In 1907, a German company known as Dampf-Kraft-Wagen (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 45 championships in the process. 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 purchased by Hong Leong Group out of Malaysia, which proceeded to introduce MZ technology to North America.
The 2005 MZ Moskito is a scooter offered in several engine variants, from 50cc up to 125cc, and body styles that range from a sport bike style, to a European-flavored setup reminiscent of the Vespa. That being said, zipping around the city streets is a fun, comfortable, and economical affair on this bike.
The MZ Moskito 50cc variant produces 4.2 horsepower and 3.3 foot pounds of torque, while the 125cc version is capable of making 7.3 horsepower and 5.5 foot pounds of torque. Fuel is fed via a 24mm Mikuni carburetor, while cooling tasks are air-derived, and the throttle control is cable-operated. The Moskito is able to be started by an electric starter, or by kickstarter, and both versions transfer power to the road via a belt-driven, continuously variable transmission. The CVT features a cable-operated wet centrifugal clutch, allowing the rider smooth access to power on demand throughout the powerband, without the need to shift. With a power-to-weight ratio of 21.89 pounds per horsepower, and a fuel capacity of 1.4 gallons, the Moskito provides great fuel economy.
Handling is tight and responsive, due to the smooth telescopic fork in front, while a twin-sided swing arm with a single shock absorber controls the bumps in the rear. The Moskito rides on 12 inch aluminum wheels front and back, slightly larger than what can be found on the competition, providing superior handling in the urban environment. The spinning triangular design looks striking, and is easy to clean. Deceleration tasks are handled by a hydraulic disc brake in front, and a strong drum brake in the rear.
The one-piece vinyl seat is able to accommodate two riders in comfort thanks to the wide dimensions, and deep cushioning. Beneath the seat, we find ample storage, large enough to hold one helmet, locks, and even a light lunch. A rear rack is standard, allowing further expansion of available storage space.
The basic instrument panel has an analog speedometer, odometer, light control, and warning gauges, all centrally located. Horn and turn signals are mounted to the handlebars, while the left and right side of the handlebars each houses a rear-view mirror. The bodywork of the Moskito is painted plastic, designed for aerodynamics, and durability. The faring on the front end disperses water and road debris, as does the rear fender, which is standard equipment. Additionally, MZ offers the 2005 Moskito in Silver, Red, Green, Yellow, Black and Grey.
If you are in the market for economical and low-maintenance urban transportation, you should take a serious look at the 2005 MZ Moskito. While there are many scooters on the market, MZ quality ensures many maintenance-free miles on the road.