In 1961, Ernst Degner was leading the 125cc world championship aboard an innovative MZ two-stroke designed in the GDR under the guidance of Walter Kaaden. In spite of racing glory, Degner was discontented with eking out a meager living behind the Iron Curtain. While his competitors arrived at continental events driving fancy cars, Degner came with Stasi secret police escorts. He was at a crossroads. Fortunately, so was Suzuki.