German Immigrant Makes Good Building Bikes


Yucca Valley isn’t the first place California visitors usually go to spot celebrities. But a German immigrant who made his home here has also made his mark in custom bike building, bodybuilding, martial arts, film and television.

Engineer Shane Friederich designs and builds custom motorcycles. According to the Hi-Desert Star, he also has appeared in films and has designed weapons, sets and motorcycles for films such as “Gladiator” and “Stone Cold” and TV shows including “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Friederich was Born in Hamburg, Germany, and graduated from Heidelberg University in 1978 with a degree in mechanical engineering.

To fulfill his country’s military service requirement, he joined the German air force. He was sent to flight training in El Paso as part of his officer’s trainin, but was bored with the time off, so he bought a Harley-Davidson.

“I happened upon a movie set where ‘Conan the Barbarian’ was being filmed. While there, I heard someone speaking German. It was Arnold Schwarzenegger,” he told the newspaper.

“One thing has led to another because of that day, and I have been fortunate to meet people in the movie business, and that led to jobs” as well as an enduring friendship with the Governator, Friederich said.

Friederich has built 80 or more custom bikes, taking seven or eight months each.

“I make good money from each bike, but it’s a work of art to me and, being an engineer, it has to be perfect,” he said. “I try to make each one better than the last.”

Posted by Holly Wagner