We recently talked about the fact that nobody is interested in the very classic Honda C72-C77 line. But it is not only some Japanese classics that remain so undervalued. The MZ 250 cc single-cylinder two-stroke engines are also simply classic, usable and endearing.
Perhaps, in terms of classic experience, it's the 'sweet & endearing' idea. After all, a classic, or whatever bike, has to be at least a little impressive?
MZ had DKW roots
MZ came from the former DKW factory after the war in 1946. Initially the company was called IFA-DKW, but in 1956 it became MZ, the abbreviation for Volkseigener Betrieb Motorradwerk Zschopau. The name was later changed to MZ Motorradwerke, Zschopau.
Mainly models with 125-250 (123 to 243 cc) single-cylinder two-stroke engines were made, including reasonably successful terrain models. The brand was also successful in the road race. And MZ diversion Walter Kaaden was a pioneer in the use of rotating inlets and expansion outlets with two-stroke. After leaving Eastern Germany behind, he learned how to run the Suzuki racing engines. The brand was therefore certainly a source of knowledge and technology. But under the inspiring leadership of the socialist state, the technicians were bound by hands. In the 1980s, motorcycles of the brand were produced in Brazil for a short time. On the outside they were more modern and colorful than the machines from the DDR.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) the company ran into difficulties and in July 1993 the name changed to MuZ. The two-stroke production was sold to the Turkish company Kombassan Kanuni, which it continued to build under the name Kanuni-MZ. Then it just became a race to the butcher on a limp for what was once such an impressive brand.
The TS and ETZ MZs
The MZ TS (Telegabel-Schwinge) and ETZ (Einheitstyp Zschopau) were not lifestyle bikes. They were intended as means of transport. Also for all forms of government that prevailed in former East Germany. They were very good machines by Eastern German / socialist / communist standards. The simple piston-driven two-stroke 250 cc were simple and reliable. And that the brand had a lot of two-stroke experience? You could hear that from the wonderfully pure two-stroke run of the blocks.
In the current traffic picture, TSsen and ETZ'z are now ideal for dancing and strolling along secondary roads. They have enough power and steer and brake well. They are also quite economical. The parts are easily available and not expensive. And yet a very nice TS or ETZ remains if the seller asks for € 1.500.
This will have to do with the fact that such an MZ has a limited status value. But as a M / V driver, you also have to stand firmly in your shoes because you are approached by wild half-left Gutmenschen as an environmental terrorist if your cuddly engine breathes out a satisfied blue two-stroke cloud.
Where MZs are popular
In 'the new Bundesrepubliken', 'in the former East Germany, people realized after the Hossana period after the fall of the wall that their own technical and cultural heritage had been said farewell with great resentment to the past. MZs, Trabants and Wartburgs were massively disposed of for the kilo price. The local version of nostalgia, the Ostalgie was born. And now many MZs are returning to the Heimat. But the MZs also have many memories for many descendants of fled Cubans living in the American sunshine states. They now also want such a nostalgic two-stroke.
Perhaps we will once again experience that the engines here also get the appreciation they deserve. Just wait.