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1957 Mobil

The Maico Mobil was produced from 1951 through 1958

Maico Mobil

Maico Brothers Archive

Maico Mobil

By 1947 Maico was back into motorcycle production, but this time with their first Maico engined model the 123 cc M 125. By 1949 it had been bored out to 150 cc and the M 150 was launched. This conventional motorcycle was nothing compared to the design lurking in the development room at Herrenburg.

In June 1950 the prototype Maico Mobil was shown at the Reulingen Show. This early model had a modest 150 cc power unit which was was obviously not going to be powerful enough to propel the vast expanse of body work around, more so with the possibility of two up, a full pack of luggage and a headwind hitting the wrap-round windscreen blade! By the time production started several modifications had been made, notably the up rating of the engine to 175 cc (this power unit was shared with the M175 motor cycle) and the introduction of forced air cooling system by way of a belt driven fan. The three speed gear box was operated by a twist-grip hand control. The Mobil was a design sensation. It was not quite a motor cycle, and not quite a scooter, in fact it straddled somewhere in the middle with Maico claiming unpretentiously that it was an "auto on two wheels" Those two interchangeable wheels were 14" which gave better control of the machine and also allowed the fitting of powerful 130 mm brakes.

The fully enclosed alloy bodywork hid the tubular steel frame with easy access being provided to the engine and ancillaries by two quick-release side panels. The rear bodywork was formed into two panniers with a lockable lid in which was stored the extensive tool kit, with plenty of room to spare for that small tent and luggage.Tucked away neatly at the back was the spare wheel. The goodies didn't end there, the 6 volt 35/45 headlamp was boon, as was the gear indicator located on the face of the speedometer. Add to this a lockable glove locker and two indicators fitted to the side of the front cowling and you can understand why this early 50's marvel had people clicking their heels all the way up the strasse and into the showrooms.

Competition quickly arrived, (and disappeared) in the form of the Bastert, Krobeth and to a lesser extent the IWL Pitty, all of which shared the concept, but lacked the flair and versatility of the Mobil. Developments of the Mobil continued and by the time it was launched here in the UK a 4 speed gearbox with a foot operated, positive-stop gear change had been introduced. The engine had been up rated to 197cc and the fan was now driven directly by the crankshaft. The Mobil retained the original kick-start arrangement. This increased power out-put gave a top speed of 60 MPH, which was fast back then! Production of the Mobil ended late in 1958, although available stocks of machines meant it was still being sold in the UK until 1961. It was always expensive which dampened sales all through its production run, but never- the- less Mobil sold in reasonable numbers. These days this 50 year old design can be seen echoed in the huge touring machines such as the Honda Gold Wing. German Mobil owners of 1955 can sit back in pride knowing they were listening to factory fitted radios decades before it was featured on Japanese models.


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