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September 11th, 2017

When there are less than 500 units ever produced and only about half of those are believed to be in existence, a motorcycle like that is certainly going to grab eyeballs. Welcome the Munch-4 1200 TTS Mammoth from 1972. Known to be the first German marque to produce large-displacement motorcycles, this glorious beauty here is quirky and eccentric in its design language with a long-standing legacy of being one of the fastest machines of its time. Carefully tailor-made to each customer by Freidal Munch, founder of the company, it is believed that ‘no two Munch motorcycles are same.’

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Powered by an inline-4 motor borrowed from the NSU Prinz TTS automobile, Munch built his own tubular double loop frame for the engine and reworked on the fuel system with two Weber carburetors as well as designed a 4-into-2 exhaust system that helped him bump the engine horsepower from 45PS to 68PS, turning the Mammoth into one of the most powerful motorcycles in its time. The twin lamps up front too were taken from the parts bin of the NSU automobile while most other critical components on the machine were developed in-house by Munch.

Known to be a tyre-shredder, this beast weighing almost 300 kilos was a big-capacity superbike when most of the performance machines of that era boasted just about half its engine capacity. Unveiled at the Cologne Motorcycle Show in 1966, the Munch Mammoth 1200 TTS was a show stopper and it garnered rave reviews across the global media for its overall engine performance. Its successor model, the Munch 1200 TTS-E launched in 1973 was the first production motorcycle in the world to feature fuel injection!

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Sadly, due to its expensive pricing and rising competition from the Japanese brands, Munch struggled to keep its foothold and the company had to shut shop by mid-seventies. Munch resurfaced into the news again in 2000 when he built his last ever motorcycle, the Munch Mammoth 2000. Powered by a 2.0-litre Cosworth engine, the Munch 2000 was turbocharged and featured top-off-the-line components like Ohlins suspensions and carbon-fibre parts. Churning out a whopping 260PS of power, the bike was electronically limited to 156mph (251kmph) but was believed to clock a staggering top speed, upwards of 172mph (277kmph). Damn!

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Even after two decades of not having built a motorcycle, the Munch 2000 was completely in sync with the original 1970s 1200 TTS/TTS-E with its large engine that was big on size and high on horsepower. Unfortunately, with lightweight superbikes dominating the market with their price advantage, the 82,000 USD Munch 2000 didn’t find many takers and it shut shop for good soon after. Although with such illustrious heritage and iconic status in the motorcycle community today, this classic here is a definite keeper for the collectors. To get your hands on one of these, connect with Legends Motorcycles of Lille, France.

Photos courtesy Legend Motors of Lille

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