Article By: Steve Jones
Originally Published In The July 2013 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Some time around the second week of August, Jeremy Gilbert (a.k.a. Rodeo), one of S&S Cycle’s finest, called with an interesting proposition for the students in my Chopper Class/Club. I teach a Practical Engineering course which uses American made V-Twins as our main instructional tool/aid. It fits my students’ interests and natural skill sets like a glove because most are from farming/blue collar families, and they ride and race literally anything with a motor. Six years of Eden’s “motorheads” working exceptionally hard researching, designing and fabricating American powered V-Twins has created a growing chopper culture in the school and district. So, back to the proposition. The one and only S&S Cycle wanted to set the class up with one of their cutting edge X-Wedge motors with a matching Rolling Thunder softail frame. The kicker was that S&S wanted nothing in return except for the kids to complete the build in time for a group unveiling which will take place in La Crosse, Wisconsin on June 21st and 22nd. Our bike, along with five other studentbuilt machines from across the country, will all be on display at S&S Cycle’s 55th anniversary celebration.
The kids quickly voted to postpone their original design concept until next year to pursue the dual challenge of EFI and rear suspension, both of which have been alien elements until this project began. Time is getting short but the kids have done their research and come up with a pretty solid “vision” for the S&S build. Their end game is a super functional, performance based, wheel-frying machine. At present, the kids have the modular seat/rear fender rough fabrication complete. The fuel tank tunnel and mounts are ready for finished welding and dye check. The bike industry is what keeps Eden’s Chopper Class/Club functioning. Over the last month, Pearson Customs set us up with one of their killer wide Springer frontends which needs to be fitted for risers, bars and brakes. B.A. Enterprises is our go-to guy locally and he pulled a set of 16” NOS rims out of his stock for this build. Thayers Sales and Service is helping this carb friendly builder/teacher guide his students into the EFI era. Daytona Twin- Tec has once again thrown their support behind my students and sent us one of their TCFI 4 kits so we can deliver fuel, air, spark and communication using the best injection control module on the market. JayBrake has been providing my students with outstanding brake and control components for our builds since this program began, and this year is no exception. We should have foot and hand interfaces in place within the next week or two. From there it will be on to linkages, cables, programming and the other miscellaneous detail items. We’re shooting to have final mock-up completed by mid May. There’s plenty of progress to be made and folks to thank so until Chris tells me to stop, I will keep all of you in the loop. Keep the shiniest side up!
Editor’s Note: It was a real honor for Cycle Source to be paired up with Jones and the kids from Eden for the S&S 55th anniversary project. It will be our pleasure to follow this class along through their build and up to La Crosse to see how they stack up against the other high schools and also to bring our readers everything from the S&S anniversary celebration. Ya know it’s funny, it seems like just a minute ago that we were celebrating the Viola Motor Company’s 50th with the grand gala of 50 of the top builders all using S&S components to showcase what they had accomplished over all those years. While this current anniversary promotion may seem a bit scaled down to many, I would say that this is just S&S showing the real commitment they have always had to their product and our industry. Tune in next month to see this build start to take shape. Good luck to all the classes participating. Hope to see you all at the party.