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2014 KTM Freeride 250 R

2014 Euro Spec Two Stroke Freeride

2014 KTM Freeride 250 R

2014 KTM Freeride 250 R

2014 KTM Freeride 250 R

2014 KTM Freeride 250 R

Thanks to reader Tom for bringing the new Freeride 250 R to my attention this morning. This is the version I felt KTM should have built all along. It is a trials like bike with significantly lighter weight than the 350 version and hopefully a lower price. But at 6,000GBP, it would still be about $9,000 here. While I like the concept and see lots of possibilities, if that is the price dicated to sell them, they probably won’t make it here.

It has a number of interesting features: no powervalve, old style spring clutch, adjustable footpegs, hybrid trials style tires and composite subframe. KTM puts the weight about 20 pounds under the 2014 250xcw model and about 15 less than the 350 version. The one thing that I expected and don’t see, is any mention of cleaner emissions.

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Here are some of the details -

EXHAUST

The FREERIDE 250 R employs a brand new, low-noise exhaust system with an aluminium silencer and a sleek resonance chamber that contributes to the engine’s great torque response. Compared to the FREERIDE 350′s downpipe routed below the engine, the KTM engineers managed to route the FREERIDE 250 R’s resonance chamber to the side of the engine and integrate it perfectly into the vehicle. Similar to the competition enduros, the two-stroke FREERIDE is homologated with a special power restriction kit and is even streetlegal on public roads in this version.

ENGINE

As a powerplant for the FREERIDE 250 R, the KTM engineers started out from the two-stroke engine of the competition enduro 250 EXC, developing it comprehensively further, lowering its weight by another two kilograms despite using an electric starter, and tuning it for optimum rideability. The FREERIDE 250 R’s engine has a brand new cylinder with ports and timings adjusted to the intended torque response, as well as a matching new piston. Similar to trials bikes, the 250 EXC’s complex exhaust control valve is dropped, which benefits not only the response characteristics but also piston durability. This makes the engine even less complex and even more rugged.

CLUTCH

Both the FREERIDE 250 R and the FREERIDE 350 use a new, undampened CSS clutch (coil spring steel) with a wear-free steel basket and a clutch package specially tuned to the FREERIDE models with seven plates on steel carriers in model year 2014. Not the least thanks to the newly developed plates and softer clutch springs, the new clutch is distinguished by enhanced separation, while a revised master cylinder by Formula ensures a consistently light and precise action.

FRAME

With the FREERIDE 250 R frame, the KTM developers pulled all the stops to utilise the advantages of the more compact two-stroke engine to the fullest. As with the FREERIDE 350, the frame is a composite design made of top quality stainless steel sections and bolt-on forged aluminium components. Compared to the FREERIDE 350′s frame though, the engineers managed to raise the lower cradle by 60mm thanks to the two-stroke engine with the side exhaust. This ensures a lot more ground clearance – an advantage all the more beneficial the more difficult the terrain becomes, especially combined with the large amount of steering lock. In trial sections, the FREERIDE 250 R will beach itself even later.

REAR SUBFRAME

Made of highly resilient polymer, the bolt-on rear subframe is distinguished by high dimensional stability, contributing significantly to the lightweight FREERIDE 250 R concept. Well protected from dirt, recessed grips integrated into the plastic subframe provide an effective hold should the rear wheel ever become stuck in the mud.

AIR FILTER

The air filter is located well protected and easily accessible at the rear of the fuel tank. A lot larger than that of the four-stroke version, the air filter cartridge is less susceptible to clogging due to its larger filtration area while providing a higher flow rate.

BRAKES

The Formula braking system is fully up to the demanding KTM spec and has been developed significantly further yet again for the latest generation. A revised piston system in the front master cylinder ensures a consistent action and even greater durability. The radial callipers with four pistons front and two pistons rear work perfectly with the lightweight wave brake discs (260/210mm), ensuring optimum braking performance combined with an outstanding brake feel. Matching the hand controls, the new callipers now also have sand blasted surfaces.

SWING ARM

Weighing in at only 3.2kg, the cast aluminium swing arm has been designed to support the suspension system of frame and suspension components with a well-defined flexibility in the direction of swing. At the same time, it contributes significantly to the FREERIDE 250 R’s stability with its high torsional rigidity. The progressive rear PDS monoshock is linked directly to the swing arm.

FORKS AND MONOSHOCK

Combined with top quality, CNC machined triple clamps, the beefy upside-down front forks by WP Suspension with 43mm down tubes ensure a great response and damping, as well as providing the FREERIDE 250 R with outstanding stability. Their stiffer basic set-up perfectly matches the re-tuned rear WP monoshock which receives a new, progressive spring. While preserving the excellent ride comfort, front and rear suspension of the FREERIDE 250 R are markedly well balanced and very well protected from bottoming out – an advantage especially in quicker sections in demanding terrain. Damping is separately adjustable for compression and rebound, while the monoshock even has separate low and high speed controls for the compression stage. For those who would like a still lower seat height than the FREERIDE 250 R’s comparatively low 915mm, the KTM PowerParts range offers a lowering kit, reducing suspension travel by 25mm.

WHEELS AND TIRES

The FREERIDE 250 R rides on extremely lightweight newly developed laced wheels with anodized aluminium rims by GIANT, CNC machined hubs and aluminium spoke nipples. Derived from motorcycle trials, the Trial-Maxx tires in the dimensions 2.75-21 and 4.00-18 are also new and have been specially developed by Maxxis for the KTM FREERIDE. They are distinguished by a soft, high-traction rubber compound and a greatly increased void ratio, compared to pure trials tires. This increases the tread’s self-cleaning in muddy terrain without the tires breaking up the ground too much. In addition, the new Maxxis tires noticeably increase the FREERIDE 250 R’s agility and last much longer than pure trials tires.

TANK

Made of light weight polythene, the engineers managed to increase the fuel tank volume to 7 litres thanks to the more compact twostroke engine. The tank is well protected between the upper frame sections beneath the seat, which is opened for refuelling. Thanks to the translucent polymer, the rider can see at a glance how much fuel is left.

 

TECHNICAL DETAILS

ENGINE

Design 1-cylinder 2-stroke engine, water-cooled, with reed intake and exhaust control
Displacement 249 cm³
Bore 66.4 mm
Stroke 72 mm
Starting aid Electric starter
Transmission 6 gear, claw shifted
Engine lubrication Mixture oil lubrication
Primary ratio 26:72
Secondary gear ratio 14:46 (12:46)
Cooling Liquid cooling system
Clutch Wet multi-disc clutch CSS / Formula Hydraulik
Ignition system Contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system with digital ignition timing adjustment, type Kokusan

CHASSIS

Frame Perimeter steel-aluminium composite frame
Fork WP Suspension4357 MXMA
Shock absorber WP Suspension 4618 PDS DCC
Suspension travel Front 250 mm
Suspension travel Rear 280 mm
Brake system front Disc brake with radially mounted four-piston brake caliper
Brake system rear Disc brake with radially mounted dual-piston brake caliper
Brake discs – diameter front 260 mm
Brake discs – diameter rear 210 mm
Chain 5/8 x 1/4” X‑Ring
Steering head angle 67°
Wheelbase 1,418±10 mm
Ground clearance (unloaded) 380 mm
Seat height (unloaded) 915 mm
Total fuel tank capacity approx. 7 l
Unleaded premium fuel (95 octane), mixed with 2-stroke engine oil (1:80)
Weight without fuel approx. 92.5 kg
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  1. John Hobbs says:

    Not available in the U.S. ??? REALLY FRUSTRATING.
    What did we do wrong? Are we being punished???

    Immediate purchase guaranteed if I could. My KTM dealer does not offer -ANY HOPE.

    REALLY ONE OF THE MOST FRUSTRATING MOMENTS I CAN RECALL. WE HAVE A HUGE DIVERSITY OF ENTHUSIASTS HERE IN THE U.S. ANYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE FREERIDES CHARACTER WOULD GLADDLY PAY THE PRICE: 9,10,11,12K…. WHO CARES? IT’S WHAT WE WANT.

    WE ARE SICK OF PEAKY, HIGH SEATED, HEAVY, ENDURO BIKES. WE ARE VERY INTERESTED IN A ENDURO/TRIALS SOLUTION.

    KTM MANAGEMENT:
    *************** PLEASE MAKE (AT LEAST THE FR 250-R) AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN THE U.S.

    REGARDS,
    John W. Hobbs 12/21/2013

  2. Chilly says:

    Good points Kevin

    The price I used is for the UK. Bikes are usually priced significantly lower for the US. Yes, it needs to be about $7k.

    None of these type bikes are really designed with the US in mind. KTM NA was sort of perplexed about what to do with the 350 version, ultimately deciding not to import it as it would be too expensive for what it offered, plus it would really have to be made street legal to have wide popularity in the US. So things like fuel capacity are not designed with us in mind.

    These bikes look like hard enduro offerings, but in reality they are the epitome of soft enduro, bikes for those looking for something tamed down and easier to handle. No one really takes these seriously for extreme competition. But it is a great concept. With a little refinement I think there could be a good market for them here.

  3. Kevin says:

    Cheaper engine (no powervalve), cheaper/small forks, cheaper frame (doesn’t need to be built as tough). And it is still $1k more. This too is what I wanted from the start from the Freeride (Ossa Explorer), but that price IS painful. And a mere 1.8 gallons of gas is not great for any decent length trail ride, when we off-roaders usually complain about the small 2.6 gallon tanks that come on the 2-stroke enduros.
    I’m also surprised that this is not around 180lbs. That’s where I expect a true hard enduro specific bike to be. Like the Ossa Explorer.

  4. spaugh says:

    awesome bike. if it comes to North America it would be hard to resist buying one. A 200 version with kick starter and 15lbs lighter would be OK too.

  5. Tom says:

    With the popularity of hard enduro such as it is (even here in the US), you’d think they might actually bring it here. I have a Beta Rev 3 250 with the add-on seat/tank that I might consider selling in order to get one. Might even get the wife’s buy-in once she realizes that the shifter is “where it belongs” and she doesn’t have to kick start it.

    Let’s sing KTM some praise for building it and live vicariously through those who are allowed to buy it. Now if only we could get them to make an 800cc rally-inspired dual sport and a 500cc two-stroke…

  6. cool option, hope it comes to the US sometime soon.