideal world we'd
like to see KTM sell customers the bike sans batteries, then lease the
batteries to customers, maybe even showing up at races with a support
truck full of pre-charged batteries available to swap, empty for full.
Update: with a better translation, it looks as if the battery leasing may actually be battery hot swapping, with a single plug design that's so shielded, it can withstand the force of a pressure washer. Damn you Germany and your bizarre technical terminology.
Thanks for the tip, tipster who prefers to remain anonymous.