We just got back from See See Motorcycles
annual shindig up in Portland called “The ONE Motorcycle Show” and are still recovering. According to the man responsible for the show, Thor Drake, The ONE is “A motorcycle show for people who like motorcycles. No cover, cheap beer, kind of like what people do in their garage anyways, so why not make it a little bigger?”
And bigger it was. It was shoulder-to-shoulder Friday night, which we expected, but it was a packed house at midday Saturday, too, which we didn’t. Lots of great motorcycles, cold beer, fun bands, and good people added up to a fantastic show as The ONE is growing into one of the premier moto events, though this has never been Drake’s intentions. But word of mouth travels fast and it’s hard to beat the upbeat vibe that filled Sandbox Studios this past weekend.
The premise of the show is to bring the ONE
to share with others, the motorcycle that for one reason or another sets itself apart from all others in the eyes of its owner. Checking out the rows of sweet vintage bikes and handcrafted customs at the show, we came across a smoky grey Yamaha chopper with a cool ‘70s vibe. It had a small, peanut-style tank sitting high on the backbone, a beautifully restored XS650 engine mounted just below it. The back end had been stretched and the rear drum had been moved to the opposite side in its conversion to a hardtail. Custom chrome pipes streaked down its side while an Iron Cross taillight sat between the rails of its black sissy bar. We had a chance to sit down and talk with its owner from Eagle Creek, Oregon, and think Sgt. Tom Green’s story about his 1981 Yamaha XS650 chopper (built by his brother and PCP Customs) best sums up the spirit of the event.
“This is my bike. It was given to me by my brother and several of his friends who built if for a retirement gift. I was in the military for 21+ years and they started building this about six months before my last Afghanistan tour ended. When I got back and retired they ended up giving it to me.”
“It’s awesome. It’s hard to even describe. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened to me and I’m still in awe, and I’ve had it for six months.”
“The original platform of my bike is a ’81 Yamaha XS650. As far as the motor goes, it’s pretty much stock. But it’s been made into a hardtail, a lot of the engineering my brother and the builders did. They took out the stock rear brake rod and put in a pulley system, so it’s a lot nicer, kinda hidden so it opens it up more. There’s no slop in it, it’s nice and smooth. The made a chain tensioner for it, came up with the idea and built it, it wasn’t something they bought and put on. When it comes to all the polishing on it, they totally took apart all the tires and polished every single spoke, every single piece by hand before putting it all back on. A lot of sweat has gone into this build. It’s really nice.”
We agree, Tom, it is one sweet ride. And while Motorcycle USA’s own Byron Wilson is busy cranking out a full report to go along with our video footage from the show, here’s a few photos from The ONE Motorcycle Show 2013 to tide you over until we get the full review posted later in the week.