Motorbike

MZ 1000SF review

Details
Manufacturer:
MZ
Category:
Naked
Overall
2
It's no longer for sale.
Ugly, crude and a bit of a joke.

IT WAS FAIR to say this was not the most glamorous of launches. There was no hot and cold running champagne, no business class flight to a far-flung land, and nor was there anyone offering me gifts and trinketry at every available opportunity. Nope, instead what I got was a half-hour trawl across London under my own steam followed by a lovely cup of tea and a biscuit at Jack Nice motorcycles in Walthamstow where the MZ1000SF awaited me.

But then had MZ blown the cash on a huge launch, they’d probably have had to stop making motorcycles for a few months to pay the bills so on reflection I’d say they took the right approach.

After an introduction to the bike (“This is the key, it goes here, umm, any questions?”), I was left to my own devices. Hitting the starter and feeling the motor growl into life instantly I was relieved this MZ was a far cry from the aged £200 ETZ250 I’d once owned. Had it not been I’d have been outside Mr Nice’s jolly nice shop a lot longer trying to start the bugger before giving up and getting a bus home.

Burbling back across London a couple of thoughts struck me. Firstly, this is really a rather good-looking motorcycle, and is certainly a vast improvement on the 1000S it’s been hewn from. Secondly, the nosecone is that far away it’s almost in another postcode, and thirdly, this is not a bike that enjoys a constant throttle. Drifting through traffic is fine, as long as you’re on the gas or off it, but try and hold it constant anywhere below 60mph and everything gets rather lumpy and a little stuttery. If you only want a town tool, then this ain’t it, but otherwise you soon learn to ride around it, and for the odd crosstown blast it’s really no bother.

Then again, this is a bloody big twin and there are still two huge 449cc pistons thumping their way up and down inside that lump so what this gives you in shove more than outweighs the odd slow speed jerk.

With London’s gridlock otherwise efficiently dispatched thanks to the MZ’s low centre of gravity and agile gap-hunting manners – a light nudge on either wide bar is enough to see the 1000SF dive left or right in the blink of an eye – we made it out to the far more open A3. Time to wind things up.

The lessons learned here were that speeding paranoia in the south east quickly sets in as you head past 90mph no matter how clear the roads, the MZ’s mirrors blur to invisibility at 95mph but return to full clarity at 110, and the flying wedge fairing is excellent meaning you could happily sit at a ton all day if you felt like it.

Diving off the A3 and heading in-country the MZ came alive. Its honest charms were already worming their way under my skin, but now the MZ played its ace card – it was a thoroughly good laugh.
The motor packs smooth and solid grunt lowdown, but hold her open some more and you’ll find a pleasing top end to play with too which, when wrapped instable but fast steering chassis with more than enough brakes, all makes for a lot of backroad fun.

There were a couple of glitches which raised their heads, like the old-school fuel injection which was easily caught out if you quickly blipped the throttle on fast downchanges, or the rear shock which all but gave up in tight, bumpy corners, letting the back end skip, but neither of these were ever disastrous. The throttle just needed a steadier approach while the rear shock could be improved with a dose of preload.

So sure, this bike has limits, but in these days of über-capable sports missiles whose feathers are barely ruffled before you’re approaching mach three, the MZ made a refreshing change. It packs more than enough punch but still leaves you feeling you’re very much the one in charge.

All in all, I’d say hats off to MZ. They’ve got a huge task ahead of them to prove their bikes are way better than the reputation their badge still carries from the bad old days, but if they can keep churning out bikes like this they’re definitely going the right way about it. And if you want a lumpy, chunky summer plaything to tear up the countryside on, then may I suggest you add the 1000SF to your shopping list. IT WAS FAIR to say this was not the most glamorous of launches. There was no hot and cold running champagne, no business class flight to a far-flung land, and nor was there anyone offering me gifts and trinketry at every available opportunity. Nope, instead what I got was a half-hour trawl across London under my own steam followed by a lovely cup of tea and a biscuit at Jack Nice motorcycles in Walthamstow where the MZ1000SF awaited me.

But then had MZ blown the cash on a huge launch, they’d probably have had to stop making motorcycles for a few months to pay the bills so on reflection I’d say they took the right approach.

After an introduction to the bike (“This is the key, it goes here, umm, any questions?”), I was left to my own devices. Hitting the starter and feeling the motor growl into life instantly I was relieved this MZ was a far cry from the aged £200 ETZ250 I’d once owned. Had it not been I’d have been outside Mr Nice’s jolly nice shop a lot longer trying to start the bugger before giving up and getting a bus home.

Burbling back across London a couple of thoughts struck me. Firstly, this is really a rather good-looking motorcycle, and is certainly a vast improvement on the 1000S it’s been hewn from. Secondly, the nosecone is that far away it’s almost in another postcode, and thirdly, this is not a bike that enjoys a constant throttle. Drifting through traffic is fine, as long as you’re on the gas or off it, but try and hold it constant anywhere below 60mph and everything gets rather lumpy and a little stuttery. If you only want a town tool, then this ain’t it, but otherwise you soon learn to ride around it, and for the odd crosstown blast it’s really no bother.

Then again, this is a bloody big twin and there are still two huge 449cc pistons thumping their way up and down inside that lump so what this gives you in shove more than outweighs the odd slow speed jerk.

With London’s gridlock otherwise efficiently dispatched thanks to the MZ’s low centre of gravity and agile gap-hunting manners – a light nudge on either wide bar is enough to see the 1000SF dive left or right in the blink of an eye – we made it out to the far more open A3. Time to wind things up.

The lessons learned here were that speeding paranoia in the south east quickly sets in as you head past 90mph no matter how clear the roads, the MZ’s mirrors blur to invisibility at 95mph but return to full clarity at 110, and the flying wedge fairing is excellent meaning you could happily sit at a ton all day if you felt like it.

Diving off the A3 and heading in-country the MZ came alive. Its honest charms were already worming their way under my skin, but now the MZ played its ace card – it was a thoroughly good laugh.
The motor packs smooth and solid grunt lowdown, but hold her open some more and you’ll find a pleasing top end to play with too which, when wrapped instable but fast steering chassis with more than enough brakes, all makes for a lot of backroad fun.

There were a couple of glitches which raised their heads, like the old-school fuel injection which was easily caught out if you quickly blipped the throttle on fast downchanges, or the rear shock which all but gave up in tight, bumpy corners, letting the back end skip, but neither of these were ever disastrous. The throttle just needed a steadier approach while the rear shock could be improved with a dose of preload.

So sure, this bike has limits, but in these days of über-capable sports missiles whose feathers are barely ruffled before you’re approaching mach three, the MZ made a refreshing change. It packs more than enough punch but still leaves you feeling you’re very much the one in charge.

All in all, I’d say hats off to MZ. They’ve got a huge task ahead of them to prove their bikes are way better than the reputation their badge still carries from the bad old days, but if they can keep churning out bikes like this they’re definitely going the right way about it. And if you want a lumpy, chunky summer plaything to tear up the countryside on, then may I suggest you add the 1000SF to your shopping list.

It's no longer for sale.
Ugly, crude and a bit of a joke.