Amazonas AME -
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Amazonas AME D2-492-27-15
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 1600
Model :
Production : 1978 - 1982
Category : (R) Street Bike


1600 Amazonas -1982

An excess of excess

When a Brazilian constructor makes a motorcycle to match the scale of his huge country, the result is likely to be a monster. The 1600 Amazonas, built by Amazonas Motocicletas Especiais of Sao Paolo, is one of the biggest series-built motorcycles ever.

Beetle Power

Imports are severely restricted in Brazil, a country of rampant inflation where Volkswagen has been established since 1953. AME, a division of a major automotive spare parts business based in Sao Paolo, began production with a motorcycle powered by the famed VW Beetle flat-four engine. It was an original design whose main aims were strength, reliability -and the use of the maximum number of automobile spares.

Instant Success

Car dampers, instruments, brakes, battery and lamps were all fitted in the interest of simplifying after-sales service. The unbelievable 1600 Amazonas appeared, oddly enough, at the Brazilian Automobile Show in 1978, where it proved an instant success. Even the national motorcycle highway patrol placed an order. By the early 1980s the Amazonas had been exported across the world. Built to a life-size scale and styled like a truck, the Amazonas had dubious stability, impossible braking and a reverse gear. The Amazonas were light-years away from "conventional" motorcycles. At a 1982 price equivalent to $12,000, the Amazonas was a kind of exotic Harley-Davidson, a master-piece of baroque excess.


Engine: 1584cc Volkswagen air-cooled flat-four four-stroke

Power Rating: 68 hp @ 4600 rpm

Valves: overhead-camshaft

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmission: 4-speed and reverse, chain final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear)

Brakes: twin discs (front); disc (rear)

Wheels: 5.00x16 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 783 lb

Maximum Speed: 93 mph

The amazing Amazonas 1600 was available in three civilian versions: "Esporte, " "Super Esporte" and "Turismo."

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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