Sunday, 30 September 2007

The art of the MuZ....

This evening I was playing around with some of the photos of my MuZ with Paint Shop Pro. I was seeing if you can turn the Scorpion into a work of art. To me the look of this bike already is a work of art. So I ran some photos through a graphic filter. Here are the results. Hope you like them?

Airbrush styles

Pencil styles

MZ Cartoon time from Finland... part 2..

Here is part 2 of the catoons that Michael Barnes has sent in relating to MZs. {Note that as this in Finnish the translation below relates to the red number for each catoon cell. You will work it out.}

Part one can be seen here


7. Just you wait, I’ll show yoos …

8. Everyone has got away to a good start, only 99 seems to have needed a
running start …
Why did I agree … this coffin’s not going anywhere. Only one solution . Peg the throttle and don’t touch the brakes until the finish line !!!!

9. A few laps later.
Beloved motorcycle racing fans ! This is sensational , no. 99 has fought on an ancient
MZ , risking life and limb to come from the back of the grid to position 5 !!!

10. And in the last chicane before the finish no. 99 goes into the lead !! Doing it with what seems an impossible line ! Just like Toni Mittenmann when at his best !
This rider is either very talented or spiritually driven !!!

11. No. 1 tries to make a comeback !! But doesn’t quite have enough !
No . 99 wins the race by a front wheel !!

Unbelievably we have seen the race go to an MZ !!!!

12. Whew ! I gotta tell ya that was the worst race I’ve ever run . Here take the prize money , you can buy lotsa high performance parts for the old MZ !!
What do ya think I’m am, crazy ?! Finally I can buy myself a Honda !!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Weight Watches for the MZ 125

The article I posted to this blog on the MZ 125 The petite MZ... recieved a comment yesterday. I thought it deserved a posting of it's own.

Pam F from Powroll was searching the net for MZ Scropion info and came across my blog. Here is was left as a comment on the MZ 125....

I was reading your blog after searching MZ Scorpion, and noticed this entry about the MZ125.

Our company did a project with MZ back when these bikes were first being introduced to the US market.

We did tons of testing and created some kits for them - however, MZ was sold before the project was completed. Here's some of what we found out about the little bikes.

1. We're not sure what dyno they used to get that 15 crank hp number, but the real numbers at the rear wheel were way less than 10 hp.

2. A standard Honda SL125 will outrun an MZ125 by at least 5 bike lengths in 1/2 mile.

3. The engine is hugely overbuilt, leaving so much space that we were able to create a 220cc bore kit without sacrificing reliability.

4. The bike weighs alot.

5. There is no way in the world that a stock model could reach 65mph. With a lightweight rider, fully tucked, we achieved 59 mph. Though, on the dyno, the bike will show 65mph without wind resistance.

6. The FunX (with it's streetbike chassis and uber-tall suspension) was the most ill-handling dirt bike I've ever ridden.

7. The MZ 125cc water cooled engine had tons of potential - this could have easily been made into a very fast 250, with bullet-proof reliability, right from the factory.

Pam F.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

MZ Cartoon time from Finland...

Michael Barnes has sent in some cartoons relating to MZs. Here is the first one.
{Note that as this in Finnish the translation below relates to the red number for each catoon cell. You will work it out.}


1. Hey Bro, you’re not riding that in the 250’s are you ?
Of course, I’ve always ridden the MZ and I’m staying faithful to the marque.

2. The others are on fast Hondas and Yammies – no gaps left for you man !
Yeah but this is a question of honour for me . Er just a mo … there’s …

3. Your Toni Mittenmann , ex world champion .

4. Toni ! my hero ! you’re the man, who never turns down a challenge.
How would you like to ride my MZ in the race . I wouldn’t have a chance,
But if you rode ? ….
I don’t know.

5. But what’s at stake here is more than just a race. This touches on the future of
a bike with an honoured name ! The Japanese are wrecking our economy !!
MZ is about to go broke !! The workers will lose their jobs and their kids will go hungry ! You could save them . All Germany will be forever grateful to you !

6. Well OK I’ll do it , but incognito, I’ll use your name ….. now what’s your grid position ?
250 riders race starts in 10 minutes.
How many riders ?

Postcards from 4...

Postcard No.4 from Michael. "Waiting for another inter-island ferry in the Aland Group.
Detlef checks the route on his Garmin. "

Tuesday, 25 September 2007


CYCLE TORQUE have allowed me to post the road test they did on the MuZ Tour. Thank you to Chris Pickett, the editor, for giving permission. This test was first published in 1999.

The Gentle Skorpion

Do you need a motorcycle which is practical for everyday use but will cope with a bit of weekend thrashing just for fun? Do you fancy something mechanically simple but robust and easy to maintain? You should check out the Skorpion range from German manufacturer MuZ.

FOR many years, trail bikes have been press-ganged into doing commuter duties, a task they carry out competently because they are tall (good visibility), have quick steering (great for agility), possess simple, reliable motors (easy and cheap to maintain) and they don’t cost the earth to run. The drawbacks of the traillie are few but vital: they have brakes which are designed for off-road use (which means they often aren’t as effective on the road as they might be) and they handle like a gumboot full of spaghetti when pushed hard. Fine if you’re an experienced thrill-seeker but a nightmare for the less skilled. Wouldn’t it be nice if some factory took a reliable single-cylinder engine and stuck it into a stiff frame with good suspension and brakes? Well, that’s exactly what the progressive designers at MuZ have done with the Skorpion Tour.

On The Road

The first thing that impresses about the riding position of the Tour is that it is upright and comfortable with no stretch to the bars. The handlebar is adjustable up and down after the clamping bolts are loosened and I found that a slightly lowered bar made the riding position very relaxed. An additional adjustment is provided to move the whole clamp assembly forwards or backwards over three positions secured by location notches. The seat is long and firm which allows plenty of room to alter your position to relieve the on-set of the dreaded sore bum syndrome. The bike just begs to be ridden and you soon find that you’ve been in the saddle for longer than you thought, but the seat remains fine. The location of the foot pegs is adjustable through four positions: two vertical and two horizontal. The horizontal movement needs dealer assistance as it requires the exchange of the gear linkage rod and relocation of the rear master cylinder. For my frame, the pegs could have been slightly further forward for the upright riding position.

Negotiating the traffic that clogs a city is usually a chore to be grudgingly endured but on the MuZ Tour it was fun. The forward visibility is very good and the bike can be threaded through lanes of vehicles with ease. It is light and short enough to be turned between cars should your lane splitting be faced with a closing gap. There is always enough power from the the big single to get you out of tight spots without the wheelie problem which can be a problem with trail bikes.

Acceleration is brisk without being arm-tearing, but there is adequate power for safe overtaking and the bike will go quite hard once you’ve given it enough throttle opening.

For commuting, the bike is outstanding in what is usually a hideous environment and its ease of maintenance should commend it to buyers seeking a day-to-day workhorse.

A glance over the specifications points to sporting abilities and taking the bike out for a good hard ride showed that it will live up to expectations. Punting it along the Putty Road showed off the frame and suspension to great effect. The frame is stiff and entirely free from flex, and the suspension, which is adjustable only for preload at the rear, proved well able to cope with the vagaries of riding hard over secondary roads. As a compromise, it works very well but it is naturally taxed over big bumps where its relative lack of compliance will see the bike skip. I found no problem with this because the over-all stability was never in doubt as the bike remained well and truly on the chosen course. Given the compromises inherent in the suspension, the bike’s stability over bumpy roads was outstanding. Add in the grip from the sticky Pirellis and you’ve got a surprisingly rapid bike which is easy to ride hard with confidence.

The Grimeca brakes – especially the single front disc – are outrageously good. The performance of the front leaves me a bit short of superlatives, it’s that good. If it was fitted with an adjustable lever (as it should be) it would be one of the best single discs on the market. Braking hard into hairpins was a joy, with incredible power and feel. At lower speeds it is equally controllable. It is superb but please Mr MuZ, give the lever the adjustment it so richly deserves.

Touring on the Tour was pleasant and relaxed with the big single pulsing away below. Cruising speeds of around the legal freeway limit of 110 were easy to keep to although the bike would happily go faster. At 120km/h the bike is very smooth indeed, but with no fairing, the ‘balloon man’ effect made anything over that speed uncomfortable and for regular use of this sort, the bike begs for a fairing and lower bars. Carrying luggage is a matter of ocky straps over the back seat because with a plastic tank, you cannot use a magnetic tank bag. You could strap a pillion down with ockies, too, but they are more likely to find sitting on the broad pillion seat more convenient. The pillion pegs are low and well placed for comfort and the seat is low enough for the pillion to gain some wind protection from the rider’s body.

Taken overall, the bike makes very good sense if you’re after a practical mount for a variety of uses. As a second bike for daily transport or a step up from your first 250, it is well worth considering. With a robust engine from Yamaha and engineering from Germany, the bike’s build quality is unquestionable. Importantly, the two areas lacking in the basic Tour model are addressed very effectively by other models in the Skorpion range. The Tour’s lack of a fairing is well catered for by the Sport, which features a half fairing and clip-ons, and the lack of luggage carrying ability is dealt with by the Traveller, which features a full touring fairing and 30 litre lockable and detachable panniers as standard. At prices (+ORC) of $9648 for the Tour, $9999 for the Sport and $10,604 for the Traveller, the bikes represent good value for money.

The Driving Force

Powering the bike is the 660 cc water-cooled, five-valve, single-cylinder Yamaha (XTZ) engine. If ever there was a power unit with a well deserved reputation for simplicity and rugged reliability, it is this one. It produces 48hp (35kw ) at 6250rpm with maximum torque of 56Nm at 4500rpm. Fuel efficiency is a strong point with our test over city commuting, country touring and some scratching returning an average of 22km per litre of standard unleaded. The tank holds 18 litres including a reserve of three. Reserve was needed at by 330km (depending on use) and the maximum range should be about 390 km.

The gearbox is a five-speed unit with widely spaced ratios. The gearing translates to 27km/h per 1000rpm in fifth gear. The clutch is light and gear engagement is always positive, either from rest or going up or down the gearbox.

The engine is strong and willing, with a pulsing throb which keeps you in touch with the fact that there is a big single down below. The vibration is not intrusive at normal riding revs, but it will let you know in no uncertain terms if you drop too far down the rev range. It doesn’t mind spinning, but it doesn’t like lugging, so keep the revs up. To stay happy, the engine needed around 3000rpm in fifth, which equates to 80km/h. Below that speed some transmission snatch made itself felt and fourth gear was favoured. In fourth, the engine would happily turn at around 2600rpm, which equates to 60km/h.

With service intervals set at 6000km, the bike will be easy to maintain. The basic service tasks include changing the oil and the filter and adjusting the valve clearances, as well as checking for tightness of bolts and adjusting the chain.

The Framework

Wrapped around the engine is a welded, oval-section tubular frame designed by the respected London design house Seymour Powell. This deltabox frame has been awarded numerous design prizes and it is easy to see why – the construction is first class and the powder-coated finish sets the whole thing off very nicely. However, design awards might look splendid on the boardroom wall but they’re not much use on the road, which is the ultimate test. In that environment, the frame exceeded expectations. It is a very stiff unit indeed and provides a strong and rigid platform which absorbs the stresses of cornering and braking, never once showing any unpleasant reactions.

The front suspension is by conventional 41mm telescopic fork from Paioli and the rear is a Bilstein gas monoshock unit, adjustable for preload. There is 140mm of wheel travel front and 130mm rear. Brakes are by Grimeca, with a single 316mm disc and four piston fixed caliper up front and a single 240mm disc with two piston caliper at the rear. Wheels are three spoke, cast alloy items from Grimeca, 17 x 3.00 up front and 17 x 4.00 at the back. Tyres are Pirelli, 110/70 front and 150/60 rear.


The bikes boast such features as braided brake lines, stainless-steel exhausts a sidestand and a centrestand. At first the side stand is a bit awkward to get at but familiarity soon overcame that. The lights are excellent on both high and low beam but the high-beam warning light was too bright.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Postcards from 3...

More Postcards from Michael. He took these two photos while in Finland.
"Altar to the pagan god of speed found in remote forest in Finland. "
"Translation of signs ;
Speed !
Thrills !
Noise ! (specifically banging! racket! )
Teraspallo = steel ball !
Surmanajo = death drive !
Rider : Esa Paltila "

Friday, 21 September 2007

My Muz is no longer a wheel stop...

As you may have read in my posting To the halfwit that reversed into my MuZ… some fool tried to turn the MuZ into a wheel stop. Not any more. She has been restored back to her former glory.

I went to Metropolitan Motorcycle Spares NSW Pty Ltd at 90 Silverwater Road Silverwater 2128 and bought a brake lever from a XLV 750. Fits but needs a little bit of profiling on the knob bit that pushes on the master cylinder plunger. Also bought a set of indicators from a old GS500. Nearly the same shape as the MuZs. They will do for the time being. I rode to the wreckers with the broken brake lever. Fairing was off and I had fitted a set of Virago indicators just to get me there.

They also fitted the brake lever for me.

Got home and repaired the fairing. Some surgical bandage soaked in Super Glue has helped to give some strength to the crack. I did this on the inside of the fairing. Sprayed over the repair with a bit of model aircraft red paint just to take the whiteness away from the bandage. Not the best fix but all I can do by myself.

Thankfully the handle bar was easy to fix by just undoing it and moving it back to where it should be.

I went to buy some bullet hole stickers from the local bikeshop to go over the paint damage. Suits where I live as we have a shooting at least once a year here. Granville. No guns laws here. But they were all misprinted. So made it myself. I used Paint Shop Pro to create the graphic. Printed it out on paper and then used some clear contact. Then stuck it over the horrible scar in the paint.

A bit of a clean up with Planet Bike Shines Riders Bike Wash and the bike is almost looks as good as the day I bought it…

$30 later the bike is back together and ok.

With summer coming I have left the bottom 1/3 of the fairing off. I like the look. Plus there is a paint scar there that needs a sticker of some sort made to cover the damage.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Postcards from 2...

It is always a pleasure when Michael sends me something to add to this blog. It will almost always have something to do with his MuZ and it will be from part of his trip to Finland. So here is his second postcard.

A midday rest break off highway 26 in central Sweden. Note the distinctive Scandinavian fences.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

To the halfwit that reversed into my MuZ …..

I had to go to the doctors today. Park in the main street of Granville. Rear to kerb. Bike is on side stand.

I come out of the doctors and go up to the bike. There waiting to greet me is an indicator lenses sitting on the seat. Then I see what other damage has been done.

To the halfwit that reversed into my MuZ. Thank you for leaving it lying on the road. Thank you that you broke the following.

Right front indicator.
Broke the fairing where the right front indicator is. Nice big crack.
Front Brake Lever.
Removed paint from the fairing.
Scratched the muffler. Glad I took the panniers off before I rode today. Or the right one would have been mashed.
Moved the right handle bar around.
Numerus scratches around the bike.

I bet you where the idiot sitting in your car on your mobile. I gave you ½ a cars length grace. You had more than ½ a cars length in front of you. And yet you reversed into my bike and then drove off. I bet you had that stupid phone to your fat head when you did this too!! At least someone picked the bike up for me. Shame they didn’t leave a note with the rego of the car.

Now I have to spend money that I really didn’t want to on the bike. Just as well it passed rego last week.

MuZ Rocket 660......

It’s amazing what you find you follow a link from a website and then follow another link and then another. Don’t ask where I started. But I did end up at this site. VD Classics is a company in France that makes custom Café parts. They can kit out your SR500 or XT500 with some very trick stuff. How about changing the way your Kawasaki W650 looks?

The one that sucked me in was the photo of their MuZ Rocket 660. My Traveller is now living in fear that I might strip all her touring bits off and make her into one slick hot rod. Not likely. But the Rocket 660 sure is one sexy single.

Here is a photo of the MuZ Rocket 660s as done by VD Classic.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

When is a BMW club run a MuZ run?????

Bruce Campbell, MuZ Tour owner, invited me along on the BMW Touring Club NSW ride today. It was arranged that we meet at Mac’ers at Rouse Hill. I was expecting a whole heap of BMs. From 650s through to 1200s. When I arrived there was one BMW GS1200 and Kwaka 1500 Vulcan. Bruce rolled in on his MuZ. Then a Yammie TDM arrived and a Suzuki DR650. And as we left we picked up a Honda TransAlp. Now hang on this is a BMW ride. Not anymore. It’s a MuZ ride as we outnumbered the other bikes. Hehehehe.

The meeting time was 8:30am and by 8:45 we were on our way. The 1200 and Vulcan where 2 up. The TDM was 2 up too. As you will see below. Chillie loved the ride.

Bruce set a good pace that seemed to suit all of us. Making our way to Wisemans Ferry, using same route when 3 of us MuZ riders went up that way in July, Bruce took us down along River Rd that follows the Hawkesbury River. This is such a beautiful route. Also it is off the beaten track. So the traffic is very light. At times its very narrow road that has gravel patches. Everyone rode this with no problems at all. Once we had crosssed the Hawkesbury River via the ferry it was onto Kulnura for brunch at Jerry's Gourmet Kitchen via Spencer and Mangrove Mountain.

I have never been to Kulnura. Stupid me. It’s a Bikers Haven. Jerry cooks some very good food too. The girls in the shop bring the food out to you. So you can sit back and chat bikes and wait for a delicious meal to arrive. Bike fly past every few minutes. Or arrive for food and fuel.

Here is a selection of some of the bikes seen at Jerry's today.

After lunch I headed off by myself and made my way to The Entrance. I went to visit some very old friends John and Leanne. I used to rally with them in the 80s. I have not seen them in around 15 years. Leanne was not home, but John was. It was good to just sit and talk about the Rally we had gone to. The people we used to known and the silly things we did back then.

All too soon it was time to head for home. The Freeway back too Sydney took me as far as Mt White and I turned onto the Old Pacific and a quick stop at Road Warriors.

A good fang down to Hornsby Heights and then through Galston Gorge brought me back to suburban traffic and the boring roads back to my garage.

Thank you Bruce for once again leading a great ride. Also to the others on the ride (Sorry I have forgotten your names. I am very bad when it comes to names. At least I remembered Chillie's name.) it was really good to ride with you all.

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