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Does KTM have an electric future?

KTM Freeride E XC
KTM Freeride E XC

If KTM has an electric future, they are certainly in no hurry.

As global product marketing manager Diego Arioli points out, the Freeride E electric trials bike has been around in concept form for a couple of years and is only now reaching production in limited numbers. It won’t be coming to Australia, either.

KTM E-SPEED electric scooter
KTM E-SPEED electric scooter

While the company has reversed its decision on the Speed-E electric scooter, Diego isn’t ruling out an electric future.

“The Freeride E is there to test whether there is a market for electric bikes,” he says.

“Potentially the market is ready now as long as it is a properly done bike that has a decent range.

“We believe the market is ready for this bike because range is not really an issue for trials bikes or dirt-track bikes.”

Diego says if they had kicked off their EV program with a bigger bike the customer would expect more range.

“We don’t want to stretch the technology now but as soon as it is right for what they need we will be ready for the market.

“It also has to fit into our ‘Ready to Race’ motto.”

There are two versions of the Freeride E, the SX racer and the road-legal XC aimed at commuters and learners, but only available in Europe in limited numbers.

Prices are €10,995 for the SX (about $14,100) and €11,295 for the XC (about $14,500).

The Freeride E weighs only 104kg and features both brakes on the handlebars like a bicycle as there is no clutch lever. The company hopes that arrangement will be familiar to cyclists who it hopes to win over for commuting.