Big announcement! We will be changing venues for this years Knuckle shuffle. The event will be held at Bunker Hill in Casanovia, wi only a stones throw from Yuba. Bunker hill has 120 acres of camping, along with an inside bar and huge outside bar & stage Free admission & camping. Tents, campers & motorhomes welcomed. We look forward to a great turnout this year! More details to come
2015 Knuckle Shuffle, another great success and fun for all! We loved having everyone and hope to make each year better. We will be making some changes next year, and changing the layout to help move the music toward the people! Send us comments on other things you would like to see!
The Knuckle Shuffle is always such a fun time. This year was no different. Everything was just so good: the roads, the weather, the towns, the people, the riding. Smiles and laughs the whole way!
Harley-Davidson Knuckle Shuffle
Some vintage motorcycle buffs say that Harley-Davidson’s 1937 introduction of the 61 cubic-inch EL knucklehead overhead valve engine ushered in the golden age of motorcycle design.
The knucklehead engine, so named for the bare-knuckles appearance of the OHV rockerboxes, was a powerhouse that trumped most anything that came before it.
That same year, factory rider Joe Petrali set a new motorcycle land speed record on Daytona’s beach with a streamlined EL at 136.183 mph. Next, an EL covered 1,825 miles in 24 hours to set a new endurance speed record with an average of 76 mph!
In 1948, the knucklehead design gave way to the panhead, but the knucklehead is still venerated and highly prized by collectors, restorers, custom builders and true believers everywhere. Despite that high regard, there aren’t all that many motorcycle events named in honor of the knucklehead. But there is one in Yuba, Wisconsin — the Knuckle Shuffle.
In truth, the idea of the Knuckle Shuffle isn’t to glorify knucklehead motorcycles. No — it has a much higher, yet down-to-earth purpose. The purpose is to raise money for the Kennedy High School of Bloomington, Minn., Chopper Class. Every year Kevin “Teach” Baas reaches out to the motorcycle industry to help support his class. This ride is dedicated to him and his class to ease the burden and keep the chopper class alive! All of the proceeds go to supporting the class.
Gilbert, Bodenburg and Baas are all University of Wisconsin-Stout graduates with more than a passing interest in great motorcycles, cars and education in the tech-savvy skills to build them.
The weekend-long event draws a crowd, too. Not a Sturgis-sized crowd, mind you, but that’s fine with the founders of the event. The Yuba area is rolling, verdant farm land with great fishing, camping and well-paved roads that weave through the spectacular sandstone rock formations that jut up all around the area.
Bikes and bikers of all ages, types and descriptions make the event; there is no brand snobbery going on and a good time is had by all. An amazing number of vintage knuckleheads show up as well—and not a bunch of trailer-queen show bikes, either.
They are ridden to the event from all over and wear their road grime proudly. There is live music and a street dance, a bike show, slow rider contests, fine dining and refreshments, free camping on site, raffles and of course, brats and burgers off the grill by the Yuba volunteer fire department.
Bill Becker of Boscobel, Wis., rode his hand-built Ford flathead V-8 powered custom to the Knuckle Shuffle. It doesn’t have overhead valves or chromed rocker boxes like a Knucklehead, but it does have eight cylinders and uses them all!
Mark your calendar and bookmark
On Saturday June 2nd, S&S® / Flathead Power® made the scene at the second annual Knuckle Shuffle (don’t look this up on Urban Dictionary) in Yuba, Wisconsin. For 364 days of the year, Yuba is a quiet, rural village located about half way between Madison and La Crosse, WI, but Saturday was a little different. Several hundred motorcyclists gathered in Yuba for the Knuckle Shuffle, a fund raising event for the chopper class at Kennedy High School in Lakeville, MN. The weather cooperated with a nearly perfect day for an outdoor motorcycle event.
Many of the attendees showed up on vintage bikes in various conditions from original paint to fully restored. The vintage bikes alone would have been a good enough reason to show up at the Shuffle, but there were a whole lot of other good reasons too. The first and foremost reason to be there is the financial support the event provides for Kevin (the Teach) Baas’ Industrial Arts class at Kennedy High School. This is a high school class where they actually build choppers! S&S Sales Manager and Knuckle Shuffle event instigator Jeremy Gilbert says, “Initial figures show that this year’s event was a little larger than the first Shuffle, and by the time the smoke clears and the bills are paid, there should be about $4000 available to donate to Kevin’s class and possibly to some additional schools with similar programs.” Supporting the Chopper Class is the primary reason for the Knuckle Shuffle event, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a good time doing something good!
The atmosphere at the Shuffle is very laid back and easy going. As Jeremy puts it, “The Knuckle Shuffle isn’t like the bigger rallies where it sometimes seems like a war between T-shirt vendors, in the middle of a rock concert, with motorcycles in the background. We keep it pretty real, and it’s easy just to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s about the chopper class, it’s about the bikes, and it’s about simply having a good time with your friends.”
There were two rockin’ bands on hand to provide music for the event. Annie C. and the Roundervilles from Madison, WI started it off with classic rock and blues. They even convinced the S&S Marketing Manager, Bruce Tessmer, to get up and jam a few tunes with them. After a suitable recovery period, The Krank Daddies from Chicago, IL put on a great rock-a-billy show until late in the evening. Of course, a full range of shenanigans are inevitable when motorcycles congregate. A good time was had by all those present.
Just before the Krank Daddies got down to it, Jeremy gave away the raffle items from all the various sponsors, including a brand new Anders Nygren signature series 93″ engine from Flathead Power®/S&S®. Dan Grosskopf of Minneapolis, MN took home the motor. Dan doesn’t currently own a motorcycle, but he thinks now he might have to build one. Other sponsors included Baker Drive Train, Crane Cams, Cycle Source Magazine, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Builtwell Inc, Baas Metal Craft, Frame Lock, Gear Driven Performance, Lowbrow Customs, Faribault Harley-Davidson®, Sucker Punch Sally’s of Wisconsin, The Symco Shakedown, The Knucklehead Company, Smiley’s Cycle Works, Full Throttle Bar, Sinclair Art, Bodie Design, and Lake Muskego Lake Trash.
The word is getting out about the Knuckle Shuffle. This year, there were several representatives of the motorcycle press hanging about and taking it all in. Hopefully a few articles will come out of the experience. Ken Kick from the Garage Kickers TV show was on hand to shoot an episode about the Shuffle. Ken ended up with some really cool interviews with industry notables and a lot of footage showing how it’s done in the big town. Yuba, WI – population 91.
Plans are already in the works for Knuckle Shuffle #3 in June of 2013. Good things come in threes!
None of the photos have been editied yet. If you want to order something let me know so I can touch it up.
Knuckle what? And what’s a Yuba?
First things first. The Knuckle Shuffle is a fundraiser for a high school shop class that actually builds choppers. The purpose of this ride is to raise money for the Kennedy High School Chopper Class in Bloomington, MN. Every year Kevin “Teach” Baas reaches out to the motorcycle industry to help support his class. This ride was dedicated to him and his class to ease the burden and keep the chopper class alive! About 300 people joined us for the ride and enjoyed some of the coolest scooters, incredible food, and the best music around. All bikes were welcome, but this ride was dedicated to the vintage iron and keeping history alive! This was an old school ride, participants were encouraged to pack their sleeping bag, pack their tent and prepare for a fun weekend.
The ride consisted of two routes to Yuba, one left from The Ole Piper Inn in Lakeville, MN and the other from The Shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both rides converged on Yuba, Wisconsin at the Full Throttle Bar, for a street party, bands, burnouts, and fun. The next day, a Plant tour of S&S Cycle in Viola, WI was available for ride participants.
Yuba is a small town (pop. 91) in southwest Wisconsin, were their community spirit and love of a good time contributed to the success of the Shuffle. Motorcycles, food, and great music in a rural setting made for a great event with a relaxed old school atmosphere. Lot’s of vintage bikes (predominantly knuckles) were ridden from impressive distances to attend the event, proving that the American spirit of adventure is alive and well. The choice of food was impressive, but the roast pork sandwiches provided by the Yuba fire department were just too good! Then there was the music. The Trunk Monkeys from La Crosse, WI started it off at about 4:00 pm followed by the Eric Tessmer Band from Austin TX at 8:00 pm. Great times!
The event was so successful that event organizer Jeremy Gilbert tells us that over $2800 were raised to support the Kennedy High School Chopper Class! S&S Cycle is all about having a good time, but supporting education has always been a top priority. That is especially true of technical education, and if it involves motorcycles, even more so. As Kevin “Teach” Baas say’s “It’s for the kids!”
A good time was had by all, and plans are underway even now for the second annual Knuckle Shuffle!
Kevin “teach” Bass is the high school metal teacher whose life is dedicated to offer his students a better and richer education through motorcycle building. Every year Kevin relies on the generosity of the custom motorcycle industry to help him keep his class alive and welcomes any support that can be provided under the form of donations and custom parts to support his students new bike projects.
This year he is the organizer of a Knuckle Shuffle Ride Weekend set for June 3-6th, starting on Friday by an Open House to the Chopper Class (3-6.30 pm) followed on Saturday & Sunday by a fund raiser ride with friends of S&S Cycle. To participate, price is set at $25 per person, all proceeds going to Kennedy High School chopper class to help the kids build new choppers.
There will be two routes one leaving from The Ole Piper Inn, Lakeville, MN and the other from The Shed 2776 S 34st Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both rides will converge on Yuba, Wisconsin. We will converge on the Full Throttle Bar, where we will have a street party, bands, burnouts and fun. Sunday a Plant tour of S&S Cycle. in Viola, WI. First 200 Paid registrants will get a Knucklehead Zipper pull courtesy of Zip-U. To register, go to Knuckle Shuffle Ride. (picture from archives)