Great link and info Grady, have to admit that I hadn't heard of Penton nor their association with KTM. Off roading in the form of Scrambles, Trials, Motocross etc was never the main focus of my motorcycling interest, I was mainly interested in the road racing side of things.
But my first piloting experience of a motorcycling was when I was about 14 and a school buddy of mine Brian "Buck" Mison) lived a few miles out in the country next to a disused railway track and had two "dirt bikes" that he used to tear up and down said track. I would cycle the 5 or so miles out to his house with a gallon of gasoline tied to the frame of my bicycle to accompany him up and down that track. His best bike was 250cc Cotton, which I only got to ride once, his other bike, the one I was allowed to ride, was a well worn 197cc Villiers of some marque........although they both were Villiers engines at heart.
Back in the 1960s there was much interest in Scrambles, Trials, Motocross with famous rider names like Dave Bickers, John Banks, Martin Lampkin on Cotton, Greeves, Dot etc. two strokes, and larger machines with Triumph, BSA Matchless, AJS twins squeezed into frames by the Rickman brothers, or Metisse.
"Buck" Mison's Cotton looked something like this.
His 197 Villiers was a much, much more worn looking version of this machine.
Notice some of the names at the start line, Rickman, Bickers, Smith, others that would make their mark in the sport. This event showcased the kind birth of the 2 stroke the sport experienced. They would rule for the next 20 or so years, until they, the 2s, were legislated to the back seat of the scene.
Jeff Smith was a hellovaguy it seems. He's in another thread here, I think the Triumph thread in the news. Good interview. Note the very end of the clip here. After a thrilling but what some would say dirty pass for the win as they ride back to the pits. The winner looks to be all gushy gushy, kind of "Hey no harm mate!".
And is promptly played off and practically ignored by 2nd place.
Ahhhh...when men were men.
Note. Some believe that's mop top Beatle John Lennon, helping to push Eastwood's bike off the track after he wrecked. Ya, there's the Teddy Boy look, and the hair, but really...........
Ahhh, Swarfega, that took me back well over 50 years......the best hand cleaner ever, a wonderful green, jellied substance that magically cleaned even the dirtiest pores of oil, dirt and grime. I wonder why it is not around today?
It is frustrating to remember that Saturday TV programs like Grandstand would routinely cover scramble events like these, but completely ignore road racing venues like Brands Hatch, Mallory Park, Donington, Oulton Park, Cadwell Park, Snetterton, Scarborough, Croft, Silverstone, etc, etc. And the IOM was completely out of the question.
While one could concoct a visual likeness of John Winston Lennon and the helpful spectator it would take quite an imagination to even consider the possibility! LOL!
As far as the tv thing, it's still like that here in the States.
And I can't figure that out. I mean, street guys must out number the dirt guys like 10 to 1.
You'd think the tv audience would reflect that.
But it doesn't.
Someone was telling me professional poker or any show about sharks kills bit dirt and street viewership.
Back to KTM.
Story goes KTM started building small mopeds right after WW2.
Cheap transportation for the masses to help get things going again.
And that's where they stayed.
Unfortunately business dropped off very bad as things got better, and KTM was on the ropes so to say,
when John Penton went looking for a company to build a 175cc dirt bike to his specs.
He wanted 200 of them, as he had guys here in the States wanting something like what he had.
To their credit, KTM said okay.
And that's where Penton got its start here in the colonies.
And KTM started to get away from the mopeds and went serious into high performance dirt bikes.
Word has it the owner of KTM and John got along so well he was the only guy he asked to see when he got sick and eventually passed away.
And believe it, there are a few die hard folks, mainly here in Ohio, that still say a KTM is really a Penton.
To the point when the buy a new Katoom, they take a hand grinder and grind off the KTM logo on the clutch cover.