Maico Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

1974 Maico 450 Modified to GP

Thanks for offering to put the pictures of my Maico on your web site. It is an honor to have my pride and joy on the one and only Maico Madness web page. I bought this 1974 Maico 450 when I was 15 years old and raced it in the Open class for about three years.

In 1978 I retired it to unfortunately sit in the back of my garage for the next twenty years. Since I had been out of racing for quite a while, I didn't know how these bikes have gone up in value. When I found out I decided to put some bucks into it and get it back to as near to stock as I could. I could never sell this bike, it is too dear to my heart. I even tell my daughter that it has more seniority than she does. :-)

I started by completely stripping all the old paint off and to repaint it to exactly how it was when I bought it. New tires were a must as it still had the original front on it. I put on new fork tubes as the originals were a little twisted from the last ride (crash) 20 years ago. I put on the heaver tubes that are being made now. Every single part was painted, beaded, brushed or other wise refinished back to like new. Most of the parts were purchased from NW Maico, those guys really helped me a lot. As it sits now it has all the original parts except the fenders, handlebars and grips, fork tubes, seat cover and rear shocks.

I purchased it in late 1974, but before I took delivery from Goodrich Cycles in Osceola, we dismantled it and sent the frame out to Wheelsmith to have it forward mounted. While it was out there, Wheelsmith experienced a massive burglary, and my frame was stolen. Wheelsmith replaced it with a pro frame they were making for the National series the next year (1975). What a deal for a 15 year old!! The tank is fiberglass and I am not sure if the airbox is original, of if it was made to be used with the new forward mounted frame. The dealer can't remember either but we think it was furnished by Wheelsmith.

I don't know exactly what a 1974 GP Maico is, but I think mine was a standard model with the fiberglass tank and was then modified into a GP style by Wheelsmith. From what you can see, am I anywhere near correct? Some have told me that Maico never sold bikes with this style of fiberglass tank. Others say it was an option and could be ordered with it from the factory. Even others said it was made that way by Cooper (the importer). Who knows?

This bike really pulls of the start and will stay with my brothers modern KX250. I am looking for a Mikuni VM 36mm to really help smooth it out. The original Bing just sort of dumps gas into the motor (plus a bit on top of the tranny).

I entered myself into an arena cross this July and brought both of us out of retirement. I have a bad back but did it anyway. I was on the back tire of the Iowa Vintage class points leader the whole night and friends heard him asking "Who was that guy?" after the second moto. I wish I could have heard him myself, but I was hiding back at the pick-up trying to hold my belly and heart at the same time wondering if I was dying or not. I still remember how to do it but I am a lot further out of shape than I thought. :-(

Bob, I saw you at the AHRMA regional that was held in Lamoni Iowa. The CCM sounded pretty cool out on the track. I would hate to have it on my ass, it would really be hard to keep my mind on what I was doing. I also have the Wheelsmith pipe but the stinger style silencer fell off years age and I don't know where to get it fixed close to looking original. Now if I can just get my clutch to work properly.........

Rick McDowell compspec at

For more information on this page visit Emu Archives