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Maico 400cc Motocross – 1973

By 1973, the Maico 400 and 440 models were the top choice of open class riders in America. Riders like German Champion, Adolph Weil showcased the big Maico’s well. Razor sharp handling, very linear and torquey power, and excellent suspension made the Maico’s hard to beat, especially on hard-packed track like Carlsbad and Saddleback.

Unfortunately, Maico’s also earned a reputation for poor reliability. “Maico Breako” and “Maico, Maico, made of tin, ride em out and push em in’ were often used to describe the German motorcycles. Fortunately, performance shops like Wheelsmith Engineering in Santa Ana were able to respoke the wheels, reline the brakes, fix the clutches, and make other modifications to improve the big Maico’s reliability. The 125cc and 250cc Maico’s were never popular, though both were also good handling motorcycles. The price was probably the biggest problem, though not much a barrier for the Open Class riders, who generally were older.

This example was purchased from a friend, Steve Donovan who did the restoration.

Images are property of The Early Years of Motocross Museum, ®2006