Spot a red sports car; you probably think of a Ferrari. Spot an orange sport bike, and you think of a KTM.
While road-going KTMs may be a little more popular overseas, chances are if you’ve ever attended an enduro, motocross, or adventure bike event in the US, you were probably surrounded by a sea of orange bikes.
Likewise, if you’ve ever visited the local dirt bike trails, you’ve probably spotted quite a few orange bikes kicking up the dirt.
Long the choice of off-road racers, KTM motorcycles have carved out their own unique niche in the states as a bike made for dedicated racers and adrenaline junkies. Of course, KTM even carries that famed tagline, “Ready to Race.”
KTM bikes are unique because of their lightweight, top-quality components, responsive brakes, and powerful engines that can take a serious beating.
While most racers know a bit about KTM, many everyday riders are still unfamiliar with KTM bikes and what makes them so special. That’s why we want to provide the story behind KTM, so you can understand why it's the preferred choice of riders and racers worldwide.
The History Behind KTM Bikes: Decade by Decade
What Does KTM Stand For?
KTM is an acronym for the name Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. This includes the name of its Austrian founder Johann (Hans) Trunkenpolz, its first major shareholder Ernst Kronreif, and the town where the bikes were first manufactured, Mattighofen.
While KTM is an acronym for its original founders, KTM is today owned by two parent companies, Pierer Mobility AG (98.2%) and Bajaj, India.
Fun Facts About KTM Motorcycles
- KTM originally sold all types of vehicles, including cars and scooters.
- KTM has also manufactured ATVs and other vehicles.
- KTM first unveiled its signature orange color in 1996.
- In 2001, a KTM won its first Paris-Dakar Rally event and has a total of 19 wins through 2023 (Red Bull - KTM Factory Racing's Kevin Benavides)
- KTM developed a sports car called the X-Bow or Crossbow.
- KTM dominates the circuits with 96 recorded motocross victories since 1974 and over 100 enduro titles since the 90s.
2023 KTM Model Lineup
If you thought the KTM brand was unique for its orange coloring and aggressive prices, it also tends to defy the rules when it comes to naming the offroad and motocross models, but the different bike models are easy to understand once you know what the letters stand for.
- If a model includes the letter “F,” it has a four-stroke engine. No “F” means the bikes use a two-stroke engine.
- Motocross bikes are SX (SuperCross) and SXF (SuperCross Four stroke).
- Cross Country models are XC (“X” for Cross, “C” for Country), and XCF (Cross Country Four Stroke).
- Enduro or woods bikes include the letter “W,” meaning Woods. An XCFW is a - -- - Cross country Four-stroke woods bike, and an XCW is a 2-stroke (no F) woods bike.
- The street-legal Dual Sport bikes are designated EXCF.
Pretty easy once you understand what the letters mean!
To help further clear up any confusion, we’ve created a chart of all the 2023 models so that you understand how each model is labeled, including the electric motorcycles.
The Best Place to Shop for KTM Bikes and Parts
If you’re interested in buying a KTM bike, look no further than KTM World. We are one of the world’s largest volume KTM dealers, offering brand-new and pre-owned models available at our Georgia location. 100-150 KTMs in stock all the time!
We also offer OEM parts for every KTM bike model, new or used. So what are you waiting for? Ktmworld.com has discounted online parts ordering 24/7, or you can call 770-748-0771, seven days a week, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.