Maicoletta

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The Maicoletta motor scooter of the 1950s was one of the largest motor scooters produced by any manufacturer until the modern era. The engine was a single cylinder 247cc piston port 2-stroke (an export version featuring a 277cc engine was also produced for use with a sidecar), with four foot-operated gears, enclosed chain drive, centrifugal fan cooling and electric start. This was fitted to a tubular frame built on motorcycle principles with long travel telescopic forks and 14 inch wheels. The Maicoletta had a top speed of greater than 70mph, comparable with most 250cc motorcycles of the time. In the 1950s most scooters such as Vespa, Lambretta, were 125cc to 200cc with 8-10 inch wheels and a top speed of 55 to 60mph, so the expensive but fast and comfortable Maicoletta developed a following amongst scooter club enthusiasts.

By modern standards the brakes (drum front and rear) leave something to be desired, but they are as good or better than those of other scooters from the period.

Pendulum starter An unusual Bosch 6v 'pendulum' electric starter system was fitted, which was quite advanced for the 1950s, and about which there are a number of common misconceptions. When activated, instead of rotating the crankshaft the starter used the generator coils on the shaft to rock it back and forth under the control of cams on the crankshaft. These cams closed contacts in the generator to trigger a reversing switch in the Control box that changed the crankshaft direction at the end of each swing. This gives the impression of the crankshaft continually bouncing back and forwards against compression, when operated. A separate set of ignition points fired the spark plug in the forward direction only, and when this fires the mixture in the cylinder the engine starts to rotate normally, the starter is released and the normal ignition system takes over. The advantage of this system is that the starter does not have to force the crankshaft to turn over against compression, so less power is required from the 6volt system. Its disadvantage is the unusual number of contacts, which can be a nightmare to adjust if they have been tampered with. Unfortunately this happens too often, by those who mistakenly believe that the starter's unusual action means that it is faulty. The Bosch system is well made, with a full voltage regulated charging system for the battery in the control box, along with the solenoid operated reversing switch for the starter. However the reversing switch contacts tend to wear out with extended use and can be very difficult to get repaired, hence the scooters reputation for requiring roll starts later in life.

Maico Mobil

The Maicomobil, said to resemble a 'two wheeled car' was a highly enclosed two wheeler which sold only in small numbers.

The Maicowerk AG company went out of business in the 1980s and its assets were taken over by a Dutch company

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