Last weekend, the Red Bull Ring played host to two comebacks at once. Austria is back on the MotoGP calendar. And KTM presented its MotoGP plan for 2017. The Red Bull Ring, formerly known as the Österreichring, was the perfect stage for both.
Spectacular racing success and popular production machines: there is often a whole team of engineers behind successful designs, but things were different right up to the 1970s. Just as the name Kiska now represents the distinctive design of KTM models, many motorcycles were previously closely associated with their designer’s name. Precisely six decades ago, Hans Trunkenpolz, the head of KTM, succeeded in bringing the famous designer Ludwig Apfelbeck to Mattighofen.
We regularly bow down before all the great personalities, heroes and legends of racing. It has already been more than 15 years since we said goodbye to one of the most successful road racers of all time. In Joey Dunlop, we lost a fine human being, who is still revered as an unforgettable role model.
The KTM Factory Team for the Enduro World Championship 2016 was introduced in Arco Di Trento in Italy at the start of March – keen observers will certainly have noticed the Farioli logo on the riders’ jerseys. Farioli – the name is synonymous with fifty years of Enduro sport success. And exactly forty years ago, Farioli’s riders enjoyed a double success in what was at the time the Enduro European Championship.
In 1996, almost ten years after the launch of the LC4 engine, KTM presented an electric-start version of the water-cooled unit. However, the new engine was in no way intended to signal a renunciation of the hard enduro philosophy; instead the aim was to attract new consumer groups.
The Dakar Rally has exerted a special fascination for motorcycle fans for more than three-and-a-half decades. The heroes of the early years have never been forgotten. Marc Coma also deserves his place among the greats, having dominated the Dakar for more than a decade with his fellow KTM factory rider Cyril Despres.
The golden era of road racing – 1970s – was known of the heroes like 15 times World Champion Giacomo Agostini, 13 times World Champion Ángel Nieto, 7 times World Champion Phil Read and many others. This was the decade of Continental Circus, era of heroes and tough battles, legendary paddock life and true friendship when all the riders were like one big family.
In the 1950s, scooters were just as common a sight on urban streets as they are today – even if the design was more than a little different. Scooters have long been a part of KTM’s proud history too. Sixty years ago the young motorcycle manufacturer introduced its first scooter: the Mirabell, named after Mirabell Palace, one of the most famous tourist destinations in Salzburg.
The inhabitants of central Mattighofen are likely to get used to the sound of construction work over the next year as plans for the KTM Museum are accelerating quicker than a KTM 450 SX-F out of a start gate.
#inthisyear2005: Mika Kallio becomes Vice World Champion in the 125cc class, and KTM dominates the constructors’ championship
In 2005 – ten years ago – Finnish KTM factory rider Mika Kallio became Vice World Champion in the smallest Grand Prix class; on top of this, KTM dominated the constructors’ championship.