This was the second 1978 Maico 250 I owned, the same one that's in my garage right now. I resurrected this bike from a shed out behind the Maico dealership in around 1982. At the time, I was a poor college student and could not afford a new bike. Yes, I had fallen into "non current" status, an affliction that affects those who have fallen off the moto map.
But I still wanted a bike! Luckily for me, bikes of this era also fell off the moto map, and became devalued and unloved in just a matter of a couple of short years. When Don Gibbs unearthed this particular Maico from the confines of his storage, it was rusty, ridden hard and put away bent. It took a trained eye to see beneath the grime, but I knew what was there, and I liked it.
It had been used as a desert bike. For those in the know, desert bikes were usually somewhere South of the moto standard of sano. Duct tape, wire, dirt and a crazy set of super-wide "jack rabbit" handlebars adorned a sad looking carcass of a bike. I paid Gibbs $600 and took it home.
This bike gave me many hours of enjoyment, riding - but never racing - on a college student budget. Being "non current" meant being slightly embarrased when going riding with your more "current" buddies. Yes, I cared. I wished I had a more modern bike with which to roost, but alas...
The picture above was at the old Widowmaker track. Yes, there was an actual "official" motocross track on the site of the famous old-school hillclimb in the foothills of Draper. This had been the track I watched the Plumb brothers race back in 1972, the famous "Fire-O'Cross" race, the name coined by the incident where the grass parking lot caught on fire and almost burned up our little Ford truck. Quick action by my dad saved the day, he jumped into the truck as flames licked at the doors, started the hapless beast, and drove to safety.
I remember that Evel Kneivel was there that day to put on an exhibition. He did a cool wheelie right down the start straight to the delight of the crowd. There were some international stars there that day, too. I remember seeing Jimmy Weinert sitting by the side of the track, broken Kawasaki leaned over. When he took off his helmet, I could see the reality of the effort racing takes out in his red face and crusty residue.
These memories are faint but still there, as is the feeling I still get when I look over my old Maico. I am glad I looked deeper than the surface on this bike. It paid me back for my pity with some great memories and some red face and crust of my own, something I will always be thankful for.