KTM AG is an Austrian manufacturer of high performance off road bikes and sports cars. The company’s origins start in 1934 when Austrian engineer Hans Trunkenpolz opened a car repair shop in Mattighofen. Three years later, he began selling DKW motorcycles and Opel cars out of the shop which was now known as Kraftfahrzeug Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (literal Deutsch to English translation: Motor vehicle (Kraftfahrzeug) Trunkenpolz (named after Hans Trunkenpolz) Mattighofen (location of the shop in Mattighofen, Austria). During World War II, KTM flourished as a diesel engine repair shop but after the war, Trunkenpolz got the idea of producing his own motorcycles. In 1951, he built the prototype of his very first motorcycle called the R100. The R100 went into regular production in 1953 with a minimal staff of only 20 employees. Throughout the 1950s, KTM motorcycles entered the national racing circuits and began amassing championships. This success led to KTM developing even more motorcycle models, as well as developing their own mopeds and bicycles. The 1970s and 1980s saw KTM as a manufacturer of race-bred motorcycles for the motorsports industry but the 1990s saw the greatest change for KTM. In 1992, KTM was split into four new separate entities. The motorcycle division, KTM Sportmotorcycle GmbH, became heavily active in motorsports as a competitor and as a sponsor. The 1990s saw the introduction of the Duke road bike (1994), KTM motocross machine (1996), the LC4 Supermoto and Adventure motorcycles (1997). KTM acquired Swedish manufacturers Husaberg in 1995 and Husqvarna Motorcycles in 2013. KTM is currently Europe’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, eclipsing even the likes of Triumph, BMW, Aprilia, and Ducati.
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