Before they became the de-facto European streetbike for guys who wear flat-brimmed hats bbut can’t afford a Ducati, KTM motorcycles were the stuff of off-road legend. With the introduction of the first Duke, they practically invented the idea of a roadworthy stunt bike. Now, KTM is going back to its crazy, road-terror roots with their new-for-2014 E-speed electric scooter concept.
I know that sounds strange, but hear me out. Some of the most terrifying, death-defying riding I’ve done has been at about 25-40 mph, dicing in between cars, trucks, and busses in the densely packed urban traffic nightmare that is rush-hour Chicago. It’s a thing, and the little scooters I was riding had a few advantages over the bigger crotch-rockets other 2-wheeled commuters were bombing down Western Ave on. To wit: the quick reflexes of the CVT transmission, the relative quiet of the scooters meant that I could sneak by slow-moving/unresponsive cars without giving them enough notice to willfully (read: murderously) turn into my center lane, and – every now and then – I was able to sneak into the bike lane without too much protest or attention from the local constabulary. If I had tried any number of aggressive moves I pulled off without a hitch on a scooter on a GSX-R or my own Honda Interstate? I’d have been road pizza.
Worse! I could have gotten a ticket!
KTM gets it, and this new scooty plug-in just the thing to zip through heavy urban traffic un-noticed and un-bothered … and it’s just the first of many upcoming e-bikes from the company that pretty much defined 2-wheeled hooniganism in the 1990s. KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer explains that 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.”
Easy, quick, and fun? Sounds ideal … and, because the electric scooter has no ICE, it should be technically legal to cut through some of the local parks now. Enjoy that! You can check out a video (actually, more of a slide show) of the new KTM electric scooter’s reveal, below.
Source: Hell for Leather.