Three Ahwatukee brothers have launched a motorcycle club that promises to be a benefit to the community in which they grew up.
Kort, Steve and youngest brother Nico F. Natali founded the Ahwatukee Nut Chippers Motorcycle Club – complete with an embroidered patch declares theirs the Ahwatukee chapter.
It is, Nico explained, “one of the good-guy motorcycle clubs.”
“Normally the term ‘one percenter’ describes the 1 percent outlaw motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angels with the other 99 percent being law-abiding citizens,” he said. “But we like to say we’re the 1 percent that’s out here to do good.”
The trio, all Ahwatukee residents, are already doing good locally at several levels.
“We are all deeply-rooted in Ahwatukee and want to help out in our community,” said the youngest brother, who graduated from Desert Vista High School in 2016.
Steve is a 2013 Thunder grad and Kort graduated from Horizon Honors High School in 2004. Their parents moved to Ahwatukee from Tucson in 1997.
Their club’s unusual name comes with its own backstory.
“Actually, I embroidered an acorn and we thought that would be really cool as a jacket or vest back patch. We were brainstorming and my brother Kort was thinking of a nutcracker, the kind you see at Christmas, but he had a slip of the tongue and said ‘Nut Chipper’ and we went for it,” said Nico, adding he hand-embroiders each club patch.
“The club started with me and my brothers,” he recalled. “We’ve always collected Hondas, built them and worked on them and then friends wanted to join up. Now we have people waiting in the wings. What we want to do is, of course, have fun together riding but also taking care of our community.”
This Halloween, the members helped direct traffic around area haunted houses.
“Some haunted house displays had a lot of cars driving by and kids crossing the streets and it was crazy,” he explained. “We rode our bikes over and helped keep an eye out for the kids, holding our hand up and stopping traffic.”
The club has also selected Mountain Vista Park on 50th Street for a regular clean sweep.
“We go there as often as we can to walk the park grounds by the playgrounds and look for any hazardous litter,” Nico said. “Unfortunately, there’s a crowd of folks who leave drug paraphernalia behind, laying on the benches surrounding the playground. We’ve found hypodermic needles and even a meth pipe sitting on the bench. We make a sweep and make sure it’s safe.”
He said club members, who work a variety of occupations and hours, try to get to the park in the morning or midday.
“Sometimes because of work schedules, we go in the evening but we try to get there before families get home and take their kids there to play.”
The nascent motorcycle club has also just finished paperwork to adopt a portion of Chandler Boulevard through the City’s Adopt-A-Street program.
The program requires the stretch of Chandler Boulevard between Shaughnessy Road and 19th Avenue to be maintained and cleaned at least four times a year for two years.
Although the members enjoy riding their bikes as a club while sporting their Nut Chippers Ahwatukee patches, they are also serious about helping their community.
“I’m motivated to do good along with the club. We’re all good friends and like riding together but also doing good stuff for people is something we try to do when we can,” said Ahwatukee resident James Stanton, 27, who rides a Suzuki Hayabusa or Bultaco two-stroke dirt bike.
“We have some charity stuff we’re working on which should be good for everyone involved,” he added.
Nut Chipper Karl Holbrook agrees.
“I’m not a man of many words, but I’ll tell you this: I’ve lived in Ahwatukee since I was 17 and I’ve never seen a group of fellas more passionate about a town and about doing the right thing in life,” said Holbrook, 42.
“The three brothers, the core of the group, really have Ahwatukee in their hearts, and I can see the fire in their eyes when we discuss what we can do for our beautiful community.
“I believe as our club grows and Ahwatukee gets to know us, the sky’s the limit for what we can do and I’m quite intrigued to travel down this road with my club mates.”
Holbrook rides a Honda Trail 70 that he had been gifted as a boy and rediscovered in his mother’s garage after her passing.
“When I found the Nut Chippers, they helped me restore it. Kort, who is president of the club, has a couple himself so he has experience working on them,” said Holbrook.
Each of the Natali brothers say they are pleased that the Nut Chippers is catching on, and garnering community interest.
“I’m very excited that the club I founded with my brothers and friends has reached this point where we can spread our message of kindness and caring to our community,” said Kort, 34, and father of a 2-year-old son with another on the way.
“We hope to continue with our quest to better this world, and I think you can expect some really great things to come with the Nut Chippers.”
To date, the Nut Chippers Motorcycle Club is made up of men ages 22 to 42, but women are welcome.
“We’re striving to be an all-inclusive club unlike a lot of other clubs out there that pick and choose members based on their gender, race etc.,” Nico said. “We want to be on the opposite side of that spectrum and welcome everyone, with the only requirements that you live in Ahwatukee and you have a bike.”
And your bike needn’t be a road hog.
“We’re mainly into mini bikes, 200cc and below,” he explained. “We do have full size bikes for road use, but we mostly always ride the minis. Being inclusive, big bikes are welcome too, but it’s a plus if you have a vintage mini for meet-ups and things like that.”
All the Natali brothers work and restore vintage and newer mini bikes.
Kort is the professional mechanic, Nico does touch up and detailing and Steve also works on projects but right now is focused on his education at Grand Canyon University.
The Nut Chippers Motorcycle Club can be found on Facebook and quickly responds to any messages sent through the site.