Bernhard Leitner is the founder, as well as the man behind the innovations at Leitner Designs. He began designing and fabricating at an early age, working for his father’s famed motorcycle company, ATK. In those early days, his father Horst Leitner encouraged him to use all the tools that where available in the shop. By the age of 8, he was a proficient machinist, using a knee mill and metal lathe to prototype parts for motorcycles.
Bernhard used those skills to design his first motorcycle at the young age of 15, using spare parts he found at his father's facility. Powering this bike was a Honda XR100 motor that he tuned himself, and raced it in the 4-stoke nationals. The bike proved to be venerable competitor to the bikes of the day.
In 1992, the age of suspension bicycles was at its infancy. After selling ATK motorcycles to a Utah investment firm in 1991, his father founded AMP Research, a premiere bicycle, motorcycle, and to this day, automotive design firm. He employed Bernhard as the head test rider and fabricator. AMP Research developed proprietary and patented full suspension bicycles and disc brake systems for companies like Specialized, Mongoose, Rocky Mountain, Rock Shox, Mercedes-Benz, and many others. These designs are still considered to be the most dominant to this day, and continue to be used by numerous mountain bike manufacturers.
In 2001, Bernhard accepted a job as the head of the engineering department for one of the premier active sports protection companies: Innovation Sports. He was tasked with the design, development and testing of all their new products. During his 6 years at the company Bernhard was granted several patents for his work on custom knee brace hinge designs and electronic knee brace measuring systems.
In 2007 Bernhard founded Leitner Designs. His goal with this new company was to apply his expertise by helping company's design, develop and manufacture new products. He has been contracted to do design/engineering projects for the following corporations:
- Asterisk - Knee braces and action sports gear
- Two Brothers Racing - Motorcycle exhaust and racing components
- Rokform- ruggedized and mountable cell phone cases
In 2014 Bernhard built the first “Letiner Active Cargo System (ACS)” a revolutionary modular truck bed rack system which has a proprietary sliding back bar that allowed the user to retain full use of the truck bed. The modularity of the rack design allowed for endless configurations of all the Leitner Accessories as well as third party mounts.
In September 2019 Bernhard unveiled the “ACS Forged” the Gen 2 Leitner Active Cargo System, raising the bar once again with a game changing “forged” cargo system that is backwards compatible with all Leitner legacy accessories and mounting systems. The ACS Forged is one of the marquee truck bed rack solutions on the market today and fits nearly all consumer trucks on the road.
In his personal time Bernhard enjoys, overlanding, Camping, Exploring, target shooting and training his white German shepherd "Atlas" in the German dog sport of Schutzhund.
Bernhard Leitner holds the following patents with many more soon to be granted:
- Patents Hinge System for regulating knee joint flexion and extension
United States CA 2508898 CIssued December 16, 2003Knee brace hinge patent
- Vehicle Seat Assembly
United States CA 2617604 A1Issued August 1, 2006Vehicle seat assembly
- Measuring Device
United States US 20050124919 A1Issued December 3, 2003Knee brace measuring device
- Case and Mount System for handheld electronic device
United States US 8708151 B2Issued August 23, 2012
- Hinge System for regulating knee joint flexion and extension
United States EP 1578316 B1Issued December 16, 2003
- Multi-mode air filter for motorcycles or other vehicles
United States US 20150075121 A1Issued September 12, 2014
- Modular truck bed rack system and portions thereof
United States US 20160059906 A1Issued April 17, 2015