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KTM Sportmotorcycle AG is an Austrian motorcycle manufacturer. The company was founded in 1934 by engineer Hans Trunkenpolz [1] in Mattighofen. It started out as a metalworking shop and was named Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. In 1953 KTM began producing motorcycles.

KTM is most commonly known for its off road motorcycles though in recent years it has expanded into street motorcycle production.

Spis treści

History | edytuj kod

KTM Duke 620, KTM's first stock supermoto bike KTM Duke, Circuit Carole

The company was founded in 1934 by engineer Hans Trunkenpolz [1] in Mattighofen. It started out as a metalworking shop and was named Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. It wasn't until 1953 that KTM began production of motorcycles. With just 20 employees, motorcycles were built at the rate of three per day. In 1955, a businessman Ernst Kronreif became shareholder of the company, on acquiring a sizable portion of the company. It was then renamed Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. Trunkenpolz died unexpectedly in 1989. During these early years of motocycle production at KTM, almost all components for the motorcycles were built in-house by KTM.

Throughout KTM's history, they have been on the leading edge of motorcycle technology. They were the first manufacturer to produce a liquid-cooled four-stroke motorcycle engine for an off road motorcycle, a design which has since been replicated by all other manufacturers (KTM even supplied radiators to Suzuki in their early water-cooling days). In 1986 KTM became the first motorcycle manufacturer to include both front and rear disc brakes on an off road motorcycle. In 1998, they offered a linkless rear suspension, dramatically reducing the un-sprung weight of the bike (KTM was the first major manufacturer to do so, although ATK, a small market, niche brand did so as early as 1987). They were also the first to offer hydraulic clutch mechanisms on all models of motorcycles, and were the first to offer a competition-ready supermoto bike.

Design. Since 1990 KTM motorcycles and automobiles (X-Bow) have been designed by KiskaDesign. A Salzburg based design frim of over 100 employees that offers transportation, product, environmental, identity and branding to an internation clientelle. It is responsible for the overall branding for KTM; including the design of the vehicles, shops, exhibits and printed material. The firm applies a method IDD (integrated design development) to all of it's client projects. Gerald Kiska is the princial.

Financial structure | edytuj kod

In 1992 the company became insolvent and was divided into three companies:

  • KTM Sportmotorcycles GmbH, was renamed 1994 to KTM Sportmotocycles AG
  • KTM Fahrrad GmbH (Bicycles)
  • KTM Kühler GmbH (Radiators)

In the fiscal or business year ending in 2005, KTM Sportmotocycles AG delivered 80,000 motorcycles worldwide and began a partnership with Polaris Industries. Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will help one another to extend their brands into the other's home market, KTM extending their reach into North America, and Polaris extending into Europe. This partnership is a two year trial arrangement, at the end of which both parties are giving the option of merging the two companies into one. In 2006 KTM announced that the partnership with Polaris had been ended early, and would instead only supply their 525cc RFS engines to the ATV manufacturer. KTM also announced their intention to enter the ATV market with either a late 2007 or 2008 model-year release.

In November 2007, Indian two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto Ltd. acquired 14.5% stake in KTM Power Sports AG (holding company of KTM Sportmotocycles AG). The two companies have signed a cooperation deal, by which KTM will provide the know-how for joint development of the water-cooled 4 stroke 125 and 250 cc engines, and Bajaj will take over the distribution of KTM products in India and some other Southeast Asian nations. In December 2007, Bajaj increased their stake to more than 20%.

The Swedish motorcycle company Husaberg AB and Dutch WP Suspension are now subsidiaries of the KTM Group.

Racing sponsorship | edytuj kod

Mika Kallio's 125 cc road race motorcycle. Samuli Aro's WEC E2 class bike

KTM began in motorsports with Motocross Racing. In the last few years KTM has gained more success in motorsports by dominating rally-raid events such as the Paris-Dakar Rally and the Atlas-Rally. In 2003, KTM started sponsoring and supporting Road racing in various capacities, with the most successful results stemming from their SuperMotard or Supermoto efforts. KTM's new road racing focus will soon grow to include Superbike competition with the help of their newly developed V-Twin engine dubbed the LC8 as employed in the 950 Adventure dual-sport motorcycle, and more specifically the 2005/2006 990 Super Duke followed by the superbike contender known as the 1190 RC8. The Super Duke will have a higher output, second generation version of the LC8 engine, geared for high rpm peak power as required in road racing and superstreet applications while the RC8 will sport a 1190cc version of the LC8 for more midrange.

KTM offers a range of different engines for its larger motorcycles, all liquid-cooled.

KTM's official company/team colours are Orange, Black and Silver. To create a strong brand identity, all competition-ready KTMs come from the factory with bright orange plastic with "KTM" emblazoned on the side of the radiator shrouds. All KTM bikes also come from the factory with a Motorex sticker on the outside of the motor. All first fills of oil come from Motorex as well. Some official KTM teams use different colors for their bikes, most noticeably in the Paris-Dakar Rally.

In 2004 KTM abruptly pulled their support from the famous motorcycle trip around the world. BMW then donated BMW R1150GS Adventure all-terrain motorcycles for this adventure. Documentary series Long Way Round follows actors Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their extraordinary 20.000 mile journey from London to New York.

Off-road motorcycles | edytuj kod

KTM 640 Adventure in familiar surroundings A KTM supermoto bike

The term off-road refers to a driving surface that is not conventionally paved. This is a rough surface, often created naturally, such as sand, gravel, a river, mud or snow. This type of terrain can sometimes only be travelled on with vehicles designed for off-road driving (such as SUVs, ATVs, snowmobiles or mountain bikes) or vehicles that have off-road equipment. The KTM is well equipped for these environments and is popular among many off-road riders. The design of this motorcycle is well suited to this sport and the weight of the motorcycle is another advantage. KTMs come stock ready to race, with a hydraulic clutch, full adjustable WP front and rear suspension and powerful engines requiring no modifications prior to racing. The KTM has won every Dakar rally since 2001.

Motocross – The 2008 SX line includes 65, 85, 105, 125, 144 and 250cc two-stroke models, and 250, 450 and 505 four-stroke models. In 2005 KTM released the new 250SX-F to the general public. For the 2007 model-year, all of KTM's four-stroke SX motors were re-designed similarly to the 250 SX-F, in a dual-overhead cam 4-valve line dubbed the "RC4". The SX-F's are KTM's new racing motocross range introduced in 2007.

The KTM 125sx is very well-known to be the fastest and most powerful 125cc MX Bike. It has been the fastest and most powerful bike from when KTM re-designed the motor in 1998-2008. KTM now produce a 144 which is aimed to race alongside the 250F machines and remain competitive. KTM and TM are the only manufacturers to produce a 144 as yet.

Cross-Country The XC line includes 65, 85, 105, 200, 250 and 300 two-strokes, and 250, 450 and 505 four-stroke models. The XC line updates and replaces their old MXC bikes. They feature a close-ratio gearbox, stiffer suspensions, and the four-strokes have a shorter-stroke design, mimicking their SX line. In 2007, they introduced the 250XC-F which is based on the 2006 SX model.

KTM's XC-W offroad bikes are 200, 250 and 300 two-strokes, and 250, 450 and 530 four-strokes. They feature plusher suspension and a wider-ratio tranmission than their XC line counterparts. The XC-W replaced their old EXC two-strokes, a move the company made in order to comply with EPA restrictions in the United States. Two-strokes are still designated as EXCs in Europe markets.

Enduro The 2008 EXC line consists of 250, 450, 530cc four-strokes,and 125, 200, 250 and 300cc two strokes. The EXC line has been a long-time favourite for Enduro market, and outsell other larger-volume brands to Enduro racers.


Super Enduro consist of 690 and 950cc machines, mix between a enduro and a trail bike

Supermoto KTM produces several supermoto race bikes with displacements ranging from 450 (a supermoto version of the 450sx-f) to 565cc . They also make four non race-oriented models in 625, 654, 950 and 990cc displacements. KTM was the first manufacturer to offer a competition-ready Supermoto bike to the public, and their sponsored racers currently sit atop the US Supermoto racing circuit. The new LC8 SuperMoto 950 has received rave reviews from all the bike magazines and newspapers in the United Kingdom.

Dual-sport Adventure bikes offered with both the LC4 Engine (Adventure 640, 640R) and the LC8 Engine (Adventure 950, 950S, 990), the 640R is the base of the Rally 660 which has won many Dakar Rallies.

KTM 2 Stroke Development | edytuj kod

Since the major rule changes in Motocross to make 4 stroke bikes more competitive in motocross and being given a 125cc 2 stroke to 250cc four stroke advantage the cheaper, simpler and faster 2 stroke bikes have being dying out.

Since other manufacturers have decided to discontinue their 2 stroke models, KTM has continued with creating and improving their 2 stroke models and taking up a very high proportion of the 2 stroke bike market.

KTM has also created a new 2 stroke MX bike with 144cc to comply with the 2008 AMA motocross class changes. This change has been made to bring back the 2 stroke bikes to encourage more entry to the market as the 2 stroke bikes are cheaper to maintain and repair than the expensive 4 stroke bikes.

Environmental agencies have tried to remove 2 stroke machines because they produce more pollution than 4 strokes. However with newer advances in technology 2 strokes have began to burn cleaner and pass green sticker standards.

In recent interviews KTM has revealed that they will continue to produce and improve 2 stroke bikes and have already began looking at EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection). EFI will benefit the 2 stroke bikes because they will become more fuel efficient and will also produce less waste.

New directions | edytuj kod

A KTM X-Bow on display.

Beginning in 2006, KTM has begun the development with a lightweight street legal (europe) car known as the X-Bow [2]. It will use an Audi engine and a Dallara sourced chassis, and have a weight of less than 1400 lbs. This new car will seat two people. On the 8th of January, 2008 Bajaj announced that it would jointly develop two new 125cc and 250cc bikes for Europe and the Far East. The bikes would be badged 'KTM'[3].

X-Bow | edytuj kod

 Osobny artykuł: KTM X-Bow.
  • start of production July 2008. Delivery of the Dallara Edition (100) cars starts in August 2008.
  • weight: under 700 kg
  • length: approximately 3,6 m
  • engine: 1984 cm³, 240 hp, 300 NM (Audi 2.0 TFSI); Topversion 300 hp
  • 6-speed gearbox
  • price: about 45.000 Euro[4] [5]

References | edytuj kod

  1. a b KTM: Company History. ktm.com. [dostęp 2007-01-14].
  2. Rated X: KTM unveils X-Bow sketches - Autoblog
  3. Biker Voodoo » Bajaj & Ktm To Jointly Develop New Bikes
  4. Kleine Zeitung (German)
  5. Der Standard (German)

External links | edytuj kod

Category:Cycle manufacturers Category:Motorcycle manufacturers of Austria Category:Motorcycle racing teams Category:Companies established in 1934

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