Maico Motorcycles

Racing Days on a Maico 250

When I think back to my racing days I have fond memories of some of the dirt bikes I rode. I once joked that I rode a tank on two wheels and received some funny looks. I never had any doubts when riding my 250 Maico when it came to climbing hills or trudging down a thick sand wash. The motorcycle chugged through as long as I could hold on. Since I love hill climbing this was an awesome bike to do this on and the bike never left me stranded on the side of a hill. It was a little on the heavy side and thank goodness I didn't have to pick it up much. Other riders, especially female racers wondered how I started the thing, and I was puzzled since I had no problem starting it. The only time I would use colorful language was when the damn thing wouldn't start because it was flooded which probably was a result of me crashing. To further frustrate me was watching as riders raced by and my friend Caroline passes me as I struggle to get going. I raced my Maico for a couple of years and did very good on it. I may have gotten first that year in overall standings but that was ages ago and some years flow smoothly into the next. I look back fondly and remember I always made it to the finish line when I rode my Maico.

1973
1973
1977
1977
1979
1979
1982
1982
2009
2009

History and Future of Maico Motorcycles.

Maico motorcycle production began in 1926 in Germany by the Maisch brothers. It did okay but after the war business boomed after the introduction of a 123cc one cylinder two stroke in 1948. The next year they followed with a 150cc which was a bored-up 125 and by 1951 these models came out with new rear suspension. Maico also during the fifties came out with a Scooter that was available in two models. By the early 1960’s they had introduced an all terrain 247cc motorcycle the M 250 B. Maicos dominated the racing world in the 60's and 70's but by the early 80's things began to slide.

The company struggled on after 84 in the hands of one of the Maisch brothers until about 1988 when the company was sold to another German engineering firm. The company was sold again in about 1994 to a Dutch manufacturer of bicycle shock absorbers Reflex, and again a re-launch was undertaken with very little success. The company changed hands again but by 1999 the company was pretty much non-existent. With other dirt bikes making great progress in motorcycle engineering Maico fell into obscurity. Many hoped for a resurrection and some may have had the prayers answered with a bike that came out in 2009. The Maico legacy is now in the hands of a German company and orders for the new dirt bikes are rolling in. With further research I have not found any distributors here in the US but this bike seems to be a hit in the UK. The new dirt bikes come in MX and Enduro models ranging from 250, 320, 500, and 700 cc, which would be a handful. The Enduro model does not include the 700 cc bike. If this new bike lives up to the reputation of its predecessor it is a shame that it will be a hard find in the US and Canada.

Interesting Note: Maico sold more “Open Class” dirt bikes than Honda does today in total motocross bike sales.

If you are into vintage dirt bikes there are some good finds out there when it comes to Maico's. Do your research but think it you get one that was built before 1983 you will have a good bike. If I remember there were problems with the 84's having issues. One of the issues was the rear shock but that is an easy change if you wish to do so.

Have fun and keep the rubber side down.

Read More About Motorcycles

One of my favorite Hubs was about Steve McQueen and it had nothing to do with him being a great actor. Steve McQueen, Motorcycle Racer.

If you have read some of my other Hubs you know that one day I would love to own a vintage Penton 175cc Jackpiner. Read how it all began and the man behind Penton Motorcycles, USA, John Penton.

Then there is my other love, Ducati and how one day I will have a Monster in my garage.

Start of an Enduro, my Dad on his Maico and me on a KTM.  Late 70's or very early 80's.
Start of an Enduro, my Dad on his Maico and me on a KTM. Late 70's or very early 80's.

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Comments 4 comments

rk 4 years ago

atk is selling a mx bike called the intimidator that is using the maico 700 cc 2stroke engine--claimed 78 hp


mkott profile image

mkott 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada Author

@Eric

I do not know what enduro we are at, just that it was probably the 1980/81. Your Dad/Wheelsmith sponsored me one year due to the fact that Maico wouldn't because I was a female. I know your Dad ended up in Reno with a new business but that was years ago. We all still ride and Dad will be 75 in May. Still rides pretty good and still cannot keep up. I have fond memories about that bike and can't remember who had it before me!!! Grant Palanski maybe.


eric 6 years ago

I SEE YOU HAVE WHEELSMITH JERSYES ON.WHAT ENDURO WAS THE PICTURE TAKEN AT. MY DAD GREG SMITH OWNED WHEELSMITH MOTORCYCLES IN FOUNTAIN VALLEY. ITS GREAT TO SEE WM JERSEYS STILL OUT THERE!


tpe 6 years ago

Nice pictures we really see the evolution of the bikes.

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