By the time you read this, I will hopefully be on my way out of Portland, Oregon — having just attended The One Motorcycle Show. I say hopefully because the Polar Vortex dumped a bunch of cold fluffy white stuff on the ground on Friday, and the Portlandians have been calling it a snowmageddon ever since they slowly began littering the streets with stranded vehicles.

The weather may have been wreaking havoc on the highways and in town, Portland is after all where Volvo station wagons go to die, but it didn’t keep the hordes of motorcycle fans away from the show — in fact, some intrepid souls even road their way to the packed two-floor exhibit.

As one can expect from the Portland motorcycle scene, the atmosphere was hipster-chic, and laden with PBR cans, form fitting jeans, and epic beards.

Not exactly our cup of tea here at Asphalt & Rubber (I wore my best plaid shirt in an effort to blend with the natives, but was easily called out for my blasé attitude towards free-trade coffee), but that’s just fine — we like motorcycles just as much as the next guy or girl, and that’s what it is all about. Right?

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept behind The One Motorcycle Show, the idea is pretty simple and centers around the idea of that one motorcycle that fits all your tw0-wheeled needs and lusts.

It is about bikes that incorporate maybe the best aspects of all the other motorcycle you have ever owned, and represents everything about your two-wheeled life. Needless to say, the resulting builds had some interesting crossovers in style.

2014 marks the fifth year that The One Motorcycle Show has been put on by Thor Drake and his cohorts, and the once niche gathering has blown up quite a bit in that timeframe. With headline sponsors like BMW Motorrad USA and ICON, you could get some jabs in about the show “going corporate” (there was a stock BMW R nineT on the show floor, after all).

But at the same time though, the increased exposure and professionalism brought in a bevy of high-quality bikes and builders; and if you were in attendance this weekend, you could only be impressed by the overall exhibition (or is it a party?) and its unique character.

If more big name sponsors mean even more bikes, more world-class builders, and even bigger crowds looking to get their motolust serviced, then I say bring it on. As for the bikes themselves, you can break things down into four categories: the choppers, the street-trackers, the cafe racers, and everything else.

For their sponsor dollars, BMW brought with them a number of boxer-twins, all of which fit perfectly with the genre at hand (you have to admit, the R nineT does embody the spirit of the show’s one bike mantra). Of course there were a few Honda CB’s amongst the lot, but not so much that you noticed and felt like you were reading the BikeEXIF calendar (go buy yours today, and help support Chris Hunter’s awesome site, by the way).

Our favorite bike was “Mabel” by TPJ Customs, which was more streetfighter than street-tracker in its form, though you could probably get away defining it with either label. Super clean lines, subtle design elements, and sporty components — it’s right up the A&R alley, and gets bonus points for being a NorCal outfit too.

With other bikes from Roland Sands, Classified Moto, Deux Ex Machina, Dime City Cycles, and others in attendance, you could spend hours on each bike picking out the details and admiring the effort and craftsmanship that went into each of the motorcycles’ elements.

In addition to the bikes, The One Motorcycle Show offers a bevy of original art pieces on display as well. Paintings, photos, sculptures, and drawings of all aspects of the motorcycle lifestyle abounded. Additionally, there was the”21 Helmets” exhibit, which was sponsored by Bell Helmets and celebrates the company’s 60th anniversary.

A good time out, and if you find yourself in the Portland area this time next year, we highly recommend adding The One Motorcycle Show to your list of things to do. You don’t have to be a wayward lumberjack to attend, though it might help, and Portland has much to offer a visiting motorcyclist outside of the show’s events. Just be sure to check the weather before you leave.













Photos: © 2014 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • KSW

    Glad to see team A&R made it back safely. Oh Jen’s, you fit in fine anywhere mate. Love the mix of that show.

  • Did some homie really track in a snow-caked bike and let it melt all over that gorgeous wood floor?

  • Yeah. But it was so bad outside, no one could really blame him. 1,000 awesome points for even attempting to get there by two wheels. +5 more awesome points for doing it on street tires.

  • Funny, my first concern was for the health of the wood flooring rather than the impressive feat it must’ve been to pilot that thing in that weather. I’ve become too domestic…

  • paulus

    Any 2 wheeler beats a 4 wheeler…. there is some funk in some of those machines.

  • Bert (not Ernie)

    If the true essence of this show is “the ONE motorcycle” to do everything… Why isn’t every bike in there some iteration of supermotard? From grocery getting, girlfriend taxiing, track days, to/from work commuting, ripping down dirt or forest trails- that genre of bike is today’s version of yesteryear’s scrambler.

    Yet these guys are more interested in taking a bar find, dressing it up like a Christmas tree, carving a set walnut veneer clip-ons and stuffing and empty PBR case in as an air box. There is not a bike in that entire lot I would consider doing 10% of what a motorcycle is called on to do on a daily basis.

    (And please, I love this site. I look in at least three times a day. But PLEASE can you make it so we can scroll thru the pics. Thanks.)

  • L2C

    Two of my favorite people get the nod every time I see Pabst Blue Ribbon anything. David Lynch and the late, great Dennis Hopper.


    @Bert (not Ernie) why so grouchy? cheer up!

    I do agree that I would love to see a better way to view pics on this website. I love reading all articles, but when it comes to viewing pictures, I usually just get frustrated and stop trying.

  • Westward

    Show more pics of the bike with the wood seat and grips. Was the tank covered with wood too?

  • ross ewich

    just saw a video of that bixby moto sidecar…. the thing is built around like a 75cc scooter frame. the driver has to steer it from the sidecar.

    first- its a crazy/fun build…

    but how does that possibly fit with the “ONE” ethos of the show?

  • Quiet American

    It is good to see love for the Yamaha DT’s of the mid-70’s. I had the 360 and it really rocked the idea of “one bike” during its day. You captured the essence of Portland nicely. And finally, how could anyone consider a custom chopper a “0ne bike” ride?

  • Jorge

    If carnies could afford motorcycles this is what they would do to them. Hence why we don’t allow carnies to afford anything. Yet it seems the universe would not be denied this crap festival of bike molestation. Hope the coffee was good.

  • Quiet American

    Hey Jorge,
    Great observation and post about bikes fit for carnies. It could be that most who commission custom destructions would have been carnies if their moms hadn’t pushed them out of the basement nest towards an apartment and a real job???

  • Branden

    Props for making it there to the show and I am thankful that everyone made it safely home. The ONE is by far more interesting to me than the Int Moto Show (love that too though).
    I drove three hours down with friends to attend the One and the darn thing was closed on Saturday. Regarding the “hordes of motorcycle fans”,.. I did not see them in person nor in the pics.

    I would LOVE to believe that everyone that showed up was able to attend, and that the HORDES and Masses were there, but I just don’t think so.

    Thankfully the Motocorsa Motoczyz Seminar will be rescheduled.

    Thankfully the Int Motorcycle Show in Seattle will be this weekend. -we all need our fixes.

    I could only wish that the One Show could have lasted a bit longer or had just a few Homies with doors open over last weekend for the real men who showed up and made the trek in the freezing rain and snow.

    I must say I was a bit disappointed as one would have thought that the ill weather would have been a challenge to all of the Hipsters to make it in or stay on the couch.

    I guess we have our answer without asking the question.

  • Branden

    Nice pics BTW.

  • Branden

    Love that Terra Corsa. GREAT job Arun!!!!!

    It seems to be one of the few non-tardish bikes there.

    I remember a time when there were more CB750 cafe’s,.. back in the good ‘ole days.

  • Mike

    Can anyone tell me who built the white BMW streettracker? Thanks