Fearsome Four: Clymer-Munch Mammoth

In its day, the Clymer-Munch Mammoth was the biggest, fastest production motorcycle there was.

| March/April 2014

1968 Clymer-Munch Mammoth IV
Claimed power: 70hp @ 6,000rpm
Top speed: 135mph-plus (claimed)
Engine: 1,085cc air-cooled OHC inline four, 72mm x 66.6mm bore and stroke, 9:1 compression ratio
Weight (wet-approx.): 539lb (245kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 4.5gal (17ltr)/30-35mpg
Price then/now: $4,000/$50,000-$75,000

Though the honor for being first to propose an across the frame inline 4-cylinder motorcycle engine must go to Carlo Giannini and Piero Remor for their 1923 Rondine race bike, it would take another 45 years for the format to find its way into a street bike. And it wasn’t Japanese.

That bike was the creation of German Friedl Münch. Born in 1927, Münch was an engineering prodigy, developing his skills in his father’s gas station workshop and Horex dealership in Nieder-Florstadt, Germany. Completing military service as a technician in the Luftwaffe, Münch also attended technical school, where he won a scholarship and two achievement awards. By 1948, Münch had completed his training in mechanical and electrical engineering, and soon opened his own shop repairing and tuning Horex motorcycles.

3/13/2014 8:17:09 AM

I recall seeing my first Munch parked at the Laconia races in New Hampshire in the early 1970s. It was huge! I couldn't imagine how someone could ride a bike that weighed more than 500 pounds. How times have changed.

Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

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