Austria’s motorcycle juggernaut KTM saw the e-train a-comin’ 10 years ago, when its Mattighofen R&D unit began developing electric models. Last autumn KTM introduced its second-generation Freeride E-XC, which recently arrived at select US dealers, boasting 18 kW (24.5 hp) of peak power with 42 Nm (almost 31 pound-feet) of torque for 90 minutes of silent dirt-pounding.

Rotating mass is one of the main weight-stealing culprits. The Freeride E-XC benefits from lightweight wheels made with high-end anodized aluminum Giant rims, fitted to CNC-machined hubs with lightweight aluminum spoke nipples. A 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel roll on Maxxis Trialmaxx tires. [KTM AG]
Even if motocross isn’t your cup of tea, it’s KTM’s present-future tech we’re talking about here, and how it could change the landscape of ICE and motorcycling. KTM sells a tad more than 200,000 bikes annually, just 40,000 or so less than the mighty Harley-Davidson.

KTM’s suspension subsidiary is WP, and the new XPlor 43 fork (43mm upside-down fork legs with 250 mm of travel) handles bump munching up front, with a WP PDS shock absorber in back. [KTM AG]
“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,” CEO Stefan Pierer said. “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.”

In addition to the 245-pound Freeride E-XC, Pierer plans an e-mini and an e-scooter, with an emphasis on machines from 250 watts to 11kWh as technology evolves and consumer demand increases.

Flip up the seat to use the external charger, which can be connected to any regular 230V socket fused at 10A or 13A and can be easily connected to the KTM PowerPack. Charging time is just under two hours for a full charge, or about 75 minutes for an 80 percent charge. [KTM AG]
A WP monoshock rear suspension in a bolt-on aluminum rear subframe [KTM AG]
An enhanced brushless electric motor is controlled by KTM’s proprietary control unit specifically adapted to guarantee a responsive, highly tractable power delivery. Full torque is available from a standstill because there’s no clutch to grab. The updated motor provides 18 instead of 16 kW of peak power in Cross mode 3, matching many motorcycles with combustion engines. Additionally, in Economy mode, the new Freeride E-XC is now able to recuperate deceleration energy during coasting and braking for an additional range boost. Even fully submerged in water, there is no electrical hazard from the sophisticated, fully sealed system of the drivetrain and KTM PowerPack. [KTM AG]
The chassis of the Freeride E-XC includes a steel-aluminum composite frame and a subframe made of high-strength polyamide. What does this mean? Lighter means less power wasted and a bike that’s fun to whip around. [KTM AG]
Since an electric bike needs no clutch, KTM’s logical choice was to mount both brake master cylinders on the handlebar instead of choosing the standard arrangement on motorcycles. This also means the rider doesn’t need to use his or her foot to initiate a drift. The latest Formula brake system features a radial 4-piston front caliper on a 260mm Wave brake disc as well as a 2-piston rear caliper on a matching 230mm rear. New rear brake pads and piston diameters have been reduced by 2 mm in the rear and, combined with a 1mm increase in front disc thickness, for even better control. The new braided front brake hose has an extra tube with an integrated channel to protect the speedometer cable. [KTM AG]
Inserted from above, the removable PowerPack sits on top of the motor, secured by four screws and well protected by the frame tubes. It’s easily swapped for a fully charged one by simply flipping up the seat and opening four screws. This can be accomplished in a matter of seconds, even quicker than refueling a bike with a combustion engine. Additionally, the PowerPack can be fully charged while still mounted in the bike by using the connector beneath the seat. In terms of battery aging, even after 700 charge cycles, the new PowerPack will still provide 70 percent of its initial capacity. [KTM AG]
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