The One Motorcycle Show 2012

As Plato imagined a table, we imagined a motorcycle. We were thinking a lot about Mr. Plato’s words on the image of a table. The idea is perfect and the product; susceptible to elements and unknown factors, could never be perfect. The idea for us was the One Motorcycle: the stripped down, real deal, simple machine. It was then that we realized we knew a handful of motorcycle builders that in turn knew a handful of builders who all specialize in that ‘ONE’ type of bike. From there, the idea grew. Our theme for the show would be “The One Motorcycle.” (

When I located NE 9th and Flanders, I had to circle Sandbox Studios a couple times to find parking. Car after car lined the blocks with motorcycles in the spaces between. Throaty purring and shrill screeching of engines echoed down the streets, bouncing off industrial buildings… a tell tale sign that I was in the right place. As I walked around the corner, an exceptionally loud Japanese engine screamed while someone cranked the throttle. A young couple in artsy clothing approached, the woman clinging tightly to the man with a somewhat hesitant smile and nervous laugh, “…Are you sure you want to do this?” They trotted on as if she were only joking. 

After all, the term “biker” conjures up an intimidating mental image in mainstream culture. The beautiful part is that they would soon be confronted by a plethora of motorcycles- some that reinforce the typical stereotypes, others that are very difficult to categorize, and some that are just downright works of art. It’s undeniable, a very versatile group of bikes were brought to the table here. (Plato’s table? Pun intended.) Something for everyone, if you will.

I actually went Friday night around 7:30p, and the place was fairly packed already. Which is really amazing being that it must have been at least 10,000 sq. ft. The beer line alone stretched through the entire space and creeped along at snail pace. Room for photos quickly grew more difficult to find, so I came back the next day when there was better light and less (but still a ton) of people.

Both sides of the street were lined with bikes. And light for photos was oh so much better. And so the photo tour began. On the right of the entrance, a long lineup of Kawasaki’s. 

So shiny and new looking!

On the left, my coworker AJ Ralston’s tables in the shop area with the encore of 21 helmets.

This one with subtle gold leafing and excellent line work was one of my favorites.

Another great helmet, silver flake with a sweet wizard.

Aaaand… the brain-o-matic.

Walk further and you encounter a bunch of small bikes, dirt bikes, misfits and others. 

A personal favorite was “The Ace” by Swift Cycleworks. A Portland bike lane legal moped with 35cc 4-stroke Subaru engine and a top speed of 24 mph, with 1.1 gallon tank capacity and an estimated 150 mpg.

And this Garelli moped with awesome ignition button in the end of the clip-on. Yeah, a moped with clip-ons.

One of my other misfit favorites is “Motofaux”, replicated and assembled by Randell Swann. Approximately a 3/4 scale model, it’s based on the 1923 Temple-Anzani board track racer. The Temple-Anzani was the first motorcycle to cover 100 miles in an hour.

The engine is made of wood, steel, aluminum, copper and plastic.

A new classic- Honda with leaf-spring suspension and almost an old Triumph or Indian look. I love the color, too.

Proudly displaced facing each other, Czysz race bikes spanning generations.

Roland Sands‘ 500 is displayed in the center of the room… on a tree stump. How very Portland. There’s even a stray empty Pabst. 

Ohlins front forks- ooo…

There were plenty of classics, like this Hodaka Scrambler.

1942 Triumph 3HW Military Motorcycle 342cc single cylinder that served in WWII during the Burma Campaign. 

An awesome pristine AerMacchi.

A beautiful Norton Commando.

I could go on for days. There were plenty of funky UJM’s…

This little guy hung out with his ‘71 Yamaha counterpart.

I was very fond of this murdered out Kawasaki… slightly reminiscent of Mad Max.

This Yamaha proved that brown and robin’s egg blue can actually look good together.

Tons of crazy choppers…

This one, being a bit rough around the edges… got lots of photo time from me.

Beautiful DIY style paint treatment on this one from G&H Cycles.

An excellent sparkly white vinyl seat on this one made by Ginger of New Church Motorcycle Customs.

And this bold, very bold pink chopper.


And of course, there were many Harleys like this beautiful ivory and brown leather one that got tons of attention.

Very well coordinated red and black.

Some beautiful gold flake from Delta Chop-Shop.

Awesome Police Special chopper…

There were tons of things to look at. I could go on forever and ever, and I feel like I already have. I want to thank Thor of See See Motorcycles and everyone involved for throwing this amazing event in little ol’ Portland. 

Go look at all 252 photos on flickr. Photography by yours truly.

And so concludes my tour through The One Motorcycle Show. Check out other photos from the show last year here.

Posted on February 13, 2012 in Motorcycles by

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