Devotees of Eastern European motorcycles will be delighted to learn that their bikes have just become a little easier to keep on the road. MZ enthusiast Phil Speakman has converted his long-time hobby into a going concern and has opened for business with the all-new online MZ Shop...
The MZ Shop doesn’t sell bikes, but will be offering a huge range of MZ and Simson spare parts and components to the UK market. Phil and his partner Amanda have taken over the existing MZ spares which were previously owned by Fred Rogers, and Phil has devised an online cataloguing and ordering system so you can rummage (in a virtual sense) through the stock to your heart’s content, or go direct to the part you’re looking for. There are plenty of illustrations of different components, too, so you can check that you’re looking at the right widget before you press the ‘buy’ button.
You can also order gift vouchers (for the MZ man in your life…?) or just take part in the current survey on the homepage: what’s your favourite Zschopau-built MZ, for instance?
Phil and Amanda took on the herculean task of transferring all the stock – over 6000 items spread across a dozen different models of MZ and Simson machines – to their new warehouse. As each component finds its new home so it is added to the MZ Shop’s database, accessible at the new site at www.theMZshop.co.uk
Says Phil; ‘With the aid of this new technology, we hope to build on the fantastic work Fred has already done in keeping MZ and Simson motorcycles firmly where they belong. On the road!’
Phil’s set up the site to make it easy for MZ owners to find the part they need. ‘We’ve designed our website around a similar format to the original MZ parts manuals, allowing owners to select the model of their machine(s) and from there locate the components required from the subsequent clearly laid out web pages. Our sophisticated search facility also allows people to locate an individual component from within our range of components, either by its part number or from its description.’
Delivery charges are calculated automatically, based on the total weight of the order, and these costs are shown up-front before you make your purchase and are included in the total price. So there’s no sneaky hidden extras to catch you out at the last stage of payment. Once you’ve completed your order you can pay online with a credit or debit card, or if you prefer you can ring up and – wonderfully – speak to a person, and give your cards details over the phone.
That human touch is important, says Phil. ‘We appreciate that not everyone in the MZ world is up to speed with online technology, so we will be available via the telephone between 10am and 3:30pm on weekdays.’ There may be brief gaps in that coverage while staff dash off with urgent orders, but Phil promises to call back if you leave a message on 0151 493 1390.
For those who are happy to shop online and are likely to become a regular customer of the MZ Shop, you’ll be able to set up a user account where you can add different delivery addresses and track the progress of your orders. Phil will also be running an email newsletter service – he promises no spam, just useful updates about interesting events and new products.
Phil doesn’t expect that setting up a new business will be entirely straightforward. ‘Nobody is more aware than us that picking up from where Fred Rogers left off is not going to be easy. The next few months will I'm sure be very hectic. But with the hard work we’ve already put in and with the technological assistance of our new website, we hope to be able to provide an excellent new MZ and Simson parts service for all of our customers.’
Originally appeared in RealClassic magazine May 2012