Thursday, March 30, 2023

1981 Maico Mega 2 - 490cc

Maicowerk A.G., known by its trading name Maico is the name of a family company in the Swabian town of Pfäffingen near Tübingen. Founded in 1926 by Ulrich Maisch as Maisch & Co, the company originally manufactured 98 and 123 cc Ilo two-stroke engines. After World War II, they began producing their own unit construction two-stroke engines, selling complete motorcycles. Maico made a brief foray into the automobile business with their own line of microcars in the late 1950s. Maico have also made go kart engines.

The road motorcycles were named after winds... "Blizzard", "Typhoon" etc., but the company was better known for its purpose-built motocross and enduro machines, and for its 'Maicoletta' motor scooters, all of which sold in higher numbers than the road motorcycles.

Maico motocross (MC) and enduro (GS) racing models proved very successful in both European and American competition throughout the 1970s. While lacking the financial capital and big money race-team backing like that of the Japanese factories of Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki, Maico riders such as Adolf Weil, Åke Jonsson and Willy Bauer proved to be serious challenges to the Japanese factories and produced numerous top-three finishes in the Motocross World Championships. The firm also experienced some success in Grand Prix road racing competitions with rider Börje Jansson winning three 125cc Grand Prix races between 1972 and 1973.

American publication Motocross Action called the 1981 Maico Mega 2 - 490cc the greatest open-class motocross bike of all time.

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