A new section for the 2015 KTM Freeride 250R has appeared on the manufacturer’s U.S. site. No official announcement has been made so this might just be a simple slip-up by KTM’s webmasters, but if not, the two-stroke Freeride 250R may be coming to the U.S. market.
The 250R appears on the Freeride tab which was only added recently on KTM’s U.S. website. This doesn’t necessarily prove that the Freeride 250R is coming, it’s important to note the page only lists the 250R while the same page on KTM’s European sites includes the Freeride 350 as well as the electric Freeride E-XC, E-SX and E-SM. If the U.S. page was a mistake, it likely would have included all of the Freeride models instead of just the 250R.
We will wait for official confirmation but we expect one to come shortly. (UPDATE: a member of the ADVRider forum says KTM North America is stocking hard parts for the Freeride and he has already placed an order.)
First introduced in Europe as a 2014 model, the Freeride 250R is billed as lightweight off-road warrior, claiming a weight (without fuel) of 204 pounds. By comparison, Yamaha‘s two-stroke YZ250 claims a fully-fueled weight of 227 pounds. Even factoring in about a full 1.8 gallons of fuel on the Freeride, the KTM should have an advantage in weight.
The Freeride 250R is powered by a 249cc two-stroke Single derived from KTM’s 250 EXC enduro machine. The Freeride engine has a new cylinder, piston and valve timing but lacks the EXC’s exhaust control system. According to KTM, the Freeride 250R’s engine weighs 4.4 pounds lighter than the EXC’s powerplant.
The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission specifically designed for the Freeride offering short gear ratios and an extended overdrive sixth gear. The undamped coil spring steel clutch was also specifically tuned for the Freeride to offer easy and precise control.
The expansion chamber is slimmer than the one used on the EXC, running through the chrome-molybdenum steel frame towards the undertail silencer.
The steel frame is matched by a subframe made of lightweight high-strength plastic. The subframe has integrated grip recesses making it easier for riders to grab should the rear wheel get stuck in mud and the bike needs to be pulled free.
Continuing on the lightweight theme, the swingarm weighs in at just 7 pounds while still promising high torsional stiffness and stability. The swingarm is connected to a PDS shock from WP Suspension offering separate high- and low-speed compression damping adjustment. WP also provides the upside-down 43mm fork with adjustable rebound and compression.
Formula supplies the braking system which consists of a radial-mount four-piston caliper up front and a two-piston caliper at the rear.
Other features include a 36-inch seat height, four-way adjustable handelbar, digital instrument cluster, lightweight cast foot pegs, CNC-machined hubs and Maxxis tires.
No prices were listed, obviously, as we still await official confirmation that the Freeride 250R would be imported to the U.S. Let’s hope that confirmation will come soon.
[Source: KTM, ADVRider forum; Studio photos by Mitterbauer H.]