Monday, November 13, 2017

the MZ Motorcycle, East German Motorradwerk Zschopau (thanks Kim!)

Evolved from the previous ES250/1 model, the MZ ES250/2 was introduced in 1967. But where its predecessor was round, the ES250/2 was an angular beast, which may be one reason East German motorcyclists claimed the “ES” stood for Eisen-Schwein, or “Iron Pig.”

Indeed, only a Communist Politbureau could have loved its looks. Yet MZ motorcycles were snapped up as fast as they were built, both behind the Iron Curtain, where few other vehicles were available, and in the West, where they could be bought at prices significantly lower than any other 250cc motorcycle.

Full gallery and article by Kim Scholer:


  1. Hi Jesse,
    Yes, early MXs look weird and definitely socialist "we know what's best for you, never mind what you want" but don't be fooled, they are very effective machines, especially the later 250ETZs, with a surprising combination of torque and power, allied to (at last!) decent handling and brakes. The credit mainly goes to a self effacing figure, Walter Kaaden who created the dominant two stroke engine of 60s - 90s grand prix bike racing. In an underfunded East German workshop he created the first unsupercharged petrol engine in the world to produce 200hp per litre.
    It's an almost unbelievable story of cold war skullduggery.
    MCN article at:
    or for the full tale read Mat Oxley's superb book "Stealing Speed".

    1. thanks! Another rabbit hole to plunge into!

    2. wow... that's a cool story! I'm going to have to retell it, editted down for space and time.. dang. All from behind the Iron Curtain