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Motogo teaching confidence, building grit through motorcycles

By General Posts

by Taylor Bruck from https://www.mynews13.com

CLEVELAND — Not everyone learns in the same way. Some people are visual learners, some are auditory, some learn better through reading and writing and others are kinesthetic learners, which is another way of saying “hands-on.”

What You Need To Know

  • The nonprofit Motogo teaches young people life skills through motorcycles
  • They teach students how to take apart a motorcycle and put it back together
  • They do that by bringing back shop class through partnerships with schools and community organizations
  • Motogo helps students learn from their failures and build self-confidence, resilience and grit

“I’ve always been a hands-on learner, and I can relate to students who have a hard time sitting still in class. I think I played sports my whole life because that’s how I learned. I learned by doing and using my hands,” said Molly Vaughn, the executive director of Motogo, a nonprofit in Cleveland.

With a majority of funding tied to high test scores in schools, many districts in the U.S. eliminated their shop classes in the 70s or 80s. She and her husband Brian Schaffran are bringing it back.

“He’s the head coach at Motogo. I love being his boss,” said Vaughn.

Schaffran owns Skidmark Garage, and in 2017 alongside Vaughn, the two founded its nonprofit educational wing, Motogo. Motogo is a mobile shop class with a mission to teach kids to solve problems and build grit and confidence through building motorcycles.

Schaffran is a former high school math and history teacher. It wasn’t until he could use his hands that he really fell in love with learning.

“Once I just learned by doing, then that woke my motivation up to take as many college classes as I could and learn as much as I could about everything in the world,” said Schaffran. “Getting a kid to memorize is one thing, but getting a kid to love to learn is the ultimate goal, and shop class helps some students wake up that love of learning.”

He’s not alone. Many people prefer to learn by doing.

“I find it easier, like when you’re actually like in the field doing something, not just like reading off a book,” said Liam Michael, a junior at Saint Martin de Porres High School, a school currently hosting an after-school Motogo program.

“It’s different. I’s something I never thought about doing so it’s fun doing it and learning,” said Maladdia Williams, a freshman at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

Motogo has already been in more than 20 different schools and community organizations. They offer quarter-long and full semester in-school and out-of-school STEM curriculums, as well as week-long summer camps for middle and high school students.

“It helps me figure out what I want to do. I mean, the more knowledge, the better,” said Elijah Williams, a sophomore at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

“I learned a lot about the tools. Like I really didn’t know any tool names or like all the different sizes and stuff,” said Summer Onwundinjo, a freshman at Saint Martin de Porres High School.

Motogo aims to be that outlet to teach young people that there’s a place for everyone to succeed in life, regardless of what motivates them.

“This isn’t a boy’s world, and this isn’t a boy’s job. This is everybody’s job,” said Schaffran. “Girls are better at this and should be trying this and should be getting their hands dirty. And I hope that it’s going to take a generation or two, but I think this is the beginning of a permanent change in who gets to do what, and who’s better at what, and who gets to experience this kind of confidence and victories.”

Motogo also aims to give them the physical and metaphorical tools to succeed in life, helping young people realize that failing is just another word for learning. If at first effort doesn’t work, try and try again.

“We just want to be one opportunity, maybe find the kids that haven’t found that thing that sparks them yet,” said Vaughn. “We’re really a unique opportunity to make someone feel valued, who feels left out, whether a student wants to go into a manufacturing career or they want to go into something more like becoming a doctor or a lawyer, or they’re going to be a stay-at-home parent one day. It doesn’t really matter what the end product is. We know that by taking shop classes again, that it’s going to rewire their brain to kind of think about the way you approach the world differently.”

“A lot of people don’t know that they can fix the world around them and they don’t have the confidence to even try most of the time. Hopefully, after going through a Motogo course, they just gain a little bit more nerve, a little bit more confidence than they’re willing to try and grab a tool and figure it out and problem solve,” said Schaffran. “Whatever problem that someone comes across, I hope that they say to themselves, well, I rebuilt a motorcycle. If I did that, I can do this.”

For more information on Motogo visit their website.

Harley-Davidson ridership course at UWM sees growth after second semester

By General Posts

by Margaret Naczek from https://www.bizjournals.com/

Last spring, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee offered its first Harley-Davidson one-credit ridership class through the College of Health Sciences. Four students enrolled the first semester followed by an additional 16 students in the fall of 2019.

As students begin enrolling in classes for spring 2020, the director of the College of Health Sciences Ron Wiza said there are only four remaining slots available.

As the program grows, so do the amount of motorcycle riders, coinciding with Harley-Davidson’s “More Roads Lead to Harley-Davidson” strategic plan. Part of Harley-Davidson’s plan is the Broader Access goal to “create new pathways to Harley-Davidson, expanding access and appeal to more people around the world.”

The Milwaukee-based motorcycle manufacturer detailed that it hopes to create high-engagement customer experiences across all retail channels. The company’s “Amplify Brand” goal also encourages “enhancing the Harley-Davidson experience to inspire interest in riding, fostering Moto-culture and build an even bigger, more passionate community of Harley-Davidson riders.”

The program began as a partnership between Harley-Davidson and UW-Milwaukee. The company connected Wiza with Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership at 11310 W. Silver Spring Road.

“The other reason that we chose the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson location is because even though UW-Milwaukee is a commuter college where a lot of people don’t live on campus, there are still several thousand students that live in the surrounding community around UWM,” Wiza said, noting that it was important to pick a dealership that was either close to the campus or accessible on the transit line.

“Here at UWM, we’re kind of an urban campus. One of our selling points is we are always encouraging students who attend our university to experience the vast array of things that Milwaukee has to offer,” Wiza said. “With that in mind, we strive to create partnerships and develop opportunities with local well-known businesses and attractions in the Milwaukee area.”

Twenty-year-old Grace Oddis, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering at UWM, took the course in its inaugural semester.

“I knew the class was really expensive. I saw that UWM offered it as a credit. I thought that would be a great opportunity to take it and also get a credit, just for the goal of being able to ride on the road and feel comfortable,” Oddis said.

As a one-credit class, the students are required to commit about 48 hours of learning to that course. For the Harley-Davidson ridership class, students complete a pre-course and post-course assignment along with two evening sessions. The rest of the time is dedicated to a weekend at the dealership doing the physical motorcycle driving lessons.

“We learned a lot about motorcycle safety. That was the biggest thing — how to prevent things from happening, being able to go around different obstacles and keeping the bike straight on the safety course,” Oddis said.

Now the sophomore has her motorcycle license and is looking at buying a bike, something that would have taken longer if she had not participated in the course.

“I thought it was a great experience. You felt comfortable. You felt safe. I think it’s great to get more women involved in motorcycles and teaching them. This was a great way for a college student to be able to do that no matter what you’re going to school for,” she said.

Harley-Davidson did not respond to a Milwaukee Business Journal request for comments on the UWM program.

AHDRA Schedule, Sponsors Coming Together

By General Posts

AHDRA motorcycle drag racing series

news release 

AHDRA Schedule, Sponsors Coming Together 

Drag racers of American-made V-Twin motorcycles collectively rejoiced two months ago when news broke that beloved racing organization AHDRA was firing back up and heading to the racetrack.  

Now AHDRA is announcing a complete schedule and class line-up, showing the tremendous sponsor response and sponsorship opportunities still available. 

The season opens at the traditional nitro Harley headquarters of Rockingham Dragway, moves north to Numidia, to the midwest at Cordova, west to Sturgis, north of the border to Quebec, then heads south to Atlanta, Orlando and Gainesville.

2020 AHDRA schedule

May 15-17 Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, North Carolina, USA

presented by Cox Double Eagle Harley-Davidson

May 30-31 Numidia Dragway, Numidia, Pennsylvania, USA

presented by Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson

July 3-5 Cordova International Raceway, Cordova, Illinois, USA

August 10-11 Sturgis Dragway, Sturgis, South Dakota, USA

August 29-30 Napierville Dragway, Napierville, Quebec, Canada

Nitro by invitation

October 2-4 Atlanta Dragway, Commerce, Georgia, USA

October 15-17 Orlando Speed World, Bithlo, Florida, USA

presented by MTC Engineering

November 6-8 World Finals at Gainesville Raceway, Gainesville, Florida, USA

including a $5000 All-Star race on Saturday night and the AHDRA banquet in Gainesville on November 9th

Current classes and sponsors

Top Fuel

Pro Fuel

Pro Dragster

Extreme Gas by GMS Racing Engines

Extreme Bagger by A-1 Cycles

Extreme V-Rod

Pro Mod by T-Man Performance,

Modified by Zippers Performance

Street Pro 9.70 by Vreeland’s Harley-Davidson

10.30

10.90

11.50 by Crete’s Performance

ET

Trophy

But wait, there’s more! “At our first race, the one in Rockingham, we will be giving away a 2020 Harley-Davidson Street Glide by a raffle,” said AHDRA President Bill Rowe Jr.

Rowe also notes there are many sponsorship opportunities still available for performance companies to hop on the AHDRA bandwagon. This one’s gonna be big!

Email Bill at bcrowe92891@gmail.com or call him up at (484) 767-3908.

The new AHDRA website is at http://raceahdra.com/

The popular AHDRA Facebook group can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AHDRA/

The brand new AHDRA Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/ahdraracing/

Mike Davis of Moto Lenz will be handling media relations.

“Thank you everyone for the amazing outpouring of support,” said Rowe. “I really didn’t know what to expect when we got into this, but the response has been amazing. Stay tuned for more news to come.”

AHDRA is owned by Pulse Marketing, the Hellertown, Pennsylvania-based motorsports promotion company run by veteran drag racer Rowe and his family.

AHDRA thanks Cox Double Eagle Harley-Davidson https://doubleeagleharley.com/ , https://vreelandsharley.com/ , MTC Engineering http://www.mtceng.com/ , GMS Racing Engines http://www.gmsracingengines.com/ , A-1 Cycles https://www.a1cycles.net/ , T-Man Performance https://tmanperformance.com/ , Zippers Performance https://www.zippersperformance.com/ , and Crete’s Performance.