When do they sleep Mattigofhenn? Because after the launch of the first Freeride 350 in 2013, KTM has to drive the nail with a variation even easier but no less effective of the enduro bike for all. With its 2-stroke engine, the Freeride 250 R may be surprised more than one … Here’s why …
Last year (2013 vintage), KTM was sprained his famous strategy “Ready to Race” by presenting the Freeride 350. An enduro bike, not for the competition, but rather the general public with the credo ease of handling. A year later, KTM is riding the wave of success of the “Freeride” ( read our test of the Freeride 350 when Enduo 2012 ) by offering us a new Freeride 2014: the 250 R. Strong supporter of “cylinder holes”, so it’s a 2-stroke engine block inspired by the KTM 250 EXC that propels the Freeride 250 R. But the changes are legions of these two blocks for two different audiences, we particularly note the change of cylinder easier because the exhaust valves disappear, with the key a unique exhaust. Already halfway between enduro and trial with the 350, this vocation is even more marked with the 250R, a glance will suffice to realize, and this will be confirmed when fully test this new Freeride 2014.
Scale test for the 250R Freeride
For skeptics who think that formal submission can not really try the bikes, I arrest you immediately. Our playground is the day the mountain of Il Ciocco, a heavenly area for hikers trail bike. But that’s not all, because during the day the test Freeride 250R, we will take a few passages of Hell’s Gate, a race that is one of the most difficult (and mad …) of the planet. The stage is set, it must now choose a group of testers, between easy, normal and expert. So you can imagine we did not hesitate one second to throw in the group upset experts, led by Lars Enöckl whose profession is none other than driver extreme Enduro Erzberg Rodeo, Romaniacs, Hell’s Gate and whatnot a hair masochists are his favorite pastimes … Come on, not even scared, let’s see what the Freeride 250 R in the belly!
Almost Ready to Race, Finally …
This is a motorcycle with much lower than conventional enduro dimensions, very thin, very compact and mostly much lower that we tend orders. But if its size is reduced, it is not a motorcycle at a discount provided. The Freeride is certainly not as well endowed with equipment that her big sisters EXC, but it has all the same tees anodized discs Braking wave of handguards, a hydraulic clutch actuation or yet skid plate. Pressing the starter – not here to kick – and Freeride starts in a hoarse stifled sound which clearly suggests a trial bike.
Very slender, the Freeride 250R fits snugly between the legs, here we can put both feet flat on the ground without worry. We need to find a little place for ergonomics is still different from what we usually find on a traditional enduro bike, but it is not eccentric either, and even the big guys adapt quite well to Freeride. But soon a shocking detail, we must put on the 50th to catch the gear selector, the latter being positioned a bit far but also a little high. You can not change its position, failing to abut against the frame damage.
Ease of Reach Handlebar
After a few miles of rolling roads, pins are taken, it is time to get into the heart of the matter. It begins in the narrow paths slalom between the trees where the Freeride 250R is guided with ease. The handling of the new KTM is clearly one of its strong points, and this is confirmed when the going gets tough. As you say we ate rocks all the sauces in this presentation: sclerosis, rolling, rolling, hidden … was probably driven more often on the stone on the ground. Under these conditions, have the ability to change trace a wink was rather significant.
This is an opportunity to talk about suspensions, very flexible on this Freeride 250R. A little confusing at first, they absorb wonderfully small and medium roughness of the ground. Their effectiveness is remarkable difficulties and crossings. Example, if you start to lose traction, just put the weight back to regain grip. Typed tires “trial” also show to their advantage, offering an ideal compromise for this kind of use. But it remains to know more spaced knobs (compared to the 350 Freeride 2013) provide a better mud evacuation …
After the rear, move to the front of the Freeride 250R with a gripe about the front which has had a tendency to escape without warning repeatedly pace. It was found that the 250R Freeride was a real weapon clearance enduro trial but also the few ex-trialists present for this presentation have not hesitated to send steps and walls to confirm. It must also be said that the weight content of the bike is on its side. The 250 is lighter than the 350 and seems more playful, but also easier to maneuver and / or address. We obviously made voluntarily (or not …) in difficult situations to get to the bottom. Some fellow whose name we will not mention them are gone even further with “thrown” Motorcycle ending in backflips, falls into the sides of rather steep hills and other stunts … This allowed to check a quality focus is primarily beginners: it’s still a solid freeride 250R!
Creaminess … Efficiency!
The engine of the KTM 250R is a concentrated roundness. In the range of low to medium speeds, the Freeride truly shows the most effective, his reach is more limited than later. Take courage, it is not the KTM then that will make you sore arm due to a too strong engine, far from it. It is even frustrating at first, as was the sensation of riding a lung when you attack … But when it comes to pass, that character becomes this once formidable barriers to swallow. By connecting the terminal that allows you to change the mapping, the motorcycle finds more response, she became more nervous.
What is more reassuring when tackling a long hill where you can not really afford to stop, on the one hand because the stones are large sides and secondly because all the world is watching … This renewed pep also allows some blow clutch easier to give impetus for example. Anyway, the engine of the Freeride 250R has a couple copies, you can really get very low without latter to hold, on the second report the bike is a real tractor. Start from scratch in a delicate area becomes almost easy – I said almost – a light throttle playing with the point of clutch slip allows the 250 R to resume its progress unctuous.
Balance Freeride 250R: A Fun Bike for All Enduro!
After this first test, it seems that the Austrians have found another form of magic potion! Real toy for adults, the Freeride 250 R arises as a balance between trial bike and enduro, with perhaps a leaning towards the trial a little more assertive than its big sister, the 350 4 stroke. Lighter and a little more manageable, the Freeride 250 R is also a little less “placed on the ground” that the 350. Still, this bike is fun to ride and quiet can become dangerous weapon for crossing. Its engine that easily manages not surprise his driver.
Despite its being sometimes fleeing before the Freeride 250R is a motorcycle driver who mostly standing in the way of a trial bike. So that after a day of intense running, we would like the cockpit is a little higher in order to relieve the back, necessarily curved. Braking side, limitations quickly at the front are also found.
Finally, it is also the price of the 2014 Freeride 250R which should earn him a great success with a wide audience. We speak for the moment € 6,800, its price has not yet been finally determined to France (on 30/08/13). For comparison, the Freeride 350 costs € 7,390. Anyway, his new little sister enduro bike advise strongly to his first laps in any field or just to have fun, whatever your level.