While the 2011 Honda Shadow RS is finally acceptable enough to ride without wearing a brown paper bag, the 45hp Japanese V-twin still verges dangerously close to uncoolness. Working directly with Honda, aftermarket accessories maker Cobra Engineering has released 5 concepts to show the Shadow's potential, 2 of which are knockouts.
The CL72-based high-pipe Scrambler and especially the Bubba Shobert replica Dirt Tracker are the kind of pure Honda heritage that gets us weak in the knees. So much so we wonder why Honda didn't make these in the first place, especially considering the runaway success Triumph has had with its Bonneville and Scrambler models. The best part of this project is that Cobra has stated that 2 of the 5 are being commisioned to be built by Cobra's Special Projects Division for the 2010 Long Beach Motorcycle Show.
The final vote has yet to be made for which 2 of the 5 concepts will make the cut, so let the begging and pleading for your favorites begin. And maybe, if we're loud enough, Honda will be deafened and have no choice but to expand the RS platform to meet our wants and needs.
Cobra Custom Honda RS750: Five Concepts, Two Will Be Built
Yorba Linda, CA – Once again, Cobra Engineering will undertake a multi-bike custom project. Back in 1996 Cobra did a similar project with American Honda around the 750 Ace, building what would come to be known as the Four Aces. Now with the new RS750, Cobra will build two customs based around two of the five concepts presented here. Said, Ken Boyko, VP of the Cobra Special Projects Division, “If we had enough time, we’d build all five of these bikes. Each is so cool and every one would be a blast to ride. But we plan to unveil these at the Long Beach Motorcycle Show on December 17, 2010 so we’re going to pick two and let the others rest for now.” All five concepts have great potential wrapped around the RS platform and each could be an exceptional custom motorcycle on its own. The five concepts are: Scrambler, Café Racer, Street Fighter, Dirt Tracker, and Bobber.
The Scrambler: This version will be a recreation of the famous Honda CL72 (250) and CL77 (305) scramblers, down to the red frame, and rubber tank side pads. High pipes with distinctive heat shields are key visual cues for this bike.
The Café Racer: This style of motorcycle has made a remarkable come back, especially in urban areas. Single seats, lowered bars, raised pegs and chopped rear fenders are key markers, as are short megaphone mufflers and head pipes with no head shields.
The Street Fighter: Stripped to essentials with a small headlight, nasty exhaust and powerful brakes makes this style of bike perfect for the times. An engine that screams performance and paint that offends like Green Day on a good night.
The Dirt Tracker: Ricky Grahm and Bubba Shobert in the mid-eighties taking it to the venerable H-D Factory on the Miles and half-mile dirt-track circuit on their hand-built bikes, crafted by Ray Plumb and Skip Ekins. Cobbled together at first, the bikes evolved into beautiful, elemental tools designed to win at tracks such as San Jose, Indy, and Springfield, and win they did.
The Bobber: Bobbers hearken back to the post WWII era when returning soldiers wanted speed without the frills. They’d take whatever motorcycle they could find and remove just about everything but the engine, rolling chassis and seat. No front fender and a single seat with the rear fender “bobbed” about as short as it could be. Rattle-can paint, mostly flat black was the color of choice.