Iron Horse Hotel sponsors bike building program for high school teams

Publish Date: 
Mar 9, 2011

The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisc., with a team of volunteers and motorcycle enthusiasts, is offering local high school students the chance to learn vintage motorcycle restoration while developing work and life skills.

The hotel is helping to connect mentors with six teams of local high school students, who have 90 days and $2,000 per team to rebuild a vintage Honda CB or CL 160. The build kicked off on February 15 and ends in mid-May.

Teams are rewarded with incentives along the way, recognition through displays over the summer, prize packages and seeing their bikes race at Road America (Elkhart Lake) in June.

Teams and bikes will be judged in five categories, including: Crowd Favorite, a social-media driven vote through Facebook and Twitter; Fastest Bike (based on a dyno competition); Art Bike; MilVinMoto Best of Show; and Best Documentation, presented to the team that captures the best documentation of their build.

Each team has two mentors, a dedicated faculty advisor and three to five students. Each got a Flip Video UltraHD Cam with instructions on how to shoot dynamic video of their build. The teams will upload video each week to their school’s designated ‘dropbox’ for editing by Dactyl Transmedia, a Milwaukee company that specializes in multimedia narratives. Each team will be featured twice on The Iron Horse Hotel’s Facebook page with a pictorial and video clip, more details and specific information posted on the Build Milwaukee Community Organization page. The hotel’s page is at and the BUILD page is at pages/Build-Milwaukee/110349039042930.

At the conclusion of the build, footage from all six teams will be compiled into a 5 to 7-minute short film. At the end of the build, the six bikes will be displayed throughout the region over the summer of 2011. The ‘summer tour’ begins June 2 at The Iron Horse Hotel, kicking off the hotel’s 2011 Bike Night Calendar. There the bikes will be judged and team prizes awarded before the bikes are raced by the teams’ mentors at the AHRMA races at Elkhart Lake’s Road America June 10 to 12.

The bikes will shown in two bike shows, at Milwaukee’s ‘Rockerbox’ Street Festival July 30 and Chicago’s ‘Mods vs Rockers’ Vintage Motorcycle and Scooter Rally June 17 and 18. Discovery World in Milwaukee serves as the program’s exclusive museum exhibit, where the bikes will displayed from the end of June through July. Besides showcasing the bikes themselves, the BUILD display will feature information about the program, imagery of this year’s build and information about how other schools and Mentors can get involved in 2012 and beyond.

Posted by Holly Wagner


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