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Vintage Cooper Motorcycles

1973 Cooper 250 MXCooper is a brand of vintage off-road motorcycles that were manufactured in Mexico throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. When production first began in 1971, Cooper motorcycles had Italian-made engines, but they would eventually change to Sachs engines.

The engines were mounted onto either an enduro or motocross frame that was manufactured by Islo Manufacturing in Mexico. The bikes were then exported to the United States where Frank Cooper distributed them, hence the name Cooper.

Bill Grapevine, an American trials enthusiast in the 1060s, designed a trials bike, the GRM (short for Grapevine Racing Machine), and Cooper/Islo were contracted out to produce over 1,500 of them. These bikes are very rare today, and parts are hard to come by.

Cooper dirt bikes were fairly popular through the 1970s since they were affordable, but they couldn’t handle the competition. Cooper Motorcycles and Islo Manufacturing were purchased by Honda in 1982, and their names would no longer be used.

Vintage Cooper Motorcycles & Parts

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4 Responses to “Vintage Cooper Motorcycles”

  • Rob says:

    G’day fella’s the porting was different for enduro and mx coopers. In Australia Blair Harley imported them from the factory. I happen to have the original blueprints for the engine, pistons and a few other pieces. I’m trying to get hold of a few kickstarters at the moment which are proving to be a bit difficult. I have one MXer and 3 enduros. All in need of a restore.

  • Kenneth Hargens says:

    I have purchased a BSA Alloy Clipper for restoration. It has yellow enameled handlebars with unusual bracing. Obviously made for a dirt bike. Were these handlebars originally made for a Cooper?
    Thanks, Kenny

  • John VanSickle says:

    @WT Schuberg – Which model have you got? Is it the four speed bike or the 5 speed bike. As I recall, the 4 speed all used the same up pipe. The 5 speed used both up and down pipes. I do not know if they used the same gearing or porting, for either mx or enduro. I owned a ’73 4 speed that I bought new in ’73, it was the enduro model, with a steel tank. There were some engine changes made to change the porting, and make it have more torque.

  • W>T>Schuberg says:

    I have two Coopers; one MX, one Enduro 250. I’m looking for an exhaust system for the Enduro, not sure if the one pipe fits both.

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