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 Buffalo Chip Challenge™ Building the Next Generation of American Motorcycling

Motorcycle Project Prepares Local Youth for Careers in the Motorcycle Industry


Watch Motorcycles and Students Transform through this Award-Winning Motorcycle Mentorship Program

Over the course of the next three months, you’ll witness America’s next generation of motorcycling leaders transform while they build bikes like these:

The 2014 Paul Yaffe Signature Harley-Davidson Road King (left) and 2014 John Shope Signature Indian Chieftain (right) customized in the 2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge won 2nd and 1st place awards respectively at the renowned Donnie Smith Bike Show.

After six years of churning out award-winning custom motorcycles, the world will be watching as the 2016 Buffalo Chip Challenge program welcomes a new crop of students who are rising to the challenge and taking hold of dreams that might have otherwise seemed impossible.

The Buffalo Chip Challenge is an industrial education and scholarship program that partners with leading industry professionals to provide students with skills and experience to put them a step ahead. Each year student teams work to customize motorcycles that will go head to head with pro builders from around the country at the Donnie Smith Bike Show and be auctioned off in support of the Legends Ride® charity event. In addition to learning cutting-edge customization techniques, student participants are eligible to receive $8,500 in scholarships to continue their education. They are the next generation.

Students taking part in 2016’s innovative motorcycle mentorship program will again have their sights set on bringing home awards, and they’ll be working with new bikes, parts and concepts to achieve this goal. For the first time, teams will be customizing a 2016 Victory Cross Country and a 2015 Indian Chief Classic. Under the direction of Keith Terry of Terry Components, Randy Cramer of Dakota V-Twin will lead Team Victory to build a Rusty Jones Signature Victory Cross Country and Chris Malo of Baggster will lead Team Indian to build a John Shope Signature Indian Chief.

John Shope, star of HISTORY’s “Biker Battleground: Phoenix,” will return to the program as a major parts contributor on the Indian bike and rising industry name Rusty Jones of Rusty Jones Customs will join as a major parts contributor on the Victory bike so that the two signature head-turning customs can go head to head.

Teams will have approximately three months to transform the two stock bikes into head-turning custom works of art before having the opportunity to showcase them at the prestigious Donnie Smith Bike Show in St. Paul, Minn. April 2-3, 2016.

2016 Challenge participant Matt Hovdenes bolts the Kewl Metal Inc. neck rake kit onto his team's Victory Cross Country and properly torques it to spec.

Previous build teams have been able to add first place finishes at multiple motorcycle shows to their resume and money to further their education goals.

Sturgis Buffalo Chip President Rod Woodruff awards Sidney May with a $5,000 scholarship on the Chip’s main stage.

Sidney May is one of many 2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge students who have taken full advantage of this program. As a junior at Spearfish High School, May never missed a single day of instruction even though she was also working as an apprentice technician at White’s Queen City Motors, serving on the pit crew for “Girl Power Racing” and maintaining a spot on the school’s “A” Honor Roll. Her hard work and dedication to the program earned her a $5,000 scholarship, which she plans to use toward additional hands-on training and a business degree so that she may someday own her own hot rod shop.

2015 Challenge participants brought home two prestigious trophies from the famed Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show in St. Paul, Minn. last March. The teams won first place in the Full Custom/Other Bagger Class with their 2014 John Shope Signature Indian Chieftain and second place in the Harley Road King w/26" Wheel (full custom) Category with their 2014 Paul Yaffe Signature Harley-Davidson Road King.

2015 Buffalo Chip Challenge participants and instructors Randy Cramer, Nick Cramer, Bill Johnson and Keith Terry pose with Buffalo Chip president Rod Woodruff following their award-winning trip to the Donnie Smith Bike Show. 

Both custom bikes from 2016’s Buffalo Chip Challenge will be auctioned off in support of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s signature Legends Ride charity event on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016.

To see photos, videos and articles on the project’s progress, be sure to follow the Buffalo Chip Challenge on the Legends Ride Facebook page.


Which of the two bikes are you most looking forward to seeing completed? Let us know in the comments below!

Pulling off a motorcycle project of such massive proportions is a task that requires the efforts of many. Thank you to the following industry leaders for powering the 2016 Buffalo Chip Challenge:

Sturgis Buffalo Chip
American Iron Magazine
Dakota V-Twin
Dirty Bird Concepts
Hot Leathers
Indian Motorcycle Sturgis
Rusty Jones Customs
Terry Components
Parts Sponsors: 
Arlen Ness Enterprises 
Carl Brouhard Designs
CT Designs
Flat Earth Art
Hawg Halters, Inc.
Jamie's Repair
Kreun Kustom
Legend Suspensions
Lloyd’z Motor Workz
MTX Audio
RC Components
Sturdevant’s Refinish Supply Center
Trask Performance
Vee Rubber America