Ktm Goes

ELECTRIC!

It's true: KTM, best known for its off-road and motocross machines, is going green! Okay, maybe the Austrian bike maker isn't changing its corporate colors or going hybrid on us, but it is in final development on a pair of zero-emissions electric motorcycles. Targeted for a spring on-sale date, the Freeride enduro and Freeride street version were shown in near-production-ready form at the 2010 Tokyo Motorcycle Show.

This appears to be a major leap forward in the evolution of electric motorcycles. Rather than being interesting playthings, which seems to be the case with other off-road electric bikes, the competition-spec Freeride is built with top-of-the-line components designed to meet the same rugged standards as KTM's gas-powered off-roaders. The permanent energized synchronous motor, designed in cooperation with the Austrian Institute of Technology, is rated at 22 horsepower with 32 foot-pounds of torque; claimed weight for the Freeride is just 198 pounds, which is lighter than KTM's own 208-pound 150 XC two-stroke. Price is expected to be less than 10,000 euros ($13,300). At presstime, there was no word on U.S. availability. —Blake Conner

UPs & DOWNs

UP: To Jimmy Moore, for coming up I with a resourceful means of funding his planned trip to race this year's Isle of Man TT. More than a few Americans have raced the Island, but none have Moore's on-track credentials. The two-time AMA

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