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KTM

KTM X-Bow without the trademark orange

January 3, 2008 Following on from its recent appearance at Bologna, KTM will show its high-performance X-Bow sportscar at the Autosport International Racing Car Show this month where UK audiences will see the car without the company's trademark orange finish for the first time. The "gleaming white" bodywork of the showcar is a new option for the lightweight, carbon fiber two-seater which is slated to enter production in the first half of this year. The motorcycle manufacturer has also confirmed that it will mark its move into the four-wheeled market with a limited run of 100 sequentially numbered "Dallara Series" models (all of which are sold) featuring premium equipment designed to bolster the track performance potential of the vehicle followed by production runs of 1000 units per-year at the company's new assembly plant in Austria.  Read More

KTM's 690 Stunt

October 4, 2007 What is it about KTM motorcycles; does the factory fill the front tyre with helium? Many KTM riders treat their front wheels like ornaments, waving them at the sky at every opportunity. KTM must have realized this – and the factory’s clearly decided “why fight it?” Along with a very tasty range of bikes based on the tasty LC4 engine for 2008, they’ve released teaser pics of a dedicated stunt-riding model with some very stunt-specific gear integrated as standard.  Read More

Early concept picture of the (then 990cc) KTM RC8.

September 21, 2007 With less than two months to go before its debut at the Milan Motorcycle Expo, KTM’s highly anticipated 1150cc RC8 superbike contender is undergoing intensive pre-release road and track testing. Has KTM’s early promise of the world’s most powerful V-twin engine been scuttled by the tyre-shredding Ducati 1098, or do the Austrians have something special up their sleeve?  Read More

KTM to debut new KTM 690 in Baja 500

May 30, 2007 After conquering almost every competition frontier it has attempted, Austrian sport motorcycle manufacturer KTM is to attempt the famous Baja 500 and the Baja 1000 with a new prototype machine based on the LC4 engine, currently the most powerful series production single cylinder engine in the world. The LC4 was released onto the market in early 2007 in the form of the 690 Supermoto, which came through its baptism of fire in the Dakar Rally 2007 by dominating the event. In combination with the stable, extremely light tubular frame of the Rally 690, the 690 Baja combines the advantages of a very light and superbly handling Enduro machine with the stability of a rally machine.  Read More

KTM's 700kg 300 bhp carbon fibre X-BOW roadster

February 12, 2007 Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM has consistently shown over 50 years that it can create fast, razor-sharp off-road motorcycles with qualities appreciated by the elite yet still evident to the ordinary rider. A better than average rider on a KTM steps up a class – from journeyman to expert, finding it’s possible to carry an extra few mph almost everywhere. There is nothing extraneous on the KTM – it’s uncompromisingly bare bones, just what you need to go fast. The company’s motorcycles have won world titles almost every year in every form of off-road competition, and apart from an ill-fated venture into MOTOGP, it has become competitive at everything it has attempted. The company went through a renaissance in 1992 courtesy of becoming insolvent, and the restructure conceived and built a framework for the future, forging a world class infrastructure to match its core expertise of designing and building no-nonsense, ready-to-race machinery. Over the last 15 years, the company’s average annual sales growth rate has been 21 percent with an even better growth in turnover of 25 percent. In that time, annual production has grown from 6000 to 85,000 bikes, the labour force has grown by a factor of ten and the Austrian marque is now the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in Europe. Its first ventures into roadgoing two-wheeled machinery such as the 950 Supermoto and 990 Adventure received global acclaim from the motorcycling press and sketches of a KTM Quad bike circulated last year. The company’s aspirations are seemingly a long way from fulfilled as it now intends to deliver the same purist, filterless riding experience to four wheels. The X-Bow is a four wheeled motorcycle track car for the road, air-conditioned to perfectly match ambient conditions – that is, when it rains, you get wet. Like most KTM fare, the X-Bow is ready-to-race – the suspension is designed to enable you to drive at ridiculous speeds safely. At less than ballistic speeds, it will be Spartan and uncompromisingly rigid. The sophisticated carbon fibre monocoque chassis probably weighs less than you do at around 70 kg, yet offers superb rigidity and safety. Built in cooperation with tradition-rich racing car specialist Dallara, the chassis is of an ilk currently reserved for use in Formula One and elite street sports cars. Through a new construction and production process, the development partners have created a method of mass producing the technology far more cost-efficiently than previously, cutting the traditional price from US$500,000 plus to less than US$100,000. The engine is a lightweight, compact four cylinder engine made of aluminium boasting the most modern engine technology: four valve technology, FSI direct fuel injection, high pressure injection valves, turbo charge, a smooth, adjustable intake camshaft and two balancer shafts. With this engine, the basic version of the KTM X-Bow will achieve 220 hp and a 0-100 km/h time under four seconds, but there will also be a version with 300 bhp at its disposal. All up, the car will weigh only about 700 kg. The EUR 40,000 basic version will make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show next month and the first production run of 100 units will be available later this year.  Read More

Depres crosses the finish line after nearly 9000 kilometres  photo:  J Van Oers

January 22, 2007 The world’s most dangerous sporting event is always full of surprises and this year the Dakar Rally continued to write remarkable scripts for its competitors. There was some predictability in that two more competitors died this year - Elmer Symons and Eric Aubijoux – maintaining the average of two competitor deaths a year, with the spectator death toll indeterminate. There’s another given about the motorcycle section of the competition and that’s that KTM will win - the Austrian brand filled the first four spots and 23 of the first 30 finishers. The winner was Frenchman Cyril Despres (Gauloisses KTM) who finished more than half an hour in front of the field. Despres’ win was unexpected as 2005 winner and the dominant rider of the last year, Marc Coma, had led Despres by 52 minutes with just one timed stage remaining of the 8686 kilometre event, after leading the field since January 9. Sadly for Coma, he crashed and could take no further part in the event. Coma and Despres rode identical 72 bhp KTM 690 Rally machines, built specially for the event and competing for the first time.  Read More

KTM rolls out the go-anywhere motorcycle – the 990 Adventure

January 30, 2006 In the recent Dakar Rally, which is surely the toughest and most dangerous motorsport event regularly held in the world, KTM motorcycles won for the sixth consecutive time, filling the first eight placings. Less than a month later, KTM has unveiled its new 990 Adventure – a motorcycle derived directly from the Africa-conquering experiences of the marque over the last six years, but with all the roadgoing niceties you’d like to have if you were travelling say, from Paris to Peking overland. Indeed, if wherever you’re going is a long way and very rough, the KTM Adventure and its Dakar-dimensioned Adventure S (35mm more ground clearance and 35mm taller seat) are now the most likely candidates for the job. The Adventure was unveiled to the world press yesterday. Our favourite quote from the release goes to the winner of the 2006 Dakar event, Cyril Despres: "At 190 km/h through knee-deep sand you have to feel confident on your bike. After more than 10,000 kilometers the 990 Adventure is practically a part of you."  Read More

Cyril Despres' Gauloises KTM 
 Photo: H. Peuker

January 5, 2006 KTM’s dominance in the motorcycle section of the Dakar Rally continued yesterday with the fierce competition in the class now focussed between the Gauloises (second, third, fifth) and Repsol (first, fourth, sixth) sponsored KTM teams and a monumental battle between the teams’ lead riders, Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) and Marc Coma (Repsol KTM). Yesterday Despres carved 3 minutes and 41 seconds from Coma’s lead during an 800 km stage down the Adraa Valley in Southern Morocco, but Coma still leads the rally by one minute 25 seconds. KTMs fill 13 of the first 14 places on the leaderboard with one third of the rally distance covered, with only the two-wheel-drive Yamaha of David Fretigne (seventh) preventing a complete whitewash of the results.  Read More

Team KTM and Team Roberts acrimonious MotoGP split

August 21, 2005 Sadly, black litigious clouds have formed over the MotoGP paddock, specifically directly over the pits of KTM and Team KR, whose interpretations of what their relationship has been until now differ enormously. KTM announced a dissolution of the relationship on August 12, stating it was no longer intending to provide engines for the team’s grand prix effort and was cancelling all its activities with the team. Though it had been no secret that KTM was on the verge of pulling out for some time, Team Roberts has subsequently issued a statement refuting a number of KTM’s claims and claiming that it had been informed of the decision simultaneously with the public announcement. Read both parties' conflicting statements inside. Photo: O.Bergamaschi  Read More

Incredible debut for 250 KTM

July 26, 2005 Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM had one of the most remarkable debuts of any racing machine in history when it gave its new KTM Grand Prix 250 its first outing in the hands of Australian rider Anthony West at the British MotoGP round. The 250 class is highly competitive with any one of a dozen riders capable of winning on any day, and a machinery war between Honda and Aprilia that keeps improving the two-stroke breed, minute-by-minute, making it nigh-on-impossible for a new bike to break into the top echelon of 250 racing. So despite KTM’s illustrious off-road racing pedigree, and a fine showing from its recently created 125 roadracer, it was not expected to be competitive for some time yet, given that it had only been ridden ONCE prior to arriving at the Grand Prix. Then West had the new 110 bhp motor seize up in practice at over 200km/h. Then, on race day it rained, LOTS!! But West had won an Australian dirt track title when he was 15 years old, and is comfortable with a bike sliding at very high speeds. What happened?  Read More

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