CLINTON — Hundreds of area residents turned out on Tuesday to see America’s first renewable energy chopper at McEleney AutoCenter.
The bike was commissioned by the Iowa Farm Bureau and built by Paul Teutul Sr., and his sons, Paul Jr. and Mikey, from Orange County Choppers of “American Chopper” as seen on The Discovery Channel. The chopper is part of an Iowa Farm Bureau-led movement called “Join the Ride Iowa” to encourage the development and use of renewable energy. The Teutuls debuted the bike at the Iowa Corn Indy 250 in June.
“The guys from OCC toured a wind farm, an ethanol plant and a cattle operation,” said Joe Murphy, with the Communications Division at the Iowa Farm Bureau. “They were very interested in Iowa’s renewable energy. They did it for research on the bike, but you could tell they were really engrossed in it.”
The chopper runs on E85, a gasoline-blended fuel that contains up to 85 percent alcohol, and has several details which highlight renewable energy sources. The front fender features painted ears of corn, while the rear fender depicts soybeans, signifying the fact that Iowa is the number one producer of corn and beans, which are used to produce ethanol and biodiesel.
The front wheel features a spinner that is modeled after wind turbine blades and the custom cowhide leather seat features artistic renderings of a cow and two pigs, because Iowa leads the nation in various livestock production. A combine head is mounted under the chassis, as if the chopper were harvesting corn.
“Iowa is number one in ethanol production in the country, number one in biodiesel production and third in the nation in wind energy,” Murphy said.
“So this bike highlights the fact that Iowa is leading the nation in renewable energy. It’s something for us to be proud of, so the Iowa Farm Bureau commissioned the bike and we’re touring it around to educate people on the importance of agriculture and renewable energy sources.”
Joseph Beier, a biker and a fan of “American Chopper,” drove to Clinton from Davenport to see the bike. Beier indicated he was impressed with the machine.
“I think it’s wonderful that the Teutuls continue to promote safe riding, renewable energy and interest groups across the country,” Beier said.
“This bike, like all others out of their shop, is flawless. They’ve effortlessly combined different areas of Iowa’s energy production into a single theme for all to enjoy.”
Area residents have an opportunity to win the chopper by purchasing $10 raffle tickets. Proceeds from the raffle will go to the American Lung Association of Iowa in support of the organizations “Clean Air Choice” program, which promotes consumer education of E85, biodiesel and other clean energy initiatives. Raffle tickets are available through the Clinton or Jackson County farm bureau offices. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Sept. 7 and the bike will be awarded at the Iowa–Iowa State game on Sept. 15.
Fore more information on the Iowa Farm Bureau Renewable Energy Chopper or the “Join the Ride Iowa” movement, visit www.jointherideiowa.com.