26. Feb, 2018
Mabeco was a brand built in Berlin from 1922 through 1927. The name came from Max Bernhardt & Co, and was backed by the big Siemens & Haske firm, which built many parts for airplanes prior to the First World War. The model pictured here was a frank copy of the Indian Scout. The Mabeco logo was even rendered in a script similar to Indian’s.Early on, Mabeco’s color was green, but even this was changed to Indian red, which is when the Wigwam decided, “While imitation may be the sincerest form of flatter, this is just too much!” Indian sued Mabeco, and as a result of the suit, the company was liquidated. It was reformed as Mabeco-Werke GMBH and resumed motorcycle production, still with Siemens & Haske as the main shareholder. However, under the terms of the court settlement, Bernhardt was no longer allowed to serve on its board of directors, and he lost his job as business manager, though he still continued to hold stock in the company and function as an outside consultant. Mabeco-Werke changed the product in many ways, but they still looked like Indians.
During its five years of operation, Mabeco built 3,400 motorcycles, and like many German motorcycle companies of the era, sought publicity through competition in national races. Mabeco built a four-valve, twin-plug head, which was not a copy of Indian (pictured here), and provided engines to some Germany’s leading riders, who built their own chassis, an example of which is pictured below. In this way, Mabeco wonnational championships in 1925 and 1926. Mabeco also built a 346cc two-stroke “twingle,” a design licensed by Garelli.