Three years on and KTM has upgraded the Freeride E-XC model, the electric powered bike in its novice-friendly and high fun-factor Freeride range.
Launched as part of a new initiative in the electric bike market at an event held within Red Bull’s impressive Hanger-7 building, KTM is committing itself to a stronger electric bike line-up with a new Freeride E-XC model for 2018.
A host of changes including a new longer-life battery pack and boosted power output, improved chassis and suspension show the new Freeride E-XC has undergone some significant changes for 2018.
Detail changes to KTM’s 2018 Freeride E-XC sees the motor uprated to 18 kW in full-power setting (previously 16kW).
Secondly, a 50 per cent capacity increase from the new power pack boosts riding time 90 minutes from just one battery charge.
Finally chassis changes help improve the overall rider experience across a range of rider abilities.
The Freeride’s 2018 chassis changes hinge literally around a longer steering head angle to improve stability.
New WP Xplor 43 upside-down split forks and WP PDS shock absorber both work better improving bump absorption and progression through their stroke.
Claimed weight figures show the 2018 model has gained 3kg up to 111kg (without fuel?!) but it has dropped a touch of seat height, down 10mm to 900mm.
The previous Freeride E-XC needed a little improvement to the stability from our tests of the previous model and together those chassis changes will increase the fun factor on what is already a nimble tool.
As before the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC has three easy to switch riding modes: Economy, Enduro and Cross and now has a new dashboard very much like the standard EXC enduro digital unit.
Bodywork and graphics smarten the 2018 Freeride E-XC plus a re-positioned ignition lock sits to the right side of the headlight cowl.
Novice-friendly is still the key to the E-XC, like all Freeride models. As well as being clean and efficient, the E-XC needs little or no maintenance, aside from a spray of chain lube every now and then.
Oil lubricating the gears between the electric motor and drive gear needs changing every 50 hrs, but that is about it, apart from charging the battery.
Though battery life reduces over time in use, KTM claims the new power unit will still be providing 70% of its initial capacity after 700 charge cycles.
KTM also claims the Freeride E-XC offers lower running costs than a combustion-engined bike.
To fully charge the KTM PowerPack for the KTM FREERIDE E-XC, the cost is less than €0.80 (20 Cent/kW x 3,9 kW) compared to “approximately four or five times more” for the KTM Freeride 250 F, for 1.5 hours of riding.
The new battery pack is also compatible with the previous model Freeride E if you are wanting to upgrade.
The new E-XC uses energy recuperation too — when coasting or braking it recharges small amounts of energy back to the battery.
Characterised by an MTB-like riding experience with power and more stability, the Freeride E-XC is an easy bike to play with. It’s where KTM are aiming the Freeride E rather than the enduro market.
Complying with A1 licence requirements across Europe also helps with the appeal for younger riders – want to be the coolest kid going to college each day? Freeride E-XC will help you with that.
For 2018 it seems clear the Freeride E is getting increasingly capable and KTM is more committed to growing its electric bike line-up.
The Freeride E-XC will be in KTM dealers early 2018, with pricing to be confirmed.
For more information
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Tester of Things