Electric motorcycles are still in the early stages of public adoption, but one of the major manufacturers that have been making a push into the electrically powered market is KTM. With 2018 around the corner, buyers will be happy to know that the Freeride E-XC will be landing on US soil, albeit in limited quantities.
This next evolution of the Austrian motorcycle boasts a more robust electric package, with a more powerful motor and larger capacity battery pack. The system is liquid cooled, keeping the motor happy when running at peak power of 24hp and an impressive 31 lbs-ft of torque, putting it on par with 250cc ICE powered machines. Expected run time is around 80 minutes and reaches 80% charge in 50 minutes. You'll be able to charge up at least 700 times and maintain 80% of its initial capacity, which isn't shabby considering the wear on a normal two or four-stroke motor would be in need of. If you'd like to opt for an extra battery pack it'll cost you a steep $3600. Coming in at 238 pounds the E-XC isn't a featherweight, but keep in mind the more compact center of gravity and the lack of rotating mass. The suspension is kept compliant like most KTM machines with a WP setup but is probably best suited for trail rides rather than big jumps.
For anyone who's ridden an electric motorcycle, the platform of dirtbikes is an excellent showcase for the potential of electrically powered machines in general. Where low down grunt is key to getting out of a corner or sliding on an uphill climb through sand, getting torque down to the ground can be tricky while trying to feather a clutch and maintain balance.
The main question from KTM's press launch is what about the price... At $8,299 KTM has a track record of selling electric bikes competitively.
To see the E-XC in action check out the video below.
While visually I find this video very enjoyable, I can't help but feel that it was an opportunity missed with the music. It's kind of a bland beat that is very interchangeable, also a small moment of silence to show the appeal of a quiet motorcycle amongst nature would have made a more impactful statement of where these motorcycles could be ridden, considering the pressure for a cleaner, quieter vehicle romping around in our natural world.