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Yellowjackets motorcycle makes its debut

Students from the Perham High School advanced welding class stand with the Yellowjackets motorcycle that they custom built along with Lil’ Evil Inkorpor8ted. The bike will be in St. Paul this weekend to be seen and judged in the Donnie Smith Bike Show and competition. Photo by Marie Nitke/FOCUS

The first ever custom-built Yellowjackets motorcycle will be making its debut this weekend.

Sporting a sleek black-and-yellow design and the words “Lethal Injection” across the sides, the bike, built by Perham High School advanced welding students and the guys from Lil’ Evil Inkorpor8ted, is now complete.

It will be entered into the Pro Class at the 26th Annual Donnie Smith Bike Show, going on this Saturday and Sunday at the River Centre in St. Paul. The bike is a Softail-Bagger model and has an estimated street value of $65,000-$75,000.

As final touches were being put on the bike on Wednesday, students were excited to see the end product – a result of more than 400 hours of hard work, both during and after school.

Kurt Peterson, of Lil’ Evil, told the students they should “be proud” of what they’ve learned and accomplished. He said the Yellowjackets bike has a solid chance of winning awards at the show, even though it’ll be up against bikes made at pro shops from all around.

“We’re going to do well,” said a confident Peterson. “We are.”

About eight students were expected to attend the Donnie Smith Bike Show to talk to judges and spectators about the Yellowjackets bike. They’ll be tested on their knowledge of the bike and what went into building it, and will be meeting some “stars” of the motorcycle world, possibly including Donnie Smith himself.

PHS senior Jason Haugen, who has been working on the bike since the start of second trimester, said he learned a lot through the build process. It was often a challenge, he said, but it’s one he’d take on again any time. In the end, he was impressed with the look of the bike: “It looks sweet. I think it has a good chance” of winning.

“It should be the baddest bagger there,” added senior Ryan Satter.

See next week’s Perham Focus for a full story, including results from this weekend’s show.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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