Thursday, May 30, 2024 | TSTM

Mike Yelland's First Maico 490 Ride

I'll never forget my first Maico 490 ride...'81 it was, currently (at the time it was 1982 I think) and it was a buddy's who raced Open A. That was back when men were men and could ride something which would rather spit you off like a bronco. Ok, at the time in history I was riding/racing a 78 Maico 250 which was a nice nuetral handler without too much power but very user-friendly. So the story begins with some friends and I riding around a local pit/track...we all take turns out there, come back, go out, etc...well I'm out there and I hear something behind me. Kind of a low sound - not a 125 and not that close. So I give it some more gas...but it's getting closer. So down this straightaway I give it all the 250's got. And out of the corner of my right eye I see a wheel, in the AIR ! Not only was this thing close, but I could hear the engine every time it fired practically. Why rev it when the rear wheel hooks up better with lower revs ? Something the 4-stroke guys are teaching us (some of us) all over again. So Drew on the '81 490 just goes right by me - wow I thought to myself...what was that thing ?

So we stopped and talked and stuff and have been friends since. A month later, some buddy's and I go to Kessler's practice track in NH (still 1982) and Drew is there. We ride/practice some then Drew asks me if I want to ride it - OF COURSE I DO LET ME ON THAT THING! So I putt around a little like I always do on a different bike, then little by little, I realize, it doesn't matter if I'm going up a hill or down, left or right, traction or not, the front wheel likes to be in the air ! They had to come get me off the track... I later bought that same bike...and still have it. Just last week I bought an '83 490. Too bad they don't know how to make an Open bike any more. Just about all the Open bikes these days are at least 10lbs heavier than my 490.

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