2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge Ups Ante

The Buffalo Chip Challenge, the innovative high school mentorship program between the Sturgis Buffalo Chip and Sturgis Brown High School, gets an exciting new twist this year. The students will customize two 2014 bikes, an Indian Chieftain and a Harley Road King, under the tutelage of some of the heavyweights of the custom bike world. These include: John Shope of Dirty Bird Concepts, Paul Yaffe of Bagger Nation, Dave Perewitz of Perewitz Cycle Fab, Keith Terry of Terry Components, Randy Cramer and Nick Cramer of Dakota V-Twin.

For the first time ever, the Buffalo Chip Challenge is open to all Black Hills area high school students, but all instruction will take place at Sturgis Brown High School. Students interested in more information or looking to register for the class should inquire with their high school counselor or contact Sturgis Brown Principal Jeff Simmons at or 605-347-2686. Sturgis Brown High School instructors for the program are Chad Hedderman and Bill Johnson.

The students will transform the Indian Chieftain into a fully customized dream machine primarily using John Shope’s Dirty Bird Concepts fabrications. Shope is well known as a motorcycle artist and will inspire an original work of art from visualization to completion. The Harley will make its transformation based on designs created by Paul Yaffe, utilizing parts from Bagger Nation as well as other sponsors. Yaffe will bring his “big-wheel bagger” expertise to the team to fire up students as they convert the Road King into a street-scorching custom. Both bikes are scheduled for completion in time for the fast-approaching Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show on March 28-29, 2015. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip will auction off both bikes Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in support of its signature Legends Ride.

The Sturgis Buffalo Chip is leading the regional program focused on American innovation and craftsmanship for its fifth consecutive year. Many of the motorcycle industry’s top companies continue to sponsor world-class parts for the Buffalo Chip’s build program each year, recognizing its significance as part of the growth and success in American custom bike building.

Also new this year, the Buffalo Chip is offering participating students the opportunity at $8,500 in scholarships. A variety of criteria will determine scholarship gifts including level of participation, interest and improved abilities over the course of the program. Students who participate in development and creation of a display for the Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show in Minneapolis will also be eligible for scholarship awards.

With the help of Keith Terry and Sturgis Brown High School instructors, Chad Hedderman and Bill Johnson, the Buffalo Chip created the innovative school program in 2010 as a means to promote technical education in South Dakota and provide students with expanded career opportunities in the motorcycle industry. Because the state is home to the world’s largest motorcycle rally, a growing number of motorcycle industry businesses have moved to the Black Hills and are looking for experienced technicians. The Sturgis Buffalo Chip hopes to provide local career opportunities for students by creating a hands-on curriculum that teaches youth about motorcycle fabrication and customization.

Over the years, Buffalo Chip Challenge participants proved they had learned the skills to put them on par with some of the world’s best builders by winning first place in the Full Custom Bagger Open Class and Overall Best Display at the Donnie Smith Bike Show and first place in the Full Custom Bagger category and Best Custom Paint Job at the Black Hills Bike Show.

“Our goal is to open the door to new career choices and empower young adults to feel like a job in the motorcycle customization industry is well within their reach,” says Rod Woodruff, president of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. “Through the collaboration and generosity of many in the motorcycle industry, we are offering Black Hills students new choices and opportunities and in the process supporting Black Hills charities. This program is a win-win for the Black Hills.”

Special thanks to Baggsters, Arlen Ness Enterprises, Hot Leathers, C.P. Carrillo, Dakota Digital, Dave Mackie Engineering, Diamond Heads, Danny Gray, Feuling Parts, Handy Enterprises, Hawg Halters, Inc., Horsepower, Inc., Hoffman, Jamie Repair, Legend Suspension, Owens Interstate Sales, RC Components, Thunder Cycle, Thunder Max, Trask Performance, Jack Van Kampen and Vee Rubber America for donating parts to the program.

You can follow the Buffalo Chip Challenge on the Sturgis Legends Ride Facebook page to see photos, videos and articles updating the public on the project’s progress.

Source and images: Buffalo Chip
Posted by Sam Kanish

Sturgis Buffalo Chip President, Rod Woodruff, John Shope of Dirty Bird Customs and Keith Terry, President and founder of Terry Components, joined together today to unveil the 2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge program at Sturgis Brown High School.
Sturgis Buffalo Chip President, Rod Woodruff, John Shope of Dirty Bird Customs and Keith Terry, President and founder of Terry Components, joined together today to unveil the 2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge program at Sturgis Brown High School.