The Illustrated History of KTM


The Illustrated History of KTM

Below you will find a timeline showing the history of KTM, as I know it, including photographs provided by KTM. This is a living document that will be updated as more information and photos become available. If you have any information that you would like to contribute to this timeline please feel free to leave a comment or email me at 

1934 – Austrian engineer Hans Trunkenpolz opens a metal-working shop in Mattighofen, Austria. The name of the business is Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen.  The Trunkenpolz company appears as an official supplier of motorcycles for the first time (sale of DKW motorcycles).

36977_Hans Trunkenpolz and father Wezel

36975_Hans Trunkenpolz and sister Wanderer bike

1935 –



1938 The Trunkenpolz company expands continuously, becoming one of the biggest motorcycle and car repair workshops in Upper Austria.

36957_Erich Trunkenpolz on the bike

1939 –

1940 –

1941 –

1942 –

1943 –

1944 –

1945 –

1946 –

1947 –

1948 –

1949 –

1950 –

37235_Linz Urfahr Fritz Trunkenpolz um 1950

1951 – The company’s first motorcycle is developed – the R100 a lightweight 98cc motorcycle

1952 –

1953 – The company becomes officially known as ‘Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen’ (KTM). A team of 20 employees is producing three motorcycles per day.

1954 – The 100th KTM motorcycle is delivered. KTM wins the Austrian 125 category national championships for the first time.

37358_Vienna Fruehjahrsmesse 1954

1955 – A businessman, Ernst Kronreif becomes a sizeable shareholder of the company, which is renamed Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen.

KTM Tourist (125cc) model is developed.

First Road races

36944_Baederpreis 1955

37091_KTM Augusta Trunkenpolz Autobahnrennen 1955

37277_oester ARBOe Nonstopdrive 1955

37280_Paul Schwarz with KTM 1955

37346_Streetracing Mattighofen 1955

37376_Wiener Neustadt Schwarz Lechner 1955

1956 – First participation in the International Six Days; Egon Dornauer wins gold.

37276_oester Alpenfahrt 1956

37278_oester Nonstopdrive 1956

37331_SixDays Donauer 1956

37345_Streetracing Mattighofen 1956

37360_Vienna Fruehjahrsmesse 1956


1957 – KTM builds first sports motorcycle – the Trophy 125cc.

First scooter developed – (Mirabell)

36945_Berglandfahrt Lechner 1957

37177_KTM MV Magnus Icespeedway 1957

37207_KTM RS Apfelbeck Lechner 1957 58

37251_MotoCross Riga Lechner 1957

37266_OeMRV Airportrace Lechner 1957

37281_Paul Schwarz Mustang 57er

37341_Skijoering  Zeller Icespeedway 1957

37381_Apfelbeck KTM Icespeedway 1957


1958 – Erwin Lechner keeps on winning off-road with KTM’s new racing motorcycle, constructed by engineer Ludwig Apfelbeck.

37229_Laxenburg Schwarz Doppelnocken KTM 1958

37335_SixDays Lechner 1958

1959 – Motorcycle production ceases as the result of the crisis in the two-wheel industry. First KTM Pony scooter and moped are introduced.

37167_KTM Messeamebot 1959

37205_KTM RS 125 o Verkl left 1959

37230_Lechner winner Gro raming 1959

37361_Vienna Fruehjahrsmesse Trophy125 1959

1960 –

37130_KTM Comet Studie ca 1960

37236_lugplatzrennen Klagenfurt Lechner 1960

37597_KTM Comet Studie ca 1960

1961 –

1962 –

36940_ARBOe Berggelaendewertung 1962

37082_Mediapresentation Helmut Krackowizer Ponny II 1962

37127_KTM Comet Prototyp 1962 r r



1963 – The Comet moped is introduced.

1964 – Bicycle production commences. Cross-country racing resumed; birth of the first KTM works team participation in the Six Days.

37334_SixDays KTM Team 1964

37336_SixDays Somerauer KTM50 1964

1965 –

36939_ARBOe Berg Gelaendewertung Pechek 1965

37098_KTM Comet 1965

37313_San Pellegrino Valli Bergamsche 1965


1966 – The 10,000th Comet rolls off the line. KTM wins three gold medals at the international Six Days in Sweden.

37443_100 000 Comet

1967 –

36994_IFMA Comet BJ_ 1967

37120_KTM Comet Gelaende 1967

37141_KTM Offroad bike 50 1967

37252_MotoCross in Sittendorf Weber KTM50 1967

37356_Factory drivers 1967


1968 – The cross-country Penton Six Days dirt bike is produced and exported to the United States.

37112_KTM Comet 69er KTM Zylinder 1968

37144_KTM Hobby Automatic 1968

37244_Modelle Schweizer Ponny II 1968

37359_Vienna Fruehjahrsmesse 1968

37579_KTM Comet 69er KTM Zylinder 1968


1969 –

37085_KTM 50ccm Unterladstaetter 1969

37086_KTM 50ccm Ziersdorf 1969

37333_SixDays KTM Penton125 1969


1970 – KTM begins producing its own engines. (Previously, many of the dirt bikes had been equipped with Sachs motors.) New 250cc motocross bike is developed. Manfred Klerr wins the Austrian national championships on the newly developed 250 cc Motocross bike.

37055_KTM 250er Klerr 1970

37183_KTM Penton 125 MC 1970

37186_KTM Penton Erich Trunkenpolz 1970

37225_KTM Compedition Bike 125ccm 1970

37226_Lathi Eklund 1970

37263_Engine production 1970

37327_SixDays 1970


1971 – KTM’s workforce reaches 400.

37026_KTM 125 Sachs engine 1971

37048_KTM 250 Klerr 1971

37054_KTM 250 Weiss 1971

37115_KTM Comet Cross 1971

37118_KTM Comet Cross Scrambler 1971

37181_KTM Penotn Lerner Klerr 1971

37185_KTM Penton 72er 1971

37188_KTM Penton Scrambler 1971

37471_KTM 125 Sachs engine 1971

1972 –

37171_KTM Mini Cross Lauda Regazzoni 1972

37270_OeSM MC Grabner 1972

37292_VIP Gymkhana Lauda 1972

37300_Folder products 1972

37301_Folder bikes 1972

37332_SixDays Farioli 1972


1973 – Serial production of the 250 (Cross & Endure) commences. First WC points and Grand Prix wins for KTM (P. Roulev & G. Moissev).

36947_Bruck Lerner 1973

37101_KTM Comet 500S 1973

37140_KTM Flat Tack Bike 1973

37187_KTM Penton Modell 250 1973

37338_SixDays Team USA 1973

37339_SixDays Teilnehmer 1973

37363_WM Payerne Roulex 1973

1974 – KTM’s product range consists of 42 different models. Series production of KTM Hobby III commences. Russian Gennadij Moissev wins the first 250 cc Motocross World Championship title for KTM

John Franklin 3rd place 250MX Penton Gran-Am Motocross Park

Buck Murphy 2nd 250SX Penton Daytona

37231_Leningrad Moiseev 1974

37232_Leningrad Moiseev 1974 2

37239_Start Schwanenstadt Klasse Motocross 500 1974

37272_OeSM MC Schwanenstadt 1976

37293_Folder 1974

37317_Schwanenstadt Lerner 1974

37515_KTM 400 offroad 1974

1975 – Introduction of the road model Comet Grand Prix 125 RS. KTM works rider Sigi Lerner becomes Austrian Motocross road champion. Alessandro Gritti becomes European Enduro Champion. Gennadij Moissev wins his second 250 cc Motocross World Championship on KTM.

37065_KTM 400 MC 1975

37067_KTM 400 MC engine 1975

37162_KTM MC Druckguss leichtmetallraeder 1975

37172_KTM Modell 25 RS 1975

37233_Lerner 1975

37267_OeSM Behamberg 500ccm Lerner 1975

37269_OeSM Hoehnhart Lerner 1975

37325_Sittendorf Lerner 1975

37326_Sittendorf Lerner 1975 2

37371_WM Sittendorf 500ccm Lerner 1975

1976 – Construction of our own 125 cc engine. International success for the Italian Farioli racing team (two European Championships).

37027_KTM 125 MC 1976

37095_KTM Champion Flat Track Racer links 1976

37096_KTM Champion Flat Track Racer rechts 1976

37116_KTM Comet Cross 50 S 1976

37117_KTM Comet Cross 50 S 1976 2

37218_KTM Team Russia 1976

37240_MC Feldkirch Lerne 1976

37268_OeSM Hoehnhart 500cm Start 1976

37315_Schneider action 1976

37328_SixDays Andrioletti 1976

37337_SixDays Team IT 1976

37343_Sportlerehrung KTM werk 1976

37352_Urkunde Markenweltmeister 1976


1977 –

36942_Ausstellungswagen 1977

37034_KTM 125 Offroad 1977

37035_KTM 125 offroad left 1977

37036_KTM 125 offroad right 1977

37042_KTM 125er Moto Cross 1977

37145_KTM Hobby Automatic L Ausfuehung 1977

37173_KTM Mofa 505 1977

37211_KTM Somset RSL 1977

37237_Malherbe action portraet 1977

37246_Moiseev action 1977

37308_Rahmen Gelaendesport 1977

37316_Schwanenstadt Moiseev 1977

37318_Schwanenstadt Lerner 1977

37319_Schwanenstadt Moiseev 1977

37320_Schwanenstadt Moiseev 1977 2

37321_Schwanenstadt Ovtchinikov 1977

37368_WM Sittendorf 500ccm Bauer 1977

37369_WM Sittendorf 500ccm Bauer 1977 2

37372_WM Sittendorf 500ccm Lerner 1977

37375_WM Sittendorf 500ccm Velthofen 1977

1978 – “KTM America Inc.” established in Lorain, Ohio; the company’s first US subsidiary. 50 cc product range extended. Third 250 cc Motocross World Championship title for KTM and Moissev.

Frank Stacy 5th 500MX KTM Red Bud

37022_KTM 125 GS 1978

37041_KTM 125 MC 1978

37046_KTM 250 GS 1978

37066_KTM 400 MC 1978

37092_KTM Automatik moped Hobby III 1978

37105_KTM Comet 50 E 1979

37110_KTM Comet 50 RSW 1978

37219_KTM Trial Studi IFMA 1978

37227_Launsdorf Lerner 1978

37247_Moiseev action 1978

37256_Engine KTM 125 GS 1978

37275_OeSM Sittedorf 500ccm Lerner 1978

37370_WM Sittendorf 500ccm Bruno 1978

37468_KTM 125 GS Sachs


Billy Grossi – Motox 338 5th 500MX KTM

Frank Stacy Motox 338 3rd 250MX KTM

Boo Stitcher Lakewood 4th 250MX KTM

Boo Stitcher High Point 5th 250MX KTM

37572_KTM Comet 50 E 1979

37575_KTM Comet 50 RS4 L 1979

37627_KTM MC 80 1979

37628_KTM MC 80 1979 color

1980 – Company name changed to “KTM Motor-Fahrzeugbau KTM”. Intensive further development of the sports models (weight reduction, membrane steering).

37094_KTM Bora 25 IMFA 1980

37159_KTM MC 255 RV 1980

37250_Production 250ccm Offroad 1980

37299_Folder Lauda 1980

37307_quality managment 1980

37474_KTM 125 MC 80

37493_KTM 250 GS 80

37530_KTM 420 MC 80


1981 – Production of the first water-cooled 125 cc Motocross bike. 700 employees achieve an annual turnover of ATS 750 million, 76% of the production is exported to 13 countries.

37028_KTM 125 MC 1981

37070_KTM 495 GS 1981

37084_KTM 50 RLW 1981

37241_MC Schrems Kolm KTM 125 1981

37344_Sportlerehrung Trunkenpolz E E Kalberger 1981

37473_KTM 125 MC 1981

1982 – Motocross models fitted with the new “Pro Lever” back wheels suspension. Development of a KTM 4-stroke engine with water-cooling commences (first supplier on the market).

John Finkeldey – Road Atlanta 5th 500MX KTM

36943_AUTO ZUM 1982

37050_KTM 250 MX 1982

37075_KTM 500 KS 1982

37174_KTM Moto Cross Cup 1982

37223_KTM Werk 1982

37362_WM Start at Launsdorf 125ccm 1982


John Finkeldey – Broome-Tioga 3rd 500MX KTM

36946_Braunsberg Slalom Quester 1983

37081_KTM 50 GSA 1983

37099_KTM Comet 40 PL 1983

37178_KTM Okay 1983

37314_Schmiedinger 1983

37364_WM Schwanenstadt 500ccm Reiter 1983

37365_WM Schwanenstadt 500ccm Start 1983

1984 – Manufacture of KTM radiators commences. First order for the Austrian Army. Heinz Kinigadner becomes 250cc Motocross World Champion on KTM.

37093_KTM Baja 600 1984

37257_Engine KTM 125 MC 1984

37295_Folder Bora 1984

37366_WM Siegesfeier 1984

37367_WM Siegesfeier Friedrich Ehn 1984

1985 – Production of the 100,000th KTM engine (500cc, liquid cooled, over 50 bpm). Heinz Kinigadner wins the 250cc Motocross World Championship for the second time.

37079_KTM 50 GE 1985

37273_OeSM Schloss Waasen Reiter 1985

1986 – KTM becomes the first manufacturer to offer disc brakes front and rear. KTM wins every category at the Six Days in Italy.

37271_OeSM MC Gro hoeflein 500ccm Reiter Ochsenhofer 1986

37329_SixDays Danzimger 1986

1987 – Series production commences of the KTM 4-stroke engine (1 cylinder, 560ccm, overhead camshaft). Production of 98,000 radiators, 93,700 bicycles, 12,600 mopeds and 10,600 motorcycles.

37253_Engine 1 4-stroke 1987

37259_Engine LC4 four ventil 1987

37262_Engine Zylinderkopf Steuerung 1987

37330_SixDays Danzimger KTM 350 1987

1988 – KTM stops production of scooters.

1989 – Hans Trunkenpolz, founder, dies.

37322_Schwanenstadt Reiter 1989

37350_Trunkenpolz Nachruf 1989

1990 –

37031_KTM 125 MX 1990

37056_KTM 300 Enduro chain 1990

1991 – KTM files for bankruptcy. The company is split into four independent arms – radiators, motorcycles, bicycles and tooling.

1992 – The newly formed motorcycle division – KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH – opens up under new management, new Hard Enduro concept and a new motorcycle design. KTM Enduro World Championship title 1990 goes to Paul Edmondson (125), Peter Hansson (500), 1991 and 1992 to Jeff Nilsson (125), 1992 to Mario Rinaldi (350).

1993 – KTM Rally commitment begins (win at the Atlas Rally in 5 categories).

37379_Accessoires 1993

37460_Kinigadner action air 1993

1994 – KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH renamed KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG. Workforce 212. Company commences production of the road model of the Duke series.

1995 – Acquisition of Swedish Husaberg AB and takeover of White Power Suspension (NL). Production of 12,000 motorcycles, turnover ATS 1.1 billion. 2 Enduro World Championship titles, wins at the Master Rally and the Tunisia Rally.

37279_Paris Moskau Peking Kinigardner winner 1995

1996 – First series production of KTM LC4 engine with e-starter. Other subsidiaries set up (Germany and Switzerland). KTM-Motorradholding AG listed on the Vienna stock exchange. 500cc Motocross World Championship title with Shayne King, countless wins in Enduro and Rally competitions.

37342_Skizze 125er Pierer 1996

1997 – Market introduction of the LC4 Supermoto for the road, and LC4 Adventure, KTM’s first cruising bike. 3 Enduro World Championship titles: Shane Watts (125), Mario Rinaldi (400) and Kari Tiainen (500).

36992_IFMA 360SX BJ_ 1997

1998 – PDS (Linkless Suspension System) on the 2-stroke models, new engine generation 125/200cc, new Z design. Construction of a new assembly plant with a new R&D centre. Marketing subsidiary KTM UK opens. KTM wins 2nd to 12th position at the 20th Paris-Dakar Rally.

Robbie Horton Tampa 125 East SX 3rd KTM

36980_Heckansicht 1998

37154_KTM LC4 new face 1998

37157_KTM LC4 Skizze 1998

37255_Engine Einzylinder 1998

37348_Kari Tiainen Protraet 1998

37354_Watts Action 1998


1999 – Production commences at KTM’s new manufacturing facility. Production of KTM’s new 4-stroke engine with separate lubrication 125/200cc.

Marketing subsidiary KTM Spain opens. Withdrawal from the stock exchange. Enduro World Champion Juha Salminen (125), overall winner of the Enduro World Championship (Giovanni Sala). Thierry Magnaldi wins the new Rally World Cup

2000 – Introduction of KTM’s 2-cylinder project at the Intermot Munich. Marketing subsidiary KTM France opens. Extremely good year for competitions: KTM wins 6 World Championships! 125cc Motocross World Champion (Grant Langston), 500cc Motocross World Champion (Joel Smets), 125cc Enduro World Champion (Juha Salminen), 250 4T Enduro World Champion (Matteo Rubin), 400cc Enduro World Champion (Mario Rinaldi), 500cc Enduro World Champion (Kari Tiainen).

Rodrig Thain – Houston 125 West SX 3rd KTM

Kelly Smith – High Point 125 MX 1st KTM

2001 – FMove to the new spare parts warehouse in Mattighofen. 5 times victory for KTM at the Dakar Rally: Fabrizio Meoni wins the Dakar. Juha Salminen takes World Enduro Championship title and James Dobb wins 125cc Motocross Championship.

Grant Langston – Phoenix 125 West SX 2nd KTM

Grant Langston – AZ 125 West SX 3rd KTM

Grant Langston – Irving 125 West SX 1st KTM

Brock Sellards – Vegas 125 Shootout 3rd KTM

Brock Sellards – Atlanta 125 East SX 2nd KTM

Kelly Smith – St. Louis 125 East SX 3rd KTM

2002 – Move to the new engine assembly plant in Munderfing. Therry van den Bosch becomes World Supermoto Champion. Fabrizio Meoni wins the Dakar Rally riding the new 950 Rally twin. Juha Salminen wins the World Enduro Championship again.

2003 – Launch of the 950 Adventure. Presentation of the 990 Duke. Entrainment in the new development centre in Mattighofen. 70,514 motorcycles sold worldwide with a total revenue of 376 million Euros.

KTM enters the 125cc Moto GP Road Racing World Championship. World Champions 2003: Juha Salminen (Enduro), Steve Ramon (125 MX), Joel Smets (650 MX), Rally world cup victory for Cyril Despres. National US Champions 2003: Grant Langston (125 Supercross), Mike Lafferty (Enduro).

2004 – KTM launches the 990 Super Duke and introduces the 990 RC8 Venom and the 950 Supermoto at the Intermot in Munich.

After earlier agreeing in principle to supply motorcycles to two out-of-work actors, so they can make a documentary about a trip across Eurasia and North America, KTM abruptly drops the project. Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman get BMWs instead, and make “The Long Way Round.”

2005 – Launch of the 950 Supermoto. Presentation of the 990 Adventure and the 950 Super Enduro R. Cooperation with Polaris Industries Inc. Worldwide sales of 80,356 motorcycles and a total revenue of 451.2 million Euros.

16 World Championship titles, 120 titles in total, KTM wins the Contractor title in the 125cc Road Racing World Championship. Cyril Despres wins the Dakar. All 6 Enduro World Championship titles go to KTM.

2006 – The partnership with Polaris is dramatically downgraded. KTM announces that from now on, the company will simply supply Polaris with a few motors for ATVs.

In the business year 05/06 record sales at KTM – for the first time over EUR 500 million were achieved. A total of 84,421 motorcycles sold. This positive growth has been caused in the offroad segment by the introduction of further models and in the street segment by the successful presentation of the new models (990 Adventure, 950 Super Enduro) and the in sales (950 Supermoto) in the 2-cylinder segment. 9 riders world championship titles, 7 manufacturers titles – 136 World Championship titles overall.

2007 – The company supplies all the 125cc motorcycles for the Red Bull Rookies Cup.

The extremely positive feedback at the world premiere of the KTM X-Bow at the Geneva International Motor Show has turned the balance: The Upper Austrian company will go into series production with the lightweight sports car.

An experiment if there ever was one, KTM builds the ultimate go-kart in the X-Bow.

2008 – The new highly modern KTM parts and logistics centre was finished and related products distribution starts taking place from this facility which guarantees a highly reliable and time efficient spare parts supply to the entire KTM world.

2008 was another very successful year in racing. The KTM factory teams win 9 riders and 7 constructors World Championship titles which lead to an amazing total of 162 titles.

2009 – Wanting to get its feet wet in road racing, KTM enters a factory-backed team fielding RC8s in the IDM (German) championship. At the end of the year, factory rider Stefen Nebel ties for the championship.

At the EICMA show in Milan KTM presented a revolutionary 350cc MX race bike along side two highly attractive 125 concept bikes, that brought out cheers, not only in the youth scene. The official racers provided a more than positive result again. The Motocross and Enduro teams achieved 4 out of 6 possible World Championship titles and a first KTM Superbike project resulted in a vice-championship title at the IDM. The motorsport enthusiastic company now holds 173 World Championship titles.

2010 – KTM does the impossible and brings home all Motocross World Championship titles. Antonio Cairoli wins the MX1 class on the revolutionary 350 SX-F while Marvin Musquin secures the MX2 title and Steffi Laier the WMX title.

The long awaited 125 Duke is successfully launched worldwide.

The 990 SMR and SMT models are introduced

2011 – Marc Coma wins the motorcycle class in the Dakar rally first time out on a KTM 450 Rally, marking his third win and KTM’s 10th consecutive win.

The Duke 690 4 is unveiled at EICMA.  Also introduced is the Duke 200.

2012 – 2012 marks the most successful year in the history of KTM. With more than 107,000 vehicles sold and a turnover of the EUR 610 million KTM steps up to the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe. 20 world championship titles, the 12th successive victory at the Dakar and the first rider’s title on asphalt with Sandro Cortese in Moto3 underline this outstanding performance. Ryan Dungey’s took home the 450cc Motocross Championship.

Cyril Despres wins the motorcycle class in the Dakar rally on a KTM 450 Rally; an unbelievable 11th straight win for KTM, and a fourth win for Despres.

European Junior Cup series launched.

The Duke 690 R is unveiled at EICMA.  A new model, the Duke 390 is also introduced.

2013 – KTM kicks off the year with a strong team representation in the Dakar including South Africans Darryl Curtis and Riaan van Niekerk in the Broadlink KTM ‘B’ Team.  When the rally ends in Santiago on 19th January, Cyril Despres has won his fifth Dakar title, KTM a 12th consecutive win and KTM riders and machines occupy the top five places.

Ken Roczen wins The 250cc West Supercross Championship


*Photos provided by KTM


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