In 1964, the first KTM bike was born. Since then and despite all problems and setbacks, the company has developed into an influential player in the bicycle sector. This is a good reason to look back on the company’s history.
KTM’s prehistory has already begun in the 1930’s. In 1934, the 25-year-old Hans Trunkenpolz opened a small shop and began to sell DKW-motorcycles. As the demand for repairs started descending, he began to build light motorcycles. The venture later was supported by Ernst Kronreif. This cooperation is the reason for KTM’s name: K and T from the founder’s names, and M for Mattighofen, the site of the company. In the early 1960’s, both founders died, just a short time be- fore the “Fleetwing”, KTM’s first bike, was born. An American corporation has given the order to KTM to build bikes which later have been sold exclusively in the U.S. Introduced on the market in 1964, it was the time of birth for today’s KTM Fahrrad GmbH, internationally known as KTM Bike Industries. Even the Fleetwing already has disposed of the mark of quality “Made in Austria”. Also today this mark doesn’t only describe KTM’s products, but contains also innovation and technology behind. ”I want the company to improve every day” Carol Urkauf- Chen, owner
In the 70’s and 80’s KTM always was connected with the terms success and quality and this connec- tion still is continuing. In cycling, mainly Walter Obersberger from Braunau (Austria) was very suc- cessful. Riding a KTM bike, he was several times national champion and participated in world cham- pionships.
In 1989 a milestone was set, KTM built its millionth bike. Nowadays, the company produces around 200,000 bikes a year! Until the 1990’s, KTM bikes and motorbikes went together. To rescue the brand after bankruptcy of KTM Fahrzeugbau AG in 1991, both branches were separated into different companies. KTM bikes was sold to Hermann Urkauf for 35 million Austrian Schilling. Already 5 years later KTM bikes again had serious financial problems. But after Carol Urkauf-Chen had taken the company over, KTM bikes regained success. Since 1997, she is the sole owner of KTM Fahrrad GmbH and made the corporation what it is today, an influential player in the global bicycle sector. Today, more than 300 employees are working in Mattighofen. A small town in Upper Austria between Salzburg and Braunau