Cobra "Project Genesis" - First Look

Another bike built by Berg.

Cobra Project Genesis - First Look

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Poor Denny Berg. He's a custom-bike builder without a rap sheet. No tattooer's needle has ever broken his skin. He does not have his own table at the local titty bar. No idiot sons to yell at, either. Get this, the man has never even had his own TV show!!!

Berg just quietly turns out a bewildering series of non-denominational customs from his small, one-man workshop in Palm Springs, California. In essence, he is Cobra USA's Special Project Division, working with company co-founder Ken Boyko to come up with showbikes that will draw attention to Cobra’s line of exhaust pipes, EFI modules and chrome/billet accessories.

Latest is "Project Genesis." It takes a blueprinted and polished 2006 Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 88 motor and wraps it in a tiny, minimalist frame that Berg fabbed himself starting with a Paughco neck. It's a perimeter-style design, most of it 7/8ths-inch tubing, with a single 1.75-inch downtube and 40-degree rake. No fat tires need apply. The look is straight from the Seventies, the bike's one-piece fiberglass bodywork covered in candy-brandywine paint and highlighted with a variegated gold-leaf pattern and pinstripes. That would be the handiwork of BuckWild Designs, and is pulled off so well that Arlen Ness, the Godfather of All Things Custom—and one of the few who remembers the 1970s—gave it a big thumbs-up when the bike was unveiled at the big Cincinnati V-Twin Expo this past February.

Front suspension is via Durfee Girder, 2 inches under stock and chromed, a replica of the old Narrow Glide custom front end developed by Earl Durfee back in the day, now being built by his son. It's TIG welded using seamless 4130 chrome-moly. Actually engineered, in other words, unlike most fly-by-night forks from the bad ol' days when men were men and liability lawyers had yet to be invented. Rear suspension is less complex: "Twenty pounds air pressure in the rear tire," laughs Berg.

Denny Berg may be low key but he’s not without a sense of humor.

"Red Rider," 2002 Honda VTX1800

"Lo-Star," 1999 Yamaha Road Star 1600

"Superstar," 2003 Yamaha Warrior

"Superstar," 2003 Yamaha Warrior

"StrataCruiser," 2003 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600

"M109," 2006 Suzuki M109

"Trakker," 2002 H-D Twin Cam 88 motor/Berg frame

"Six Shooter," 1997 Honda Valkyrie

"Genesis," 2006 Harley-Davidson Dyna

"Knuckster," 2005 S&S; motor/Paughco frame

"Hot Sake," 1998 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

"CopBike," 1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500

"Genesis," 2006 Harley-Davidson Dyna

"Mad Kaw," 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000

"Intruder Hot Rod," 1994 Suzuki Intruder 1400

"Knuckster," 2005 S&S; motor/Paughco frame

"Elaganza," 1996 Yamaha Royal Star

"Intruder Hot Rod," 1994 Suzuki Intruder 1400

"Mad Kaw," 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000