Final: Munch-4TTS-E 1200

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Final: Munch-4TTS-E 1200


Final: Munch-4TTS-E 1200

Final: Munch-4TTS-E 1200
Friedel’s original creature

It wasn’t Soichiro Honda who built the first series-produced motorcycle with a transverse inline four-cylinder. In the Hessian province, the ingenious designer Friedel Munch invented the formula for today’s most widespread design 43 years ago.


Sometimes you feel awe when you write. Writing an article about a Munch is such a case. The name Munch and the magazine MOTORRAD are closely interwoven. So close that it is difficult to write a text without citing deep literary traces of the forefathers. Almost too much has been published about Munch. And then there is the object itself: what a machine! What a gigantic effort! What a tremendous effort! All our admiration goes to the person who realized his idea with infinite tenacity: Friedel Munch built the most powerful production motorcycle in the world. For ten years from 1966. The star of our finale is a rare Munch-4 TTS-E 1200. It was made in the early 1970s and in many ways was significantly improved compared to the first examples. Above all in terms of power: the in-line four-cylinder delivers a whopping 100 hp and an impressive 111 Nm even today. Hell on wheels for the time. The engine was originally used in the NSU TT, a mid-range rear-wheel drive car.

The older ones among us will still remember the funny little carts from Neckarsulm. For Friedel Munch’s dream machine was the car engine ?? first the 1100 of the predecessor Prinz ?? as if made. Light, air-cooled and designed to be very speed-resistant thanks to the overhead camshaft and short strokes. However, the use in the motorcycle required unbelievable conversion work. Finally, a gearbox had to be installed behind the block, with a new primary drive, clutch and input shaft. And the oil pan had to be rebuilt, not to mention the exhaust system and carburetor socket. Of course, at that time there were no wheels, brakes or even chassis designed for such performance. Munch cast and welded everything himself: wheels that were shaped differently at the front and rear, a double-loop frame made of precision steel tubing, a rear frame including fenders, a swing arm including grease chain case, fork bridges, footrest plates, and and and and…

Solid construction

Final: Munch-4TTS-E 1200


Straight suction paths, helical primary drive and stiffened frame: everything built by Munch.

It goes without saying that all cast parts were made of high-quality electronic casting, a magnesium alloy used in aircraft construction. This had to be painted meticulously as it corrodes very easily and then breaks. Despite all the lightweight construction materials, the Munch brought an empty weight of 260 kilograms on the scales. This is also a superlative of the era. Who should be able to direct such a monster? Just real men, guys with really good taste in their arms, brave contemporaries with the necessary change. Because the Munch was expensive. The 1974 model presented here cost at least 18,593 marks. There were two VW Golfs and a great vacation too. The author had the original Munch experience two years earlier. Standing by the roadside with nuts on, he heard a strange rumble and gurgling. Then ?? a mighty flash of flame, a bang from the exhaust, and with a huge misfire the man and motorcycle shot away. “That was a Munch mammoth,” later explained the father, who knew his way around motorcycles, to the distraught twelve-year-old. Twenty years later, a Munch collector in Ulm once allowed the author to drive one of the first 1100s with a carburettor.

A great honor and a decisive experience. Because it was amazing how easily this mighty block of motorcycle was steered. And how freely and neatly the engine turned. If you can admire a Munch idling in front of you today, it hardly causes any fears. Instead, for rapture, because when can you listen to a really open intake four-cylinder? The Munch never had an air filter, neither did the TTS-E 1200. But it had a Kugelfischer gasoline injection. A mechanically controlled mixture preparation that was ultra-modern at the time, which Porsche used in the 911 or BMW in the 2002 tii. Their injection map could not be written on a memory chip like today, but was milled into a so-called space cam. A roller tappet scanned this and adjusted the injection quantity depending on the load and speed. For the Munch TTS-E, this manifold injection meant an increase in performance from 88 to 100 hp, together with a sharp camshaft and high compression.

The many horses push the chunk, which weighs a good 300 kilograms with a full tank, even under today’s standards. Thanks to the very narrow tires, cornering is surprisingly easy. And thanks to the brakes that don’t grip too much and the very soft suspension, you save yourself the attack. A total of 478 machines were handcrafted by Friedel Munch. He always responded to the wishes of his customers. Tanks and benches were customized. Munch never got rich. On the contrary: his company kept getting into serious difficulties until he even no longer owned the Munch brand. He’s left with fame and honor. After all, he has found the formula for success for large motorcycles: large air-cooled inline four-cylinder, 1200 cc, 100 hp. A formula that drives around tens of thousands on our roads: as the Suzuki GSF 1200 Bandit!

Technology and dimensions – Munch-4 TTS-E 1200

Final: Munch-4TTS-E 1200


Four-cylinder four-stroke engine, air-cooled, two valves per cylinder, ohc, bore x stroke 75.0 x 66.6 millimeters, 1177 cm3, 74 kW (100 hp) at 7500 rpm, 111 Nm at 4800 rpm, electric starter.

Landing gear:
Double loop frame made of tubular steel, magnesium rear frame and swing arm, telescopic fork, Monroe air suspension struts, cast wheels, 3.25 V 19 and 4.00 V 18 tires.

Measurements and weight:
Wheelbase 1460 millimeters, tank capacity 37 liters, weight with a full tank over 300 kilograms.

Price 1974: 18593 marks (9506 euros)

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