KTM AG is a transnational corporation, a manufacturer of motorcycles, bicycles and sports cars, headquartered in Matingofen, Austria.
The company was formed in 1992 from the company founded by Hans Trankenpolz in 1943, KTM Motor-Fahrzeugbau KG. In 1992, the latter declared bankruptcy and split into four independent companies:
KTM Sportmotorcycles GmbH, since 2003 KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG, specializes in sports cross-country motorcycles;
KTM Fahrrad GmbH produces bicycles;
KTM Kühler GmbH manufactures cooling systems for auto- and motor-engines;
KTM Werkzeugbau GmbH produces tools.
Now under the brand KTM one of the most popular sports motorcycles for motorcycle races of different types is produced: from ring to rally raids. Repeatedly riders on motorcycles KTM became winners of the rally "Dakar" and other marathon competitions. In addition, the company produces bicycles, and since 2006 - light two-seat sports cars.
The firm was born in 1934, when a 25-year-old engineer Ganz Trankenpolz opened a metalwork shop and a small car repair shop.
After a while, a prosperous business demanded expansion. Trankenpolz starts selling DKW motorcycles, which are equipped with powerful two-stroke engines and meet the highest quality standards. Since 1939, Hans has become an Opel dealer.
Before the outbreak of World War II, the firm employed five people. However, the founder was mobilized, and his wife Elizabeth began to manage business. In 1943, Hans Trankenpolz was released from military service, and he returned home to repair trucks and engines for military needs.
There was a lot of work, the staff of the workers grew to 35 people. The company has become one of the largest in Upper Austria. Sensing a lack of spare parts, Hans organizes their production at home. In 1948, the foundry and forging shops were opened. The company specializes in the production of crankshaft bearings.
Economic recovery sharply reduced the demand for repair work. The firm existed only due to the manufacture of spare parts. This made Trankenpolts search for other ways of earning money. At that time, the population needed inexpensive but fast means of transportation, and Hans realizes that the market is waiting for the appearance of motorcycles.
Since Trankenpolz worked with DKW motorcycles, he was already able to form a definite idea of his new project. He found the engine for a motorcycle in the town of Gunskirchen. It was a 98-cc Rotax motor with a manual starter.
In 1953, Hans established the serial production of motorcycles R 100. Every day the employees of the company collected 3 units. The success of a small company drew the attention of businessman Ernst Kronreif. He acquired a controlling stake in the company, after which it was renamed Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen, leaving a recognizable abbreviation.
In the same year, the company exhibits its motorcycles for racing. A year later in the national championship KTM R100 gets a prize in the class of 125 cu. cm.
In 1955, the 125-cubic-meter Tourist model was developed. In 1956, the brand wins the international competition Six Days. A year later, a sporty 125-cubes Trophy motorcycle and Mirabell scooter appear.
Until the late 50's KTM had a good income, because its motorcycles were inexpensive, but provided excellent quality. In 1959, the crisis leads to a complete halt in the manufacture of motorcycles.
For a while, scooters enter the arena. In 1959 appears Ponny I, and in 1962 - Ponny II. In 1960, the manufacture of bicycles began. In addition, the company continued to produce motorcycles for racing.
Since 1963, the production of motorcycles is resuming, KTM Comet is appearing. In three years the 10 000th copy of the model is being produced.
In 1978, a representative office was established in the United States. In addition, this year is significant for the significant expansion of the line of motorcycles with a volume of 50 cubic meters. cm.
In 1980, Ernst Kronreif dies, and two years later - Hans Trankenpolz. Management of the company takes over the son of Hans, Erich. He changes the name to Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen.
In 1981, the first motorcycles with a 125-cc engine come out, equipped with a liquid cooling system. A year later, the company is developing its first four-stroke engine with water cooling.
Since 1986, KTM, the first motorcycle manufacturer, offers front and rear disc brakes on off-road bikes. Next year there is a one-cylinder four-stroke engine with an upper camshaft.
Since 1988 KTM has stopped the production of mopeds and focuses on motorcycles. However, after the death of the founder, serious financial problems begin to appear in the company, which eventually lead to bankruptcy. The company breaks up into four different firms.
Since then, the motorcycle manufacturer is beginning its revival after the crisis of the late 80's. An important role in this was played by highly defined quality standards. So, KTM adheres to the philosophy of Ready to Race, according to which all released bikes should be ready for racing. Thus, every motorcycle manufactured under the brand KTM is tested by a rider and must pass a test for readiness for sports competitions.
In 1997, presented the first cruiser LC4 Adventure with a 609-cc engine, developing 50 hp. at 7000 rpm. Mark wins in the world championship on enduro in the class of 125, 400 and 500 cubic meters. cm.
In 2000, the company represents the prototype of the first motorcycle with a liter engine.
In 2004, there are such models as 990 RC8 Venom, 990 Super Duke, 950 Supermoto.