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KTM - The Company

It was 1934 when Hans Trunkenpolz founded a repair workshop in Mattighofen, Upper Austria. Three years later, he started selling DKW motorcycles and subsequently enlarged the workshop, which became one of the largest car and motorcycle repair workshops in Upper Austria.

In 1951, the company started developing a motorcycle of its own and two years later the KTM R 100 production series was launched. The company, which was now officially called 'Kronreif, Trunkenpolz,
Mattighofen', immediately became involved with racing and the successful results piled up.

Erwin Lechner was among the riders who enjoyed one victory after another in 1960 on the KTM motorcycle designed by engineer Rudolf Apfelbeck. In 1968, KTM entered the US market with a 125 cc motocross motorcycle, and the sporting victories overseas were soon mirrored in Europe. Just some of the highlights of the 1970s included the powerful 50 cc models and the first motocross World championship title – won for KTM in 1974 by Russian rider Gennadij Moiseev in the 250cc class.

It was the riders Heinz Kinigadner and Trampas Parker who laid the foundations for the current KTM legend with three World championship titles in the subsequent decade. In 1984, KTM started developing a liquid-cooled four-stroke motorcycle and in 1987 it began the series production of the first LC4 engine.

The economy hit hard times at the end of the 1980s and in 1991, KTM Motorfahrzeugbau AG filed for bankruptcy. One year later, the newly formed KTM motorcycle division KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH
opened under new management with a new Hard Enduro concept and a new design.

KTM stormed full speed ahead into the Rally sector, launched the first Duke in 1994 and just one year later acquired the company WP Suspension, which now no longer forms part of KTM but is still closely linked to the brand, and the sports motorcycle manufacturer Husaberg. Shane King's Motocross World championship title in the 500 cc class plus numerous other victories revived the sporty image of the tradition-filled KTM brand. In 1999, the company moved to its newly constructed factory in Mattighofen.

The Upper Austrian company dominated the Paris-Dakar rallies from 2001 onwards. With its slogan 'Ready to Race', KTM made racing the brand's main identifying feature. 2003 saw the debut appearance of the 950 Adventure travel enduro. In the same year, Harald Bartol led the Mattighofen team to success at the 125 cc road racing world championships. Shortly afterwards, KTM launched its first thoroughbred road bikes, the 990 Super Duke and the 950 Supermoto. The first Austrian superbike followed in 2008: the eye-catching 1190 RC8, which the Mattighofen team entered into the IDM superbike class just one year later.

Since the 1950s, KTM has won more than 165 world championship titles, and one thing is for sure: this number is going to keep on rising. For further information, please go to