Is MZ back in the game?

Here's what that new motor looks like.
Here’s what that new motor looks like.

They didn’t make headlines during Intermot, but German motorcycle manufacturer MZ was at the show as well, with a couple of interesting new machines.

One of those bikes was a four-stroke 125 cc supermoto, with an innovative head design. Their press release says the re-designed motor doesn’t need a throttle body for delivering and regulating the fuel/air mixture; instead, it uses a drive-by-wire fuel delivery system with a stepper motor and an internal mechanical system that opens the intake valve during the intake stroke.

The engine also uses valve timing to control the fuel/air mixture; at low RPMS, the motor runs with low valve lift, which increases as the RPMs rise. This makes the motor more fuel efficient when compared to other motors with throttle bodies, reducing fuel consumption by 15 to 30 per cent and also drastically cutting emissions, according to MZ’s claims.

MZ has put this motor through reliability testing at their factory, and also tested it for power. They’re claiming they can easily get 15 hp at 9500 rpm, and maximum torque of 13 Nm – pretty decent for a 125 cc four-stroke.

The company says they’re going to base their return to motorcycle production on this motor technology. But just in case the whole internal combustion engine thing doesn’t work out, they’re also tinkering with electric bikes.

MZ is working on an electric enduro motorcycle with a gearbox – something that Brammo’s been building since last year, but no other major electric bike builder has announced. They say the idea is to reduce the amount of current needed when starting the machine. We assume they mean they’re trying to make acceleration more energy efficient.

Right now, they also have a roadworthy test electric bike built around a brushless motor with a CVT and a belt transmission, according to their CEO, Martin Wimmer. He says noiseless, emissions-free vehicles are the wave of the future in off-roading, which is why they’re also developing the gearbox technology for their electric enduro.


  1. i have the old version of this motor in a 2002 rt125.. the thing works great 20,000 miles in 10 years has been a very nice bike dave

    • New? Renault and others brought this in during the low-tech 80’s in F1. And brushless DC
      motors have been around for decades. igbt technology is what makes them work.

      With the constant advance in processors, DC and AC (MOVR) motors shall consistently

      Thank gosh this is not another ‘production racing’ thread.

      • And I also think BMW messed around with this engine configuration in the 90s, or at least something similar. But it’s my understanding from MZ’s release that they have a patent on their new system, so they’ve obviously doing something new. Either that, or they’ve got a really good patent lawyer.

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