2011 KTM Freeride - First Look

KTM goes Electric!

2011 KTM Freeride - First Look

It's true: KTM, best known for its off-road and motocross machines, is going green! Okay, maybe the Austrian bike maker isn't changing its corporate colors or going hybrid on us, but it is in final development on a pair of zero-emissions electric motorcycles. Targeted for a spring 2011 on-sale date, the Freeride enduro and Freeride street versions were shown in near-production-ready form at the 2010 Tokyo Motorcycle Show.

This appears to be a major leap forward in the evolution of electric motorcycles. Rather than being interesting playthings, which seems to be the case with other off-road electric bikes, the competition-spec Freeride is built with top-of-the-line components designed to meet the same rugged standards as KTM's gas-powered off-roaders. According to KTM, "A competitive bike must be small and light so that it remains agile. It must be able to endure extreme jumps and the hardest of landings as well as showing resistance to impacts, stones and even rubble. It must be able to be ridden through puddles, mud holes, rivers or streams and survive crashes which are an every day occurrence for a sports Enduro. And, naturally, after the hardest of off-road days, the bike must be able to withstand being cleaned by a high-pressure washer."

The permanent energized synchronous motor, designed in cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology, is rated at 22 horsepower with 32 foot-pounds of torque; claimed weight for the Freeride is just 198 pounds, which is lighter than KTM's own 208-pound150 XC two-stroke. Recharging takes 90 minutes with a one-hour ride time, according to KTM.

"With the electric drive system of the zero emission motorcycle, KTM has succeeded in taking a decisive step forward in the future of the motorcycle industry and two-wheel motorsports," said KTM CEO Stefan Pierer. "Above all, emission-free mobility with a motorcycle brings new impulses in the short-term and opens up completely fresh perspectives. KTM remains answerable on two counts. On the one hand we are 'Ready to Race' and we want to do that with the latest technology, and on the other, as the worldwide number one in off-road sport, we must take care that the sport remains intact, and indeed, further develops!"

Price is expected to be less than 10,000 euros ($13,500). At presstime, there was no word on U.S. availability.

2011 KTM Freeride street

2011 KTM Freeride off-road

2011 KTM Freeride off-road

2011 KTM Freeride street

2011 KTM Freeride off-road

2011 KTM Freeride street

2011 KTM Freeride street

2011 KTM Freeride off-road