KTM dirt bike history

KTM is one of the popular brands for dirt bikes, its stylish look and amazing features can win anyone’s heart. This Austrian company has started as a repairing shop and now owns the top position. Let’s see the KTM dirt bike history along with its present situation.

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Kawasaki Mule 4010

The owner (Hans Trunkenpolz) of KTM was an engineer and had started a metal working shop in 1934 located in Mattighofen. He named his company Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. The first dirt bike was developed in 1951, and KTM is the first company who built sports bikes too. Gradually, every year, the company started launching the new models. Later, from the year of 1994, it began developing duke bikes. Let’s see in brief, KTM dirt bike history.

Hello friends, KTM has already won the hearts of many bike lovers. Initially, it was just a dirty low budget shop, and today has become one of the top dirt bike brands. Later, Bajaj Auto invested into KTM and now accruing 47% of hare. How it became popular and known its journey from waste to best.

KTM dirt bike history

Lets now discuss about the KTM dirt bike history according to the time.

KTM dirt bike history(1934-1960)

In 1934, Hans Trunkenpolz opened a metal shop where he used to work with metals. It was

located in Mattighofen, Austria. He was an engineer who loved to do experiments with metals to make vehicle’s parts. In the year of 1951, his company developed the first dirt bike and gave it an unique name, the R100. The model design and its potential attracted many.

People started noticing and got its first success. They all kept working to do better, so in 1953, the company hired 20 employees to develop 3 motorbikes per day. And changed the company name to Kronreif Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM). 

After a gap of two years, a businessman Enrst Kronreif became a shareholder in the same company and renamed it Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. Year 1957 was the year when KTM developed the first sports motorbike named Trophy 125cc. And taking an interval of one year, in 1959 the KTM pony scooter and moped was introduced.

Mid Time History Of KTM (1961- 1990):-

1968 was the memorable year for the bike riders; the cross-country Penton Six Days dirt bike was launched and exported to the United States. In 1973, KTM began to produce higher

powered 250 cross and Enduro bikes. Next year, KTM Hobby III production began and continually in 1975, KTM launched road model Comet Grand Prix 125 RS. At the beginning, the company imported engines from other companies but from 1976, it produced its own 125cc engine.

Now, at the beginning of the 80s, the first water cooled 125cc motocross bikes were developed

in 1981. And the following year, in 1982, the company developed the first 4 stroke dirt bike. With its hard working and innovative ideas, KTM became the first company to offer front and rear disc brakes in 1986. But, in 1988, they stopped producing scooters. And 1989 was the unlucky year when the founder Mr Hans died. Other company partners keep investing and developing motorbikes for better growth.

Latest Condition Of KTM (1991-2010):-

In 1991, the company split up into four branches: radiators, dirt bikes, bicycles and tooling. A newly formed dirt bike division named KTM Sportdirt bike GmBH opened in 1992 and after 2 years in 1994, the company started producing the duke series of road models. In 1996, KTM LC4 engine development work started along with the electric starter. In 1997, KTM introduced a

LC4 Supermoto road model and also developed the first adventure bike. In 1999, the company started working on new models of 4 stroke dirt bikes, along with this, KTM engines with separate lubrication (125 & 200cc) produced.

Let’s see 21th century. In the year 2003, KTM introduced 950 Adventure and also launched 990 Duke. In the next year, a new 990 super duke and 990 RC8 Venom with 950 Supermoto were developed. Company kept working in this field and launched 950 Supermoto and also

introduced 990 Adventure including 950 Super Enduro R in 2005. From the year of 2007, the company supplied all the superbikes for Red Bull Rookies Cup and in the same year, the company launched the KTM X-Bow sports four wheelers. January, 2008 was the year when Bajaj announced the partnerships in the development of two kinds of 125cc and 200cc dirt bikes for Europe & the Far East.

Its Present Condition

From the year 2011 to 2020, KTM faced too many hurdles and see where it stands today. Let’s have a look at how KTM came forward after 2010.

In 2012, Bajaj launched the new Duke 200 bikes jointly with KTM, and also won the Moto3 manufacturers championship. In 2013, KTM made a big decision by acquisitus the Husqvarna bikes and reunited its one of brand Husaberg into the same model named Husqvarna.

KTM again won the manufacturers award in the year2014 & 2016 and also won the world title in the Moto3 in the same year. KTM gained over 1 billion Euro in 2015 and also employed a large number of people in their manufacturing centre. 

Even KTM got a huge success in the supercross world championship and won the hearts of riders in supercross racing. 2015 created a history in the progress of KTM, in this year, the company won the maximum number of awards. As a consecutive winning from the beginning of 21th century to 2019, the brand jumped to position one. 

Now, from the wikipedia on KTM’s history, currently it’s owned by Pierer Mobility AG who is holding 51.7% and Bajaj Auto Limited International owning the 47. 99% of the company. 

What KTM produces :- 

Generally, people know the KTM for its orange coloured superbike. But, it’s not limited to only racing bikes. Let me tell you what kind of products KTM manufactured in their factories. Initially, it produced off road dirt bikes and kept modifying until the dirt bikes took a perfect look with the best features. Later, they started developing 2 stroke and 4 stroke bikes as well. 

The company develops Motocross, Cross-country, Enduro, Free Ride like off road bikes. And for street motorbikes, it develops Supermoto, Adventure tourers, Sports tourer, Naked bikes, Supersport, Superbike, etc. 

Let you know that it also manufactured parts for other companies as the material used in designing the pieces tough to crack or damage.

At the end, the company also produces X-Bow two seater racing cars. Till now, four X-Bow cars have been launched, designers using Audi’s engine and approved as street legal cars. 

Why is KTM so popular & expensive?

KTM is famous because of its outstanding performance. It was the KTM, which developed high performance 125cc and 200cc dirt bikes. Before the company introduced the best dirt bikes, the 150cc along with 200 and 300cc, the Indian market wasn’t liked by the bike lovers. But with KTM’s better execution, it changed the scenario completely.

Next point that makes it popular is it’s look, which makes it unique in the crowd of dirt bikes. The sport bike look with average cost is only possible with KTM. Apart from its look, features are

appreciable. You won’t get the same at this affordable price. It provides a fully digital instrument console with a great number of data displays on it. 

And if you notice other things about KTM, it comes with steel braided lines for brakes, aluminium Swingarms, trellis frame, turn indicators on rear view mirrors, projector headlamps, handlebar crash guards and underbelly exhaust like equipments which enhance its look as a high priced vehicles.

And the last thing about its popularity is the large area market. You need to worry about spare parts or for servicing. Every city and location has a nearby service centre. Also, spare parts are more affordable than the other bikes with the same features.

Besides these, only a few brands can hit its model. Along with all its features, specifications and uniqueness separate it from other dirt bike companies and make it more plausible.

And on the other hand, KTM bikes are a little more expensive than many other dirt bike

brands. As this brand produces such bikes that run at a very high engine rpm that release more heat and this heat can damage the parts. To avoid damages, strong and different kinds of parts are required that are expensive.

Is KTM a safe bike or not ?

According to a survey, KTM is the safest dirt bike as it comes with double disc brakes and dual channel Bosch ABS which allows it to be a safe bike.

It’s bad for those who want reliable bikes, to ride this bike, you need to slightly bend forward. Next reason is those who keep selling their used bikes frequently, they shouldn’t buy this one.

As KTM loses its value after a few years by 30% to 40%, in return they won’t get enough money while reselling their motorbike. So, all over, having a KTM bike is safe for accidental and road safety, but not good for some people with a few terms and conditions.


I hope you have got all the imported information regarding the KTM dirt bike history. KTM is so popular amongst youngsters for its stylish look along with racing capacity.

From a small door back shop to an international company, how KTM completed this journey was tough but finally reached its destination. We will meet with a new post dealing on different topics related to dirt bikes.