The story of KTM dirt bikes began when Hans
Trunkenpolz, one of two KTM company founders, opened a repair shop in
Mattighofen, Austria, in 1934. The repair business grew in size, becoming one of
the larger car and motorcycle repairers in Austria.
The business then became the official supplier of DKW motorcycles and in 1951
developed its first motorcycle, dubbed the R100.
In 1953 the KTM company was founded by Hans Trunkenpolz and Ernst Kronreif. The
official company name was 'Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen' (KTM). The first
production series of KTM motorcycles commenced.
KTM has a rich pedigree in enduro and off road racing, the KTM's first raced in
the International Six Day Enduro in 1956. They've also dominated the Paris-Dakar
Rally for many years, arguably the toughest off road race in the world.
In 1968 KTM dirt bikes were exported to the U.S. for the first time by Jack
Penton, the Penton Six days was manufactured by KTM and exported by Penton under
his own name.
Timeline from 1986 onwards:
KTM becomes the first manufacturer to offer disc brakes front
and rear. KTM wins every category at the Six Days in Italy.
Series production commences of the KTM 4-stroke engine (1
cylinder, 560ccm, overhead camshaft). Production of 98,000
radiators, 93,700 bicycles, 12,600 mopeds and 10,600
Scooter manufacture ceases.
KTM and Trampas Parker (USA) become 125cc Motocross World
Champion, and Motocross World Champions in the sidecar category
with the Huesser twins (CH). Majority shares sold by KTM to GIT
Trust Holding. Company manager Erich Trunkenpolz dies.
KTM Motorfahrzeugbau AG files for bankruptcy; divided into
independent successors for radiators, motorcycles, bicycles and
The newly formed motorcycle division – KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH
– opens up under new management, new Hard Enduro concept and a
new motorcycle design. KTM Enduro World Championship title 1990
goes to Paul Edmondson (125), Peter Hansson (500), 1991 and 1992
to Jeff Nilsson (125), 1992 to Mario Rinaldi (350).
KTM Rally commitment begins (win at the Atlas Rally in 5
KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH renamed KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG.
Workforce 212. Company commences production of the road model of
the Duke series.
Acquisition of Swedish Husaberg AB and takeover of White Power
Suspension (NL). Production of 12,000 motorcycles, turnover ATS
1.1 billion. 2 Enduro World Championship titles, wins at the
Master Rally and the Tunisia Rally.
First series production of KTM LC4 engine with e-starter. Other
subsidiaries set up (Germany and Switzerland).
KTM-Motorradholding AG listed on the Vienna stock exchange.
500cc Motocross World Championship title with Shayne King,
countless wins in Enduro and Rally competitions.
Market introduction of the LC4 Supermoto for the road, and LC4
Adventure, KTM’s first cruising bike. 3 Enduro World
Championship titles: Shane Watts (125), Mario Rinaldi (400) and
Kari Tiainen (500).
PDS (Linkless Suspension System) on the 2-stroke models, new
engine generation 125/200cc, new Z design. Construction of a new
assembly plant with a new R&D centre. Marketing subsidiary KTM
UK opens. KTM wins 2nd to 12th position at the 20th Paris-Dakar
Production commences at KTM’s new manufacturing facility.
Production of KTM’s new 4-stroke engine with separate
Marketing subsidiary KTM Spain opens. Withdrawal from the stock
exchange. Enduro World Champion Juha Salminen (125), overall
winner of the Enduro World Championship (Giovanni Sala). Thierry
Magnaldi wins the new Rally World Cup.
Introduction of KTM’s 2-cylinder project at the Intermot Munich.
Marketing subsidiary KTM France opens. Extremely good year for
competitions: KTM wins 6 World Championships! 125cc Motocross
World Champion (Grant Langston), 500cc Motocross World Champion
(Joel Smets), 125cc Enduro World Champion (Juha Salminen), 250
4T Enduro World Champion (Matteo Rubin), 400cc Enduro World
Champion (Mario Rinaldi), 500cc Enduro World Champion (Kari
Move to the new spare parts warehouse in Mattighofen. Juha
Salminen takes World Enduro Championship title and James Dobb
wins 125cc Motocross Championship.
Move to the new engine assembly plant in Munderfing. Therry van
den Bosch becomes World Supermoto Champion. Fabrizio Meoni wins
the Dakar Rally riding the new 950 Rally twin. Juha Salminen
wins the World Enduro Championship again.
Launch of the 950 Adventure. Presentation of the 990 Duke.
Entrainment in the new development centre in Mattighofen. 70,514
motorcycles sold worldwide with a total revenue of 376 million
KTM enters the 125cc Moto GP Road Racing World Championship.
World Champions 2003: Juha Salminen (Enduro), Steve Ramon (125
MX), Joel Smets (650 MX), Rally world cup victory for Cyril
Despres. National US Champions 2003: Grant Langston (125
Supercross), Mike Lafferty (Enduro).
Launch of the 990 Super Duke, Presentation of the 990 RC8 Venom
and the 950 Supermoto at the Intermot Munich. Construction of a
new administration building in Mattighofen. Successful placement
of the KTM bond at the capital market.
Foundation of two new subsidiaries in Hungary and Slovenia.
World wide sales of 76,815 motorcycles and a total revenue of
402.4 million Euros 17 World Championship titles, 104 titles in
Launch of the 950 Supermoto. Presentation of the 990 Adventure
and the 950 Super Enduro R. Cooperation with Polaris Industries
Inc. World wide sales of 80,356 motorcycles and a total revenue
of 451.2 million Euros.
16 World Championship titles, 120 titles in total, KTM wins the
Contractor title in the 125cc Road Racing World Championship.
All 6 Enduro World Championship titles go to KTM.
Cyril Despres wins the Dakar.
In the business year 05/06 record sales at KTM – for the first
time over EUR 500 million were achieved. A total of 84,421
motorcycles sold. This positive growth has been caused in the
offroad segment by the introduction of further models and in the
street segment by the successful presentation of the new models
(990 Adventure, 950 Super Enduro) and the in sales (950
Supermoto) in the 2-cylinder segment. 9 riders world
championship titles, 7 manufacturers titles – 136 World
Championship titles overall.
The extremely positive feedback at the world premiere of the KTM
X-Bow at the Geneva International Motor Show has turned the
balance: The Upper Austrian company will go into series
production with the light weight sports car.
The new highly modern KTM parts and logistics centre was
finished and related products distribution starts taking place
from this facility which guarantees a highly reliable and time
efficient spare parts supply to the entire KTM world.
2008 was another very successful year in racing. The KTM factory
teams win 9 riders and 7 constructors World Championship titles
which lead to an amazing total of 162 titles.
At the EICMA show in Milan KTM presented a revolutionary 350cc
MX race bike along side two highly attractive 125 concept bikes,
that brought out cheers, not only in the youth scene. The
official racers provided a more than positive result again. The
Motocross and Enduro teams achieved 4 out of 6 possible World
Championship titles and a first KTM Superbike project resulted
in a vice championship title at the IDM. The motorsport
enthusiastic company now holds 173 World Championship titles.
KTM does the impossible and brings home all Motocross World
Championship titles. Antonio Cairoli wins the MX1 class on the
revolutionary 350 SX-F while Marvin Musquin secures the MX2
title and Steffi Laier the WMX title.
The long awaited 125 Duke is successfully launched worldwide.
Marc Coma wins the motorcycle class in the Dakar rally first
time out on a KTM 450 Rally, marking his third win and KTM’s
10th consecutive win.
Cyril Despres wins the motorcycle class in the Dakar rally on a
KTM 450 Rally; an unbelievable 11th straight win for KTM, and a
fourth win for Despres.
Sandro Cortese wins the Moto 3 world title on a KTM.
The Duke 690 R is unveiled at EICMA. A new model, the Duke 390
is also introduced.
KTM kicks off the year with a strong team representation in the
Dakar including South Africans Darryl Curtis and Riaan van
Niekerk in the Broadlink KTM ‘B’ Team. When the rally ends in
Santiago on 19th January, Cyril Despres has won his fifth Dakar
title, KTM a 12th consecutive win and KTM riders and machines
occupy the top five places.
Maverick Vinales takes the Moto 3 title on a KTM and KTM take
the top 4 title places
KTM introduces the new 1290 Super Duke to the public at EICMA at
the beginning of November
The 2014 Dakar kicks off in January with KTM facing its stiffest
competition in years from Yamaha, Honda and Sherco. At the
finish in Valparaiso, Chile on the 18th January Marc Coma seals
his fourth Dakar victory and KTM’s 13th consecutive win. KTM
riders occupy seven of the top 12 places. Riann van Niekerk
finishes in 12th spot, one place better than his 2013 result.
Binder joins an exclusive club (alongside Jon Ekerold and Kork
Ballington) of South African riders who have clinched a moto
NOTE: Any correction or more
information on these motorcycles will kindly be appreciated,
Some country's motorcycle specifications can be different to
motorcyclespecs.co.za. Confirm with your motorcycle dealer
before ordering any parts or spares. Any objections to articles
or photos placed on motorcyclespecs.co.za will be removed upon