Subscribe via RSS
Become a Fan on Facebook

About the Kennedy Chopper Class

Kevin Baas, a Technology Instructor for Kennedy High School in Bloomington, MN, sees choppers as a chance to teach kids a skill while including them in his passion. There are still those kids who want to understand what it takes to fabricate a part. How to make those parts with their hands and how to put those parts together to make something that not only looks cool, but functions.

For the past 7 years, Kevin has been running the Kennedy Chopper Class. An extracurricular activity where students fabricate and build Choppers, putting their welding, machining and sheet metal skills to the test and putting bikes on the road that never will be factory stock.

This is a “make due” shop, a space where you make it by hand out of necessity, not by choice. Donations drive the project. The bikes start as donated rolling chassis and motors. Sometimes piece meal, sometimes as a whole. Due to liability, the shop’s frame jig cannot be used. Thank you litigious society. One less skill taught.

Their first bike started with a frame, front end and an open house for the parents and community to see what Kevin had in store for Kennedy High School. Donnie Smith came by and asked “What do you need?” and Kevin said we’re looking for a motor and tranny. It wasn’t more than 2 days later that Donnie called and said he talked with S & S and they are going to send a motor. “Thanks Donnie.”

A bike can’t just be a frame. It needs a motor. With both pieces in place, Kevin had a rolling chassis and parts that could be fabricated to make it a bike. This was the start of the Kennedy Chopper Class and after many bikes the Chopper Class has morphed from an after school project to a class on the roster for the school year. (Source, Gus Breiland, Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, July 2007)

We are currently looking for a larger article that details the past, present, and future of the Kennedy Chopper Class, if you have such an article, or are willing to write one to be published on this page, please contact Preston Dvorak at preston@dvorakdesigns.com. I will also accept smaller contributions that can be pieced together in a time line. Thank you for your help!