Yuriy Shif is a famous Byelorussian customizer who designs and constructs motorcycles and then creates their doubles.
Going to his office through the workshop. It smeels like paint here. The squeal of the buffing machine is followed by the knocks of some tools and the work never stops here. On the floor there are two cups reminding of the former wins.
There are a lot of bikes in the room, but it is a bad omen to take pictures of those which are not ready yet.
He didn’t study well at school, but had a strong desire to ride on something. So, his career began when he adjusted a motor to his bicycle by himself, which was not difficult for him. However, he made his his first custom Silver Stork only at age 41. Do you want to know what he’d been doing all that time in between? Who doesn’t!
He was a manager of a karting team which also had a success which he is proud of as well.
He studied in Germany and the designs he creates, do not come to him in dreams as some people think. Each motorcycle is a result of hard work.
It so happened that customizing is considered underground in Russian and post-Soviet countries, but Yuriy disagrees with that saying that he’s won contests in the USA and Germany, so what he does cannot be underground by no means.
The secret of his success lies in the fact that he always tries to work harder that he should to make his bike as close to his ideal (like Silver Stork) as possible. There are lucky and unlucky streaks in is work but he never gives up.
Silver Stork. The idea to name his bike Silver Stork is not accidental. In the US and Germany a stork is associated with Belarus.
Some bikes have their doubles, made at the requests of his customers. They may have a different color or name, like Silver Stork 2. Some of his bikes go for serial production which he is very proud of, like it happened with his Мinsk М4 200 bike. Its high-quality and not too pretentious at the same time.
To make a motorcycle, they have to make a draft, a model, an experimental model, a production piece, and then they receive a serial production model.
He says that some of his bikes reflect the character of thier owners which is hard to achieve, and adds that he has two criteria for his work: I’m not ashamed of it and I’m proud of it.
It takes his team and him a half of a year to make a motorcycle. In the picture you see Abordage, to creat which they had to study the history of piracy. The client was more than satisfied with the work.
But sometimes it so happens that Yuriy does not what his customer wants, but something that he feels right about. Thus, instead of the black Chopper, he made a white Duster and the customer liked it very much.
Both this biker and his bike look like a demon.
The owner of this motorcycle wanted to have an aerographic painting of a famous Soviet cartoon on it. Cute, isn’t it?
To prove that a good motorcycle can have a Russian motor and details made in Russia as well, he’s created this masterpiece.
Yuriy says that he has several bikes of his own but prefers to drive a car.
The hardest part is to make up a name for a bike. He named this one in Spanish – Prueba de vida – because it did not sound well in English – Proof of the life.
One of his clients, a famous Russian actor on his bike.
Time Machine. It was named after a famous Russian music band, which later put it on the cover of its album.
This is Yuriy’s right hand and one of the most experienced and talented workers in the team.
His clients are mostly successful businessmen and famous people from different cities and countries of the world.
In the picture:Gustav Skippone.
If a customer does not like the bike, Yuriy takes it back to find another purchaser fo it. No bike is left without an owner.
It took him much effort to prove that his motorcycles, just as Belarus, are worth attention of the American and European viewers. What he didn’t like at these competitions was that a lot of people didn’t know where Belarus was situated and asked him this question.
He says smiling slyly, that he’s not going to build bikes all his life, and maybe later on he will shoot a movie or something. For the progeny, he has already left his bikes and now wants to leave something else.