On the track, the RC8 was being raced to top five results in AMA Superbike by the likes of Chris Fillmore and even starring at the Isle of Man TT. In Europe KTM established a team to enter the competitive IDM German Superbike series.
At the turn of the decade KTM manufactured one of the most striking and surprising superbikes on the market but in a few short years it was gone. What happened to the RC8?
The opening of the KTM Motohall was a hugely important day for Europe’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer. The “Friends Opening” was attended by 400 guests, including Roger DeCoster, KTM Motorsport Director for North America, whose protégé Cooper Webb had won the fourth AMA Supercross Championship for KTM just days before at the Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas. Another American, without whom KTM might not have become what it is today, also traveled to Mattighofen for the event. John Penton, now 93 years old, set things in motion in the late 1960s when he placed a major order with KTM for the production of light enduros with 100cc and 125cc.
One iconic engine is responsible for so many KTM racing successes and as the beating heart of its most legendary sportmotorcycles produced. The 2019 KTM 690 SMC R and KTM 690 ENDURO R both share the very latest version of the KTM LC4 engine; the most powerful production single cylinder available.
When the KTM Motohall opens its doors after four years of planning, its three stories will give visitors the opportunity to experience the history of KTM first hand. The second story is dedicated to the development of KTM motorcycles, starting with the 1953 R 100 and KTM’s first engine all the way to the present day. For many years, KTM has been the biggest and brightest European motorcycle manufacturer, but that was not always the case. KTM has found itself in difficult times on several occasions throughout the history of the company, which spans six and a half decades. One such time was the European motorcycle crisis of the late 1950s.
#inthisyear2009: Marvin Musquin becomes the MX2 world champion – today he is one of KTM’s best prospects in the AMA Supercross World Championship
Back when Marvin Musquin won his first world championship race in early 2009, the Frenchman was still largely an unknown quantity. But that would change very quickly. Never before has anyone left their mark on a season in the way Musquin did back then at just 19-years old. Blessed with immense talent, he impressed the world of motocross, securing his first MX2 world championship title at the end of the season on the KTM 250 SX-F.
Full-speed ahead in every respect – that’s what KTM is all about. This also means keeping on top of what’s going on in the world of motorcycling, be it touring bikers or owners of powerful single-cylinder beasts. The KTM 790 ADVENTURE in particular, presented in two versions at the EICMA, and the return of the completely overhauled KTM 690 SMC R caught the attention of KTM’s army of enthusiasts. Two decades ago, as the global market leader in the offroad sector, KTM also successfully gained a foothold in the sporty street and touring bike segment with a successful technology and design offensive. Even from first glance, KTM bikes have boasted an unmistakable KTM design pedigree for years – we don’t need our logo to stand out!
2018 marks the first-ever World Enduro Super Series, the first competition to combine the Hard, Classic, Beach, and Cross-Country disciplines – including the Red Bull Hare Scramble on the Erzberg. According to Winfried Kerschhaggl, manager of the WESS Series: “The sport has grown tremendously in recent years, now it’s time for a championship that brings the key events together.”
KTM again dominated the smaller MX2 class in impressive style at the 14th World Championship race in Loket, Czech Republic. Riding his KTM 250 SX-F, Spanish ace Jorge Prado and defending champion Pauls Jonass from Latvia were top of the leaderboard with a significant lead over the third-place rider. Even 40+ years ago, the KTM quarter-liter factory bikes were the ones to beat if you wanted to steal the title at the then 250cc Motocross World Championships.
Gran Canaria – beginning of March. Media launch of the new KTM 790 DUKE. The journalists are totally obsessed with the latest addition to the DUKE family. Its razor-sharp handling has earned the 790 its own nickname – “The Scalpel”. The new 790 plugs the gap between the 690, the most powerful single-cylinder on the market, and the “Beast”, the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R with more than double the power. The complete genealogy of the 790 was on display in all its glory at a presentation at an aircraft hangar, beginning with the original DUKE, which was replaced as the KTM 640 DUKE “last edition” by the DUKE II exactly 20 years ago.