What the Heck is a Maicoletta?
Maicolettas are scooters built by the German motorcycle manufacturer Maico. The company went under some years back, but the marque retains a passionate following primarily for dirt bikes. (See, e.g. www.maicomadness.com.)
During the 1950's, Maico jumped on the scooter fad bandwagon, as did Triumph, Ducati, BSA, and pretty much everybody else. First came the Maicomobile, a rather large scooter whose sizable bodywork aluminium was propelled by a 175 and later 250cc two-stroke engine. Maicomobiles are quite rare and costly. Mobiles first rolled of the assembly line in 1952.
The Maicoletta (first produced in 1955) is a much sleeker machine (though still large compared to most other scooters), and was made in 175, 250, and 275cc versions. The Maicoletta had a reputation for being fast. The long wheelbase and large wheels made for a stable ride at high speeds, and the saddle is among the largest I've ever seen on a motorcycle or scooter. Like the Heinkel Tourist, the overall quality of all Maico scooters is very high. Bosch electrics, Hella lamps, Bing carburettors, and VDO gauges are typical of the components used. The motorcycling press was unanimous in their praise for the Letta, and it was largely upon that praise that I set my mind to obtaining one. Plus, they are beautiful!
If anyone has any information on how many were produced and/or imported into the United States, I am very interested to hear about it. If you are lucky enough to have a Maicoletta and need assistance, I can make photocopies of the Owner's Manual, Shop Repair Manual, and Parts Catalog (the last only in German, unfortunately). There seem to be only a handful of these wonderful scooters in the country. Online, there appears to be several dozen Maicoletta and Maicomobile owners -- I am sure that there are hundreds more in the German and British clubs. If you are registered with Tripod or Lycos, please share your comments, needs, wants and items for sale on the Maicoletta/Maicomobile message board! If not registered, please sign the the guestbook, which requires no registration. I have been lucky enough to have received a couple of letters from fellow Maico enthusiasts with additional parts sources; any additional names and addresses of vendors are always welcome. My own ongoing experience with Maicolettas is recorded at my blog.
I obtained new tires (notoriously unavailable) for my Maicoletta from Vintage Tyre Co. Also, Greg Clauss at Clauss Studios has recently begun importing Shinko Tires for the Maicoletta. I purchased a set, and they will go on whichever bike needs them first. The Maico Club in Great Britain has many spares and is dedicated to the older Maico models. Dirt bikers are referred to Maicomadness.com (above).
Technical Specs for the Maicoletta 250
- Starter: Bosch 6v electric "rock and roll" starter
- Gearchange: Four-speed via heel-toe shifter
- Engine: 246cc two-stroke single cylinder
- Carburation: Bing 26mm carb with lever choke beneath glovebox
- Wheels: 3.25/3.50 - 14 with drum-braked hubs
- Miscellaneous fitments: Speedo with gear indicator, 8-day mechanical clock set in dash, glovebox with steering column lock
Maicoletta Group at Yahoo!
Maico Owners' Club
Secretary: Phil Hingston
No Elms, Goosey
SN7 8PA U.K.
Maicoletta & Maicomobile Guestbook
View the Maicoletta/Maicomobile Guestbook
Sign the Maicoletta/Maicomobile Guestbook (even better)