Adam Waheed

The 2019 One Motorcycle Show Ups The Ante

The One Show rocks Portland harder than ever

The annual The One Motorcycle Show blew through Portland, Oregon, over the weekend. The three-day event showcases motorcycles, art, and contemporary culture inside a decommissioned pickle factory turned rustic temporary exhibition hall. The 600,000-square-foot space houses more than 200 of the best custom exotics from builders around the world.

This year marked the the show’s 10th anniversary after being born on a whim by Thor Drake, owner of Portland’s See See Motor Coffee.

bike with a side car in the snow
A winter storm Friday night dropped a blanket of fresh snow Saturday morning.Adam Waheed

“Most of the shows were [in] convention halls or a grassy field or something that didn’t really do justice for the amount of time and passion that people put into motorcycles,” Drake told us when asked how the show began. “It was a hair-brained idea and it sort of resonated, just like most things that are good.

“Each year we try to add a new thing, [a] new layer to it that kind of crosses different communities and really brings people together,” he said.

One Moto Show with 2019 Lineup
Left: Indian Motorcycle partnered with the show this year in an effort to showcase its newest edition to its 2019 lineup, the FTR 1200.
Right: Music, bikes, and culture—they are all under one roof at The One Moto Show in Portland, Oregon.
Adam Waheed

Things kicked off Thursday evening at Portland's Hollywood Theater for a screening of Oil in the Blood, a documentary that shows off men and women who make building, riding, and racing custom motorcycles their life.

The show officially got underway Friday evening with die-hard fans braving a winter storm that dumped a few inches of snow overnight.

crowded motorcycle show
In spite of the wicked weather, the event promoter thought attendance was still strong as compared to the 18,000 folks who walked through the door last year.Adam Waheed

Once again the event featured electric minibike races, live music, a tattoo space, as well as a seemingly endless stream of coffee and/or libations to keep your mind properly lubricated and up to speed. Vendors, many from the Pacific Northwest, also offered a variety of lifestyle-centric clothing and accessories, as well as one-of-a-kind motorcycle-inspired art pieces for purchase.

“I heard from a lot of people that they weren’t able to make it just because they got scared,” Drake said when asked if the icy winter weather put a dent in this year’s attendance.

One moto show projects and speakers
Left: Thor Drake, mastermind of The One Moto Show speaks to the crowd during Sunday afternoon's closing ceremony.
Right: The One Show is the perfect place to get some design inspiration for the project lying idle in the garage.
Adam Waheed

“The attendance was still great,” he added, compared to last year’s event, which had more than 18,000 people walk through the doors.

“Even last night the races were packed. And that’s 45 minutes south… or I guess an hour and a half if you’re in the snow,” he laughed. “It was a good turnout, I’d say.”

Super Hooligan flat-track racing series
The Super Hooligan flat-track racing series kicked off Saturday night at the Salem indoor track just south of Portland. Next year the race will be combined with the actual show.Adam Waheed

For those willing to brave the wicked weather, they were treated to a loud and exciting evening of covered flat-track racing inside the Salem, Oregon, fairgrounds, located south of Portland. The race also featured the opening round of the 2019 Super Hooligan series.

“I’d say the biggest noticeable thing is that now there’s a heavy contingent of racers who are kind of aware of the custom culture and vice versa,” Drake told us with most of the racers taking part in the entire weekend event.

flat-track race arena
Left: The flat-track races took place inside a covered arena, south of Portland in Salem.
Right: Hanging out and talking bikes is what The One Moto Show is all about.
Adam Waheed

Next year, however, Drake plans to merge the racing and show components bringing it inside one venue at downtown Portland’s historic Memorial Coliseum.

Red Clouds Collective
Local apparel brands like the Red Clouds Collective showed off their latest wares inside the show.Adam Waheed

“The Beatles played there,” Drake said. “The [Portland] Blazers won their 1977 championship [there]. It’s right downtown. It’s a cool building from the ’70s.

pinstriping and woman using lipstick while looking into motorcycle side mirror
Left: Pinstriper Rick Evans from Medford, Oregon, works his magic on a customer's fuel tank inside The One Moto Show.
Right: Fashion inspiration comes in all forms as photographer Rebecca Canterbury shows.
Adam Waheed

“I think we can add more racing and we can add the bike show and all of it under one roof. That to me is how you get to the bigger masses, to influence the next generation of kids,” he said.

“My goal is if I can put a dent in the monster truck crowd,” he explained. “I love monster trucks. They’re cool as shit, but I just want to get those guys to be stoked on local-level racers, not some big, Monster Energy-sponsored, one-truck driver. There’s no community in that. It’s just a show. I would rather the show be about local energy. So if I can do one thing and just put local racers in the big arena and get some people stoked.”