KTM Freeride: Do­ing the week­end ride thing

Bet­ter than you think and as quiet as you’d want. Is this the per­fect way to take in a sum­mer’s week­end of rid­ing? Could be.

Motorcycle Monthly - - Ktm Freeride - Words by: Tim Brit­ton Pho­tog­ra­phy: Joe Dick

KTM has grabbed the elec­tric lead with its Freeride E, a proper mo­tor­cy­cle aimed at tak­ing on the petrol bikes and do you know what? Af­ter a day spent rid­ing one at E-Scape, it re­ally does just that.

The pack­age

On the day there were two ba­sic mod­els avail­able for try­ing – an out-and-out MX ver­sion and a po­ten­tially road le­gal en­duro ver­sion. Both have a com­pos­ite steel/alu­minium perime­ter frame de­signed to pro­vide the re­quired stiff­ness for off-road ac­tion and to hold the mo­tor as low down as pos­si­ble.

At ei­ther end is su­perb White Power sus­pen­sion, the front be­ing 43mm di­am­e­ter USD, while at the rear is a sin­gle shock di­rectly con­nected to the swingarm and giv­ing a pro­gres­sive ac­tion with no sur­prises. Both units are ad­justable for rider needs.

How­ever, the mo­tor is the ex­cit­ing bit. To­tally sealed, it de­liv­ers 31ft-lb (42Nm) of torque from the 300v multi cell – 360 of the blighters – power pack and will give around an hour’s rid­ing. It takes 50 min­utes to whack the charge up to 80% and 80 min­utes to get it fully charged.

What’s it like to ride?

It’s a bit dif­fer­ent from a geared petrol mo­tor­cy­cle, though not that much dif­fer­ent from a twist and go and takes about a nanosec­ond to men­tally ad­just to the fact that the left lever is a brake rather than a clutch.

Power set­tings, ac­cel­er­a­tion and bat­tery dis­charge rates are all hand­ily pre­sented in what is best de­scribed as a tank top dis­play, even though there’s no tank. Opt­ing for the eco set­ting to start, the dis­play sets up when the ig­ni­tion switch is turned on. Set­ting one pressed, the dis­play blinks and twist the throt­tle to go for­ward. No noise, no fuss.

The course at this fa­cil­ity in­cludes lots of vary­ing routes with jumps, turns, wa­ter splashes, rip­ples and berms that the Freeride tack­led easily, even in eco mode, click­ing to ad­vanced set­ting... well, a whole new di­men­sion.

Do your­self a favour and check out what’s cook­ing with elec­tric­ity these days at www.ktm.com/freeride and book a test ride.

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