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Big Red Paul

XR650R(modern bike) -Maico 490 Comparison

25 posts in this topic

Been reading a lot lately about how good the '81 490 Maico was as a motocrosser. Figure the 490 could have been used for desert application.

People claim it is still the benchmark for a 'perfect' dirt machine.

Also read a lot about awful suspension, breaks, hubs were on the last models.

They were very beautiful bikes in the looks department, that is sure.

Seems the company were exporting boat loads to the US in the early 80s.

I have never ridden one, or seen one in the flesh.

Has anyone out there ever ridden one, and could testify to their brilliance ?

It is still considered the superlative dirt bike compared to modern thumbers, and even the CR500 with aluminium frame?

Appreciate the fact that it was a 2 stroke bike, but how would one compare to the XR650 ?

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Well in 79 I had Maico WR450 left hand kicker, right side drive, awsome bike faster than the thief that got away! Hard to start, Handled great, powerband was huge,louder the crap. Had to start off the line in 3rd to prevent sit n spin. Parts was an issue back then as I was on a little rock called Okinawa,Japan. I had RM125, CR250, and SL125, XL350 over there for racing at the local base track called Pacer's Motocross. The Maico was hell on wheels unleased! I had more fun riding that bike when it ran in open mx class! My next favorite was my XL350 in the stocker class(thumpers and dual sports). I have always had a soft spot for the Maico's. These are fun mean machines! As far as comparing them to a XR650 no comparison at all. Night and Day! Apple and Oranges! Different beasts.

Bill

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I raced a 83 490 maico and a 85 500 Mstar/Maico

I always used to say it was the fastest thing on plant earth the water cooled 85 had 72 hp @7000 rpm

36 pounds motor was a work of art and the bikes would turn on a time

2nd gear start would get you hole shot if you could ride it

I have pictuers of it

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This was a dream bike of mine way back then, I would love to have one today, but would probably need 3 to keep one going, and where in the world could you find pistons and sleeves. Probably have to order 30 and have them made custom!

Would eat an xr650R's lunch, and dinner..... provided of course that you could stay on and still hook the power up!

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These Maico's were sick on power thats for sure!!!! I wished I still had mine! I remember those short quick blips of the throttle and off to the other end of the track I was, not like my ricers that I had to hold the throttle on for a while to get some where! The head seemed so massive kinda like a DG Gold big fin head!

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wow, your posts have raised my pulse. Man, they sound off the map.

I love the cylinder heard design as well.

LandSharkGT, were you posted in Okinawa (Naha) with the military ?

Heard there are some beautiful beaches down there.

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wow, your posts have raised my pulse. Man, they sound off the map.

I love the cylinder heard design as well.

LandSharkGT, were you posted in Okinawa (Naha) with the military ?

Heard there are some beautiful beaches down there.

Kadena AFB military brat! Beautiful Coral beaches except for White Beach which was really awsome little star shaped sand.

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They were great bikes, only drawback was the ehem, uh dealer metwork which sucked ass. They weren't as reliable as the CR500s or KX500s but were as fast and handled better from what a freind who had a raced one has told me. I rode one and found it to be very "european" on handling which means great. Very stable in the streights, and turned slow which I like. The motors were awesome but had a few minor issues like the stock ignition but you can get a Boyer Brandson ignition to cure that.

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Here's MY Maico....it's not a 490...but it's my favorite. I can't find a pic with the seat and stuff on.

CXTPO-maicobuild003.jpg

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I used to ride an IT175 in high school. 465 !!!! Wicked, I reckon I would not be around today if I had one of those.

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I used to ride an IT175 in high school. 465 !!!! Wicked, I reckon I would not be around today if I had one of those.

Pulled harder in the low and mid-range than my XR650R!:mad:

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