text text
text
text
text
text
text
text
text
text
text
text
text
AMMEX 250cc MX (1976)


Gary Jones won four consecutive 250 National championships while racing for Yamaha, Honda, and Can-Am. When he suffered a leg injury at Daytona and Can-Am bought out his contract, Gary took the $70,000 and started his own motorcycle company. Not an easy task, but at the time, Cooper Motorcycles was going out of business, and the Jones family bought the Mexican based company and used the Frank Cooper designed enduro bike as a prototype for the first Jones-Islo (the name would later be changed to Ammex, which stood for American-Mexican).

Under Mexican law, 68 percent of the Ammex had to be manufactured in Mexico, so the pieces that would be out-sourced included Sun rims, Diamond chain, Mikuni carbs and ART pistons. To ensure that the Mexicans didn’t use pot metal in the castings and frame, Jones shipped American-made chromoly and aluminum to the Saltillo, Mexica, Moto-Islo factory. The Mexican metallurgy was always suspect, especially in the crankshaft and transmission.

The Ammex borrowed its plate-style shift system from Maico, the dual-use kickstarter/shift shaft from CZ and a Yamaha YZ250 top-end could be slipped right onto the Ammex cases.

Ammex had high hopes, but unfortunately the Mexican peso was devalued-dropping from 12 pesos to the dollar to 120 pesos in less that a week. Since Ammex was a Mexican company, it was worth one-tenth of what it was the week before. Gary Jones lost his money and his dream of building his own motorcycle. Productions dribbled on a few years, but after the devaluation in 1976, the company was doomed.

Images are property of The Early Years of Motocross Museum, ®2006