Quick. If we say, "electric scooter," what springs to mind? A retro-styled off-brand offering from China? A plush maxi-sized conveyance for mature riders? Anything except, we imagine, the E-Speed concept from KTM that was just revealed at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show.

This sexy little beastie could very well be the butterfly knife of electric scooters: fun to play with, but deadly serious about slicing and dicing city traffic (*Disclaimer: Don't play with knives. You can put an eye out.) Built lean, with its aluminum battery enclosure doubling as the main chassis component, it doesn't just look sporty, it embodies it.

The E-Speed concept is quiet enough to not interfere with the sweet nothings it whispers to your inner hoon.

Packing an 11-kW (14.75 horsepower) liquid-cooled motor, the E-Speed offers 26.5 pound-feet of twist to help it reach its 85 kilometer-per-hour (53 mile-per-hour) top speed quickly, and in a fashion quiet enough to not interfere with the sweet nothings it whispers to your inner hoon. Quality flex bits from WP Suspension attached to the swingarm and front fork – both single-sided – should keep things well planted and allow for sharp handling. Luckily, it also features ABS brakes to reel you in if you get too close to the edge.

Range-wise, the 4.36-kWh lithium battery, running at over 300 volts, can carry passengers 60 km (37.28 miles) and charge to full in two hours. The 576 individual 18650-type cells are said to be good for 1,000 full cycles.

The question remains, though: will KTM build it? The official press release makes all kinds of happy noises about electric motivation, quoting CEO Stefan Pierer as saying, "We at KTM are completely convinced of electric mobility as a perfect complement to conventional powertrains." However, this is the same man that earlier this month told Italian website Motociclismo that lithium batteries were too expensive and dangerous to use.

Hopefully Mr. Pierer, after a long talk with some battery engineers and a spin around the block will come to his senses and figure out how to commercialize this concept. In the meantime, you can check it out from all angles in the gallery. Scroll on down for the official press release and full specifications.
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KTM launches "Zero Emission Scooter" concept at Tokyo Motorcycle Show

KTM "E-SPEED", the scooter of the future–with no emissions, but with a unique character
all of its own, with cutting-edge technology and with all you need for plenty of riding fun

Mattighofen/Tokyo, March 22nd 2013. With the "Freeride-E", the KTM Sportmotorcycle AG put a well-engineered "Zero Emission Sportmotorcycle" concept on wheels that has opened up a completely new outlook on motorcycle sports in open nature. Now, the company based in Mattighofen, Austria launches a new concept for the urban environment which is in its way just as extraordinary: the "E-SPEED" will be ondisplay for the first time at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show from March 22 to 24, 2013.

Launched at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show 2010 in two versions as an offroad motorcycle and a Supermoto style concept bike, the electrically driven "Freeride-E" had still been very much a rolling prototype that had met with enthusiasm but also with scepticism three years ago. In 2011, the concept was awarded the "State Prize Mobility" by the Austrian minister of transport, and KTM announced a series production run of the off-road version. In 2012, the first "Freeride-
E" series started to roll off the production lines in Mattighofen, and KTM opened an off-road park close to the facility where the curious have a chance to test-ride the electric motorcycle. In the course of the market launch, this test concept will be gradually extended till sales start.

"We at KTM are completely convinced of electric mobility as a perfect complement to conventional powertrains," says KTM CEO Stefan Pierer. "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." With the "Freeride-E", KTM already has a motorcycle that can be used freely in the outdoors 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. 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. With the powerful acceleration typical of electric motors, and with its low weight of only 140kg, the "E-SPEED" can be flicked through urban traffic with great agility, besides running nearly silently and completely free of emissions. "Vehicles like the 'E-SPEED' and 'Freeride-E' will help powered two-wheelers win back more acceptance in society," Stefan Pierer is convinced. "Notjust because of their environmental credits, but because they are easy to use, quick, and simply great fun."

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. 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.

Suspension and equipment have as little in common with typical scooters as the electric motor, completely encapsulated inside an aluminium casing with integrated cooling fins. The "E-SPEED" uses the aluminium battery casing as a central, load-bearing chassis component which alsocarries the swing-arm, the motor and a lightweight sub-frame for the front suspension. The rear swing arm acts on the WP shock via a linkage, while the front wheel is suspended from a single-sided front fork also made by premium supplier WP Suspension. Aerodynamic polymer slats protect the rider's feet and legs from the weather while guiding cool air toward the batteries. Daytime running lights and the high beam use cutting-edge LED technology, while the seat rests on a lightweight but strong polymer support without any kind of metal reinforcement. Regenerative brakes with 220mm discs, ABS, and 14-inch alloy wheels round off the ground breaking KTM concept.

The design concept "E-SPEED" not only elevates the classic scooter concept to a new evolutionary level. Its main purpose is to fulfil the requirements of sporty, urban mobility in a con
temporary manner. After the "Freeride-E", KTM thus once again proves that electric mobility can be combined with lightweight design, playful agility, and great riding dynamics in a single motorised two-wheeler. To KTM, an electric powertrain and riding enjoyment, environmental credentials and "Ready to Race" are no contradictions, but in their combination become an outstanding starting point for new, viable two-wheeled concepts of the future.




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