What is KTM? KTM, one of the most revered Austrian brands, has proven its reputation as a manufacturer of top-quality and innovative motorcycles through the years. The burgeoning motorcycle industry in the nation’s heartland, combined with passion and hard work, has contributed to KTM’s rise to prominence.
What is KTM?
KTM AG is an Austrian motorcycle, bicycle and sports car manufacturer owned by Pierer Mobility AG and the Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto. It was formed in 1992 but traces its foundation to as early as 1934. Today, KTM AG is the parent company of the KTM Group, consisting of a number of motorcycle brands.
What Does KTM Stand For?
KTM stands for Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen, which is the company that produces KTM motorcycles. Founded in Austria in 1934, KTM has grown to become one of the leading producers of off-road and street bikes, with production facilities located in Austria, India, and Thailand.
With a strong commitment to innovation, quality and performance, KTM motorcycles are a popular choice among motorcyclists around the world.
KTM’s origins date back to 1934, when Hans Trunkenpolz, an Austrian engineer, founded Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM) in Mattighofen, Austria. However, the name was not registered. The company started out as a repair shop and dealership for DKW motorcycles and Opel cars but later incorporated the production of motorcycles.
KTM experienced great success after beginning mass production of its first motorcycle, the R100, in 1953. This was after businessman Ernst Kronreif acquired a major stake in the start-up, renaming and registering the business to Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen.
After more than three decades of triumph in the motorcycle industry, KTM’s fortunes declined in the 1980s as sales of mopeds and scooters declined dramatically. The company was unable to recover and was forced to halt production under increasing financial pressure.
This was followed by a take-over by creditors in 1991 and the company later split into four units (motorcycles, radiators, bicycles and tooling divisions).
However, this was not the end for the motorcycle icon. In 1992, KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH, the motorcycle division, was acquired by KTM Motorrad GmbH (now known as KTM AG)—success then followed quickly on its heels.
Now under new management, KTM has risen from bankruptcy with high-quality products that are known for their reliability and performance on both road and off-road surfaces alike.
Introduction & History of Racing
KTM has a long history and tradition of racing success, with over 300 victories at national and international events – including multiple world championships in motocross and off-road competitions – to its name.
Although most of KTM’s well-known achievements are from 1974, KTM’s racing success actually stretches back to the early 1950s with its first win at the Austrian 125cc national championship (1954). This was followed by another win just two years later(1956) at the International Six Days Trials where it secured a gold medal with Egon Dornauer.
The Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM has had a successful presence in motorsports since 1974 when Russian racer Guennady Moisseev won the 250cc Motocross World Championship.
As of 2016, KTM had won more than 260 world championship titles in various motorsport series, making it one of the most successful brands in competition.
KTM has won the MXGP, MX1, and MX2 world titles 96 times since 1974 and the Super Enduro, E1, E2, and E3 world titles 114 times since 1990. In addition to Ryan Dungey’s 2015, 2016, and 2017 Supercross World Champion titles, KTM has gained a successful presence in supercross racing.
KTM has been the most successful manufacturer in the Dakar Rally since its first appearance in 1994. KTM riders captured the second to twelfth positions in 1998 and won 18 consecutive times from 2001 through 2019. It also competes in other cross country rallies including the Atlas Rally or Rallye du Maroc.
KTM’s dominance has been so consistent that it has won 37 cross country rally world titles since 2003 and 15 of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship titles.
Trunkenpolz’ Humble Beginnings
KTM dates back to 1934 when Johann (Hans) Trunkenpolz opened a car workshop in Zum Schwarzen Adler in Mattighofen, Austria. He earned his master craftsman’s certificates as a machinist and motor mechanic.
His hard work resulted in the takeover of DKW, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer at the time. His workshop continued to prosper until he had to leave the business for military service in 1943.
Where Are KTM Motorcycles Made?
KTM AG (Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen), an Austrian company owned by Pierer Mobility AG and Indian manufacturer Bajaj Auto, is a conglomerate that has its lineage interlinking all the way back to 1934 with its parent entity being KTM AG, a conglomeration of various motorcycle brands.
In India and Indonesia, KTM has partnered with Bajaj Auto to produce motorcycles at their respective factories.
In China, KTM has partnered with CF Moto to produce their models. Finally, in the United States, KTM produces its motorcycles at a facility located in Murrieta, California.
Models by Type
KTM has built a reputation for making some of the best motorcycles in the world, known for their performance and durability. The company offers a wide range of motorcycles popular with riders of all skill levels. From off-road enthusiasts to commuters looking for a fun weekend ride. Here are KTM’s three main lines of motorcycles.
The KTM Motocross line is designed for the off-road enthusiast who wants a bike that can handle a variety of terrain.
These bikes are designed to handle everything from hard-packed dirt to deep mud and sand. The engine has also been designed to be lightweight, so the rider doesn’t have to worry about losing power or speed on rough terrain.
KTM’s motocross lineup comprises the SX (50, 65, 85, 105, 125, and 150) and the SX-F (250, 350, and 450) models.
These motorcycles are built for long journeys through the wilderness. They’re optimized for comfort, with wide seats and suspension that is forgiving over bumps.
Enduro bikes also have powerful engines that can go long distances without overheating or breaking down.
KTM offers several enduro models including street-legal versions. The KTM Enduro line comprises four-stroke 250, 350, 450, and 500cc models (EXC-F and XCF-W) and two-stroke 150, 250, and 300cc models (EXC and XC-W).
Cross Country models are designed to take on long trips over difficult terrain while still being able to handle most of what they encounter along the way.
With sturdier suspensions than other KTM models, they can handle more abuse without sacrificing performance or comfort.
This line includes the 150 XC, 250 XC, 300 XC, 250 and 300 XC TPI, 250 XC-F, 350 XC-F, and the 450 XC-F.
Material Used In KTM Motorcycles
KTM motorcycles are made from a variety of materials, including:
- Aluminum: Aluminum is a lightweight and strong metal that is often used in the frames, wheels, and bodywork of KTM motorcycles.
- Steel: Steel is a more durable material than aluminum, and it is often used in the frames of KTM motorcycles that are designed for off-road use.
- Carbon fiber: Carbon fiber is a strong and lightweight material that is often used in the bodywork and wheels of KTM motorcycles.
- Plastic: Plastic is a lightweight and inexpensive material that is often used in the bodywork and fairings of KTM motorcycles.
- Rubber: Rubber is a flexible and durable material that is often used in the tires, suspension, and other components of KTM motorcycles.
The specific materials used in a KTM motorcycle will vary depending on the model and the intended use of the motorcycle.
For example, a KTM motorcycle that is designed for off-road use will typically have a steel frame and a bodywork made from plastic or fiberglass.
Is KTM owned by Kawasaki?
No. KTM is not owned by Kawasaki and has no affiliation with them whatsoever. They are separate companies located in different countries with different ownerships and management teams.
KTM, an Austrian manufacturer of motorcycles, off-road vehicles, and bicycles is jointly owned by Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV. Kawasaki on the other hand is of Japanese origin and is owned by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., a large conglomerate manufacturing everything from motorcycles to construction equipment to aerospace components like engines for commercial airliners and military jets.
Where are KTM motorcycles made?
KTM manufactures its motorcycles at its headquarters in Mattighofen, Upper Austria. It also produces motorbikes in India through a partnership with Bajaj and some models in China through CFMoto.
However, the engines for KTM motorcycles are manufactured in Munderfing, Austria. More than 200 people work at this facility every day to assemble engines for nearly all of KTM’s models.
What was the first KTM motorcycle?
KTM produced its first motorcycle, the R100, in 1953. Although the prototype was created in 1951 by KTM founder, Johann (Hans) Trunkenpolz, mass production did not begin until 1953. KTM built all of its components except for the Rotax engines which were made by Fichtel & Sachs.
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