The Story Of Custom Builder Jim Giuffra And Of His AFT Custom Girls

While touring the show circuit most custom builders (not me!) and vendors, at one time or the other, have employed one pretty lady or two to greet, promote, distribute catalogs, pose for professional and amateur photographers… And if you are a familiar to the big rallies you may think that Metric Custom Builder Jim Giuffra from AFT Customs is the largest employer of these ladies. Wrong! Yes, Jim is probably the most female accompanied man on the show tour, (never with less than 3 to 7 ladies with him) but only during professional hours and for a very good reason: they are his professional mechanic helpers, responsible for most of what was done under his supervision on some of his custom motorcycles like the one featured here.

Some doubt about their real participation, not me because I know the true story. The interesting part is how Jim Giuffra came up with the idea to promote female custom building in his AFT Customs shop. Nobody is asking him how it happened but I did. Jim told me:    

“Six years ago we had 2 of my female friends work at shows in my AFT booth. Everyone was impressed by how professional & classy they acted. The industry needed to rise above the “stripper booth babe.” So people started asking to hire them. These ladies got some of their friends together & formed the AFT Customs Girls Modeling Agency for the powersports industry. I thought they should also come in the shop to help put a bike together so they would have product knowledge. To my surprise they loved it. It exploded from there. I show them what to do. Everything from building engines, valve jobs, lacing wheels, carb work, suspension, and welding ( TIG & MIG), fabrication. They have a blast & are so proud of the work they do. People don’t believe us but we have many non-staged pictures on my website to prove it. Miller Welding sponsors the girls & is working with them to get them certified”

The Kemosabe bike (means “Faithful Friend”) featured here is the 4th bike they have participated in. Jim Giuffra told me that he keeps 7 girls in his Power Sports model agency and that he had 16 different girls in 6 years. On this Honda 750 cc project, the ladies built about 70% of the bike under his supervision. Jim stating “I give them a safe environment to work in & respect them, which is why it works well. This is important for young women in that it builds their self esteem & confidence. They learn the value of team work & friendship. They learn that average isn’t good enough & being successful requires discipline. They are learning how to run a business & how to negotiate. They have a collective say about everything on the bike. Some of these girls have moved on to own their own businesses and to other successful careers. They’re better moms, business owners, employees, wives etc.. When we travel we always incorporate points of interest in the local areas we travel to. I’m teaching them to back a trailer right now and I just picked up a Honda CRF80 to teach the girls that don’t know how to ride. My biggest reward will be years from now when they look back at this time in their life & say they did something they were very proud of. They make history & built world class customs.”

Back to Kemosabe, it’s a 2010 Honda VT 750 cc designed to be ridden in Bonneville by the AFT Girls. They almost doubled the horse power over stock. Most all parts are custom made or modified stock parts.The following companies helped in the project. Miller Welding, Avon Tyre, Renegade Classics, Bozzie Cust, Lyndall Brakes, Motion Pro, Works Conn., Web Cam, JE Piston, Alloy Art, Avon Grips, Grip Ace, TPJ Cust, Kirk Taylor, Cole Foster, Greg Westbury, Kraus Motor Co. (pictures H. Roesler)

26 Responses to “The Story Of Custom Builder Jim Giuffra And Of His AFT Custom Girls”

  1. 1 Chris Trez Aug 19th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Cyril. You’ve got the most unique and interesting stories. Go, girls.

  2. 2 Brandon Aug 19th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Jim, your shirt color is too flashy for the girls’ shirt color and bike. Distracting. We look at you!

  3. 3 Out Of Gear Aug 19th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I need some female mechanic helpers

  4. 4 Racer2 Aug 19th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Are the girls truly going to race this in Bonneville?

  5. 5 Larry R Aug 19th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Way to go Jim. Great job girls. Thanks for the story Cyril.

  6. 6 Dar - Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers Aug 19th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Jim & ladies, it was a pleasure working with you in Sturgis. Continued success to you .

  7. 7 Steve the producer Johann Aug 19th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Great going, we love to see ladies involved in all aspects especially the nuts and bolts of riding and building. Thanks Cyril for the story.

  8. 8 aft customs Aug 20th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks for the supprt. Dar – great new bike – girls had fun! Sukhee & Shelby will ride the bike at the BUB event 8/28-31. We will also be shooting 3 posters – 1 with Cyndi & 1 with Shelby & a group shot with photographer Mike Chase. The girls learn a lot by talking to all of you so don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with them. We will be in the Artistry in Iron Las Vegas after Bonneville. The girls will be starting their 2011 bike in october.Thanks Cyril for taking us seriously.

  9. 9 Sukhee Aug 20th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Hey Racer2, Yes, Jim, Shelby and I will be racing Kemosabe in Bonneville. Not going for a land speed record (no class for this bike,) however we will get the experience of going fast on the salt flats. It’s going to be amazing! Thanks Cyril for the great article!

  10. 10 Katy Harris Aug 20th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Awesome Article! Go AFT!

  11. 11 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian MotorCycle Co Aug 20th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Jim and his lovely gils are 1st class all the way. Keep up the great work and its always good to see the bikes you turn out

  12. 12 John Swartz Miller Electric Mfg. Co. Aug 22nd, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    The ladies of AFT are legit and Miller is happy to be working with them, Jim and the crew did another great job with the Kemosabe build and we wish them the best of luck in Vegas and Bonneville. We look forward to working with them as they start their next build this fall and continue to help the ladies improve their welding skills.

  13. 13 TPJ Customs Aug 23rd, 2010 at 9:30 am

    The bike is sweet and can’t wait to see it fly down the salt. Not many guys could do what the girls and Jim accomplish. They should be very proud.

  14. 14 Aaron Glenn@ Glenndyne Aug 23rd, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Jim @ girls it was nice seeing you all again. Great bike! see you all at the next event.

  15. 15 GRIP ACE - DIGITAL SWITCHES Aug 23rd, 2010 at 9:48 am

    It’s amazing what a lucky guy can produce from beautiful women. Great machine Jim. I can’t wait to build a bike and not get my hands dirty while pretty babes enjoy the sweet labor.

  16. 16 Brian Marion Aug 23rd, 2010 at 10:29 am

    The entire crew are complete professionals and can handle any situation. Kudos to Jim and also to the girls for giving the industry an alternative to the usual. Well done.

  17. 17 maroco Aug 23rd, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Great work, hope one day see a woman in the top of bike builders.

  18. 18 Kustom Kolors Aug 23rd, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Nice job Jim…Glad to see you’re doing so well. hope to meet up with you again at another show. I have hired Jim’s gals and must say they are number professionals all the way! Hi Jeanine!

  19. 19 raycwheeler Aug 23rd, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Great Guy, Great Girls and Fine motorcycles.
    Lucky man that Jim Giuffra, glad we know each other and share one of the same addictions. Motorcycles and beautiful women.
    ray usa

  20. 20 jatinder pal Aug 24th, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Love the bike and ofcoarse the girls…..wish i have them in my garage.

  21. 21 dragon Aug 24th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    love it u go girls keep up the good workand have fun while ur doing it i think this is great

  22. 22 Sara Harrah Aug 25th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you so much Cyril for the amazing article. As for bike building and being a woman I must say it is such a liberating experience. I have worked on cars a bit here and there but to be a part of building custom show bikes…….Damn!!! That’s the truth how lucky all us girls are. I look forward to many successful builds in the future. I must say thank you to Jim for all he has has taught us and the friendships we have all formed. Kick ASS at Bonneville girls! So sad I won’t be there 🙁

  23. 23 Shelby Aug 26th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks so much for the great article! Get ready for one hell of a ride, look out Bonneville here we come!

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