Founded in the mid-1930s, Maico built two-stroke lightweights at first but soon was forced to change direction to support Germany's war effort. The firm did not resume motorcycle production until 1947. But whereas before the war proprietary engines had been used, Maico now built complete machines using its own power units. Although its roadsters made little impact in markets beyond central Europe, Maico became one of the major players on the international moto-cross scene in both Europe and North America. While nowhere near as well financed as the Japanese factories, Maico mounted a serious challenge to them throughout the 1970s thanks to stellar performances by the likes of Adolf Weil, Åke Jonsson, Willy Bauer, and Graham Noyce. Although the German firm did win the Manufacturers' World Championship in the premier 500cc class, it was never able to claim the individual title. The American magazine Motocross Action called the 490cc Maico Mega 2 of 1981 the greatest open-class moto-cross bike of all time. Today Maico's class-leading machines of this era are among the most sought-after of post-war moto-cross machines.
One of the final twin-shock Maicos, this '490' has been fully restored, including a complete engine rebuild, and has been raced only once since the rebuild's completion. We are advised that the machine incorporates some contemporary engine and fork updates. There are no documents with this Lot.