Twenty feet in and the din of a thousand conversations is mixing with the funky beats of Prince cover band Erotic City as a buzz fills the cavernous warehouse on Portland’s lower eastside. The crowd is an amalgam of denim-vested, beanie-wearing hipsters, weathered old warriors with grizzled beards and faded leathers intermingling with a handful of cut-bearing Oregon Mongols thrown in for good measure.
Inside the main chamber of the 2016 One Motorcycle Show the first thing you see is Carl and Mark Bjorkland’s twisted enigma called “Bent Metal.” Somewhere beneath the menagerie of twisted tubing and stretched fuel lines lies a 1982 FLH chopper with a turbo-boosted Shovelhead. Barreling off the cylinder heads are twin open pipes braided together with painstaking precision, apropos for a motorcycle called “Bent Metal.”
Bent Metal lives up to its name with its turbo-charged 1982 FLH Shovelhead.
Merely feet away is a carbon fiber-clad beauty by Suicide Machine Co. The 2014 Harley Street 750 has been trimmed down to the bare essentials, fenders eliminated, tail section stripped, weight skillfully shaved. A fresh intake and new exhaust help the 750 punch above its class. The Guardado brothers also brought the Sportsters they regularly thrash at dirt tracks around the country to the show and would compete on in the show’s Super Hooligan races Sunday. The Suicide Machine Co. XG750 ultimately earned The One Show Award from See See Motorcycles for “Best in Show.”
Around the corner, the hook of an industrial strength rafter pulley dangles in front of Tony Morgan’s vibrant skeleton-faced “Shovelhead” painting. Raw and edgy, Morgan’s work captures the essence of the moto-culture expressed at the show, morphing man and machine together, his work appropriately surrounded by Shovel and Knucklehead choppers.
Tony Morgan portrays the proverbial gearhead in his ‘Shovlehead’ painting.
Just down from Morgan’s artwork, a five photo montage of feathers, helmets and flesh are formed in the shape of a cross. The photos are part of David Frost’s “Full Faces are Sexy” display, “a conscious effort to promote and encourage people to wear full-face helmets when riding and having fun on motorcycles.” The selected shots are from Frost’s “Roses” and “Free Flight” series featuring Bell helmets, a long-time supporter of the ONE Motorcycle Show via its 21 Helmets display.
One of the stars of last year’s show, Ronin Motorworks, is back again with a Ghidorah of motorcycles, three of the last Ronins in its 47 series. Foremost was Ronin #1 Oishi Yoshio, the motorcycle Travis Newbold raced up Pikes Peak. Made from machined billet 6061 aluminum, the signature linkage fork utilizing a Penske mono-shock and sporting a radiator where the headlight would be, there’s no mistaking the motorcycle. With a reworked Buell 1190RX engine churning out more than a claimed 185 horsepower on a bike that tips the scale fully fueled at 375 pounds, Ronin #1 powered up Pikes Peak with ease on its way to a second-place finish in its class.
The other two Ronins, #5 Horibe Kanamaru and #2 Teraoka Nobuyuki, both carry the core Ronin racing characteristics, differentiated primarily by the themes of their paint and graphics. Ronin Motorworks Facebook post states #5 Horibe Kanamaru features “artwork by Jason Thielke, the bike can be described as a complex mix of linear style with dynamic motion. In his own words, Thielke’s art reflects the “conflict between one’s ability to implement self-control and compulsion to manipulate and constantly self-gratify.” The application of his art to a motorcycle was a unique challenge, and the artist insisted on becoming the tool to the canvas with hand-masking each individual line, acid etching patterns into raw aluminum, and using blasting media to create contrasting elements of shape and pattern.” Ronin #2 Teraoke Nobuyuki is constantly surrounded by admirers of the swirling colors and patterns of the Samurai-shod tank, the artwork said to be a take on classic Japanese Yakuza tattoo design.
Ronin Motorworks brought three of its 47 series motorcycles to the 2016 ONE Motorcycle Show.
Hours pass like minutes wandering the expansive warehouse, the 100-plus motorcycles on display running the gamut. Drag bikes sit across from scramblers, trackers are everywhere, and in a small side room sit visages of motorcycling’s past, from a vintage hillclimber to an Indian Four to vintage Ducati racers. Whatever your taste in motorcycles, the cornucopia of The 2016 One Motorcycle Show has something for just about everyone. As the show has continued to evolve, so has the caliber of the work in the motorcycles displayed in it.
And while just being a participant in The ONE Show is a huge honor, a handful of awards are handed out, icing on the cake for the hard work and creativity individuals and shops have put into their builds. W&W Cycles won “The American Made Award” for its stellar 1946 Harley-Davidson VL45. The “Cannonball” Knucklehead features a leaf spring fork and streamlined bodywork enveloping the rear. Boxer Metal out of Chico, California, was granted “The Motorrad Award” from BMW Motorrad for its twin turbo 1980 BMW R100. The bike’s gold flake paint on the tank and twin turbos jutting off its Boxer Twin catch people’s attention first, then details like the gauges built into its tank and modified Lester rear wheel reveal themselves upon closer inspection. Craig Marleau of Kick Start Garage, whose “Taco Truck” might just have been the most unique creation in the show, won “The Moto Vibes Award” from Poler Stuff for his 1971 BMW R75/5 equipped with a wooden-planked sidecar platform for his Bultaco “Side Bike.” The vintage 1971 R75/5 restoration was outstanding in its own right, while the Bultaco was cherry, too. To be able to ride one bike to your favorite trails, hop off, then jump on your trusty trail bike – ingenious.
Kick Start Garage’s Taco Truck, a combination of a 1971 BMW R75/5 outfitted with a wooden-planked side rig with a vintage Bultaco trail bike won The Moto Vibes Award at the 2016 ONE Show.
To add even another dimension to this year’s ONE Motorcycle Show, flat track races went down Sunday at Salem Indoor Speedway, ranging from little guys on 50cc bikes to full-fledged AMA Pros. Adding to the spectacle is the always entertaining Super Hooligan class.
A $5000 1st Place prize in the Pro Unlimited Class brought out some of the premier racers in the sport, including 2013 AMA GNC titlist Brad Baker and “Slammin’” Sammy Halbert, both Washington natives. Another AMA Pro, Brandon Robinson, looked strong in his heat race until mechanical issues cut his day short. Halbert would grab the holeshot in the main, and he and Baker would fight tooth-and-nail all race long, Brad bucking all over the place in the early parts of the race while Sammy was sliding smoothly. After multiple red flags and three restarts, Baker finally got under Halbert and held on for the win, admitting post-race that the $5,000 purse “made us run hard.” Sammy would finish in second place, with flat track veteran Joe Kopp rounding out the top three.
The day was filled with thrills and spills. Andy DiBrino, who also competed in the Pro Unlimited Class, won the Super Hooligan main event on a Harley lent to him by ONE organizer Thor Drake. Travis Newbold finished in second place, while Brady Mueller fought his way to third.
One of the victims of the Super Hooligan races was Hunter Klee who wrecked and broke his leg. Klee wrote on his Instagram account “I was trying to get to the front of the pack and got caught up with @suicidemachineco and ended up with a broken leg and a massive hole in my calf. I donated some blood to the Salem clay.”
This is our fourth year of attending The ONE Motorcycle Show which in a short span of seven years has established itself as one of the premier events in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve witnessed the evolution of the show, from its humble grass roots, PBR-fueled beginnings that were as raw as a late night burnout inside an old warehouse. Through word-of-mouth and social media, it’s grown exponentially, funded now by big name sponsors and big name builders. It’s polished and carefully orchestrated, with the work world-class. Lines to get in are an hour-plus on weekend nights. While growth is good, it also comes at the sacrifice of some of the organic intimacy of the first shows.
But don’t get me wrong. It’s still a crown jewel of moto-culture and one of my favorite events of the year. See See’s heart, as always, is in the right place, the transition is just one of the perils of progress.
- See See Motorcycles, the popular moto-destination in Portland, Oregon, throws a helluva party every year known as The ONE Motorcycle Show.
- Good thing they hid the keys to this hooligan KTM 690 Duke because we saw plenty of people with that look in their eye when they saw it.
- We were trippin' the light fantastic with the funky sounds of Erotic City Friday night at The One Show.
- Boxer Metal's twin turbo 1980 BMW R100 sped away with "The Motorrad Award" at the 2016 ONE Show.
2016 The ONE Motorcycle Show Award Winners:
The Moto Vibes Award from Poler Stuff went to Kick Start Garage for its BMW side car with Bultaco race bike.
The Blue Ribbon Award from Pabst Blue Ribbon went to Alchemy Motorcycles Honda CB550.
The American Made Award from Harley-Davidson went to W&W Motorcycles Cannonball Knucklehead.
The Pit Crew Award from Brixton went to Camardo Customs Honda 50cc.
The Do It Once Do It Right Award from Red Clouds Collective went to One Down Four Up’s Yamaha SR500 framer.
The 1000% Good Award from Icon went to Ian Halcott’s Yamaha R6.
The Motorrad Award from BMW Motorrad went to Boxer Metal Twin Turbo BMW.
The One Show Award from See See Motorcycles went to Suicide Machine Co’s Harley-Davidson Street 750 race bike.
The Looks Good Feels Good Award, presented by Electric California, went to Andy Forgash for his H-D Panhead chop.
The Test of Time Award presented by Danner went to Adriano and his 1938 Indian Four.
The One Show Pro Unlimited Flat Track Results 2016
1. Brad Baker
2. Sammy Halbert
3. Joe Kopp
4. Dominic Colindres
5. Scott Baker
6. Davis Fisher