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Godspeed Friedel Münch


Back in 2011, we posted Contributor Otto Hoffman’s terrific story about the famed German engineer/visionary/racer/enthusiast Friedel Münch. It’s worth a read, especially since we’ve gotten the sad news that Münch died after a lengthy illnes. He was 87.
Hoffman took a moment to reflect on the life of his friend:
“While Friedel was an outstanding engineer, he was not so successful as a businessman, creating a difficult life for himself while gaining many friends worldwide. In this country it is fitting to mention David Manthey (RIP) of Portage, Wisconsin and Paul Watts, of Fresno, both having been multiple owners of Friedel’s products.
“Friedel Münch was an innovator in motorcycle design. He was creative and didn’t shy away from taking risks with unusual designs. His legacy will live on and his much-sought-after motorcycles will be treasured by owners and collectors alike. I treasure my friendship with this outstanding person extending over so many years.”

Friedl and one of his creations. He personally tested each example. Photo: Otto Hoffman.

Friedl and one of his creations. He personally tested each example. Photo: Otto Hoffman.


  1. denny says:

    I remember when they showed up in old continent. Munch probably wanted to outdo to that time largest bike being Kawasaki 900. Although impressive, to me it was an anti-thesis to motorcycle. Just what it should not be; however, my respect goes to its founder.

  2. MGNorge says:

    They were quite the bike.

  3. SausageCreature says:

    I got to see a Mammoth in the flesh at a vintage bike auction 5 or 6 years ago. Beautiful machine, and while perhaps it was quite large by the standards of its time, it was by no means a behemoth by modern standards. In fact, I was impressed by how relatively compact and rideable it appeared to be. It sold for some ungodly amount of money too.

  4. bikerrandy says:

    I saw a Munch Mammoth(NSU car motor) @ Willow springs some time in the `60s when I was there road racing. At the time it was the beast of MCs having the most powerfull production motor.

  5. Dave Joy says:

    I remember 1n the early 70’s back in England a guy in my home town had a Munch Mammoth. I drooled every time I saw it! That big NSU motor looked so powerful at the time! I purchased my first new car around that time and it was less than half the price of the Munch!!

  6. frank says:

    Big, exotic, (undoubtedly heavy), unique, powerful road bikes…the blue one pictured is particularly outstanding. An excellent example of the life of someone dedicated to following their passion. It is almost a given that he would not have had larger scale commercial success, even with a savvy business partner…perhaps the result of bad timing. Now a days, it seems there is a greater interest in distinctive one off machines designed to satisfy the eclectic tastes of particular high end customers. Be that as it may, I’m sure he enjoyed the time he had here designing, building, and riding his creations. R.I.P. Friedl.

  7. mickey says:

    Motorcycling loses another innovator. Sad. Bet those would have been a blast to ride. Much more “motorcycle” than other motorcycles with car engines stuffed in them. I like the originals better than that blue thing posted.