KTM’s factory has spread significantly through Mattighofen and into the neighboring Munderfing in recent years but the ribbon-cutting of the KTM Motohall in 2019 marked an aesthetic and necessary reference point for the company in the upper Austrian town and away from the assembly line buildings, engine and spares plants and R&D offices. Located smack-bang in the center of Mattighofen (just a few kilometers from the hub of KTM production) and with a car park and principal high street only meters away from the entrance, it has become a new mecca for fans of ‘the orange’ and motorcyclists generally. Here are three big reasons or calling cards to re-program the GPS and discover the facility at some point in 2020…
- THE HEROES AREA
The KTM Motohall takes you on a path upwards, through the technical, engineering as well as historical story and showcasing the achievements of KTM. The shapes of the walls and the architecture is sometimes as eye-catching as the machinery. The vast ‘web’ of race trophies suspended from the ceiling is particularly striking, but it is the Heroes area on the top floor and at the peak of the exhibition ramp that is the highlight of the KTM Motohall experience.
As if the collection of almost thirty motorcycles and head-to-toe race kit of the distinguished athletes wasn’t enough then the whole room is an audio-visual assault on the senses. Floor-to-ceiling screens show the full range of KTM’s racing activities (more than 300 FIM World titles accumulated) with a highly stylized selection of imagery and reflective interviews from many of the sportsmen whose gear and former rides are on show. There is space to sit, watch and listen and then appreciate the scope of the display.
Some of the highlights include the KTM 250 MC that took Russian Gennady Moiseev to the company’s first title (Motocross) in 1974 to the KTM 950 Rally that carried the late Italian Fabrizio Meoni to his Dakar success in 2002 as well as pillar-shaking bikes and individuals that rocked Motocross, Supercross and Enduro. For road racing there is Casey Stoner’s KTM 125 FRR – the bike that the Australian used to snare KTM’s very first Grand Prix win on the asphalt in Malaysia in 2004 – Sandro Cortese’s inaugural – championship-winning Moto3TM 250cc and up to the current KTM RC16 steered in MotoGPTM by Pol Espargaró. The Austrian link is honored through the Dakar and Motocross conquering winning tech used by Heinz Kinigadner and Matthias Walkner.
- THE JOURNEY
The slight gradient to the racing room sees the timeline of KTM illustrated through various key and pristine motorcycles: such as the daddy of them all – the KTM R 100 – and the KTM Mecky 50, a lime moped-scooter formed in the late 1950s and featuring the very first all-KTM engine made in Mattighofen. Did you know that KTM only stopped making scooters in 1988?
For the first time, the full two-wheeled trajectory of the company is laid-out. The bikes are accompanied by photographs of every era (the pics of Erwin Lechner and his national and central European success on the roads in the 1950s is a reminder of KTM’s long competitive past) and the accompanying short texts do not only give the details of the model but why it was important for KTM and what is especially different or significant about it. For instance, when KTM built and started to produce the R 100 they could only finish three a day!
The growth of the brand is evident by the ‘down ramp’ where the Naked Bikes and Adventures are positioned in their generative entirety with some parked away from the stand and available for visitors to hop on. It is almost laughable to see how KTM have progressed with their modern Street catalog and from the first KTM DUKE in 1994 to the force of multi-national fabrication and R&D that exists today. In this area, the ‘story’ is seen in the technical advancement of KTM motorcycles compared to the basic and almost romantic beginnings of the opposing display. Further down and then overhead KTM’s excellence as an offroad manufacturer is well represented with the fantastic arch of suspended Dirt Bikes and the Enduro section is nothing short of comprehensive.
- THE KNOWLEDGE
There is an attempt to explain how KTM have evolved and arrived through many of their design and engineering philosophies in several dynamic sections; ‘dynamic’ due to the fact that you don’t only find text and drawings on the walls: there are monitors, components and interactive elements to chart things like findings in bodywork, engine construction, rider assistance aids and suspension (kids can match motor sounds and stamp a ‘Rookie–Tour’ booklet at specific stations). This is an important reveal for a company like KTM; a firm that sculpts their motorcycles around a clear identity and set of brand values. It is worth taking a moment to look, read and touch why a KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R looks so edgy and extreme. There are ‘nuggets’ of trivia dotted around the place, such as the line that reveals 20,000 spare parts and accessories are gathered and packed every day at Mattighofen.
The final part of the KTM Motohall belongs to the prototypes (the 2010 version of the KTM FREERIDE E is particularly striking and the 2012 concept KTM scooter for the Tokyo Motor Show) and the current models. Fresh additions include the latest versions of the KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R, KTM DUKE and KTM ADVENTURE families (1290, 890, 790, 390) which for many visitors who haven’t attended a show or not walked into a motorcycle dealership will see for the first time.
Before leaving the curved doors, the KTM shop is well-stocked. Curious wanderers will also spot the tuition and educational spaces the Innovation Lab in the basement which usually opens three times a week on Fridays 2pm – 4pm | Saturdays 11am – 1pm | Sundays 11am – 1pm (booking required!) with Soldering- and Doodle Workshops can extend what is a good one-two hour stay.
(AND…4. THE GARAGE RESTAURANT) Whether it’s coffee, lunch or a Red Bull – there is also a long list of craft beers and plenty of options for a sweet waffle – then the Garage restaurant adjacent to the KTM Motohall is a fine stop before or after the trip to the main building. The interior decoration is orientated around bikes and components (such as the design sketches in the toilets), a large RC16 is suspended in the middle of the dining space and a wall full of autographed cards of racing heroes and figures is one of those features that has you spending time to see ‘who is who?’. The menu is not huge but has plenty of options –the taste, the size of the portion and the presentation is impressive (the sharing platter for two comes in a miniature ‘toolbox’, so details are clearly key, witness the workstation style rolls of tissue at the end of the tables). The sun pours through the vast windows at a certain period in the afternoon and it adds to the feeling of being in a new, modern and welcoming space.
The KTM Motohall is open from Wednesday to Sunday 9.00 a.m.- 6 p.m!
Details on tickets, prices and events can be found on the official KTM Motohall website.