Venturing onto the KTM website www.ktm.at there is a small button in the Accessories section called ‘PowerWear’. Here is the company’s ‘Aladdin’s Cave’; the ideal source for those enamoured with their motorcycle and wishing to take the next step. It is here where you can find over 110 items (including 14 for babies alone) that are useful or helpful and some that will often make you chuckle.
If you flick through the printed PowerWear catalogue (with Ryan Dungey on the cover), you’ll find some enlightening information on page 147: ‘KTM Accessories will not make you faster, better, prettier or anything else for that matter. They are all “orange” in one way or another, or, in a metaphorical sense, cheekier, bolder, more unusual, more congenial, or wackier.’
Ultimately what ends up in the product range is decided by Romed Haberl. The exuberant product manager is responsible for Accessories. This separate division only came into being three years ago. His office is jam-packed with product ideas, prototypes, drawings and samples.
“There are plenty of wicked ideas,” says Romed outlining the creative freedom at hand. “You always need to be decisive in selecting the winners from the also-rans. Products need to have a motorcycle connection or be laterally thought-out in order to be shortlisted. If they are humorous as well, then all the better. We are allowed to place our trust in anything in principle, as long as we believe it will work. The overall impression should never be grim, but always tongue-in-cheek. People like that.”
Here’s a couple of examples: The now legendary toaster not only transforms pale white bread into a crispy slice, the show-stopper is that it also stamps the toast with a KTM logo. Fans of glowing charcoal are fascinated by the barbecue apron with “Fast Food” print and the matching barbecue gloves in an MX design. Typically for the brand, the KTM “Orange only” parking sign is also pretty clever. Anyone who contravenes this rule will not only be towed away but also damned to “eating my dust”.
However, it’s not only creative headstands that enrich the product range it’s the simple things as well such as all types of key fobs, thermo mugs, sunshades, bathrobes, 1:12 scale motorcycle models or stickers. In the mix, there are such clever items like the branded cap for the tow bar, a mould for KTM ice cubes and an orange tree air freshener. All-in-all it is a collection rich in variety, which enjoys considerable popularity not without good reason.
The long-running successes in the Accessories range include the branded coffee cup, the folding chair and the wall clock in rev-counter design. One example of an absolute bestseller is the KTM dummy (aka “Mini Pro Silencer System”), 20,000 of which end up in babies’ bedrooms every year.
On the other hand, KTM manager Haberl is always seeking to diversify. Quite a number of products are only issued once and when they’re gone, they’re gone, even if they sell really well or cause quite a stir. The motorcycle-riding garden gnome is a good example of this! Another is the chocolate Advent calendar that ran for a couple of winters, but has been replaced this year for example with a plush Christmas stocking (aka KTM Holiday Stocking) in an offroad-boot design.
Rucksacks, bags and trolley cases are continuously in high demand and therefore remain in the product range, although they appear every year with a new design and fresh colours. The same applies to towels, wallets and the popular mobile phone sheaths. The latter are being supplied in three different designs in 2013.
Dog-loving KTM fans are well catered for: bowl, collar, lead, drink station and a dog basket (Doggy Landing) provide plenty of choice. Only cat-lovers come away disappointed; there’s nothing for them at present.
Other wonderfully oddball products include the fluffy dice (Racing Cubes) that look pretty cool as oversized key fobs, but are actually based on an American hot-rod tradition.
Let’s take a look at some of the new KTM Accessories for 2013:
– Salt and pepper shakers (a porcelain racer figure dispenses salt; the MX start-grid number girl naturally peps things up)
– Fly swatter (throttle twist grip at the bottom; cross glove at the top)
– Penknife (with main blade, screwdriver, can opener, awl and corkscrew) in top quality
– Laptop protective sticker with toolbox motif
– Stunt kite
– Belt, bracelet and sunglasses for women
– Rattle ring for small children (which crackles and rustles)
And not to be forgotten, a new version of the popular rubber duck. The previous duck wore an offroad helmet and squeaked when pressed. The new “Race Duck Street” rubber duck wears an on-road helmet, floats steadier thanks to a lower centre of gravity and is equipped all-round with protectors in the style of Alpinestars leathers for tough bathtub use. Even the aero hump behind the helmet has been thought of. Latest media test results are expected any day soon.
The opposite happened to the helmet piggy bank (aka Cash Helmet). The ceramic component has been relaunched this year in an offroad design (formerly street). Well worth knowing: Since KTM enjoys a high level of support in general, the piggy bank is also a very popular present for riders of other motorcycle brands.
Christmas is coming, so anyone looking for a present is saved any last minute rush. However, we’d like to point out that no internet shop for Accessories, PowerWear or PowerParts is to be found directly at KTM. All articles are distributed exclusively via the official KTM dealer network, although it may be the case that one or another dealer operates an e-shop. The only shop in the world that only sells PowerWear, accessories and lifestyle products is to be found in Mattighofen, next door to the main KTM plant on Stallhofnerstrasse. The sign at the entrance simply reads: KTM Shop.