From the silky tarmacs to the rugged off-road, the orange and black behemoths proceed with such majesty that you need to take a pause before you appreciate their beautiful aggression. But the chances are quite high that the two-wheelers have either already gone past too far or are roaring too definitively for your remarks to be audible. Either way, it is guaranteed that every spectator has some notions of appraisal when the three bold letters – KTM – are the emblems on a revving motorcycle.
Purity, performance, adventure, and extreme – these are the four core values of KTM AG, the world-famous Austrian motorcycle company. The integration of all these values in each of their models is the key to the success of the company that laid its foundation back in 1934. KTM has been one of the dominant names in the motorcycle sports industry for many decades, although its journey began at a very regular auto repair and spare shop before WWII. Engineer Johann Hans Trunkenpolz had set up his small venture of selling 'DKW' motorcycles and 'Opel' cars at Mattighofen, Austria, not too long before the world war came to disrupt the whole European market. Striving through thick and thin, the company was registered as 'Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen' (in short, KTM) after businessman Ernst Kronreif gave the business a better structure in 1953. The soils of Mattighofen carry the legacy to the day, with the KTM Headquarter still remaining where it had commenced its journey.
With the R100, R125, and Trophy 125 models, KTM had started to gain the attention of the adrenaline bikers by the early '60s. After the death of the two founders, Eric Trunkenpolz, son of Hans Trunkenpolz, took charge of the venture. It was American motorcycle distributor and off-road enthusiast John Penton who approached KTM for the inception of a more light yet agile motorcycle that would be one of a kind in the market. The Penton-KTM duo would soon see the grand success of the Penton 100 and Penton 125 while also marking the path towards the KTM GS 125 – a time-winning model relished by every passionate off-roader across the world.
The Racing Powerhouse
With spinning throttles and raging exhausts, KTM gradually made its way to the top in the off-road motorcycle industry by the '80s. Motorcycle sports, by then, had become an extremely popular form of entertainment across Europe. And KTM motorcycles were bagging titles consecutively with an inborn fierceness. It is the stubborn gene running inside every KTM dirtbike that has enabled KTM to hold the record of being dominant in all major forms of off-road motorcycle racing – the Enduro World Championship, Motocross World Championship, US race series, and the Dakar Rally – till the day. Since 2001, KTM has won every round of the Dakar Rally till 2019, creating a record that is almost beyond breaking.
For KTM, racing is an attitude. Hence, every KTM is built for an intrinsic transition, from the throbbing pistons to the pumping blood, dripping sweat, and spearing commitment of every KTM rider. More than 300 world championship titles have adorned KTM's gallery, with a hunger for more inside every KTM officials and pro riders. The KTM engineers design each motorcycle with an artistic approach. Every screw is tightened for the sake of mechanical Purity, every joint greased for peaking Performance. The goal is to inspire adventure, and ignite the spirit to expedite the extreme. KTM currently has over 3000 employees across the world, with global divisions – KTM USA, KTM UK, KTM India, KTM Russia, KTM Africa, and KTM Asia. Pierer Mobility AG and Bajaj Auto are the current key shareholders of the company. It prevails as a dominating brand in more than 80 country's motorcycle markets across the world.
The Rise of the Duke
The unmistakable orange and black soon rolled down the urban streets with the DUKE series. City riders with a sense of adventure and obsession with performance found a perfect companion with Duke. The tamed beast with a primal instinct for power blended racing and commuting with its higher handlebars and centered riding posture. The Duke series has so far been one of the most popular choices among all of the brands and models in the world, with a range extending from 125 cc to 1290 cc SUPERDUKE R.
With a promise to 'Think Global, Act Local,' KTM has found its new home in Bangladesh. Local brand Runner Automobiles has paved the way for KTM to touch their newfound base with a recent agreement for collaboration. This unquestionably comes as breaking news for all the motorcycle enthusiasts in Bangladesh. The seasoned and sophisticated mechanical wonders of KTM, hence, will be officially unlocked soon in the country as a new chapter for men and machines, as they get "Ready to Race"!