Electric featherweight | French trials gurus bring ultra light EM Escape enduro bike to market

French manufacturer Electric Motion are branching out from their usual remit of high-quality battery powered trials bikes, to create a road-legal enduro aimed squarely at tackling the harshest terrain.  

The EM and appears to blur the lines between extreme play bikes, such as KTM’s Freeride EXC models, with that of more conventional enduro machines.

With a claimed weight of just 87kg for the £9499 X version and 88kg for the £10,999 XR, the electric off-roader is a certified featherweight, coming in over 10kg lighter than most rivals.  

EM Escape XR studio shot right

Both machines are propelled by a 3.5kWh battery that should be good for 50 miles of use, and both can be ridden on a CBT thanks to a quoted nominal power output of 8bhp. 

The top-of-the-line XR gets a hydraulically operated diaphragm clutch – a clever piece of kit that utilises the non-linear deflection curve of a diaphragm spring to create more favourable characteristics. In simple terms, this means it offers a broader friction zone and is lightest when fully engaged, which should reduce rider fatigue.

A posh clutch isn’t the only trick up the XR’s sleeve though. The bike is totally adjustable through the EM app, allowing for changes to the power and reactivity of the throttle. Variable map selection will allow users to quickly change power delivery to suit conditions and once on the rough stuff, both an ‘Anti Reverse’ and ‘Tick Over’ feature should provide ultimate technical control when infused with the trials DNA of the Escape’s chassis. 

EM Escape XR studio shot left side

Suspension travel is just 250mm at the front, and a rear figure is not quoted just yet. For reference, a full sized enduro machine like KTM’s EXC300 will offer at least 50mm more bounce than the Escape, pointing to a desire to keep the bike diminutive in stature.  

Whilst it likely won’t be particularly adept at tackling huge motocross style jumps or charging across high-speed desert sections, the smaller frame of the EM should make it highly capable for the slow and technical riding that often makes up the UK enduro scene. 

Matthew Alpe, founder of Inch Perfect trials – the sole distributor of EM products in the UK described the bike as “perfect for hard enduro but also for greenlaning. It’s slightly smaller than a full-sized machine, but that makes it really manageable to ride.”

EM Escape XR studio shot right front three quarters

“We’re already recruiting top riders, but nothing certain just yet,” he continued. “Year on year we’ll keep making moves on the enduro scene.”