Monday, 22 October 2012
Friday bike update
A small update on a previous Friday bike.
Terry gave me an article from MCN on the new MZ125 with the 'Valvetronic' type inlet valves.
The article mentioned that the chassis and bodywork were bought in from Czech firm Blata, and you can see the similarity between the Blata and the new MZ.
MZ hope to have the 125 on sale in Germany, France and the UK in April next year at a projected price of €4000 (£3260, US$5230). This is only slightly more than Suzuki's rather old and low tech DR 125 (£2965), and substantially cheaper than Yamaha's WR125 (£4199).
MZ claim that the new valve setup improves fuel consumption by 20%, and that they are working on a 450cc engine.
The valve system was designed by Uwe Eisenbois, and if anyone is really interested, they can read the patent here but it's fairly meaningless without drawings.
When I visited the MZ factory in 2002, it was evident that they actually made very few components themselves. From memory, only frames were made in the factory with the remaining components outsourced to other companies, with final assembly done by MZ. This is not uncommon in the bike industry, Aprilia have never had a manufacturing facility and outsource all components.
With them buying in the Blata chassis, they only need to assemble the engines, install then into the chassis, and the bikes are ready for the market. So it's conceivable that a small company like MZ with its 50 employees could have a bike for sale next year. The new engine is based on the earlier RT 125 bottom end, so possibly only the cylinder head and valve train are new. If so, this would avoid the R&D costs of developing a completely new engine.
Good luck to them, and I hope we see the new bike in the shops in the coming year.
As a bit of speculation, here are my thoughts about the 450 engine. MZ had planned competing in the Moto 3 championship using a KTM 250cc engine. KTM also build a 450cc supermoto. What's the chances of the MZ 450 being a KTM with an MZ variable valve top end? We'll have wait an see.....