In 1907, a German company known as Dampf-Fraft-Wagen, or DKW, started out producing engines for bicycles. In the 1920s, DKW began producing 2-stroke engines for motorcycles, and their designs went on to dominate all forms of motorcycle racing from 1922 to 1936, winning a total of forty-five championships. In 1956, DKW changed its name to Motorradwerk Zschopau, or MZ. Due to wartime conditions, MZ continued to produce engines and bikes in East Germany, but it was later purchased by Hong Leong Group out of Malaysia; in 2004, the world was introduced to the MZ 1000S in full production.
The overall look and feel of the 2005 MZ 1000 retains much of its European heritage, in terms of styling and rider ergonomics. Available in several variations, the MZ 1000 can be either classified as a sport bike, or a sport touring bike. In either form, the MZ 1000 is a powerful and sporty motorcycle.
Designed by the same engineer that drew up the plans for the F-117 Stealth Fighter, the 2005 MZ 1000 is balanced, powerful, and aerodynamic. From the 998cc inline twin cylinder power plant, to the double-tube trellis chrome-moly frame and wind tunnel tested bodywork, the MZ 1000 is a well thought out machine. The four-stroke, liquid cooled engine features a Sagem engine control unit (ECU) that controls the injectors for the dual 52mm throttle bodies, which gives predictable throttle response. 115 horsepower and 95 foot pounds of torque are not stunning numbers for a sportbike, but the design places more emphasis on balance than huge horsepower. The engineers had the forethought to design the engine for reduced maintenance labor, and balance. With the alternator found on the right side, the clutch mounted on the left, and the cassette type transmission, access to vital components is simple.
The 6-speed manual transmission utilizes a racetrack-inspired cassette design to provide easier access to the gearing, in case of changes. The hydraulic clutch system works flawlessly, with dependable and tight shifting. Fade and expansion is reduced, thanks to the reinforced inner braided line used in the clutch.
As one would expect, the suspension system deployed on the MZ 1000 is high performance, and top tier. The 43mm inverted Marzocchi front fork is fully adjustable, and allows 120mm of wheel travel. In the rear, the aluminum cantilever swingarm features a Sachs monoshock, and full adjustability, including a hydraulic preload system, and up to 120mm of wheel travel. The high tech design allows the MZ 1000 to handle the bumps in the road equally well in either high performance winding road style, riding or a more comfortable tour over a longer distance at highway speeds.
The engineers at MZ have patented their design of the Twin System Wheel (TSW), to keep the rotating mass of their 17 inch wheel set low. This helps the powerful Nissin braking system decelerate the MZ 1000 in critical situations. In the front, twin 320mm Nissin rotors are paired with a four-piston caliper, all painted gold. MZ uses a 243mm single disc with a two piston caliper in the rear. Metal-reinforced brake lines in the front and rear reduce brake fade and expansion. The 17 inch front wheel is wrapped with 120/70 ZR rated rubber, while the rear wheel has a 180/55 tire.
The digital-analog instrument cluster is well laid out, and easy to read. The analog speedometer and tachometer feature a white display on a black background. The digital readout offers multiple modes, including a systems self-test, and ECU fault indication. The five-gallon painted plastic fuel cell is shaped for perfect rider ergonomics, and flips forward to allow access to other components for easy maintenance. The one-piece seat has a height of 825mm, but can be lowered as low as 810mm, and can accommodate two riders.
The MZ 1000 is a well-engineered, capable machine that is built to last, and comes standard dressed in black and silver paint.