The One Motorcycle Show

It’s the automotive show season in this part of the world right now. The Superbowl is over. It’s cold and rainy outside, and only the most hardcore motorheads want to be outdoors. We keep ourselves entertained with a number of car and bike shows to pass the time before spring arrives. There are a couple of Hot Rod & Custom shows, the big “New Car” auto show, plus the boat and RV shows. When it comes to motorcycles, the new big show is “The One Motorcycle Show”.

The One Motorcycle show, has been around Portland for the past 10 years, usually held in an old warehouse or industrial building. It’s a cross between a custom motorcycle show, an art exhibit, and a party for motorheads and their friends. The show keeps getting bigger and bigger. For this, its 11th year, it moved into the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. The venue also held the dirt track races on Saturday night that are part of the annual event. I missed the races. I went on Sunday morning, when I figured crowds would be smaller and light would be better for photos.

This is the first time I’ve attended the show, and I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. But since I’ve loved motorcycle all my life, I figured there would be at least a few bikes there that would be worth the visit. By the time I left the show, I was exhausted, and I had seen so many cool motorcycles, my mind was spinning. I’m sure I missed dozens of amazing machines because there is only so much you can process at one time.

One of the first bikes that caught my eye after I entered the Coliseum was this Triumph Bonneville that is set up for adventure touring. This is no trailer queen, it’s obviously well used and built to serve a specific riders’ need. It’s also a totally cool motorcycle.

The One Motorcycle Show is both a custom bike show and an art exhibit. Many of the bikes share the limelight with some beautiful artwork. This “Captain America” Honda 750 chopper is making its second appearance on Curbside Classic. It was in my post last year, about the Oregon Vintage Motorcycle Show in Corvallis Oregon.

I have to admit this next bike wouldn’t normally do a thing for me, but it was just so well done, and totally ridiculous, I had to love it. Just look at the quality of the welds, and the work that must have gone into this odd motorcycle. Everything appears to be absolutely top notch on this machine that will likely accumulate less than a few hundred miles on it, in its entire lifetime. It’s not really made to be ridden, it’s made to look at. Judged as artwork rather than a practical motorcycle, I love it. Just don’t ask me to ride it anywhere other than a parking lot.

Here are a couple of more custom Harleys, that are really a step above many of the fancy choppers you can buy or build from a parts catalog. These bikes even make a non-Harley guy like me smile and appreciate them.

Among the hundreds of motorcycles on display were a number of race bikes including this Spondon framed bike, that I believe is powered by a big Honda single cylinder engine.

Another part of this show that has become a tradition is the “Helmet Art Exhibit”. Designers use crash helmets as their canvases to create unique pieces of (functional?) art.

This motorcycle, that is putting on an impressive light show is the Zero XP, a custom-built concept bike from Hugo Eccles of Untitled Motorcycles. The bike debuted last summer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England. It was one of a number of electric motorcycles that were on display at this show.

This Honda 500 Four was one of the most beautiful bikes I saw at the show. The bike was spotless and stripped of anything that wasn’t essential. Everything was metal or leather and the quality of work made me think of what a Bentley or Rolls Royce motorcycle would look like. This bike was a real jewel.

See See Cycles is a local motorcycle shop and coffee bar. They came up with this show and are one of the main sponsors. They had a number of custom motorcycles on display including this Royal Enfield.

This KTM dirt track racer is almost too good looking to race. If I had the money, I’d like to have this bike in my garage simply to look at. I bet its two-stroke motor makes beautiful sounds.

Many BMW boxer owners have their own ideas about what makes the perfect motorcycle. They are all so different from each other, yet I would be happy with any of them.

There were so many different types of motorcycles at the show. Here are a few of the many eclectic Japanese motorcycles I saw.

Here are two versions of a classic parallel twin engine in a custom hard-tail frame. The first is an old school Triumph and it’s followed by Yamahas interpretation, with an XS 650. Both of them are really cool looking motorcycles.

This crazy looking Harley Servi-Car would be an attention getter by itself. But when it’s towing a classic Norton race bike, that takes it to another level rarity. Where else could I see something like this?

I walked a few feet away from the Servi-Car and suddenly I’m having motocross flashbacks from the 1970’s. I find two perfectly preserved Yamahaulers and a bevy of vintage MX bikes. These really bring back some memories of when I was a young man, when I would see these things at the motocross races.

If you were a fan of dirt bikes back in the 70’s, you would definitely be familiar with Bultaco motorcycles. These Spanish made race bikes were among the best off-road bikes in the world until the Japanese began to dominate the sport in the late 70’s and 80’s. Modern dirt bikes may do virtually everything better than the old classics, but they just aren’t as good looking as these beautiful Bultacos.

My first real motorcycle was a Hodaka Ace 100 B+, so I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the little two stroke trail bikes. I was drawn like a moth to a flame as soon as I laid eyes on this one. This is a 90cc 1964 model. It’s one of the oldest Hodakas I’ve ever seen and in minty shape. But it wasn’t the only Hodaka at the show.

In keeping with the anything goes theme of this show, why not have an electric Hodaka? I’m beginning to get the feeling motorcyclists are a bit ahead of car enthusiasts when it comes to embracing electric power plants. Electric bikes were scattered among all the other bikes instead of being segregated into one section like I’m doing here.

This Frankenstein looking machine is actually a prototype for a bolt in electric motor to convert old motorcycles to electric drive. It’s a work in progress, but I wish him well. There is more information about his project here.

Another electric motorcycle that caught my eye was this one off Filson Zero special edition. The bike is a collaboration between Zero and Filson a supplier of high-end outdoor clothing, to introduce their new line of motorcycle gear. The bike has a saddle bag on this side, but the other side had a big chainsaw mounted to the bike to help clear the trail ahead of you I guess. Why not?

This is a Cake Kalk. Got a little spare cash? Would you spend $14K on a zippy little electric motorcycle from Sweden? I couldn’t on my budget and I’m too old to ride something like this. I’d likely kill myself. But after seeing a few videos of them in action, I lust after this strange looking machine. It’s light weight, relatively powerful, and has top quality components. It’s the Lotus of electric trail bikes. It looks like it would be a total blast to ride around the city. This bike wants to change me from a responsible man in my sixties into a hooning twentysomething hell raiser.

Cake also showed this utility scooter called the Ösa. The bike can be configured with a number of accessories, and can even be used to power tools and other electric items with its battery. These are very “outside the box” designs that might be a look at the future of two wheeled transportation.

Not every electric bike is thinking of the future though. This Lux Performance Electric Board Track Bike is decidedly retro. It’s a nice-looking bike, but with a claimed 26 HP I would want more than bicycle brakes on that front wheel.

If these were all the interesting motorcycles that I saw this day, I would have been more than happy. But there was even more. There was a rather large room in the Coliseum that was filled with antique and classic motorcycles. It was one of the best selections of vintage motorcycles I’ve ever seen. There were so many nice bikes, that it will have to be another post. That post, and those motorcycles will appear in the near future. Stay tuned.