WDTI students gear up for bike build

Western Dakota Technical Institute welding students will be ableto add “custom motorcycle builder” to their resumes, thanks to aprogram announced Wednesday.

A bike, built by a team of WDTI students working under custombuilder Michael Prugh of Prugh Design in Black Hawk, will beauctioned at the annual Sturgis motorcycle rally Legends Ride thissummer.

“I don’t know bikes, but I’m hoping to learn,” said weldingstudent Don Pyn, a custom hot rod enthusiast. “It’s along the lineof what I want to get into when I’m done with school.”

Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip campground, whichcreated the charity ride two years ago, announced the program inthe technical college’s welding lab surrounded by weldingstudents.

He said the partnership, called the 2k10 Challenge, would helpdevelop a workforce skilled in motorcycle building, which wouldbenefit the growing number of bike builders in the Black Hills.

Prugh said there is a fairly short time frame for building thebike, so he will keep the design simple, using some stock partsfrom Black Hills Harley-Davidson.

“It’ll be a blast for anybody to have and ride,” he said.

While he’s never been a teacher, he was looking forward toworking with the students and hoped to pass on some of what he’slearned.

“I wish I would have had opportunities like this when I was inschool,” welding instructor Jeremy Schunneman said. He said it willbe mostly second-year students who get to work on a bike during thesenior design project phase of their degree.

The Legends Ride splits its proceeds between the Children’s HomeSociety and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Children’s Homedevelopment officer Darla Crown said the organization received morethan $30,000 last year.

She said Wednesday that the bike partnership will be inspiringnot only to the welding students but also to the kids at theChildren’s Home.

“It gives them something to dream about,” she said.

Contact Barbara Soderlin at 394-8417 or atbarbara.soderlin@rapidcityjournal.com.

WDTI students gear up for bike build