VINTAGE MOTO MONDAY: 1968 Penton 125 Six Days

The first year of production for John Penton's new KTM-built "Mudrunner." From Tom White's Early Years of Motocross museum.

1968 Penton 125 Six Days static side view

John Penton, American enduro legend, knew that a lightweight and small-displacement "mud runner" could defeat the larger and heavier competition of the early 1960s. Long story short, he approached KTM—at the time, a maker of bicycles and mopeds—to build 10 prototype Pentons, which arrived in the US in the spring of 1968 and immediately tasted enduro success. By the end of 1968, Penton had sold more than 400 of these KTM-built machines, including this one here. It's a pristine early steel-tank example, and although it looks delicate, Pentons stood up to abuse and were soon winning motocross races. The Sachs 125 was fed by a Bing carb, and the only real downside was a finicky gearbox. Pentons were fitted with Metzelers, aluminum fenders, and Magura controls. Top-quality stuff!

Lyle Lovett working on a Penton

Singer Lyle Lovett, who worked at a Penton shop in Texas when he was a teenager, is a big fan of the marque.

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Studio.

Singer Lyle Lovett, who worked at a Penton shop in Texas when he was a teenager, is a big fan of the marque.