A custom bike builder for more than 30 years, Donnie Smith's innovations continue to influence custom bike builders today.
Born in 1942, Smith grew up on a dairy farm in Donnelly, Minn. In the mid-1960s, after two years in the Army, Smith was exposed to motorcycling through a friend who rode a Triumph. But Smith's passion was drag racing funny cars, so he set up a performance car shop in Minneapolis. Then in 1970 his uncle, Elwood, asked him to stretch the frame on his Harley-Davidson Sportster— something that would ultimately put him on the custom-bike career path.
When other riders asked for the same treatment for their bikes, Smith began producing frames full-time, eventually expanding to design and build full custom motorcycles.
Now one of the top builders in the nation, Donnie Smith Custom Cycles in Blaine, Minn., produces motorcycling masterpieces.