Nicole Friel's KTM Freeride

A tricked out enduro made to fit me!

Nicole Friel KTM Freeride
Nicole Friel and her KTM FreeridePhoto by Julia LaPalme

Name: Nicole Friel
Hometown: Estes Park, CO
Bike: 2016 KTM Freeride 250 (2 stroke)
Age: 40
Occupation: Nurse and Firefighter

I got the bike just before the 2016 ADV Rally in the Rockies , since my husband and I were originally thinking we were going to that. Elite KTM, in Loveland CO, got me this bike on a week's notice, and, knowing what I needed, got it all set up for me. I had them install the KTM lowering kit, but left the regular seat. I didn't change out the suspension but the dealership set it up as light as they could for me, and it's perfect. It has regular size wheels, it's just a smaller bike. I'm 5'1" with a 29" inseam. You hear a lot of guys complaining "I'm on my tiptoes, I can't touch flat footed…" and I think If I can get one foot down all the way that would be awesome! I really have to plan my stops.

Since the Freeride is a 2 stroke, it rattles a ton. Riding all day on this thing for the ADV Rally has been pretty exhausting. I lost my plate out on the trails, because it snapped off from the vibrations! To reduce vibration, we put bicycle foam grips on, and a Scott’s steering stabilizer. The Rottweiler mirrors have been an awesome addition, since they’re super adjustable. They’re expensive, but totally worth it. We also put on a pair of KTM 950 handguards.

I got the Freeride to replace my 2005 KTM 525EXC, because I have struggled for the last 10 years with the 525’s size. We did everything we could to lower it, and got pretty close, but I was still struggling. It weighs a bit more than the 250, so when I would start to tip over, there was just no saving it; it would push me right over. The Freeride is about 50 pounds lighter, and now a couple inches lower, so when it starts to go over, now I can save it. It’s not just knocking me around. I’m in great shape, but I am the size that I am, so there’s only so much I can do. Just knowing that if I was out on my own and dropped the bike, I’m not stranded now that I have the lighter Freeride.

My husband and I have matching 525’s, which we put snow tracks on last season, turning them into snowbikes. We started realizing what a pain it was to change the bikes back and forth (between tracks and wheels). So when we heard people were getting these Freerides plated, I said “Sign me up!” That was my hangup about this bike for a few years, thinking I couldn’t get it plated. Now we’re able to leave our 525’s as snowbikes, which means we can truly ride year round.