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And the best thing about KTM’s 22hp Freeride E: It’s somehow learner-legal

Learner bike with torque of a CBR500R and weight of a moped. Shame about the price

KTM’S NEW Freeride E-SM will slip under the 15hp power limit for learners despite making a peak of 22hp, Visordown can reveal. 

The electric supermoto makes as much torque as a CBR500R at 31lbft, while weighing around the same as a 50cc scooter at 106kg.

The same is true of the Freeride E-XC, the road-legal enduro version sharing nearly all components with the SM except wheels, tyres, brakes and gearing.

The XC was launched yesterday in Saalbach, Austria, where KTM announced the SM supermoto version would be unveiled in two weeks at the Intermot Cologne motorcycle show.

Both are due to go on sale next year, making 7hp more than the learner-legal limit.

But because of the way EU tests are conducted, measuring power sustainable over a given range, they managed to earn a ‘rated’ figure of 15hp, within the limit. 

It gives learners the kind of power-to-weight ratio they haven’t known since de-restricted two-stroke 125s – except now it’s legal.

Unfortunately, it’s going to cost them a bit more than an old stroker. The Freeride E-XC's price was confirmed yesterday as £10,299. The E-SM is likely to be similarly priced.

There's also a question mark over whether both versions of the Freeride E could make even more power and weigh less. Official KTM specifications, from the first unveiling in 2011 until shortly before yesterday's press launch, were 30hp and 95kg. The spec sheet has been edited on KTM's website but it's still possible to see the orginal version on a Google cached page.  

Under EU rules, motorcycles are not allowed to achieve the learner-legal 'A1' power limit by having their performance restricted. Instead they are supposed to be produced to that performance level in the first place.