KTM is going all-in on electric motorcycles, but don’t expect them to replace their high-end gasoline-powered bikes anytime soon.
In a presentation at the Freeride E-XC launch (more details on that later), CEO Stefan Pierer and other KTM bigwigs shared some of the company’s plans for future electric bikes, and the path they laid out is a bit surprising.
Instead of announcing a line of high-powered electric motorcycles to assault the streets and woods in a battery-powered fury, KTM’s next step after the Freeride E-XC is … a minibike. In a move that’s entirely logical, but maybe not that exciting, KTM plans to introduce an electric minibike to replace its 50 cc lineup of kids’ bikes, called the E-SX.
After that, KTM plans to introduce a commuter-friendly machine that the execs described as a cross between a bicycle and a motorcycle (which sounds an awful lot like the Cleveland Cyclewerks FXx). After that there will be electric bicycles released under the Husqvarna brand.
But wait, you’re asking—where are the supermotos? The edgy electric roadracers? Sadly, if you’re into slick tires, KTM didn’t announce anything along those lines anytime soon. In the Q&A session after the presentation, the KTM execs said the company wasn’t about to release a su-mo version of the the Freeride, and also didn’t express any interest in joining the FIM’s upcoming electric roadracing series, saying existing battery tech just isn’t sufficient for electric street bikes.
But really, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. While electric motorcycle fans have been waiting for tire-shredding firebreathers ever since Lightning Motorcycles, Chip Yates et. al. went for that land speed racing craze a few years back, the models we’ve actually seen come to market are dirt bikes with performance equivalent to 250 cc four-strokes, and commuter machines. The latest news from KTM just follows that trend.