In seventh heaven with Freeride Mud is good 1 2 Two-strokes don’t have to be peaky 3 Lightness beats fear 4 Slow is the new fast 5 I made the most boring onboard video of all time 6 The Freeride has a seat but I hardly seem to use it 7 This is freedo
From experienced road rider to off road novice, but Tim’s loving the mud
In my old life I struggled to sleep if one of my bikes was put away dirty. Now I embrace mud like a team of U11s on a boggy pitch in February. Cured! This 250 R version of the KTM Freeride makes all the right stroker noises plus the traditional cloud of premixed blue smoke as it warms on the choke, but it’s the opposite of peaky. It churns out soft pulses of torque, wafting me over (minor) obstacles on a mil‘ of throttle.
This is a bike that says, ‘I’m here for you, please relax.’ It has a 915mm seat height, some 45mm lower than a full-fat enduro, and simply being able to throw a leg over without taking a run up halves the fear factor. Better still, at just 92.5kg it’s barely heavier than me.
Critically aware of my lack of technique and experience I ride crosscountry at 15mph or slower, knowing that any moment I could be overtaken
It felt so Red Bull radical at the time. I leave home like a 17-year-old sitting too far back on a barely insured DT125, then turn onto the trail and the Freeride transforms like a swan sliding into the river. That’s also the last time I sit down all afternoon.
Up there with passing my test.
From dirt-hater to mud-lover in 12 hours of riding
Thirty-six years a road rider, it’s all gone peaks and goggles for Thompson