Kent County Custom, a well-respected motorcycle shop, is reknowned across the country for its incredibly talented owner, Luc Leblanc, an established motorcycle builder in the Canadian bike-building scene. Although Luc built the bike featured here, he can’t take all the credit for it. The owner of Kobyn, Bernie Michaud, who named the bike after combining letters of his kids’ names, keeps a sharp eye on the custom aftermarket industry and dictated almost the complete build to Luc. But to understand a bit more about how Kobyn came to be, we must go back a few years.
Bernie and Luc had drawn up a few sketches of a bike they called Untamed, a custom-framed sportbike with a high-powered, 120 ci V-twin as its mode of propulsion. Combining a radical sportbike with an American V-twin wasn’t the norm, and some might argue that Untamed was ahead of its time.
Untamed’s debut came after a lengthy drive from eastern New Brunswick to central Alberta to compete in a bike-building competition. With a couple of minor items not quite finished, the bike didn’t fare as well as he had hoped and Luc left the vast plains of oil country a little disappointed. Bernie, also a tad disheartened, decided on a new bike design and ordered a frame from Quebec-based Rolling Thunder.
The R&R Cycle engine and Baker transmission from Untamed would become the driving force for Kobyn. Bernie, with his keen eye for detail, chose and ordered most of the parts for the new bike himself. There were times, after Luc had installed or manufactured some parts, when the pair would stand back and determine if the bike was progressing in the direction of Bernie’s original vision. This build-style, in which the owner purchases all of the parts and someone else builds the bike, isn’t without its pitfalls. It means periodically removing some parts and ordering different styles, or completely redesigning some of the manufactured pieces. For instance, Luc built three sets of handlebars, one above and two below the top triple tree, before Bernie was happy with the final outcome. The same could be said for the three sets of forward controls and the front wheel that needed to be modified to suit the ongoing build. The rear three-spoke, in-board brake rotor on the Rolling Thunder single-sided swingarm visually clashed with the five-spoke rear wheel, so Luc made a five-spoke rotor hub to match the rest of the rolling components.
Another of Bernie’s requests was to have stainless steel hydraulic lines follow the contours of the frame and any other components they were attached to. With a minimal number of steel-braided flex lines and the solid brake and clutch lines entering and exiting the triple trees and the frame, Luc did an exceptional job of routing the steel lines for all to see. After all, there’s no sense in hiding an exquisite job.
Bernie’s vision was to have the bike’s new frame look aged as if it had many years of patina. This warranted a good deal of experimentation for painter Leon Boudreau. Once it was discovered how to accomplish the task at hand, Luc said it was one of the least complicated paints jobs he had ever been involved with.
A build like this is bound to bring a few trials and tribulations, but one thing is sure: Kobyn turned out to be a real head-turner.
Owner: Bernie Michaud
Make: Kent County Custom
Model: KCC Pro Street
Builder: Luc Leblanc
Time to Build: Four months
Name of Bike: Kobyn
Builder: R&R Cycle
Displacement: 120 ci
Cases: R&R Cycle
Heads: R&R Cycle
Lower End: R&R Cycle
Carburetor: S&S Super E
Air Cleaner: Custom KCC
Ignition: Daytona Twin Tech
Exhaust: KCC stainless/Supertrapp
Type: Drop clutch / slam starter
Primary Drive: Baker
Builder: Rolling Thunder
Type: SLX Original modified
Modifications: Signal lights added to rear of frame
Builder: Mean Street
Triple Trees: Mid-glide 41mm
Modifications: Custom fit tach with copper spacers
Painting: Flying Colours
Builder/Manufacturer: Leroy Thompson
Tire Make and Size: The Monster 23 × 3
Builder/Manufacturer: Leroy Thompson
Tire Make and Size: 260 × 18
Gas Tank: KCC
Oil Tank: KCC
Seat: LB Custom Leather
Headlight: Exile Cycles
Extras: Copper brake lines and fittings by Matt Hotch. Forward controls, gas caps and grips by Rebuffini Cycles. Frame was painted as antique copper patina by Leon Boudreau. Special thanks to Bernie for the chance to build this project.