New vs. old version electrics go head-to-head.
The 2020 KTM Freeride E-XC makes some big promises over the original 2017 version. OK, one particularly big promise: Team Orange says this updated version boasts a full 50 percent better battery range than its predecessor. An impressive claim if it’s true—so, is it? Tucker Neary over at Electric Cycle Rider took both of them for an equal flog around a very muddy track to find out.
To ensure accuracy, Neary stuck a GPS tracker on his helmet to record lap times. Each bike let him know when the corresponding battery was out of juice by sounding an alarm, as you’ll see in the video. Getting flogged around a super muddy, wet dirt track like this is going to put a strong load on any battery. How did the two stack up?
Despite one extremely muddy get-off, the 2017 Freeride E-XC managed to offer up 11.5 miles of dirt track fun, taking up about 32 minutes of time in total. It’s something, but it’s definitely not what anyone would call spectacular in terms of range.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Freeride E-XC managed to do 18.8 miles in 51.05 minutes around that same track. No get-offs this time, though it’s unclear whether that’s due to improved track conditions, or just the rider and bike having a little better luck with what was available.
A single test isn’t the kind of sample size any scientist would consider valid. If other riders have an experience like this, it does look as though KTM may even have slightly understated its claims of a 50 percent improvement in range. While so many people in general are given to hyperbolic claims about their own awesomeness, it’s nice to see KTM providing a nice little easter egg of even better performance than advertised.
Whether riders can justify the MSRP of the 2020 Freeride E-XC being $10,499 when the 2017 was $8,299 will of course remain to be seen. It doesn’t cost 50 percent more, so that’s something for other 2020 Freeride E-XC riders to think about.