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Brief History of KTM

This company calls itself “The unbeatable on the track, unstoppable off it”.

Does the story prove it?

Here’s MI version of Brief History of KTM.

KTM emerged in 1934. In 1953 it started serial production of R100 — first KTM motorcycle.

(By the way it got it’s name in 1953. The abbreviation KTM means “Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen”)

KTM R100 was a beautiful bike.

Here’s what it looked like:

History of KTM: KTM R100 1953 black and white photo
The 1953 KTM R100. Source:

And this was the very first logo:

KTM R100 1953 original logo
This logo was used on 1953 R100. Next year logo was changed. Source:

History of KTM takes fast turn

Like any big corporation KTM had a long history of ownership takeovers. One of the latest major ones happened in 1992.

Three years before that founder of the company Hans Trunkenpolz died. And it took only two years for company to bankrupt itself.

The result?

Inevitably banks took over the company and split it into four divisions. One division, KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH, was the most active one. It eventually evolved into KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG which was owned by KTM AG. In 1994 this company had launched the Duke series of motorcycles.

Takeover by Bajaj Auto

Then in 2007 Bajaj Auto Limited of India started it’s gradual acquisition of KTM. Initially, in November 2017 it acquired 14.5% in KTM Power Sports AG.

This is what Business Standard originally reported on November 5th, 2007 about the event:

Article about Bajaj Auto takeove of KTM Sports

Eventually Bajaj Auto managed to acquire 47% of the KTM. The other 51% are owned by CROSS Industries AG, affiliated to KTM’s current CEO Stefan Pierer.

And here is the KTM bike that we know these bikes today:

KTM 690 Duke 2012
The 2012 KTM 690 Duke. Source:

Today we recognise KTM bikes by characteristic structure frame and orange colour (like on 690 Duke above).

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Disclaimer: This article was prepared or accomplished by it's author in their personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of Motorbikes India or it's owners.

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