KTM Freeride: eBike out in 2012

Three models expected to be unveiled at EIMCA in November

KTM'S electric vision is set to become consumer reality as it is expected to be released in 2012, costing less €10,000.

Originally displayed at the 2010 Tokyo motorcycle show, the Freeride prototype was shown in off-road and stunt formats, as three models are expected to be shown at EICMA in November, with street-legal and supermoto versions to join the off-road model.

The electrically driven sports motorcycle venture from KTM marks the first of the major manufacturers to release an e-motorcycle in a project that the Austrian manufacturer have labelled as 'extremely innovative, courageous and full of sporting ambition'.

The powerplant produces 30bhp and 33lb/ft of torque powered by its 2.kWh lithium-ion battery - with a range of approximately 1.5 hours. The emission-free bike is expected to be lightweight, under 100kg as KTM believe the Freeride will be comparable to a 125cc two-stroke machine in regards to performance.

Speaking to Visordown last year, the boss of KTM, Stefen Peirer discussed the need to learn about electric vehicles to identify the huge potential and the opportunitys open for off-road sport. "There are still a lot of questions to answer if we talk about e-motorcycles," said Peirer, "?But one answer from KTM is to introduce this technology through sport applications. Building commuter vehicles has never been a target for KTM and we think this field is also the weak point of the electric drive. Our goal is quite simple: we want to offer in a first step a sophisticated sport off-road bike which is as capable as a conventional off-roader – but without noise and emission.

"This is first of all to maintain and extend riding possibilities. Even in markets with a strong off-road heritage, in these days regulations make it really difficult to practice the sport. KTM Freeride can solve this problem. Also, we identify a massive demand for an e-drive Sports motorcycle in our existing off-road competition customer base. Again, there are many question marks, but to give you an idea, we have in mind a figure of 5000 units per year of our electric-driven Freeride motorcycle."