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mxengineer4

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

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The purpose of KTM freerides is to be a trial/enduro hybrid bike.

The battery doesn't last long because you'll normally be doing trials near your truck or at an event where you can charge easily.

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40 minutes ago, lil_squid said:

The purpose of KTM freerides is to be a trial/enduro hybrid bike.

The battery doesn't last long because you'll normally be doing trials near your truck or at an event where you can charge easily.

My guess is that the battery doesn't last long because the battery they developed was the best that they could do.

Why would any mfr limit the battery life for whatever bike they are selling, regardless of the application?

I'm also guessing that the 7/8 size of the bike and the size of the battery is to limit weight. A larger frame, full sized suspension, components, etc, plus a larger battery would have made the bikes weight unacceptably high.

The Alta's weight 265-270, I'm thinking a full sized KTM with a larger battery would have exceeded that (like I think the Sur Ron Storm Bee will too).

And I can't see anyone bothering to do trials events with the KTM, maybe some casual messing around, but it doesn't look like it would make a very  good trials bike to me. 

 

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Ktm has done a good job with the electric bikes from a performance standpoint(freeride and sx-e 5) but they seem to push too much of a weight focus I think, especially the sxe). Heres what I mean, the sx-e is 2lbs lighter than the normal sx dry weight so that about 7lbs before you are at the normal combustion bike weight and electrics already feel lighter so why try to keep it so light? At loretta's I heard the fastest kids had to push their bikes the last few turns and that was only a 20min moto but I know they could easily double the Ah they have on those at a small 10lb additional weight and they have plenty of room for it(empty space above the battery pack) The freeride is a bit heavy from what Ive seen even with the lightweight 85 components and the storm bee is an example of how much it would have to weigh to be a bigger chassis. The storm bee battery weighs about 75lbs and the whole bike is just shy of 300lbs based on the Russian videos Ive seen but the freeride is fairly close on capacity(3.9Kwh ktm vs 4.6kwh surron) but about 30lbs lighter

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I would hate to do a moto on that bike, you case out on a double jump and the whole bike will be cashed. I suppose it would good for a brisk trail ride, or farting round the neighborhood. But Ill stick with my gasser, its good for other folks but not for me...👍

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On 11/11/2020 at 10:22 AM, Willie71 said:

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. 

I live in Prince George and ride 3-4 times per week right from the house with endless trails so bears and moose are everywhere! I looked at the KTM E-ride and thought the same about scaring wildlife off then combined with a $16K OTD price tag flagged a big no for me. Very cool bike though for what it is! 

Side note, Cadomin... very cool spot! Originally from Edmonton we met our friends for a camping trip halfway this summer which landed us 5 mins from the town in a beautiful offgrid spot. We rode our bikes through town and along the continental divide it was absolutely stunning! 

 

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image.png.fba1a94a81ed851ce579a58b2b3279f0.png

 

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Good write-up and video.

I'm intrigued by the electric bikes, but I would HAVE to have a clutch. Hopefully as we get closer to a truly viable ICE replacement, then clutches will also be included. I can see the benefit of a LHRB, but in a dual-lever setup like some people run on Rekluse bikes.

Obviously range, weight, and price need to be addressed, but I'm confident the technology will come to solve those. 

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3 minutes ago, jrodicus100 said:

Good write-up and video.

I'm intrigued by the electric bikes, but I would HAVE to have a clutch. Hopefully as we get closer to a truly viable ICE replacement, then clutches will also be included. I can see the benefit of a LHRB, but in a dual-lever setup like some people run on Rekluse bikes.

Obviously range, weight, and price need to be addressed, but I'm confident the technology will come to solve those. 

The electric motion bikes have a few with the manual clutch but they are a bit more trials oriented so its out there and its about the same price range of the ktm but a good bit smaller battery and less power, it is after all trials oriented so dont need lots of power and slow speeds dont hurt mileage

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3 minutes ago, mr.skywalker said:

The electric motion bikes have a few with the manual clutch but they are a bit more trials oriented so its out there and its about the same price range of the ktm but a good bit smaller battery and less power, it is after all trials oriented so dont need lots of power and slow speeds dont hurt mileage

I know the Yamaha E-Trials bike had a clutch, but it was a one-off and not going into production.

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2 minutes ago, jrodicus100 said:

I know the Yamaha E-Trials bike had a clutch, but it was a one-off and not going into production.

yea I saw that too but electric motion is available now. 

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2 hours ago, IDTrav said:

I live in Prince George and ride 3-4 times per week right from the house with endless trails so bears and moose are everywhere! I looked at the KTM E-ride and thought the same about scaring wildlife off then combined with a $16K OTD price tag flagged a big no for me. Very cool bike though for what it is! 

Side note, Cadomin... very cool spot! Originally from Edmonton we met our friends for a camping trip halfway this summer which landed us 5 mins from the town in a beautiful offgrid spot. We rode our bikes through town and along the continental divide it was absolutely stunning! 

 

image.png.2fce8f2389ec5d6b9db9a22a7eb75301.png

 

image.png.fba1a94a81ed851ce579a58b2b3279f0.png

 

If we look at the increase in capability from 10 years ago to today, electric bikes a decade from now will be stunning. They are just on the cusp of being useful, outside of niche markets. I’m not worried about this at all. 
 

I live about 40 min north of Edmonton, in Sturgeon County. No bears, but we have a wooded ravine at the back of the property, lots of elk, deer, and even moose in there. 
 

The continental divide is a pretty cool place. Haven’t been to it in a few years now. I will have to make the trip again this summer. Whitehorse Creek is a great campground. 

Edited by Willie71
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6 hours ago, jrodicus100 said:

Good write-up and video.

I'm intrigued by the electric bikes, but I would HAVE to have a clutch. Hopefully as we get closer to a truly viable ICE replacement, then clutches will also be included. I can see the benefit of a LHRB, but in a dual-lever setup like some people run on Rekluse bikes.

Obviously range, weight, and price need to be addressed, but I'm confident the technology will come to solve those. 

It is interesting how many of my serious off road riding friends say they must have a clutch - then the ride an Alta or Freeride E-XC and it does not seem as much of a deal breaker.  Clutches will add cost and weight and complexity to an electric bike - but many riders seem to feel it is necessary.  I am curious - have you spent much time riding electric dirt bikes and if so which ones?

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2 hours ago, mxengineer4 said:

It is interesting how many of my serious off road riding friends say they must have a clutch - then the ride an Alta or Freeride E-XC and it does not seem as much of a deal breaker.  Clutches will add cost and weight and complexity to an electric bike - but many riders seem to feel it is necessary.  I am curious - have you spent much time riding electric dirt bikes and if so which ones?

The reason that comes to mind for me is, when I started climbing big hills I learned that controlling the bikes momentum with the throttle was a big mistake. That you want to keep it wide open and use the clutch when you get to a spot on the climb that wheel spin is not wanted. Now this electric bike technology is opposite, especially since there is no clutch to make a ‘mistake’ with. 

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9 hours ago, Randy300XC said:

The reason that comes to mind for me is, when I started climbing big hills I learned that controlling the bikes momentum with the throttle was a big mistake. That you want to keep it wide open and use the clutch when you get to a spot on the climb that wheel spin is not wanted. Now this electric bike technology is opposite, especially since there is no clutch to make a ‘mistake’ with. 

Clutches (and gears) are so key to managing the power of an internal combustion engine's - keeping it at an optimum level.  The instant and broad torque of an electric motor makes managing the power easier.  The electric powered bikes I've spent a lot of time riding (Alta EXR , KTM Freeride) have enough torque that a clutch (or gears) does not seem as necessary.  I do a lot of lap time comparisons on the woods loops I ride.  My KTM Freeride is so easy to ride (no clutch or shifting or worrying about keeping a certain engine rpm) and is usually about 10~12 secs/lap quicker over a 7 minute woods loop than my KTM 350XCF or KTM 300XCW.

 

BIMG_6818.jpeg

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As speeds increase, a clutch is not as necessary. I'm more concerned about low speed, very technical riding. Finger flexion has more dexterity than wrist flexion/extension, especially when you're also hanging on to the bike and trying to steer, all at the same time. It's the whole reason why whiskey throttle is a thing. A clutch is still the only way to immediately disconnect power going to the rear wheel, and is required to have that granular control and finesse required for techniques like the zap, jab zap, double blip, pivot turns, etc (not that I'm all that great at those even with a clutch, but they'd be even harder without one).

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17 hours ago, mxengineer4 said:

It is interesting how many of my serious off road riding friends say they must have a clutch - then the ride an Alta or Freeride E-XC and it does not seem as much of a deal breaker.  Clutches will add cost and weight and complexity to an electric bike - but many riders seem to feel it is necessary.  I am curious - have you spent much time riding electric dirt bikes and if so which ones?

Exact same experience for me, and basically everyone that has ridden my Alta (a ton of people). Before my first test ride on an Alta I was very curious, and skeptical, about the absence of a clutch. 5 mins into some single track on the test ride I was giggling in my helmet and starting to see the light, the clutch was not going to be needed for the gnarly single track that I like to ride.

Couple years later and I'm still not missing the clutch, can pop the front end up when ever I want, logs, pivot turns, no approach climbs, etc, no problem. Its hard to explain how much of a game changer the different power maps, and the precise throttle control of the Alta are, until you ride one and get used to it, learn what it can do.

I can see why people would want a clutch, or think they must have a clutch, but I would get a ride or two on one of the e-dirt bikes that does not have a clutch before I made a clutch a must have. You may be surprised at how capable the e-dirt bikes are.

Sounds like Lotus54 is loving the "clutch" on his new Escape R though, I think he's coming from a trials type background, good to know a mfr has implemented what sounds like normal clutch action on a e-dirt bike: https://thumpertalk.com/forums/topic/1342800-electric-motion-escape-‘r’/?do=findComment&comment=15817853

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4 hours ago, jrodicus100 said:

As speeds increase, a clutch is not as necessary. I'm more concerned about low speed, very technical riding. Finger flexion has more dexterity than wrist flexion/extension, especially when you're also hanging on to the bike and trying to steer, all at the same time. It's the whole reason why whiskey throttle is a thing. A clutch is still the only way to immediately disconnect power going to the rear wheel, and is required to have that granular control and finesse required for techniques like the zap, jab zap, double blip, pivot turns, etc (not that I'm all that great at those even with a clutch, but they'd be even harder without one).

Agreed. Whiskey throttle is my concern as well for wanting a clutch. I lost a riding buddy due to a stuck throttle, it was one of those absolute perfect storm situations, millisecond either way would have been fine. I want the best chance of shutting down the acceleration, besides just separating from the bike. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that being my only option. I think pulling in the clutch is safer and faster.

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On 11/20/2020 at 7:57 AM, jrodicus100 said:

As speeds increase, a clutch is not as necessary. I'm more concerned about low speed, very technical riding. Finger flexion has more dexterity than wrist flexion/extension, especially when you're also hanging on to the bike and trying to steer, all at the same time. It's the whole reason why whiskey throttle is a thing. A clutch is still the only way to immediately disconnect power going to the rear wheel, and is required to have that granular control and finesse required for techniques like the zap, jab zap, double blip, pivot turns, etc (not that I'm all that great at those even with a clutch, but they'd be even harder without one).

I just got an EM Escape R.  The real clutch (for me) makes a huge difference.  It is a trials bike with bigger battery and a seat, but otherwise identical.  So good and bad of trials machines.  NOT made for going fast, but fabulous for the super slow, tight, steep with lots of obstacles. 

  For me, the clutch made keeping traction a LOT easier, really good for when going up a slow, slick steep hill and then having to pop up over a log.  The higher output map meant very difficult to keep traction.  But this bike has an add-on flywheel, so that can be used like on a petrol bike and ‘spun up’, then clutch released to put that energy to the ground with no more throttle.  Sort of ‘coasting’ over the slick spot/obstacle etc. 

  I hope more do this.  Some have told me I just don’t know how to ride an electric bike.  I will say I barely know how to ride at all, I’m dumb as a hemlock stump and ugly as one too.

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