2020 KTM SX-E 5

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First Look Video: KTM SX-E 5 Electric Minibike

The SX-E 5 is not a replacement for the 50 SX but it can be if you want.


At this year's Red Bull Straight Rhythm, while most people were focused on two-stroke machines, we were getting our first in-person look at a brand new no-stroke machine - the 2020 KTM SX-E 5. This minibike has been in the works for years and we've had a few packets of information floated our way, but we actually got to see the bike in the flesh and get a little on-track demonstration.

Adjustability

Before looking at the obvious difference in this bike and the 50 SX (the motor), the SX-E 5 has an unprecedented amount of size adjustability. Because there is no gas tank, no air box, and no carb, lots of features of a traditional motorcycle can be moved around. First off the seat, shrouds, and subframe all can be moved to a lower position on the frame, lowering the seat height.


At this year's Red Bull Straight Rhythm, while most people were focused on two-stroke machines, we were getting our first in-person look at a brand new no-stroke machine - the 2020 KTM SX-E 5. This minibike has been in the works for years and we've had a few packets of information floated our way, but we actually got to see the bike in the flesh and get a little on-track demonstration.

Adjustability

Before looking at the obvious difference in this bike and the 50 SX (the motor), the SX-E 5 has an unprecedented amount of size adjustability. Because there is no gas tank, no air box, and no carb, lots of features of a traditional motorcycle can be moved around. First off the seat, shrouds, and subframe all can be moved to a lower position on the frame, lowering the seat height. Furthermore, the shock has a second mounting position that also lowers the machine. There is also an accessory suspension lowering kit that brings the suspension travel down as well. From the lowest setting to the highest setting, the bike can be as small as the current 50 SX mini to as tall as the current 50 SX. This means, just based on the size, the SX-E 5 can accommodate riders from 3 or 4 years old to 10 years old.

Here you can see the two positions for the shock and the subframe. With no tank, you can see that the seat can be adjusted much lower.

The next area of adjustability is the power. There are six power modes. Mode one is just faster than walking pace and is for literally learning how to balance, and ride a two wheeled machine. On the other end of the spectrum, mode six is full-on race speed comparable to a 50cc two-stroke machine. With both the size and power adjustability, this might be the only bike a parent needs to buy for almost a decade. Also, there is a magnetic fob under the seat that has to be connected to change the power mode. That means, if you don't want your little ripper to rip to fast, you can simply remove the fob and the power mode is locked in. There is also a magnetic kill fob on the left side of the bar that goes around the rider's wrist so the bike shuts off if that is removed. 

Six power modes, from walking pace to race pace. Modes one, two, and three are obvious, and mode four is indicated by one and three lit up, the same for five (two and three lit up) and mode six is all three lit up. The battery life is indicated by green lights around the unit.

Performance 

When talking about electric machines, it isn't about displacement, it is about the battery. The SX-E 5 has a KTM developed Powerpack LV 0.9 with 84 lithium ion cells. In real world terms, you are looking at up to two hours in the low power modes and about 25 minutes of mode six full-out racing. Since they do sell the battery separate for $849 we were wondering if you could buy a few to take with you to the track. KTM did say that swapping a battery is about a ten-minute job, the SX-E 5 wasn't designed as a modular, "quick-battery-change" sort of vehicle. They warned that the connectors were not designed and tested to withstand excessive battery swaps. 

That brings us to the charger, which is included with the purchase of the bike. It plugs directly into any wall socket and the battery itself. If the machine is completely drained of power, it takes 1 hour, 10 minutes for a full charge, but only 45 minutes to get to 80 percent. The reason it takes much longer to get that last 20 percent of charge is that the battery pack has to balance out all of the lithium-ion cells. 

Also in the performance department, the suspension is the same WP XACT fork and shock on the KTM 50 SX, as are the wheels, brakes, and swingarm. The bars actually taper to smaller grip diameter just like the Pro Taper Micro bars.

The gray dome thing is the mode lock fob. If it is in the bike the power mode can be changed. If you take it out, the power mode is locked.

Weird Questions That We Normally Don't Ask

Is the bike water proof? 

Yep, everything on the machine is waterproof and there is no need to worry about water crossings, mud, deep puddles, or pressure washing. 

Any motor maintenance or fluid changes? 

None. KTM says that the air-cooled, permanent magnet electric motor is fully sealed against outside elements and is wear and maintenance-free. 

Can the bike be stored or transported on its side? 

Yes. Since there are no liquids to leak or migrate into bad places, you could store the bike upside down if you wanted to. The practical reason we asked was thinking about throwing the bike in the trunk of a car or laying it down in a very tight space in an RV or camper. 

How do you make it faster? 

As of right now, there aren't any options other than changing the rear sprocket. The SX-E 5 doesn't have a tradition external ECU that can be swapped out, and other mechanical hop-ups (engine work, race gas, exhaust) are out the window... obviously. 

Racing? 

Yeah. A really cool thing that KTM let us know at the intro is that for 2020, Loretta Lynn's will have a electric mini bike class for this bike, the new Cobra, and the Husqvarna e-mini bike. 


From KTM: 

The newly developed KTM SX-E 5 is the next step in KTM’s innovative line-up. Combining class-leading knowledge in youth motorcycling with years of development work in the e-sector, the KTM SX-E 5 is based on the incredibly popular 2-stroke KTM 50 SX with a high-end chassis powered by an electric motor. The mission was clear: to create an ultra-competitive machine that is also easy to ride, even for pure beginners. The KTM SX-E 5 enjoys the advantage of zero emissions, low noise and minimal maintenance, which makes it ideal for youngsters looking to make the first step into the world of motorcycling, and thanks to its dynamic design and adjustable seat height, it is ideal for the growing rider. The KTM PowerPack can provide more than two hours of riding for a beginner – or 25 minutes for the faster junior racers – and with its external worldwide charger, full power is restored in approximately one hour.

2020 KTM SX-E 5 Highlights

 

  • State-of-the-art electric motor with 5 kW peak performance featuring an extremely compact and slim design that is well suited to the smaller chassis. 
  • Due to its dust and waterproof layout, the air-cooled motor is wear and maintenance-free.
  • Fitted with 84 modern Lithium-Ion cells in a robust die-cast aluminium casing mounted just above the motor, the battery offers enough stored energy for more than two hours of riding for a beginner and 25 minutes for faster riders, depending on riding conditions.
  • Adjustable seat height can be set at the standard 698 mm (completely rebounded) or it can be easily reduced in two steps to 653 mm. A Suspension Lowering Kit from the accessories line can further lower the seat height to 560 mm (with static sag). 
  • Easy-to-use multifunctional instrument panel allows selection between 6 different ride modes to tailor the power characteristics to any ability level. 
  • Quick-charging external worldwide charger supplying up to 900 W can be connected to any 110 or 230 Volt socket and plugs directly into the battery back.
  • A lanyard attached between the rider’s wrist and the kill switch stops the motor when removed, or in the event of an unexpected fall by the rider.
  • Ride modes can be saved by a dongle mounted under the seat to prevent young riders from changing the selected mode. 
  • WP XACT 35 air-sprung fork is ultra-lightweight and easily adjustable for different rider sizes and track conditions. 
  • Fully adjustable XACT PDS rear suspension to match the performance of the WP fork.   
  • Bodywork that mimics the full-size SX-F line that gives the SX-E 5 a slim profile for excellent ergonomics and handling.
  • Front and rear hydraulic brakes by Formula combined with lightweight WAVE discs are powerful with feedback that gives control for any skill level.
  • Super lightweight, black anodized aluminum rims are matched to MAXXIS tires for maximum grip.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Electric Motor: 48 V – BLDC Motor with Outer Rotor
  • Rated Output: 2 kW / 3,200 RPM 
  • Max Power: 5kW / 3,750 RPM 
  • Torque: 13.8 Nm from 0 RPM
  • Max Motor Speed: 6,000 RPM  
  • Final Drive: 8:46 
  • Cooling: Air Cooled
  • Battery: Lithium-Ion KTM
  • Capacity: 907 Wh
  • Charging Time 100%: 70 minutes at 25 A
  • Charging Time 80%: 45 minutes at 25 A
  • Charging Rate: Quick Charging 5 A 230 V~
  • Charging Power: 900 W
  • Frame: Double Grinded Central Double-Cradle-Type Frame
  • Subframe: Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic
  • Handlebar: Tapered Aluminum Ø 28/22/18 mm
  • Front Suspension: WP XACT 35 USD Ø 35mm
  • Rear Suspension: WP XACT PDS Monoshock 
  • Suspension Travel Front/Rear: 205 mm / 8.07 in; 185 mm / 7.28 in
  • Front/Rear Brakes: Disc Brake 160 mm / 160 mm
  • Front/Rear Rims: 1.50 x 12” / 1.60 x 10” Aluminum  
  • Front/Rear Tires: 60/100 x 12” / 2.75 x 10” 
  • Chain: 1/2 x 3/16 in
  • Steering Head Angle: 24º
  • Triple Clamp Offset: 22 mm
  • Wheelbase: 1,032 mm ± 10 mm / 40.6 ± 0.4 in
  • Ground Clearance: 252 mm / 9.92 in
  • Seat Height: 684 mm / 26.9 in
  • Weight, Approx: 40.5 kg/ 89.3 lbs 

Specifications

Product KTM SX-E 5
Model Year 2020
Engine Size Other
Engine Type Electric
Engine Displacement 48 V – BLDC Motor with Outer Rotor
Bore x Stroke Rated Output: 2 kW / 3,200 RPM
Compression Ratio Max Power: 5kW / 3,750 RPM
Fuel System Torque: 13.8 Nm from 0 RPM
Ignition Max Motor Speed: 6,000 RPM
Transmission N/A
Final Drive Final Drive: 8:46
Suspension Front WP XACT 35 USD Ø 35mm
Suspension Rear WP XACT PDS Monoshock
Brakes Front Disc Brake 160 mm
Brakes Rear Disc Brake 160 mm
Tires Front 60/100 x 12”
Tires Rear 2.75 x 10”
Overall Length
Overall Width
Overall Height
Seat Height 684 mm / 26.9 in
Wheelbase 1,032 mm ± 10 mm / 40.6 ± 0.4 in
Ground Clearance 252 mm / 9.92 in
Rake/Trail
Fuel Capacity 907 Wh
Curb Weight 40.5 kg/ 89.3 lbs
Features
Miscellaneous
Price $5,049
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