Between The Lines | Cobra Hits 20—Years, That Is

New Bikes

Bike-building partnerships come and go, and few teams have cranked out as varied a selection of customs as Cobra and Denny Berg. Over two decades, the company has churned out over 40 one-offs, most of which still are stashed at Cobra’s HQ in Southern California. To celebrate the 20 years of ground-breaking bikes, Cobra Engineering brought 20 of the masterpieces to the Indianapolis Dealer Show last February.

The best of the Cobra collection features cool rigs like the very first metric custom, a Honda 750 Magna called Magnafied, and the most recent project, the Honda RS750 Scrambler. Cobra tapped all major bike manufacturers too, building the first Victory Custom, and producing numerous Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha-based machines.

Back in 1998, Ken Boyko gave a stock Magna from Honda, to a hardcore Harley builder to customize. Local builder Denny Berg had a similar vision, and the CSPD (Cobra Special Projects Division) partnership was born. Denny has built every one of the bikes since, sometimes using designer Mike Rinaldi for more innovative designs. Bikes such as the Tracker and Strata-cruiser were just a couple of the breakthroughs that came out of this collaboration.

‘Train Meets Tsunami

A Harley-Davidson Softail Night Train recovered after drifting more than 4000 miles following last year’s Japanese tsunami will be preserved by the Harley-Davidson Museum as a memorial to the tragedy that claimed more than 15,000 lives, in accordance with the wishes of owner Ikuo Yokoyama.

The remarkable story of the 2004 FXSTB’s recovery by Canadian Peter Mark made international headlines after he found it washed ashore on British Columbia’s Graham Island at low tide. Mark discovered the motorcycle in the remains of an insulated cargo van container where the bike was being stored when the tsunami struck on March 11, 2011.

News agencies and representatives from Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada and Harley-Davidson Japan made contact with 29-year-old Yokoyama, who lost his home and currently lives in temporary housing. Although Harley offered to repatriate his motorcycle, Yokoyama respectfully declined, requesting instead to have it preserved in the Harley-Davidson Museum in honor of those whose lives were lost or forever changed by the disaster.

Plans for the motorcycle’s transportation to and display at the Harley-Davidson Museum are being developed.

Taking the High Road

After almost half a century in his role as H-D styling chief, Willie G. Davidson announced his retirement from Harley-Davidson on April 30, 2012. The Senior Vice President and Chief Styling Officer is widely seen as a legend in the world of motorcycling and motorcycle design. He’ll continue to be involved as an ambassador at motorcycle events, and drop in on special design projects as Chief Styling Officer Emeritus.

Over the course of his career, the 78-year-old Willie G. built a design team at Harley that established the firm’s leadership in custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles. Company veteran Ray Drea, Vice President and Director of Styling, will take over the reins at the styling department.

EagleRider Launches Pillion Rides & Day Tours

EagleRider, the world’s largest motorcycle rental and tour company, is taking it to the next level with its new Pillion Rides & Day Tours program for travelers who want to experience riding a motorcycle but don’t have (yet) a license. Packages start at $359 per person, and riders will be teamed up with a certified EagleRider Tour Guide to destinations along the Florida Coast.

The Pillion (Passenger) Rides & Day Tours are offered in half-day or full-day escapes which include a Motorcycle Safety Foundation certified motorcycle driver, motorcycle driver’s EagleRider serviced rental bike, helmet and jacket, discounted activities and an EagleRider souvenir T-shirt. Riders may choose from Harley Davidson, BMW, Honda or Triumph models. EagleRider is also celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Between The Lines | Cobra Hits 20—Years, That Is - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
Between The Lines | Cobra Hits 20—Years, That Is - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
Between The Lines | Cobra Hits 20—Years, That Is - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
Between The Lines | Cobra Hits 20—Years, That Is - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine
Between The Lines | Cobra Hits 20—Years, That Is - Motorcycle Cruiser Magazine