While most of you would like to have a 68 Cobra to restore, I have decided to go a different route and modify mine into a "Cafe Racer". This bike will see the race track from time to time in AHRMA Historic Production Heavyweight class but will be mostly used on the street as a weeky rider.
The bike will have some subtle changes from stock and be quicker while retaining it's original look. Follow along as I make changes to this rather rare and unique bike. I am a firm believer that even rare and hard to find bikes should be riden and enjoyed.
Pictured above is the 67 (manufactured date)
Cobra that will be used for this transformation.
After getting the bike running and riding it to and from work and on weekends, my worst fears of leaking cranks seals are confirmed by loss of transmission oil and consistant smoke. My plans of slightly tweaking the topend and smothing the passages had grown into a complete motor rebuild. Well, what can you really expect from 33 year old crank seals.
This will make for some long nights as I plan to race the bike at Summit Point, WV on Memorial Day weekend in Historic Production.
The front end will be replaced with one from a GT550 single disc and the rear fender will be replaced with one from a later model T500 to aid in rear wheel removal. Also clubman bars will be added the the footpegs will be modified for better ground clearance.
Updated frontend on 67 Cobra
Adding a GT550 frontend to the Cobra will help in the stopping department and a better ride. While the stock frontend is great on the street, the new front end will be very much needed with the addition of performance to the motor that I will discuss later. Since the bike will also be used on the race track the single disc is very welcome.
While adding a more modern front end I wanted to stay with the stock looks as much as possible. The stock guages were removed from the 67 upper triple clamp bracket and mounted to a 69-75 guage bracket. The headlight bucket was then mounted to Tomaselli brackets for lack of the GT550 headlight ears. Tapered steering stem bearings were also used in place of stock ball bearings.
New GT500 inner fork tubes were installed with new fork seals using the GT550 internals. The GT500 fork tubes are shorter and allow for mounting of the Clubman bars. GT550 tubes would need to raised in the upper clamp to gain proper ride height. The lower tubes were beadblasted instead of polished for ease of maintance. A Kawasaki front wheel was modified to fit as I had a Cast Iron Super Thin rotor I wanted to use instead of the Heavy Suzuki brake rotor. The Super Thin is about a third the weight of the Suzuki one.
A braided steel brake line was added with a plastic covering to protect the fork legs and fender from scratching.
Fork gaiters and proper headlight ears will be added when sourced to complete a stock look.
Updated 5-14-01 by Eric Kalamaja