Saturday, August 13, 2022 | Opferman Motors

1959 Maicoletta

The Maicoletta 247 cc was produced from 1955 through 1966

In 1962 Maico Dropped the 175 cc & 277 cc variants.


Maico Brothers Archive


In 1955 Maico sprung a new scooter on the unsuspecting German public in the form of the Maicoletta. This model had been developed behind closed doors and contained some features of the Mobil, namely the 14" wheels, gear-change indicator and the 35 watt headlamp bulbs. Similarities ended there!! The Letta was more in the line of a conventional scooter, but it packed a punch. The 247cc engine was the most powerful available on a production scooter at the time and gave it a top end speed of 70 MPH which shamed many motorcycles.

A smaller capacity 175cc model and from August 1957 a 277cc version was available, the latter being especially useful for use with a sidecar. Standard features of the Letta included an 8 day illuminated clock, luggage rack and a little hook for your brief case, fitted just in front of the rider. Easy access to the spark plug and fuel tank was gained by lifting the seat. Complete rear bodywork can be removed in less then a minute which gives access to the engine, carb, chain case etc. Optional extras included attractive chrome wheel trims.

In common with several other German scooters the Maicoletta had an electric start. Maico opted to use the 6 volt Bosch "half swing" starter. Unlike conventional starters, the Bosch system didn't turn the engine in full rotation, instead it rocked the crankshaft one way and then the other, with oscillations building up until the piston bounced over TDC and the engine fired. A similar starter was used on the Puch RSA model, but with a 12 volt rating. The big bonus of the "half-swing" was it was lighter than the conventional starter, but the down side was that the electrical timing had to be spot on, or you found yourself bump-starting or running for a bus. The Letta didn't have a kick starter as a back up.

Despite falling scooter sales in Germany the Letta was a Maico success story. The machine gained many friends worldwide. Export sales were very healthy and even in its homeland it was attracting many buyers. It is a tribute to the original design that there were very few modifications made to the machine through it's production run. The 175cc and 277cc models were dropped in 1962 and the last 247cc Maicoletta left the Pfaffingen factory in 1966. In the UK the importers assembled a few others from spare parts and made them to special order until late in 1967.


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