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2012 KTM Freeride 350

It doesn’t look a whole lot like a bike that can’t take the rigors of motocross riding, but don’t mistake KTM Freeride 350 for a flimsy lightweight; it is far more impressive than it looks.

The new KTM Freeride 350 unites extremely easy handling with a low seat height and outstanding ergonomics, thanks in part to weighing only 99.5 kilos/219 lbs. With its lightweight structure, the Freeride 350 allows the rider to always be completely in control, even on the toughest trails, whether it be rough terrain, narrow single tracks, or wide gravel roads.

In addition, the Freeride 350’s state-of-the-art 350 cm³ DOHC four-stroke engine has proven to be the ideal drive unit for this vehicle concept and scores highly in every situation with controllable, torque-oriented performance characteristics. The engine management system from Keihin with electronic fuel injection and 42 mm throttle body ensures spontaneous, powerful responsiveness and handling, as well as makes a significant contribution to the low fuel consumption. Convenient temperature, altitude compensation, and the electronic cold-start enrichment are state of the art as is the closed-loop lambda control, which comes as a prerequisite for the efficient reduction of exhaust emissions by the two catalytic converters.

Another exceptional feature of the Freeride 350’s engine is set-up is the design of the exhaust system where engineers focused their attention on low noise levels and emissions, as well as very rideable, high-torque engine characteristics. The exhaust gases are fed through a central header pipe underneath the engine, protected by the frame and a sturdy under-run plate, to the two aluminum silencers. Each of these is equipped with a catalytic converter, effectively reducing both emissions and riding noise to an environmentally friendly level.

Find out more about the KTM Freeride 350 after the jump.

Engine

KTM Freeride 350

Based on the successful power unit of the 350 EXC-F, the engine of the Freeride 350 has nevertheless been redesigned for the new vehicle concept. In so doing, the kickstarter has been dispensed with for the benefit of minimal weight and more compact dimensions and a new engine case has been developed in ultra-light, die-cast (instead of sand-cast) aluminum. By re-dimensioning the exhaust and airbox, the engineers consciously designed the engine for torque rather than race performance in order to retain as effective - i.e. high-traction and power-saving - engine characteristics as possible, above all in tough terrain.

Four steel valves control the charge exchange process, guaranteeing highest levels of durability. They are actuated by means of two overhead camshafts and DLC-coated cam followers. The top engine speed is 10,000 1/min. With a respectable maximum output of 23 hp, the engine produces more than enough power to climb the steepest of slopes with the greatest of ease.

The engine management system from Keihin with electronic fuel injection and 42 mm throttle body ensures spontaneous, powerful responsiveness and handling, as well as making a significant contribution to the low fuel consumption. Convenient temperature and altitude compensation, and the electronic cold-start enrichment are state of the art. Closed-loop lambda control is a prerequisite for the efficient reduction of exhaust emissions by the two catalytic converters. Additional engine characteristics can be activated with an optional map select switch.

A smoothly operated clutch with integrated hub damping and effective diaphragm spring makes it possible to keep the whole clutch package extremely compact and light. The clutch is equipped with a wear-free steel basket, 8 steel carrier lining discs and extremely heat-resistant friction linings. These are pre-tensioned by means of a diaphragm spring, substantially reducing the operating force required to pull the clutch. The hydraulic clutch actuation system from Formula was developed especially for the Freeride 350 and guarantees energy-saving and easily controllable modulation.

Chassis and Suspension

KTM Freeride 350

The suspension of the Freeride 350 has been specially designed for this vehicle and complies with the high KTM standard. Together with the high quality, CNC-machined triple clamps, a new 43 mm WP upside-down fork with 250 mm suspension travel provides for superb stability, excellent responsiveness and outstanding damping. At the rear, a newly developed PDS shock absorber with 260 mm, linked directly to the swingarm, guarantees maximum suspension comfort and sufficient safety, even on the most demanding terrain. Both rebound and compression stages can be set to suit the rider and the conditions on the suspension components, with high and low-speed compression damping also being adjustable on the shock absorber.

A completely new composite frame design made from high quality chrome-molybdenum steel, combined with forged aluminum elements, forms the backbone of the Freeride 350. The front steel frame profiles are combined with the multifunctional aluminum profiles by means of sturdy threaded joints. This revolutionary frame concept is responsible for high levels of tracking stability and safety, as well as minimum weight. A frame geometry selected for high agility with a relatively steep steering head angle and short wheelbase benefits the rider above all in tough terrain.

A subframe made from high-strength plastic is bolted to the main frame by means of a stable triangular connection and provides sufficient space for the electronic components of the engine management system. This solution makes a major contribution to the lightweight construction concept of the vehicle.

Bodywork

KTM Freeride 350

The bodywork of the Freeride 350 has been designed completely from scratch. The result is practical ergonomics with unrestricted freedom of movement due to the extremely slim seat and spoiler lines, and bodywork with excellent contact points between rider and machine. Well protected from dirt, grip recesses integrated in the plastic subframe provide an effective hold should the rear wheel ever become stuck in the mud. Furthermore, the front fender and headlight mask are also new designs for the Freeride 350.

The long, slender seat ensures unrestricted freedom of movement and a very good level of seating comfort for this operational use. It can be tipped up easily for filling the bike with fuel by means of an intelligent seat locking system. With a seat height of only 895 mm, the Freeride 350 always provides the rider with good ground contact and therefore better riding safety, even in tough terrain.

Fuel Tank

KTM Freeride 350

The fuel tank made from transparent plastic lies well protected between the upper frame profiles beneath the seat. The capacity of approx. 5.5 l is sufficient with the economical four-stroke engine featuring fuel injection, even for longer tours. Thanks to the transparent material, the fuel level can easily be made out from the exterior and a low-fuel light positioned between steering head and seat gives an additional indication. An easily accessible and well protected air filter cartridge is housed at the rear of the fuel tank and its height enables a decidedly good wad depth.

Equipment

There are plenty of features on the new KTM 350 Freeride that make it stand out from other brands. For example, the prestigious composite frame and the plastic subframe, the high quality, fully adjustable WP suspension combined with machined triple clamps, the variably mounted foot rests, the comfortable hydraulic clutch and, not least, the extra-light, elaborately styled wheels.

Rideability

KTM Freeride 350

Light, maneuverable and extremely easy to control. Thanks to an innovative frame concept coupled with the powerful 350 cm³ DOHC four-stroke engine, the Freeride 350 is equipped for the toughest passages and offroad sections. In this model, KTM has united its offroad experience with the demands for an agile vehicle. With indescribable ease, the Freeride also conquers virtually insurmountable obstacles and delivers all the higher a fun factor, the tougher the terrain becomes.

Specifications

KTM Freeride 350
DesignSingle-cylinder, 4-stroke, spark-ignition engine, liquid-cooled
Displacement349.7 cm³
Bore88 mm
Stroke57.5 mm
Starting aidElectric starter
Transmission6-speed, claw shifted
Engine lubricationForced oil lubrication with 2 Eaton pumps
Primary gear ratio24:73
Secondary gear ratio11:48
Cooling systemLiquid cooling system, continuous circulation of cooling liquid with water pump
ClutchWet multi-disc clutch / hydraulically operated
Ignition systemContactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment
FramePerimeter steel-aluminum composite frame
ForkWP Suspension4357 MXMA
Shock absorberWP Suspension 4618 PDS DCC
Suspension travel front250 mm
Suspension travel rear260 mm
Brake system frontFormula disc brakes
Brake system rearFormula disc brakes
Brake discs - diameter front240 mm
Brake discs - diameter rear210 mm
Chain5/8 x 1/4” X‑Ring
Steering head angle67°
Wheelbase1,418±10 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded)325 mm
Seat height (unloaded)895 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx.5.5 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 RON)
Weight without fuel approx.99.5 kg

Quotes

Motorcycle-USA----"The swingarm is aluminum, but it’s difficult to tell if the rear shock employs a linkage or not. The electric version does not. Many of the components look similar to full-size KTM dirt bikes with wave rotor, dual-piston caliper front brake, electric start, hydraulic clutch (indicating a manual transmission), angular bodywork (white), Domino hand grips and over-sized, crossbar-less aluminum handlebars."




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