Some Es are Good…

Brammo_Empulse_at_charging_station,_August_2012Is electric power really the future? EU suits and tree-hugging activists across the globe have been trying to ensure the transition happens a lot sooner, with manufacturers also attempting to look like they’re making the effort to save the planet in prototype form or token showcase models. Having sampled several ‘E’ bikes over the years, nothing has come close to the riding sensations that come with burning holes in the ozone layer and the good old-fashioned internal combustion motor. Just look at 2015’s array of 300bhp supercharged metal: there’s no electric power shift coming soon but nothing lasts forever.

The obvious benefits include the equivalent of a gazillion mpg figures, the consequent financial rewards, zero emissions, and a dramatic reduction in noise pollution, but no petrol-head gives a fuck about the latter. An electric motor’s ease and range of tunability is also a key positive, as demonstrated in the car world.

At this present time, there are far too many negative connotations associated with electric power. Let’s start with price: around £15k gets you a bike (like, say, the American-built Brammo Empulse that resembles a genuine petrol-burning big bike), which is comparatively matched to a happy shopper, A2-friendly bike with 50bhp that costs a third of the price. While the Brammo does brag some Gucci components, there are plenty of sparrow-limbed trinkets too. We’re years off seeing the cost of the technology plummeting, especially as no-one is buying it.

Range is the next shitter. Having charged your electric steed for several hours (if you can find a charging point and one that doesn’t provoke theft), you’re left with 60-ish miles before meltdown. I’m no expert but until new technology, such as advanced capacitors or other means of storage comes to the fore, things aren’t going to improve.

93365_KTM_Freeride_E_ActionOther undesirables include weight, volatility and the palpable muted riding sensations, but there’s no doubting there’s room for electric power absorbed in the right niche, namely off-road where making it home on one charge isn’t so vital. Some Es are good. Some Es are bad. The underlying problem with Es is that you don’t know what you’re getting, though that’s all change now thanks to KTM’s Freeride E range. We’ve just had an invite to sample the 2015 Freeride E-XC and E-SX at E-Scape: the UK’s first dedicated E-park.

While riding time is limited to around an hour and charging time around 80 minutes, the battery pack can be replaced with a charged unit in a matter of seconds. Power is a claimed 22bhp and the road-legal E-XC is also fully learner-legal, meaning you can ride them on a CBT as a 16-year-old. And weighing in at just over 100kg, the Freeride E is primed to be a BMX for the new millennium.

We’ll give you the full lowdown in a few weeks…

  3 comments for “Some Es are Good…

  1. pat madden
    April 1, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Electrics are good but it’s the same as controlling a video game,the motor doesn’t have characteristics,quirks,powerbands or anything that makes you think about what your doing- an emotor is like picking up a controller and squeezing the trigger and then plug it in when the battery is dead and wait.

  2. Mark
    April 3, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I think we’re missing the big picture here, worrying about emmisions and the “future”.

    if we really are true to ourselves we realise there is no future for the human race, this planet has been destroyed in around 150 years, so worrying about the future is pointless !!

    Sad to say but we may as well live large while we can because in my opinion its too late to reverse the Damage already done and that is continuing to be done at an alarming rate.

    By the time we actually wake up to this fact its game over, so fill your tanks to the brimm and go and enjoy it.

    Over 90% of all species that have ever lived on this planet are now extinct , and these had zero influence on their environment, in the time line that is the human races existence we will extinct ourselves in a blink of an eye.

    Electric cars bikes are nothing more than a marketing ploy to suck in the “dreamers” who believe that it will all work out in the end, the hydrogen economy will be next another pointless exercise fuelled by the capitalist shits that have already led us to path if certain destruction.

  3. Simon Davies
    April 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Tracks keep getting closed down due to noise so we complain.
    Manufacturers make quiet bikes so we complain.
    Do you upgrade from a 600 to a 1000 because its louder or because its faster?
    Why should we even care what noise it makes, if any? Riding bikes is about riding them, otherwise we’d all sit in our garages revving them up in our dressing gowns wouldnt we?
    Take MX as a recent example: nobody wanted fourstrokes to come in, they were said to be shit & took away the essence of MX. Then people learned to ride them, they got a bit of developement & now you hardly see twostrokes anywhere.
    When the oil does run out (which is the real reason governments & manufacturers care about being green) or the countries that have it stop selling it people who use fuel for fun will be the first ones banned from having it. Better we get used to the idea now is my thinking.
    Riding on the road is one thing but an MX or pure track bike wouldnt be any different if you swapped your gerry can for a fresh battery pack; fit it, get your kicks for 15-20mins, come back in & recharge while you have a brew, simple.
    Imagine having an hour or two of indoor silent indoor supermoto after work on a winter Wednesday evening in a converted warehouse/factory, you couldnt do that now without getting an ASBO & would be shut down in a week.
    The electrical infrastructure is already in place, we all have it at home, so there’s no need to transport it around in tanks so all thats needed is development.
    From a political standpoint mass produced electricity is not much cleaner (at present) than oil refinery, its still very much fosil fuel based but the key point is that we can make lots of electricity in this country by ourselves but we have to import oil, thats the only reason “they” want us to stop burning fuel.
    Sorry to go on about it

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