Tyler crew competes in national motorcycle build-off; plans to raffle bike for veterans

Tyler crew competes in national motorcycle build-off; plans to raffle bike for veterans

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A motorcycle customization shop in Tyler will enter the final stage of a nationwide competition on Tuesday, when Team Madman drives its custom motorcycle from its shop to Las Vegas, NV.

One month ago, the owner of Madman Chop Shop entered his team into the Blue Collar Build Off. The competition forces teams to get creative by building and customizing a motorcycle with only a pile of parts or donor bike, and no more than $1,500 to rebuild it with.

“What we started with was a complete pile of parts and it becomes a complete skill competition,” said Alan Heredia, owner of Madman Chop Shop. “So, you can only put $1,500 in your pile of parts, and you have to produce a bike.”

Heredia said his team still had a few minor things to finish up, like wiring and adding the fuel tank, but added that they would be done well before the midnight deadline. To make the competition more special for his team, Team Madman is the only team representing Texas.

“It’s a little different, it’s a little different,” said Heredia. " I’ve done several different things before, but absolutely, representing one entire state and East Texas, it’s pretty cool."

From Las Vegas, teams must ride their bike from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign down to the Saddle Sore Ranch, more than 120 miles away, for final judging and awards. Heredia said a win would be nice, but the goal for his team’s bike is to be given away for a much bigger cause.

“What we’re going to do, we’re taking it to Vegas. After we win an award in Vegas, we’re bringing it back, we’re going to go to this show in Austin... and we’re going to start a raffle at that point,” Heredia explained. “We’re going to be giving it to some type of veterans organization -- preferably disabled veterans -- or something like that.”

Jerry Starnes, the electrician for Team Madman, is a Marine veteran, which makes it the goal for the team to raise as much money as possible a personal one.

“That is the bottom line: to get as many people on board, to get recognition for this bike, to raise money for the veterans," Heredia said.

Team Madman will leave Tuesday morning for the competition in Las Vegas.

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