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1999 MZ Sport CupMSE Ratings

1999 MZ Sport CupWe specifically tested the Skorpion Sport Cup and the Black Panther.

AddedDate Added: 18th September 1999
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Editor Contributor's Review

The best thing about both of these bikes is that they\'re different sorts of dual purpose machines: you can ride them on the street or you can race them in one of the Skorpion Cup series around the country. For my money nothing tops spec-class racing.

The Engine

The power plant that MuZ uses in these two bikes is a Yamaha 660cc, single cylinder, four-stroke, overhead cam, four valve. The two pipes and two carbs will confuse the car guys into thinking that the bike is a twin. Personally I\'d keep the ruse going and swear to God that it\'s a twin. It will make them feel better thinking that their $80,000 sports car was outperformed by a twin rather than a single.

The clutch is cable-actuated and the trany is a five speed, although I at first was thinking it would be six. Shifting up until a bike has no more gears and then going back in the other direction is fine until one knocks the bike down five gears without releasing the clutch between shifts and second turns out to be first. "Oh… it\'s a five speed." I prefer to have the bike tell me about itself rather than read the specs beforehand.

The engine has a fairly narrow power curve for what one might expect from a single but, then again, it is a small single. Optimizing the engine\'s abilities necessitates full-throttle and much shifting. If you\'re a motorcyclist who likes to just sort of ride along, you will not notice this. It takes the flog-everything-to-its-limit attitude for a rider to care or notice the width of the power curve. Anyway, the fun thing about little bikes like these MuZs is that you can find that limit long before you\'re going 130 mph over the legal speed limit. Because of the dangers of serious horsepower flogging, big bikes require respect, but flogging little ones simply requires disrespect. You tell me which is more fun.

The Sport Cup version of the Skorpion is the full-out racing model for use in any regional or national class that allows its size and, most importantly, in one of the Skorpion Cup racing series. The Skorpion line of bikes is a somewhat conventional sportbike configuration based on a twin-spar frame. The frame is steel but painted silver and it is unique yet simple and effective in its design of round-section tubing terminating into stamped steel swingarm plates. A nice touch for a bike in this class is that the Skorpion has adjustable rear sets to help racers get the pegs up for more ground clearance.

The rear shock only has tabbed adjustments for preload but the 41mm forks don\'t have any adjustments for anything at all. If you\'re serious about tuning the forks, though, this isn\'t any problem because the springs and oil weight can easily be changed. Since the Skorpion is such a light bike, once the desired setup is attained, it will most likely be fine at every track - it\'s generally only big bikes that require delicate, track-specific tuning.

The rear sets have two mounting points allowing riders to adjust the position to suit their riding needs.

If loud pipes do create an illusion of speed, this bike is one of the world\'s fastest. The rear cowl cover is removed with a key and the seat comes free by pulling a cord hidden in the tailsection. Since the Skorpion Sport Cup is the full-race version of the Skorpion, the bike comes with a full-race exhaust canister which is in no way legal in any state at anytime of the day. In other words, the pipe is very, very loud. "What?" Get this bike if you\'re going to race, but don\'t get this Cup version of the Skorpion for the street. And there\'s no need to, they have a Sport version too, and it is street legal. I appreciate a loud pipe just as much as anyone but there is a limit. The fact that we rode this Cup bike on the streets rather than in the racing series is our fault. I\'m hoping to fix that.

The Sport Cup comes with a cowl cover for the tail section rather than a passenger pad because most racers don\'t carry passengers. The front pad is just a thin little thing but it is shockingly comfortable for long trips, which is exactly what we used both of these bikes for. The fairing also offers real wind protection and the brakes are more than adequate for the light weight of the machine. Not only is the bodywork plastic, but so is the tank.

Overall, the fit and finish are maybe not as polished as a Honda\'s, but it\'s a long, long way from ragged. These are real bikes that are well within the standards of the marketplace, and they don\'t have to make excuses for coming from a small company.

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