Milwaukee Masterpiece Hosts Build Mentor Program

Words & Photos: John Gunnell

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A new feature at the 2014 Milwaukee Masterpiece was a display of 1970s-era Honda CB350 motorcycles that have been transformed into racing machines by teams of high school students participating in the Build Mentor Program (

On exhibit in Milwaukee’s Veterans Park were five rebuilt CB350s that were modified by teen-agers into competitive American Historical Racing Motorcycle Assoc. (AFRMA) racing bikes. In addition to current bike builders and their mentors, a number of Build alumni were also at the show to talk about how the Build Program influenced their lives and careers.

Colleen Swartz worked in conjunction with The Masterpiece to include the Build bikes in the show. Also joining in the display were members of the Badger Heritage Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America.

Build Moto Mentor Program, Ltd,, is a non-prpofit educational outreach program that the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee extablished in 2011. The program gives teens and opportunity to learn valuable life skills and interpersonal skills while transforming vintage motorcycles.

The Build teams consist of five students and their mentors and a facility member, who work together to rebuild motorcycles that are a minimum of 20 years old to AHRMA standards. Students participating in the program can earn incentive rewards, public recognition and shows and races and scholarships for their schools.



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