MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

KTM Announces Second Generation FREERIDE E-XC

Yesterday, KTM unveiled the FREERIDE E-XC, the second generation of this model originally introduced in 2014. With more power and longer range, together with regenerative braking, the electric bike also gets changes to its chassis and suspension.

More important on a broader scale, KTM stated it is focused on an electric future and that “e-mobility will change the landscape of travel ….”

Here is a press release from KTM, together with details and specifications for this new model:

The powerful and agile KTM FREERIDE E-XC is now even better. Powered by a state-of-the-art electric motor with a peak of 18 kW fitted into a re-designed composite frame that provides even better stability, this e-machine now benefits from a 50% capacity increase in its new KTM PowerPack, which offers up to one and a half hours of riding time with just one battery charge. The new KTM FREERIDE E-XC now also utilizes energy recuperation when coasting or braking for an additional range boost, and the battery has a quick charging time, while also providing 70% of its initial capacity after 700 charge cycles. In addition, this lightweight bike boasts a new WP Xplor 43 upside-down fork system with enhanced sensitivity, and a new WP PDS Xplor shock absorber with improved progression and adjustment options.

The KTM FREERIDE E-XC features three riding modes: Economy, Enduro and Cross. Its easy operation, with no clutch or gear shift lever, and a confidence inspiring low seat height of just over 900mm, combined with its extreme cross-country agility, ensures that this is the ultimate electrically powered machine for beginners to experienced level riders. Stylish new bodywork with racy graphics, trim and colors, a new dashboard and re-positioned ignition lock provide further benefits over the previous model. Producing zero emissions and minimal noise pollution, the possibilities are endless with the ultra-playful KTM FREERIDE E-XC.

This latest e-powered machine is part of KTM’s long-term commitment to e-mobility, which began over 10 years ago in KTM’s research and development department in Mattighofen, Austria. The Austrian brand plans a range of machines for the future including e-mini, and an e-scooter, as well as maximizing its partnership with PEXCO with a new possibility to produce crossover products in the bicycle sector. The vision is clear, and by 2025 KTM will increase emphasis on machines from 250 watt to 11kWh due to market suitability and efficiency.

Stefan Pierer (KTM CEO): “We are proud to present the new KTM FREERIDE E-XC, which marks the next step in development of e-mobility within KTM and is a continuation of our commitment to this segment. We know that e-mobility will change the landscape of travel in the future, and our vision is very clear. Looking ahead to 2025 we expect to have a wider range of models available with a focus in the commuting arena. We also plan crossover machines with our collaboration with PEXCO, as well as using our e-mobility expertise in other applications.”

The new KTM FREERIDE E-XC will arrive to the North American market in limited quanities. Please stay tuned for additional information regarding the product’s availability.

2018 KTM FREERIDE E-XC HIGHLIGHTS 

When it comes to offroad motorcycles, KTM has been setting the benchmark for decades as a market leader and forerunner in technology and ingenuity. Developing a motorcycle with minimal noise pollution and zero emissions is a logical step forward for KTM. Wanting to set an example for environmental-friendly offroad motorcycles, KTM introduced the FREERIDE E to Europe in 2014; a lightweight offroad bike powered by a brushless electric motor and a lithium ion battery.

For MY18 the KTM FREERIDE E-XC’s PowerPack is upgraded with a 50% increase in capacity from last year’s 2.6 kWh to a new max of 3.9 kWh. In addition the peak power output is raised by 2 kW to 18 kW. Combined with regenerative braking to charge the battery during riding, the FREERIDE E-XC’s range has grown significantly.

A reworked, lightweight offroad chassis is fitted with new, higher performing WP Xplor suspension, front and rear. A new headlight mask and front fender update the looks to match the performance. The 2018 KTM FREERIDE E-XC is an evolution in terms of motor and battery performance as well as chassis specification. It is truly a plug-in READY TO RACE KTM. 

2018 KTM FREERIDE E-XC HIGHLIGHTS 

  • State-of-the-art brushless electric motor with increased peak power output for silent yet sporty riding with increase thermal stability.
  • Latest lithium ion battery with 50% more capacity without an increase in size powers the FREERIDE E-XC up to 1.5 hours, depending on the riding style and terrain.
  • Energy regeneration during coasting and braking phases adds more time on the trail.
  • Reworked chassis with a longer steering head for increased stability and better tracking.
  • Newly developed WP Xplor 43mm upside down forks offer 250mm of travel with excellent response and bottoming resistance.
  • The WP Xplor PDS rear shock provides 260mm of travel with reduced weight and increased performance.
  • Three different power modes – Economy, Enduro and Cross – allow the rider to choose the response and character of the electric motor.
  • The external charger uses a 220V socket to fully charge the battery from empty in about 105 minutes. An 80% charge take around 75 minutes.
  • New CNC-machined triple clamps increase the rigidity of the front end.
  • The KTM FREERIDE E-XC is now fitted with Maxxis Trailmaxx tires developed specifically for the KTM FREERIDE, delivering amazing traction.
  • The latest Formula brakes have been upgraded from the previous model with a 1mm increase in front brake rotor thickness, a new braided front brake hose, new rear pads and a 2mm smaller diameter rear piston for enhanced feel and more control.
  • Slim and reworked bodywork for high freedom of movement features in-mold graphics along with a new headlight mask and front fender.
  • No emissions and minimal noise make the FREERIDE E-XC the perfect choice for riding areas that have strict noise and emission standards. 

SPECIFICATIONS 

DRIVE UNIT

ELECTRIC MOTOR: Permanent magnet synchronous motor in a disc armature design

RATED OUTPUT: 9 kW (12 hp) @ 4,500 rpm

MAXIMUM POWER: 18 kW (24.5 hp) @ 5,000 rpm

TORQUE: 42 Nm (31 ft-lb) from 0 rpm

MAXIMUM MOTOR SPEED: 7,000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 1 gear

PRIMARY DRIVE: 1:2.4

FINAL DRIVE: 11:48

COOLING SYSTEM: Liquid cooling

BATTERY: Lithium-ion KTM PowerPack (easily removable)

RATED VOLTAGE: 260V

MAXIMUM VOLTAGE: 300V

CAPACITY: 3,900 Wh

CHARGING TIME 100%: 105 min

CHARGING TIME 80%: 75 min

CHARGER LINE VOLTAGE: 230V / 50-60 Hz

CHARGING RATE: Quick charging 13 A, normal charging 10 A

CHARGING POWER: Quick charging 3,000 W, normal charging 2,300 W

CHASSIS

FRAME: Perimeter steel-aluminum composite frame

SUBFRAME: High-strength polyamide/ABS plastic

HANDLEBAR: Neken EXC Aluminum Ø 28 / 22 mm

FRONT SUSPENSION: WP Xplor 43mm split fork

REAR SUSPENSION: WP Xplor PDS shock absorber

SUSPENSION TRAVEL FRONT/REAR: 250 / 260 mm

BRAKE FRONT/REAR: Formula disc brakes Ø 260 / 230mm

WHEELS FRONT/REAR: 1.60 x 21″; 1.85 x 18″ Giant rims

TIRES FRONT/REAR: 2.75-21″ Maxxis M 7311; 4.00-18″ Maxxis Trailmaxx

CHAIN: 5/8 x 1/4″

STEERING HEAD ANGLE: 23°

WHEELBASE: 1,418±10mm / 55.8±0.4in

GROUND CLEARANCE: 340 mm / 13.4in

SEAT HEIGHT: 910 mm / 35.8in

WEIGHT READY TO RACE: 111kg / 244.7lb


See more of MD’s great photography:

Instagram


41 Comments

  1. Provologna says:

    One more reason for E-bikes: This was my all time favorite 2-wheel experience and happened about 5 years ago. Riding my MTB on my favorite trail, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in the Rockies, E end of Cache Valley, Utah. BST parallels and runs E of a “wildlife fence” supposed to keep large mammals E of the fence (up hill). There are several large holes in the fence, and a gate sometimes left wide open.

    I ride N, pause, look W, and see half a dozen elk, maybe 3 are fully grown adults with gorgeous rack, grazing about 100 yards downhill, well W of the fence. A few seconds later one turns, looks at me, then immediately after that, all have lifted and turned their heads for a stare down. They’re not scared, but decide it’s a good time to head back up hill toward home. First one elk starts his walk up hill, N-ward, the same direction I’m headed. Now they all walk in unison.

    All of us head N, me on the trail, the elk N and E up the hill. If we stay on this course, we must intersect at some point. The elk aim to get ahead of me, I aim to keep up. Thankfully, this part of the trail has only small, undulating changes in elevation, much fun at speed, like a roller coaster. The elk push harder to avoid me, but they can’t break our inevitable crossing to get past the fence.

    I pedal as hard as I can, while glancing Westward looking at a small herd of elk galloping, shaking the ground, even hearing their breath. We inch closer together, fear enters the equation for all of use, but I can’t make myself stop because this is just too damn fun! Finally, they give up, break off, and turn slowly down the mountain Westward, to avoid our meeting.

    IMO, same outcome if I’m on an E-bike. On an ICE motor, forget it, they would have heard me well before I saw them, and never entered my view.

    Completely different subject, no dog in this fight: Watch a TED talk, in which the speaker makes an interesting case that money spent to combat global warming gives the least benefit to the world per dollar spent. No idea if it’s true or not. He agrees with global warming, BTW. I’ll have to watch it again.

  2. Jabe says:

    I’m wondering what the battery pack from that bike will cost? I’ve read elsewhere that the bike will sell for around $8500.00 without the battery pack and no mention of the batteries cost.

    I also think about the fact (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration) that only 14.9% of our energy is considered ‘renewable’. This would include hydropower at 6.5%, wind at 5.6%, biomass at 1.5 % and solar at .9%. Let’s also keep in mind the non-renewable energy used in creating these sources of renewables.

    I’m not an advocate of creating pollution. I know we have to start somewhere, but the way I see it I have roughly a 15% chance of recharging my electric dirt bike in a somewhat green matter. But then again where I ride, when the battery goes dead, I would have to charge it from a generator. So much for being anything close to enviromentally friendly. I guess for now I will keep filling the gas can.

    • JSH says:

      A replacement battery pack for a Nissan Leaf is $6500. That is for a 24 kWh pack so $270 per kWh. With similar pricing the 3.9 kWh KTM pack should be about $1050. I would expect at least twice that price considering economy of scale. (Nissan has sold about 300K Leafs worldwide)

      The source of power generation depends greatly on location. Here in Oregon we are 49.5% renewable and the last coal plant closes in 2020.

  3. GP says:

    For anyone who just wants to be able to rip around their neighborhood woods for a short period of time after work every day (a lot of us?), this is a great movement.
    Having owned e-bicycles for a few years now, I can tell you that even a small amount of “assistance – 250-350 watts” has a huge impact on ride-ability and fun. I have discovered places in my own town that I never even knew existed.
    This updated Freeride looks like it is ready for prime time. I feel bad for the guys who bought one of the first, lower powered, shorter range models, but I have to wonder if they are update-able…
    Tiers are starting to develop:
    Alta – Premier, full-sized, ultra off road performance. $14,000.
    Zero – Top heavy, over weight dual sport, with good range and excellent performance.$10,000.
    KTM – Semi-serious, smaller framed dirt effort, trading range for weight. $8,000?

    • Provologna says:

      I just sold $36k worth of new ultra high end audio gear to a client, one of the nicest guys I ever met. That price was for 3 pieces, a combination DAC/preamp and 2 mono block power amps. (This is impossible to understand for the uninitiated, but the pieces he bought are among the highest value extant.)

      Sections of this economy have the very deepest pockets. Such people fuel development of the world’s best products, which generally trickles down over time to lower, more affordable tiers for us “mortals.”

      I would not necessarily feel bad for persons who purchased earlier technology with less performance. These buyers perform a vital task, paving the way for high value high performance future products for the masses.

      On a related subject: even in these pages I read the occasional post stating how stupid it is to buy new motorcycles. The posters display moral superiority for buying used, saving the amount equal to the bike’s depreciation.

      What a self-flagellating load of dumbness. Earth to morally superior idiot: turn of the spigot of new bike buyers, and your industry of buying used disappears with it. If these smart arses had a whiff of sense they post the joys of buying new, even if they’d never actually buy one.

      Short version: God bless early-adopters, each and every one!

  4. Mr.Mike says:

    The houses in my neighborhood sit on five to ten acre wooded lots with steep hills. I made some mountain bike trails on my property but the the constant climbing limits the amount of time I can stay out. I thought of getting a regular dirt bike but I wouldn’t want to inflict the sound of a motor on my neighbors – as I wouldn’t want them making that kind of noise either. This bike seems absolutely perfect for going out on my own property and quietly having a blast. I’ll be first in line once the cost comes down to that of a gas dirt bike.

    • Dave says:

      Ever tried an e-mtb? They’ve gotten really good. You’ll still get plenty of exercise, you won’t make any noise, and smaller/tighter trails will still be a bunch of fun. They’re also less $$ than motos.

      • Mr.Mike says:

        That’s a great idea and a whole new segment I wasn’t aware of – thanks.

        • FatMat says:

          Ditto on the e-mtb. I built my own electric fatbike, with suspension forks and thudbuster suspension seat and it is a different and more satisfying fun than my many dirtbikes were in tight quarters exploration.

          The fat tires make short work of sand and snow, the motor helps get up the hill, the silent operation gives access to many more close to home trails, throw it on the back of the little car for transport, and I can get as much exercise as I want. Much more fun than jogging!

  5. Mick says:

    I rode one about a year ago in the Netherlands. They had a little sand motocross track outdoors and an indoor track. I thought that the thing worked pretty well for a first try electric. My main complaints were related to the bike’s mission as a sort of novice class bike. There were several power settings. But even the top one was a bit too tame, particularly in the sand where throttle response is key.

    Even if you pinned the throttle, the power would spool up kind of slow like the thing had some kind of huge virtual flywheel. I found that a bit too nanny state for a company that also made my 300 two stroke.

    There are people who like the idea of a left hand rear brake. I am not one of those people. I could get used to it in time, I suppose. But my right foot has had a lot of practice controlling the rear wheel of a motorcycle. I also feel that one of the things that wear out on a hard riding motorcyclist is his or her arms and hands. Giving a hand more work is not a good idea in my opinion.

    They cost a bit less than an Alta.

    • William says:

      I like the rear brake on the handle bars. My story on a steep down hill corner on a narrow mountain trail. It was scary, if you missed the corner you would go down a hill so steep and rocky you would be lucky to live, let alone get your bike back. Very sharp right hand corner. I leaned the bike uphill a little, but the bike is basically already hitting the hill since it is so steep. I caught the brake lever on a root. I actually needed to lean the bike to the down hill side to clear it, but I couldn’t do that. Pushing the bike backwards up a steep slope to get unstuck was not easy. My lever got bent but it sprung back in place much better than I was expecting. Also, it was so steep I wanted to be pushing the brake to slow myself, but I needed to take my foot off and put it on the hillside, or get off the bike and walk it around the corner. I could not take that corner with my foot on the brake. The moral of the story is that the rear brake can cause you trouble, it can get stuck on obstacles or it cannot be used if you need to put your foot someplace else. You do remove your foot from the pegs for good reasons, but probably don’t have many good reasons to remove your hands from the bars.

      • Mr.Mike says:

        Coming from years of mountain bike riding, as I’m sure many potential customers are as well, I would be fine with both brakes on the handlebars.

        • Mick says:

          I feel that the eventual hot ticked woods e-bike will fall somewhere between a bicycle and motorcylce based ride.

          I know that I could probably ride faster on a sweet woods single track on what would essentially be a robust carbon E-bike with a banana seat and an attitude.

    • guu says:

      Also its rarely mentioned, but the frame size, not just seat height on the Freeride is smaller than on normal mx and enduro bikes. Its somewhere between 85 and a big bike. That might be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your height but in any case it means that its not a replacement for full-sized enduro.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        I’ve spent a lot of time on the Freeride (the 250). It doesn’t feel undersized. I’d say that the geometry isn’t typical Enduro, though.

  6. Neil says:

    I used to be gone on my trials bike for hours not an hour and a half. It took me at least a half hour to ride to where I went riding for fun. But this E bike makes sense. Quiet. Torque. Low carbon emissions. Every day I read another report about the planet dying from fossil fuels. Now if we can just stop building stupid suburbs which waste everything as we drive everywhere. 105 minute charging time is really good.

  7. wjf says:

    does this thing cost as much as an Alta

  8. Roadrash1 says:

    I took a demo ride on a Zero S last Summer.
    The electric stuff is a ton of fun.
    At some point, this will be a large part of our sport.

  9. Trpldog says:

    It certainly looks good. Can you imagine a full 6 hour charge? That would be fun. You could sneak up on your own shadow.

  10. Provologna says:

    Does this e-bike incinerate open class bikes off the line, same as a Tesla does to dino-fueled big-bore cars?

    My high end audio DAC and the PS for the network player both use a pair of 3.3V lithium batteries. In series these 4 batteries will start a big diesel motor.

    • todd says:

      It’s got peak power of 24.5hp and weighs just as much so, nope.

      • Huck369 says:

        But it does have 31 Foot pounds of torque at from 0 RPM

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Since the KTM only has one gear, it doesn’t really matter that it has 31 lbft of torque from zero rpm. It is going to be matched or out-torqued by just about any bike in it’s class running in the first three gears.

    • Jon says:

      Off the line acceleration is more limited by the bike flipping with too much throttle unless you are talking a pretty slow motorcycle, so that’s never really going to be a good comparison metric.

      • Dave says:

        Off the line is not the only time torque comes into play. An ICE’s peak hp only comes at a certain RPM (usually very high), so as the rider is accelerating and shifting, the vehicle is accelerating at some level below the engine’s peak efficiency. An electric motor’s ability to produce peak torque, and it’s potential to be much more finely controlled (via T/C or rider input) gives it a distinct advantage.

        While not an ev, you should check out the Motor Trend articles reviewing the 2018 Honda Accord Touring. The 2.0T engine makes less peak hp than the V6 it replaces and significantly less than the V6 in Toyota’s top-end Camry, yet it’s faster than both of them due to a longer torque plateau and a 10-speed gearbox..

        • William says:

          I have seen online some informal drag races and these electric bikes actually do pretty well. I see your point on a the gas engine working its way through its rpm range for every gear. So it must be using its low rpm weak area every shift. Then the riders skill comes into play with that particular engine to shift at a good point to not lug when entering the higher gear or not wasting time over revving in the current gear to prevent lugging on the upshift. I read the e-bikes are limited by their controllers to not accelerate hard from a stop though, and that cause trouble in offroad situations. Not sure the thinking there. Maybe with a clutch people can control their starts better, but if all you had was throttle then it might be difficult? Just don’t turn the throttle so much and it should start slowly I would think. Could be an industry learning curve type of thing. They dumb it down until people have used it for a while, probably so they don’t get sued rather than an actual riding characteristic.

          • Dave says:

            With electric power, traction, wheelie, and slip control should make a quantum leap from where they are with ICE engines. Look at how fine the control of multi-motor ariel drones are using nothing but propeller speed modulation. From my understanding, electric motos don’t have things like this yet, but it’d be really easy to get to in the near future.

            I’m really interested to see how the new Acura NSX performs (hybrid awd w/electric motors driving the front wheels).

        • jon says:

          Yes, I was just replying to provologna’s point.

          With regards to the Honda accord figures though, any vehicle will accelerate fastest at the point of peak torque though, not hp.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          With only one fixed gear ratio to play with, the torque plateau provided by the electric drivetrain only goes so far. It can be easily matched or bettered by a five or six speed transmission paired to a 250 ICE engine. Of course, one would need the clutch and throttle skills to best the ebike while the ebike rider can just twist and go.

  11. Norm G. says:

    1.5hrs run time seems decent. assuming one is not actually riding sustained that whole time that should be just enough to cover the ~1.5hr charge time on a swappable second battery. now the only question is what does one have to pay for the privilege of having this stand-by battery…?

    • Bob K says:

      It’s been more than a few years since Brammo hit the market. I seem to remember their spare batteries were close to $2000 for their largest capacity, out of the 3 sizes they offered. Still needed to buy a portable charger. And at home, with this one, you need to run a 240v line into your garage, which isn’t typical. More cost. Only reason I have 240VAC in my garage in TX is for a 2 stage air compressor and a 36,000 BTU Friedrich A/C.

      As battery tech is still a race to the future, the capacities may be going up, but I doubt the prices are going down.

  12. MIGUEL ZEDRX says:

    Why is it still so heavy? I thought lithium batts were so light, is it the motor that weighs so much? Man, if it was under 200lb. that would be a wild ride!

    • Tom R says:

      244 pounds is heavy? Claimed dry weight for a current 250 EX-C is 221 pounds. Add gas and oil (not needed by the electric bike), and your are just about there. And I understand that electrons are very, very light.

      Wild enough, I think.

    • Bart says:

      Yeah, light is right. These days, I’m leaning towards these: https://www.electricbike.com/10-fastest-ebikes/

      They’re super light, usually cost less than the e-motos and can go places I can’t take my gas motos. Pros and cons to both for sure, but these things are really going places now.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      “I thought lithium batts were so light”

      Compared to a lead-acid battery, sure. Compared to a tank of gasoline, not so much. It’s all relative.

      Still, for something designed to take the abuse seen by Enduro bikes and sporting a 3.9 kwh battery, this thing is pretty darn light.

      • Bob K says:

        “Still, for something designed to take the abuse seen by Enduro bikes and sporting a 3.9 kwh battery, this thing is pretty darn light.”

        You got that right. Just one look at the pictures and one would notice the battery is direct-mounted to the motor. Not rubber-mount isolated but direct-mounted.

        What kills batteries quick? Heat and vibration. That battery is likely built like a tank to withstand the shock of a rigid, direct-mount and being used as a dirt bike.

  13. Bob K says:

    I really like what they’re doing. Hi-tech composite frames, in-mold graphics, quick charging, power modes, low weight ready to ride and a 1.5″ lower seat height than the gas powered bikes.

    Range could still be an issue, as always. Some of the forest loops I do take 2 hours. I think an emergency battery pack, similar to that of a cordless drill, that provides 10 minutes of emergency power would be a cool idea. I can’t push a bike over hill and over dale anymore. So, an MSR fuel bottle is always in my Camelback. Why not an electric equivalent that could plug into a port like on cordless tools? If it’s a “smart port” that automatically activates ECO mode or an even lower powered limp home mode, it might be enough to get to a main road in some places.

    I’d also like to see this in a street package ala CBR 300/Ninja 300. I could care less for a SM version. SMs are fun for going out and riding like a bastard on short spurts, not so fun for actually commuting, IMO. The Zuki DR-Z400SM is real cool as a street bike though. I could definitely make use of this Monday through Friday in a street package.

  14. William says:

    KTM went to a 3.9 kWh battery instead of 2.6. A move in the right direction. Maybe the smaller motor on this bike compared to the Alta and Zero will give it more range. I have read some on this topic and there seems to be a difference in opinion. Perhaps all these motors are close enough in size and efficiency that the energy used to move the bike up a hill will be the same amount for all of them, so the smaller motor won’t get increased range like happens with gas motors. I don’t know. Anyway it is a nice looking bike with what sounds like good updates, and motor output that is about right for people that like 250-300cc bikes like me. Can we expect updates every year now? Are they really serious about this bike now?
    They said they will have a focus on commuting in the future. However, I don’t see that this bike is street legal, and 3.9 is low for commuting. So maybe they have other ideas for maybe new and different bikes. Surely KTM made a version of this bike sold as street legal? Maybe they really are serious if they start making more bikes. Hopefully they will not drop interest in the offroad and dual sport category.

    • Bob K says:

      Are they serious? I hope so. Several years ago I was super excited about the gas powered version of the Freeride. At 27 HP and more friendly chassis geometry, I was thinking, “Great! A KTM I can control, rather than it controlling me.” Could get it in Mexico, but not here. So I bought something else.

      No, not street legal yet. Just enough lighting to pass regulations for riding BLM and national forest land. Wouldn’t take much to add what you need for the street.

    • Dave says:

      I see this as the R&D project for the tech that other bikes can be built on. Range for commuting won’t be a problem once the power output is scaled back to a reasonable amount. Besides, the best opportunities for ev commuting are short hops into the city, where overall range is better. Long range will always be tough for e-motos on the highway. They’re just too aerodynamically draggy..