Skinned Knuckles and Late Nights

Story by Glenn Roberts// Photos by Glenn Roberts
January 1 2008


Canadian Custom Showcase is Motorcycle Mojo’s first Collector’s Edition. Inside these pages you’ll find some of Canada’s brightest stars of the custom motorcycle industry. I have given a fair bit of thought about a publication like this for many years, and as such, it has been lurking in the depths of my limited amount of grey matter for some time now. Let me give you a little history of how, and why, this Collector’s Edition came to be.

I have always been a fan of motorcycles of all styles and types. From new to vintage, from ‘Rat’ bikes to full blown customs, from dirt bikes to race bikes. I can have as much fun on my daughter’s trail bike as I can soaking up the corners that hug the shoreline of a lake on the latest and greatest bike on the market. As long as there are two wheels, an engine and a throttle, they all have a place in my heart.

I used to work with my hands many years ago, I hold a ‘Class A’ Inter-Provincial Auto Technician license and a Truck and Coach license, and find myself still a tinkerer of all things mechanical. In the past I have made a few one-off parts for motorcycles I have owned and I felt great satisfaction with the end result and the fact that I made these pieces with my own hands and ideas. I used to dabble way more in the garage but Motorcycle Mojo now consumes most of my free time leaving me with only enough to squeeze in general maintenance on my bike.

My fondness for hands-on creativity and understanding the value of true craftsmanship has always left me with a bit of a soft spot for those who make their living in the custom motorcycle world and the rolling works of art they create. Because of my love of all things two-wheeled, I also wait with great anticipation to see where the factory-produced motorcycles are heading when the new models are unveiled each year. Our focus of this special edition is to celebrate the work of the guys and gals in the custom industry who are skinning their knuckles and working well into the night to get a job done. They are craftsmen in the truest sense of the word, pouring their heart and soul into the creations they produce.

Throughout the year I travel from coast-to-coast and I see all types of bikes at shows or on the road that leave me in awe. I have also travelled to shows in the States and I can honestly say that we have world-class talent in Canada, but because our builders are from north of the border, it is very rare that they get any recognition. We have builders in this issue who have won big in the States but you may have never heard of them. Take for instance Brad Haskins from Canadian Custom Motorcycles and Trick Factory’s Tim Lajambe and Rob Mosser; these two shops have taken the top four spots with two bikes each at a major show in Daytona Beach during Bike Week, ahead of some of the most famous builders in the world. Also Brent and Derek Law from Cycle Boyz Customs have won many trophies, including two back-to-back wins at the Canadian Championship of Bike Building. These two guys also took seventeenth spot at the 2007 AMD World Championships in Sturgis against a field of 120 competitors from around the globe. Not bad! Or how about Georges Thomas from Concept and Design Cycles in Quebec who won the 2007 Canadian Biker Build-Off and an all expense paid trip to compete in Daytona Beach at Bike Week in 2008. These few builders mentioned are just scratching the surface of the talent inside these pages.

Lets not stop at builders. Canadian Custom Showcase is also featuring those who make these creations sparkle, the painters and the airbrush artists. As grand as the machines are on their own, they would be left flat without this important pool of talent. Whether the customer or the builder is looking for flames or tribal designs, skulls and bones or ghosts and demons, this talented bunch can deliver. While we only have a handful of painters in this issue, like builders, there are many more out there who are exceptionally talented at their job. They deserve to be recognized as much as any other artist.

Our friends to the south have dozens of magazines dedicated to all aspects of motorcycles. And let’s not forget the television shows that have made many builders a household name. I used to watch Biker Build-Off and Build or Bust when I found time, but I must confess that I haven’t seen an episode of American Chopper for a few years. Not to worry, my dental hygienist fills me in on the happenings at OCC when I go in for my check-up. The American builders are definitely mainstream but unfortunately their Canadian counter-parts don’t get the same exposure.

So lets give them the recognition and inspiration they deserve north of the border. Tell your friends they can pick up a copy of this issue during the next four months at motorcycle shows from Halifax to Vancouver and many points in between. It is also available at your local Chapters and many other newsstands in Canada. They will then be able to see for themselves some of the amazing custom motorcycles that our talented Canadian artists create. They truly are top-notch craftsmen and can rival any builder in the world.

Whether you are looking for a mild to wild custom, or you feel the need to modify or dress up your ride with one-of-a-kind parts, chrome or paint, you can get world-class detail and design from coast-to-coast in Canada. Believe me, they will certainly work mighty hard to make you look good.

Glenn Roberts


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