CCCTC Discusses Selling Next Year’s Chopper

CLEARFIELD – William Carbone, assistant director of the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center, said he will investigate the possibilities of selling the students’ motorcycle following the Donnie Smith Chopper Challenge this spring at Monday’s regular meeting of the Joint Operating Committee.

Carbone said they have a street legal frame for next year’s chopper challenge. He said if the chopper was sold, the funds would be used for participation in the challenge in future years.

“It would put a little more in the account and toward materials for the following year,” he said.

Phil Carr, Clearfield Area School District representative, inquired about the center’s liability if they sold the motorcycle.

Carbone said the motorcycle would undergo an inspection. Carr, however, said he did not believe an inspection would clear the center of liability.

“It’s a great question. I’ll speak with the solicitor. I’m sure we’ll come up with an answer,” Carbone said.

The Donnie Smith Bike Show hosts the Chopper Class Challenge as part of a professional event. The bike show, which will celebrate its 23rd anniversary next year, is held each year in St. Paul, Minnesota.

According to a previous GantDaily report, the center has participated the past three years and is the only Pennsylvania school represented.

In a March interview, Dan Kerlin, automotive mechanics technology instructor, said that the choppers are especially neat, as they’re 100 percent built by students.

“It’s built from scratch, and every ounce of work has been done by the students,” Kerlin said.

Kerlin said the challenge has presented his students with the opportunity to put their mechanical skills to use, as well as learn others such as welding, electrical wiring and painting schemes. He said the students’ experience only begins with building the chopper, however. He said that those who are selected to make the trip will reap further benefits.

At the challenge, the center’s student attendees had the opportunity to interact with professionals at the top of their game.

“The experience is priceless and inspires them. It’s like going to a baseball game and sitting down with Barry Bonds. These guys are in the big leagues. It puts the students on another level,” Kerlin said.

Lois Richards, executive director of the CCCTC, commended the work of the students who participated in the challenge a month prior at an April board meeting. She said then the students’ chopper earned three first place awards.

Richards said that the students won their division as well as two other awards.

She said they won the Design and Innovation Award, while the motorcycle featured a car tire at the rear.

“Some master builders suggested that the students get a patent (for their design),” she said.

Richards said the student’s work also received the Recycle, Reuse and Rebuild Award. She said they used parts from the previous year’s finished motorcycle for the 2009 project, resulting in a lesser production cost.

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