by André Bobinas
On your marks, get set, GO!
Get those scoots out. It’s almost time ! Old man winter has
left us and the spring chicken… or is it the fresh turkey ?…
no, no, it’s the ground hog and he’s going to stuff the spring
chicks and that only means that it’s going to be an early
summer. Ha ! I don’t remember anymore. I just know I got to
hustle and get my bike ready for all those winding country
Here’s my routine. First I check the floor under my bike for
any oil spots. Most bikes sit in the same spot for months so
any leaks, even minor ones, will leave their mark. No spots
– great ! If there is one, find the location and repair the leak.
Be attentive. The scoot has been sitting on the side stand
for a while so sometimes the leak comes from the right
side, follows gravity and drips on the left side. Hawgs have
a way of playing with your mind like that.
By Pascal Richard
You know, it’s not always the big shops that built super looking bikes. Here’s a
perfect example. Sylvain Genest (A.K.A “Sly”) is a man who has mastered the fine
art of sheet metal work. For over twenty-five years Sylvain has worked his trade,
which holds no secrets for him. He followed in his father’s footsteps – he who
excelled in the field of racing and has been “building” for many years. Undoubtedly
growing up in the world of racing and being exposed to this lifestyle at a young age
certainly inspired Sly’s future.
Sly drew much of his influence from custom builders like Cody as well as Joe Roy
who now lives in Toronto –unquestionable metal forming authorities. If you ever
have the chance to meet these gentlemen pay attention as they both have a rich
history in bike building. Sly is not the type of guy whose sole purpose is to make
waves in the motorcycle industry but offer him a project and he will make it a masterpiece.
If you have attended the Bike & Tattoo Show in the past you surely have
come across motorcycles that he has had a hand in fabricating.
Tim and Mike Ryall, dedicated 'til the end!
By Charlie Lessard
“Shovelheads and Panheads ! That’s a ‘75, that’s a ’78 –
we’re restoring that completely, that’s a ’79 – we’re rebuilding
the whole drivetrain ‘n transmission on it… we specialize in
motors, trannys and wiring. You want your flat tire fixed ? We’ll
send you to the other shop down the road”. Those were the
first words that came from Mike Ryall as he walked me into the
service area at Kustom Bike Shop in Windsor, Ontario. And
with those few words I knew I was about to take a journey
way back in time.
Mike Ryall first started out on Harleys in 1966 at the young
age of sixteen. His first bike was a 1954 Panhead that he
bought and brought home in pieces. After some “negotiations”
with his father (his mother was a great ally), he was
allowed to rebuild the bike in the family garage. He later, as
he puts it, “rode the hell out of it” ! At that time there were
no Harley-Davidson dealers in Windsor so Mike had to go
across the bridge into Detroit to buy parts such as head
gaskets and such. Being the intuitive guy that he was he
would purchase half a dozen at a buck a piece to later sell
them to his buddies in Windsor for two bucks.
Cafe V-Rod from Germany
A few words about me. I grew up in a small town
in Croatia where racing through the uptown
streets was common place. Infected with the
speed virus, I built my first motorcycle at fourteen
years of age and then started to earn money by
repairing bikes at sixteen. In the 1990s I travelled
to Germany and started to work on vintage cars
such as Jaguars and Maseratis. I learned the secrets
of bodywork by rebuilding my own cars –
the school of trial and error. Perfection was my
goal. I’ve been building motorcycles since 2004
for people who want something special and who
aren’t interested in the mainstream.
In 2007 I built an apehanger V-Rod for Georg
Friedrich the Austrian actor. Unfortunately one
day Georg was struck by a car driver and his
bike was badly damaged. Only the motor and the
electrical components were reusable. Georg is a
big fan of classic British bikes from the ‘60s so
I came up with the idea to build him a bike with a
cafe racer look, something that reflected that 60´s
allure but incorporated present day performance.
When Georg saw the drawings I had sketched,
I had his approval within seconds.