KTM Apfelbeck 125

The monochromatic days when the apex featured cobbled stones was a time when KTM first ventured to the tarmac with their own road racing machine.

In the mid-1950s and way before the brand went orange the Austrian manufacturer made their first entry into road racing. Without their own engine to match the competitive four-strokes of the era they used a powerplant from MV Agusta as a donor, placing the Italian 125cc engine into their own chassis that featured a leading link fork.

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That was 1955 and a year later the Mattighofen based company employed Austrian engine designer Ludwig Apfelbeck to work on their racing project. The Apfelbeck KTM was powered by a short stroke DOHC 125cc engine that produced 17bhp at 12,000rpm with the fully-faired racer capable of 111mph.

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The early KTM race machine had most of its success in the Austrian domestic series before disappearing into obscurity in the early 60s, but this was the bike that began the orange marques roots in the road racing. Over half a century later KTM found GP championship success in 2012 with their sexy little Moto3 racer in the hands of Sandro Cortese and Spaniard Maverick Vinales retaining the crown for the Austrian manufacturer the following year.

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One comment

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