First glimpse of MZ GP motor

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This is the engine MZ will take into the MotoGP series and which will power the firm’s first superbike.

The 90° V4 is already running on the test bench, though so far the firm has only revealed this computer-generated model.

It is thought to use the full 990cc capacity allowed under MotoGP rules and its output already looks competitive, with early versions making 220bhp at 17,200rpm. Eventually, the firm hopes for 250bhp at 18,000rpm. Torque is also impressive, with 89ftlb at 9800rpm.

MZ may be the smallest MotoGP contender, but its engine is one of the most high-tech, incorporating Formula One technology such as pneumatic valves which eliminates valve bounce and allows the motor to rev higher. So far, only Aprilia’s Cosworth-developed triple has made use of similar technology on the track.

MZ has been working on the motor for nearly two years, but it will take a lot longer for it to reach mass production. While the race version is intended to be ready to compete in the last two rounds of this year’s season in preparation for a full campaign in 2003, the road motor is unlikely to debut before 2006, because it will have to be redesigned to replace the pneumatic valves with conventional springs.

Speaking to MCN at the launch of the firm’s race bike earlier this year, MZ’s technical boss Jürgen Zuern said: " It will take four or five years to develop an alternative to the pneumatic system for use on the road. "

The 16-valve motor uses a dry sump to make it more compact, and the gearbox is separate from the engine.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff