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This isn’t the company’s first tryst with electric bikes. Its E-Ride series has blended off-road (and supermoto) performance with zero-emissions for the past few years now. This line-up includes the Freeride E-XC, E-SX and E-SM, all powered by a liquid-cooled synchronous electric motor. The unit is capable of putting out 22hp (15hp of constant output) and 42Nm of torque. The easy-to-replace 260-volt battery pack is compact and good for a few dozen kilometres.
UK-based publication, MCN managed to shoot pictures of a KTM 390 Duke fitted with an electric motor. It’s unsure if this bike is actually being tested by KTM, especially since the branding decals have been left intact – the company always covers this on its test mules. This could even be a company that specialises in electric motors testing a prototype in an existing production bike. Plus, the rider isn't fully kitted up the way KTM test riders are.
But, KTM may be testing a new electric powertrain for a small-sized road-going electric bike. Closer inspection of the spy pics show that the basic running gear seems to be maintained. The pictures also reveal a gear shifter. Now this goes against what KTM has done with its E-Ride series, which feature a fixed transmission ratio.
The Duke’s trellis frame is missing though, and replaced by a massive aluminium battery box. With the trellis gone, this bike has a unique, long subframe for mounting the seats and the tail section. A slim, vertically stacked radiator on the right implies this motor is liquid cooled. No information is available on the power output or the capacity of the batteries.
Apart from this, the brakes, wheels, and suspension looks like it has come from the previous-generation 390. The instrument cluster, however, seems to be a bit different - the bike looks to be using KTM’s proprietary multifunction instrument from the E-Ride bikes.
If these pictures are accurate, it looks like KTM is working on a small-sized, mass-market electric motorcycle.