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back to article KTM: electric dirt-bike out next year

The race to get the first mass-produced electric motorbike onto the road is revving up. Renowned mud-pluggers KTM has announced it will have a race-ready dual sport machine, the KTM Electro Enduro, in production sometime during 2010. It being a good 12 months before the Electro rolls off the production line, exact technical …

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Coat

Very nice ... but misses a point...

Im sure like many other we welcome the advances in electric engines and it would be great to get the vast majority of bikes on to electricity.

However, not all bikers will go for it. I for one won't. There is nothing on earth (Including your Aston or Ferrari) in my opinion that comes close to the sound of a big, fat, race v-twin.

The coat? Its the one with the armour in it covered in RSV-R stickers.

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b
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excellent!

i always wanted to try an electric dirt-bike..great idea.

did quite a bit of dirt-bike riding when i was younger, great fun.

quads next ;)

cheers,

bill

p.s. stuff and nonsense: http://www.eupeople.net/forum

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Anonymous Coward

Power?

Electric motors produce massive torque. At rest.

The fact that you don't quote a power figure indicates that the figure is pitiful, as will be the performance no doubt.

Long live the internal combustion engine.

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no more wet plugs then

I'm not a huge fan of trailbikes but it looks pretty nifty.

But at the risk of sounding like a killjoy I would prefer that the parents of those brats that tear round land on some cheap secondhand death trap off eBay realised the risks they are imposing on other people. In fact it's about time people caught doing this had their bikes summarily confiscated and crushed.

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Coat

Looks nice, but ...

"the Electro's lithium-ion battery pack will be good for a 40-minute thrash under “race conditions”, which suggests it should go for considerably longer – and further - when used in a more sensible manner on the road."

So it's unlikely that we'll see one of these, or any of it's electrically powered brethren, on the Paris-Dakar (or whatever it's calling itself this week) any time soon :-) Could imagine that a roadified version would be ideal for city commuting though, especially if the one-hour charge time turns out to be true.

Mine's the one with the 'Kick Start' videos in the pockets (aah, nostalgia!)

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Peace n Quiet??

Now we just need a HarleyD version, for all those mid life losers with small dicks that have nothing better to do at the weekend.....

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Anonymous Coward

When it...

...completes the Dakar, I'll be impressed.

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Bronze badge
Go

Whats that in Newton-Metres?

I for one would welcome our new Austrian leccy-tech enduro-riding overlords.

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Hmmm never ridden a KTM have you?

'- when used in a more sensible manner on the road'

Not sure that is possible, actually I am certain its not!

Thumbs up, because I want one!!

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Anonymous Coward

hmm... and the significance is?

This is just a motor with a li-ion battery. Nothing particularly top-secret or amazing about that. It's not even an application that would be difficult to conceive... i.e. 'how did you come up with that crazy idea' = not a question anyone will be asking.

In favour however, I'd imagine the acceleration will be pretty mental - you expect that from an electric vehicle. So even though they have only mentioned the 25 lb/ft peak figure I suppose that will be instantly available - which you don't get from a typical internal combustion engine.

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Should be a winner, off road anyway

40 minutes in race conditions will equate to about 41 on the road. You tend to use 100% of the throttle on the road if your on the motorway, as they only go so fast in a straight line.

They are not really designed as road bikes anyway, you put them on a trailer and take them to a track. After 40 minutes you'll be totally knackered anyway.

You get a ton of torque with leccy tech machines, not much horsepower, but for an offroader, high HP makes no sense, you need low down torque all the way.

Yes I'm a biker through and through.

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Boffin

Getting there...

A big advantage of an electric motor for off road bikes is that the max torque band can be varied dynamically, even down to zero rpm, so no gearbox is required. A small single cylinder petrol engine has to rev beyond 4000rpm before it makes decent torque. If the battery pack is easily exchangeable between races, a team could have a couple on charge to keep the bike going.

I remember seeing an electric scrambler at a bike show a few years back. It was being booed by the bikers watching it as it wended its silent way around the track. If it don't make a noise, it ain't a proper bike.

KTM's reputation might overcome some of the antipathy, especially if they have a competition bike that wins a few races. Fast trumps noise.

It would need at least 3 hours between charges and a max speed >> 70mph to be useful as a commuter bike - and a very loud horn.

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Anonymous Coward

And what's wrong...

... With the sound of tortured single-piston two-stroke engines?

KTM rocks. ;-)

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oh Really Cool but......

Unless it can do a cross city commute on a single charge it is nothing but a toy, this is a 60mile with traffic, not a rolling road or perfect test track.

The batteries also my be a problem.... anyone with a laptop knows you get about 200-300 charge cycles (no pun) before you need a new one. So if you are using a leccy bike everyday for a commuting in less than a year you could need a new battery pack. Which could outway the cost of any fuel saving.

Noise: This might seem a mute point (again no pun) but electric bike might be too quiet for the average pavement crawler to notice them coming.

It is a very good start into leccy bikes thou

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Stu
Boffin

But is it...

...too powerful that you need to do the full DVLA registration thing at cost? Number plates, tax, insurance, the works?

One promise of Electric vehicles is to have such a vehicle that is ranked alongside your average push bicycle and is so much cheaper to do the daily work run on than any licensed motorised vehicle.

The law I think stipulates that such a vehicle MUST have foot pedals linked to the wheels in some way, even if they're totally impractical and not geared, and must be below 200W power draw, and stick below 15mph. Don't quote me.

Can somebody build me one of these!?

.

I have such a bike, but the three sealed lead acid batteries it used have since died - A lithium-ion upgrade is looking at costing more than what I paid for the bike in the first place! It was an Ebay buy - highly dubious legality and probably no UK electrical compliance but what the hell.

I was never stopped by the fuzz riding it.

Was a great little runner that took me the four miles down to work and back every day! A silent 15mph smoooth run aint half bad when compared with a smelly 50cc splutterer.

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jon
Heart

Neat

I want one <3

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it would be great to get the vast majority of bikes on to electricity

Why would it be great? Where do you think electricity comes from?

I'll bet the majority of electricity for these bike will be coming from petrol generators sitting in the field next to the track they are riding around.

I don't believe the 40 minutes either.

Oh and while I am here quoting a torque figure alone is meaningless.

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@FlatSpot

"Now we just need a HarleyD version, for all those mid life losers with small dicks that have nothing better to do at the weekend....."

I think you misspelled "Corvette version" ... Wait, that's a Tesla, right?

Mine's the one on the '59 Pan's seat ...

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Flame

So quick to dismiss!

As usual everyone looks to the bad and quick to dismiss, at the end of the day I'm prepared to pay for an electric bike especially with a 1hr charge (and so are alot of other people!)

My 2007 CBR600RR will be traded for an electric eqivelant when they produce one.

On the Honda customer feedback form when I bought it new they asked when I'd buy my next bike, I said "When you build an electric equivelant to what I just bought with a 200km range" . I'm betting they listen to paying customers more than critics that don't open their wallet!

More range would be nice for a road bike, that range for a trail is pretty sweet

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Anonymous Coward

to make the nasty noise

perhaps the users will use a clothes peg and a playing card to vibrate against the spokes to sound like A REAL MOTERBIKE ... gosh! vroom vroom !

oh happy memories from childhood bicycles

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Quiet bikes are good

One problem with riding in gravel pits (or in my neck of the woods - alpine forests... with gravel pits) is the noise upsets the neighbors (perhaps the ones who move in on a Monday and by Sunday have phoned the police, mayor, newspaper, bureau of land management, etc.).

Not pissing these people off is, for the thinking off-roader, an absolute dream. Some of us already go to such freakish lengths as leaving our stock mufflers on (and other travesties) to try and help. We such are outnumbered five to one by people who don't care if they can't ever come back, as long as it sounds (and feels) like they're riding a repeating cannon.

These people remind me to fondly look forward to the government, for the common good, restricting some riding areas to electrics.

On the road, someone wisely mentioned "... electric bike[s] might be too quiet for the average pavement crawler to notice them coming". It has been my experience here that half the pedstrians can't hear anything short of a furniture truck over their iPods and the other half don't care what they hear - they'll look at you and walk into the street anyway.

OK, some people use their ears instead of looking. Bicyclists and Priuses are already struggling with this, and when the wind is right or there's a sharp curve even regular engines can't always be heard coming.

I'm all for going electric and on the listening end being able to get more sleep / relaxation and on the riding end not having to change the oil, worry about melting my bag, fight to get it to start at midnight in Winter, etc.. And I'll continue to look both ways before crossing the street.

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Anonymous Coward

40 minutes under race sonditions!

The name would suggest it's intended for enduro competition. Well back when I used to compete in enduros they lasted a lot longer than 40 minutes. Bit of a problem there. Even in motocross 40 minutes would be a bit of a problem. How would riders refuel at events? There isn't usually a mains feed to a mucky field so they would be using a petrol generator. Very environmentally friendly.

It's a good start on the road to electric bikes, but it looks more like a headline grabbing effort than a serious attempt at an electric bike.

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Anonymous Coward

Shocking

Sounds cool, but considering that electricity and water don't mix too well I think I'd be a bit reluctant to take one of these crashing through any deep mud pits, unless i'm certain the engine and battery components are EXTREMELY well armoured! :-o

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Coat

@Eugene

"Not pissing these people off is, for the thinking off-roader, an absolute dream. Some of us already go to such freakish lengths as leaving our stock mufflers on (and other travesties) to try and help."

How do you ride a motorbike while wearing a muffler?

Mine's the one without the English/US dictionary in the pocket.

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Noise = Saftey

I've always considered a nice loud can a saftey measure as indeed people seem to have trouble seeing and hearing motorbikes and often even when they do see them, continue on anyway....

I find sounding and looking like an angry Artillery piece roaring down the road makes people thing twice about that sort of thing.

Though I can see this would have appeal in some areas and KTM have picked a good market to release to.

Oh and for those muppets, especially the London Lemmings, that walk out in front of you even after making eye contact, I tend to find running a half tonne bike over their toes discourages repeat offenders.

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weight

I wonder how they'll do the weight distribution, if they manage to lower or raise the center of gravity etc. because of where the battery is. It might make it much easier or harder to ride.

Is that the actual bike in the pic? I still see a chain and sprocket, why not just a power cable to the motor in the back (or front) wheel? Maybe a reliability issue? It also looks like it has a gas cap?

Might be really nice for hills, w/o worrying about gearing, stalling, shifting while making a hard left turn etc. needs regenerative braking... might make going down hill easier since I don't know if the engine as is will help slow you down. If it's sealed it might make for some interesting creek crossings. I've always wanted to throw on some scuba gear and ride on the bottom of the sea?

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Pirate

I would buy one of these before........

I would buy one of these before I would buy a 4-stroke.

I watch people kick their 4-strokes for 10 minutes after they have killed the battery. I kick my 1986 Yamaha IT200S 3 times and I am ready to go.

I would miss the sound of my 2-stroke but but if I had to choose between the 4-stroke and the electric, it would be the electric. I can always put a 2-stroke sound track in my iPod.

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@Bounty

Motor in the wheel? Regenerative braking?

On a vehicle that light the unsprung mass would create a handling disaster. Unsprung weight is bad, but the real killer is the ratio of sprung to unsprung mass.

Also CoG height is always an interesting area for debate for motorcycle designers. There was a time when a low CoG was considered the be all and end all. Honda tried an underslung fuel tank on their GP500 bikes in the eighties, but dropped the idea as experience showed a higher CoG made a bike easier to drop into corners. When it comes to performance bikes you need a certain amount of instability built in. The weight of the battery pack may help in positioning the CoG, however the size of the battery pack may hinder same. Consider that a small object is easy to place where you want it within the structure of the bike. A large object actually dictates the design of that structure.

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