Simplicity at the service of efficiency

Yes, let's face it. When in 1994 we saw for the first time, on the cover of one of our favorite magazines, the newly released MüZ Skorpion 660 Sportand the Tour variant in naked version, most of us turned the page and went in search of “strong sensations” in the form of a high-performance sports car, mainly from Japan.

Because what is clear is that standing out in what is considered the golden age of motorcycling was not an easy task. If you also had to share the spotlight, in that same season, with machines of the level of the newly released Kawasaki Ninja ZX-9R or the long-awaited successor to the Honda RC30, the new RVF750R RC45, things were getting complicated to say the least.

However, it must be taken into account that the Skorpion 660, in its Sport version, had not been developed to compete with high-performance sports cars. Nor with exclusive models equipped with premium equipment and a marked halo of exclusivity. The new frame of the recently resurrected German brand sought one thing above all: Efficiency. Furthermore, he did it under an essential precept: the simplicity.

It is evident that when you are 18/20 years old your desires are always oriented, generally, towards flashy, powerful motorcycles loaded with technology. However, the passage of time usually offers you different perspectives within this fantastic world of two wheels, and you begin to look at motorcycles like the MüZ Skorpion 660 Sport, capable of offering you lots of fun asking for very little in return.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

For this reason, among others, in what is its 30th anniversary, we want to review its legacy, immersing ourselves in the history of the model and its variants. Also in its passage through the competition and evolution of the model until the end of its commercial life, back in 2002. But also confirming that, three decades after its launch, it is still in top shape with a large number of followers of its marked philosophy. .

MüZ Skorpion Sport 660: Perfect balance

The old MZ, converted in the early 90s into MüZ and commanded by a wealthy German businessman who would take over 80% of the shares, would trust the English of Seymour Powell to develop the chassis of the Skorpion 660 Sport whose design included, as a novelty, welded parts and others glued with aeronautical adhesives.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

At the beginning of the project, the original idea was to equip the Rotax engine from the bmw f650 contemporary, but that agreement would not ultimately come to fruition. So the German brand ended up resorting to the services of Yamaha, later using the mechanics that were mounted on the everlasting XTZ 660.

You could say that we were facing the “simplicity squared”. On the one hand, a double tubular steel beam chassis and, on the other, the well-known and more than tested 660 cc four-stroke single-cylinder, inherited directly from a Japanese trail bike. If we add to this some Spartan design lines and equipment in accordance with the philosophy of the model, the result was a truly effective and versatile frame that did not overly demand its pilot, nor his pocket.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

On the other hand, the brand had its eyes on what, at that time, had become one of the most recurring competitions in much of the European continent. We are talking, of course, about the multiple cups and races in the SoS (Sound of Singles) category.

The MüZ Skorpion 660 Sport It became de facto an excellent base for this type of racing thanks to the simplicity of the set, its light weight and the infinite possibilities it had, in addition to a tight starting price that did not reach one million pesetas.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

MüZ Skorpion Sport 660: The technique

The German brand's engineers did not look for alternative solutions or implausible inventions when shaping this Skorpion 660 Sport. In addition to the above, a double tubular steel beam chassis already anchors the 660 cc single cylinder inherited directly from the Tenere of the moment, the new MüZ Skorpion 660 It used technical solutions in accordance with the physiognomy and benefits that the model could offer us.

In mechanical terms, the four-stroke SOHC single-cylinder, water-cooled and with 5 valves in the cylinder head, installed in the Skorpion 660, It was fed by two 26 mm Teikei carburetors, and in turn associated with a 5-speed gearbox.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

In practical terms we had 48 HP of power at 6,500 rpm and 58 Nm of maximum torque at 5,500 revolutionsbeing able to catapult the 170 kg declared empty until the 175km/h approximately. Although these figures may seem, at first glance, somewhat scarce for a sports-style motorcycle, nothing could be further from the truth.

Pure performance was not the dogma to be pursued in the Skorpion 660 Sport, rather how to be able to take advantage of them 100% in practically any circumstance. For this, the German sports car also had separate brake discs, one per axle. At the front, a 316 mm disc driven by a four-piston Grimeca caliper, while at the rear we had a second example, 240 mm in this case and gripped by a double-piston caliper.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

In the suspension section, perhaps the Achilles heel of the model, MüZ integrated a conventional fork with 120 mm of travel at the front, acting together with a central monoshock, anchored to the rear and equipped with 130 mm of travel. Three-spoke alloy wheels, shod with Pirelli Dragon tires measuring 110/70-17 and 150/60-17, completed this section.

MüZ Skorpion Sport 660: When we learn to value what is really important

MCN explains in a detailed article about the model in 2006 that “The Skorpion was stylishly designed (by acclaimed Brit Seymour-Powell) using a Yamaha engine that proved a refreshing and capable antidote to the Japanese four in the mid to late 90s. Light, agile, affordable, generally reliable and reassuringly practical.”

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

And it is here where we must again refer to the idiosyncrasies of the model to understand the reason for being of the Skorpion 660 Sport. But to do this we have to leave behind preconceived ideas such as “a big donkey walks or not” or “it's better to have more than enough,” for example.

The issue was not only to develop a simple, economical and versatile motorcycle. He also had to treasure that ability to bring a smile to everyone who placed himself under his command, and this MüZ Skorpion 660 He managed to do it and also in a very personal way.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

However, all that did not prevent the brand from ending up closing at the end of 2008, at which time the Malaysian group Hong Leong withdrew the financial support it had been giving it since 1996. Six years earlier, in 2002, production of the Skorpion ceased and its variants, although there are copies registered until the 2004 season.

MüZ Skorpion Sport 660: Versions

In addition to the aforementioned tour version, a Skorpion in naked version, MüZ launched the so-called Traveler on the market in 1995, equipped with a full fairing and a set of suitcases. Finally, we had two sports variants with improved specifications compared to the street version.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

One of them, the so-called Skorpion 660 Cupand intended for competition, it was stripped of everything unnecessary for driving on a track, in addition to having a complete fairing and single-seater seat.

By 1995, the MZ Skorpion 660 Replica was launched on the market, in a special and limited version, a variant also dressed with a complete fairing and various improvements to its cycle part. All of them based on competition experience and among which stood out an inverted WP fork, or tires measuring 120 mm and 160 mm front and rear.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

The braking was made up of two 300mm Brembo discs at the front and the final weight was reduced to 168kg thanks to the use of Marchesini wheels. The stock exhaust was replaced by a raised 2-2 from Sebring which extracted a little more power (50 HP at 6,500 revolutions250 RPM above the speed reached in the rest of the versions). In total, only 250 units of this version were manufactured. and, along with the Copa variant, they were the last to appear.

MüZ Skorpion Sport 660 on the track

Without a doubt one of the greatest achievements of the Skorpion 660 Sport was to become an ideal motorcycle to compete in the various SoS cups that were held at that time. According to what was said at the time, its reliable mechanics could be prepared efficiently. increasing the series specifications by more than 50%.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

Even today, after 27 seasons, the MZ-Cup is still being played in Germany, using Skorpion 660 Sport slightly modified. Throughout the year, 5 events are held, with two races in each of them, as well as a special annual endurance test lasting 2 hours. All motorcycles use Bridgestone tires and in no case can they exceed 55 HP of power.

MüZ Skorpion Sport 660 today

The MüZ Skorpion 660 turns 30 in 2024 and just like then, it remains a niche market frame only visible to some petrolhead manual, like the above signatory. We assume that you will not know anyone who has had one of these, and in many cases most fans probably do not even know or remember the model.

30th anniversary MüZ Skorpion 660: Simplicity at the service of efficiency

It is something natural because, as we have tried to convey throughout this article, the Skorpion 660 It is a mount that was born under precepts of low success, at that time. However, a few crazy sensation lovers still see it as the ideal motorcycle, when it comes to fun, versatility and low cost.

For everything else we recommend enormous amounts of technology, although most of it we will never use and in order to have it we have to mortgage one kidney and part of another.

Sources: 1–2–3–4

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