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Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show Extravaganza Set to Launch Riding Season in Twin Cities


“War of the Twins” Indoor Flat Track Motorcycle Racing will kick start a weekend of moto heaven at the Midwest’s largest custom bike and car show, parts extravaganza and tattoo expo this month.

Saint Paul, MN (March 8, 2018) – Gear heads and riders will soon be coming out of hibernation to gather and meet fellow enthusiasts and friends at the 31st Annual Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show presented by Dennis Kirk. In addition to the motorcycles, cars and the largest parts swap in the Midwest, the ever-expanding event now includes Indoor Flat Track Racing and a Tattoo Expo. The Donnie Smith Show will take place at the St. Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2017. The “War of the Twins” Indoor Flat Track Racing will kick off the moto extravaganza on Friday, March 23. Doors open at 3 p.m. and the Main Event runs from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or at the door. More information can be found at www.DonnieSmithBikeShow.com.

Show Spotlights

The show’s activities offer the opportunity to hang out and learn from specialists, see the latest in moto inventions and customizations, hunt for parts, shop and win prizes throughout the 225,000 sq. ft. indoor event space.

Bikers will have the opportunity to discuss the best parts options with Dennis Kirk representatives who will be on hand to answer questions. The prize wheel is back with bigger and better prizes and riders can receive information about the annual Patriot Ride, benefitting Minnesota’s active and veteran military and law enforcement organizations. Attendees can purchase a $10 raffle ticket to win a 2018 Harley-Davidson FLHXS Street Glide Special in support of the Patriot’s Ride.

One of the year’s biggest custom bike unveils will take place on Saturday, March 24 when Kuryakyn and the Sturgis Buffalo Chip reveal the 2018 Rock, Rumble & Rebellion bike. The 2018 modified Indian Chieftain Dark Horse bagger features state-of-the-art Kuryakyn parts and paint by Gilby’s Street Department.

Blues rocker Corey Stevens will be setting the stage for beer-thirty Happy Hour presented by Budweiser  5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 24.

Sugar Bear of Sugar Bear Choppers will be on hand in the Metzeler display March 24 and 25 to showcase his innovative products and share stories from the grass roots of the chopper world. Metzeler also brings a bike build in progress from Kevin “Teach” Baas and the Lakeville North High School students. The bike features one of Sugar Bear’s iconic front suspension systems.

GEICO Motorcycle and the Sturgis Buffalo Chip teamed up to create the ultimate Street Hooligan motorcycle for the Buffalo Chip’s 2018 Moto Stampede Bike Giveaway. The custom Indian Scout 60 will be on display in the Buffalo Chip booth, where show attendees may register to win it this August on the Chip’s main stage.

3Showcase of Motorcycle Industry Superstars

Custom builders will be competing in over 35 classes at the show. Some of the most recognizable names in the motorcycle industry will be in attendance, displaying their latest work and meeting with fans. The list so far includes:

Donnie Smith – Donnie Smith Custom Motorcycles

A custom bike builder for more than 30 years, Donnie Smith’s innovations continue to influence custom bike builders today. Smith will be on hand to sign autographs or just hang out and discuss classic builds and new innovations in custom bike building.

Paul Yaffe – Bagger Nation

For almost 30 years Paul Yaffe has been designing custom motorcycles and is known as an industry leader and a true innovator and he will be available for questions and motorcycle parts discussions.  His custom bikes have been featured in hundreds of magazines both in the United States and abroad.  He’s participated in Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off in 2003 and participated in Biker Battleground Phoenix, a 10-episode series on the History Channel.  He is a 3-time “Trend Setter of the Year” award recipient and has won several engineering and product design awards.

Curtis Hofmann – Hofmann Designs

A Minnesota native, Curtis opened Hofmann Designs in 2009 and has produced stunning, magazine-worthy motorcycles every year since. Hoffman is known for his lay frame big wheel baggers and his bikes are often sold on reputation alone, sight unseen.

Dave Dupor – DD Custom Cycle

Dupor’s motorcycles are intelligence with tailpipes. He is known as a perfectionist and his bikes are a balance of bold confidence and understated elegance. His meticulous and relentless pursuit of perfection has thrust DD Custom Cycle onto the pages almost every major motorcycling publication in the country.

Kevin “Teach” Baas – Baas Metal Craft

Baas, is an expert metal fabricator and high school shop teacher who transformed his curriculum into a full-blown Chopper Class. For 15 years, he has taught generations of bike builders and gained the support and recognition of countless industry heavy weights.

Kurt Peterson – Lil’ Evil Inkorpor8ed

Peterson is a Master of All, specializing in precise fabrication, design, and quality. His 27 years in the industry, and no-nonsense, high horse power creations have earned him numerous racing and industry accolades, but, more importantly, they have earned him distinction and the respect of his peers.

Dave & Jody Perewitz – Perewitz Cycle Fabrication

There is no stronger father-daughter team in motorcycling than Dave and Jody Perewitz. Dave is a legend in custom building, an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame 2003 inductee and master craftsman who has been painting and building motorcycles for over 40 years. Jody holds 15 land speed records, one World Record, is currently the Fastest Woman on an American V-Twin, and a talented painter in her own right.

Sugar Bear – Sugar Bear Choppers

Forty-six years ago, Sugar Bear opened up shop in Los Angeles and began hand-making his legendary springer front ends and rockers. Sugar Bear’s influence and contributions have shaped motorcycling history and in 2008 he was named the Harley-Davidson Museum’s Man of the Year.

Tim McNamer – Ballistic Cycles

A Twin Cities area native, McNamer is the inventor of the ground-breaking hubless wheel design and is known for regularly pushing the limits of engineering. His bikes are instantly recognizable and have raked in awards from nearly every competition. Producing some of the most technologically advanced motorcycles of our time, Tim’s designs are paving the way for the advancement and evolution of customization.

Todd “Gilby” Gilbertson – Gilby’s Street Department

Gilby’s bikes are unique hot-rod infused sculptures that test and challenge convention. This Twin Cities area native has been pin-striping for decades and his motorcycles reflect a wildly artistic vision. His contributions to motorcycling inspire and challenge, raising the bar of creativity higher with every unforgettable chopper he creates.


Tickets for the Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show are on sale at the RiverCentre Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Adults are $15 and children under the age of 12 are admitted free. The Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show is sponsored by Dennis Kirk, GEICO Motorcycle, Indian Motorcycle, The Sturgis Buffalo Chip, Budweiser, Lucas Motorcycle Oil and Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys.

Tickets for the “War of the Twins” Indoor Flat Track Racing can be purchased at www.IndoorFlatTrack.com. All seating is assigned with box seating VIP tickets available for $21 and general auditorium adult seating for $15. The first 500 children under 12, accompanying an adult, will be admitted free. “War of the Twins” Indoor Flat Track Racing is sponsored by the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, Dennis Kirk, GEICO Motorcycle, Lucas Motorcycle Products, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys and S&S Cycle.4More information can be found at DonnieSmithBikeShow.com.

Find high resolution photos here:


 About the Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show

In its 31st year, the famed Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show presented by Dennis Kirk is the largest custom bike and car show in the Midwest. The show draws the nation’s most prestigious brands, top competitors and tens of thousands to the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minn. It is widely known as the annual kickoff to the riding and cruising season and features a unique mix of competitions, shopping and entertainment in a fun, family-friendly environment with 35 classes of custom motorcycles, 16 classes of cars, the largest swap meet on the planet, a tattoo expo and other entertainment including Indoor Flat Track Racing at the Lee & Rose Warner Coliseum. Additional information can be found at www.donniesmithbikeshow.com

Ken’s Factory: A Big Twin Powered 1960’s Kei Car

Signal Hill, CA January 20, 2018 – Ken’s Factory Big Twin Mazda Carol

In Japan, most custom motorcycle patrons of Ken’s Factory are also car buffs. It was only a matter of time that a client, and a good friend, would challenge a reluctant Ken Nagai (owner/founder of Ken’s Continue reading Ken’s Factory: A Big Twin Powered 1960’s Kei Car

Famed Donnie Smith Show Brings More Bikes, Cars, Parts and Tattoos for its 30th Anniversary

1Industry celebrities, prestigious sponsors, gear-heads, artists, custom enthusiasts, and their families and friends gather to share passions, enter projects and welcome new expo to the show.

Saint Paul, MN (January 17, 2017) – Motorcycle and car enthusiasts across the country will soon congregate at the 30th Annual Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show presented by Dennis Kirk to see and be seen at the largest custom bike and car show in the Midwest. In addition to motorcycles and cars, the 225,000 sq. ft. indoor event showcases a brand-new Tattoo Expo and a popular swap meet billed as the largest parts extravaganza on the planet. Right now, anyone, from amateur to pro, can enter a custom project, register to sell goods or set up a tattoo display at www.DonnieSmithBikeShow.com. All events will take place at the St. Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat., March 25 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun., March 26, 2017.

“People travel together from all over the country to enjoy the weekend, checking out award-winning cars and bikes, talking to famous builders, shopping and having a great time,” said Donnie Smith, famed customizer and show namesake. “This is a fantastic show for bikers, car fans, friends, families and kids of all ages.”



Well over half the show, 135,000 sq. ft., will be dedicated to motorcycles, paying homage to the machines that started the show in 1987. Over $7,500 in cash awards will be presented to the top baggers and customs with awards also given for best paint, display, lighting, antique, bagger, bobber, chopper, pro-street, sport bike and a judge’s choice. Some of the biggest guns in the biker world including Donnie Smith, Rod Woodruff, Kevin Baas and the Kennedy High School Chopper class, Dave and Jody Perewitz and Pat Patterson will be in attendance. The inclusionary show allows anyone to enter. Now’s the time to finish that custom and enter the bike show by filling out the entry form located here. Deadline for entry is March 10, 2017, but the show historically sells out so early entry is encouraged.



The parts extravaganza, which covers nearly an acre, is a huge attraction. This is an opportunity to find missing parts and get those bikes and cars ready for the road this spring. Cruising season is just around the corner. It’s a motorcycle part pickers paradise.



The car show has been experiencing significant growth and offers 16 classes in 2017 including Vintage, Antique, Hot Rods and Rat Rods. All makes and models of cars and trucks are accepted with $5,000 in cash and prizes to be awarded. Entry deadline is March 15, 2017, and the form can be found here.



New this year, the Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show is offering a Tattoo Expo. The event will expose new talent, showcase proven artists and provide enthusiasts with a gathering place to share their love for this enduring art form. The Tattoo Expo will be located in the upper level of the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Those interested in reserving a booth for the Tattoo Expo can find the exhibitor form here. Space is expected to sell out quickly.



A special happy hour party with live music by Corey Stevens, a blues-based rock singer, songwriter and guitarist, will take place in the RiverCentre on Saturday night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Join your friends and make some new ones as you relax and discuss the show.



Blue chip brands and major industry players are supporting the show in 2017 including presenting sponsor Dennis Kirk, GEICO Motorcycle, Budweiser, Lucas Oil, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Sturgis Buffalo Chip and Metzeler Tires as well as flagship industry brands S & S Cycle, Kuryakyn, House of Kolor, Magnaflow and many others.



Tickets for the Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show are on sale at the RiverCentre Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Children under the age of 12 are admitted free.


Find high resolution photos here.

About the Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show

In its 30th year, the famed Donnie Smith Bike and Car Show presented by Dennis Kirk is the largest custom bike and car show in the Midwest. The show draws the nation’s most prestigious brands, top competitors and tens of thousands to the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minn. It is widely known as the annual kickoff to the riding and cruising season and features a unique mix of competitions, shopping and entertainment in a fun, family-friendly environment with 35 classes of custom motorcycles, 16 classes of cars, the largest swap meet on the planet, a tattoo expo and other entertainment. Additional information can be found at www.donniesmithbikeshow.com.

The 2014 Donnie Smith Show

A force to be reckoned with on today’s bike show circuit

Story and photos by Marilyn Stemp (Images added below)

Innovate, evolve or get out of the way! That’s not the mantra of a famous business guru but it might well be because it’s very good advice. More to the point, after talking with Neil Ryan, head honcho of the Donnie Smith Show, and later reflecting on the show’s remarkable success in 2014, it occurred to me that this is exactly what Neil has done.


Long lasting events, especially ones centered on a specific topic such as motorcycles, beat the odds by making changes and additions while maintaining a sense of familiarity. That’s been Neil’s MO during his dozen-year-tenure as the Show’s promoter and it’s apparently been a good formula. The show continues to grow, not only in attendance numbers but in popularity and reputation, too. But in 2014 innovation pushed the Donnie Smith show to ever new heights.

The actual bike show has always been the centerpiece of this event and rightly so. Midwesterners itching to get riding by mid-March never fail to impress, bringing a striking variety of machines out to shine. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this show consistently brings out a stellar collection of custom bikes to the show floor. Custom builder Dave Perewitz says the quality of the bikes in the Donnie Smith Show is second to none, and he knows a thing or two abut the subject.

The swap meet aspect of the event was a mainstay in this show’s origins as one of J&P’s Parts Extravaganzas. The persistent quality of the swap meet adds both interest and grassroots authenticity. This year the entire swap meet space was packed with vendors who brought out genuine parts and gear at fair prices. I heard more than one parts hunter lament not grabbing something before it went home with another buyer, while still applauding the selection on hand.

A year or two ago, Neil added Saturday Happy Hour to the roster, bringing in a band at 5 PM and kicking the Budweiser wagons into high gear. Happy hour keeps people hanging out and lends a party atmosphere to the venue. And as this show always happens near Donnie Smith’s birthday, that’s appropriate. Beer and birthday cake? Bring it on!

But that’s not all. This time around the show expanded another gazillion square feet (okay, maybe just 50,000) into the adjacent Roy Wilkins Auditorium to include a classic car and hot rod show. A natural fit for a gearhead crowd like this, it also made sense as a way to further evolve the show. And it made more fun, too, adding another dimension, expanding the reach, and giving attendees more for their money.

A component of the Donnie Smith Show these last 11 years that we’re especially fond of is the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge, a competition between students of shop classes in high and tech schools. The program has expanded and contracted in the last decade in response to economic changes and school restrictions but it persists, to the good of motorcycling and anyone who cares about promoting our sport. This team of Ironworkers, formerly for IronWorks and now with Iron Trader News, has sponsored the DSCCC since its inception and we’re proud to do so.

Two teams turned out this year, both of them veterans of the competition. Eden Junior/Senior High from Eden NY, led by instructor Steve Jones wowed everyone with a classic looking bobber sporting a diesel engine. Mitchell Tech in southeastern South Dakota turned out a slick, red, café-style racer looking slim, light and ready to roll.

Outside of the DSCCC more young builders and designers populated the show. Kevin “Teach” Baas was on hand with his class from nearby Kennedy High in Bloomington, MN. As the longest running of the high school programs they’d been busy with several different bikes in various states and made stunning progress in spite of budget cuts that have Teach running not only Chopper Class, but auto shop, woodworking and more. It’s due to dedication such as this that Kevin’s students have gone on to advanced training in motorcycle mechanics, welding and other trades. Setting a good example still matters.

Another high school group that, like Kennedy High, enters a bike in the open show classes rather than the DSCCC, is from Sturgis Brown High in Sturgis, SD. In their second year at the show, the students, along with a solid team of instructors and mentors, displayed their urban-bagger-style custom H-D Street Glide, complete with graffiti paint scheme and matching backdrop. The bike, which took first place in the high school division, was built through the Buffalo Chip Student Build Challenge, aided by Keith Terry of Terry Components, Black Hills H-D, and Nick and Randy Cramer of Dakota V-Twin. It will take center stage again at the Chip’s Legends Ride during the Sturgis Rally when it’s auctioned off for charity.

Finding a cool bargain at the swap meet; hanging out with friends at happy hour; reminiscing about hot rods back in the day; getting ideas for fixing up your bike from the customs in the show; catching on to the enthusiasm of high school kids just getting into bikes; knowing that riding time is just around the corner. It’s elements like these that combine to make the Donnie Smith Show such a standout. Another thing that made the 2014 version even better? The people waiting outside in line to get in didn’t have to wait in the snow this time!



Historic cues enhance a classic Triumph on the show floor.


Vendors showed some unique components.


The Student-built bike from Sturgis Brown High.


Using an engine frame provided by S&S Cycle, the Eden Junior/Senior High class built this bike for S&S Cycle’s 55th anniversary last year.


This beauty from Blacksmith Motoring once graced an IronWorks cover.


One of the many projects in the works in Kennedy High’s Chopper Class.


Steampunk styling continues to play well.


Classic choppers always turn up at the Donnie Smith Show.


A ’46 Knuck from Hepcat Choppers.


It’s always good to catch up with Skeeter and Marie Todd.


Wyatt Harwood from Sturgis Brown High and the man of the day.


Hamsters from the New England contingent.


Overview of the car show.


Biking legend Sugar Bear and show promoter Neil Ryan.


Big Dan and Jody P – just smiling!


You can’t see Jorg’s new tattoo here but the man in the Rat Fink shirt, Nolan, is responsible for it.


There’s a ton of bike building experience in this picture: Donnie Smith and Dave Perewitz.


Here’s the Chopper Class Challenge team from Mitchell tech, in Mitchell South Dakota. They too trophies for Presentation and Technical.


The Chopper Class Team from Eden too top honors in Design and won the Overall trophy. They also took the Three R’s award for recycling and the Traveling Award, which they’ll bring back to the competition next year.


Happy faces! Christine Paige Diers, Executive director of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, Kiwi Motorcycle’s Carolyn Tomas, and Darla crown.


Darla Crown and Greg Wick.


Feb Kevin and Big Matt Willyard crafted these trophies for the Donnie Smith Chopper Class Challenge. Everyone wanted to get a closer look at them.


The show always happens near Donnie’s birthday so you can count on birthday cake. Rob Kenney shares with the nice lady in the booth next door.

IMG_8836 IMG_8838 IMG_8847 IMG_8848 IMG_8850 IMG_8856 IMG_8891 IMG_8915 IMG_8925 IMG_8944 IMG_9182

Bert hamming it up with Tony.

Bert hamming it up with Tony.

And there’s Bert Baker’s Organ Donor project bike, another alum from IW.

And there’s Bert Baker’s Organ Donor project bike, another alum from IW.

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