EICMA 2011: KTM Freeride-E Unveiled

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It was only a matter of time before a major manufacturer took the plunge and developed its own electric motorcycle. Well, that time is now. Introduced at EICMA 2011, KTM has unveiled the Freeride-E. The small and nimble Freeride-E is meant to be an off-road vehicle with the capabilities to be ridden virtually anywhere.

Powered by a brushed DC motor from Agni capable of 2.1kWh, the little motor is rated to put out 10 horsepower, though KTM says it’s good for up to 30 horses. Range varies on the Freeride-E, according to KTM, with a “professional” capable of draining the battery in 20 minutes, whereas an “amateur” could ride it up to 45 minutes. If there’s a 220-volt outlet nearby, the Freeride could be fully recharged in 90 minutes. Despite the relatively short riding time it offers, its small battery size contributes to an overall slim and maneuverable motorcycle that weighs in at 204 lbs.

KTM is being cautious in regards to the Freeride’s planned production. Currently, only 100 will be sold in early 2012 while the company dips its toes in the electric bike market. Judging by the response it gets, KTM will then decide to increase production or shelve the project and go back to the drawing board. Pricing is yet to be determined on this small-scale machine, but expect it to be competitive with similar E-bikes on the market. And with KTM’s existing dealer network, the infrastructure is already in place to distribute the Freeride — a hurdle that many other boutique E-bike manufacturers are still struggling with.

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