MZ ETZ250, bought in 2008 for £300 off ebay. I've always been curious about these bikes, but never got round to buying one til last year! Mine was the 82-89 version, physically a very big and roomy motorbike, long and tall and light. Very nimble handling, almost like a traillie. Bike came to me with 43k (miles) on the clock, I covered 1500 miles during my ownership, reliable right down to the last bulb! Although the clutch needed regular fiddling with! Also, poor design of brake light switches - I made my own wire-contact system.
Poor low end power, you have to keep in the 3-4 1/2 thou rev band to go anywhere. Performance: top speed under neutral conditions about 70, cruising speed 60. Similar to the Japanese 4 strokes of this capacity, but being a stroker, the MZ feels stronger than an RS 250 or S'dream. Poor economy, around 45 if you're lucky (!) Narrow, hard seat improved by recovering seat and inserting an extra 1" of foam.
Conclusion: Everything a bike should be. Cheap, simple and fun! Sold at a slight profit! Now moved "up" to a CZ350. This bike is faster, has better economy and is even more primitive, and is unfairly seen as the MZ's poor relation, but it's comfier, and in my view much better.
What is it with the prices on the Internet of MZs?
When I was checking a month or so ago, there were I think three MZs on Ebay.
An overpriced very late 125 (600 quid wanted). A 350cc Katuni (? - got relisted I think, maybe too dear) and one of those 250s with the bloated Bantam Type tank (Chrome sides) I think it went for nearly 800 - too much for me, who owned a 150 back in the day, and was once loaned a bright orange ETZ 250 by a guy who tested it on a race track (and published in one of the two 2 wheel mags of the day).
Now I look again and a tidy 250 ETZ, albeit non-standard, T&T and a daily working bike, gets no bid (He wanted 350 I think), and a spares or repairs, 250, probably related to the overpriced one - No Bid and probably scrapped by now.
There seems to have been a bit of a move towards "classic" status for MZs within Europe, which is inflating prices artificially for what is paradoxically still a very usable, practical machine. My favourite is the "SupaFive" - the TS 250/1 - superb handling, lots of go, soundly built, endlessly reliable, BUT! - Godawful front brake.
I had an ES250 for a few years after small Japanese bikes, and it was a unique experience - gear change was terrible, but was great commuter and never broke down on monthly commutes to see my Mrs at uni in Leicester from Manchester for three years - only frustrating thing was you could do 100 miles no trouble - stop at garage for some petrol and it would take 50 kicks to start - only an MZ! Mate moved to France on it (with my 1950's Vincent Panniers) in 1992, and he and the bike (now restored) still there...
I used to own an ETZ250 years ago, and thought it an excellent bike for the money... 21bhp out of a single cylinder 250cc isn't bad!
You had to keep the revs above 3,000 if you wanted to pull away; changing down being all that was needed. It had a top speed of around 90mph, and would cruise all day at 70mph.
I found it could accelerate faster than most Japanese 250's of that era (about 10 years ago).
I would recommend one to anyone... The later 251 had a small rear wheel, but the 250 with 18" front and rear handled better.
I cannot agree more. Rather than speed, cheap, comfortable, good old sound and reliability are what I appreciate in a machine these days.
I had an MZ TS250 Trail. Paid £260 and rode the backside off it over 18 months.
Went from London to the Arctic circle in Finland, then after a check over back in London, did the 25000 mile overland trip to Cape Town, before selling it in Zimbabwe for £500. Just a couple of tyres and a battery were the only replacements.
Then took a new MZ 250 Supa 5 from New York to Alaska, and then all the way through the USA, Mexico, Central and South America, to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. Then to Rio and shipped it to Portugal, and rode back to London - 9 great months and 46000 miles. Total cost was £800. Money went a long way in 1978.
Petrol was only 10p per litre then. Those were the days.