Let there be light.
When Noel "Noelski" Kalinoski was 19 years old, he started Noelski Enterprises. In 1995 he moved himself along with few welders and rollaways into a warehouse just outside of Minneapolis. In a leap of faith in 1997, he incorporated as Defiant Studio Inc., bought the building, and has never looked back.
Noelski now spends his days doing what he loves: hand-pounding tanks and seat pans from sheetmetal when he's not TIG welding a frame from scratch or carving parts from chunks of metal on his CNC machine.
It was written somewhere that he's the Salvador Dali of metal workers and it seems to be a damn good analogy. It is one thing to be able to design something on paper, but it takes a whole other set of skills to bring the design to a functioning reality. He can do just that. Over the past 20-plus years, Noelski has gained a respected following in the motorcycling ranks by producing bikes and parts that equally meld art and technology. The man has an eye for sleekly combining cleanliness with the complicated in a way that really cannot be explained. Whether it be a full-custom ground-up bike build or his line of limited edition motorcycle parts, it only takes one look to know that Defiant Studio was behind it.
Taking styling clues from many mediums such as fine art and nature itself, the bikes from Defiant are two-wheeled internally-combusted sculptures paying homage to the past, present, and future. Defiant's ever-increasing parts line features CNC'd engine parts and covers, handmade tanks, as well as custom welded exhaust pipes and frames. His latest project bikes-the Shovelhead-powered Dirty Lowdown and Seville-showcase the evolution of Defiant Studio and the man behind it. However, Noelski is not just involved in the one-off big-buck business, he also does a ton of customer jobs, too. It's what affords him the time and money to build his noted creations. Noelski builds a couple of mid-priced ground-up bikes a year for customers as well as stretching and slamming sport bikes. He also modifies metrics, welds plastic, and throws together wild jet skis and snowmobiles for water and winter use. This guy knows no bounds when it comes to fabrication and that's what makes him a true artist.
When we asked what was in the future for Defiant Studios, Noelski told us he wants to semi-retire to his own vineyard. With the skill set he has, we can't wait to see what he comes up with in the world of wine.
For more info on the man or his shop, check out defiantstudios.com.
The Defiant One, his dog, and his turn-of-the-century studio.
Another two-wheeled piece of art being made.