About four years ago, Zach Cohen crashed his bike and broke his arm. He used the insurance cash from the totaled bike to kick-start Cohen & Sons, the brand his grandfather had drawn up on the back of a napkin in 1947 and operated out of the Brooklyn, designing and producing classic menswear for half a century.
After battling decades of overseas competition, C&S shuttered their doors in the early 1990s, but Grandson Zach set out to revive the family brand. He says:
“We specialize is classic styles with kind of a rugged edge. We make everything out of extremely durable materials that are infused with performance tech. The denim has moisture wicking and advanced stretch. Think Underarmour but jeans…but you couldn’t tell by looking at them. Great for riding.”
When Cohen & Sons wanted a bespoke scrambler build, they sought out the help of Pista Design, based in Los Angeles — one of the most innovative builders working today — consisting of Lindsay Ross (Creative Director), Alex Kors (Fabricator), and Robbie Pyle (The Dude). The result is the Yamaha XT600E scrambler you see here, aka the “Crooked Rooster.”
Below, we get the full story on the build from Pista Design.
Yamaha XT600E Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
The Crooked Rooster is a fully bespoke bike. Cohen and Sons wanted a vintage feeling scrambler with a little more capability than a properly old bike. This brief came together as sort of an oddball Baja/Dakar race inspired bike with heavy city/cafe cues and hints of contemporary functional styling.
Throughout the build we aimed to work in various materials and processes used throughout their products and carry them over to the bike. They opened the factory doors and let us laser-etch the leather just as done with their goods. As a wink to the artisans of the past we commissioned acclaimed lettering artist and sign painter Remy Chwae (@sign_gal) to hand paint the vintage MX400 tank with an insignia and a re-imagined Cohen & Sons logo.
The seat is hand crafted with the same leather they use to create their belts and keychains.
Using a 1991 Yamaha XT600E as a base, we combined old and new in fun and strange ways. The bike has a completely new subframe (now symmetrical) and wears a 1975 Yamaha MX400 aluminum gas tank with hand-rolled aluminum fenders; the front combining into a robot chicken beak-like structure that gave birth to the bike’s name.
An 80s Supertrap exhaust can, along with a custom Motobox billet aluminum tail light and frame plug signals tidy up the rear.
It’s not the lightest or most powerful bike, but it leaves you grinning 100% of the time. It’s perfect to blast around the city and then take you off road to your favorite camp site. Zach Cohen would like to add: “In your well-worn C&S denim of course.”
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