MZ SKORPION (1994 - 2003) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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…
|Engine type||5v dohc single, 5 gears|
|Frame type||Steel tube spine|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, compression|
|Front brake||Single 316mm disc|
|Rear brake||240mm disc|
|Front tyre size||110/70 x 17in|
|Rear tyre size||150/60 x 17in|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||47 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||-|
9 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||48 bhp|
|Max torque||42 ft-lb|
|Top speed||116 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||14.3 secs|
|Tank range||124 miles|
Model history & versions
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.
MZ Skorpion Tour: Unfaired version.
MZ Skorpion Traveller: With full touring fairing and panniers.
Owners' reviews for the MZ SKORPION (1994 - 2003)
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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
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 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.
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
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. 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.
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 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.