RACING FOR ORPHANS Speed and Dreams©


Speed and Dreams©

by Night Train


They call him “Reverend Jim” of “Preachers Motorcycle”.  I call him an old brother, a friend, and a true fellow patriot. Born in Olean New York, 1952, self-employed most of his life, Jim started his first business while in high school. He graduated on a Saturday and turned the key to his first repair shop the following Monday. 

Jim is a maniac of anything with high horsepower. He lives his life breathing just that—not sure it is blood flowing through his veins. I think it may just be 10W-40, 20W-50, or top fuel depending how good his coffee was in the morning. Rev. Jim got every certification for mechanics he could get including not one but two Master Mechanics Degrees. Jim moved to Florida in 1986 and began a custom paint business that evolved into the brand name “Preachers Hot Rod Cycle Designs”.

Preachers Hot Rod Cycle Designs is a full-service shop specializing in complete motorcycle fabrication, machine work, and custom paint. Preachers has turned several motorcycles into winning machines in some of the biggest shows in the industry. Most recently, “The Championship Of Americas Performance” class. Jim and his work has been featured in several national magazines, numerous local publications, and on the Velocity Networks Cafe Racer TV show. 

Now what? Well, our Reverend has retired and made it his mission to continue the charity he helped start along with some familiar names in the business. Among them are Dennis Campbell, Bruce Murakami (RIP), and Wayne Witczak.

“Racing for Orphans” is dedicated to helping orphans by inspiring them to pursue their dreams through motorcycle racing. Collaborating with the local Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches located in Live Oaks Florida, they create opportunities for children in need to receive monetary gifts and scholarship programs. They do this by offering marketing programs to corporate sponsors. Among them, to name a few, are none other of course than our beloved Fran Haasch and her husband Rhett Jones of, followed by House of Kolor, Brothers Powder Coating, and Eagle Motorcycle Salvage. It is reported that “100% of all donations go directly to the children.” Racing for Orphans, LLC is currently a 501(c)(3). All donations go directly into the secured Sheriffs’ bank account specifically set up for the Racing for Orphans program.

Racing for Orphans currently has four bikes in its stable; a test bike that looks like a beast from the Madmax movie, a Bonneville bike for Utah’s salty race track, the Orange bike that looks like a pure bread for asphalt speed addicts. Worth mentioning here is that the famed Orange bike was built on Discovery Channels Cafe Racer TV, it made the cover for Cafe Racer magazine. It was tuned on TV by legendary top fuel motorcycle racer Larry “Spiderman” McBride and ridden by 11-time champion Ricky Gadson. It was also raced to a land speed record in its category (~110.14mph) at Bonneville (2018) by Racing For Orphans own “Aloha” Terry Hopkins. Last but not least is my favorite, the “OB$E$$ED”, that looks like an old school overpowered chopper with drag racing handle bars.  

The Racing for Orphans crew is Lisa Goodrich, Chuck Carroll, Ray Walsh and Joe Cihak.

The racers are:

Lea “Dream Catcher” Martinez of Lea “Dream Catcher” Martinez, is a pro female motorcycle drag racer. Racing For Orphans field a retro dragbike that will run in the Man Cup Drag Racing Series starting this fall 2023. Racing for Orphans called Lea to ride the new Honda CB 750 SOHC. Lea is small in height but large in courage, she approaches 200 mph on her personal dragbike. Racing For Orphans are proud to have Lea as a rider and wants to bring exposure to her story of surviving cancer while bringing awareness to orphaned, fostered, and at risk children. Lea’s love for racing began as a young girl, her dad raced pro-stock cars. Lea only began riding motorcycles at age 37, but don’t let that fool you. She can do circles around you on her 2007 Suzuki Hayabusa before you blink!

Steve Aretz is a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. Steve funds his passion for motorcycles and racing them through his successful welding company, Hot Shot Welding. Steve has lent his expert welding talent to a number of different race bikes built by Rev. Jim. Most recently, the new vintage sidecar project that will run across the Bonneville salt flats August of 2023. Steve will ride another of the Honda CB 750 SOHC Racing For Orphans entries.

Jim has been a wealth of knowledge and experience for a multitude in the industry, including myself. Reminiscing the old days in collaboration with him, he would challenge me to the unattainable. I would take great pride in delivering and overachieving. The bantering began back then and lasts to this day. I remember getting in his van distributing magazines and listening to stories that could fill all pages of an entire magazine. Today, I want to thank him. I applaud him and his entire team for their years of dedication for children in need.

If you want to find Rev. Jim you can usually find him at his booth at Quaker Steak and Lube on 49th Street in Clearwater, Florida, every Wednesday bike nights where hundreds are known to “fellowship”. By the way, Racing For Orphans will auction off a custom-made Evil Knievel tribute guitar at the Quaker Steak and Lube 20th anniversary in October 2023. Get your tickets and support children’s dreams.

Psalms 82:3 Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. 

Source: Rev. Jim and web