From hobby room to global player…

 

In the beginning…

In the year 1988, the future company founder Klaus Leonhardt was riding on his legendary Bimota YB4 out of the pit lane at the Misano racing course. Just at that moment, another Bimota driver passed the start and finish line, a driver with whom Klaus had desired all weekend to compete along a few rounds. So he rushed behind at top speed. And after the second bend, the pretty Bimota was flying off the track, because of its cold tyres.
At about the same time, the first tyrewarmer blankets were introduced to the GP market. But among the drivers they became rather known as ‘tyre grills’. At least Sepp Schlögl (who had been Klaus’ friend for many decades) was asking Klaus whether it was not possible to design a facility that would not fill the pit with the stench of burned rubber…

The breakthrough…

So the Certificated Engineer had two good reasons for trying to produce a suitable idea. And so, after some initial development, he patent-registered the carbon-fibre heating fabric for racing tyres which has remained unique to this day. The entire production began in a converted hobby room down in the basement of his house.
From 1990 on, all the global racing elite of the classes 125cc – 500cc relied on heating technology made by KLS, including living legends such as Schwantz, Lawson, Rainey, Gardner, Kocinski, Mamola, and Doohan. In subsequent years, countless motorcycle world champions were equipped with KLS products.
Beginning in the late 1990s, a co-operation with ABT-Audi achieved initial successes also in car racing.

The next generation…

In the year 2000, Klaus’ son, Tobias Leonhardt, graduated in vehicle technology and decided for joining KLS.
He assumed, optimised, and expanded the company’s entire production sector.
Together with his father, Tobias Leonhardt developed many improvements and novelties in detail, still present in the current stock. The constantly increasing success (DTM…) required after 3 years already to rent larger office space.
Within a few years, 50 % of the Formula 1 sector was equipped with tire and rim heating technology.
Then in 2010, a tragic loss hit us. Klaus Leonhardt died after a long disease. His son Tobias became his successor and has been running the KLS company since. Learning from „the boss”, his technical knowledge together with his skilled hands keep guaranteeing the successful continuation of the business.
The same rough year also featured once more the move into more modern and somewhat larger offices which simplify production processes and perfectly agree with the distribution procedure.
Tradition, quality, and innovation have been and will be our aim and our daily task.