A Brief History of the Marque
Friedel Munch, an aircraft engineer with the Luftwaffe and in postwar years a keen road racer, worked with Horex in their racing department. He purchased a factory from Horex-Fahrzeugbau AG in 1956 after the company ceased manufacture, along with considerable inventory and tooling.
His first production motorcycles were named the Munch Horex and Munch Horex Renn. French motorcycle sidecar racer and dealer Jean Murit was closely involved (having commissioned the first example), as was Floyd Clymer from about 1968 to 1969. Another American investor, George Bell, was associated with the firm in the early 1970s, followed by the Hassia firm which encouraged Munch to produce a two-stroke triple in 1972. It was not a success and only two were built.
The Munch Mammoth was first ridden in public by Murit in July 1966, and in 1967 the Munch 4 TTS was offered for sale. It was marketed in the United States as the Clymer Munch Mammoth IV.
Variously, and justifiably, described as "monster and behemoth", the Mammoth (Mammut) was powered by a tuned NSU 1200TT engine from the NSU Prinz. The engine had sports cams, ported inlets and high compression, delivering 88 horsepower at 6500 rpm - up some 33% on the factory specification - and was available with dual Weber carburettors or fuel injection.
In 1968 a 1200cc Munch Indian Scout was introduced. Later models included the Titan 1800 (1990) and Titan 2000 (1991)
A 21st century Munch Mammut was announced. No lumbering heffelump, this very noisy doppelganger apparently had sufficient power to get you there before you left. Munch is quoted by Mick Walker: "All I ever wanted to do was build motorcycles, but all the people I got involved in business with ever wanted was to take advantage of that and try to get rich quick. I've been cheated, deceived, robbed and lied to but still today (1988) I'm a happy man because I can still hold my head up and know I never did any wrong to anyone. And most important, I'm still making bikes!"
Munch-URS GP machines were built with engines from Helmut Fath, who won the sidecar championship in 1968. In '69 the engine was fitted to a Rickman Metisse chassis, the machine breaking Agostini's lap record at the Austrian GP and finishing second to Ago's MV at Hockenheim the following week.
Munch machines were owned and ridden by numerous famous personages. Fritz Gunter Sachs, son of Willy Sachs (of Fichel & Sachs) and Eleanor, (daughter of Wilhelm von Opel) and third husband of Brigit Bardot was a keen Munch rider. Malcolm Forbes, publisher of Forbes magazine, owned two, one of which he is rumoured to have given to Elizabeth Taylor. This appears to be a furphy - but he did give her a HD Sportster. Jay Leno has one in his collection, and French actor Gérard Depardieu is depicted riding one in the widely panned 2010 film Mammuth 2.
Sources: khulsey.com, Mick Walker's German Racing Motorcycles, mcnews.com.au, wikipedia.com and wikipedia.de, lavites.se, imdb.com, et al
1. Some of the information above was sourced from an archive of a site of questionable veracity (JF). It has since been corrected where necessary.
2. A wearisome mix of miserableness and dark humor. ~ New York Times. Too limp and scattershot to warrant anything stronger than indifference. ~ Village Voice.
Sat Oct 10 2015
fpshine at iinet.net.au
Munch in Australia
Yes there were two Munch bikes at the Melbourne Motor Show and the 1300cc was sold to Bill, a friend of mine, he paid $5300.oo at the time when the next highest price bike was a BMW R?? at aprox $2100.oo. Bill took me for a ride on this 1300cc bike along the Esplanade from Elwood to St Kilda past the marina and that is the closest I have ever come to being left behind off a m/cycle, I saw 107mph come up and he was in second gear then throttling off and shuffling down through the upper gears back to thirty mph the legal speed on that road. Great memories.
Sat Aug 31 2013
In answer to the 2006 enquiry re. Mammoths in Australia, there were two imported in 1974,a 1200cc tourer, and the super sports 1300. As a journalist,I road tested the the 1300 rocket-ship for a motorcycle magazine in 1974. What blast that was! I believe there was just one other imported later, the price three times that of the new R90S BMW, which I also road tested, but for a different publication. Lester Morris, Sydney.
Sun Jan 09 2011
Wanted, Such, Recherche.
MUNCH MAMMUTH 1200 TTS
I'm looking for Munch Mammuth 1200 TTS.
Mon Jul 26 2010
NSU TT 1200, auto engine, used in the Munch Mammoth
I have an NSU TT1200 auto engine that I bought from a salvage yard in Van Nuys CA. in 1967. The car was new, (262 miles on odometer), front end total, rear engine perfect.
Never used, it has been stored in a container in the High Desert of SoCal most the time since.
I wondered if it might be useful to a Munch Mammoth owner?
Mon Nov 23 2009
alexdyche at gmail dot com
Legend Friedel Munch
Do you happen to know where I can purchase a copy of the Legend Friedel Munch and his motorcycles from?
Burton on Trent, UK
When more information is available I will post it here: Books and Manuals
Tue Aug 11 2009
kelley at kruse dot com
Hi! There is a large collection on Munch Motorcycles for Auction in the United States that also has online bidding I thought the club might be interested in.
Sun Apr 12 2009
kepaz at o2.pl
Munch Mammut whels
Munch Mammut 2000
There is something interesting for you I think, check it out:
Wed Aug 06 2008
sebagm-22 at hotmail dot com
preswisio repuestos para mammut y no los encuentro.
Presiso aros para moto mammut 175cc, 2 tiempos..
Las medidas son 2,5mm de espesor y prfundidad, y 63mm de diametro.. por favor esta moto esta conservada en buen estado, hace mas de 30 aÃ±os que tengo esa moto..
Wed Jan 23 2008
erik.meesters at hetnet.nl
Hello, who knows something about George Bell, the financial backer from Friedel Münch. It is a great riddle what he did after he left Germany in 1970. Is he still alive??
Fri Jan 11 2008
william.laray at navy.mil
Can you give me info
I had a friend in Germany in the late '60's who had a big displacement bike called an Elephant. uanble to find anything about it can you id? It had a side car
MDIt is likely that your friend had a Munch Mammut. Ed.
Thu Jan 03 2008
MIAgiman1 at aol dot com
1974 MUNCH TTS #300
Where and what clutch will my munch need thanks
Suggest you try NSU resources for that one, assuming it runs the same clutch as fitted to the auto engine.. Ed.
Fri Oct 05 2007
waynederekslater at yahoo.co.uk
when did the company start,and did you have problems with the police in germany ,and change your company name to titan,and if yes, in which year?
Wed Apr 18 2007
erik.meesters at hetnet.nl
I am writing a book about the history off Friedel Münch with his motorcycles. Do you have some information about Floyd Clymer and George Bell? These 2 man made it possibele that Münch could build his Mammoths. Information about Bell is hard to get. Maybe in American Magazines of the 70ths.
Thu Mar 08 2007
anamariaprelipcean at yahoo.co.uk
hello. where i could find the technical data about MUNCH models, especially the older ones?
Fri Jul 07 2006
gpwholesale at bigpond.com.au
are there any mammuts in australia? what do they retail for? are they still in production? how many were made?
Cannot say whether any were imported to Australia, and the bikes are no longer being made. For prices of classic motorcycles, try our page on valuations. Ed.
Mon Jul 03 2006
d.zappieri at iol.it
Munch 1200 TTS spares
I'm looking for Munch 1200 TTS spares. Do you know who is selling some or the Munch owner club adress?
Mon Jun 19 2006
d.zappieri at iol.it
I'd like to know the munch club internet or mail adress and where is possible to buy spares.
Wed Mar 22 2006
jr at 2-shores dot com
Muench motorcycles Book
are you guys aware of the fact that there is a wonderful book out about Friedel Muench and his passion. Written by W. Scheibe a well known German journalist and a personal friend of mine.
Further info at: jr at 2-shores dot com
Wed Mar 15 2006
team2020r at aol dot com
we have a TTS1200 for sale at the April 29/30 Chadds Ford Classic Motorcycle Auction. Full details at williambunchauctions.com
Can you tell me anything about this machine regarding year and motor. Frame # is FAHRGEST.NR.438 Eng # VWA783-02-006-81 Do you know if the sidecar is a factory item? What year the bike was manufactured? I haven't recieved the paperwork yet from the consigner and am trying to gather details.
Tue Nov 15 2005
lc at lack.co.nz
Munch Mammoth 2000
Are these bikes available for sale anywhere? thank you.
There are apparently 250 bikes available.
Tue Sep 13 2005
lon53 at nep.net
Munch 4 with Sidecar
We have a Munche 4 with a sidecar. I am trying to find out what it is worth. The numbers on the frame are NR438 and it is a 1200TTSE. There are only 2988 miles on it.
Date: Sat, 02 Apr 2005
subject: munch motorcycle
Email: briannita3 at aol dot com
message: Can any one tell me if the company is still going .
If so could some one send me an e mail addrress for the company
January 28, 2002
I'd like to buy an older Munch Mammoth. Any ideas on where I could find one?? -- Best Regards -- Guff Muench -- gmuench at cumminswestport dot com
November 18, 2001
In regards to wanting info on Munch motorcycles, I have a friend who owns several.
He owns the 67 Indian Scout replica (engine was actually built by Munch) it is a one-off showbike that was used to drum up interest at the cycle shows, then Floyd Clymer died before the project went into production. (The same bike pictured on your website)
My friend Dave also owns a Munch Titan 1800cc supercharged engine.
He sold Dave Leno his Munch.
At present I believe he owns a total of 8 Munchs.
Dave has self-published a book, more of an autobiography, which highlights his quest for Munch motorcycles. It of course has much non-Munch material, but is an interesting read for "gear-headed" individuals. Several Munch pictures. Cost is cheap, about $20 US, plus a small postage fee. Dave is not online, I try helping him sell some books.
Let me know if you are interested and I'll let you know the details.
Dan Gillitzer -- dang at ticon.net
April 11, 2001
Like to know more about Freidel Munch and his Munch machines. All I know is he started in 1966 and is in Frankfort. How many have been made? What's the price range? Are they all special order? -- Tomma2 at aol dot com
February 12, 2001
Is there any further update on Fridel Munchs famous Mammoths Ive seen the write ups on the new model in magazines it seem awsome There are two 8o's models here in Melbourne Australia One is a fuel injected and the other is a twin Webber. I remember them from the motor show when they were imported during that time (not sure which year) Ill try and send some pics if i can find them Do you have any links to the new model? -- Regards -- Muz -- razmuz at optusnet.com.au
Looks like Munch is at it again. Now it is a 1998cc, 260hp monster called the "Mammut 2000". Cosworth cylinder heads, aluminum alloy heads, German Schwitzer turbocharger, 218 ft lb of torque, and the biggest, baddest, most powerful motorcycle on the planet. They should start delivering the first ones around May 1 of 2000. The price? Around $82,000 USd... Did I mention "most expensive" bike? -- Sheldon biker at cwizard dot com
I was researching the Munch Mammoth (Munch Mammut) from the 1960's recently
and came across this URL which I thought you might like as a link:
Nigel Allen -- dna at prosmart.com.au