Scottish trials legend Danny MacAskill has become an official ambassador for KTM's new Freeride E line of electric motorcycles.
The Austrian motorcycle manufacturer – not to be confused with the bicycle brand that shares the same logo – has released a preview video that shows MacAskill hop from his trials rig and make a swift – but near-silent – exit on his new motorcycle.
MacAskill's latest ride isn't a dedicated trials machine, it's a road-legal enduro motorcycle known as the E-XC. It's the first of its kind from a brand of KTM's size. Soon to be sold in Europe for a cool €11,295, its water-cooled electric motor delivers 16kW/21.5hp and 42Nm of torque through a single-speed transmission. There's also no clutch, meaning both brakes are controlled via the handlebar.
The E-XC's power pack can be fully recharged in one hour and 20 minutes, and KTM claims you can get up to a full hour of riding from a single charge. There's around 10in suspension travel at each end of the 106kg bike. Yes, 106kg – that's actually more than many of KTM's 200cc+ two-stroke bikes! An off-road specific E-SX version will also be sold.
KTM doesn’t believe that electrically powered motorcycles will replace conventional combustion engines in the near future. Instead the company has a clear vision of the creation of a segment in its own right. The company has also mapped out eight specialist e-moto parks across Europe in which to use such bikes.
Not much else is being given away at the moment but, as usual with MacAskill, it's best to expect the unexpected.
Here's what the man himself had to say: “The Freeride E is so much fun. I found it quite easy to transfer from the bicycle, especially with the brakes on the bars and it being just twist and go. It’s got more power than I need for sure!
“For me it’s been a great introduction to motorcycles, as I’ve done a little before but not much, and every time I ride it I am more and more confident. I’m super impressed with the KTM brand, and I’m really stoked to be an ambassador and part of the family.”
Controversially, the Freeride E was launched on the downhill trails of Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria. Check the video out below:
Video: Freeride E at Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria