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Nicollet County Choppers

December 14, 2008
The Journal
Photos, story by Fritz Busch

Joad Ostermann said he likes things smooth and radiused (a straight line joining the center of a circle to any point on the circumference.). A mechanic at Kraft Foods, Ostermann doesn’t stay away from his tools for long when he comes home from work. Frame-up custom soft tail motorcycles with big, 135-horsepower, 12-inch, V-twin engines and custom drop seats are his favorite bikes. Rebuilding factory bikes with lots of after-market parts is among his biggest passions. Ostermann’s favorite bike options include high-low beam, turn-signal, speedometer, tachometer, digital indicators displayed on mirrors. “It can be a challenge to hide the wiring, but I like them tight, clean and functional. I really enjoy working with lots of chrome and other custom stuff. “I enjoy just seeing what I can do with a bike in my backyard garage. Most people don’t believe I build bikes in my own garage,” Ostermann said. He’s been to the Sturgis, S.D. bike rally for the past 27 years. “It’s fun. My parents took me there when I was a kid. I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” Ostermann said. Spearfish Canyon, Iron Mountain Road and other mountain roads in the Black Hills, Badlands and Wyoming are Sturgis rally highlights for him. On weekends, you can probably find the family at a custom motorcycle or car show or racing go-carts, even during the winter. Go-cart racing for kids is a year-around sport. Ostermann’s son Javen races go carts. In the winter, it’s not unusual to find him racing inside a dome as far north as Staples. During warmer weather, they race outdoor tracks near Hutchinson and Blue Earth. The Ostermanns have won awards at the Donnie Smith Bike Show — among the country’s largest custom bike shows — held in late March at the St. Paul RiverCenter Exhibit Hall and Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Ostermann has raced sprint cars. His project cars include a 1974 Chevrolet Vega that he’ll drop a LS-1 Chevrolet Camaro V-8 engine into it.

Article Photos

Joad Ostermann keeps busy in his spare tim building custom, frame-up motorcycles.



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