MZ SKORPION (1994-2003) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A stylishly designed (by acclaimed Brits Seymour-Powell) single using a Yamaha engine which proved a refreshingly able"

MZ Skorpion 660 motorcycle review - Riding

"A stylishly designed (by acclaimed Brits Seymour-Powell) single using a Yamaha engine which proved a refreshingly able"

  • At a glance
  • 660cc  -  48 bhp
  • 47 mpg  -  124 miles range
  • Medium seat height (785mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The MZ Skorpion was stylishly designed (by acclaimed Brits Seymour-Powell) single using a Yamaha engine which proved a refreshingly able antidote to Japanese fours in the mid-to-late 90s. Light, lithe, affordable, generally reliable and reassuringly practical.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

MZ Skorpion Sport with low bars and half fairing led the range and in light, incicisve and nimble enough to be a blast through the twisties. Brakes and suspension aren’t exactly sophisticated, but they’re good enough. Generally compact riding position isn’t the best for longer distances, howevere so if you’re that way inclined chewck out the Traveller or Tour instead.

Engine 4 out of 5

The MZ Skorpion is powered by the acclaimed five-valve unit from Yamaha’s XTZ660 trailie. Manages to at once deliver semi-respctable revs and top end performance (110mph certainly isn’t to be sniffed at from a 600-odd cc single) with traditional thumper virtues of easy torque and characterful flexibility. Generally solid and easy-going, too, at least once the stiff-ish Yamaha gearchange has slackened off.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

On the whole pretty good – and far better than most cynics might expect from the MZ brand. Beautifully simple frame is bonded together and clever use of plastics and resins abound. Mechanicals, thanks in the main to the Yamaha supplied engine, are pretty solid too even if some components are a little on the cheap side…

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

Although ‘only’ a single, the MZ Skorpion remains one of the best singles of modern times and if you’re into that sort of motorcycling, or simply yearn after a slimline, lightweight allrounder, it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed – good value, too. Find an MZ Skorpion for sale.

Insurance group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

With the sort of lightweight the MZ Skorpion is less is generally more, so don’t expect much in the way of frills of added baggage. That said, they’re much nicer ‘things’ than the name MZ traditionally conjures up and the Traveller and Tour are proper touring machines – albeit sli,line, slinky ones…

Owners' Reviews

4 owners have reviewed their MZ SKORPION (1994-2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.8 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great All Rounder

28 September 2012 by siltec

I bought mine new in 2000 and still ride it. It has taken two of us on a camping tour to Spain and France, commuted to University, and been across the Irish sea. Only trailered home because of a puncture - tubeless are not easy at the roadside to... Read more fix. Actually the odd and expensive, but very sticky, tyres and their cost are my biggest gripe about the bike. Had some electric problems once. Pulling and pushing the loom cured it. Never worked out the cause but no probles since. Nice low seat, bit short in the leg but can put feet flat on floor. Motor does not scare sheep, they think it is the quad bike bringing them food! 60 mpg at 60 mph. I have lowered the gearing. 43t rather than 39t rear. Makes a much better general bike. At my age no longger into speed. A nice steady 50/60 all day. Up hill and down. Ah - going down hill is fun. So much engine braking that it is possible to go down a 1 in 4 in first without the brakes. Certainly scares off tailgating cars when no brake light appears. As it is bitza with 95% of bits from your local Yamaha and Ducati dealers servicing is a doddle. Even stripping the twin choke (on a single!) carburettor is not to difficult. Do not do the mileage now I am on my pension, but as an all year all rounder I will keep it a few years yet.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

MuZzer

21 October 2008 by sapperk9

Owned one from new. Exceptional out of the ordinary machine, replacing the rear shock has added to the enjoyment. See: http://www.kultcher.com/660.html Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

MZ SKORPION TRAVELLER

14 November 2007 by PHN750

In October 2007 I found myself with a job that required regular commuting from Portsmouth to Southampton plus the occasional long distance run. My old XS250 just wasn’t up to this punishment and was soon sold off to provide funds for a real bargain.... Read more A 1996 Skorpion Traveller with pannier kit for just £850! By coincidence I knew all the previous owners, bar the first, so knew I was purchasing a genuine low mileage and properly serviced machine. Having previously owned a Norton 650SS I was able to make a range of comparisons between the machines. Similar capacity engines with the same stroke at 89mm and both with engine power at around 45bhp. Similar dry weights around 175kg, and on the whole, similar handling on both wet and dry roads. Both bikes could be cruised at 80mph but this is where the Skorpion had the edge. At the end of a long journey you could get off the machine and your hands and fingers still functioned. There was still a complete bike ready for the return ride that would start at the push of a button. Ie no missing panels, footrests or kickstart. There were no oil puddles under the engine, primary chaincase or oil tank and all the lights still worked. My Skorpion has been a great purchase except in two respects. Firstly, the seat on my model is a killer on very long rides, mainly because you are wedged in one position. Secondly, the gearbox ratios are totally wrong for driving slowly. I find myself having to constantly clonk my way between first and second, especially when negotiating corners in town. The second and possibly third gears should have been lower to make driving at 20 to 25mph easier. Apart from that, it is a good, reliable and economical bike that I see holds its value second-hand.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Does what it says on the tin

01 April 2007 by dragstarjames

I bought a second hand Skorpion Sport about 4 years ago after reading a review in another mag. I was n't disappointed either, ok switchgear and lighting were a bit agricultural but handling and performance were spot on. Mine came fitted with a... Read more Scottoiler and cunsumables were easily obtained and fitted, I would recommend uprating the headlight bulb. To summerize no problems at all during all weather use, plastic mudguards a blessing re salted roads stuck to road like glue when ridden hard, recommend to anyone who wants a change from sanitised rice cookers.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 4 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1994
Year discontinued 2003
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 9 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 48 bhp
Max torque 42 ft-lb
Top speed 116 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 47 mpg
Tank range 124 miles
Specification
Engine size 660cc
Engine type 5v dohc single, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tube spine
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 173kg
Front suspension Preload, compression
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Single 316mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17in
Rear tyre size 150/60 x 17in

History & Versions

Model history

1994: MZ Skorpion Tour and Sport launched launched.
2001: MZ Skorpion Traveller launched. Range now badged as MZ, not MuZ.
2002: Sport discontinued.
2004: Tour and Traveller discontinued.

Other versions

MZ Skorpion Tour: Unfaired version.
MZ Skorpion Traveller: With full touring fairing and panniers.

Photo Gallery

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  • MZ Skorpion 660 motorcycle review - Riding
  • MZ Skorpion 660 motorcycle review - Side view
  • MZ Skorpion 660 motorcycle review - Riding
  • MZ Skorpion 660 motorcycle review - Riding
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