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Posts by Category: MZ

MZ December 6, 2014 posted by

The People’s Sportbike: 2001 MZ Skorpion Sport Cup

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup L Front

If you’re looking for something a bit different that won’t break the bank to buy or maintain, the MZ Skorpion offers something different for folks who don’t mind being on the receiving end of the occasional double-take, a 660cc sportbike with just one cylinder… Built from 1994 to 2004 and a very popular choice for club racing in “Sound of Singles”-style classes these days, they offer handling and versatility in an unintimidating package that stresses finesse over raw power.

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup L Rear

MZ, formerly known as “MuZ” was an East German company that dominated two-stroke racing, until defecting racer Ernst Denger fled to the west, taking their expansion-chamber tuning secrets with him to Suzuki…

There’s a bit of “people’s bike” DNA still here, and the entire MZ range of the time featured the same Yamaha 660cc five-valve single, here wrapped in fully-faired sporbike bodywork. Instead of chasing top speed and horsepower numbers, a single-cylinder sportbike offers useable midrange performance, reliability, and character.

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup Dash

Like some Communist dream of a sporting motorcycle for the proletariat, the MZ is good-looking, handles well, and fast enough to challenge all but the best riders, assuming their egos can cope with the mere 48hp produced by the thumping single, a bike with racy looks and a working-class heart.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 MZ Skorpion Sport Cup

The MZ Skorpion Cup is a very unique and super fun alternative to all the other 600 sport bikes out there. This one is a super clean version and sure to bring a smile to your face everytime you throw a leg over it and go for a ride.......street or track? You decide........these things make great lightweight road race bikes or can be the perfect track day bike!! And your buddies will not be riding one! This bike is ready to go with all new fluids and brakes and perfect Michelin Pilot tires. You will not be disappointed!!!  Why be NORMAL when you can ride an MZ Skorpion cup bike?

Yamaha XT660 single engine
Grimeca Brake with new Dunlop Race pads
Factory steel braided brake lines
Michelin Pilot tires
Factory adjustable rear sets
Factory Clip ons
Rare Yellow color
Solo seat and rear passanger seat included
All fluids just changed

The seller also includes a picture of the included passenger seat to replace the solo cowl, and a nice aftermarket M4 slip-on that should make a pretty cool, thumpy dirtbike snarl when fitted. Because of course you’ll be fitting that: there’s really no point in trying to be subtle when you’re riding a bright yellow sportbike.

2001 MZ Skorpion Cup L Rear Wheel

This bike isn’t perfect, but it is in excellent, road-ready condition with very low miles. And while a Buy It Now price of $4,000 is on the high side for these, it's still well within the impulse-purchase range. With a very unusual combination of rarity and bulletproof reliability, this is the ideal bike for the rider who wants to be different, but lacks any interest in designer-brand namecheck tomfoolery, the kind of rider who also probably drives an old SAAB 900 when their VW Bug is laid up for the winter.

Someone who appreciates the funky.


2001 MZ Skorpion Cup R Front

The People’s Sportbike: 2001 MZ Skorpion Sport Cup
MZ August 16, 2014 posted by

Rare and Practical: 2005 MZ1000S

Most attempts to resurrect a defunct or struggling brand start with high-performance, limited-edition hypersports machines that inevitably get compared to the GSX-R1000, and generally not in a good way. So it was interesting when a revitalized MZ chose not to compete directly with hypersports bikes from Ducati and Aprilia, instead creating a classy gentleman's express that they hoped would be judged on its own merits.

Produced between 2004 and 2007, the MZ 1000S represented a new era for formerly East German MZ. Known in classic circles as pioneers in the two-stroke revolution, their later range of bikes was powered almost exclusively by the 660cc Yamaha single. Great, practical everyman transportation, but MZ needed something to compete with more refined machinery.

2005 MZ 1000S L Side

Unfortunately, one of the reasons people create hypersports bikes in the first place is that folks with more money than skill or sense buy them as dangerous fashion accessories, and the MZ1000S disappeared with barely a ripple... In fact, this is the first one I can ever remember seeing for sale.

But don't let that discourage you: reviews may not have been glowing in terms of track prowess, but then it wasn't that sort of bike. It worked as intended, as a rideable, practical exotic that stands out in a crowd. And stand out it surely does.

2005 MZ 1000S R Side Garage

From the original eBay listing: 2005 MZ 1000S for Sale 

Gloss Black/Silver graphics Color scheme with Remus Slip on Exhausts made specifically for this bike - engine is bone stock - fuels beautifully - complete paper work from first owner and myself - factory tool kit - Digital service and owners manual in ENGLISH - parts readily available from Grahams In the UK - Pazzo Clutch and Brake levers (I do have OEM levers and they are in mint condition) Sprockets are Yamaha parts and oil filter is standard K&N item. Slight light scratches in clear coat on tail section, only noticeable up close and in full sun from first owner running soft luggage while sport touring. I do NOT have the stock exhausts.

Bike is an incredible sport bike, while she's big sitting at rest and tall in the saddle (If you have a short inseam - this might not be the bike for you - I'm 6'0" and I'm solidly on the balls of my feet at a stop.) But get it going and the size melts away - it is capable of staying with modern 600's easily in really twisty tight mountain roads and the torque is simply addicting - come out of a corner and just roll it on - you are pulling away while everyone else is downshifting like crazy to match your drive out of the corner - and like a BMW K1200/1300 or Moto Guzzi sport bike - incredibly confidence inspiring and OMG easy to ride fast!

The MZ 1000S was powered by their in-house parallel-twin, bucking the v-twin sportbike trend that saw every niche market motorcycle powered by Ducati, Honda, or Suzuki v-twin engines. This choice certainly came with built-in limitations: parallel-twin engines are very compact and less expensive to produce, but vibrate like the dickens, especially in larger-displacement applications.

Just ask Norton and Triumph.

2005 MZ 1000S L Side Garage

And they really aren’t generally rev-happy engines, happier to punch out useable torque. Even with a balance shaft or two, you’re never going to get screaming revs out of 1000cc parallel twin. Also, there’s a certain bias against the configuration: the very advantages that speak to efficiency in manufacturing suggest a certain… pragmatism that is at odds with an exotic image.

But you will get character and packaging advantages galore, and a torquey powerplant ideal for the sports touring bike MZ had in mind.

Parts availability is a big question mark, although the seller mentions that servicing has never been a problem. This is the epitome of a “mature” sport bike and should be comfortable on both long rides and fast canyon runs on Sunday morning. This could be a really cool buy for someone looking for a bike that will really stand out from the crowd.


2005 MZ 1000S L Side Rear

Rare and Practical: 2005 MZ1000S
MZ June 25, 2014 posted by

Low-Buck Fun: 1997 MZ Skorpion Cup

While I love the idea of owning a 200hp Italian exotic, the realistic side of me recognizes the limitations that come with that purchase. It'd be like owning a great white shark as a pet: the “wow” factor when people come to visit is definitely there.  It’s a beautiful animal, a stunning apex predator, and a great way to get rid of unwanted guests. But maintaining both could be a truly horrific problem in terms of cost and inconvenience.

Basically, a great white shark would make an impressive, if very impractical pet.

But what’s the motorcycling equivalent of a Labrador Retriever then? Something that won't especially impress anyone, but makes for a great day-to-day companion. Probably something frisky and fun like this 1997 MZ Skorpion Cup.

1997 MZ Skorpion Cup R Side Front

For a while there in the late 1990’s, MZ had a whole range of bikes available in the USA, all based around Yamaha’s sturdy, 48hp 660cc single. There was the dual-sport Baghira, a bike with a name so evocative, you’d buy it for that alone. The supermoto-styled Mastiff, a twin-headlight machine with brutal looks right out of a Mad Max movie. There was the Skorpion Traveller, a vibe-y single with a fairing and hard bags... And today’s Skorpion Cup, the raciest of the bunch, not counting the Replica which was a hotted-up version of the Cup.

1997 MZ Skorpion Cup L Side Close

MZ [sometimes "MuZ" for "Motorrad und Zweiradwerk"] actually was famous for its pioneering role in the two-stroke revolution. Successful in racing for years due to their singular understanding of how to optimize two-stroke engines, their luck changed when racer Ernst Denger defected and took the proprietary technology with him. MZ is no longer with us: Wikipedia tells me that the former factory is now a nightclub called "MZWerk".

1997 MZ Skorpion Cup Dash

From the original listing: 1997 MuZ Skorpion Cup for Sale

Immaculate 1997 MZ Skorpion. 7,751 careful miles. German made bike with a 660cc single cylinder Yamaha engine. Comes with solo cowl, owners manual and new front tire. (back tire still good) Not many of these were brought into the country, and few are left in this condition. Runs and rides great, no problems. 

The listing also includes a nice video of the bike starting up and chugging happily away during the walk-around. Pricing on these is generally very modest, parts for the engine are easy to come by, and the bike makes for a fun back-road-boogie partner or a great, low-buck racebike. It's hard to find more fun for less money, with a price of $3,500. If you want a trackday single, and can't pony up for a Ducati Supermono or a Bimota BB1, then this is your ride.


1997 MZ Skorpion Cup R Side Rear

Low-Buck Fun: 1997 MZ Skorpion Cup
MZ January 6, 2014 posted by

Double Take: 1995 MZ Skorpion

1995 MZ Skorpion For Sale

I say double take because this is one of those bikes that at first glance looks familiar and then as you get close always strikes me "what is that?!" A guy in town owns one and it turns up from time to time at the local bike meets. This conservative design is perhaps more cafe than sportbike, but the details are really cool. It's a German bike, with a Yamaha 5 valve single, and features Italian components!

1995 MZ Skorpion for sale on eBay


And to continue with the double take theme, the seller tells me that he bought this bike when he spotted it on our site in June of 2012. This time around it's a no reserve auction with an opening bid of just $1795. Not a bad little bike for (potentially) under two grand!



from the seller:

This bike is great fun to ride but gets very little use in my collection so It is time to find a new home for it. It's really light, handles great, stops on a dime and has loads of torque. It runs great, shifts smooth and the clutch works perfectly. The chain and sprockets are in excellent condition. It uses a Yamaha 660 engine which has a Holeshot Performance Vortex slip-on exhaust system, K&N filter element in the stock airbox with the top removed and a matching Holeshot Performance carb rejet. The exhaust has a nice single cylinder bark to it. This past summer I serviced the forks - new 20W fluid and seals and I noticed it has Progressive Suspension spings installed, oil and filter change, brake fluid flush, coolant flush and a new battery. It also has less that 200 miles on the rear tire and less that 1,000 miles on the front. I replaced the OEM directional signals with Triumph signals in the front and an integrated LED taillight with signals in the rear.

The plastics on the bike are in very good condition with original paint that still shines well and the bike shows no signs of ever being dropped. The center stand is in place. These bikes are a wonderful mix of German engineering and framework, Italian suspension, wheels, brakes and controls and Japanese electrics and drivetrain. Because of the 'parts bin' approach to the build it is surprising what parts are available for the bike. I have a parts interchange chart that will come with the bikes paperwork and I have the engine service manual in English that goes with the bike.

Everything electrical works as it should except the clock. Both instruments work perfectly. MZs have an odd speedometer where the speed is in MPH but the miles are in KpH. So the odo shows 31k which translates to 19,300 miles.

Clear title in my name. If you know MZs then you know what fun this bike is to ride and how durable they are. It is rare to see one in this condition for sale.

Double Take:  1995 MZ Skorpion
MZ June 7, 2012 posted by

Real Men Don’t Need Fairings: 1995 MZ (MUZ) Scorpion And 1993 Suzuki Bandit 400

Real Men Don't Need Fairings:  1995 MZ (MUZ) Scorpion And 1993 Suzuki Bandit 400

Here is a little treat for the crowd that has an aversion to plastic!

 You know, it may be a little mundane looking but I really could not find a bad thing written about the MZ (MUZ) Scorpion.  Owners seem to love the little MZ and rate it a very solid bike.  Even if you aren't interested in the little MZ you might want to give a little thanks to MZ the next time you riding your RG500 or RGV250.  Without them and a little corporate intrigue the Gamma's may have never been.  Pick up a copy of Stealing Speed if you are intrigued.  I couldn't put the book down until I was finished.

The engine is from a piano company you may have heard of.  The engine, electrics and switch gear are from the Yamaha  XT660.  HP is in the high forties.  Grimeca provides the brakes and suspension.

It is simple and straight forward but still has its' own style about it.

From the seller:

Factory built cafe racer made in 1995 in Zschopau, Germany at the legendary MZ Motorradwerk.  Created with high quality German, Japanese and Italian components. Powered bya Yamaha sourced 660cc single cylinder SOHC five valve engine, Grimeca brakes, stainless steel braided brake lines, Paolo Tarozzi adjustable clip-on's and rear set foot controls, Holeshot Vortex stainless exhaust system and jet kit. Progressive fork springs.  A factory service manual comes with the bike. On the road it's a light weight, agile and fun bike. It always gets many admiring looks when parked. This is a rare bike in outstanding condition, garaged kept and well cared for.  I am the second owner.
The speedometer reads in "miles per hour" and the odometer reads in "kilometers" (30,597 kilometers = 19,012 miles) As far as I'm aware all Skorpions came this way.


Yes, it has a few miles on it but it obviously has been well cared for and is sorted out for you.  Looks like a nice way to have a unique bike but not break the bank.

The auction.


Still a little uneasy about a bike with Eastern Block heritage?  How about a 1993 Bandit with only 1210 miles!  The little Bandit's weren't around for long and are few and far between.  Does the engine look familiar?  It is a retuned/detuned GSXR400R unit.  Although it didn't last in the U.S. it lived on in other parts of the world until 1997.  The lineup included a limited edition and a model with variable exhaust valve timing.  Red head covers are the giveaway for that model.

Again, a relatively simple bike that has some style to it.

One of the cost cutting measures.  I bet with a little detective work you could find a dual disc set up that would work.

The asking price is a steep $5,000 but the seller is open to offers as well.

Check out the listing here.


MZ September 1, 2011 posted by

German Intrigue – 2005 MZ 1000S

MZ is an old German bike manufacturer that can trace its history back to 1906.  They are noted as an East German manufacturer due to their location ad after WW2 of course they ended up in the east.  The MZ name is actually an abbreviation for VEB Motorradwerk Zschopau and the company has had a successful racing career in road racing and also the International Six Day Trials competition.  During the cold war year the company did not get support from the East German government as so its racing successes faltered and the bikes stagnated somewhat.  This particular example is the largest engine they produced and is also noticeable in that it is the first four stroke engine, all others before it were 2 strokes.

The seller has the following to say:

"You are bidding on a fairly rare(around 30 imported into the USA) 2005' MZ 1000S sport bike in excellent condition,and not even broken in yet with only 2,055 miles!This bike is highly underated,with superb German engineering & craftsmanship that rivals many of the Europen marques!All top rate components are used throughout,and this bike is really a "sleeper" in the sport tourer market.Check out this link for a period roadtest,and to get an idea of the bike's engineering at .Also,parts are readily available from Grahams Motorcycles in the UK at ,and arrive usually within 7 business days.

This bike is in excellent condition throughout,with no issues,flaws or problems.Fuel injected 1000cc twin fires right up and runs strong through the 6-speed cassette transmission.The original owner installed a Power Commander to map the fuel injection,and a set of HMF Performance pipes,but the bike has not been Dynoed yet which will really make a difference in both the performance & response.This bike is geared for top end,and would make a perfect sport touring mount to both eat up the miles,and have fun in the twisties.Also,I recently installed a set of R&G upper fairing crash protectors.

The front forks are Marzocchi,the rear shock is Sachs,the brakes are Nissin,and the tires are Michelin Pilot Sports-All first class components.The engine is of MZ's own design,and is very smooth & balanced.Very useful power band,with alot of smooth power delivery on the top end.The chassis & handling provide light,stable,and predictable feedback,with no surprises.Really alot of fun to ride in the twists!

These bikes retailed when new for around $11K,but you can get this one for half of that!And thats before you add the extras such as the pipes & Power Commander!Also included with the "Buy It Now" price is a copy of the factory repair manual,parts manual,a brand new set of plugs,along with unopened bottles of Fuchs/Silkolene ProCool radiator fluid,and brake/clutch fluid.

You can see the auction for yourself here on eBay.

Pricing a bike like this is always hard but this example has a low mileage of not quite 2,100 and personally I think you get an awful lot of bike for the money which here is $5999 (the seller is also open to offers).  The bike has a style of its own with a strong V Twin engine, so if you fancy turning up on something a little different for your next bike night then this could be for you.