Getting Ready For Another Great Year
Article & Photos By: Kevin “Teach” Baas
Originally Published In The March 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Happy New Year to the Cycle Source family! I am excited to be back for another year with the Kennedy Chopper Class. For those that have not heard about my class let me take a minute to fill you in. I have been a public high school shop teacher for the last 22 years here in Bloomington, Minnesota. Around 2003 I started incorporating motorcycle builds into my manufacturing technology metal shop classes. After a few years, the popularity and excitement grew so much for the motorcycles, I was able to write the curriculum and make it a standalone, take for credit, chopper class. We have had student built bikes featured in publications across the globe and even had one on display in the Harley museum. These bike builds are more than just bike assembly, I teach engineering, manufacturing, and STEM in the chopper class. Kids learn all aspects of motorcycle design and fabrication. They are able to walk away with a one of a kind handsome real world experience. This year we have a lot of new students, as well as some great veterans coming back. Watch these pages for some great monthly features as we work towards the Donnie Smith Bike show in March. On our project list this year we are finishing a dual carb Ironhead drag bike with the help of Lee’s speed shop. We also have two S&S Knucklehead builds, and two Indian builds. Recently we were just awarded a sponsorship with Tab and Slot and got a donation of one of their fab tables. These are high quality, affordable tables that we are looking forward to using in the class fabrications this year. Check out https://weldtables.com/ And tell em the Chopper Class sent ya. Stay tuned for next month as I will have one of the students write the article from their perspective. Until then remember to support the youth they are our future. Thanks to all who have donated and supported my class and the kids through the years, it has been one hell of a run and we don’t plan to slow down anytime soon.
Editors Note: I have had the pleasure of knowing Kevin Baas for over a decade now and through the pages of this magazine we have always supported his efforts with Kennedy High School and Chopper Class. The reason I write this small bit today is to remind or possibly even introduce his cause to you. When Kevin first started this class he did it after hours, out of his own pocket, on his own dime. He had very little support from anyone but the kids who gave their free time to learn about working with their hands and about life with motorcycles. In the end, there are schools across the country that have adopted his ciriculum and while so many people know him and the work he has done, it may be easy to take for granted that he now has everything he needs for these classes, but they don’t. The way this continues, is through all of our support. Now, I’m not here telling you to give to a “Go Fund Me” or anything, just consider the work he does and if you have a tool, a bike part or a couple bucks, make sure the kids he reaches today have a chance to learn the skills to build our world tomorrow.