Thursday, April 1, 2010

Donnie Smith Show 2010

This past weekend (March 27&28) most of the Harley enthusiasts in the Twin Cities area gathered at Rivercenter in St. Paul for the annual Donnie Smith Bike Show. As always, the show was a big success, with scores of builders from throughout the Midwest displaying their latest creations. Unlike some bike shows, this one has also become a place for manufacturers such as Custom Chrome and Kuryakyn to promote their products. Many local shops also take advantage of the flow of 12 to 15 thousand spectators, by setting up at the event.

Custom Vincent had great lines

Since this is such an important event in my area, I tend to put a fair amount of effort into it. More than a few hours are spent in the week preceding the show, preparing my display. I generally take a number of ported heads and other performance items so that spectators can see the type of work I do.
Another thing that I do is to help with the physical set up of the show. Because of the show's size, two days (Thursday and Friday) are set aside just for vendor and show bike set up. Most often you will find me directing traffic inside the auditorium. No, not foot traffic. Trucks with up to 50 foot trailers are driven in to unload and set up. With sometimes over a dozen vehicles unloading at one time, it gives everyone a good test of their ability to back up a trailer.

My Display

Once the show begins on Saturday morning, I am well on my way to a sore throat from increasing my verbal output by factor of about 100. This year I had "The Knuckledragger" in my booth. It got a lot of attention, which in turn generated a lot of questions. I also had ported Twin Cam, Evolution, Shovel, and Knuckle heads on display.
There were a number of great bikes in the show, my favorite being a custom Vincent. Inevitably there were also a few "Karaoke Bikes" in the show as well. (You do know what a Karaoke Bike is, don't you? It's a bike so ugly that you are embarrassed for the owner even though you don't even know him) Of course some of the Karaoke Bikes wound up being award winners, so that just shows what I know.

Sunday morning before the doors opened to the public found about 30 of us gathered together for the worship service that the Bond Slaves MC puts on annually at the show. Their Chaplain always brings an excellent message. This one was no different. In a nutshell, the main point was that the book of Acts records the work of the early Church, and though Sacred Scripture ends Acts at chapter 28, the work continues, with each of us being an additional chapter. Good stuff, if you are a Christian.

Along those same lines, I had a sign saying "Free-Take One" on an air cleaner turned bowl. By way of that, I distributed a couple dozen S&S stickers, between 50 and 100 pressed pennies with the 10 Commandments on them, and another 50 or so larger coins which have the commandments on one side and a Gospel message on the other. I won't order more of the pennies, because I noticed that all the bikers at the show are so old that none of them could read the tiny print (me included). I think the larger coins are great though. Most people are more likely to take something shiny than they would a Gospel tract; and less likely to toss it in the first trash can they come to.

Finally a good (and innovative) use for those cam chain tensioners!

All in all, the 2010 Donnie Smith Bike Show was a great success and left builders, vendors, and manufacturers looking forward to next year's event!

Vintage British drag bike - oops, better look a little closer

Sweet Panhead

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1 comment:

Kevin "TEACH" Baas said...

Dont forget the two knuckleheads in the Kennedy display that you perfectly rebuilt! By the way I also got teh timing on that magneto so I will stop by with teh bike soon.