For two days this past March, the Saint Paul, MN, RiverCentre was ground zero for renowned builder Donnie Smith's annual bike show. The event, co-sponsored by House of Kolor, is among the largest motorcycle shows in the country, with 20,000 spectators showing up for the end-of-winter shindig. Each morning people were lined up before the 8 a.m. gate opening for a chance to get in before the masses. Aside from the top-notch bikes and vendors, a swap meet area was packed with used and NOS gear. Luckily, I got to check out all the bikes and take photos on Friday before the show began. Otherwise, there would have been no way to get close to any of the bikes-there were that many people in attendance.
What's really special about this show is the quality and quantity of bikes. There were 300 bikes on display, ranging from restored H-D singles, Knucks, Pans, and Servi Cars all the way up to modern one-off customs. As a big fan of old iron, I was blown away by the caliber and attention to detail of the bikes that started it all. In addition to a few Victorys, there were some very nice Japanese customs on display. Also on hand to meet and greet the public were Dave Perewitz, Brian Klock, Scott Webster of Leroy-Thompson, and Custom Painter John Kosmoski from House of Kolor fame.
Kevin Baas and his Kennedy High School chopper crew were also on hand with a couple of their rides, as well as scoots built by St. Francis and Clearfield County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC). In the high school chopper challenge, Kennedy took First Place as well as a technical merit award, with CCCTC taking Third. It was great to see the passion of these young men and women, as well as the bikes they created.
For more information on Donnie Smith and the Donnie Smith-House of Kolor Invitational Bike Show, log on to www.donniesmithbikeshow.com.