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Star Riders Group Chapter 227

Written by  May 31, 2006

Every year Cycle Connections asks our readers to participate in a survey to vote for their favorite bike motorcycle club or organization and Star Riders Group Chapter 227 was voted best motorcycle organization for 2004 and 2005 in the Kansas City area. So with that thought in mind, I had the privilege of attending a meeting, riding with the Star Riders to Lexington, Missouri for lunch, and talking with some of the members as well as president Bob Jeffress.

CC: How long have you been involved with Star Riders Chapter 227, Bob?
Bob: I caught up with them in June 2003 right after I bought my 2000 Yamaha Royal Star Venture.

CC: Was this your first bike?
Bob: No it wasn't my first bike. I had one as a kid. It’s been my first bike in a long time though.

CC: When were you elected president of Star Riders Chapter 227?
Bob: January of 2006 the members elected me president. Prior to that I was vice-president, SSgt of arms and our Star Vet rep.

CC: You kind of worked your way up through the ranks, so to speak.
Bob: Yeah you might say the hard way. But it has been fun.

CC: How old is the chapter?
Bob: Four years come this June. Paul Waters started the chapter in June 2002 with the help of and co-founder Steve Okenfuss owner of Reno’s Yamaha Aprilia, so we are four years old now.
CC: Is your chapter a part of an international organization?
Bob: Yes, we’re a part of International Star, which is out of Tucson, Arizona and has memberships in Canada, Australia and other places. Nationally and internationally we have a large presence.

CC: How many members do you have in your local chapter 227?
Bob: Well as of April we have 114 active members in our chapter.

CC: How does someone go about becoming involved with your group?
Bob: To join Chapter 227, check us out and then sign up. It is $48 a year for membership with loads of benefits for you and your family. Then visit your local chapter. Of course if there is not one in your area you can always contact Star International and start a chapter with their help.
CC: How often do you meet and where do you meet?
Bob: We meet once a month usually at Reno’s the second Saturday of every month. Reno’s is our main sponsor and they roll out the red carpet for us. But there are times we meet some other places.

CC: Do you have any fees or dues for join your local club?
Bob: No not at this time. Some chapters do charge a membership fee. But I hope we never do.

CC: Do you have group rides after your meetings?
Bob: Almost after every meeting we ride somewhere. Of course weather permitting and if participation is good. We have had rides with as few as two bikes going out because of the weather or as many as 30 or 40 bikes on a group ride after a meeting.

CC: I have heard something about a Kansas City StarBQ. Can you tell us more about that? Time date places and events?
Bob: Yes. Kansas City StarBQ is a regional event and the national organization is broken down into different regions. We are holding the Great Plains region this year. It is a multiple chapter event. We are hosting it here in Kansas City, and the event will be in Excelsior Springs, Missouri this year at the Elms Hotel. We have 153 rooms. Everyone will ride in on a Friday night. We will have a meet and greet ice cream social and get everyone registered and settled in and hopefully a good night’s sleep for the upcoming events. We start off Saturday morning with a poker run then that afternoon a bike rodeo, bike games and a lot of fun. That evening we will host a sit-down BBQ with a DJ with loads of great music and fun. Getting multiple chapters together, looking at each other’s bikes and getting to know bikers from different places. A get together and treating each other as friends and family once again.
CC: So I take it bikers and Star Riders come in from different states to the Kansas City StarBQ?
Bob: Oh yes, they come from all over. We have Star Riders from all over the United States who come together for fun, food and to visit old acquaintances or make new ones. We have a chapter in St Louis, Kearney, Nebraska, and Wichita, Kansas—all over! We have them from all over ride in for Kansas City StarBQ. They ride as far away as 1,000 miles or more. Or they come up from Kansas City or outlying areas of Kansas City. It’s just a great time for all.

CC: Do you guys meet and ride with other chapters?
Bob: Yes, that’s correct.

CC: Do you also participate in local events?
Bob: Yes, we post local events on our web site whether we are hosting the event or not. We want our members to have fun get out and ride whenever they can. Just have fun on their motorcycles.
CC: I understand that Chapter 227 supports several local charity events, is that correct?
Bob: Yes we do. We put them on our web calendar of events. Our charity this year is 'Camp Quality' of Kansas City which is south of Excelsior Springs, Missouri. It lets kids with cancer be kids again. This year we are meeting these kids and spending some time with them and letting them look at the bikes. We want to support and encourage them and just let them enjoy their day and be kids again.
CC: I have heard your chapter also adopts families for Christmas and you guys play Santa?
Bob: Yes, the last several years we have adopted a family for Christmas and last year we even got to meet the family and brought a Christmas tree into their home, set it up and placed presents under the tree and then watched them open the presents up. That was a blast to see their faces of appreciation and smiles.

CC: Now that’s playing Santa Claus in a little different way.
Bob: Yes, it was, but so rewarding to help others. That’s why I like this chapter.

CC: What kind of message does your chapter want to send out to the community?
Bob: That bikers are good people, we ride and share the road safely. It’s a fun family thing for families and to get together and do. Our organization not only welcomes the Star line but all makes and models of bikes. Harley-Davidsion, Honda, Kawasaki—all models. We are all out there to ride and have good time and be safe. Check us out and then stop by and say hi. Everyone is welcome.

CC: Thanks Bob, and good luck to you and Star Riders Chapter 227.

Article & photos by Phil Peeler