The One Motorcycle Show Again Proudly Defies Categorization
In this age of artificial intelligence that generates algorithms suggesting (or commanding) participants to listen to curated music, watch scary movies (the AI already knows you like scary) and wear just the right sneakers, it is so refreshing to attend an event like
The One Motorcycle Show. That’s because the show’s founder, Thor Drake, never wanted the event to appeal to a certain “type” of motorcycle enthusiast. He saw the show as a shotgun blast of motorcycles, music, art and even a few four wheelers that either represent the best of a category or defied categorization. I’m sure he was told more than once that his anything-goes mentality would fragment the potential audience and be a failure. Fourteen years later, The One Motorcycle Show is still proving the doubters wrong. The show doesn’t rely on an algorithm, it thrives on pure chaos. And I hope it stays that way.
Perfect Setting: The historic Zidell Yards Barge Building on Portland’s waterfront gives the show a raw, industrial feel that compliments everything an attendee is about to see. National media paints Portland as a war zone and I admit, I was apprehensive. Those fears vanished. I feel safe surrounded by motorcycle people.
My favorite: Okay, I’ll get this out of the way. I fell in love with this 1974 Honda SL 450 the second I saw it. Built by Kick Start Garage, it is a tasteful customization of a motorcycle that was pretty darn near perfect when it was sold in 1974. Why ruin a good thing? Kick Start refined it to be used as a daily rider, a dirt-road adventurer or bike night show stealer.
Italian stallion: This 1974 Ducati 450 M3D looks so ready to attack the tightest canyon road you could find. Owned by Jack Huisinga and backed by Syd’s Cycles.
Jump for joy: The show has an almost constant line up of entertainers throughout the day. The FMX Freestyle Motocross riders pulled a giant crowd for each performance.
Clean and simple: A 1965 Harley-Davidson FLH chopped to perfection.
Purr like a kitten: Have you ever heard a Moto Guzzi under hard acceleration? It is awesome. Kinda like a BMW boxer on steroids. The art behind the bike is that of Steven Livingston ( [email protected]) who says he’d be happy to paint something for you. I really like his painting of the 5 CZ’s.
Triumphant: A super-clean Triumph flat tracker.
True diversity: Where will you see a Suzuki-powered hill-climber mixing it up with choppers, cafe bikes and bobbers? Only at The One Motorcycle Show.
Glow in the dark: The friendly folks at Modern Artifacts can make something from scratch for you or pick from illuminated signs they have already crafted. Every office, recording studio or garage could use their touch.
Broadcasting live: Modern Artifacts now offers these ultra-cool vintage radios. These boxes have bluetooth speakers so you can blast tunes from your phone to everyone in the room. Price range is $250-$300.
Snow blower: No reason to let a little snow keep you off the bike.
Got choppers?: There were more choppers than any other type of motorcycle but the chopper category covers a lot of ground. There weren’t too many.
Performance art: Makoto Endo does his amazing artwork during the show so folks can watch the master at work. I’m sure everyone with a bike on display would love to have Makoto perform his magic with their bike.
Pushing the boundaries: The One . Motorcycle Show even had a car section. I had never seen a Camaro rally car before this and I’ll probably never see one again (unless it is this one). Very unique. No motorcycles were excluded due to the cars. There was plenty of space for everyone
Standing room only: Sorry I don’t have a better photo of the Seattle Cossacks Stunt and Drill Team but I had to push my way through a giant crowd to get this shot. The Cossacks were a big draw.
Tire savers: Before there was tire sealant and foam tubes and self-healing tubeless tires, chopper guys tied a bandana around the fork to wipe the tire clean of nails, rocks and glass. Did it work? Better than nothing.
The beer is in the trunk, officer: Never seen a chopper with a beverage rack built into the sis, oh wait, can’t say that anymore. Built into the passenger’s backrest.
Van and cycle life: Terrence Gasca knows how to capture the speed of motorcycle flat tracking in his paintings. His automotive pieces are even more interesting. I don’t have any wall space so something has to come down before a Gasca can go up.
Long story: Around 1979? Steve Gerki, a now absent friend, asked if I wanted to head out to Adelanto Raceway for a Tri-Sport demo day? You bet! We got there only to find out the dealer didn’t really want people tearing around the track on these three wheelers. So, we never got the chance to ride one. I forgot that story until I saw this Tri-Sport.
Fast departure: I own a RZ350 and it doesn’t look anything like this! A work in progress, this beauty was crafted by Julian Farnam. My stocker is fun to ride. I can’t imagine how cool it would be to ride this rocket.
Moto music: The Vicious Cycles traveled from far-off Canada to shred The One Motorcycle Show. They were one of 12 bands to play the event. Motorcycle (and car) shows are not the best venue for live music, but the Vicious Cycles’ energy won the crowd over.
Air powered: I won’t claim to have any idea of what is going on here. The builder, Cory Little, was always explaining it somebody else when I walked by. Cory says this is a 1981 Honda Tourstar converted to run on compressed air. Wild!
Where it began: Cory Little (left) started his compressed-air adventure with this bike. The amazing Bike Portland had a write-up on this bike way back in 2016. You can read about it by clicking here.
Mad respect: People who need to use a wheelchair to get around might feel like motorcycling is out of their reach. It certainly didn’t hold Jim Wilson back from riding. He crafted this bike that won the Diamond-In-The-Rough trophy.
Am I going on too long?: I’ve just scratched the One-Motorcycle-Show surface. This is a tough event to cover! Luckily, I’m my own editor so I’m gonna keep going with this non-restored, 54-year-old Honda Dream. Do you think the bike you buy this year will last until 2077?
Ton up club: Don’t think you’d have any issue breaching the 100-MPH mark on this sano Triumph Bonneville.
THE PARKING LOT I always prowl the parking lot when attending any motorcycle event. The One Motorcycle Show parking lot didn’t disappoint.