Strangest Maico Ever: 1470cc Dirt Bike!

Apr. 11, 2016 By Rick Sieman
Take a look.  Then take another look.  Yep, there are three engines stuffed into that frame.

While walking around the swap meet and bike display area at an AHRMA Vintage Bike National at Mid-Ohio, we saw all kinds of neat, exotic, rare and strange bikes.  After a few hours, nothing phased me and my old buddy Tom.

Then we saw something that stopped us in our tracks! 

We look at this bike and literally we were slack-jawed! I tried to say something rational and it came out as "duh," or some other babbling dribble.

There, in front of us, was a three-cylinder 490 Maico! Yep, three huge 490 motors all  hooked together. We walked around the "thing" and tried to take it all in.

Think about this: a stock 490 Maico puts out about 60-plus horsepower.  Three of them hooked together would crank out somewhere around 200 crazed ponies.

Clamp-on air cleaners ride on Type 54 Bing carbs.

When we tried to get more information about the bike, all we could glean was that the unit was built for sidecar racing, and while it actually ran in its current configuration it had never been ridden in any sort of a complete package. There was no way any sort of kickstarter would work on the bike, but there was a big socket attached on one end of the motor and it could be started by putting an electric powered lug wrench tool into the half-inch drive socket.

How much horsepower? The bike has never been on the dyno, but it should put out close to 200 hp ... or more.

 Well, there you have it: An exercise in experimentation. But when all things are said and done, quite frankly, it's a waste of three perfectly good Maico 490 motors. Newsletter
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