Article By: Kevin “Teach” Baas
Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
June is upon us, and warm weather, green grass and the beautiful rides have begun! I can’t say enough on how great May was with the 3rd annual Big Mountain Run ruling! Now that we are into June, last weekend was the chopper class open house which again had a great turn out. Matt Olsen, Brittany and Casey headed our way on Carl’s 1946 (original paint) and Matt’s 1936 Knucks. My good friends from Milwaukee made the trip lead by Willard, Jimmy & Chris, and they had Jump, Hillbilly, Benito, Kayla and Alex with them. It’s always a late night and a good time when the Milwaukee brothers are in town! Thanks to all who came in from other states to show their support. It really makes the kids excited and lets me know that people care enough to come all the way to meet the kids, see the shop and show their support! The program has grown so much in the last few years and there are so many people who help to keep it going. I again want to thank everyone for past, present and future support. It would take four pages to list everyone but you know who you are and be assured, we appreciate everything you do! Saturday, after the open house, we made the trip to Yuba, Wisconsin for the 1st annual Kennedy Chopper Class Knucklehead Shuffle run. This was born from an idea Jeremy Gilbert, aka Rodeo, put together to help raise needed funds to keep the class going. Rodeo is an old college buddy and works for S&S now. I can’t thank Rodeo, Corby and S&S enough; the event turned out awesome and raised some much needed money for the program. Again thanks to all who came to show their support at the event: my Dad, Ken Baas, Uncle Dean “Goon” Baas, cousin Rod Grimme, Dean and Dale, Little Ben and Katie, Byker Jim, Moe Man, Zinger, his brother Adam and Theresa as well as Zinger’s boy Justin. Congrats on the graduation!
The Knucklehead Company had some great bikes thanks to John and Jeannie Endrizzi. It’s always good to see them. Full Throttle bar in Yuba was a great host and the whole town of 91 people really came together to support this event and show us nothing but a good time! I can’t wait until next year. This type of event that takes place way off the beaten path, in a small town with a more relaxed way of life is what I crave. The money hungry, vendor packed, big events of today really suck compared to these smaller grass roots events like the Shuffle and the BMR! Now that school is out for the summer, it’s back to 100% work on promotion for my class and finding sponsors, parts and donations to use on this upcoming year’s builds. Please take a look at the Web site www.kennedychopperclass.com and spread the word. We need the continued support to keep this going! Since I’m closing in on 30,000 miles on my ‘47 Knuck, “Elvis,” I finally tore him down for some new rings, a fresh valve job and a going over as next week I leave for California and the Born Free show. I’m hitting the road on the 1947 FL and leaving Minneapolis with Josh Arment, owner of Aloha Monkey Tattoo. We are meeting up with Pat and Jordan from Rochester and then heading south to Iowa to meet up with Warren and JFB. From there we continue 1,700 miles southwest to get to Phoenix to meet up with Keith Cole, Mario Sanchez and the Foundry crew where we will then roll another 300 miles to get to the Born Free event hopefully by Saturday!
This is going be my longest trip and ultimate test for the old Knuck but I am confident that all will go well! This will be done in the traditional scooter tramp fashion with no trucks, trailers or hotels, just long days of riding and long nights around a campfire in some unknown location. This is the ultimate charge for one’s soul, and I am excited to get going! Along the way we will hopefully meet up with a few cool people across this country, some of which are Irish Rich and Steve Glennon in Colorado as well as Tattoo John. After that trip, June will be eaten up and then it’s on to July 9th and the Knucklehead Reunion at the Harley Museum in Milwaukee. Last year there were close to 75 Knucks there so don’t miss this one if you want to see some great vintage bikes. Thanks again for the opportunity Cycle Source gives me to write my monthly article, and thanks again to all who support us. Remember, when in doubt, burn out and support the high school chopper classes, they are the future of our breed!
Kevin “TEACH” Baas
Baas Metal Craft Custom Cycles and Fabrication
Custom made garage built motorcycle parts, vintage chopper builds and other cool stuff.