Venier Customs designs are created through the art direction of Stefano Venier and builds are brought into reality through the hands of master mechanics. All the parts like seats, paints, leavers and others come from artisans from Italian shops and companies. Stefano Venier the owner and head designer of the company started to modify and drive motorcycles from an early age, always customizing whatever motorcycle or moped he was driving. We interviewed him to find out more about how it all started and why customizing bikes to him is like Christmas time.
1. When was the first time you ever rode a motorcycle or scooter?
I was 8 years old, my dad used to take me around on a Vespa 50 Special and let me ride it. After riding a few mopeds I think that the actual first motorcycle that I rode was a KTM 250CC when I was 13 years old. It was real fun.
2. How has growing up riding scooters influence you to create custom motorcycles today?
I wouldn't do what I do today if I didn't start customizing motorcycles myself at an early age. My friends and I were creating mopeds that would go as fast as missiles on the country side in the Friuli area in Italy and then we moved on to the dirt bikes. That’s where it all started for real.
3. When did you design your first motorcycle? How did you customize it?
My first designs are dated way back to my moped days, but my first custom special bike was created just one year ago, and it made the cover of Iron & Air right away. It was a Diabola V35C. My friend Dario bought a Moto Guzzi 1000SP from Barbacane, a beautiful bike, when the Diabola came out it was everywhere. Not what I expected at all.
4. How has your production design degree help you with your work ethic and creation process?
Well, my product design degree helped me a lot. It helped me understand proportions, shapes, and colors. I’m applying what I learned and trying to build the perfect motorcycle.
5. What’s your favorite motorcycle that you ever designed?
This is something that is hard to admit but you never forget your first love, so I’d say the Diabola V35C.
6. What’s the design process like? Do you sketch first and then put into Photoshop or vice versa?
I first decide what type of bike I want to build. Then, I look for a bike in the market so I can make it happen. When I buy the bike, I start to deconstruct it by removing fenders, tank, etc. I leave the forks, motor and frame, basically a naked bike. Then I take a few photos, print them, and then start sketching by hand. After that, I start making Photoshop renderings to see the actual result. I decide on the colors and final shapes. I start to make CAD files for the tanks if needed and then send them to production. Once I buy all the parts I need, I start to build the bike. When we have the mock ups we can start shaping the bike and this is when the design concept comes to life and becomes the bikes you see.
7. What’s your favorite aspect about customizing motorcycles?
When I customize bikes I feel like Giotto Bizzarrini or a kid in a toy room, every custom work is like Christmas time. This is the best way I can make you understand how I feel when we build and when I see the bike complete for the first time.
8. What part of the motorcycle do you enjoy customizing the most?
The tank is the biggest challenge and is what makes the difference.
9. What’s your favorite place to ride?
The Italian country side for sure, it’s a magic place. From north to south, east to west.
10. What do you sell in your shop in Italy?
Right now the bike shop is just a place where we prepare the bikes; we have a partnership with the Icons Store in the heart of Treviso in the Veneto area.
11. How is it to live and work in Brooklyn?
It’s really cool, I often miss my country though, but I get a lot of inspiration from Williamsburg. I think that the area is going through a magical moment.
12. If you weren’t customizing motorcycles what would you be doing?
Actually, my main company is Minimal USA, we do high-end custom furniture. I can’t think of any other jobs I could do besides the furniture and custom bikes. I’m really lucky because I love what I do.