KTM Electric Dirtbike - A Green KTM?

The orange company is developing an electric enduro

Dirt riders know KTM as the orange company, but that perception may change in the near future. The Austrian manufacturer is thinking of going green with an electric enduro that could soon be silently flying down the trails. The running test mule, developed with Arsenal Research, has been re-classified from a "research project" to a "development project," but that doesn't mean you'll be able to buy one any time soon. The bike's earliest arrival in showrooms would be in two years, with the cost likely being right in line with gas-powered KTMs. The test mule is said to weigh just 198 pounds, and has performance equal to a "light enduro," which we take to mean a 250cc four-stroke.

The electric motor is said to produce 7 kilowatts (about 9.5 horsepower), which doesn't sound like much. But with torque and power delivery being so different from a gas-powered engine, we're not going to call it slow until we ride it! The battery is said to last up to 1 hour, with a 1-hour re-charge time. Like all off-road KTMs, the electric bike is aimed at being fully "Ready to Race," but will likely also be legal for on-road use.

The advantages of electric bikes are obvious, as long as they can provide the same thrills as a gas-burner. Yes, the knuckle-draggers among us want loud exhausts, but a silent bike could have you railing the trails near your house. No trails? Without the noise issue, motocross tracks could pop up in suburban areas. The future of dirtbikes might not look so grim after all!

KTM's electric dirtbike looks to be the most serious yet, as this photo of a test rider roosting out at a motocross track attests.