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.
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.
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.