ASK THE MXPERTS: DID TM STEAL THE TWIN EXHAUST IDEA FROM HONDA?

If TM copied Honda, then Honda copied Suzuki, who copied CZ. History repeats itself.

THE ORIGINATOR AND THE CLONE

Dear MXA,

It seems odd that MXA would test a 2019 TM MX250FI and never mention that TM stole the idea for twin exhausts from the Honda. I think that the originator of a concept should get full credit, while bikes that steal ideas should be called out.

Let’s make it clear that motocross designs are advanced by building on the creative ideas of those who came before. For example, almost all modern two-stroke concepts and engine designs came from the mind of East German engineer Walter Kaaden. He was the first to understand the pressure wave theory that makes a two-stroke expansion chamber work. Kaaden’s ideas were so revolutionary that they were kept under lock and key at the MZ factory in East Germany. This was during the Cold War, so MZ thought that the two-stroke ideas it was using for its 50cc and 125cc World Road Racing Championship bikes were safe. Unfortunately for MZ, an MZ factory racer named Ernst Degner defected from communist-run East Germany in 1961 and ended up at Suzuki a week later, reportedly with blueprints of Kaaden’s engine and expansion chamber designs. No surprise, Suzuki built an exact replica of Kaaden’s MZ race bike, and Degner, now a Suzuki factory rider, won the 1962FIM 50cc World Championship on it. The following year, Hugh Anderson won Suzuki the 1963 125 World Championship on another MZ clone.Four-stroke pipe concepts were started in the early 1900s and advanced in the 1930s before progressing through the Balooy pipe and eventual to reverse-cone megaphones and onward to today. If there is a thief in the exhaust pipe business, the statute of limitation ran out many decades ago.

As for your assertion that TM stole the twin-exhaust idea from Honda, you need to look back to the 1960s when CZ was dominating the World Motocross Championships on dual port and dual-exhaust CZ250 and CZ360 twin-pipers (ridden by Paul Friedrichs, Joel Robert and a young man named Roger DeCoster). You may also want to look at the 1968 Suzuki TM250 (shown above), which was almost a direct copy of a CZ.

 

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