Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM) history

The Journey

KTM is a motorbike manufacturer from Austria, KTM from “Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen” that means motorbike manufacturer from Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. KTM is generally best known as an off road motorcycle manufacturer, although in recent years KTM has developed into a production of street motorcycles. This company already has a deep-rooted motorsport tradition. More than 130 world championship titles, victories at Dakar and countless national championships are proof of the company’s great technical expertise.

KTM was founded in 1934 by Hans Trunkenpolz and was originally known as Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz as a metalworking company. Because sales were quite low, the owner decided to start making motorcycles. Two years later, in 1953, an Austrian businessman named Ernst Kronreif bought most of the company and changed his name to Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM).

In their first year, they only had 20 employees, and they were only able to produce around three bicycles per day, including the KTM series 98cc R100, a motorcycle project that began in 1951. KTM first participated in motor sports activities in 1953 in the Gaisberg 5th competition where they won the first three places.

One year later, KTM celebrated the delivery of 1000 motorbikes and in the same year they won the 125th Austrian national championship.

In 1956, KTM participated in the International Six Day race for the first time and Egon Dornauer won gold. Three years later, KTM engineer Ludwig Apfelbeck developed a new racing motorbike that Erwin Lechner used to win several offroad competitions. Although it was felt to be good enough for the company, KTM began manufacturing motorcycles in 1964.

The KTM Rising

In 1964, KTM began production of a motorcycle with the nickname Penton Six Days Crosscountry, a motorcycle intended for export to the United States. That same year marked and won the Austrian national championship by Manfred Klerr using the new 250cc motorcross. Then, in 1973, KTM began serial production of 250 Motocross and Enduro while the same year, the Austrian team recorded the first world championship points and the first Grand Prix won. Until 1974, KTM had a range of no less than 42 models, but even so, the company began production of the KTM III Hobby in the same year.

KTM began in the 80s with an important hit because they introduced the first liquid-cooled radiator or watercooled radiator for the 125cc Motocross motorcycle in 1981, while one year later they applied the new Pro Lever rear suspension for all their motocross models. In 1984, KTM began making its own radiators and selling them to competitors. However, at the same time as they produce motorcycle components, the company celebrates that comes with a 500cc displacement, with a liquid cooling system and can produce more than 50 bhp.

The liquid-cooled 4-step KTM engine production series began in 1987, but one year later, one of the company’s managers, Eric Trunkenpolz, died. Due to bankruptcy, the company was then divided into several independent divisions, which either continued to make radiators or build motorbikes and bicycles. In 1992, the new KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH was officially founded, having a new management team, a new hard Enduro and a new motorcycle design.

Unique Chassis Desain Technology

Using steel tubes will feel more comfortable because the flexibility of the frame acts also as a suspension to reduce shocks on the road. But it is a little less effective when a rider wants to strike strong sprints against another rider because of the energy absorbed a little more than aluminum. The absorbed energy will be released again when the frame that is flexed like a spring turns back to its original shape. Only the steel frame tube turns slower than aluminum.

A racing motorcycle application, the flexibility of the steel tube trellis frame is believed to be able to absorb the energy from shocks on the track where it has not been completely absorbed by the suspension and gradually re-release it. when the motor is tilted, the suspension work is limited. Lean angle is increasingly falling down making per and damping control fork and rear shock increasingly ineffective. In the sloping position especially the extreme angles of the frame’s flexibility especially towards the side or laterally act as a suspension to help reduce shocks when passing a bumpy bend. Losing a lot of suspension work force results in loss of tire grip with road. Obviously a thing that was avoided by racers.

As is known KTM is the only Austrian manufacturer in MotoGP that does not use conventional twin spar aluminum chassis, and at the beginning of this season, the boss of Motosport said it would not leave the tubular frame. Also happen on for mass production, and sad they will not leaving that chassis design because which has become KTM’s trademark all this time.

They have experience, technology and KTM thinking that frame technology used is to create comfort feeling for the rider and also determine the design of motorcycle that matches for the terrain characteristics as well as the rider’s racing style.

KTM will not leave the tubular chassis that has become the hallmark of KTM motorcycles. Because the tubular chassis that they have been using can provide flexibility and can reduce the weight carried by KTM motorcycles. And that’s why KTM can dominate the global motorcycle market.

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