Ok, it’s not just our favorites. For example, there might be a Ducati or two in here, and my reputation as a Ducati-hater is well-established (although perhaps inaccurately). But look, there’s little point in writing forty-thousand words of “Walk Through The One with Editor Surj,” and “One Show Photo Journal” doesn’t have the same ring to it. Anyway, we’ve covered the One enough different ways over the years that this time, so this time we’re just gonna share a bunch of Angelica’s photos and let you imagine you were there.
Which you should have been, and if you weren’t, you should make a point of going at least once. Portland is a rad city, and you can make a hell of a long weekend around The One, between the show itself and the One Pro flat track race (part of the Super Hooligan National Championship) in Salem. You could even make a bitchin’ ride of it, weaving in and out of the hills along the coast—except the show is in February, and this isn’t the first time there’s been snow. Post-One, we decided to head back to the Bay via the coast, “to avoid the snowy shit-show around Mount Shasta,” and ended up poking along in four-high in fresh snow on 101 Saturday night. No shit.
I want to emphasize this, because it’s kinda surreal that we don’t have something this good in the bike-centric Bay, although last year’s Moto Bay Classic showed some potential (despite its arguably bogus name and inauthentic Bay Area roots). Like Austin, where the Handbuilt Show coincides with MotoGP, making for a high-revving weekend in the coolest city in Texas, Portland during the One is a moto-stravaganza, even if the weather sucks. Testament to this fact is the number of Californians I see there every year.
This year was the tenth One. The show ran from Friday, February 8th to Sunday, February 10th, and was open 6 PM to midnight on Friday, 9 AM to 1 AM on Saturday (ok, Sunday), and 9 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. Builders came from all over the US for the show—every year I’ve seen bikes that I recognized from other shows, and this year was no different. As we approached the Pickle Factory, the ancient warehouse that houses the One, Friday afternoon, I observed the funky-futuristic Yamaha GTS-based build that from the Handbuilt in Austin last year, parked outside in the rain. Poor bastard.
Anyway, I promised less words and more photos, so away we go! Clickity-click for larger images, ok?
The tenth One was sponsored by Indian Motorcycles, so just like Harley-Davidson last year, this year’s show featured extensive Indian propa-branding. On the way into the Pickle Factory, we were greeted by literal stacks of Scouts. Yeah, it was a blatantly ostentatious display of corporate dollars, but the vertical arrangement of shipping containers full o’ bikes was still kinda cool.
Just past the additional Indian stuff on display inside the door, I was immediately charmed by this pair of sweet CB900Fs. Maybe it’s simply the fact that these were the “sportbikes” of my youth, but the early eighties CB-Fs still stand out to me as some of the coolest-looking Hondas of all time.
Just down the hall from the Hondas was this outrageous, twin-L-twin-engined lay-down double-Duc that looked like it was just missing its salt flats streamliner body.
The “touching is ok” note was refreshing, given the generally hands-off vibe of the show.
Speaking of giggle-worthy stuff written on bikes…
There’s always artwork a-plenty.
I didn’t see him, but I heard Thrilla Gorilla rode in on this Beezer.
Upstairs at the north end of the Pickle Factory is a big room with lots of windows that I think of as the “chopper room,” even if it’s not only choppers. This room generally seems to house the really nice, really custom stuff, and during the day—when it’s not snowing—all that glass offers lots of nice natural light for photos.
Like I said, it’s not all choppers. For example, there was this apparently unfinished Alta-based build. This wasn’t the only not-quite-done bike at the show, and I think it’s kinda lame to have incomplete builds on display, but whatever—the Alta was a poignant reminder of what could have been.
Also in the “not a chopper” vein: the Zon-built BMW R18 custom test mule. Functionally speaking, this motorcycle is rather absurd, but the craftsmanship of the build is undeniable. The one-of-a-kind Boxer motor has also been the source of much jibber-jabber, like “will BMW build a cruiser around this stupid-big Boxer?”
How about something potentially a little more every-day functional?
…and back to nearly completely useless.
What about this tiny Tesi-like minibike? (My cane and gimp shoes included for scale.)
Speaking of truly impressive builds, the sorta-XS650-based motard that the Bay Area’s own Justin Martens built for the 2018 Dirtbag Challenge was on display.
Dirtbikes seem to be more prominent at the One the last couple years.
In addition to the Alta in the chopper room, there were two other interesting electric bikes. Many seem enamored with the Huge Moto-bodied, Shinko-supported Zero FXS uh… “build,” but to my eyes the bodywork looks too much like a leftover prop from an early Star Wars movie. I prefer the look of the stocker, frankly, and cringe at the conspicuously pseudo-intellectual yammering about the bike’s “design language.” But I’m very interested in the hooligan potential of the Cake Kalk, even if the brand’s naming convention is basically an invitation to a CityBike “article” full of penis references.
(Screamin’) Eagle-eyed readers will recognize all the cool shit going on with this Harley.
I feel like I ought to post this Triton, partly because Tritons are cool, but mostly to avoid someone commenting that we don’t post enough photos of British bikes from these sorts of events.
Hell, here’s a couple more photos of British bikes for good measure. ARE YOU HAPPY?!?
All right, all right, one more. How about a color-coordinated custom BSA/Chevy combo?
And since we’re Honda fanbois here at CityBike, here are two more impressive machines from Team Red.
Despite all the magnificent machinery on display, the highlight of the evening was really the Dodgy Derby, a loosely-structured electric minibike “race.” The best way I can describe this event is to share that spectators were encouraged to throw their beer cans on to the sketchy plywood “track.”
I wouldn’t have bet on this outcome, but it appeared that no one got hurt, despite periodic excursions into the plywood barriers, which mostly simply crumbled upon impact.