KTM SMX-E Imagined by Piers SP

01/23/2012 @ 12:02 pm, by Jensen Beeler12 COMMENTS

As we already know, the KTM Freeride E will be out in 2012 in limited numbers, as the Austrian brand tests the waters on the electric dirt bike market. Building an electric not because they believe in the technology’s immediate relevancy, but because they believe in its future and want to continue being a market leader, KTM is the first big motorcycle OEM to bring an electric motorcycle to market. Giving Zero Motorcycles (and soon Brammo & BRD) a run for its money, the KTM Freeride E is a modest design with its 30hp (peak) PERM motor and 2.1 kWh battery pack.

As a dyed-in-the-wool street biker, I was a bit disappointed that KTM was only bringing the Freeride E out as a dirt bike, with no supermoto variation available. Thankfully I was not alone in that sentiment, as Kiska Senior Pixel Pusher Piers SP also longed for an electric Austrian backing-it-in machine. The difference of course is that as a blogger, I have no concept of creating something of my own (that’s moto-journo humor right there folks), while Piers SP is a zen voodoo digital samurai (truth). Needless to say, photoshopping ensued.

Before any phone calls get made, we should be clear that this concept sketch is Piers SP’s work alone, and was not commissioned by KTM nor assigned by Kiska, or as Piers would say, “it is just a bike I would like. A day dream.” We’ve featured some of his other day dreams here before on A&R, and his concept of an electric KTM SMX-E is what the professionals would succinctly call “awesome”. KTM has a bit farther to go with the Freeride E before we can start hoping for a street-ready motard version (that is assuming of course that one of the dirt bikes doesn’t get converted by an intrepid owner).

Still, if an actual KTM SMX-E is half as fun as the BRD RedShift SM was when we tested the prototype version at Infineon Raceway last year, KTM would easily find homes for its electric line-up. Hopefully the Austrians stay serious about electrics, and for the love of god put some more battery power in their future offerings.

Source: derestricted

  • Dr. Gellar

    Minus the Red Bull and other racing stickers, it is easy to imagine a future KTM response to the BRD Redshift looking a lot like this.

  • Mike

    Wouldn’t it be nice if KTM actually could produce something like this. I love their products, but as a company they seem to have no idea what direction they are going.

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  • oOOo

    @Mike, In some ways this bike is already in production, it is the SX-F, SMC-R, freeride (E) and an SMR all mixed together and slightly modified. KTM have a very clear idea of where they are going, and in the offroad world that is to the top step of the podium where they are winning everything, from the Dakar to enduro, to motorcross and finally now for the first time with their new SX-F which is a big part of the bike above, in the AMA Supercross.

  • loki

    Looks nice, but before adding the stickers, don’t forget the “onboard loud mono- sound generator”. Otherwise it just won’t be a KTM…

  • mxs

    I am not sure that KTM needs to respond to any of the smaller “electric” companies out there, like Zero or BRD. Once the battery technology is out there available at price point and density the big manufacturers can justify selling in big series, the game will be over for the smaller guys … it’s just a matter of time. In a way I feel sorry for them, but you simply cannot just erase the long term experience in making motorcycles in a couple of years. Right now they seem to be getting sales thanks to the first adopters and well off enthusiasts …. but that well will dry up real quick.

    The real KTM Freeride E is the best electric attempt out there by far. The amount of R&D has put into it cannot be matched by any of the smaller companies. The real bike looks much lighter than the rendering here where the author basically has used rolling chassis of their gas bike and slapped in an electric motor and batter. It’s nice, but way too heavier than it needs to be …

    I am not knocking the smaller guys, but the clock is ticking ….. look at the cars. Anybody else but Tesla left?

  • Mike

    @oOOo your right when it comes to the dirt side of the company. They are doing great. The street side of things is a different story. No new SuperDuke , no new 690 Duke, no 125 Duke, no 200 Duke, the only street products we have to choose for 2012 is RC8 or what ever is left on dealers stock from past years. I truly love this brand with the quality they serve up but guys get it together and market your street side of things. No one knows about it. The only people that know are familiar with the brand already and that’s only those who have bought into it. So many times I’m out riding my SuperDuke and a lot of motorcycle riders have never seen one or even know what it is. There’s a lot to choose from out in the market, but buyers will never choose your company if they don’t know about it. I just wish they would promote their street divison as much as they do for dirt and adventure.

  • Westward

    With the name recognition and the history behind KTM, all they have to do is undercut the existing electric companies, and they would bury them… Then with Honda jumping into the fray, all the electrics would end up like Solyndra, regardless of how much money they have in their war chest…

    And I was looking forward to having those new players involved…

  • It doesn’t need too much of a bigger pack for 45 minute session dirt duty, but more power. For super moto, it needs both power and battery capacity. The bike is already a year behind the Zero’s MX bike. And BRD’s bike, ha! I think people assume way too much that the ICE comanies can just flip a switch and start making electric motors and such. It’s not that easy. And people have been making electric motors for 100 years, and own patents and rights, as do controller and battery companies. And these companies aren’t going to roll over, you have to buy their stuff. And if they have a deal with someone else already, then tough noogies. I think the fact KTM did the right thing and sourced things from other companies (mostly German or Austrian) is proof of that.

  • Dr. Gellar

    KTM’s Freeride E can be considered more or less a play bike (as KTM has pretty much come out and said already), while BRD’s Redshift will be closer to an full-blown electric equivalent of a 250cc 4-stroke MX\supermoto bike. Should the Redshift prove successful (both in sales and on the track), KTM would likely want to “respond” with an electric bike of their own with more power and overall performance than what the Freeride E will likely have to offer on the track…if it wants to compete in that niche of the market. Such a bike would more than likely be outwardly similar to what is shown in this article.

  • mxs

    I really don’t understand the need to respond to … who? A few companies who sold hundreds bikes at best, most of them have not delivered any at all. The reason the big guys are not jumping fully in yet, is because they know they cannot make money selling them enough with the battery being the biggest obstacle (it’s not only about whether a pack will last 45 min ride …. it’s about much more than that). What about battery warranties, firmware/controller updates as the batteries and other gizmos develop (nobody wants to talk about it). How will the consumers investment be protected? These are all the questions the big guys have to have a solid answer for. The small guys, not so, as they rely on high price and first adopters to be patient and understanding …..

    Once the obstacles are removed, the companies who know how to make a motorcycle will just resource a partner to provide battery, motor and black box to control it, in the beginning. Later, who knows? But there’s no way the smaller companies will be able to keep up with processes tested for decades. It takes a lot of experience to mass produce a vehicle with a success.

    I want to see the motor/battery/controller manufacturer with reputation who will say no to Honda, because they sell few units to someone else … they’d be crazy and stupid if they ever signed an exclusive contract with one of the small manufacturers.

    I do agree that if the smaller companies will be around long enough and they are successful in sales and performance, the big boys will have to keep their eye on them. But that’s many ifs. For now, I don’t think they have to exactly be loosing sleep over either BRD, ZERO or Brammo bikes.

  • Dr. Gellar

    I very much appreciate all of your insight, but my statement about KTM ever responding to BRD’s Redshift is simple really. Again, the Redshift will likely be, of all the current electric dirt bikes coming out that I’m aware of, the closest to being the electric equivalent of a 250cc 4-stroke MX\supermoto bike (which I believe is BRD’s stated goal) in overall performance. Their product will (likely) be the first in this niche of the market. So if it all works out for BRD and again, if their bike is successful regarding sales and track performance, then the Redshift will set the example for any other potential competitors in the 250cc 4-stroke MX\supermoto electric equivalent niche to follow…to respond to. That includes KTM, Honda, Zero, Brammo…any of them.