MZ is trying something different with its parallel twin 1000S and Streetfighter, but it lacks the X factor and doesn’t have the kind of dealer/distributor back-up you need when buying a slightly oddball motorbike. Decent to ride, and the Streetfighter version looks more appealing than the 80s style S model, but hasn’t really got anything novel or unique about it.
You have to admire MZ for building a parallel twin and making a good `un. The 1000S’s 999cc motor is punchy, not too vibey and makes adequate poke. It has a cassette type gearbox too, which is a bit of a novelty talking point. But as the Yamaha TRX850 demonstrated, many bikers aren’t especially keen on parallel twins and there are so many V-Twin, triple and four cylinder rivals in the 900-1200cc bracket, you have to wonder about the MZ 1000′s chances in a crowded marketplace.
The MZ 1000S looks well made and the German factory are obviously determined to make the bike reliable if nothing else. But motorcycles need more than reliability and the trouble with the MZ badge is that is still has a little bit of an image problem. The bike itself looks durable, but with no UK distributor, you would always wonder about sourcing spares and any warranty issues.
The MZ1000S and Streetfighter variant share the same chassis, with an Aprilia Falco-like steel tubular, twin spar type of frame, firm suspension and powerful brakes – though some road testers complain that they lack feel at the lever. It’s a bike which is designed to offer a sporty ride over A roads, when you feel like a weekend blast.
For eight grand new the MZ1000S waspoor value, no two ways about it. Resale values are likely to be low and the performance is hardly in the GSXR1000 league. The Streetfighter isn’t such a bad proposition at about £6500, but again, depreciation could cost you 40%-50% of the bike’s value in a couple of years if you’re unlucky.
There are some nice bits, but for a sportbike, the MZ 1000S doesn’t have cutting edge brakes, suspension or svelte bodywork. As a sports-tourer it has a good mix of power and handling, plus a comfortable seat – but would you be confident in getting your MZ fixed if it broke down in Spain? The fairly high end cans also limit the amount of luggage you can carry, so the MZ loses out in practical terms.