Freeride E Electric Bike Hits The Trails

With all the new models of electric motorcycles making their debuts lately, some folks may wonder why there seems to be so many motocross style bikes on the market. It just so happens the electric motorbikes are extremely good at the off-road, highly-technical style of riding. Since an electric bike doesn’t have a clutch, there is no shifting needed. While on a trail, shifting effects balance — you have to use both your feet and your handlebar shifter — not to mention speed. When a bike is shifted, you lose a bit of power to the back wheel while the new gear is engaged. Electric bikes deliver this power (called torque) much more evenly than internal combustion machines and since they don’t employ gears, that power distribution is much more even and dependable, no matter the speed.

Austrian-based motorcycle manufacturer KTM recently unveiled its new electric motocross bike, the Freeride. The bike features a 300 volt battery and a brushless, synchronous motor that supplies 29 horsepower and about 32 ft.-lb. of torque. In comparison, that’s about the same performance you could expect from a 125 cc, two-stroke bike, but with about twice the torque.


image via KTM Motorcycles

KTM says the bike has an operating time of about 90 minutes, but if that’s not enough time in the saddle, the battery pack features a quick-change system. Pop in another and go. A full battery change takes about 90 minutes.

That power plant is housed in a lightweight steel and aluminum frame. Motor, power electronics, battery – any and all driveline components have been 100 percent dust and water proofed. The Freeride E features standard motocross 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels, compression and rebound adjustable suspension and an braking system with a four-pot caliper up front and a two-pot counterpart on the rear.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.


  • Reply December 1, 2011


    Electric motocross bikes also are narrower. They handle better in tighter, more technical areas where the extra weight and higher center of gravity of a gas bike are au00a0hindrance. Honestly this looks like a direct rip off of the early Zero X & MX electric motorcycles, if anything it looks like a generation behind. That said it is good to see a significant player step up to the electric field.nnElectric bikes also have other advantages: no toxic liquids to leak, low noise, and much smaller fire risk. These are all things that MXers have to contend with when land use comes up and the electric bikes virtually eliminate these issues.

  • Reply December 1, 2011

    Bill Mills

    Technical corrections:nn”you have to use both your feet and your handlebar shifter” – In standard motorcycle configurations, the shifter is controlled with the left foot, and the clutch is on the handlebars. Shifters are common on bicycle handlebars, not motorcycle handlebars.nn”u00a0the battery pack features a quick-change system. Pop in another and go. A full battery change takes about 90 minutes.” I wouldn’t exactly call 90 minutes a quick-change. I suspect that’s a typo and should read “A full battery charge takes about 90 minutes.”n

    • Reply December 1, 2011


      “quick-change”,not “quick-charge”. 90min is the full charge time.

  • Reply December 2, 2011


    Hi Bill,nAllow me to clarify. When I wrote “While on a trail, shifting effects balance u2014 you have to use both your feet and your handlebar shifter u2014 not to mention speed,” it should have read “handlebar clutch lever” in place of handlebar shifter. As for the quick-change battery system, the battery pack is designed to be popped in and outu00a0 and quickly replaced with another battery. Charging the battery takes 90 minutes.u00a0 nnThanks for your notes!nn– Steve Duda

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