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Vintage Monark
P.O. Box 4116
Oceanside, CA 92054

Phone: 760-754-8177
E-Mail info@vintagemonark.com

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Overview of Monark History

     Birger Svensson. who is born on April 5th 1883, founded 1903 ”Svenska Cykeldepoten”. In 1925 the name was changed to “Svenska Cykelfabriken” and in 1934 the name was changed a third time. Now it would be called “Svenska Cykelfabriken Monark”. Birger Svensson died in 1944 due to a thrombus.

“AB Nymans Verkstäder” (Nyman’s repair shop) also called NV, in Uppsala was founden by an instrument maker called Anders Nyman in 1893. In 1899 the repair shop became a joint-stock company for producing instrument and a bicycle factory. In 1926 they made their first motor bike with a Swedish frame and engine. Later on many different bikes were produced under different names like Nordstjernan, but the most bikes were made under the name of NV. In 1957 you could buy a NV Jet Crosser with a 175cc Sachs engine. This bike begun to be sold under the name of Crecent Jet Crosser as well. NV stopped making bikes in their own name in 1960 because they were now a part of the MCB Group (Monark Crecent Bolaget). Totaly in the MCB Group there were five different MC brands: Monark, NV, Apollo, Nordstjernan and Hermes.

Birger Svensson had three children, two sons and a daughter. His sons Tage and Lennart Warborn were very interested in sport. Lennart was a sales manager with great motor interest, and it was Lennart that saw to that Monark made a race bike. Tage was the one who introduced the bikes to the competitors. Birger Svenssons daughter was married to a lithographer and one of her sons, Kaj, who was very interested in Moto Cross started the Lito-works. And in the early sixties the racing department of Monark bought the Lito-works. The blue Monark bikes were painted in British racing green and became a Lito.

In 1968 MCB re-started to enter Moto Cross competitions, but this time in the 50cc class. And it was with great success. The Swedish government had decided that the 75 kg limit shpuld be erased and instead it would be 125cc. Ove Lundell who had run the local BP station in Varberg was yet again involved in Monark’s bike development. A new 125cc enduro-bike was produced, with a 5-geared Sachs engine. Already in 1969 the first bikes were in the spotlight. They won gold medals in the ISDT and a victory in the Swedish Championships in Enduro by Bo Thörnblom.

1970 was the fist year that the bike was on the market. The same year the bike won three gold medals in sixdays with the Gustavsson-brothers, Kurt and Bengt, and Bo Thörnblom.

In the newly established MCB Cup in Moto Cross Keith Franzén won on a five-geared 125cc Cross and in the Swedish Championship in Enduro Kurt Gustavsson won on a five geared 125cc T.

Monark sponsored a lot of riders during this time and had success in both Moto Cross and in Enduro. Ove Lundell, who was like the spider in the net, directed the riders all around the world. Among these riders Bjarne Bloom and Lars Carlsson were the ones that found success in the USA. Monark found out that it was very expensive to have riders competing all over the world so they retreated a little bit. The Japanese dominated the Moto Cross scene so Monark did some cutbacks. But on the enduro scene Monark were still strong so they went in more for this.

In 1976 the spring systems were heavily modified. The front fork was equipped with the shaft moved forward. The swing arm had the hold of the shock absorber moved forward. A new rear end was also mounted on the bike. Ove Lundell was working with the bikes in the Monark faktory in Varberg and Steve Tell was working on the bikes at home in Stockholm at the same time. The bike that Steve has today was the last bike that Monark made. So the bikes that were supposed to be the model for the 1977 season and to lead the way in to the future, were the last production of motorbikes from Monark. Both the racing activity and the motorbike production were shut down.

Steve could buy his bike for 1:- SKR, just so that the book-keeping should be correct for Monark. A great epoch was finished.

It was easy to modify the Sachs engine and it was used in both 100cc, 125cc, 175cc and 200cc competitions. They even entered the 250cc classes with the modified Monarks.

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