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MOTOREX Magazine 2021 120 EN

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Pictures: / René Zapf and others REPORT A passionate collector and restorer of MZ motorcycles: former motocross rider Michael Raschemann. MZ – A TALE OF FAST GERMAN MOTORBIKES The story of motorcycle manufacturer Motorradwerke Zschopau (MZ) was eventful to say the least — but even in difficult circumstances and under the watchful eyes of the Soviet occupation force, by 1948 motor sports were beginning to recover. Later, in GDR days, the authorities came to realize that racing triumphs could be useful both politically and for driving development. What remains today is countless on- and offroad victories and the fascination of the fast racers from the East. Michael Raschemann is especially drawn to MZ racing bikes, which the former KTM motocross team owner collects and restores with great passion. Fast: Ewald Kluge's supercharged DKW in the racing trim of the 1930s. THE OLDEST Obviously the DKW is not an MZ, but the roots of the manufacturer's fervent commitment to motor sports date back to DKW. DKW and later MZ were stubbornly committed to the power of the two-stroke engine. In the mid-1930s DKW developed a supercharged dualpiston engine. A third, horizontal pumping piston provided more negative pressure for intake and positive pressure for compression, forcing substantially more fuel-air mixture into the combustion chamber. And DKW leapt ahead of the competition. Since sound ENGINE 1-cylinder, dual-piston two-stroke, 248 cc, 20 hp at 5000 RPM, watercooled, with supercharger. 2 Amal racing carburetors, magneto ignition TRANSMISSION 4-speed, multi-plate dog clutch in oil bath SUSPENSION TOP SPEED WEIGHT Girder fork with friction dampers (f.) and swingarm suspension (r.) approx. 120 kph 130 kg You could tell a DKW for the unmistakable muffler roar. The supercharger (red) provides a power boost by increasing the charge volume and pressure in the dual-piston two-stroke engine. muffling was not required, the open megaphone exhaust pipes thundered across the track. Only a few supercharged DKWs were ever built, and even fewer have survived to the present. The 250 supercharger shown here was originally preserved only in pieces. In the 1930s Walfried Winkler and Ewald Kluge were the speedy masters of Europe's racetracks on supercharged bikes like this one. Some 50 different two-stroke engines are said to have been developed at MZ (all brands), most with disk valve or membrane intake systems. SUPERLATIVE MACHINES When the unmistakable resonance muffler roars and the distinctive scent of combustion fumes from days gone by fills the air, the only thing still needed to transport Michael Raschemann to seventh motorcycle heaven is the MZ logo on the tank. Offroad bikes are a particular obsession for the former motocross compet- itor, but his collection includes street racers as well. After all, the racing career of the brand from the Ore Mountains of Saxony began with road machines. The collector presents his superlative machines exclusively for MOTOREX Magazine. MZ IN RETROSPECT The name MZ stands for Motorradwerk Zschopau (Zschopau Motorcycle Works) and was introduced in 1956. MZ is the successor to DKW. The company originated in a machine factory purchased in 1906 from the Dane Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen. It was located in the midst of the Ore Mountains in Saxony, Germany. © Brück & Sohn Kunstverlag Motorcycle production at DKW began in 1922 (photo: part of the plant in 1932). Assembly line manufacturing was an absolute novelty. By order of the Soviet occupying forces, the production facilities were dismantled after World War II and shipped to the Soviet Union. MZ would later build motorcycles in these halls. For economic reasons, motorbikes in East Germany were powered by two-stroke engines. Once production resumed at the plant in Zschopau, then in the German Democratic Republic, the MZ RT 125 became one of the highest-volume German motorcycles and was exported worldwide. It is also the most often copied motorcycle in the world! © René Zapf 10 MOTOREX MAGAZINE 120 I MAY 2021 11



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