Rod Bush passed away the evening of September 12th after a brief illness near his Vermillion, Ohio home. He was surrounded by his wife Cheri and their children Robbie and Stacy. In addition to his immediate family, Rod’s countless friends, colleagues and worldwide KTM family mourn his passing. He was 50 years of age.
Rod Bush was born in Huntington, West Virginia on July 6th, 1955. As a young man he was drawn to the sport of off-road enduro/cross-country racing, immediately becoming one of the sport’s most accomplished competitors. Rod’s six ISDE medals along with his countless enduro and cross-country victories place him in an elite group of national caliber off-road racers from the 1970’s and early 80’s. From the very beginning of his career Rod Bush was synonymous with Penton/KTM motorcycles.
In 1971 Rod began his motorcycle business career as a Penton motorcycle dealer, after which he joined forces in 1978 with KTM America as a service technician. By 1988 Rod was appointed President of KTM America and helped lead the company through a worldwide corporate restructuring, eventually becoming President of KTM North America. Rod was not only the driving force behind KTM’s rise to prominence in North America, but he has played a central role in KTM’s development as one of the most prestigious manufacturers of motorcycles in the world. As a Managing Director for the KTM Group parent company and the KTM factory in Austria, Rod’s legacy is evident throughout every aspect of KTM’s global organization.
Rod Bush was a true KTM “Orange Bleeder long before KTM became synonymous with the color orange. He truly defined KTM’s leadership values and the essence of a passionate family and motorcycle life.