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The 2010 Sweepstakes Custom Road Star – About the Builders

Posted on 30 Nov 2010 in Cruiser-Motorcycles | 0 comments

Pictured left to right: Don Tima (engine), Donnie Smith, Rob Roehl (fabrication & assembly)

Since the 70’s Donnie Smith has been modifying motorcycles and becoming a part of custom history. With his roots in Minnesota, Donnie has been in his current shop in Blaine since ’96. He and his team annually customize a one-of-a-kind sweepstakes bike for Dennis Kirk. While Donnie is the front guy of the operation, Rob Roehl performs the fabrication after some careful forethought. Forming metal and welding is Robs’ forte and with each cycle that rolls out of the shop, his master craftsmanship only gets better. Looking good is only part of the task at hand. Donnie won’t let a cycle out of the shop until the engine is running at its peak performance. This is where the professionally skilled Don Tima steps in to tune the engine to perfection.

Attached to Donnie’s shop is Paintworks run by Brian Mahler. A few steps next door and the paint booth is ready to accommodate a new set of tins. Brian shoots the base coat and will eventually shoot the clear coats when returned from Lenni Schwartz of Krazy Kolors for graphic painting. Lenni looks to top the prior years’ Dennis Kirk Sweepstakes bike and this year he truly went above and beyond with a scheme of colors that compliment the overall presentation. Lenni has a gift of visualizing the graphics to flatter the lines of the bike.  Needless to say, when final assembly is done, his expertise pulls everything together and ultimately celebrates the flow of the customized cycle.

Also native to Minnesota, photographer Deb Shade captures the progression of the bike for web and magazine print. Deb’s work is published in industry magazines as well as how-to books by Wolfgang Publications. Current images of the build can be found on the Dennis Kirk FaceBook page as well as V-Twin magazine.

Now you know who’s behind this years custom bike build, what do you think?

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