In 2009, the very first One Moto Show was hosted in an abandoned warehouse near downtown Portland. Why? “Because we thought it’d be fun,” organizers say.
The three-day festival held every February is more than just fun, however. For several days, thousands of motorcyclists (and moto-enthusiasts) roll into Portland to celebrate bikes and biker culture. In 2018, more than 180 motorcycles from around the world were on display, ranging from the vintage to the strange and custom-made.
“Since we started, the motorcycle industry has grown a lot, making the quality of bikes go up and the amount of people who pay attention to them,” says Thor Drake, an organizer of the event. (Drake also owns Northeast Portland’s coffee shop/biker gear store See See Motorcycles.) “I’m proud to say we are the biggest show of its kind in the world. … I have been to many similar shows and I always try to make ours bigger and better.”
The One Moto Show 2018
The One Motorcycle Show (often referred to simply as “One Moto”) returned for its ninth iteration Feb. 9–11, 2018. Presented by the iconic motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson, the festival occurred in a century-old former foundry in North Portland.
“This year will be our biggest and best show,” Drake said prior to the event. “We have over 30 artists, 45 vendors, 160 bike builders, bands [and] racing. It’s a motorcycle circus.”
The festival’s most popular race, The One Pro Race, occurred Saturday, Feb. 10, at the Salem Indoor Speedway. Located about an hour south of Portland, the site is called the “fastest indoor track in the USA.” Stakes were high; the winner went home with $10,000 in prize money.
Throughout the festival, vendors offered up some of Portland’s finest craft beer, coffee, wine and food. Attendees grubbed on food by Chicken & Guns, Pine State Biscuits, Olympia Provisions and (of course) See See Motor Coffee Co. Local bands and DJs, including Dennis Dread, Audios Amigos, PUSHY, Acid Wash, Atomic Rust and Savage Family (just to name a few), performed throughout the weekend.
For those who couldn’t make it to the 2018 festival, organizers promise that the 2019 show (its 10th anniversary) will be even better.
“Our goal is always to make it bigger and better without compromising the integrity of the show,” Drake says. “The one thing you can expect is that it will be the best show we’ve ever had.”