It might not look particularly revolutionary, but this understated 125 supermoto could prove to be one of the most significant motorcycles of 2013.
Not only is it the first new product of the recently-revived, German MZ marque, it follows the firm’s historic tradition of introducing pioneering technology – in this case variable valve timing
Basically, although the bottom half of the 125cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single cylinder engine is the familiar engine MZ has been using for years, the top half and head is all-new.
Instead of using a conventional camshaft with fixed valve timing, the MZ has a revolutionary head design whereby a stepper motor and an ingenious internal mechanism actuate the inlet valve enabling, via ride-by-wire and a sophisticated ECU, valve lift and duration to be optimized, whatever the rpm.
Designed by MZ associate and designer Uwe Eisenbeis, MZ says the system makes its new engine truly revolutionary – the first in the world to not require a throttle body for the delivery and regulation of the air/fuel mixture.
The benefits of this, Wimmer told MCN, are two fold: First, engine performance can be optimised across the whole rev-range rather than deliver a ‘fixed’ peak power figure, as with conventional engines, which then necessarily compromises performance across the rest of the range.
So, at high rpms, for example, there is high valve lift, while at low rpms there is low valve lift.
And, second, because performance and combustion is more efficient, but also due to fewer rotating parts and reduced frictional losses, fuel consumption is enhanced, too.
MZ is claiming an mpg improvement of up to 30% over comparable, conventional layouts.