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2020 KTM Freeride E-XC: Impressions after 450 Miles of Riding

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On 7/24/2020 at 5:48 PM, vizcarmb said:

no dealers in CA seem to have this, did anyone have to special order a freeride?

My buddy bought a 2020 KTM Freeride from Malcolm Smith Motorsports in California and had it shipped to his house in Ohio.  There are only 10~12 authorized Freeride dealers in the US.

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22 hours ago, mxengineer4 said:

My buddy bought a 2020 KTM Freeride from Malcolm Smith Motorsports in California and had it shipped to his house in Ohio.  There are only 10~12 authorized Freeride dealers in the US.

Thank you !

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On 7/10/2020 at 5:16 PM, rodcrank said:

One thing that concerns me...When I ride my private trail in East Tennessee, I rely on the noise of my gas bike to alert animals, namely bears, that I'm around. I can see how I could easily sneak up on a bear unintentionally on an E-bike, that could be bad. I haven't heard of any issues with this yet...but it's just a matter of time. Yes, walking and even mountain biking are also quiet and the same thing could happen...but riding bikes in the woods is so much faster, I think running up on animals before they have time to react could have bad results. Otherwise I'm interested in trying one, but not alone on my deep woods trails.

I ride an EM Sport trials bike around my local trails and have on several occasions run into deer and one evening a young bear. The bear and I both scared the ever living crap out of each other, both of us turned and burned off in different directions. Don't kid yourself about not riding upon one with a gasser though, on McNutt where I ride 90% of the time, I've run into several bears. Couple times running up onto big black bears grazing on berries and 2 sets of mumma bears with cubs which was the sketchy-est of my encounters. Both times the mommas reared up and charged me. That being said I got away clean, there is there is the possibility that with an ebike I may have gotten a bit closer but I saw them before they saw me. I even ran up on a wolf in the winter but he wanted no part of me due to the noise of the TE300. There is no doubt that wildlife, hikers, dogs, horses etc are all a risk when riding stealthy on the trails. 

20201001_173057.jpg.9852d133808020162c07

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18 hours ago, Pittbull said:

I ride an EM Sport trials bike around my local trails and have on several occasions run into deer and one evening a young bear. The bear and I both scared the ever living crap out of each other, both of us turned and burned off in different directions. Don't kid yourself about not riding upon one with a gasser though, on McNutt where I ride 90% of the time, I've run into several bears. Couple times running up onto big black bears grazing on berries and 2 sets of mumma bears with cubs which was the sketchy-est of my encounters. Both times the mommas reared up and charged me. That being said I got away clean, there is there is the possibility that with an ebike I may have gotten a bit closer but I saw them before they saw me. I even ran up on a wolf in the winter but he wanted no part of me due to the noise of the TE300. There is no doubt that wildlife, hikers, dogs, horses etc are all a risk when riding stealthy on the trails. 

20201001_173057.jpg.9852d133808020162c07

Some great riding up in BC!

While I've ridden Alta, Zero, Freeride, Sur Ron, and Kuberg electric motorcycles I've never ridden an electric trials bike.  That EM Sports trials bike looks like fun!

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On 10/14/2020 at 8:52 AM, Pittbull said:

I ride an EM Sport trials bike around my local trails and have on several occasions run into deer and one evening a young bear. The bear and I both scared the ever living crap out of each other, both of us turned and burned off in different directions. Don't kid yourself about not riding upon one with a gasser though, on McNutt where I ride 90% of the time, I've run into several bears. Couple times running up onto big black bears grazing on berries and 2 sets of mumma bears with cubs which was the sketchy-est of my encounters. Both times the mommas reared up and charged me. That being said I got away clean, there is there is the possibility that with an ebike I may have gotten a bit closer but I saw them before they saw me. I even ran up on a wolf in the winter but he wanted no part of me due to the noise of the TE300. There is no doubt that wildlife, hikers, dogs, horses etc are all a risk when riding stealthy on the trails. 

20201001_173057.jpg.9852d133808020162c07

I rode up on the biggest black bear ive ever seen at Duffy. I assume it was a black bear, but I've been hunting them all my life in Oregon and this one was trophy sized 350+. You can tell a really big bear because their ears will be spread out onto the sides of their skull rather than on top. That's a big old bear. He was walking slowly away down the trail after a look back at me and I let him go, then turned around and went fast the other way! 

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17 minutes ago, M E T A L A C I D said:

Bike is interesting, I wonder how it would do in a Enduro? Couple of water crossings might short that puppy out. 😉

Nothing to short out, I've been planning on going down to my local lake, riding down the boat launch and under water like the dude in this video.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3770309972984714

 

This video is pretty awesome as well. 

 

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On 10/14/2020 at 9:52 AM, Pittbull said:

I ride an EM Sport trials bike around my local trails and have on several occasions run into deer and one evening a young bear. The bear and I both scared the ever living crap out of each other, both of us turned and burned off in different directions. Don't kid yourself about not riding upon one with a gasser though, on McNutt where I ride 90% of the time, I've run into several bears. Couple times running up onto big black bears grazing on berries and 2 sets of mumma bears with cubs which was the sketchy-est of my encounters. Both times the mommas reared up and charged me. That being said I got away clean, there is there is the possibility that with an ebike I may have gotten a bit closer but I saw them before they saw me. I even ran up on a wolf in the winter but he wanted no part of me due to the noise of the TE300. There is no doubt that wildlife, hikers, dogs, horses etc are all a risk when riding stealthy on the trails. 

20201001_173057.jpg.9852d133808020162c07

I tide a lot on the other side of the Rockies near Cadomin Alberta. We have a cabin out there, about 22km from Cadomin. I run into bears even on the old open 2strokes with blown out muffler packing from the days when sound wasn’t an issue. Not every season, but every 3-4 years. Lately it hasn’t just been black bears, but the Grizzlies are coming closer to the populated areas because of habitat loss from mining and logging. A snowmobile was killed a few years back, or at least very seriously injured. I can’t remember for sure, as the reports were not consistent. 

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I love the idea of an electric dirt bike but for me there are 3 major dealbreakers: 
--Range.  As you addressed, extra batteries are very expensive and charging time is a real bummer.
--Brakes.  A single lever to operate both brakes is the worst setup I can imagine, aside from having front or rear brakes only LOL.  The front and rear brakes MUST operate independently, this is critical for some maneuvers and some situations.
--Cost.  For the price of one new standard E-bike and a spare battery, I can get a VERY nice new gas bike (or two good used gas bikes).

These issues will likely be addressed in the very near future as technology and design improve, and prices come down.  The development may be hampered if there isn't enough demand for these bikes, which I hope the rich people will snatch them up so the rest of us can jump on board later :D

Edited by DGXR

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40 minutes ago, DGXR said:


--Brakes.  A single lever to operate both brakes is the worst setup I can imagine, aside from having front or rear brakes only LOL.  The front and rear brakes MUST operate independently, this is critical for some maneuvers and some situations.
 

Where did you get this? The bike has independent brakes, they are just both on the handlebars? Did I miss something?

I have a surron and its the same way, just takes a little getting used to

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2 minutes ago, mr.skywalker said:

Where did you get this? The bike has independent brakes, they are just both on the handlebars? Did I miss something?

I have a surron and its the same way, just takes a little getting used to

Sorry I misunderstood the brake setup.  So the left lever is the rear brake and the right lever is the front brake?  That still seems super awkward but I guess you can adapt.  I just hope nobody tries to grab a fistful of clutch and finds out it's the brake.

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1 minute ago, DGXR said:

Sorry I misunderstood the brake setup.  So the left lever is the rear brake and the right lever is the front brake?  That still seems super awkward but I guess you can adapt.  I just hope nobody tries to grab a fistful of clutch and finds out it's the brake.

Yea my biggest issue was always reaching for the foot brake and theres nothin there, same on the shifter when slowing down lol. After about 30min it starts to become natural and actually its nice if you need to trail brake into a hard right hand turn. I will say the one thing is my left hand hasnt mastered pulling modulation of the rear as I have spent the last 18yrs controlling a release modulation of the clutch and foot modulation of the rear brake when going downhill. The surron is alot different as its mtb components so maybe the ktm would be a little better bc the surron is more like a switch so it locks pretty easily if im not careful

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10 minutes ago, DGXR said:

Sorry I misunderstood the brake setup.  So the left lever is the rear brake and the right lever is the front brake?  That still seems super awkward but I guess you can adapt.  I just hope nobody tries to grab a fistful of clutch and finds out it's the brake.

Ever ride a bicycle and notice that the rear is on where the front is on a moto, but you have no problem switching between riding the two? This is just adapting the clutch hand for rear brake.  Your body usually knows pretty quickly and adapts fast. Usually lol. 

Edited by RawbW
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On 7/10/2020 at 6:45 AM, mxengineer4 said:

I now have about 450 miles (around 33 hours) on my 2020 KTM Freeride E-XC. I have ridden this bike in a variety of off road locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are not many of these Freerides out there to I wanted to share my observations to date both the Good and Not so Good.

Lets get the negatives out of the way first: The Freeride E-XC Negative List:

1. Range:  For my off road riding (like you see in this video) I get 1~2 hours ride time and 20~25 miles ride distance.  I have gone as far as 2.5 hours (about 38 miles) but that was riding slowly on level ground in Map 1 (50% power).  The battery can be swapped out quickly so a spare battery could extend the ride time but the cost is very high for an extra battery.

2. 220V Charger:  Needed to install a 220V socket into my garage and also limits portable charging as many small generators do not have a 220V capability.

3. Brakes: The Formula brakes have average stopping power and require a lot of effort at the brake levers. The 2021 Freeride brakes are supposed to be improved.

4. Tires: The Maxxis trials tires are a decent compromise and work well in the dry and hard pack dirt (just drop the pressures).  Not so good in mud.

The Freeride E-XC Good List!

1. Stealth: Quiet riding is a new experience. Fun to quietly ride in the woods or even around the neighborhood.  Stealth riding could open up more places to ride

2. Instant Torque: The Freeride is amazingly quick from 0~30 mph. Trails (and wheelies) are fun with this kind of instant throttle response

3. Agility: The Freeride has few rotating parts (no piston/cams/crankshaft/clutch etc) so it feels light in motion and changes directions quickly and easily.  Feels much lighter than its approximately 240 lb weight would indicate.  Even though Freeride is about 7/8 size (which helps agility) the ergonomics feel good for me (I am 6' 2" tall).  The steering angle is steeper and the wheelbase is shorter than a regular dirt bike and that helps with quick turning on the trails.

Some other observations:

There is no clutch. This makes extreme off road riding more difficult. A clutch would also add more weight and cost. I've adapted and like the simplicity of just throttle and brakes.  The suspension is soft with a plush woods focused setting that absorbs the rocks and roots with little deflection.  Fast guys will say it's way too soft.  I think the spring and damping rates KTM selected match the fun off road character of the bike well.  The Freeride is more capable than I expected.  I've done back to back lap time comparisons with my gas bikes and the Freeride laptime is closer than I expected.  The Freeride has (3) Maps that can really change the character of the bike.  Map 1 is 50% power and great for beginning riders or simply letting an inexperienced off road rider try out the Freeride.  Map 1 power is soft and smooth and even if the rider goes to WOT the bike is still controllable and top speed it limited to about 33 mph.  Map 3 is full power and the bike is much more responsive to throttle inputs, feels more capable, and is quick off the line.  I ride Map 3 all the time.  Maintenance is simple: lube the chain and charge the battery.  No gas, oil, or air cleaners to mess with or pistons/rings to change out after so many hours of run time.  There is no vibration: totally smooth at the grips and footpegs so less fatiguing to ride.  Nothing gets hot so no worries about hot exhausts or engines (this is especially nice when riding in the woods).  Easy to clean up as the motor is simple and nothing gets hot so no burnt on mud.

I don't see the Freeride replacing my 300XCW gas bike but is it a great 2nd bike in the garage.  My Freeride actually has more miles on it than my 300XCW which shows how much I like riding the Freeride.  If you can live with the Freeride run time/range and 220V charging requirements it offers a totally different off road riding experience.  The electric Freeride is quiet, quick, and agile.  And most importantly it is simply fun to ride and isn't that why we got into motorcycles in the first place?

Here is my summary video along with a few pics of the Freeride...

 

IMG_7237.jpeg

IMG_7241.jpeg

IMG_7245.jpeg

IMG_7137.jpeg

IMG_7143.jpeg

IMG_6023.jpeg

IMG_5150_2.jpg

Echo everyone in saying terrific write up, but the video was just outstanding. everything seemed perfectly timed. and right when your review ended, so did the trail. not a second wasted. beautiful job.

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On 7/10/2020 at 6:45 AM, mxengineer4 said:

I now have about 450 miles (around 33 hours) on my 2020 KTM Freeride E-XC. I have ridden this bike in a variety of off road locations in Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are not many of these Freerides out there to I wanted to share my observations to date both the Good and Not so Good.

Lets get the negatives out of the way first: The Freeride E-XC Negative List:

1. Range:  For my off road riding (like you see in this video) I get 1~2 hours ride time and 20~25 miles ride distance.  I have gone as far as 2.5 hours (about 38 miles) but that was riding slowly on level ground in Map 1 (50% power).  The battery can be swapped out quickly so a spare battery could extend the ride time but the cost is very high for an extra battery.

2. 220V Charger:  Needed to install a 220V socket into my garage and also limits portable charging as many small generators do not have a 220V capability.

3. Brakes: The Formula brakes have average stopping power and require a lot of effort at the brake levers. The 2021 Freeride brakes are supposed to be improved.

4. Tires: The Maxxis trials tires are a decent compromise and work well in the dry and hard pack dirt (just drop the pressures).  Not so good in mud.

The Freeride E-XC Good List!

1. Stealth: Quiet riding is a new experience. Fun to quietly ride in the woods or even around the neighborhood.  Stealth riding could open up more places to ride

2. Instant Torque: The Freeride is amazingly quick from 0~30 mph. Trails (and wheelies) are fun with this kind of instant throttle response

3. Agility: The Freeride has few rotating parts (no piston/cams/crankshaft/clutch etc) so it feels light in motion and changes directions quickly and easily.  Feels much lighter than its approximately 240 lb weight would indicate.  Even though Freeride is about 7/8 size (which helps agility) the ergonomics feel good for me (I am 6' 2" tall).  The steering angle is steeper and the wheelbase is shorter than a regular dirt bike and that helps with quick turning on the trails.

Some other observations:

There is no clutch. This makes extreme off road riding more difficult. A clutch would also add more weight and cost. I've adapted and like the simplicity of just throttle and brakes.  The suspension is soft with a plush woods focused setting that absorbs the rocks and roots with little deflection.  Fast guys will say it's way too soft.  I think the spring and damping rates KTM selected match the fun off road character of the bike well.  The Freeride is more capable than I expected.  I've done back to back lap time comparisons with my gas bikes and the Freeride laptime is closer than I expected.  The Freeride has (3) Maps that can really change the character of the bike.  Map 1 is 50% power and great for beginning riders or simply letting an inexperienced off road rider try out the Freeride.  Map 1 power is soft and smooth and even if the rider goes to WOT the bike is still controllable and top speed it limited to about 33 mph.  Map 3 is full power and the bike is much more responsive to throttle inputs, feels more capable, and is quick off the line.  I ride Map 3 all the time.  Maintenance is simple: lube the chain and charge the battery.  No gas, oil, or air cleaners to mess with or pistons/rings to change out after so many hours of run time.  There is no vibration: totally smooth at the grips and footpegs so less fatiguing to ride.  Nothing gets hot so no worries about hot exhausts or engines (this is especially nice when riding in the woods).  Easy to clean up as the motor is simple and nothing gets hot so no burnt on mud.

I don't see the Freeride replacing my 300XCW gas bike but is it a great 2nd bike in the garage.  My Freeride actually has more miles on it than my 300XCW which shows how much I like riding the Freeride.  If you can live with the Freeride run time/range and 220V charging requirements it offers a totally different off road riding experience.  The electric Freeride is quiet, quick, and agile.  And most importantly it is simply fun to ride and isn't that why we got into motorcycles in the first place?

Here is my summary video along with a few pics of the Freeride...

 

IMG_7237.jpeg

IMG_7241.jpeg

IMG_7245.jpeg

IMG_7137.jpeg

IMG_7143.jpeg

IMG_6023.jpeg

IMG_5150_2.jpg

Echo everyone in saying terrific write up, but the video was just outstanding. everything seemed perfectly timed. and right when your review ended, so did the trail. not a second wasted. beautiful job.

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One upside that no one mentioned.  It is nowhere near as goofy looking as the other e bikes I've seen.  It almost looks like a regular dirtbike.  To me that has always been the complete dealbreaker, couldn't get past the looks.  Give it 5 years (maybe) and these things will not be so much of a very narrow niche curiosity once they get some of the inconveniences ironed out.

Edited by BOAB

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1 hour ago, md30 said:

Echo everyone in saying terrific write up, but the video was just outstanding. everything seemed perfectly timed. and right when your review ended, so did the trail. not a second wasted. beautiful job.

Thank you!  There are not many KTM Freerides in the US so I hope my videos are helpful to people interested in learning about electric dirt bikes like the Freeride (and Sur Ron X).  Stealth off road riding (ie electric) has to be experienced first hand to truly understand how cool it really is to be riding through the woods and hardly making any noise.  I tried to capture that feeling with this recent ride on my Sur Ron X...  

 

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On 7/11/2020 at 8:28 AM, mxengineer4 said:

Interesting dilemma...bears!  The Freeride is quiet but there are both motor and gear whine noise along with chain slap so I think a bear and any other animal would be alerted by those noises.  You are lucky to have private trails to ride with wild life around - sounds like a fun place to ride:)  

Yeah, except that I was cutting new trail the other day and a big black bear walked right up to within 20ft of me before I even noticed it. That was scary af. I picked up my chainsaw and cranked it and started backing away from the bear. Luckily he wasn't very interested in me, but went to my backpack (which was on the ground, not on my back) and ate my Nature Valley bars. 

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The trails in the video look like fun. Where are you riding in Ohio? I’m in Columbus and looking for an alternative to Wayne National Forest or Perry. 

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