LEXINGTON, Ohio — Former FIM World Superbike Champion and ISDE medalist Guy Cooper provided a touching tribute to his motorcycling parents at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, featuring Riders of Kawasaki, on Friday.
Guy Cooper tells his seminar audience about the tribute ride.
During a 45-minute seminar, Cooper, aided by his daughter, Kaitlyn, recounted the ride he, his wife, Wanda and Kaitlyn took earlier this year, retracing the honeymoon path of Charles and Mary Ellen Cooper 65 years later.
Cooper pieced together three bikes from Indian bikes and parts left in his father's old motorcycle shop, which opened in Stillwater, Okla., in 1948.
After their 1952 wedding, Charles and Mary Ellen rode Indian Vertical Twins from Stillwater, Okla., through Arkansas to Hot Springs, up through Eufaula, Okla., and home again. Cooper led his audience through the 2017 anniversary ride, producing photos of his daughter taken on the same spot where his dad too his mom's picture in 1952.
Cooper said he was fortunate during the bike builds, because his father had kept all the service information for all the Indian motorcycles. And he put it all to good use to get these old Indians running.
Guy Cooper points out one of the features of his 1949 Indian.
"My dad was a master at getting those bikes started on the first kick," Cooper said. "You have to have a good coil and nice, clean points. But, even then, the stars must be aligned."
The elder Cooper had hoped to do an anniversary ride for his and Mary Ellen's 30 anniversary. But he was involved in a car crash and hasn't ridden motorcycles much since.
Guy Cooper talks Indian motorcycles with two seminar participants.
Kaitlyn summed up her experience on the ride this way: "Even though the time that we spent doing this wasn't very long, those days will stick with me forever."
For a full list of seminars scheduled through Sunday, July 9, visit www.vintagemotorcycledays.com.