MZ engineers have dedicated their time to creating a brilliant performing 125cc naked bike that would introduce people to the wonderful world of motorcycling and the results are truly satisfying.
The highly modern four-valves, four-stroke engine and DOHC for more than 60mph develops a full 15 horsepower (11 KW) and MZ claims to have pulled the lucky card with this model as it is addressed to inexperienced riders in search for a docile and yet fun bike. Suspensions were highly tested and tuned in order for the bike to handle perfectly and to provide the much needed feetback.
But when it comes to appearance, the MZ RT definitely stands out as one of the best looking small naked bikes out there. Let’s get rolling!
I don’t thing I’ve ever wrote something about a bike that is such filled with heritage as the MZ RT 125, because that is the base motorcycle from which the RT-Striker ended up.
In the early 1930s a company named Das Kleine Wunder (The Little Wonder) in Zschopau, Germany started producing a 125cc two-stroke motorcycle named the RT. In the 1950s and 1960s, MZ took over the production of this model which was to be revived starting with 2000 model year. The bike was entirely new and featured a modern four-stroke engine, as well as design. It didn’t suffer any notable change ever since, except the introduction of the RT-Striker.
It is kind of hard to find 125cc naked bikes these days, not to mention a competitor for MZ’s highly acclaimed RT-Striker so I was thinking that it would be best to compare it with the Honda Nighthawk.
Even though the Honda features a 234cc air-cooled vertical twin-cylinder engine, the powerplant has SOHC; two valves per cylinder valve train and a five speed tranny, compared to MZ’s DOHC system with four valves per cylinder and the six-speed gearbox, the Honda ends up being one similar performing bike, despite its displacement.
After all, both of these models are meant to help riders gain experience and by completing this goal, they are being set one against the other.
With a base MSRP of only $3,699, but not featuring the performance brakes of the MZ and the sporty looks (it is supposed to be a cruiser), the Honda Nighthawk manages to make a good figure.
For 2008 MZ introduces the refined RT-Striker, a bike which relies on its design features to make a difference and many people reckon this recipe is successful.
You will notice the same naked look and features which characterize the simple RT 125 only that covered in an orange/black color scheme which makes the exterior lines stand out even more.
The front end is characterized by the typical round headlight and chromed instrumentation, but this baby is far from being a cruiser. Rims are black and the fender looks worthy of a Honda Hornet, as well as pretty much all of the bike’s front end.
Gas tank was and remains stylish only that the orange paintjob makes it even better. On this piece, the maker’s name, logo and model are attached because the seat dominates the rear end, leaving no room for plastics on which at least the model’s name would be written.
MZ blacked-out virtually everything it could (rims, sliding tube, flat handlebars) except the engine which remains anthracite.
Immediately after you swing a leg over it, the MZ RT-Striker manages to pull out the heavy artillery and have you amazed in an instant. It is a truly impressive small bike because it combines lightness with power and reliability. Comfort…no questions asked, simply wonderful!
I first got a feel of it in the city, the environment for which it was practically created. The 15 horsepower four-stroke single-cylinder motor enjoys revving and delivers the power effectively to the rear wheel, managing to transmit no vibrations through the seat, handlebars and pegs even when the throttle was widely opened in order to lose the cars when leaving from a stop light.
Handling becomes the sweetest thing when you have the handlebars of an MZ RT-Striker in your hands. This combined with the comfortable riding position and seat would soon have you wishing for this versatile motorcycle in your garage to take you to and from work every five days of the week and also through the surroundings of the city when slipping though cars.
At its great efficiency also contributes the suspension equipment and the strong disc brakes. A rider would feel more than secure on it and confident with applying the commands. Everything on this bike is where it is supposed to be and, of course, at quick reach so I felt well at home on it. Even though it doesn’t have the lowest seat, the average-sized riders and even shorties won’t have a hard time flat footing the ground.
But once you do feel properly accommodated and pleased with the way a bike performs between city blocks and red lights, the open road screams for you and the answer is easy predictable. Now, let’s be honest…you don’t buy this kind of bike to ride daily on the highway, but it will perform and, as I said before, the vibrations won’t become a problem.
Also outside town and at every ride you will be charmed by the smooth-shifting gearbox which has the benefit of a sixth gear. This allows the engine to prove its point even further and have the MZ going with its 67 mph top speed at any incursion on the open road that you will have.
Having spent a good two days on the RT-Striker and going 800 miles, I can say that the riding conditions are more than satisfying, the engine pulls strong enough not to let you down when in need and the looks of it are never disappointing. Nice beginners ride!
This sweet MZ is a real charmer by its nature, but now that it has received a new appearance, it will definitely stand out as a bigger bore bike and there will be nothing that would make you happier concerning your bike.
Engine: single cylinder, 4 stroke, 124ccm
Max. power: 11 kW (15 hp) at 9000 rpm
Max. torque: 11,7 Nm at 8500 rpm
Top speed: 108 kph (67,5 mph)
Front Tire: 110/70-17
Rear Tire: 130/70-17
Front brake: single disc
Rear brake: single disc
Front suspension: telescopic fork
Rear suspension: monoshock
Seat height: 770 mm
Wheelbase: 1355 mm
Weight w/o fuel: 133 kg
Max. load: 187 kg
Tank capacity: 13.5 l
Reserve: 3.6 l