KTM Motorcycles was founded in 1934 by Hans Trunkenpolz. It originally started as a metalworking shop that had the name Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen or KTM for short. By 1953 KTM began production of their first motorcycles. With only twenty employees, KTM produced about three motorcycles per day.
It wasn't until 1955 that a businessman named Ernst Kronreif became a major shareholder by acquiring a sizable portion of the company that the company was renamed to Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. During the early years of KTM's motocycle production, almost every component for their motorcycles were built in-house.
KTM throughout history has been on the leading edge of motorcycle technology as they were the first to produce a liquid-cooled four-stroke engine for off-roading. By 1986 KTM also became the first manufacturer to have both front and rear disc brakes on their off road motorcycle and in 1998, KTM also offered a link-less rear suspension which reduced the un-sprung weight of the motorcycle. Another first was that they offered a hydraulic clutch on all their motorcycle models. KTM was the first motorcycle manufacturer to offer a competition-ready super-moto. By 2005, KTM was producing about 80,000 motorcycles worldwide and also partnered with Polaris Industries. The two companies helped each other to extend their brands into the other's market with KTM extending into North America, and Polaris into Europe.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 03/06/2008