The main reason to buy an electric dirt bike is that we are moving toward this technology in all walks of life. If you can afford one, why not get the jump on your rivals!
The KTM Freeride E – Electric Motocross and Enduro
There are many differing opinions among motorcyclists when it comes to electric bikes. It’s fair to say, at this stage of the game, most opinions are not exactly positive, and some, not printable! Whatever your thoughts, electric vehicles are our future. It makes sense that KTM, as leaders in the off-road market, would lead the way when it comes to electric dirt bikes.
Other motor sports are developing competitive electric vehicles. The Isle Of Man TT has a category for electric bikes. They are already setting incredible lap times too, with the rider Michael Rutter posting a record-breaking 121.91 mph average on the team Mugen Zero bike! Motocross is not far behind. A quick look over the KTM Freeride E-SX and E-XC machines may stop even the most die-hard off-roader in their muddy tracks, and make them think again.
Video – Isle of man TT – Watch Michael Rutters Lap on the Electric Mugen
Electric Bikes Battery Life
Let’s talk about battery life. Battery life is going to be the Achilles heel for any electric dirt bike. When it comes to all-day riding, technology is not quite there at this present time. However, technology only ever goes forward, and the Freeride electric dirt bike models give us a glimpse as to just how good electric off-road motorcycling will be in the future.
For now, an 80 minute charge time for the 360 Lithium iON cells will return around an hour, to an hour and a half of riding, dependant on the terrain. This constraint does mean that an all-day adventure ride is a tricky proposition. If you have enough charged power packs and are riding with support, it is not impossible.
These KTM’s are really for shorter track or leisure rides. Changing the power pack over is a simple task. Lift the seat, unbolt and lift out. Install charged power pack, bolt down, and you are ready for another motocross session.
The Electric Freeride dirt bikes are not as massive a leap into the unknown as you might imagine. The immediate differences are, the rear brake is operated by a lever on the left bar, giving a mountain bike kind of feel, the lack of engine noise, and having to recalibrate the engine braking/gearing sensations. The lack of engine noise does allow you to hear far more chain clatter and even your breathing. The lack of sound may take some getting used too.
With 22bhp and 42Nm of torque on tap from the brushless, permanent magnetic, synchronous electric motor, the power comes in immediately, and is comparable with a 125cc MX machine, in combustion engine terms.
KTM has produced two competent machines, worthy of any MX circuit. The SX is the more focused circuit machine and the XS more of an Enduro machine. Neither of these dirt bikes is toys. You should not compare them with the electric bikes that are available from the far east.
Very often these exported products sit in a much lower budget and nothing like as capable. Again, there is nothing wrong with the eastern exports if you understand where they sit in the food chain. More on this later.
Motocross Advice Video Review on KTM Electric Dirt Bike
We booked a test ride on the KTM Freeride-SX with UK KTM dealer JD Motorcycles, however, the British weather put pay to the ride on the day we had planned. Rest assured, we have another test ride date being booked and we will post a video and review very soon. In the mean time we spoke to one of the stores sales staff who gave us their feedback having ridden the machine.
The Freeride-E is remarkably quick. It takes you by surprise. I guess the weirdest thing is the lack of engine noise, and the fact it is more like a twist and go
When it comes to riding the KTM motocrossers, you will find three mapping modes available:
This mode is the softest. Akin to a wet weather setting, it has a slower power delivery and a more sedate top end.
This mode starts softly and increases sharply in power towards the top end of the curve.
This is the full-fat MX mode, comparable to a 250cc four-stroke machine.
KTM has installed moisture sensors that shut down the motor, should any moisture be detected. Riding in deep water is not recommended. Remember, water and electricity do not mix well! The Freeride range come with the same quality of components that you would find on other KTM models. At 97Kg (27Kg of that, is the power pack) the bikes handle exceptionally well and turn almost instinctively.
Tracking ruts is effortless, and the well-balanced design means that they do everything you would expect of a top-end enduro bike. KTM’s Freeride electric bikes are earning their place among their contemporaries and will keep getting better and better.
Why buy an electric dirt bike?
Electric bikes, in general, make an excellent entry-level point for new riders. Even in the UK, where motorcycle learner laws are notoriously complicated, they are available for A1 license holders (17 years and over) and are fully road legal.
As far as the KTM offerings, the sense of speed is lost somewhat on the tarmac. They will cruise happily at 50mph and have a 60mph top speed. There is a novelty value to riding anything different from the norm, and this is bound to subside.
Electric bikes have got some way to go in proving themselves as long distance road bikes; however, they are fun bikes to ride, even on the tarmac. Let’s be clear here though, the KTM freeride range are thoroughbred off-road bikes. For short competitions or casual rides when covering lots of miles is not a requirement; they are fully competitive.
Should we changing our perspective on Electric motorbikes?
It is fair to say, the majority of established off-road riders are not particularly welcoming at the prospect of electrically aspirated off-road riding. When researching for this article, a few dealers poured scorn, and one even put the phone down! This attitude is intriguing, and perhaps illustrates the problems we face as a species. We don’t accept change easily.
So who will be buying into the KTM’s Electric Freeride ethos? The way we see it, at £10,000, the KTM is far too expensive for the learner market and will be purchased by the wealthy, curious, gadget lovers who like to have the latest thing, or more bohemian motocrosser.
A new age is dawning. People all over the major cities of this world are zipping about on electric scooters. Far from being toys, these scooters are tools for getting city slickers from A to B quickly, without having to worry about traffic. Teenagers love them. They are cool and fun to use. It makes sense that competitive motocross will follow suit.
You can contact your nearest KTM dealer for information on the Freeride range, or read more about KTM Electric dirt bike
Are there affordable E-bike options for new riders?
With a whole host of electronic bikes flooding the market, there are a few which are worthy of consideration for the up and coming dirt bike rider. These off-road e-bikes may be just the ticket for younger riders looking to try the sport.
Top 3 Electric Dirt Bikes 2020
1. Kuberg Freerider
One of the coolest entry-level e-bikes is the Kuberg Freerider. With aggressive motocross looks, the Kuberg is a competent off-roader. Cool-looking design and a lot of fun, the Kuberg is aimed at teens and adults. It has a top speed of 34 mph, weighs in at 36 Kg, and has a 1 hour riding time. Recharge time is 2.5 hours.
Kuberg offers different choices in terms of wheels and suspension so that you can tailor your bike to your needs. In many ways, it is the perfect dirt bike to get a young person into off-roading.
- TOTAL WEIGHT: 79 lbs (35.83 Kgs)
- FRAME TYPE: High-Step
- FRAME MATERIAL: Powder-Coated Steel
- FRAME COLORS: Matte Black
- 48.5″ Wheelbase
- 34.5″ Seat Height
- 41″ Handlebar Height
2. Sur-Ron (Youth Edition)
Sur-Ron builds its range of electric bikes in China. The bikes have the excellent build quality you would hope for, and a lot of investment has been made in the company, ensuring a quality product. These bikes take themselves seriously and are growing in popularity.
Sur-Ron market the bikes as multipurpose and able to be used in many different roles, including, security, military, surveillance, and agriculture, to name a few. We at motocrossadvice.com feel that the Youth Edition is a possible stepping stone into the electric off-road, motocross world.
Sur-Ron has several locations offering fleets of the X series off-road machines for corporate hospitality, off-road training and advanced riding skills, all of which point s to exciting time ahead!
- Motor Type: PMSM
- Mounting Position: Middle of the Frame
- Weight / Motor External Diameter: 7.0kg / 180mm
- Motor Axial Length: 130mm
- Peak Efficiency: 95.60%
- Cooling Method: Air-Cooled
- Chassis Material: No. 6061 T4 & T6 Aluminium Alloy
- Chassis Weight: 7.8KG
- Chassis Surface & Colour Processing: Painted
- Wheel Type & Size: Spoke Wheels, Front/Rear, 17 inches
- Tire Size: Front/Rear 70/100-17
- Tire Brand: CST Brand Tire
- Top Speed: 50KM/H
- Max. Range: 65KM
- 1810mm x 706mm x 1000mm
- Seat Height: 760mm (Age 10 to 16)
- Wheel Base: 1245mm
- Handlebar Width: 720mm
- Available Colours: Silver, Black, Red, Blue
MOTOR POWER SYSTEM
- Rated Voltage: 48V (DC)
- Rated Power / Peak Power: 2000W / 2900W
- Rated Torque / Peak Torque: 8.5Nm / 24Nm
- Torque on Rear Wheel 220Nm
- Gear Ratio: 9.18
- Transmission: Belt & Chain
- Speedometer: Yes
- Battery: 48V / 20-25Ah
3. Nitro Mini Dirt Bike 1100W
The Nitro Mini Dirt Bike is aimed at the junior market and would be the perfect starting point for any youngster aged six years and over wanting to try out off-roading or motocross.
Packing an 1100 watt 36-volt punch, via 3 X 12-volt batteries and a 1000 watt neodymium magnet motor, it looks every bit as aggressive as its fossil fuel-powered peers. It has a programmable control unit, speed restriction, and an authentic dirt bike feel engineered into the throttle control — an excellent option for any kids first steps into the world of off-road.
- Max Speed 28km/h
- Shimate RSX Hydraulic Brakes
- Wave disc brakes
- Hydraulic shock absorbers
- Easy controls
- Comfortable seat
- Large knobby tires
- Retractable Kickstand
- Charger included
By the time a young person has had several years on these kinds of fun and capable machines, they will be ready for something even more powerful and competitive. At this point they will be a little older, maybe a little wealthier, and riding an electric dirt bike bike will be second nature. Do you see where we are going with this? Enter the KTM Freerider. In the not so distant future, they will be commonplace. We can’t wait for the other manufacturers to join the fray!
If you feel that Electric Motocross Bikes are not for you today, then read our review about the best dirt bikes for beginners!