MZ was an East German motorcycle manufacturer located in Zschopau, Saxony. The acronym MZ stands for Motorenwerke Zschopau GmbH (German for Zschopau engine factory).
In the 1980s MZ was regarded by the British motorcycle press as producing ugly and old-fashioned (if worthy) motorcycles however, there was a hard-core set of UK fans who loved this relatively, cheap and easy-to-repair bike.
Julian Howe was a big fan of the MZ bike. He tells of a bizarre honeymoon of fellow MZ club members which involved MZ bike fans from across the UK touring Western Europe and the Warsaw Pact Countries.
From sharing drinks with border guards to being on the receiving end of CS gas in Krakow it’s a tour through late 1980s Europe on the back of a two-stroke MZ motorbike.
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I am delighted to welcome Julian Howe to our Cold War conversation…
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