MELKSHAM, England (Jan. 26, 2011) — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Avon Tyres brand is marking its centennial this year as a maker of motorcycle tires.
The brand's history traces back to 1885, when the founders of Avon Rubber turned a cloth mill in Melksham into a rubber goods factory. By the turn of the century the company was looking at diversifying into other rubber products and started car tire production in 1904. By 1911 Avon had produced its first motorcycle tire.
Avon will mark the centennial with a variety of events thoughout the year, ranging from industry and consumer shows to motorsports events, and will include several track days for customers. In particular, the company will participate in events at Castle Combe Circuit near Wiltshire, England, which is marking 60 years of motorcycle racing this year.
While the company participated successfully at the highest levels of motorcycle racing previously, it now focuses more on classic, or vintage, racing.
Avon, purchased by Cooper in 1997, offers a wide range of road tires covering every category of motorcycles from adventure sport to power cruisers.
The brand is handled in North America by Avon Motorcycle Tyres North America in Stow, Ohio, a unit of Cooper's Max Trac Tire Co. Inc. distribution arm, which also markets the company's Mickey Thompson tire brand.