It looks like electric motorcycles are going to be the next big thing in the two-wheeler world. Harley-Davidson was arguably the first major bike-maker to test the waters in electric motorcycle segment with the LiveWire prototype in 2014. Indian Motorcycle has also announced its intention to build a high-end electric. The new entrant in the club seems to be Austrian bike-maker KTM.
UK-based publication MCN has spotted a KTM 390 Duke's old version fitted with an electric motor in Austria. In place of trellis frame, the model has been spotted with a massive aluminium battery box. Apart from the engine compartment, the rest of the parts remain the same of the 390 Duke in the spy shots, including gearlever. A vertically stacked radiator on the right side of the engine indicate that the motor is liquid cooled.
KTM is not entirely new in the electric motorcycle segment. The E-Ride series of supermoto bikes of KTM is powered by electric engines. The range includes Freeride E-XC, E-SX and E-SM, all powered by a liquid-cooled synchronous electric motor with an output of 22hp and 42Nm of torque from a 260-volt battery pack.
The electric Duke, on the other hand, will be serious on increased output since the Duke range is known as powerful street fighters. Having said that, an electric Duke is currently in its early stages of development.
It was reported that Polaris Industries, the parent company of Indian Motorcycle, is planning to launch an electric bike. The proposed model is expected to cover 190-225km on a single charge even if driven aggressively. The e-bike from Indian will lock horn against Harley-Davidson LiveWire.
Harley-Davidson had showcased first prototype of its first electric vehicle in 2014. The prototype was powered by an oil-cooled, longitudinally-mounted three-phase induction electric motor that develops 74hp and 71Nm of torque.
Indian Motorcycle and Harley-Davidson electric motorcycles are expected to debut by the end of this decade. Though there is no clarity on the KTM electric bike's arrival, it is also expected during the same time.