There are few things more fun than putting street tires on something built for the dirt, except for the tickets that usually follow. I swear officer, that curb asked me to jump over it.
OK, so I realize probably a lot of you have never heard of the KTM Freeride E and probably even fewer of you lie awake at night thinking about whizzing through trails, with only the sound of dirt flying and rocks shooting off into the distance. The Freeride E uses a liquid-cooled PMAC electric motor making 22 horsepower and 31 foot-pounds of torque and has a "ready to race" weight of 233 pounds. The 2.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack it comes with charges in about 80 minutes, which we hear is just about the same amount of time it takes to deplete it while riding. We all need a little break every now and again.
Still not convinced? Does this help?
Now, imagine that at your local sumo track or, better yet, around your neighborhood. Nothing but the shrieks of old ladies and gasps from awe-struck onlookers as you wheelie past silently.
We expect most of the bike will look the same as the current Freeride E, only with revamped suspension and brakes to fit the job (think Suzuki DR-400SM versus DR-Z400S). We would love to see KTM address the battery, to give it a little more range, but with the current state of batteries and the size they've been using, this is probably unlikely.
The biggest downside comes in the form of the price tag. The internet birds report a price tag estimate in the $15,000 range, and that's before you buy a second battery and quick-charging system. OOF.
Stay tuned for our INTERMOT coverage starting tomorrow.