1984 Puch Cobra Moped
I purchased this bike from a close friend’s dad who bought it new from a motorcycle shop in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. When I purchased the bike it was in good condition. I cleaned and tuned it up just in time for my junior and senior year of college. I rode my new moped up the big hill to campus and around town with a smile ear to ear. It was great for commuting and zipping around town.
One day when I was riding home between classes, I got stuck in traffic. I hit the the throttle hard and took off, but traffic started to come to a stop. I let go of the throttle but nothing happened, the moped continued on full speed ahead. And soon I was going to be crumpled into the back of a yellow VW bug! I ditched the bike and slid down the road. The throttle cable had become pinched in the steering column. I was banged up, the bike was banged up, and I limped it home by shutting the ignition on and off as I went down the hill to control my speed. I dented the tank pretty good, broke the head light, bent a pedal arm, and screwed up the controls. I was strapped for time while in school, so I did the bare minimum to get it back together but I always had a dream of restoring it.
Fast forward to 2016. I had some time and I was looking for a project. I thought why not see what I can make of this moped. I went all out with it.
I started this process by breaking the bike down and stripping it to the frame. I found a guy in California that would repair the dents in the tank, one of the few people that does this in the US. I then found a friend who owns an auto body shop to paint the tank and a few spare parts. I decided on a gun metal gray paint as I wanted the bike to have an enduro motorcycle look.
I upgraded the suspension to off road suspension, it lifted the bike a good 3-4” higher than its previous stance. I rebuilt the motor and bumped the displacement to 64cc’s and installed a larger 15mm carb. I machined the lower cases to match the new air intake channels. I polished the exhaust and intake ports. The bike was switched over to a 100w magneto with electronic ignition system. A new light weight crank shaft was installed for higher revs and a new clutch for better acceleration. I re-geared the bike to have good low end power. I put on a MLM side bleed expansion pipe for more power. New fenders for the off road look. New angel eye head light, off road tires, and temp indicator. I had the whole frame sand blasted and powder coated gloss black.
The bike is a dream come true and really rips. The clutch needs a bit of tweaking when I get more time. So far my speed tests show about a 12mph increase with a top speed around 47mph. This project was full of frustrations and fun but blasting down the road sure was worth it!