Denny Berg: Bike Building’s Best-kept Secret

//Denny Berg: Bike Building’s Best-kept Secret

Denny Berg: Bike Building’s Best-kept Secret

In today’s environment of reality show bike builders that are always up against some fictional deadline or in a screaming match over who’s late for work, it can be hard to focus on what custom bike building is about.

And in the midst of all of this is Denny Berg, chief fabricator at Cobra Special Projects division. For 18 years, he’s been turning out some of the slickest customs in the industry. I caught up with Denny at this year’s Dealer Expo in Indianapolis (see video above), where Cobra rolled out a fleet of its custom bikes to celebrate 20 years of the special project division. We talked with him about four of his builds on display, including the 2000 Trakker with its carbon fiber body and gas tank; the 2005 Harley Knuckster; Red Rider — the first custom VTX bike ever built; and his 2002 Honda “Copper Chopper.”

To me, the thing that stands out the most about Denny is the platform he builds on — or more accurately, the multitude of platforms he builds. That’s because Denny builds everything. When people hear “custom bike builder,” most of the time they immediately think Harley-Davidson. And believe me, Denny has built more than his fair share of HDs.

But he’s also got a resume packed full of metric builds that are pretty much guaranteed to warp your mind. His builds are sneaky, and I apologize for my lack of a better word. These builds don’t hit you over the head with an asinine gigantic rear tire or a gas tank in the shape of a garbage truck. When you see one of his bikes, you immediately want to check it out, and the more you check it out the more badass fabrication and slick innovation you find.

Denny doesn’t need a television camera crew following his every move. He says he’s happy working by himself out of a 1,000-square-foot shop in Palm Springs. “I just turn the music up and build motorcycles,” he says. All the while keeping functionality at the bike’s core.

By |2015-04-14T16:56:59+00:00March 1st, 2012|Categories: Editorial/Commentary Articles|3 Comments

About the Author:

Patrick Garvin began his stint with J&P Cycles at the start of 2008 after doing some installs for us at Daytona and Sturgis for two years. Currently, Patrick splits his time between the eCommerce team and purchasing, finding new and exciting products for our website and catalog. When he’s not at his desk, he’s zigzagging across the country with J&P’s event crew. Patrick has an obsession with going fast on just about anything, a trait he shares with his 6-year-old son Race. You can usually find both of them wrenching in the garage or ripping through the fields on dirt bikes. Emma, his beautiful wife of 7-plus years, puts up with his antics and keeps his head screwed on because he certainly wouldn’t be able to find it without her.


  1. Toby Jones July 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Forget about the guys that b & b (buy and bolt) and don’t fabricate, paint or do much design on their customs at all. DENNY BERG IS THE MAN! More thought and good, common sense, goes into his muffler hangers than most of their entire customs. So glad someone brought taste back into custom bike building.

  2. John Irwin April 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Thanks for the article on Denny Berg it explains why every thing Cobra I have ever bought has fitted onto my Honda Shadow like it was built by Honda.

  3. Maicol March 15, 2012 at 3:23 am

    I don’t know how the motorcycle eledars handle it, but I have bought cars. Even if I pay cash or arrange my own financing, they still want to see my license and proof of insurance. Maybe that’s just the law in my state and yours is different. Maybe motorcycle eledars don’t really care just as long as you qualify for their financing program.Everything is negotiable so have them figure out what your payments would be and ask them if you paid two months up front as a down payment/deposit, would they hold the bike for a month and still sell it to you for the current sales price once you have your certificate and permit?Whatever you agree on, get it in writing.

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