The Iron Pig: 1969 MZ Motorcycle
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The ES today
So what is there not to like? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as the saying goes. So is, presumably, ugliness — although in defense of whoever designed the Iron Pig the various parts actually fit together visually. The quality of materials never was up to the standards of Western manufacturers, much less the Japanese ones. The OEM tires were horrible in the wet, and the chrome peeled or rusted much too soon. Facing a strong headwind, with the easily detachable windshield up and the aforementioned lady placed in the sidecar seat, one might be stuck in third gear at 45mph all the way home. And if the optional hood isn’t used‚ turbulence behind the windshield ensures that her hair is well messed by the oil-rich exhaust. But that’s about it.
A total of 128,989 ES250/2s ran off the assembly line until the model was discontinued in 1973. Thirty-eight years later, spares are still cheap and easy to get, as are complete bikes — at least in Europe. There are enough MZ ES250/2s around (mainly in Germany) to keep prices at a reasonable level and to keep several shops busy selling parts, including aftermarket electronic ignition systems and go-fast bits. Really. If eBay sales are any indication, expect to pay about $2,000 for an outfit that works, but looks and feels used. $3,000 will buy a nice example, and yet another grand will get you a recently restored one. Achtchung baby! MC
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