80 bhp, 650 lbs, 120 mph
The story of the Mammoth is also the story of its creator Friedel Munch. Born in Germany in 1927 and died in 2014. An electrical and mechanical engineer who rose to prominence in the German Horex motorcycle company and in particular its racing arm. From 1955 he started to build the Munch racing motorcycles and then from 1966, the roadgoing four cylinder Mammuts (Mammoths).
He used as a powerplant the air-cooled NSU 1,000 cc and then 1,167 cc (hence 1,200) car engines. These were the final evolution of the NSU 250 cc Max motorcycle engine (quadrupled). The Mammoth evolved rapidly into a very powerful and expensive grand tourer. It was brimming with bespoke parts including the heavily modified (to fit motorcycle geometry) engine; a 12 inch 4 leading-shoe magnesium front drum brake; cast “electron” alloy twin headlamp, rear end, chain cover and rear wheel (incorporating a hydraulically actuated drum brake); fully enclosed heavy duty duplex chain drive; heavy duty front forks and frame (to handle the weight and bulk of the engine). These were mated to state of the art Koni shocks, BMW controls and Bosch electrics.
The result was a bike way ahead of its time (the Honda Four only appeared in 1969) and with truly unique characteristics.
Munch always struggled for finance and so the company and the bike went through many evolutions given the tiny total production. In the period 1966-69 he partnered with Floyd Clymer, the American motorcycle entrepreneur. After Clymer’s death in 1969 other partnerships followed. Total production was some 420 machines over the period 1966 to 1979. Given the challenges and changes no two Mammoths are the same. It is thought that some 250 still exist, mainly in Germany and the USA. The Munch is almost never seen in the UK. To our knowledge there is only one other which is also in a private collection.
This bike is frame number 114 and is “Clymer Munch” Mammoth with the shorter wheel base and single seat. It was originally sold in the USA in March 1970. It was then imported back into Germany where it was restored. We acquired it in Germany.