Additional photos of this Maico 490 Mega 2 are available here for your perusal.
Flaunting one of the best dirtbike names ever, the Maico 490 Mega 2 was considered by many to be one of the best open class motocross bikes ever built. Back in the 80s, there was a lot of prestige associated with riding a Maico, but even this was the cream of the crop.
The Mega 2 is still an absolute legend – Maico sold more of this exact model than Honda sold across their entire MX lineup in 1981.
Jody Weisel, one of the nation’s best test riders, once said that the 1981 Maico 490 Mega 2 had the best handling and best powerband in this history of motocross. And that’s coming from someone who’s pretty much ridden everything out there. This has nothing to do with the Mega 2, but if you want a laugh, you should check out Jody’s story entitled, “The Worst Bikes I Ever Raced”
The 490 put out an absurd 53 horsepower, fed by a 40mm Bing carb, controlled by a wet multi-disc clutch, and transmitted through a five-speed gearbox. This whole incredible package weighed just 244 pounds. We can’t stress enough how good this bike is. If you want to hear more gushing praise for it, read a piece on off-road.com simply entitled, “How Good Was the Maico 490?”
This Maico (VIN: 3512770) has gone through a restoration, however details of the work are unknown. It presents impeccably, and has not been ridden since the restoration. 12-30-2019 UPDATE: We have since learned that this machine was restored by Jim Martin of Phoenix Precision Restoration.
We also note some minor flaws – a minor leak in the left fork seal, peeling decal on the right side of the fuel tank, and and some marks on the kick start lever. Photos of all flaws are included in the album up top.
Rick Sieman (aka Super Hunky) is a legend in MX journalism, known for his humor and no-bullshit writing. Even he was transfixed by the Mega, saying that “the bike leaves you stunned rocked, wide-eyed and weak-kneed. In other words, it does what every other machine has been promising, but has never delivered.” For immaculate examples like this, he simply states that “collectors will find that their 490s go up in value every year.” Here’s a bike that’s equally suited to getting you a holeshot in vintage racing or looking mint in your collection.