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i want a maico...

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so i have an urge to get myself an old maico and race me some vintage MX, i have my heart set on an 81 490, always wanted one, i don't want a monoshock, i want the twin shock one!

but then theres the little problem of them being impossible to find in any condition over then rusted frame in the padock, soo what other maico's are worth a look?, i'd prefer a long travel opeen classer, although i think a 250 might just do, i did find two 82's with head and tail lights installed for off roading, but as i said i don't want a monoshock so i let them slide.

year's to look at?

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I know our opinions differ on Maicos, but is there some reason why you prefer the twin-shock 81 over the mono-shock 82 to 84 ?

The only open class Maico I rode was either an 82 or 83 single shock.

I guess if I objectively look at the bike it was not bad other than the awful left-kikk starter.

Parts took forever for the owner to get and it sure seemed like he was buying them a LOT more often than we had to for our RM's, KX's, and YZ's everybody else had.

This same guy was also a Bultaco fan and I won't even start that discussion as I have ZERO good to say about those.

I lost track of that guy, but I'm sure he is riding some sort of odd-ball ATK or Cannondale now....:D:)

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maico got the monoshock completly wrong, the 82 mono shock's handle terribly, 83 they got better but still no way near as good as the 81 with the twin shocks, and the mono's were heavier.

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You're right, the 81 was way better than the 82 and 83. The prices on the 81 reflects how much more people want them than the 82 or 83. FYI. The 83 Honda CR480 is a good bike and at a resonable price. :)

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Race ready 81 490's go for $4000+ here in the US. Restored, not less than $5000. I've seen really clean CR480 go for $2300-$2500. Good luck

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I have owned 3 81's Maico's over the years, 2 490's and 1 440. I race my current 81 490 (and a 74.5 440gp) at least once a month, every month of the year and it has proven to be ultra reliable as evidenced by not a single DNF in 3 years of racing. The key is to change the tranny oil after every day of racing or riding, the tranny only hold 600cc on the "magnum" series of engines. The 81's are the most sought after for a reason, they are one of the top MX bikes ever made, spend some time on one thats set up properly and you'll know why they command a premium price.

On the 82 single shock model Maico flubbed up the rear shock geometry and they actually broke the shock bodies. Most of the 82's you find today that have been raced have been fixed. The 83 Spyder (4 speed) is an awsome running and handling bike, can't go wrong with an 83. The 83 Sand Spyders had 5 speed trannies that had some gear failure problems due to improper heat treatment, but once again if you find one today thats been raced alot the problem has most likely been corrected.

I wouldn't rule out the 1979 400/440 magnum, it would be my second choice. The general consensus is that the 79's were one of the best all around handling Maico's ever built. So much in fact that it's a popular mod to put the 81 490 engine in the 79 chassis.

If you are looking for a good dependable, non-linkage bike to purchase and race at a reasonable price the 1980/81 YZ 465 is an excellent choice and parts are much more reasonable than the Maico parts.

Vintage MX is a blast, I got back into racing after A 30 year lay-off and having a blast. for the most part it's competitive but laid back racing.

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Bill Eyler does great work, you'll pay top dollar for his bikes but they are also "top shelf" rides.

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Sadly, the last great Maico Open bike was the '81 dual shocker. While the 82 and 83 models still had great engines, the single shock did not work as well as the previous dual shock rear suspension, let alone as well as the single shock models of other manufacturers. Plus they had the unfortunate habit of snapping the rear shock in half on a regular basis.

The best Maico open bike of all time was the '79 400 dual shocker. It was rocket fast and killed every other open bike of the day. Tough to find though, because every Maico fan wants one. Right behind it is the 74 radial head Adolf Weil 400 replica, but good luck finding one and you will need to see your banker if you do.

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Sadly, the last great Maico Open bike was the '81 dual shocker. While the 82 and 83 models still had great engines, the single shock did not work as well as the previous dual shock rear suspension, let alone as well as the single shock models of other manufacturers. Plus they had the unfortunate habit of snapping the rear shock in half on a regular basis.

The best Maico open bike of all time was the '79 400 dual shocker. It was rocket fast and killed every other open bike of the day. Tough to find though, because every Maico fan wants one. Right behind it is the 74 radial head Adolf Weil 400 replica, but good luck finding one and you will need to see your banker if you do.

The shock problem was corrected for the 83 model year. And as to what was the best Maico "open bike" of all time all one has to do is look at which models are the most sought after and command the highest prices. That would be the 501 (any year) the 81, 490 and the 74.5 GP. Not saying the 78/79 400/440's weren't a great bike it's just that in the Maico community they are a notch below the 81's.

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Part of the problem with the 82's was the incredibly high rising rate. The new Maico's still use a relatively high rising rate (1999 and newer). If you have someone who knows what they are doing spring and valve the shock CORRECTLY, you will find these bikes handle as well as the earlier bikes. Don't forget to respring the forks to balance the front to rear spring rates. Give me a properly sprung single shocker any day of the week, even over the over priced 81 490's.

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BigBore,

how's the power on the new 500 compared to the 81 490? Been salivating to ride one of the newer Maico 500's. Did you get it from John @ Canadian Maico?

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Sadly, the last great Maico Open bike was the '81 dual shocker. While the 82 and 83 models still had great engines, the single shock did not work as well as the previous dual shock rear suspension, let alone as well as the single shock models of other manufacturers. Plus they had the unfortunate habit of snapping the rear shock in half on a regular basis.

The best Maico open bike of all time was the '79 400 dual shocker. It was rocket fast and killed every other open bike of the day. Tough to find though, because every Maico fan wants one. Right behind it is the 74 radial head Adolf Weil 400 replica, but good luck finding one and you will need to see your banker if you do.

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I had an Adolf Weil Replica 400. Bought for $50 at garage sale. Missing kicker due to it breaking owner's leg (his words). This was about 1991. Never bothered with anything other than admiring it. Mostly complete, beautiful aluminum tank. Sold it to friend who restored bikes for same price, before moving back east.

Thought he would be good caretaker. Ran into hin years later hoping to purchase(or at least see) the bike.

Unfortunately a methhead relative stole it, never seen again. I'd love to find it if anyone sees a tweaker in ANTELOPE VALLEY/CALIFORNIA selling or trading it.

Definitely wish I had kept it. Always admired the big Maicos Circa 78-81 and remember ducking from the roost as they blew by my 125 at Indian Dunes.

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Does vintage racing a dual shock put you in a different class than the monoshocks? Depending on what vintage sanctioning body or club you're going to race with, you may be better off with a dual shock. I had 2 mid 70's dual shock 400's (at different times) and had NO trouble with reliability. Obviously, this was before long travel suspension was available from everyone but except for that, it was the best turning bike I have ever ridden. Geez, wish I kept it but when I sold it, I needed the money!

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I had an Adolf Weil Replica 400. Bought for $50 at garage sale. Missing kicker due to it breaking owner's leg (his words).

I was just thinking of this comment. The early/mid 70's had a little different way of doing their compression release. The difference was it was in the side of the cylinder about a half inch down from the top and unlike todays releases, both 2t & 4t, the bike would start and run with the lever pulled. In fact you were NOT even supposed to try to start them without pulling the lever. If someone didn't know that, I could see breaking something, whether it be mechanical or a foot, etc., if they didn't use the lever.

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had 400 440 and 490. didn't like the later watercooled hit and powerband, the early motor just put the power down better IMO. Plus the linkage bikes felt so much heavier in the day (probably not so much now) quality also seemed to slip by the time they got "improved". remember many holdover bikes from the bad rap they were getting.

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