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ATK motorcycles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


ATK is an American-base Motorcycle company founded in 1985. A former competition Motocross, off-road and Sportbike motorcycle manufacturer/distributor from inception until 2015, ATK also offered All-terrain vehicle models, marketed under both the ATK and Cannondale banner. As of 2016, they operate primarily to support previously marketed models through parts and service manual distribution, and are located in Centerville, Utah, USA.[1] While ATK initially was founded on superior in-house chassis designs and uniquely modified sourced-engines, the brand has primarily focused on acquisition and badge-engineered models from multiple companies worldwide since 2004.

ATK
Various
IndustryMotorsport
Founded1985; 35 years ago (1985)
FounderHorst Leitner
Headquarters
ProductsMotorcycles
All-terrain vehicle
Websitehttp://atkusa.com/

ATK Rotax Era

1985 ATK 604
ManufacturerATK Leitner Corp
Production1985 - 1993
AssemblyLaguna Beach, California
PredecessorATK 560
SuccessorATK 605
ClassMotocross
EngineRotax 562 cc (34.3 cu in) air cooled four-valve four-stroke single
Bore / stroke94mmx81mm
Compression ratio9.4:1
Top speed<70 Mph
Power44.1hp@8000rpm
Torque34.0@6500rpm
Ignition typeCDI
TransmissionManual wet-clutch
5-speed
Chain Final Drive
Frame type4130 Chrome Moly
SuspensionFront: Inverted Forks w/11.8” Travel
Rear: White Power Monoshock w/12.6" Travel
BrakesFront: Hydraulic Disc
Rear: Drum
Tires3.00x21 Front
4.50x19 Rear
Wheelbase58 in.
Seat height37.5 in.
Weight252lbs (dry)
271lbs (full tank) (wet)
Fuel capacity2.8 gal
Related$4295 MSRP
Footnotes / references
Information provided via:
1989 ATK Brochure[2]
Dirt Rider Magazine Oct 1985[3]

ATK was founded by Austrian-born engineer, Grand Prix motocross racer and ISDT Gold Medalist Horst Leitner, following his relocation to the United States in 1980. In 1985, after successfully patenting a new motorcycle drive-tensioning system, and marketing custom-frame kit-bikes designed to accept Honda XR350 engines, Leitner was approached by Puch, who offered to fund a motorcycle company based on his designs. Leitner named the new venture ATK after his patented device to eliminate chain torque for improved handling. Known later as the A-Trak, Leitner originally called this device the Anti-Tension Kettenantrieb (German: Anti Tension Chain-drive).[4] Within months he had produced his first prototype machine, and within a year this machine would produce the following placements;[5]

  • Overall Win at the 1985 Four-Stroke Nationals; Ridden by Brian Myerscough
  • Semi-Win at ABC's 1985 Superbikes Event; Ridden by Steve Eklund
  • 2nd in Semi at 13th Overall at Ascot TT Nationals; Ridden by Warren Reid
  • Pro Open Class Winner at the 1986 Four-Stroke Championships; Ridden by Doug Dubach
  • Placement at the 1986 CNC Four-Stroke Nationals; Ridden by Cycle World Staff riders

By 1987, due to the high regard for ATK's chassis, which already utilized a Rotax engine, Can-Am approached ATK about creating a replacement for their off-road line, using dated 250cc and 400cc two-stroke Rotax engines. From this foundation, ATK Created the 250 and 406 models. These models retained many of ATKs unique chassis features, including counter-shaft mounted rear disc brake, side mounted single rear shock with no linkage, offset gas tank filler, air filter located beneath the gas tank, and backward facing brake pedal. As the prototypes were delivered, Can-Am cancelled the deal and announced they were withdrawing from the off-road motorcycle market.

This led to an agreement between Leitner and North American Can-Am dealers to fund the production of the 406 and future motorcycles. ATK gained a nationwide dealer network and funding, and Can-Am dealers retained a product to sell. From 1989, and continuing until 1995, this seven-year period saw ATK as the fifth-largest off-road motorcycle manufacturer in North America.[6] An article by Motorcross Action in December 2019 states ATK produced thousands of Four-Stroke ATKs since 1985, predating the move to Four-Stroke by major Japanese manufacturers by over a decade.[7]

Models

ATK would initially release the 560 Model, based on the 562cc Rotax four stroke engine displacement. Modifications to the frame would see the designation change to the 604. This designation was used until the motorcycle received an engine revision in 1994. In 1988, ATK released the 406, the two-stroke air cooled Rotax-powered model that would become synonymous with their two-stroke line. The two-stroke line was also the first to receive a second bike, as the line launched with a 250cc counterpart.

In 1991, Leitner would sell the company to a conglomerate,[8] who would move the corporation to Utah. The new owners would expand the product line-up greatly, offering a second four-stroke, the 350, as well as Electric start and Lighted variations of most models. The company also released the ATK ATV, based on the 604 Model. Also advertised was the XR Kits, a full set of ATK accouterments that accepted a Honda XR350 engine.

1994 would see the 604 revised into the 605, as well as the introduction of the 600 Flat Track model. 1996 brought the liquid cooled 250 and 260 lines, as well a farewell send-off Limited Edition 406 model, as ATK retired their Open Class two-stroke offering. 1999 would see the introduction of the 50MX, an introductory Motocross model/Pit Bike sold for two years. In 2003, with the purchase of Cannondale motorsports, ATK began to assimilate the acquired models into their line-up. Thus began a new era for the company, as it began to Badge Engineer its line-up.

604 604 Electric Start 604 Cross Country 350 350 Electric Start 350 Cross Country 406 406 Cross Country 250 250 Cross Country ATK Quad Special Models
1985 X
1986 X
1987 X
1988 X X X
1989 X X X
1990 X X X X
1991 X X X X X X X X X X X XR Kit
1992 X X X X X X X X X X X XR Kit
1993 X X X X X X X X X X X XR Kit
1994 X X X X X X
Information provided Via ATK Advertising and Service Manuals - See references
605 605 Dual Sport 605 Cross Country 350 350 Dual Sport 350 Cross Country 406 406 Cross Country 250 Cross Country 250 Liquid Cooled 260 Liquid Cooled Special Models
1994 X X X X X
1995 X X X X X X
1996 X X X X 406 Limited
Edition
1997 X X X X X X X
1998 X X X X X X 605 Law Enforement
Information provided Via ATK Advertising and Service Manuals - See references
605 Cross Country 605 Dual Sport 490 Cross Country 490 Dual Sport 350 Cross Country 350 Dual Sport 500 Flat Tracker 600 Flat Tracker 250 Liquid Cooled 260 Liquid Cooled 50cc MX Special Models
1998 X
1999 X X X X X X X X X X X
2000 X X X X X X X X X X X
2001 X X X X
2002 X X X X
Information provided Via ATK Advertising and Service Manuals - See references

ATK Cannondale Era

2003 ATK-Cannondale X440
ManufacturerCannondale Motorsports
Production2001 - 2003
AssemblyBedford, Pennsylvania U.S.
PredecessorCannondale X400
SuccessorATK 440
ClassMotorcycle
EngineCannondale 432 cc (26.4 cu in) Liquid cooled 4-valve four-stroke single
Bore / stroke3.74in × 2.4in
Compression ratio12.5:1
Top speedUnknown
PowerUnknown
TorqueUnknown
Ignition typeCDI
TransmissionManual wet-clutch
5-speed
Chain Final Drive
Frame typeAluminum
SuspensionFront: Telescopic Forks
Rear: Single shock
BrakesFront: Hydraulic single disc
Rear: Hydraulic Single disc
Tires80/100 R21
Rear:110/100 R19
WheelbaseUnknown
Seat heightUnknown
Weight260lbs (dry)
Fuel capacityUnknown
Related$7999 MSRP
Footnotes / references
Information provided via:[9]

The acquisition of Cannondale Motorsports by ATK was the result of a failed $80-million dollar+ investment between Cannondale Bicycle Corporation and private equity firms[10] in the late 1990s, to create a subsidiary producing off-road motorcycles and ATV vehicles. First announced at the 1998 Cincinnati Motorcycle Dealer Show (at which Cannondale began accepting dealer orders) their X400 Motocross bike would not appear on showroom floors until 2001.[11] The delays of delivery were the result of several engineering issues related to the many advancements Cannondale attempted to incorporate into the motorcycle, including two engine redesigns.[12] So impressive was the potential of the new machine, Dirt Bike Magazine named it Bike of the Year,[13] two years ahead of its release. In February 1999, Dirt Bike editor Ron Lawson was quoted regarding the unreleased bike; "the new bike will probably appeal to [older moto guys who want kind of a status symbol] and not the younger racers getting their first motorcycle".[14]

Approaching release, several publications were provided test machines. Many noted unreliability but focused on the advanced features, such as reversed-placement engine, aluminum frame, electric start, unique air intake, and Electronic Fuel Injection. Only one publication gave the machine a scathing review,[15] a foreshadowing of public reception. Once the machine was released, word-of-mouth and consistent recalls tanked sales. Confidence wavered, and the outside investors called against Cannondale. While Cannondale attempted to correct various issues with the 2002 X440 model, it was "too-little, too late",[16] as one publication noted in 2013. In January 2003, Cannondale Motorsports filed bankruptcy and ATK Motorcycles acquired all remaining inventory.[17]

While the initial Cannondales Motorcycle was considered a failure (and oft-appear on lists of worst off-road motorcycles ever produced[18]), the Cannondale FX400 ATV was more positively received due to its chassis.[19] As ATK took over sales and production of Cannondale products, the ATV required marginal attention, and was re-released to the market. ATK turned their focus to the X440, continuing to improve on the 2002 model. Resolving fuel delivery issues, suspension geometry and reliability, the machine was placed back on the market. After another brief hiatus, additional refinement and a slight displacement increase, it was rebranded as the ATK 450 and offered in various trims. These models, including the street-legal factory SuperMoto set-up, sold modestly through 2008.

For 2003, ATK continued to offer variations of the 50MX, as well as a two-stroke 125, the 250 and 260 Enduro's, the four-stroke 605 and 500 Enduro returned, and a 600 Police Edition was available. But the biggest news was the release of the ATK 700, marketed as the Intimidator.[20] This Badge engineered Maico-produced 78 hp (58 kW) 700 cc two-stroke Motocross bike was available in limited quantities.[21] Along with its Maico counterpart, it ranks among the fastest off-road motorcycles ever released.[22] The ATK/Maico bike was offered intermittently until 2008,[23] and solidified the reputation of badge-engineering, partly earned by its acquisition of Cannondale.

ATK would continue to sell their 450MX bikes and ATV's in various trim through 2008. While always marketed under the ATK banner, ATV's continued to use Cannondale graphics, and at times used ATK C-Dales monikers for marketing.

ATK Hyosung Era

2014 ATK-Hyosung ST7
ManufacturerHyosung Corp
Production2011 - 2014
AssemblyChangwon, South Korea
PredecessorATK-Hyosung GV650
SuccessorHyosung ST7
ClassMotorcycle
EngineHyosung 678.2 cc (41.39 cu in) Liquid cooled 8-valve four-stroke 90° V-twin engine
Bore / stroke81.5 x 65mm
Compression ratio11.5:1
Power46.0kW / @8000RPM
Torque57.3Nm / @7000RPM
Ignition typeCDI
TransmissionManual wet-clutch
5-speed
Belt Final Drive
Frame typeSteel
SuspensionFront: Telescopic Forks
Rear: Hydraulic Double shock
BrakesFront: Hydraulic single disc, 4 pistons caliper
Rear: Hydraulic Single disc, 2 pistons caliper
Tires120/80-16 Front
170/80-15 Rear
Wheelbase66.5 in.
DimensionsL: 97.2 in.
W: 37.8 in.
H: 44.6 in.
Seat height26.5 in.
Weight538lbs (dry)
Fuel capacity4.5 gal
Related$7299 MSRP
Footnotes / references
Information provided via:
Total Motorcycles 2014 ST7 Review [24]

In November 2009 it was announced that ATK and Changwon, South Korea based Hyosung would be collaborating on a line of small motorcycles to be distributed through select Harley Dealerships.[25] While Harley-Davidson did not endorse the distribution, they would not actively prevent it, as Hyosung bikes were pulled from most dealerships prior to the introduction of Harley's competing small motorcycles in 2015. In May 2011, ATK began delivering the first of three models with ATK nameplates, and a few requested changes to the standard Hyosung Motorcycles. The market would see the distribution of the GV250, GV650 and ST7 models, each featuring the respective 250 cc (15 cu in), 650 cc (40 cu in) and 700 cc (43 cu in) (appx.) V-Twin engines, until S&T sold ownership of Hyosung to Kolao Holdings in 2014.

Controversies

ATK is associated with two controversies regarding the marketing of their machines, but it is worth noting both were perpetrated outside the control of the current ownership.

1989 Advertisement

In 1989, ATK approved a National print advertisement campaign depicting four men of Asian descent observing an ATK motorcycle, with the tag line To us, the Japanese all look alike. While text within the ad clarifies this is in reference to the similarities of Japanese motocross machines against the unique features of ATK's offerings, the ad has appeared in commentaries regarding Racism in advertising.[26][27][28]

Cannondale X400 MXA Review

In November 2000, Motocross Action (MXA) published a negative review of the 2001 Cannondale X400 Motorcycle. While the staff writers acknowledged the potential, criticisms such as soft shocks, "weird" set-up, consistent starter failure, powerband, maintenance, and safety issues (including the bikes movement without throttle input) [29] was more candid then most publications of the day. This lead Cannondale officers to report back to investors that this review was the reason sales of the X400 were below expectation. In 2018, test rider Jody Weisel responded to the controversy in an article titled "The Worst Bikes I've ever Raced";[30]

"When people accuse me of being unfair to a bike in an MXA test, claiming that I am the reason that the bike failed in the public arena, I always say the same thing: “I don’t make ’em, I just break ’em.” Which leads me to my 2001 Cannondale MX400 experience. I knew this bike was a roach before it was even made."

See also

References

  1. ^ "ATK History". ATK Motorcycles. Archived from the original on 2005-09-23. Retrieved 2004-03-11.
  2. ^ "ATK 1989 Brochure" (PDF). ATK usa. 1988. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  3. ^ "ATK 560; World Class on Straight Gas!" (PDF). Dirt Rider. 1985-09-03. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  4. ^ "Patents". AMP Research. Archived from the original on 19 March 2006. Retrieved 2006-03-11.
  5. ^ "ATK 560; Anatomy of a Winner". Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  6. ^ "ATK 406 MX Racer". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  7. ^ "Americas Most Famous Dirt Bike Designer". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  8. ^ "Leitner Design (Bernard Leitner)". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  9. ^ http://www.mbike.com/cannondale/x440/2002 |title=Cannondale X440 Specs |website=MBike|date=2014 |accessdate=2020-05-24 |url-status=live}}
  10. ^ "Colossal Failure of the X440". Bike-urious. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  11. ^ "ATK BUYS OUT CANNONDALE MOTORSPORTS INVENTORY". Motocross Action.com. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  12. ^ "Cannondale Tackles Dirt Bikes". Enduro 360. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  13. ^ "Cannondale Corp PDF" (PDF). Nathan Balon. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  14. ^ "BICYCLE MAKER HAS HIGH HOPES FOR ITS FIRST MOTORCYCLE". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  15. ^ "The Biggest Disaster in MX history". MXA. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  16. ^ "Too Little Too Late 2002". Bike-urious.com. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  17. ^ "ATK BUYS OUT CANNONDALE MOTORSPORTS INVENTORY". Motocross Action.com. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  18. ^ "Worst Bikes Ever". PulpMX. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  19. ^ "Cannondale Quads". Dirt Wheeler. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  20. ^ "Throwback Thursday; the 700 Intimidator". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  21. ^ "2003  ATK 700 Intimidator Brochure" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  22. ^ "Worlds fastest bikes". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  23. ^ "2008 ATK 700 Intimidator Brochure" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2008-06-16.
  24. ^ https://www.totalmotorcycle.com/motorcycles/2014models/2014-Hyosung-ST7 |title=2014 Hyosung ST7 Review |website=Total Motorcycle|date=2014 |accessdate=2020-05-23 |url-status=live}}
  25. ^ "ATK and Hyosung collaborate on Bike range for Harley Dealers". Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  26. ^ "Marketing Misfires". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  27. ^ "MXA AD OF THE WEEK: NO WAY TO MAKE FRIENDS". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  28. ^ "ATK advertising in 1989". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  29. ^ "2000 MXA X400 Review". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  30. ^ "The Worst Bikes I've ever Raced". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
This page was last edited on 13 September 2020, at 23:37
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