As we count down the days until 2013, it’s time for a look back at the year that was in motorcycles. Here now, is our top ten motorcycle news stories of 2012. Check back for three separate lists, our top off-beat motorcycle news stories of the year, ten news stories to look forward to next […]
2012 KTM Freeride 350 Deliveries Begin
KTM has started production of its light-weight Freeride 350 and units are already on their way to dealerships. Unfortunately, those of us in North America have to wait a while longer, with the infamous leaked Powerpoint slide from KTM’s dealer meeting listing the Freeride 350 as part of its 2013 offerings.
Still, we can’t help but be captivated by the photograph above released by KTM. A rider and his KTM Freeride 350 appear to be attempting to cross some sort of chasm by shimmying across on a cable. Riding on the Freeride is no doubt more fun than what this KTM rider is trying to do, but the image does help illustrate one of the bike’s key features: it’s light weight.
KTM claims the Freeride 350 weighs just 99.5 kg (219.4 pounds), without fuel. Based on this image, we believe it. By comparison, the new Honda CRF250L has a claimed weight of 315 pounds. Both use single-cylinder engines claiming a peak output of 22.8 hp, but with the KTM weighs 30% less. And like the CRF250L, the KTM Freeride 350 is homologated for the street.
The light weight was achieved by using a new chrome-molybdenum steel frame with forged aluminum elements. The subframe is made of a high-strength plastic, and it is used to house the electronic components of the engine management system. The 1.45 gallon fuel tank is not only plastic but semi-transparent, allowing the rider to see how much fuel is left inside.
Also helping reduce weight are the Freeride’s lightweight wheels, featuring CNC-machined hubs and aluminum rims.
Suspension is provided by a fully-adjustable 43mm WP upside-down fork with 250mm of travel and a WP PDS shock with 260mm of travel at the rear.
Let’s hope KTM sticks to the schedule on that Powerpoint slide and bring the Freeride 350 to North America next year, along with its two electric varients, the Freeride E SX and Freeride E EXC.
[Source: KTM; Photo by Barbanti A.]
KTM North America Plans for 2012-2014 Leaked from Dealer Meeting