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Motorcycles Used To Test Storm Shelters

By May 13, 2013General Posts

A non-profit company has found a unique way to test tornado shelters. They use motorcycles.

Imagine a pitching machine in baseball, that uses motorcycles to hurl projectiles.

It's a tornado simulator that uses rows of rotating wheels to project 2×4's.  On Thursday in Chanute we watched as it hurled the pieces of wood at a car.  See it in action yourself in a video posted on

The device is used to test out cement enforced walls, part of Project JOMO's unique tornado shelter.

"About eight years ago I built a famous motorcylce for Patron Tequilla that actually runs off Patron and some other bikes and so I got to thinking – I need to build this machine, if I power it by a motocycle, I can use my resume to help get this thing built," says Russel Gehrke of Project JOMO.  "Is the bike the best thing to shoot two by four's with?  Absolutely not.  But it's cool."

Gehrke is owner and founder of the nonprofit company that gives away tornado shelters and he says building the machine they call "the shredder" was cheaper than driving to Texas where he tested out the shelters, about a $3,500 difference.

Now all he has to pay for is the wood and gas for the bike.

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