Monday, June 09, 2008

MZ story to end soon

The MZ SMX1000 concept, shown at the 2006 Intermot in Germany

From left: The MZ SFX1050 concept shown last year, and the MZ 1000SF production bikes

At a time when Volkswagen are said to be considering getting into motorcycle production, another German company, MZ, which has been making bikes since 1922, is all set to close down.

Hong Leong Industries Bhd, Malaysia, who bought over MZ in 1996, have been suffering losses from their motorcycles business for many years. And they’ve finally decided to pull the plug. As a result of this, MZ’s plant in the German state of Saxony, where bikes have been made since the early 1920s, will have to shut its doors, perhaps permanently.

From left: A Limited Editon MZ 1000SF, the Baghira and the 1000S

Apart from various 125cc machines, and an electric scooter – the Charly – MZ’s most interesting machine in recent years has been the 1000S and the 1000SF. Based on these bikes, the MZ SMX1000 concept was shown at the 2006 Intermot, but the bike never made it to production.

MZ was established in 1906 by one Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen, and the company was headquartered in Zschopau, in Germany. MZ – Motorradwerk Zschopau – started making motorcycles in the early 1920s, producing its 2,000,000th motorcycle in 1983. MZ motorcycles won the prestigious ISDT event six times in the 1960s, and one last time in 1987. MZ two-strokes are said to have had a wide influence on racing motorcycle worldwide, including many Japanese bikes.

From left: The MZ 1000S, the electric scooter Charly and another 1000S

The historic motorcycle marque is slated to finally shut down on the 31st of December this year.

MZ links:
The official MZ website
Roadtests of the 2004 MZ1000S and 2005 MZ1000S
A bunch of interesting MZ promo videos
MZ on Wikipedia

Also see:
Memorable: The mighty Münch Mammut TTS-E
Kettenkrad: The NSU-built, WW-II motorcycle half-track...
Classic: The Laverda 750 Formula S
NSU 500 Kompressor: 320km/h... in 1956!
Piega 1000: The rebirth of Mondial...?
Buzz bombs: The Gilera SP01 and SP02...
NRV588: The Norton rotary lives again!
The legendary Laverda V6 Bol d'Or racer...
BMW S1000RR: The German motorcycle is alive and well...

External links:
Brough Superior under new ownership...
Supermotard picture gallery: Ducati vs BMW vs Aprilia vs KTM!

1 comment:

first_synn said...

I shall miss the maker of the fine Skorpion. Godspeed, MZ.

Random Ramblings