KTM has announced plans to produce the Speed scooter concept it showed at Tokyo this year as the E-SPEED. Based on the FREERIDE E electric drivetrain, the production version of the E-SPEED is expected to deliver a performance profile similar to a 125cc gas-powered scooter. At nearly 15 hp, the output of the E-SPEED should be well suited to urban riding, especially given its top speed of just under 55 mph. That puts it in Stella or Symba territory performance wise. Take a close look at the front rotor and you’ll see an ABS ring. Will this make it to production? While no mention of range was given, the 4.36kWh battery is said to charge in as little as two hours on 220v of wall power.
It’s encouraging that KTM aspires to produced something in the electric space that doesn’t fall into either of the current electric scooter paradigms. That is, big and heavy, or small and slow. Most larger electrics give the performance of a 150cc gas-powered scooter in the form factor of a 650. Meanwhile the electric scooters actually sized like 150s give a performance output that’s shamed by many 50cc gas-powered bikes. What KTM is claiming to do here is produce an electric scooter that’s got useful performance in a compact footprint. If they pull it off, it’ll be rather appealing, in our opinion.
Specs aside, the E-SPEED concept is one of the more interesting designs we’ve seen in quite some time. It’s tubular steel frame and angular lines make it right at home in the KTM family lineup. Yet as familiar as it is as a KTM, it doesn’t really look like anything else in recent memory from the scooter world at large. While following a handful of graphic and proportion cues similar to bikes like the Genuine Blur and the Kymco Super 8, the E-SPEED seems to have done something pretty rare in the modern scooter game: come up with something new. I think it’s spectacular looking.
The wildcard in all this praise is price. How much will the thing cost and will the market bear it? With Vespa’s recent announcement asking just under five figures for its striking 946, where would an arguably more sophisticated machine land one the price scale. Before you think that $10,000 comparison isn’t fair, think about this. The E-SPEED’s offroad sibling, the KTM FREERIDE E, has its own 350cc gas-powered equivalent in the KTM lineup. No pricing has been announced for the FREERIDE E as of yet, but the KTM 350 EXC-F sports a price tag of $9,699 USD. We have yet to see an electric version of any two-wheeler (or car for that matter) come in at a lower price point than its dino-burning contemporaries. Once we start talking above $10,000, there’s another electric contendor to well, contend with: the BMW C Evolution scooter due out next year. For all its handsome lines, the KTM E-SPEED will likely find itself having to compete with the much more high-performing and nicely appointed offering from BMW (pictured below) for what might turn out to be even money.
Official Statement from KTM:
With the FREERIDE E, KTM put a well-engineered “Zero Emission Offroad Sportmotorcycle” concept on wheels. Now, the company based in Mattighofen, Austria shows with the “E-SPEED” at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show a new sport-oriented future concept for “urban mobility”.
With the FREERIDE E, KTM already has a offroad motorcycle that can be used freely in the outdoors and that has opened up a completely new outlook on motorcycle sports in open nature as it produces no exhaust emissions and is nearly silent. With the “E-SPEED”, the sports bike manufacturer now introduces a concept vehicle based on the same battery and powertrain concept to offer a comparable solution for urban areas.
Stefan Pierer (KTM CEO): “We at KTM are completely convinced of electric mobility as a perfect complement to conventional powertrains. In the long term, the electric drive will come out on top for short distances – particularly in areas which are highly sensitive from an environmental perspective, like open nature and densely populated metropolitan areas! Vehicles like the ‘E-SPEED’ and FREERIDE E can help powered two-wheelers win back more acceptance in society. Not just because of their environmental credits, but because they are easy to use, quick, and simply great fun.”
True to his motto that each and every component of a KTM must have both an aesthetic and a structural function, the chassis and bodywork of the “E-SPEED” have turned out uncluttered and iconic with a true premium look!
Technically the “E-SPEED” takes advantage of the extensive know-how gathered in the development department in Mattighofen. The prototype which is 11kW and 36Nm strong and reaches a speed up to 85km/h, among other things, trusts in a state of the art hybrid steel trellis light metal frame and WP suspension elements.
The “E-SPEED” is powered by a liquid-cooled, permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 36Nm of maximum torque and a permanent power of 11kW to drive the rear wheel via a belt drive. Electricity is stored in a package of cutting-edge lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 4.36kWh that is fully charged within two hours on a regular 220V socket.
The KTM “E-SPEED” does indeed have sporting ambitions, as witnessed by the concept’s chassis and styling – thanks to completely unique technical solutions and the inimitable lines drawn by KTM’s very own designer, Gerald Kiska.