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MZ. When the glory was not yet gone ...

ER Classics Desktop 2022

MZ, that was a brand for me!

Risen from the history of DKW. Fantastic successes achieved in the competition world. You could be seen on an MZ.

Certainly in the former Eastern Bloc and the wing regions in its periphery. Because there was little else to get there. In Cuba, for example, it is still teeming with MZs.


The heavy motorcycles of MZ? Those were the 250 cc single-cylinder two-stroke. In the latter days there was an almost 300 cc option, but that is out of margins. The MZ ES (Einzylinder Schwinge, single-cylinder with swing-arm forks) started in 1956 and was developed further into the 1970s. And the MZs were also an important export product, a source of Western currencies. Quality was therefore carefully monitored. MZs have never suffered from the mistakes, carelessness, miserable quality of material and assembly that have given the late Russian Urals and Dneprs such a bad name for the home market.

The Russians understood somewhere where the shoe twisted. At Ural they had three assembly lines with shocking quality differences: home market, export and government. And believe it: The Urals that were made for the police and secret services were fast, reliable things.

In the May issue of Auto Motor Klassiek you will find the history of the MZ ES 250/1, motorcycles that are now - rightly - increasing in prestige and price.

But before MZ become priceless collectors' items, we still have some time to enjoy the singing of the pure running, very reliable two-stroke blocks and the driving comfort of these former communists / socialists. The 250 cc MZs are pre-eminently deployable classics, even if only to do some shopping in the village.

But these trips are also perfectly suitable for trips along the Ardennes or along the Danube. Driving on an MZ is unhurried, terrace seekers look at them and their drivers in a friendly way. If you are at your MZ, you have a fairly good chance of being addressed.

As an MZ driver you are always approachable.

Because MZ M / V riders are usually people with a wide frame of mind. They drive them because they like it so much. Not because they go for the status, prestige or the highest top speeds. There are also quite a few pronounced characters. Like the rider who put his index finger through the end of the exhaust after every ride and proudly raised it: “Look! completely clean again! I still have a perfect combustion! ”

Once upon a time that happy bouncer was approached by a fellow club member immediately after leaving. At that time, another club member ran a fat finger through the outlet. When, after the short interlude, the driver pulled his finger through the exhaust again… well. He just didn't flip. But remained restless for the rest of the evening.

After the fall of Communism and The Wall, the Ossies wanted to get rid of all memories from the GDR period.

Huge amounts of engines and parts of it were worth nothing from one moment to the next. A lot of blast furnaces then went up, but many also bought up by traders. The spare parts supply for MZs is therefore guaranteed for a while. Here in the Netherlands it was just after the Wende Gekra Motors, a trader in former government motorcycles, who brought many former Armeen and Polizei MZs and components to the Netherlands. He already had a lot of relationships in the former GDR and knows how to tell fantastic stories about the system that worked under the regime at the time.

For example, a police station received a new diesel engine every four years for an aggregate that they had never had. At another police station, 400 had tires for the two MZ engines that were under the care of the local police. Apparently, the GDR economy mainly focused on the barter of superfluous or useless goods.

But there is another danger

The Ossies have meanwhile noticed that being a Westerner is not everything. Their longing for the past is now officially called 'Ostalgie'. The former GDRs want their heritage back and are willing to pay for it.

And in Miami and Florida there is now a whole generation of ex Cubans who also think sadly of the MZjes who happily simmered about the island of their origin. Not that they want to go back right away, but they do buy them.

2 Comments

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  1. I had another MZ 250, bought new at Podevijn in Aalst at the time. It was also provided to connect a sidecar but that never happened due to lack of money. Sold to my brother-in-law who recently gave it away to a Pole, three weeks before I asked if I could buy it back… In the meantime, it is in Poland.
    A very narrow power band but as reliable as anything: twice kick and drive. Really no worries. That thing did have an outlet that could double serve as a ship's cannon ..

  2. Nicely written Dolf, I know a bit more about a brand that is unknown to me and what a special color combination.
    May I ask you, have you ever written something about the BMW K75, of course have one yourself ...
    Andre

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