MotoGP – Ducati takes off for MotoGP 2004 –

KTM Freeride 250 R in the driving report

Two-stroke with good manners

After the KTM Freeride 350, the Mattighofen-based company is now sending Klettermax number two on a climbing tour. The KTM Freeride 250 R with two-stroke engine in the MOTORRAD driving report.

Dang, dang, dang – it meanders with typical two-stroke babbling KTM Freeride 250 R the steeply sloping path littered with coarse boulders to the valley. You can literally feel how the soft tires cling to the stones like octopus arms, the machine, as if controlled by an invisible hand, searches its way and almost pushes the driver into the role of the accompanying observer. Seldom has the flippant phrase fit so well: Everything is on track.

KTM Freeride 250 R in the driving report

Two-stroke with good manners

KTM Freeride 250 R open with 25 hp

For a good 18 months, KTM has been relying on the lightness of being off-road, and with the Freeride 350, which went on sale in March 2012, it added a completely new branch to the model family tree. Less noise and fewer tracks, that’s the message of the hiking trial bike – which was gladly heard. The Austrians brought 4,000 freerides to the offroad-loving people around the world, 600 of them in Germany alone.

And now? The two-stroke freeride KTM Freeride 250 R. Instead of a moderately grumbling four-stroke engine, homologated with 23 hp, a tinny-sounding 250 two-stroke. Open with 25 HP peak power, but with only 7 HP in the approved version. Firmer suspension and, instead of tightly knitted trial tires, more coarsely contoured hybrid tires – things that could make the freeride concept deviate straight from the path of virtue that has only recently been traveled on.

But do it. The new cylinder, not equipped with exhaust control, a 28 mm carburetor (250 EXC: 36 mm) and the shorter gearbox should pacify the two-stroke engine taken over from the Sportenduro 250 EXC, the lean one
Mixing ratio of 1:80 is to prevent blue exhaust plumes on the KTM Freeride 250 R, the 7-liter tank (Freeride 350: 5.5 liters) increases the excursion radius and the standard electric starter makes it easier to get a feel for the first time.

In general, the good manners of the KTM Freeride 250 R – despite all fears – are still very popular even before the aforementioned steep descent. The starter made the long-stroke creak in a casual way, the manual forces on the brakes and clutch are as easy as pie, and the slim waist ensures that Otto Normalendurist is in contact with the ground despite the 91 centimeter seat height. If not, a suspension kit (158 euros) lowers the high seat by 35 millimeters. A flat bench (104 euros) brings the free rider a further 15 millimeters closer to the ground.

Trial motor pushes even the deepest tours

On top of that, the (unthrottled) freeride is also tame when driving. Like a trial engine, the propellant pushes even in the deepest tours and is completely calm, confident and finely dosed over the entire speed range. No trace of the biting two-stroke engine, which is difficult to master due to the performance kink after opening the exhaust control. On the contrary. In direct comparison with the four-stroke freeride, the KTM Freeride 250 R is even more sensitive and loads the chassis with even fewer engine reactions than the already cultivated 350. Respect. Especially since the tighter suspension tuning is hardly significant on small bumps. Small chunks are swallowed up by the relatively soft Maxxis tires, harder heels or high steps can now be handled by the suspension elements from WP Suspension with a little more puncture reserves.

But because the KTM Freeride 250 R with a total weight of almost 93 kilograms (factory specification) undercuts the Freeride 350 (issue 7/2012), which weighed 101 kilograms, by eight kilograms, the little sister can be a tad more nimble on donkey paths or cart paths maneuver. The fact that it can also benefit from 55 millimeters more ground clearance thanks to its overhead exhaust pipe in this area does not make the basic discussion any easier.


Single test: KTM Freeride 350

The KTM Freeride 350 in the test

read more


Top test: KTM 1190 Adventure

Rally Express

read more

Two-stroke freeride in terms of driving dynamics before 350 cc

Because one thing is clear: the 350 is quieter, has a less aggressive sound and, with its four-stroke engine, perfectly matches the core competence of the freeride concept, unobtrusive motorcycle touring. But that doesn’t change the fact that the two-stroke freeride is a step ahead of its still young four-stroke sister in terms of driving dynamics. The only question that arises is whether this argument matters on lonely donkey trails.

Related articles

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *