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Yuri Shif Customs – “The Machine”

Posted on February 11, 2011 by Andrew in Other. 20 comments

Long short Sally, she’s built for speed… and winning bike shows, apparently.

Here’s one out of left field, or more correctly out of east field. I think it’s fair to say that Belarus isn’t exactly known for custom bikes… come to think of it, I’m not sure what it’s known for. Until now, that is. Say “Вітаю” to The Machine, a bespoke creation from Minsk’s Yuri Shif Customs and the best thing to come out of Belarus since, um, since ever.

Some of you might remember Yuri’s previous creation, the very baroque Ducati Duster, which made quite a spalsh back in 2010 at the Verona Expo when it took out the Best International Bike Builder award. Not one to rest on his laurels, Yuri apparently sketched this bike out in his hotel room after the show and hey presto, he shows up with this creation at the AMD Custom Bike Building World Championship later in the year. Either Yuri’s a guy with a lot of free time up his sleeve, or there ain’t jack to do in Minsk. Either way, I think we should all be thankful that a guy with pretty much zero local help or custom bike culture can come up with something as amazing as this. Sorta makes you feel a little lazy, don’t it?

Thanks to a fairly hefty language barrier and the world’s worst translator, information on The Machine is a little hard to come by. From what we can tell, it’s based around two custom BMW boxer engines topped off by an amazing-looking blower, again from Deutchland. Yuri’s guiding principle for the build was to create something that could just have easily been created in the 1930s or 40s as in 2010. I could be going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing that he’s a fan of classic 1934 BMW K7.

For a custom, the steering set-up is an amazingly daring hand-made single-sided swingarm design. I’m really testing my engineering knowledge here, but to me it looks like a top wishbone setup with a pushrod connector from the bars to the… um. Scrub that, I have no idea at all how it works. But hot damn it looks great, and that knock-off hub is a masterstroke.

Other highlights of note in this engineering wonderland are the rear-cowl-as-petrol-tank complete with beautiful leather straps that match the buttcheek cushions on the sleek seat, the grips on the beautifully dropped handlebars, and the rearsets. Also, check the totally unique cylinder head designs – I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen that done before and I’m an instant fan. It’s part cage, part kendo mask, and all kick-ass.

While I love the antique purpley-blue he’s finished the frame in, I’m really tempted to throw the thing into Photoshop and see what it’d look like in a semi-gloss black. But that’s just me.

Yuri was quoted as saying that he was keen to take the bike to Bonneville and give it a little open air and salt to let it stretch it’s legs. The thought alone is enough to give me goosebumps, but Google as I may I can’t find any more on this. Yuri, if you’re reading this please let us know if you ever got there. And while you’re at it, what are you working on next? After knocking two-for-two clean out of the ballpark, I’m sure I speak from us all when I say that we are waiting with bated breath…

It’s a bit of a stretch to the ‘bars – just pray that the supercharger doesn’t throw a rotor.

Yuri and The Machine.

(Thanks to Taras from Bike Magazine in the Ukrane for the tip-off.)

  • Steven

    "just pray that the supercharger doesn't throw a rotor."

    Forget a rotor, that may never happen, but it will definitely throw a belt, at least once. After that, I don't think you'll want to ride it any more.

  • CaptainChaos

    Those "totally unique cylinder head designs" are not. They are K / Dnepr / Ural originals, only slightly more rare than sand in the former Soviet countries.

  • It's a nice piece of… Art? Anyway, can, that thing, actually turn?

    Doesn't look very confortable with the (hot?) supercharger just in the chest of the rider

  • Den

    Beautiful, I have a feeling it could be powered by former soviet block engines from old IMZ/Ural, KMZ/dnepr, or possib;y even possibly chang jiang from china, all started out by using BMW designs at the end of WW2,

  • Den

    Sorry about the typos, proof read!

  • kik

    wasted energy, lots of cool bits to build a nice motorcycle tho..

  • Andrew

    @Den Watch the video linked to the "world's worst translation" text above. Yuri definitely says it's two BMW engines, and a German blower.

    @CaptainChaos Common as dirt in the former Soviet Countries? I might have overstated the case calling them "totally unique", but I'd wouldn't call something that's big in Azerbaijan "common". Do you have a link to a picture of one?

  • Andrew

    And before we get too many more "trailer queen" comments, best consider that fact that the bike may have done some passes at Bonneville…

    Yuri? Any details on this?

  • KaptainKhaos

    I live in Finland, there's really quite a lot of these Soviet bikes here. Not ridden much, mind you, they are known for unbelievably bad quality.

    Lots of pics here:

  • jack

    "It's a nice piece of… Art? Anyway, can, that thing, actually turn?"

    yeah, i dont think this thing is meant to be carving up windy roads, it would be a sight to see it perform at bonny.

    interesting build, but i dont like the frame, it stands out too much.

  • Chris

    Saw it in the the german "Custombike" Magazine. It won the custombuilder award at Bad Salzuflen 2010.
    What is better than one hellover BMW-Boxer? Sure, two of it in one boik. I wanna hear that thing scream on the road!!!
    I honor Yuris craftmanship on this bike. All of it: the frame, the suspension, the camshaft et cetera…it is all handmade.
    Looking for more of this crazy, in a way, steampunkish boiks!

  • Andrew

    @KaptainKaos (In an evil supervillan voice) You win this time Khaos, but I'll get you next time… NEEEEEXXXXT TIIIIIMMMMMMEEEEEE!!! Muuuaaaaahhahahahahaha!

  • @Jack, Yep. Go Bonny, put an old man in the seat, and it would be "The world's fastest Yuri Shif" XD

    Mmm… I like the tank, but it looks small (in mileage), isn't it?

  • DrDoom

    We need to see and hear this bike run, better yet be ridden. Please please Yuri make a video.
    Must have pissed you off when the windshield broke, cool repair though.

  • YuriShif

    This motorcycle could be concidered as a real respect content to all romanties and enthusiasts of all times and generations , to the ones who like speed and freedom.

  • Ken

    I wonder if your tits get stuck to the intake….

  • Mattytrudeau

    ugly ! wondering the same thing .if air flow wold suck the hare off your chest or kill the motor .

  • joeybk

    danger is if the belt goes or the blower explodes in ur face what a joke this is  . ok if you had some bullet proof plates over all that danger … 

  • lcjohnny

    Really beautiful piece of steam-punk stylee
    hope it goes 🙂

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