Honda CL750 Scrambler

Honda Scrambler
From David Edwards—Honda’s most important motorcycles? Tough question but the Super Hawk 305 and Scrambler 305 have to be in the conversation. These were the two that put Honda on the big-bike map in the mid-1960s, each more than a match for British 500s of the day. And now the aftermarket firm Cobra USA has just paid homage to the CL77 Scrambler, with a new showbike that started life as a 2010-model Shadow RS750. Cobra’s Denny Berg is the man responsible for building the bike, which amazingly isn’t all that changed from stock. The mid-level twice-pipes are an obvious addition, as is the bench seat, but the rest is an exercise in paint and some nice detail touches. Notice the old Honda taillight, faux steering damper knob and the stock gas tank all retro’d out with a seam down the middle, plus rubber knee grips—from a GB250—and round “Wing” badges. Berg’s affinity for Scramblers goes way back; one of his first customs was a 305 that had been run into the rear of a pickup truck. “Before this build began, I got out my old snapshots, some bike magazines from back in the day and I went on the Internet, immersing myself in Honda Scramblers,” says Berg. “But when I began construction, I never looked at shots of the old bikes again. I was after the feel, the flavor, of a Scrambler, not an exact replica.” Goal met, we’d say. U.S. readers can find out more about the CL750 Scrambler in the February issue of Rider magazine, out soon. (And if you want to see Cobra’s Honda street tracker version, inspired by Bubba Shobert’s RS750, head over to our Facebook page.)

PS: David Edwards has written the foreword to Tom Cotter’s The Vincent in the Barn: Great Stories of Motorcycle Archaeology. Currently one of Amazon’s bestselling motorcycle books, it’s highly recommended.

Specifications
Project name: Cobra CL750 Scrambler
Design: Ken Boyko & Denny Berg, Cobra Special Projects Division
Fabrication: Denny Berg
Paint: Scott “Chivo” Harrington, Lead Sled Customs
Chrome/polishing: Precision Plating & Metal Finishing
Assembly time: 4 months
Engine mods: Cobra Fi2000 fuel module, custom air cleaner, silver paint
Pipes: Twin upswept by Berg
Chassis: Stock, smoothed and painted, relocated shock mounts, footpegs
Forks: Stock, shortened 0.75-in., rubber boots
Shocks: Progressive Suspension #14 series
Front wheel: Stock, 19-in., painted silver, Bridgestone TW39
Rear wheel: Stock, 16-in., painted silver, Duro HF904
Brakes: Stock with braided stainless-steel lines
Handlebars: Stock with added crossbrace
Controls & instruments: Stock
Fenders: Stock front, shortened rear
Seat: Kevin Lehan, LeMans Seats
Headlight: English repro, sealed beam
Taillight: 1965 Honda with LED bulb
Featured in: Every baby-boomer’s dreams

Honda Scrambler
Honda Scrambler
Honda Scrambler

  • den

    Wow, so much better looking than a shadow!

  • Sportster Cafe

    I whish they had gone with the Black Bomber CB450 style instead! Suzuki has the TX250, which has the right lines, wish it was a 500 though! Still, both of these show what can be done with some work! May have to look at 750 Shadows and a Black Bomber tank, Hmmmm…….

  • AEERMi

    Really a nice clean bike, I love the color combination, red and silver is timeless and classic, really can’t go wrong with those colors. Like it a lot.

  • http://mikesattic.wordpress.com Mike

    Anyone know the make / model of that speedometer?

    • DE

      Speedo is stock unit, just moved down about 3/4-inch.

  • El Jeffe

    Really great looking Shadow…it’s hard to believe it’s a modern bike. The builder definitely attained the look they were after!

  • Kevin

    Not really into the red frame looks crafty .. even though the craftsmanship is there still makes it look cheap

  • Mazeppa

    Much, much better looking than its sister, the Cobra RS750 Street Tracker. It’s very inspiring – for my own projects – to be reminded that the cumulative effect of 100 well-executed details outshines a big, loud, flashy and ostentatious show bike.

  • Papa Bear

    Can someone explain why Honda hasn’t built this bike. I’d bet they couldn’t keep it in the showrooms.

  • Shepdaddy

    I love the look of the exhaust, but I wonder how many people have burned themselves on it. Nicely done.

  • http://see360studios.com Davidabl

    Kawasaki once brought a Denny Berg/Cobra bike into production, with a fair
    amount of critical success. Unfortunately sales didn’t quite match.
    Honda, could you step up to the plate? maybe for a limited edition or for the
    home market? Certainly If not a home run for Honda it’d at least be a base hit!

  • Dennis Gormley

    Well, I own a beautiful 66 Scrambler and I can definitely see the lineage in some of the lines.In fact I see a few parts that would probably fit on my 66!

  • Lew

    Love this. Take an ugly Japanese cruiser, and and turn it into something tasteful and worth owning.

  • elven

    Doesn’t much look like a scrambler, but DOES look like an improvement on the original machine :)

  • RobL

    Just shows that a light touch can have a heavy impact. Bravo, Cobra!

  • Micah

    Well, I guess I have to remove the term “scrambler” from my vocabulary now….

  • John T.

    Wow. These are gorgeous. However, the photographer has done a masterful job of almost completely de-emphasizing the radiator, which is still there, and is a visual stumbling block. Beautiful and creative, nonetheless, though. I don’t find huge purpose or utility in cruisers, so moving them into the realm of a standard is A-OK in my book. Bikes like these could legitimately challenge a lot of bikes as an entry level purchase. I would have to think twice if I were looking at the new small Ducati and Guzzi. Cool!

  • Goon

    uhhh….these just look like computer renderings to me……does this bike actually exist in the flesh?……even the “out in the wild” shot on Cobra’s website looks fake to me…..

  • Goon

    whoops….should have looked harder…there’s a video too

  • Cedley1969

    That is a superb motorcycle, add a couple of silencers and I’d buy one. As a go anywhere do anything motorbike it would be peerless, shaft driven too….
    Hire the man that thought this up and build the bike Honda, sometimes the sum is more than the total of its parts, better a whole honda than halfway to a harley.

  • Lc0019232

    hate to be a hater, but ugh… the air cleaner? and that engine and side cover. (not to mention the anemic exhaust) these portions truly look like a chinese production bike.
    Fun tank and bars.. but does this bike really look like it could do any Scrambling?

  • D2237

    WOW. I would buy one of these in a minute….HONDA take note…this is what you should build. But then again you would build it and we would not get it in the USA.

  • elven

    Cedley1969 : no, it is chain driven; much better, easier to change gearing, less frictional losses than a shaft ;)

    • D2237

      I agree. I like chains over belts and shafts…..belts are for pants, and I won’t go into the whole shaft thing.

  • http://twitter.com/adamjohndoyle Adam Doyle

    Love the bike, but what’s going on the with angle of the tail light?

  • http://diigo.com/user/centralcontracts www.centralcontracts.com

    Really love this bike.

  • KIK

    UGLY..

  • Rocky0

    Denny Berg has been responsible for many great builds including this one.He can take the most subtle changes and make them look wild, or in this case some wild changes and make them look subtle.I have been very impressed with the direction he takes with many of his builds.Do yourself a favor and look up some of his previous builds,I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Anaman51

    Magnificent! Brings back some fond memories, let me tell you. The two Honda models mentioned were indeed my boyhood dreams, and I wanted that 305 Scrambler worse than anything—till I rode one and found out how much it weighed. With a 750 engine it would have surpassed all my desires, weight be damned! This is truly a dream bike in all respects.

  • Mixr55hiyc

    I like this bike and would buy one if available for sure!! I miss the old 305 CL77 they were a bad ass motocycle!!