If you are interested in any off-road racing event, rest assured the popularity of signature orange dirt bikes is obviously apparent among peers. KTM definitely has developed into arguably the strongest manufacturer in the business, but the Austrian company wasn’t always well known and appreciated in the motorcycle world.
A young Austrian, Hans Trunkenpolz started this line of work by opening a repair shop in Mattighofen, Austria in 1934 to work on cars and motorcycles. From these humble beginnings, the company would blossom into an industry powerhouse. Nowadays they produce motorcycles under the brand name “KTM” and “Husqvarna” as well as X-Bow Supersports Car.
KTM 450 SX-F
It was in 2013 that Pierer Industrie AG, a company owned by KTM CEO Stefan Pierer, acquired Husqvarna, and this brand now falls under the KTM umbrella. KTM North America also houses the North American arm of WP Performance Systems.
Given that then it was not even known as KTM, it was in 1953 that Kronreif, Trunkenpolz, Mattighofen introduced its first production series motorcycle, the R100. They grabbed their first title with the 1954 Austrian 125 national championship.
KTM identifies itself primarily as a dirt bike maker and a majority of this success and identity stems from the wide range of product line available now and historically. The company has offered over the years a wide range of product for every taste; scooters, bicycles, mopeds, a sports car even, ATV’s and the electric dirt bikes.
KTM 500 EXC-F
However the KTM name has become known for the durable and efficient off-road bikes. They made a gutsy mantra “Ready to Race” which they live by and it is very true.
This Austrian company has committed over the years to building competition-spec bikes for serious riders, and it has been rewarded with numerous off-road, motocross and even supercross championships.
The bikes chose a completely different model from the Japanese pack given how most of their dirt bikes feature electric starting. In some ways KTM has held back and happen to stay old school with the use of chrome-moly steel frames as compared to the aluminum frames used nowadays.
KTM most likely owes some of its renown to the numerous titles they have hugged for themselves over the years. The 80’s saw a lot of changes like the death of their manager. But on the plus side, new designs were brought forth like the liquid cooled 125cc motorcross bike. Unfortunately, they stopped the manufacture of scooters in 1988.
KTM 1290 SUPER ADVENTURE R 2018
But that did not hinder their progress. 1989 saw the arrival of the World MX125cc title, putting them in the spotlight once again. Then, came their resounding victory at the Atlas Rally in 1993 after bankruptcy in the early 90’s. The mid 90’s, saw an upswing with new acquisitions and new models.
The KTM family took in the Husaberg motorcycles and the White Power suspension in 1995. Titles such as World Enduro and the Rally raid kept flowing in all this complemented by the 500cc World MX title.
After KTM confidently dominated the dirtbike market, they slowly branched off to the street market where they continue to grow in leaps and bounds and amaze the street savvy consumers with their unique designs.
KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE GT 2018
The year 2000 saw the obtention of six world titles followed up by new brands and technologies such as the venom sportbike in 2003, the 950 super-motor, the 990 adventure and the 950 Super Enduro in 2005.
In as little as eight years, KTM has seen its Market share more than triple; most especially the U.S. market share. From 1995-2009, KTM has seen its share grow from 1.5 to 2.1 percent of the motorcycle market according to the KTM annual General report for 2017.
A swift jump ahead to 2016 and that particular U.S. market share have grown up to 6.5 percent midway through 2016. KTM is a premium manufacturer of high performance motorcycles for both off-road and street use. KTM has already become the largest European motorcycle manufacturer with a 10.1% market share in Europe and an 8.0% share in the U.S. as well as achieving an annual turnover well in excess of 1.3 billion euros.
KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R 2018
Their current trajectory is to reach 400,000 units of annual production by 2022. For KTM it is the ‘ready to race’ philosophy that guides all the brand behavior. The shared vision of KTM and its constituent brands is to be a world-leading independent international motorcycle and component manufacturer, with a portfolio of diverse brands and outstanding products.
When KTM North America moved to their current California headquarters, the general manager in association with the rest of the employees mapped out the first ready to race plan. “Ready to Race” has since then been the company’s public motto since then, it is also the behind-the-scenes strategic plan for increasing their shares and truth be told it works for them.
Right from that moment they decided to carve out a plan whereby they believed that success depends on brand (thus the brand name Ready to Race).
KTM RC 390 2018
On the walls of the office of one of the executives at KTM you will find the words “Passion + Success = Fun”. The employees feel fortunate to work in an industry that they are certifiably passionate about but that notwithstanding they work extremely hard. Instead, KTM employees drive to improve the bikes and all of the products every day.
They work at KTM because they love motorcycles. They love racing. They love the sport. They just really love anything that surrounds motorcycles. They do believe you cannot work in R&D unless you ride motorcycles, and you’re passionate about it.
That’s what drives the motorcycles to be better because the guys that are working on them and developing them, they’re out on the weekends and doing the testing, and they want to fix the flaws; they want to see the motorcycle get better for themselves and in the end, the final consumer.
Basically the KTM engineers pinpointed their focus on what they could control and less on the negative. They mostly control how they approach the motorcycle industry, how they approach their dealers, and that focus helps them realize that growth is going to come more actively from market share versus passively from gains over declines in the overall market.
The building block of their growth not only lies in the ready to race plan but also in the dedication and passion of their employees.
When KTM decided to start their venture on the Indian market, little was known about the Austrian brand, as unlike the Japanese YAMAHA and the European BMW and Ducatis.
But they chose a wise strategy by associating themselves with Bajaj Auto, and thus smoothed they entry into the Indian market with the Duke 200. It is because of KTM that commuters tend to use 150-200cc. there are a few things which has made the KTM brand one of renowned out in the motorcycle market. Here a few
You just need to look at KTM bike and you will most assuredly feel it scream outright performance. Given that the motorcycle market has matured in the past few years, for most cases the 150cc motorcycles has become one of premium commuters.
For enthusiasts, the 200cc and 400cc segment is the best range for starters to help hone riding skills and satisfy the hunger for performance. Within this range KTM happens to offer better performance to price ratios than their similarly priced counterparts and they possess a wide variety in their portfolio.
Design and Looks
Certain markets have a preference for conventionally styled commuters but then a non-negligible factor here for most commuters will be the desire to stand out.
As such KTM with its wide range of products has given the opportunity for most commuters to score the oomph factor and step out of the boring ranks. This notwithstanding they possess an affordable price range and changed the scenario of importance of outright design.
Features and Equipment’s
Apart from performance and design, another thing enthusiasts crave for in these kinds of bikes is the list of equipment and features. Fortunately enough, KTM bikes are loaded with some incredible features which you may find only in other very pricey superbikes.
Some of them include, fully digital comprehensive instrument console with good amount information on display, aluminum swing-arm, handlebar crash guard in the Dukes, back-lit switch-gear, trellis frame, steel braided lines for brakes, turn indicators on rear-view mirrors, projector headlamps with LEDs and also underbelly exhaust just to name a few. All of these features concur to give the KTM bikes a much richer look.
XBow GT4 Concept
Astounding Riding Dynamics
Despite the fact that the KTM bikes have large capacity engines , the motorcycle happens to weigh less than you would expect from just looking at it. This gives the bikes some incredible power to weight ratio. As such the motorcycle from KTM is a delight to ride; a fact that is complemented with the excellent combination of brakes, chassis and suspension.
Certain KTM bikes offer a suspension setup (WP upside down forks at the front and mono-shock at the rear and a trellis frame) that offers precise tools that allows riding around corners as well fast straight lanes.
KTM 50 SX 2019
Extensive Sales and Service Network
KTM is a premium manufacturer of high performance motorcycles for both off-road and street use. KTM has already become the largest European motorcycle manufacturer with a 10.1% market share in Europe and an 8.0% share in the U.S. as well as achieving an annual turnover well in excess of 1.3 billion euros. Their current trajectory is to reach 400,000 units of annual production by 2022.
For KTM it is the ‘ready to race’ philosophy that guides all the brand behavior. The shared vision of KTM and its constituent brands is to be a world-leading independent international motorcycle and component manufacturer, with a portfolio of diverse brands and outstanding products.
KTM creates a close relationship with its customers through a well-trained network of dealers and importers, with a focus on professionalism and authentic customer intimacy seen as being critical to overall success.
KTM 85 SX 19/16 2019
Affordable Spare Parts
It is common occurrence for sport-bikes have a high maintenance bills and spare parts can cost a kidney and some, but this happens to be an exception with the KTM brand. Taking the case of India where the company Bajaj Auto does production of KTM for Indian use, the parts are locally made and procurement is easy.
Research and Development
As a premium manufacturer they place particular importance on the early recognition of motorcycle trends, on research and development regarding engineering and functionality and on pursuing and implementing customer wishes so as to achieve innovative product development close to the market.
They are constantly developing new products in previously unexplored segments and niches of the market as soon as it identifies them and they become usable for KTM and Husqvarna Motorcycle brands.
Experience and knowledge obtained from racing are incorporated directly into series production and development of new models. In 2017, they produced the world’s first series-produces 2-stroke off-road motorcycles with fuel injection as well the VITLIPEN 701 for the Husqvarna motorcycle group brand.
KTM has set goals of manufacturing products that are highly innovative in line with market trends, safe and most importantly of high quality.
The engines being a key component in motorcycles, they are developed and manufactured in such a way as to guarantee the identity of the motorcycles with the KTM and Husqvarna brands. Lastly, their impressive track record in racing is the ultimate evidence of KTM’s high product quality and high level of engineering competence.
KTM Power Parts