– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

MuZ, The “Other” German Motorcycle

MuZ or, Mottorrad und Zweiradwerks, as it was renamed after the reunification of Germany, has its roots in Dampf Kraft Wagen (DKW) which was the world’s largest manufacturer during the 30s. At the time, DKW had the lead in two-stroke engine design technology and contributed to the World War II effort of Germany. After WW II, the production of items useable in war was forbidden, stifling DKW until the two-stroke RT125 was re-introduced, which was copied by BSA, Harley Davidson and Yamaha.

DKW went out of business in the 60s, and a few of its personnel relocated to West Germany and took the DKW name along with them. Although later renamed Motorradwerke Zschopau (MZ), the designs were based heavily on the original DKWs. After the reunification of Germany, MZ became MuZ (which gave form to Skorpion motorcycles).

Despite MuZs participation in the World 500 class and producing scores of fun and entertaining motorcycles, MuZ generally has not been associated with the big manufacturers in terms of quality and appeal. MuZ is preparing to break out of this low tech/utility bike stereotype, and stands to do it in a very stylish, modern way with the MZ 1000S. All of the photos in this article are of this new model, introduced at Intermot.

The heart of the new 1000 is a parallel, twin-cylinder engine with 96mm pistons being moved through a stroke of 69mm by a 180 degree crankshaft, displacing 998cc. Cylinders are inclined forward 40 degrees, shades of the Yamaha TDM900. Feeding the cylinders are a pair of throttle bodies, and the power makes its way to the rear wheel through a cassette-style six-speed transmission, which means perhaps that MuZ is looking toward the racetrack. MuZ claims the motor makes 115 h.p. at 9000 rpm, but will have to be detuned for the home market to meet government regulations.

The chassis is a chromoly steel tube, twin-spar frame. Connected to this frame is an extruded aluminum swingarm main section, that has welded tubular aluminum bracing. Wheelbase is 56.1 inches. Instrumentation is a combination of analog and digital and provides a full complement of information.

Suspension is fully adjustable front and rear, with 43mm USD forks working through 4.7 inches of travel, while the rear shock is connected to a cantilever style linkage that allows 4.7 inches of travel and has a hydraulic preload adjuster.

Brakes consist of 320mm rotors, grabbed by Nissin 4 piston calipers. Out back, you’ll find a 240mm rotor and a two-piston caliper.

Styling is by a gentleman who has designed past BMWs, Yamahas and Hondas – Peter Naumann. Some viewing angles remind me of Bimota, others have me thinking of the Aprilia Futura. Whether it looks good, bad, or somewhere in between is up to the beholder.

Availability is expected in the summer of 2003, and specifications of the bike are subject to change, and have changed since it was first shown in 2001. Price is yet to be finalized, but MZ says that it will be very inexpensive.

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