ROKON Cobra 340 .. American Made Motocross Bike ... Yes, its a pull-start

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2/18/2012 7:58 AM

a friend has one in his collection. also has a cannondale. 2 oddball bikes but cool to have among the usual stuff.

2/18/2012 10:09 AM

To the best of my knowledge (and I was pulling wrenches in a dealership, 1973 on...) Rokon is the first disk brake front and rear in the MX and enduro production. I do remember Al Baker (Honda Factory Baha 1000 Champ) looking into disk brakes on his 500 thumper. Honda said no due to lack of production capabilities on their XR's sold to the public. And no the zip ties were not stock.. the function of zip ties to keep spokes from chaffing and or stretching over time. Remember in the day money was not an endless supply, I was one of the few who had a spare (back up bike) in the hauler. Fact is I had two, one back up Rokon and one back up Cooper 250 as I raced both classes, back to back. I currently do have an AMMEX 250 MX as well I ride from time to time. and yes I still have my Cooper 250 in running condition. When I feel nasty I roll out my Husky 450 and turn sod...or my old 1964 Maico 250... It's a raw dowg as well... Mid Ohio built it's first super cross track in the late 70's and I had the pleasure of racing the Cooper 250 on that track once. Beat the crap outta me...All that air and no suspension.... I pulled a 3rd place that race day but never again... 1979 the new Bikes had way more travel. I didn't stand a chance. Marriage, kids, No money. I walked away pleased I had the years of success I did. At 53 I take pride on my 1934 Harley Davidson 74ci flatty VLD my father shipped back from Berlin Germany at the end of his WWII tour. He and Bobby Hoe (factory, out of house racing wench, Dayton Ky.) rebuilt the engine in 1948, Dad and I restored frame and paint 1984. I ride it everyday rain, snow, sleet, ice. It is truly a sweet ride. My Dad Mr. William H. Bohart (Bo) past away March 2011 at the age of 84. RIP dear old friend. Coolest Dad a man could have. A true original "Biker" and Gentlemen.

2/18/2012 11:15 AM

great read Bill.

2/18/2012 11:25 AM

RbR wrote:

Here are a few more photos ... can't even imagine what it would be like to pull start an open bike ... since kick starting them was brutal enough ...

bill.bohart1 wrote:

How sweet, I still have mine, Raced it for 5 years around Northern Kentucky and southern Ohio, Glen Estie, Mid Ohio MX track. Pendelton Co Ky. New Castle Ky, I raced ET's or Bracket Racing at Thornhill 1/4 mile drag strip. I had great success. Many AMA trophy's. I have two enduro Models in my bone yard. I have 1 new old stock 340 Sachs engine still in it's box. 5 Goodyear belts, torque converter parts (ramps, clutch parts, new down sweep expatiation chamber , air filters, pistons, etc...) assortment of bolts, sprockets, gaskets, foot pegs, points, pull start handles, axles, nuts, spokes, We took on a dealership for Rokon mid 70's... I really liked the fact I could hold half throttle headed into a corner, apply the awesome disc brakes, engine held full torque, release the brake and lunch out of a turn like a rocket. I spanked the Yamadowg 480's and any and all open class bikes. yes it was heavy but keeping it on the grd. also applied full traction to the rear tire. Air time is a waste due to no power down. can't make speed when the knobs is not grabbing dirt.... square turns made for fast lap time as well. I think it had 8" front travel, 4" rear. oh well, it ain't no carpet ride. I was racing not joy riding. Pull start is not to bad if the tune is correct. Yes this Rokon was a bad A$$ MX Iron in it's day.I still enjoy a ride from tome to time, 90 mph across dirt is hauling a$$ guys. BIG fun. It is a different style of ride. I would love to see Bubba (James Stewart Jr.) give it a spin, that would be a sight to see. BTW, I raced a Cooper 250 (Pre AMMEX aka Jones Islo) class moto b4 my open class moto on every Sunday. What a blast I had! I ran top 1st ~2nd in that class as well. Thanks for the memory's and great pix Moto_Geek . Your Biker bro, Bill Bohart. DOB, 1958 Oh yeah I might add, To take an MX iron 6~7 years out of date and pull 1st ~ 3rd every race... Something to be said for that. This Rokon was never at lack for power or speed. Totally stock! Race ready out of it's shipping box!

I bet you have some stories from back in the day. You probably know Gene Stephenson and Dan Hermes? I used to go out to the track in Butler all the time when I was younger. Pretty sure it's the Pendleton co track you speak of.

2/18/2012 2:16 PM

Man, that thing is cool. Some of the design was way ahead of its time.

2/18/2012 2:26 PM

IIRC the brakes although disk were weak, or was it due to no engine braking.

2/18/2012 8:03 PM

I never had issues with braking, I did however give the disk and pads a go over each week. 300 grit by hand to achieve a slight crosshatch on disk, hit the pads lightly too. I maintained my own machines after each race weekend. I kept them clean and mean as I would be the one to suffer from any mistakes made or malfunctions. I did note a slight lack of brake performance while slipping and sliding the rainy, wet, mud track. However doing mud one really has little use for brakes. Climb up on top the tank, kick the rear wheel out and gas gas gas.... Brakes are for sissies anyway.... ;-) The faster it is, the smoother you go....

8/9/2014 12:27 PM

I raced one in NESC motocross in 1975. My friend was a Penton, Maico, Monarch dealer who took on Rokons for the enduros and then this thing showed up. The blog above was right on about hitting the corners hard, grabbing the disc brakes and then rocketing out. Kind of like a billiard ball of a bumper. It was way ahead of its time with some features like a plated crankshaft opening at the bottom of the cylinder tat caused fuel to push through the ports faster. Suspension sucked on that model though. After doing a side to side dance off a small hilltop I gave it back and bought a Maico AW 400 that was supreme handling machine. The Cobra was cool though but I got some strange looks at the starting line when I would get out of the saddle, squeeze the front brake lever with one hand while pull starting it.