I had always liked the look of the early 1960s Japanese 2 stroke race bikes but knew little of the history.
After a recommendation a few weeks ago by M.G.Vig I read Mat Oxley's "Stealing Speed".
The book outlines how Suzuki basically stole the technology from the East German MZ factory (via a high profile defection in 1961 by the lead MZ rider (and mechanic) Ernst Degner, who smuggled with him parts and plans from the MZ factory and gave them to Suzuki in return for a big sum of cash and a factory riding position and his engineering assistance to get the Suzuki bikes competitive. They certainly were not competitive up until Degner got to Suzuki when they became world beaters).
The MZ bikes are cool lookers too.
This is the MZ RE125:
(although this is a later 1971 model).
The later 2 stroke GP monsters like the NSR500, RG500 and YZR500 were all basically developments of the original ground breaking MZ 125 technology first developed in East Germany by Walter Kaaden and smuggled out by Degner.
Really interesting story. Cool looking bikes.