The bodywork of the Freeride 350 has been designed completely from scratch. The result is practical ergonomics with unrestricted freedom of movement due to the extremely slim seat and spoiler lines, and bodywork with excellent contact points between rider and machine. Well protected from dirt, grip recesses integrated in the plastic subframe provide an effective hold should the rear wheel ever become stuck in the mud. Furthermore, the front fender and headlight mask are also new designs for the Freeride 350.
The long, slender seat ensures unrestricted freedom of movement and a very good level of seating comfort for this operational use. It can be tipped up easily for filling the bike with fuel by means of an intelligent seat locking system. With a seat height of only 895 mm, the Freeride 350 always provides the rider with good ground contact and therefore better riding safety, even in tough terrain.
The fuel tank made from transparent plastic lies well protected between the upper frame profiles beneath the seat. The capacity of approx. 5.5 l is sufficient with the economical four-stroke engine featuring fuel injection, even for longer tours. Thanks to the transparent material, the fuel level can easily be made out from the exterior and a low-fuel light positioned between steering head and seat gives an additional indication. An easily accessible and well protected air filter cartridge is housed at the rear of the fuel tank and its height enables a decidedly good wad depth.
A completely new composite frame design made from high quality chrome-molybdenum steel, combined with forged aluminium elements, forms the backbone of the Freeride 350. The front steel frame profiles are combined with the multifunctional aluminium profiles by means of sturdy threaded joints. This revolutionary frame concept is responsible for high levels of tracking stability and safety, as well as minimum weight. A frame geometry selected for high agility with a relatively steep steering head angle and short wheelbase benefits the rider above all in tough terrain.
A subframe made from high-strength plastic is bolted to the main frame by means of a stable triangular connection and provides sufficient space for the electronic components of the engine management system. This solution makes a major contribution to the lightweight construction concept of the vehicle.
The suspension of the Freeride 350 has been specially designed for this vehicle and complies with the high KTM standard. Together with the high quality, CNC-machined triple clamps, a new 43 mm WP upside-down fork with 250 mm suspension travel provides for superb stability, excellent responsiveness and outstanding damping. At the rear, a newly developed PDS shock absorber with 260 mm, linked directly to the swingarm, guarantees maximum suspension comfort and sufficient safety, even on the most demanding terrain. Both rebound and compression stages can be set to suit the rider and the conditions on the suspension components, with high and low-speed compression damping also being adjustable on the shock absorber.
The lightweight wheels, featuring CNC-machined hubs and high-end GIANT aluminium rims (18 and 21 inch) with extra-light, orange spoke nipples, are practically unbeatable in terms of weight, although they still guarantee highest levels of stability and safety.
The engine management system from Keihin with electronic fuel injection and 42 mm throttle body ensures spontaneous, powerful responsiveness and handling, as well as making a significant contribution to the low fuel consumption. Convenient temperature and altitude compensation, and the electronic cold-start enrichment are state of the art. Closed-loop lambda control is a prerequisite for the efficient reduction of exhaust emissions by the two catalytic converters. Additional engine characteristics can be activated with an optional map select switch.
Based on the successful power unit of the 350 EXC-F, the engine of the Freeride 350 has nevertheless been redesigned for the new vehicle concept. In so doing, the kickstarter has been dispensed with for the benefit of minimal weight and more compact dimensions and a new engine case has been developed in ultra-light, die-cast (instead of sand-cast) aluminium. By redimensioning the exhaust and airbox, the engineers consciously designed the engine for torque rather than race performance in order to retain as effective - i.e. high-traction and power-saving - engine characteristics as possible, above all in tough terrain.
Four steel valves control the charge exchange process, guaranteeing highest levels of durability. They are actuated by means of two overhead camshafts and DLC-coated cam followers. The top engine speed is 10,000 1/min. With a respectable maximum output of 23 hp, the engine produces more than enough power to climb the steepest of slopes with the greatest of ease.
A smoothly operated clutch with integrated hub damping and effective diaphragm spring makes it possible to keep the whole clutch package extremely compact and light. The clutch is equipped with a wear-free steel basket, 8 steel carrier lining discs and extremely heat-resistant friction linings. These are pre-tensioned by means of a diaphragm spring, substantially reducing the operating force required to pull the clutch. The hydraulic clutch actuation system from Formula was developed especially for the Freeride 350 and guarantees energy-saving and easily controllable modulation.
The 350 cm³ engine is activated with an electric starter that is well protected behind the cylinder and ensures reliable starting.
When designing the exhaust system, engineers focussed their attention on low noise levels and emissions, as well as very rideable, high-torque engine characteristics. Exhaust gases are fed through a central header pipe underneath the engine, protected by the frame and a sturdy under-run plate, to the two aluminium silencers. Each of these is equipped with a catalytic converter, effectively reducing both emissions and riding noise to an environmentally friendly level.