It’s no secret that synergy has helped KTM and Akrapovič grow from strength to strength across their over 20-year relationship working together to deliver the best products not just for KTM Factory Racing teams, but for every rider too. KTM Blog takes a closer look into the past, present and future of this solid partnership.
A quarter of a century ago, KTM took the public by surprise by launching the KTM 620 DUKE. At the time, the Austrian manufacturer was known for its off-road motorcycles, so no one was expecting the release of a radical street bike. Today, all KTM Naked Bikes bear the name DUKE, from the KTM 125 DUKE right through to the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R…
Celebrating 25 years from the release of the very first KTM 620 DUKE back in 1994, we take a closer look at the impressive history of KTM’s iconic single-cylinder machine through the last quarter of a century.
Achieving racing success comes down to many factors and building fast bikes is just one of them; it’s the people and their skills that help form a solid set-up. Becoming aware of that years ago, KTM is focused on making every single person in their team feel at home. It’s all about being part of the family, figuratively or – in some cases – literally…
Just one year after KTM started production of motorcycles in 1953, the company announced its first production record – the 1000th motorcycle, a R 125 “Tourist”, left the factory doors. Fast forward a quarter of a century and the 50,000th KTM 2-stroke engine rolled off the production line; as a result the Austrian Quality Seal – a quality award for Austrian Products – was awarded to the Mattighofen-based manufacturer.
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.