KTM has a recent, winning history in pro flat track going back to the time single cylinder framers were outlawed by AMA Pro Racing, in favour of DTX bikes. Chris Carr won some of his Peoria TTs on a KTM 450. More recently, Dan Bromley clinched last year's AFT Singles title on a KTM 450.
For the 2019 season KTM has entered an official team for the very first time, and, typically for the Austrians, have gone in shirts off with a couple of heavy hitters.
The team is made up of Dan Bromley, who has the number one plate and is one of the tallest riders in AFT, and Shayna Texter, who has won more AFT singles races than any other rider, and is not one of the tallest riders in AFT. Shayna was essentially on a KTM last year, as she was racing a Husqvarna FC450 (KTM own Husqvarna, the two brands' dirt bikes have only detail differences, and KTM has even admitted that the formerly Swedish brand is useful for them to be able to sell dirt bikes to people who don't like orange. Seriously).
The team manager is Chris Fillmore, a former supermoto and road racer, who won the 2018 Pikes Peak on a KTM 790 twin.
In the 18-round 2018 AFT Singles season this is the breakdown of manufacturer wins.
KTM has mentioned their desire to enter the 2020 AFT Twins championship and insiders say the 790 twin looks a very capable motor for pro flat track's very unusual power delivery demands. The promise of a twin in 2020 might have been the sweetener to keep Bromley in singles for another season. Shayna feels she has unfinished business in twins. The only really time she raced in the twins was with a Triumph that didn't want her on its back, the evil-handling contraption.
Having KTM join the series in a meaningful way is all part of Michael Lock's master plan to introduce more manufacturers, unfortunately as one enters, another leaves. In recent season, Indian, Husqvarna and KTM in, Ducati and Triumph out.
The Daytona season opener is just 22 days away.