Small Carbon Footprint Plus Off-Road Fun

Our European brothers and sisters have reaped the benefits of KTM’s electric dirtbikes for a few years now, and the Austrian heavyweight is finally bringing its Freeride E-XC over to our side of the pond. KTM put together a pilot program that will see its electric enduro at 11 U.S. dealerships as a sort of market test to see if the domestic market will support such machines. The E-XC brings 22-ponies and 31-pounds o’ grunt to the table in a 238-pound package, but of course the real selling points are the reduced/displaced carbon footprint, reduced noise and inexpensive operation. At $8,299, the price point falls out in the same general neighborhood as its smoker sibling the Freeride 250R at $7,999, but since current electricity prices makes for a roughly one-cent-mile it won’t take long at all to amortize the difference in initial cost. Plus it’s quiet, clean and less of a fire hazard out in the wilderness than its ICE equivalents.

Continue reading for more on the KTM Freeride E-XC.

What’s The Buzz?

2017 KTM Freeride E-XC
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“KTM has created this pilot program as a way to better understand the level of consumer interest in electric motorcycles, which will assist us in future planning when considering serial production of electric motorcycles in the coming years,” according to KTM/NA VP of sales, Tom Etherington.

This is an exciting development for a number of reasons. Electric vehicles are still struggling for mainstream acceptance here in the States, partially because of a lack of infrastructure, but mainly because the U.S. is freakin’ huge and the ranges available with most electrics don’t meet our needs. This here is a different animal. It’s a two-wheeled ride that can be used to rip around your favorite trails or even a track.

The battery is an easy swap, so you can extend your riding pleasure with a quick stop-and-switch at your camp or in the pit, that is if you foot the bill for a second, three-grand-plus battery. Charging is quick with a flat-to-80 percent charge time of only 50 minutes and flat-to-full in an hour and 20 minutes, but you can disabuse yourself of the notion that your campground generator will do the job, ’cause the charger takes 220 V service to operate.

That said, home charging is a viable option, but you’d better be able to wear yourself out in about an hour depending on your riding style. I realize this is only a dirtbike, but perception is a major factor in gaining acceptance, and seeing viable EVs of any sort is a good thing, M’Kay?

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TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
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