The writing has been on the wall for sometime now, as the entire electric motorcycle community has been waiting for a major OEM to debut its own electric motorcycle. Answering that call, KTM unveiled at EICMA today the new 2012 KTM Freeride E. Saying that as the leading off-road motorcycle manufacturer (KTM accounts for about 50% of the worldwide dirt bike market), the Austrian motorcycle manufacturer could not afford to sit idly by while other companies innovated in its space.

Built along the Freeride’s ride anywhere mantra, the KTM Freeride E comes with 2.1kWh of battery power on-board, and is powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor. With a rated output of 10hp, KTM says the electric motor is good for 30hp peak, with a maximum of 300 Volts going through the system. Helped by its small battery size, the Freeride E weighs only 204 lbs and can be recharged off a 220V socket in 90 minutes. As for range, KTM has an interesting rating system for the electric Freeride, quoting a 20 minute ride time in the hands of a professional, while the KTM Freeride E is rated to last 45 minutes in the hands of an amateur.

KTM will be initially only selling 100 units in early 2012, as the Austrian company wants to test the electric dirt bike market before going into full production. If those market test show a market, then KTM will pursue full-scale production. Accordingly, KTM hasn’t released pricing on the 2012 KTM Freeride E beyond that it will be less than €10,000, though looking at the components the ‘Ready to Race’ company could be able to undercut Brammo, Zero, and BRD. Obviously with a distribution, sales, and support network already in place, KTM has a leg up on these other electric motorcycle companies.

The question I’ve been asking, about what happens when a major OEM enters this space, still remains, though we will soon get a glimpse to that question’s answer. What will be interesting to see is whether KTM’s entry disrupts the electric motorcycle space, which would make for some good irony, as the current crop of electric startups are supposed to be the disruptors in the motorcycle industry. Chewy.

Source: KTM

  • Dr. Gellar

    Hopefully within a year from now we will see a head-to-head shoot-out comparison between the off-road electrics from Brammo, BRD, KTM and Zero. I’m really interested to see how each of these brand’s offerings match-up against one another.

  • This would have been very exciting news in 2009.

  • 76

    Make it a street legal supermoto at 7 to 8k and I will be there.

    “Other” Electric manufacturers, please take note what an electric can look like if you actually have designers worth a damm or at all.

  • konalight

    Not to bad for a first although way behind from what is technically feasible.
    See also:
    Then again for a price below 10 grand, one cannot expect more than the package offered by KTM (and others…)

  • October 29 2008 KTM announced this bike as “race ready”. Now just 3 years later it’s been announced (again) with a firm date to possibly consider a limited release of test bikes at some point next year. Following on from that at some undisclosed point in the far flung future there’s a definate possiblity of a chance that you might one day see one from a distance on a podium at a trade show.

  • @Konalight – that projected price by KTM was in euros, not dollars. 10,000 euros is about $13,600 at the current exchange rate.

    I like the looks of this bike but wonder about that relatively small battery … and the choice to go with DC Agni motors. One thing we’ve learned from TTXGP is that these motors have “issues.”

  • BikePilot

    I like it a lot! Looks like a very fun backyard toy. I’d really like this power package wrapped up in a trials bike chassis. There the very limited range would be less of an issue, especially if it came with an extra battery pack or two so I could swap out for a fresh one for each loop.

    Something is wacky with the hugely different am vs pro figures. By am maybe they mean total noob, not am racer. I race am off road and seem to burn about the same amount of fuel as pros, maybe a little less (in terms of gph, but only ’cause I usually cover less ground in a given amount of time), but certainly not less than half. Racing both harescrambles and desert I’ve found that I make the same pitstops on similar bikes with similar fuel tank sizes as pros. Usually takes me 25% more time to get to the stops, so if you go by time rather than distance maybe I’d use about 25% less fuel. I suspect that on something of this power the difference between an am and pro would be negligible, if any (and might be the other way around as the pro will maintain higher corner speed).

    The re-charge would be a heck of a slow pitstop though :D

  • Gary

    Game on! Sorry Brammo and ZERO, you had your chance.

  • Damo

    If anyone can do it, the off-road heroes at KTM can, BUT it still needs to be cheaper to appeal outside the novelty market.

    I think we are in the “leather helmet” era of electric motorcycles currently and thing will only get better and cheaper from here on out.

    Remember when a 40inch TV cost $5,ooo USD?

  • KTM might sell half the dirt bikes in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, but it certainly doesn’t control 50% of the world market for off-road motorcycles. Where did that statistic come from?

  • KTM’s EICMA presentation.

  • juan ramirez

    how much the bike