Post Sale Update: This Albin-Monark sold for $9,990 after 1 bid on eBay in Langebruck, Germany.
Founded by industrialist Birger Svensson in 1908, Monark was a Swedish company that produced bicycles, mopeds, and starting in 1913, lightweight motorcycles. From 1913 to 1926, the bikes were branded as as Esse Motorcycles, the majority of which used Blackburne engines. In 1927 the business began selling models — 250cc and 600cc side-valves and overhead valves — under the Monark name after the firm’s parent company became Monark Crescentbolagen, or MCB.
Monark went on making bikes through the 1930s, refining its existing models and introducing a few news ones along the way, including a moped powered by a 98cc ILO mill. However when WW2 broke out, Monark was called upon by the government to start building military motorcycles. Despite being a neutral country in the Second World War, Sweden couldn’t help but notice Germany’s onslaught into other European nations, and wanted to be prepared if and when an attack occurred. In 1935, the Swedish Army asked Husqvarna to build them a rugged, all-terrain military moto, but Husqvarna was already so bogged down with other contracts at the time that it was forced to decline, leading to Monark getting the assignment.
What resulted was the 1942 Monark-Albin M/42. It had a hybrid stamped steel/tubular chassis based on that of Husky’s 112TV. The front suspension consisted of a parallelogram-style unit with coil springs while out back there was a plunger-style setup. Powering the bike was a 20hp, four-stroke, 495cc single-cylinder engine married to a three-speed gearbox, both built by Albin. The M/42 supposedly featured two fuel-cells; a larger normal unit; and a smaller tank for higher-octane fuel for cold-starting the bike. The vast majority of the units produced (about 3,000) featured an OHV setup, though around 300 (15hp) side-valve versions were built which also reportedly used hardtail frames. Supposedly another 100 or so examples were built after the war using spare parts too.
Before becoming Swedish Defense’s first “standard issue” motorcycle, the M/42 was rigorously tested. For around two months starting in August of ’42, Sweden’s Army Administration carried out what it reportedly called the “Tvkers TT”, which consisted of abusing the bike in all sorts of ways such as keeping it pinned at its maximum speed for an hour at a time. After the war, the M/42 remained in service into the 1960s.
Following the war, the Varberg-based outfit became the biggest motorcycle company in Sweden. Monark was also fairly successful in the off-road racing scene for a period as well. The company actually used the same half-liter Albin single originally developed for the military, stuffed it in a motocross bike, tuned it, and had Sten Lundin ride it to a 1959 500cc World Motocross Championship title. Half-a-decade earlier, Monark entered 8 bikes in the 1954 ISDT and went home with eight gold medals.
This particular 1942 Albin-Monark M/42 500 is 100% original, wearing what’s left over of its factory paint and accessories. According to the seller, the engine hasn’t been run in quite some time and won’t currently turn over, but this could be a cool restoration piece or left as is in its original patina.
Find this Albin-Monark for sale in Langebrück, Germany with an unmet opening bid of $9,990