2017 KTM Freeride E-XC First Ride Review

If your idea of off-road riding is busting big air over triple jumps, the Freeride-E will disappoint. But KTM’s electric-powered off-roader broadens the scope of what’s possible in a dirtbike built to quietly conquer trails of fun.

As a longtime devotee of performance, I was a rider who aspired to bad-ass motocross bikes and ripping up racetracks, that is until I shattered my ankle on a 450 at Glen Helen, suffering through four surgeries and threats of amputation. Since then I rarely ride off-road for fear of re-injury or developing new ones, and it’s a riding activity I dearly miss.

And that’s why I was grinning like a child in my helmet when riding the Freeride-E on the hilly trails around the Wildomar OHV area in southern California – and doing it in near silence. It rekindled the pure element of fun that is the whole reason most of us started riding motorbikes in the first place. It’s fast enough to thrill, capable enough to tackle gnarly terrain, and manageable enough to make even an old dude feel fully in control. Even a salty off-road veteran like our cohort at Dirtbikes.com, Scott Rousseau (pictured in the lead photo), had a blast riding it.

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