Cobra's special projects division makes custom show bikes to give folks an idea of what you can do to the standard fare rolling out of dealer showrooms, all you need is a bit of imagination and skill. This year, Denny Berg, chief fabricator at Cobra's Special Projects Division, turned out two bikes based on Honda's RS750 Shadow, the RS750 Scrambler and an RS750 Tracker.
The RS750 Scrambler is designed to resemble the old Honda 305 CL77 Scrambler from back in the 60s, and even though this new scrambler is a V-Twin, the finished build grabbed so many of the right cues, you don't see anything wrong and the resemblance is amazing. Even more amazing is how much of the stock bike remains, with careful additions and paintwork, custom exhausts, adding a seam on the top of the tank, crafting a seat to get the right look, some kneepads and old Honda logos, the end result looks like a modern flashback and it's something anyone would be proud to own and ride.
The RS750 Tracker took quite a bit more work. This was designed and painted to evoke the 1980s factory flat-trackers that Ricky Graham and Bubba Shobert rode in the AMA Grand National Series. Berg stripped the bike down to the frame and removed the twin rear shocks. He added bracing, mounted a single Progressive shock and raised the ride height. The fiberglass tail and custom seat give it a lot of the tracker look, custom pipes, smoothed tank and front numberplate all work together to finish it off.
Both of these bikes start with the bargain priced Shadow and end up looking nothing like the bike they began with. Instead of the somewhat plain cruiser look, they have the eye catching look and ergonomics of these retro bikes, and none of the problems of running a 30 or 40+ year old vintage machine. In other words, trouble free fun.
Funny thing is, as far as we know, Honda has no intention of building anything like this and Cobra doesn't seem to have components to enable you to build the same thing yourself. Hmm and hmm. Maybe they just need a little encouragement or maybe they just want to tease everyone and show us what we can't have. Whatever the case, these two bikes continue in the line of recreating and repurposing stock motorcycles into something totally different yet clean and well done, just like so many examples here on The Kneeslider. I guess if no one else will do it, if you like these, you're on your own. Time to brush up on those fabricating skills.