A coalescence of craftswoman, artisan, and philanthropist - Sofi Tsingos is what one might call an modern Renaissance woman. She is known for her cafe racer builds, which echo the aesthetics of art deco, paired with her own twist on science fiction. Alongside her father and the GT-Moto family, Sofi has built over a dozen custom motorcycles since 2010 ranging from her first, a 1977 Honda CB550, to her latest, a 2013 MV Agusta Brutale 800.
It all began with some duct tape and a motorcycle. Sofi light-heartedly recounts in her interviews of a tale in which she, as an infant, was strapped with duct tape to her father’s motorcycle gas tank. It is no wonder that this blue-eyed baby would grow up to crave the smell of fuel and the symphony of turning ratchets. George Tsingos, a prior aircraft mechanic, became the first superhero in Sofi’s world. The due diligence and countless requirements for quality control that he practiced in his craft molded the habits and priorities that Sofi has adopted in her building routine.
Having also grown up under the wing of an aircraft mechanic, I, too, appreciate the knack for patience and the “getting-the-job-done-right-the-first-time” mentality that has been hard-hammered into my working routine. There is a certain finesse that is acquired when one is aware of the potential for damage if even the finest of details is overlooked. When a person flies, his/her life is dependent on how well the plane has been built and maintained. There is no margin for error when lives are at stake. Thus, it seems natural that aircraft mechanics gravitate towards the world of motorcycles where they know their skills will be put to the very same test. Two wings in the air and two wheels on concrete demand the same type of care and respect.
“I don't care how much you know or how long you have been doing it, you get your work checked,” Sofi states in her interview. The devil is in the details, yet Sofi has been practicing the drill of hyper-attention, and the evidence of this has materialized in her unique custom builds. A decade ago, Sofi became a testimony to the importance of those details. While owning a Ducati 996 race bike and 748 street bike, the maintenance performed by shops that she thought she could trust ended up being more of a detriment to her bikes than she had expected. Fed up with sub-par work, she decided to attend a technical school so that she may learn how to work on the motorcycles herself. Through this, she gained the comfort and peace of mind in knowing that the work would be done right if done by her own two hands.
From then on, she’s been continuously expanding her skill set, namely by taking fabrication classes at night and practicing by day. After working in dealerships, aftermarket shops, custom chop shops, and performance shops, Sofi still attests that her most invaluable skill is the ability to learn. She dives headfirst into what fancies her curiosity and stands as a testament of patience and hard work. It is because of these things that she has become a force to be reckoned with - she is ever-flourishing in her talents and will continue growing, and therefore, rising.
When asked why she chose to start GT-Moto rather than build on her skills in a dealership environment, Sofi replied that she chose to work alongside her father because he “never tied his employee’s hands.” Working in a multitude of areas in the car and motorcycle industry opened her eyes to the many possibilities, but working with her specific team allowed their individual creative passions to thrive. Herein lies the mission of GT-Moto, the desire to create a family that employees and customers will enjoy, thus, creating a home. In her ever-humble nature, she prescribes to the notion that there isn’t much that hasn’t been done before. So with open doors, Sofi hands off her knowledge to those who are eager and ready to absorb, with the intent to create more well-informed riders and wrenchers. Such a willingness to “spread the love,” so to speak, creates a positive, infectious attitude within the people GT-Moto affects.
Even more than developing a space in which people may cultivate their creativity, Sofi holds her fist in the air for a cause that’s beyond her own work. After several personal experiences with cancer, Sofi has found herself deeply rooted in the fight to find a cure for the disease. “I am not book smart and will never be able to find the cure for cancer. I will never be a doctor. I feel like if we can all put what we are good at to use, then we can change the world for the better,” she avows. Several of her motorcycle builds have been focused with that cause in mind and proceeds have been raffled off benefiting people directly inflicted by cancer (See: Bethany’s Build), or research institutions such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Armed with a passion, a cause, and a work ethic beyond that of many people we know - Sofi Tsingos exemplifies the core values that should always put on a pedestal. She works without fear, but rather, with a mission to leave a lasting positive impact on the things that fuel her daily. We believe that she is readily equipped to create change whether it be in inspiring women to dabble where their curiosity leads them, or helping in the quest to discover the cure to cancer.
To see more of Sofi Tsingos and support the efforts and artistry of GT-Moto, check them out at www.gt-moto.com.