The Ironhead is called “Road Trip.” It’s an homage to mentoring and the act of paying it forward. When I was first getting into building bikes, I met Lil’ Scott (Scott Sorenson) in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. I started by hanging out at his shop, asking questions, and helping out anywhere I could. Scott helped me along the way, and as my skills improved he was always there to bounce ideas off of.
Scott passed in 2015 after a battle with cancer. I started working with the “Build Milwaukee Mentoring Program” in 2014. Build Milwaukee is a moto-based mentoring program that helps children learn to work with their hands by building motorcycles. Being a part of the program has been very rewarding. I’m proud to have helped the kids go from not knowing which end of the wrench to turn to building custom road-racing bikes that compete in shows and on the track.
Road Trip was built using a vintage roadrace body along with an unattractive purple donor bike my wife bought. After much work, I’m lucky to have had help from a great team of professionals who helped make this bike nothing short of amazing. On the paint, we gave Jayme Schmidt from Blue Moon Kustoms in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (“Osh Vegas”) free rein to do whatever he wanted. It’s the seventh paint job he’s done for me, so adding “7” on the number plate made the most sense.
Calico, from Calico Hand Painted Pinstriping, worked his magic again as well. Calico’s been striping for more than 40 years, as long as Jayme has been alive. They’re a great team, and it’s always a pleasure to work with them. Others who helped include Terry at Bert’s Metal Finishing in Racine, Wisconsin, who made parts shiny as well as Randy at First Rate Auto in Sturtevant, Wisconsin, who made the seat.
One of the build alumni came back to see how this year’s class was doing. I explained to her about Road Trip and what it meant to me. We talked about how important having a mentor is and how good it feels to pay it forward by helping the next generation of builders. It’s nice to see how far Lil’ Scott’s influence has reached over the years, even now.