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Aktiengesellschaft (AG)
Traded as SIXKTMI
Industry Motorcycle, Automotive
Founder Hans Trunkenpolz, Ernst Kronreif
Headquarters Mattighofen, Austria
Area served
Key people
  • Stefan Pierer (CEO)
  • Hubert Trunkenpolz (CSO)
  • Harald Plöckinger (COO)
  • Viktor Sigl (CFO)
  • Friedrich Roithner
    (Chairman of Supervisory Board)[1]
Products Motorcycles, sports cars
Production output
203,423 vehicles (2016)
Revenue Increase 1.14 billion (2016)[2]
Increase €102.8 million (2016)[2]
Increase €72.1 million (2016)[2]
Owner KTM Industries AG (51.67%)
Bajaj Auto International Holdings BV (47.99%)
Public Float (0.34%)
Number of employees
Increase 2931[2]
Divisions KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH
Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH
Subsidiaries Husaberg, Husqvarna
Website ktm.com

KTM AG (the former KTM Sportmotorcycle AG[3][4]) is an Austrian motorcycle and sports car manufacturer owned by KTM Industries AG and 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.

KTM Duke 200.

KTM is known for its off-road motorcycles (Enduro, Motocross and Supermoto). Since the late 1990s, it has expanded into street motorcycle production and developing sports cars – namely the X-Bow. In 2015, KTM sold almost as many street motorcycles as off-road bikes.[5] Production of the KTM sports car X-BOW started in 2007.

Since 2012, KTM has been the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe for four consecutive years.[6][7] Globally, the company is among the leading off-road motorcycle manufacturers.[8][9] In 2016, KTM sold 203.423 motor vehicles worldwide.[10]


Hans Trunkenpolz and Ernst Kronreif

Early years[edit]

KTM 990 SuperDukes lined up at Circuit Carole, France

In 1934, an Austrian engineer Johann (Hans) Trunkenpolz[11] set up a fitter's and car repair shop[12] in Mattighofen. In 1937, he started selling DKW motorcycles, and Opel cars the following year. His shop was known as Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen, but the name was unregistered. During the Second World War, his wife took care of the business which was thriving mainly on account of diesel engine repairs.[13]

After the war, demand for repair works fell sharply and Trunkenpolz started thinking about producing his own motorcycles. The prototype of his first motorcycle, the R100, was built in 1951.[14] The components of the motorcycle were produced in house, except for the Rotax engines which were made by Fichtel & Sachs. Serial production of the R100 started in 1953. With just 20 employees, motorcycles were built at the rate of three per day.[15]

KTM 1953–1991[edit]

In 1953, businessman Ernst Kronreif became a sizable shareholder of the company which was renamed and registered as Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. In 1954, the R125 Tourist was introduced,[16] followed by the Grand Tourist[17] and the scooter Mirabell[18] in 1955.

The company secured its first racing title in the 1954 Austrian 125cc national championship[19]. In 1956, KTM made its appearance at the International Six Days Trials where Egon Dornauer won a gold medal on a KTM machine[20].

In 1957, KTM built the Trophy 125cc first sports motorcycle[21]. KTM's first moped, called Mecky, was launched in 1957, followed by Ponny I in 1960 and Ponny II in 1962 and Comet in 1963[22]. The 1960s also saw the beginning of the bicycle production in Mattighofen.

Ernst Kronreif died in 1960[23]. Two years later in 1962,[24] Hans Trunkenpolz also died of a heart attack. His son Erich Trunkenpolz took charge of the company's management.

As the company continued to expand, the workforce totaled 400 in 1971, and forty years after it was founded, KTM was offering 42 different models. Besides, KTM was able to produce motorcycles for the racing industry. During the 1970s and 80s, KTM also started to develop and produce motors and radiators. Radiators sold to European car manufacturers constituted a sizable part of the company's business in the 1980s.[25]

In 1978,[26] US subsidiary KTM North America Inc. was founded in Lorain, Ohio.

In 1980, the company was renamed KTM Motor-Fahrzeugbau KG.[25] One year later, KTM had about 700 employees and a turnover of 750m. Schilling (about 54.5m. Euro). International business then amounted to 76 % of the company turnover.[25]

However, scooter and moped turnover sank rapidly, and production had to be halted in 1988.[25] Erich Trunkenpolz died in 1989. Takeover of a 51 % interest in the company by the Austrian investment trust GIT Trust Holding controlled by Austrian politician Josef Taus in 1989 was followed by unsuccessful attempts to turn the indebted company around,[27] and in 1991, KTM management was transferred to a consortium of creditor banks.

KTM after 1991[edit]

In 1992, the company was split into four new entities: KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH (motorcycles division), KTM Fahrrad GmbH (bicycles division), KTM Kühler GmbH (radiators division) and KTM Werkzeugbau GmbH (tooling division).

Now owned by KTM Motorradholding GmbH, which was formed by Cross Holding (a Cross Industries daughter), and other investors, KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH started operation in 1992 and later took over the sibling tooling division KTM Werkzeugbau. In the following years, while steadily increasing production and turnover, investing in new production and R & D facilities,[5][28][29] introducing new models and successfully sponsoring and taking part in various race sport events, the company underwent a series of restructurings and stakeholder changes guided by KTM's managing director and Cross Industries owner Stefan Pierer. In 1994, KTM started production of the Duke series of road motorcycles, in 1996, KTM motocross machines were first decked out in KTM's signature orange color,[30] and 1997 saw the introduction of LC4 Supermoto and Adventure motorcycles. In 2007, the company debuted the KTM X-Bow sports car.[31]

In 1995, KTM Motorradholding GmbH acquired Swedish motorcycle maker Husaberg AB and took control of the Dutch company White Power Suspension.

In 2007, Indian motorcycle manufacturer Bajaj Auto bought a 14.5% stake in KTM Power Sports AG. By 2013, Bajaj Auto held a 47.97% interest in the company.

In 2013, KTM acquired the formerly Swedish motorcycle maker Husqvarna Motorcycles from its prior owner BMW Motorrad AG.[5] The same year, KTM re-integrated the brand Husaberg into Husqvarna Motorcycles from which it had spun off in the 1990s when Husqvarna was sold to the Italian company Cagiva.

As the final result of the restructuring process, KTM Motorradholding GmbH had become KTM AG in 2012. In 2015, KTM generated a turnover of over 1 billion Euro and employed 2515 people by the end of that year.[5] Of the four separate companies left after the 1992 split, three were now again part of the KTM Group: KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH, KTM Werkzeugbau GmbH and KTM Kühler GmbH (today WP Radiators). KTM Fahrrad GmbH (KTM Bike Industries) remained an independent company and is owned by chinese investors. KTM-Group today contains the brands KTM and Husqvarna Motorcycles.


KTM AG is presently owned by CROSS KraftFahrZeug Holding GmbH[32] (51,28  %) and Bajaj Auto Limited International Holdings B.V. (47,99 %).[33][5] CROSS KraftFahrZeug Holding GmbH is a subsidiary of KTM Industries AG (prior to 2016 CROSS Industries AG),[34] founded by KTM AG’s current CEO Stefan Pierer. KTM Industries AG is owned by Pierer Industrie AG (74,89 %).[35]


As of 2017, KTM AG has the following subsidiaries:

  • KTM-Racing AG (Switzerland, 100 %)
  • KTM-Sportmotorcycle India Private Ltd. (India, 100 %)
  • KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH (100 %, distribution of motorcycles and parts)
  • Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH (100 %, distribution of motorcycles and parts)
  • KTM Sportcar GmbH (100 %, production and distribution of the KTM X-Bow)
  • KTM Technologies GmbH (74 %, R&D services)
  • KTM Immobilien GmbH (99 %, owner of all property and buildings of the KTM Group)
  • WP AG (25 %, former White Power suspension GmbH, production of motorcycle components)
  • Kiska GmbH (26 %, design company for the KTM Group)

Furthermore, KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH and Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH operate 24 respectively 7 distribution subsidiaries worldwide, most of them in European and Asian countries and in the US.

Joint ventures[edit]

KTM started exporting their GS model to USA in 1968 through an American importer, John Penton under the Penton brand. This Joint Venture lasted until KTM established KTM America Inc. in Ohio in 1978.[36]

In 2005, KTM-Sportmotocycle began a partnership with ATV manufacturer Polaris Industries with the goal of shared R&D, and more importantly shared distribution networks. This partnership was a two-year trial arrangement, at the end of which both parties had the option of merging the two companies into one. In 2006, KTM announced that the partnership with Polaris had been downgraded, and would instead only supply their 450cc and 510cc RFS engines to Polaris.[37]

In January 2008, Bajaj announced that it would jointly develop two new 125cc and 200cc bikes for Europe and the Far East. The bikes would be badged KTM.[38] In January 2012, Bajaj launched the Duke 200 model in India.[39]

KTM operates distribution joint ventures in Dubai (KTM UAE), New Zealand (KTM New Zealand), and the Philippines (KTM Philippines).


KTM Quad

Since 1992,[40] KTM motorcycles have been designed by KISKA, a Salzburg-based design firm. KISKA also designed four versions of the X-Bow and is responsible for the overall branding for KTM and Husqvarna. This includes the design of the shops, exhibits, web appearances, clothing/merchandise, video and printed material.

Racing sponsorship[edit]

Mika Kallio's 125 cc road race motorcycle
Samuli Aro's WEC E2 class bike
Tony Cairoli's 350 SX bike

KTM began in motorsports competing in motocross racing. KTM won its first championship in 1974 when Guennady Moisseev claimed the 250cc Motocross World Championship.[41] The manufacturer has won the Dakar Rally 16 consecutive times from 2001 to 2017, and has won the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship 15 times, most recently in 2015.

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 was released with 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 1,190 cc version of the LC8 for more midrange.

In 2003, KTM made their Grand Prix motorcycle debut in the 125cc class, fielding two bikes for Roberto Locatelli and Arnaud Vincent, with Vincent being replaced by Mika Kallio mid-season. KTM won the 125cc constructor championship in 2005, with Mika Kallio just losing out to Thomas Luthi in the drivers championship. They also fielded bikes in the 250cc class between 2005-2008. In 2009, KTM announced their withdrawal from Grand Prix motorcycle racing in all classes, and did not return until 2012 in the Moto3 class. Despite an early domination by FTR Honda riders early in the season, KTM would win the constructor championship in 2012. The next season, KTM riders took wins in every race of the Moto3 class. KTM won a third consecutive manufacturers MotoGP title during the 2014 Moto3 season, before losing the constructor championship to Honda in 2015. They also supply the spec bike for the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. Starting in 2017, KTM fields bikes in both MotoGP and Moto2 classes as well.

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 Dakar Rally.

KTM announced plans to launch a UK-based UCI Continental cycling team.[42] The team, known as KTM Cycling Team – Road and Trail.com, made its debut in 2014, albeit without UCI Continental status.[43] Subsequently, in November 2014, it was announced that they would supply bikes to Team La Pomme Marseille 13 from 2015, with the team becoming Team Marseille 13 KTM.[44]

Off-road motorcycles[edit]

KTM 450 EXC Enduro Motorcycle

KTM manufactures a wide range of off-road motorcycles. Not all of their models are available in every country. The following section lists bikes that are sold in the US.

Motocross – The current Motocross line designated by SX includes 50, 65, 85, 105, 125, 150 and 250 cc single-cylinder two-stroke models (the 50 SX, 65 SX and 85 SX models are kids' and youth bikes), and 250, 350 and 450 cc single-cylinder four-stroke models (SX-F).[45] In 2005 KTM released the new 250SX-F to the general public. Since 2007, the SX-F's have been KTM's new racing motocross range. Current versions of the KTM SX-F line have a dual overhead camshaft engine dubbed the “RC4”.

Cross-Country – The current cross-country line designated by XC includes 150, 250 and 300 cc two-stroke models and 250, 350 and 450 cc four-stroke models. The two-stroke XC machines except the 150 cc model are available with either wide-ratio or close-ratio transmission (when switching gears, there is a more ore less pronounced rpm change). The four-stroke models are fitted with a semi-close gearbox. Most models are equipped with an electric starter.[46]

The very light weight XC bikes are competition bikes only; they don't meet homologation regulations.

KTM 450 EXC Enduro Motorcycle

Enduro – The street-legal EXC enduro versions of KTM's XC cross-country bikes are supplied with plusher non-linkage suspensions, a wider-ratio gear box and lights.

The current line available in the US consists of 250, 350, 450 and 500 (actually 510 cc) four-stroke EXC models[46] and the 690 cc Enduro R dual-sport motorcycle.

Free Ride – A KTM original class of off-road motorcycle that could be described as a cross between enduro and trials bikes. The Freeride 250R is powered by a lighter, modified version of the 250 EXC enduro engine and has a specially developed six-speed gearbox with close transmission ratios in the lower gears and a wide ratio for the sixth gear.[47] A four-stroke 350 cc free ride model with similar characteristics,[48] and the all-electric single-speed models Freeride E-SX, Freeride E-XC and Freeride E-SM are available in Europe.[49]

KTM current off-road bikes by type (bold print: currently available in the US)





Enduro/ XCountry


Enduro/ XCountry





50 SX

50 SX mini

65 SX
85 SX 17/14

85 SX 19/16

125 SX
150 SX 150 XC-W
250 SX 250 SX-F 250 XC

250 XC-W

250 EXC

250 XC-F

250 EXC-F

250 EXC-F 250 R
300 XC

300 XC-W

300 EXC

350 SX-F 350 XC-F

350 EXC-F

350 EXC-F 350
450 SX-F 450 XC-F

450 EXC-F

450 EXC-F
500 EXC-F 500 EXC-F

Two-stroke development[edit]

Since the major rule changes in Motocross to make 4-stroke bikes more competitive in motocross and being given a 125 cc 2-stroke to 250 cc 4-stroke advantage the cheaper, simpler 2-stroke bikes have been 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 144 cc 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 begun to burn cleaner and pass stricter green standards.

In recent interviews KTM has revealed that they will continue to produce and improve 2-stroke bikes and have already begun looking at Direct Fuel Injection (DFI).[50] A DFI fuel induction system injects fuel at high pressure, over 100 bars (1,500 psi) into the combustion chamber, after the exhaust port has been fully closed. This eliminates almost any unburnt fuel escaping the combustion process and entering the atmosphere.

In 2011 KTM changed the look of their two-strokes, also in 2012 they re-introduced linkage suspension on the SX and XC models. KTM had dropped linkage suspension in favor of their PDS system in 1998.

Street bikes[edit]

KTM Duke 620 – KTM's first stock supermoto bike[51][52]

The first KTM street bike was the Duke 620 in 1994.[53] Supermoto KTM produces several supermoto race bikes with displacements ranging from 450 (a supermoto version of the 450sx-f) to 690 cc. They also make four non race-oriented models in 625, 654, 950 and 990 cc 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.[citation needed] The new LC8 SuperMoto 950 has received rave reviews from all the bike magazines and newspapers in the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Dual-sport Adventure bikes offered with both the LC4 Engine (Adventure 640, 640R, 660, and 690) and the LC8 Engine (Adventure 950, 950S, 990). The 640R is the base of the Rally 660 which has won many Dakar Rallies.

KTM Sport Bikes include the Duke, the RC and the Super Duke.[54]

KTM Sport / Super Moto / Adventure Street Bikes
Sport Bikes Super Moto Bikes Super Enduro/

Adventure Bikes

Other Bikes
Duke 125, RC 125 625 SMC 690 Enduro, 690 Enduro R
KTM 690 Enduro
450 SX ATV
200 Duke, RC 200 640 SMC 950 Super-Enduro R 450 XC ATV
Duke 250, RC 250 660 SMC
620/625 505 SX ATV
390 Duke, RC 390 690 SMC, 690 SMC R 640 ADV
KTM 640 Adventures with rally fairings
525 XC ATV
640-690 Duke
2014 KTM 690 Duke
A KTM Supermoto with an aftermarket Akrapovic exhaust
950 Adventure
KTM 950 Adventure trail riding
990 Super Duke R 990 SMR, 990 SMT 990 Adventure
1190 RC8 sportbike 1190 Adventure
1290 Super Duke R[54]
KTM 1290 Super Duke R
1290 Super Adventure

Moto3 results[edit]

United States
United States
Czech Republic
United Kingdom
San Marino
Valencian Community
Pts Position
2012 3 - - 3 1 5 2 3 2 1 - 3 2 3 1 2 1 1 1 1 346 1st
2013 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 425 1st
2014 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 2 5 1 - 2 2 3 3 1 5 1 2 1 384 1st
2015 10 5 4 2 - 1 1 5 1 4 - 3 3 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 341 2nd
2016 2 1 3 1 - 1 1 2 3 2 1 - 7 1 1 2 2 1 3 1 382 1st


KTM X-Bow front

KTM has a lightweight street legal (Europe) car known as the X-Bow.[55] It uses an Audi engine and a Dallara sourced chassis. This car seats two people.

  • weight: 790 kg
  • length: approximately 3.6 m
  • engine: 1,998 cc, 237 hp (240 PS, 176 kW), 310 NM (229 ft-lbs) (Audi 2.0 TFSI); Topversion 300 hp
  • 6-speed gearbox
  • price: about 45,000 Euro[56][57]


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External links[edit]