They weren’t called Green Elephants for nothing…

While agreeing with Bernie, of the Adler to Zundapp Club, about the weight of the Zundapp flat twin pictured in readers’ letters in OBM (February) it wasn’t called the Green Elephant without a reason.

Feast your eyes on a truly beautiful machine. Robin Haigh sent us this Zundapp Green Elephant/Jet 80 combination photo. Note the typical separate motorcycle seats, the pillion one pitched quite high; the engine details; the general trim of the machine and the stylish Zundapp badge on the well-valanced front mudguard.

Capable of 85mph in their normal sidecar-lugging guise, these machines powered the fastest outfits of the 1950s, and in such use their weight was never a problem as the stand was seldom needed.

Used as solos, yes they were heavy machines, but an almost unique ratchet on the centre stand made parking the Zundapps really easy. The rider just had to tread down the stand until it touched the road, and to release simply pressed the foot trigger.

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As the writer said, though, elevating the machine to get the rear wheel clear of the ground before removing the rear wheel, for example, was easier with two people.

Robin Haigh,

Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Views in the April 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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