On an abnormally beautiful Valentine’s Day weekend in Portland, Oregon, love was truly in the air as motorcycle enthusiasts of all types, shapes, and sizes turned out to see the sixth year of The One Motorcycle Show. The event was hosted in the lower Eastside industrial area of Portland in an old historical manufacturing warehouse with more than 20,000 sq.-ft. of floor space. Additionally, the building had a massive fenced in parking lot that was perfectly set up for mini-bike races, beer and merchant booths.
Originally started as a small event dedicated to showcasing “the weird, rare, and unconventional bikes that we love, in a way that everyone could enjoy,” the show is now on the cusp of bursting at the seams with a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. The Show has grown into other facets beyond just the bikes such as the original motorcycle themed art and photography adorning every wall. Also, the free admission, due to the donations of sponsors like Icon Motorsports and BMW Motorrad USA, certainly helped to keep a line of visitors around the block for all three days of the show.
Despite the flowing beer, the live bands, and the cool swag, the story of this show was undoubtedly the bikes. This was a stage for some of the nation’s top builders with a good mixture of first-timers. Whatever your flavor of bike, this show had it in spades. I can say, in a completely unbiased way, that this is one of the most impressive shows I’ve ever been to for seeing custom builds. Even the streets surrounding the show were packed full of beautifully built customs.
One of the highlights was a show-stopping custom “Track Chief” Indian by Roland Sands Design. Boasting a springer fork on the front, this funky racer definitely helps keep the vintage feelings of yore.
There were also bikes like builder Julian’s name-worthy “Victor Frankenstein Monster,” a wild ’97 Ducati Monster built in 30 days for $1000, which is an incredible feat in itself.
Triumph had the Castrol Rocket on display. At 306 inches long, this bad boy uses two Rocket lll motors turbocharged to a combined output of 1000 hp. If you ever get to see this running on the salt flats, don’t blink.
Super Rat won my award for funkiest of the show by producing two of my favorite bikes; a 2004 Yamaha WR450F and a 2007 998 “Jigsaw.” I’ll be eagerly anticipating their future builds.
There were also 21 custom painted helmets by 21 artists that were designed and completed skillfully in every style. Honestly, writing about these bikes is like trying to paint a picture of the best of the Rolling Stones, you just can’t do it justice. So I’d highly recommend checking out the gallery of photos seen below.
My take away from The One Motorcycle Show is that the motorcycle culture and community are strong as ever. Triumphs appear to definitely be making a major comeback, at least that’s how it appears on the West Coast custom motorcycle scene. Everyone from hardcore motorcycle gangs to the neighborhood scooter gang to mom and dad with the kids were interacting enthusiastically and positively in the giant industrial space. The future is bright for the custom motorcycle world and, if you ever need a reminder of that, show up next year in Portland to The One Motorcycle show and let yourself bask in its light.