Green design needs not be ugly and KTM has proven that it can even be dynamic.
I think the 2012 Freeride E is a positive embodiment of a holistic motorcycle design philosophy. It was designed in response to the increasing restrictions on sound and emissions on off road trails and to capitalize on the creation of off-road motorcycle parks in cities. But the end product is a motorcycle designed not just to perform on the trails, but also to perform in an environmentally friendly way, producing no emissions and leaving a much smaller carbon footprint. Because design is not just style and sport performance.
Some will say that all trail bikes, electric or not damage the environment by scarring the landscape with torn up trails. In that respect the 2012 KTM Freeride E is no different, but its probably very quiet and this could enhance the outdoors experience, making riders more aware and maybe ride with more consideration for the environment. I kitesurf and one of the wonders of kitesurfing is that as fast as you surf, all you ever hear are the sounds of nature. Maybe hearing the wind and traction sound of the 2012 KTM Freeride E tyres will be as satisfying as hearing a combustion engine.
The more we can provide consumers with products that reduce their impact on the environment, the more likely it will be that we can develop an environmentally friendly and considering culture, to stop the ever increasing pollution in our world.
I hope the 2012 KTM Freeride E is a seed of a new and exciting motorcycle paradigm.
Here are some photos of the latest version of the 2012 KTM Freeride E and the concept bike from 2008.
Although the commercial production colours make the 2012 KTM Freeride E design look watered down and a little less precious,
these photos of the Freeride E concept bike from DERESTRICTED DOT COM show the great aesthetic design potential.
The 2012 KTM Freeride E performs like a 125cc, but with twice the torque! And the 95kg it weighs as much as the wet weight of a Honda CR125. I only wonder if there could have been a reduced use of plastic to amplify the environmentally friendly message.
And some images of the design process from the KTM Japanese webpage Orange Blog.