Motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield is donating more than $100,000 in motorcycles to a nonprofit program that pairs Milwaukee area high school teams with mentors to learn how to build bikes.
Royal Enfield will give 16 Classic 500 motorcycles, along with parts, support and technical training mentors, as part of the multi-year partnership with the BUILD Moto Mentor Program.
The program, founded by the Iron Horse Hotel in 2011, is designed to expose students to trade skills, including design, welding, fabrication, mechanical repair and machining. High school teams also participate in marketing and fundraising efforts to promote the program and host local events showcasing their work.
BUILD Moto said the partnership could allow the organization to bring the program to more high schools in Wisconsin.
This year, area high schools participating in the program include Bradley Tech, Brown Deer, Kettle Moraine, Martin Luther, Milwaukee Lutheran, Muskego, New Berlin, Oak Creek, Rufus King, Shorewood, South Milwaukee and St. Francis.
“The partnership with Royal Enfield opens up many opportunities for us, not only in the ability to immediately support more teams, but also explore additional benefits we can provide to the participating students,” said Kevin Frank, president of BUILD Moto. “We are excited for the future of the program with the partnership of Royal Enfield here in Milwaukee as they share our passion to bring motorcycling and STEM-related skills to youth.”
Representatives from Royal Enfield’s dealer in Milwaukee mentored a team last year, and for the past two years the brand was the presenting sponsor of the Brewtown Rumble, a vintage motorcycle show that is the program’s largest fundraiser.
“We were eager to increase our involvement with BUILD after seeing firsthand the positive results it has on the youth here in the Milwaukee area,” said Rod Copes, president of Royal Enfield Americas. “We recognize the benefits of engaging youth in the motorcycling industry early on and are honored to help participants acquire skills that will serve them well today and into adulthood.”
Through the program, teams of six students work throughout the winter and spring to design and rebuild a motorcycle to American Motorcycle Association flat track racing standards. Teams are judged by regional experts on design, execution and completion of milestones throughout the build timeline.
Teams will ultimately compete for a final award that is presented at Brewtown Rumble, which will be held in May in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point Neighborhood.