MZ unveils ‘250bhp’ V4 GP bike

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THESE are the first pictures of MZ’s contender for the new four-stroke MotoGP series.

At the bike’s launch in Leipzig, Germany, the firm announced that a version of the bike’s 250bhp, 90-degree V4 engine will eventually form the basis of a supersports machine.

The prototype pictured contains a non-running mock-up of the powerplant. But a running version has been tested and the complete bike is due to undergo its first track test in May.

At 990cc, the motor takes full advantage of the maximum capacity allowed under Moto GP series rules.

The engine employs pneumatic valves, as used by Aprilia in its all-new four-stroke GP triple. But pneumatic valves need an external compressed-air supply to charge the system before the bike starts. " The engine used in the race bike will be completely uncompromising, " said Juergen Zuern, MZ’s technical boss. " It will take four or five years to develop a pneumatic system for the road. "

The bike unveiled at the show features a tubular steel chassis – one of several designs the firm intends to test. Zuern added: " Tubular steel is easier to work with and offers weight advantages. Although aluminium is lighter, by the time its been made strong enough it’s so bulky that the chassis ends up heavier. And it’s much easier to make adjustments to, say, the front or rear end of a steel chassis without disrupting the whole balance and design.

" But an aluminium chassis will also be ready very soon, " said Zuern. " Which one we eventually use will depend on feedback from the riders. "

The bike features Ohlins forks and rear shock, and Nissin brakes.

One thing that’s unlikely to change is its distinctive bodywork – the result of extensive wind-tunnel testing.

MZ doesn’t expect the bike to be ready to enter a MotoGP race until October.

Watch out for more pictures on this site as we get them plus more detail in MCN February 13.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff