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KTM unveils new 2018 Freeride E-XC electric motocross bike with 50 percent more battery

KTM is going green! The motorcycle maker recently revealed the new 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC in the Red Bull Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria. New for 2018 are; a 50% capacity increase from KTM’s PowerPack, resulting in 1,5 hours worth of riding time, re-gen on coasting and braking, quick charging up to 80% in 50 minutes (100% in 80 minutes) and new front and rear suspension components.

The 2018 Freeride E-XC

Even though the Austrian company, KTM (Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen) is relatively new to the US market, their roots go way back to the nineteen thirties. They first started manufacturing motorcycles in 1951 with the R100. Now, decades later, they are introducing the 2018 KTM Freeride E-XC, a full electric motocross bike.

Typically, motocross bikes are quite loud and noisy. The KTM Freeride E-XC should provide a welcome alternative with its practically maintenance-free, near-silent liquid-cooled electric motor. It has a continuous power output of 9kW and offers a peak performance of 18kW (24.5hp) with 42Nm of torque. The new KTM Lithium-ion PowerPack offers 50% more battery capacity, now rated at 3.9kWh instead of the previous 2017 version with 2.6kWh. This should provide you with about 1.5 hours of riding time, depending on your style and the terrain. Once depleted the PowerPack can be charged up to 100% in 80 minutes (up to 80% in 50 minutes) or it can be swapped out for a fresh one by simply flipping up the seat and loosening four bolts. The bike also offers re-gen to recuperate some of the energy during coasting and braking.

Also new for 2018 are the upgraded suspension components. The KTM Freeride E-XC now uses the WP XPlor 43 fork, a set of 43 mm upside-down fork legs with 250 mm of travel. In the back, the bike features a new WP PDS Xplor shock absorber with “improved progression and adjustment options”. The Freeride E-XC comes standard with lightweight wheels consisting of high-end anodized aluminum Giant rims with CNC machined hubs with aluminum spoke nipples. The reduced unsprung weight of the wheels in combination with better suspension components should go a long way in making the bike ride more composed and providing better control compared to the 2017 model.

Electrek’s take

Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to ride the electric KTM Freeride E-XC 2017 or 2018 model, so we can’t (yet) give you our own experience. However, we did have a blast riding the 2015 Zero DS ZF 9.4 a few months ago. The instant torque from the electric motor and lack of ICE noise was a whole new motorcycle experience. Even though the Zero DS and the KTM are completely different bikes, I would imagine that riding the KTM Freeride E-XC through the woods would be a similarly mindblowing event.

The new KTM Freeride E-XC will arrive at dealerships in certain markets at the beginning of next year. One caveat though, we don’t know whether this will include the US market. If you are currently in the market for an electric motocross bike, you could take a look at Alta Motors with dealers throughout the US.

If you are interested in electric motorcycles, then I recommend reading the following articles on Electrek, about the Evoke, Kalashnikov, Honda, Tacita, Curtiss, Alta Motors and the 2018 Zero line-up also with increased battery range.

What do you think about electric motorcycles and the new KTM freeride E-XC in particular? Let us know in the comments below.

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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo