Saturday, May 19, 2007

Memorable: The mighty Münch Mammut TTS-E

In a brutish way, the 1970s Mammut still looks very, very cool...

The German-made Münch Mammut TTS-E was pretty much the Suzuki Hayabusa / Kawasaki ZZR1400 of the late-1960s / early-1970s. The first prototype Mammut was first shown in 1966, and with its across-the-frame four-cylinder engine, it was a revelation for its time.

100-horsepower, 1200cc, fuel-injected superbike in the 1970s? That'd be the Munch Mammut!

Created by German visionary engineer Friedl Münch, the first Mammut TTS was fitted with a 1085cc, four-cylinder, 55 horsepower engine sourced from NSU. Later, when Kawasaki released their Z1 in the early 1970s, Münch responded with the Mammut TTS-E. The TTS-E was fitted with an SOHC 1286cc inline-four, which made 100 horsepower at 7500rpm.

Each bike was customised according to individual buyers' preferences

The bike featured mechanical fuel injection (engineered by another German company, Kugelfiacher), had a four-speed gearbox and weighed in at about 340 kilos. Top speed was in the region of 225km/h, which is more than what most riders would want to do on the bike today, because the Mammut TTS-E only had drum brakes, front and rear.

Forget leathers, you'd look cool popping wheelies in a suit on the Mammut!

With no mass-market bikes in their lineup, and with the assault mounted by lighter, equally powerful and cheaper Japanese bikes, Münch was already in financial trouble by the early-1970s. The company declared bankruptcy in 1971, and then again in 1973.

The last Mammut - a 2000cc, 260 horsepower megabike that cost US$80,000 seven years ago

Friedl Münch sold the rights to his company, but struggled on with production for another few years. He even attempted a comeback a few years ago with 1800cc and 2000cc megabikes, and also experimented with turbocharging and supercharging. Münch’s last attempt at building a modern superbike was the Mammut 2000, which was fitted with a DOHC, 1998cc, fuel-injected inline-four, Öhlins suspension and carbonfibre fairing. With its Cosworth cylinder heads and Schwitzer turbocharger, the bike boasted of 260 horsepower, was capable of doing 250km/h, and was priced at US$80,000.

A video of the Munch Mammut 2000. Awesome!

Today, the mighty Mammut lives on in memories and museums. To read more about this very remarkable motorcycle, go here, here, here, here and here. Most of these pages are in German and French, but try using Google’s language translation tools here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After riding a Vincent Black Shadow, the Mammut became the bike of my dreams...

I never had the money at the time, but...

Most today will never know, those that did, still dream.

It was legend made machine.

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