Deutchland Technologie Uber Alles

by Geoff Boxell

First MuZ brought you a range of new 4 stroke models, now the original MZ 2 strokes are back in production, albeit it Turkey. Excited ? You should be ! Derived from the successful pre-war DKW racers, MZ (as they were then called) were at the cutting edge of 2 stroke technology and indeed remained there until Ernst Denger (wash your mouth out) defected to the West bringing knowledge (and rumour has it spare engines) with him. Suzuki has continually denied the connection that within a short period of Ernst joining them they were suddenly producing fast and efficient race bikes are connected, but the true and faithful hoards of MZ owners know better. The knowledge they picked up from both road racing and ISDN enduro style events was fed back into the range of production bikes in a way that has only recently been adopted by the Japanese manufacturers. All this culminated in the magnificent ETZ 250 so beloved of the motorcycle couriers of Europe. Don't believe me about the bike ? Then how come in the first ever Kiwi Rider 500 MZ ETZ 250s won Overall Winner Adventure Route, First Place 250cc Class Adventure Route and First Place Team Event ! If you are surprised then you are not the only one. Road tests from various motorcycle magazines are speckled with comments like: '.......a bike that one would be proud to own.', 'Sitting down and thinking about it, I like the bike a lot.' and 'The sort of machine you could go round the world on.'

Go around the world on ? Well they are very reliable even with minimal maintenance. Kiwi owner Matthew Boxell has achieved some remarkable things on his MZ. Last year he rode 3,450 trouble free km around the South Island in a fortnight, has done Te Awamutu to Wellington and back in the same day three times and in 1995 successfully completed the Southern Cross Rally on the bike. In five years of ownership the only trouble has been a gearbox bearing failure caused by sand after riding on 90 Mile Beach.

With all this reliability what about performance ? Bit of a dog ? Yes and no. The engine has a fairly narrow powerband which takes a bit of getting used to before you gain the most out of the engine. Road testers, seemingly on new or near new machines, only ever seemed to get 120 kph out of the MZ 250 which takes a notoriously long time to loosen up, but owners say that 140 kph is easily achievable and are always boasting about getting their bike's speedo 'off its face'. The bike, as sold, has an engine in a very low state of tune, and there is plenty of room for improvement. In the UK inexpensive kits are sold that transform the bikes into 160 kph machines and race tuned bikes (in Europe there are MZ race classes) are something else again. An example of what a modified MZ ETZ 250, can do is the 24 kw 200 kph Bears racer owned and tuned by engineer Chris Peacock of Auckland. Even bog standard an MZ can be competitive in the right circumstances; Matthew Boxell made the semi-finals of the Sulphur City Grass Track Drags on his well worn machine.

The bad news is that no-one is willing at present to bring in any more of the now Turkish built 2 strokes. The good news is that there are several good runners going cheap on the second hand market and spares are easily available. If you want more information on MZ/MuZ or if you own one and want information on spares etc. contact the MZ Owners Club, 53 Princes Street, Otahuhu, Auckland.

International MZ Home Page click here

MZ 2 stroke spares from Denmarkclick here