Who is Jeff Palhegyi
If you are fortunate enough to own a motorcycle customized by Jeff Palhegyi you understand the power and artistry of his work. Jeff is the architect of the most admired custom Star motorcycles ever created. Over the years he has earned the recognition as one of the world’s premier custom bike designers. His artistry has been showcased here in the United States at Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week, and Laughlin as well as worldwide at the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan and at both INTERMOT and Milan in Europe.
Now Jeff makes his handcrafted design work easily accessible with a line of chrome accessories specifically for Star motorcycles. Now you can easily and affordable build your dream bike,
What sets Jeff apart from almost every other bike builder is that his background is more artist than welder. His inspiration is born through visualization and illustration.
“I don’t think I have ever in my life drawn any picture of a car or motorcycle that had stock wheels on it or that didn’t have some custom bodywork or paint. I owned 6 to 7 cars in high school and each and everyone of them I customized in some way.”
For Jeff, it started as a child with his first set of wheels - a BMX bike. He spent as much time at the bike shop as he did riding. Nothing was ever good enough. He repainted the frame, added polished aluminum accessories one after the other, new wheels, new cranks, you name he had did it. This passion for customizing continued as he moved into his first set of four wheels – a 1967 Ford Mustang. He was constantly visualizing, sketching, and drawing anything with wheels and an engine.
“My first real job was working for Chenowth doing racing, off-road design and development. He gave me the freedom to explore and learn about suspension technology and his theory of design.”
While working for famed off-road racer and builder Lynne Chenowth in 1989, Jeff got his first taste of working with Yamaha Motor Corporation. In a joint project to create concepts for the ATV Product Planning group, Jeff’s star shined. His creative skills and newfound engineering expertise added a flair and a relevancy to the project and showed in the finished product. It seemed destine that when Yamaha Motor began work in 1992 on what would become the Royal Star motorcycle, they enlisted Jeff to design the initial accessories for the bike.
The progression to street bikes was a natural and it brought Jeff back to his childhood of sketching custom cruiser cars and motorcycles. The metric revolution in cruiser motorcycles needed someone with Jeff’s well-rounded talent and understanding. For years, metric companies had cut around the edges of this market, but the Star line would not only become a serious player, but a leader.
“I look forward to every year when Yamaha introduces a new Star model. The task of creating the first custom version of that bike, I’m like a kid in the candy shop. When you can create a custom that glorifies the OE design with bigger wheels, chrome accessories, some tweaks to the bodywork and custom paint and you unveil it for the first time, there’s nothing better.”
Since the release of the first Royal Star in 1995, Jeff has created over 60 individual custom Stars for Yamaha alone and has been the inspiration for thousands of accessories and even a few models.