Motorcycle Project Teaches Important Lessons to Local Youth

Two Legends Collide in Buffalo Chip Challenge™ Motorcycle Mentorship Program

Watch the Epic Faceoff Between the World’s Most Iconic Motorcycles and Builders

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John Shope vs. Paul Yaffe. Indian vs. Harley. Last year, viewers at home and Buffalo Chip guests watched these superstar builders and bikes go head to head on HISTORY’s “Biker Battleground: Phoenix,” but now you’re about to find out who will reign supreme when these legends collide in the 2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge! 

John Shope is announced as winner of “Biker Battleground: Phoenix” on the Buffalo Chip main stage during the 2014 Sturgis Rally.

For the first time ever, these two world-renowned builders have joined forces with the Sturgis Buffalo Chip®, Sturgis Brown High School and a team of the industry’s top customization leaders to teach Black Hills area high school students the most cutting-edge motorcycle customization techniques. 

The innovative high school mentorship program upped the ante in 2015 by taking on the customization of not one, but two different motorcycles—a 2014 Indian Chieftain and a 2014 Harley-Davidson Road King. Student participants from across the Black Hills transformed the Indian primarily using John Shope’s Dirty Bird Concepts fabrications, and the Harley made its transformation primarily with parts from Paul Yaffe’s Bagger Nation as well as other sponsors. 

In addition to Shope and Yaffe, the students worked under the close supervision and direction of motorcycle industry veterans including Randy and Nick Cramer of Dakota V-Twin, Chris Malo of Baggster and Keith Terry of Terry Components, as well as Sturgis Brown High School instructors Chad Hedderman and Bill Johnson. Students were also exposed to the work Dave Perewitz of Perewitz Cycle Fab. By working alongside these leading professionals, this motorcycle project opens students’ eyes to industry careers and provides them the skills and experience to put them one step ahead.

In order to get the big 26" wheel on their build, the students of the Buffalo Chip Challenge have to cut the frame to stretch it so the rake and trail stays even and the bike has the best ride possible. 

The world got its first glimpse of the incredible Indian and head-turning Harley during an unveiling at the world-famous Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show on March 28, 2015. The student-built custom 2014 Indian Chieftain received 1st place in the Full Custom/Other Bagger Class and the 2014 Harley-Davidson Road King took 2nd place in the Harley Road King with 26” Wheel (Full Custom) Category. The students competed against professional custom bike builders from around the country, which makes winning these awards a remarkable achievement. 

Students and instructors Randy Cramer, Nick Cramer, Bill Johnson and Keith Terry pose with their awards at the conclusion of the Donnie Smith Bike Show. 

You can have a say in which bike wins the final competition, because on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 bidders will determine which bike brings the higher dollar during the Legends Ride® auction. Proceeds from the sale of the bikes will go to support the Legends Ride

New to the program this year, the Buffalo Chip added a sizable incentive for Challenge students to participate in the program by offering to provide three scholarships based on student dedication and hard work. These scholarship funds enticed students from a variety of curriculums to lend their talents to the program, including many from the art and journalism departments. Three students will receive scholarships based upon participation in and commitment to the program, as well as plans for continuing their education. The Buffalo Chip will award $8,500 total - $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second and $1,000 for third. 

Show me the specs! Show me how these can be mine!

What do you think about these award-winning bikes? Let us know in the comments below!

Pulling off a motorcycle project of such massive proportions is a task that requires the efforts of many. Thank you to the following industry leaders for powering the 2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge:

American Iron Magazine
Dakota V-Twin
Indian Motorcycles
Sturgis Buffalo Chip
Sturgis Brown High School 
Terry Components

Parts Sponsors
Arlen Ness Enterprises
Dakota Digital, Inc.
Dakota V-Twin
Danny Gray
Dave Mackie Engineering
Diamond Heads
Perewitz Cycle Fab
Dirty Bird Concepts
Feuling Parts
Handy Industries
Hawg Halters, Inc.
Hofmann Designs
Horsepower, Inc.
Hot Leathers
Jamie's Repair
Jack Van Kampen
Klock Werks
Legend Air Suspensions
MTX Audio
Owens Interstate Sales
Paul Yaffe's Bagger Nation
R.C. Components
Thunder Max
Trask Performance
Vee Rubber America

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