The 2021 One Moto Show was intoxicating, and not just because of the See See Lager that was flowing.
Months without attending a machine-oriented event left me feeling hungry as hell, and this year’s motorcycle culture powerhouse in Oregon served up a multiple course and ultra-satiating meal.
For starters, the Zidell Barge Building venue on Portland’s Southwest Waterfront acted as the perfect gallery for 200 motorized art pieces. A massive warehouse adorned with heavy machinery and retired cranes hugged attendees, stunt drivers, and artists who’ve chosen a very multi-purpose medium: motorcycles.
As I became quickly saturated by some of the most stunning pieces of machinery I’ve seen, it occurred to me that unlike custom cars, motorcycles can’t hide anything; the entire system is exposed.
Every inch of metal has potential to be beautified and modified. Exhaust? Fully open to artistic interpretation.
Seat? You can choose a saddle instead. Furthermore, every inch is important for the overall ethos of the bike. If you add a pinstripe to a car it’s a fairly subtle addition; if you do the same to a motorcycle tank, it transforms the whole thing.
A vision guided by the ‘whole’ rather than the pieces seemed to be a constant. While each piece was looked at with intention, the event itself carried a similar energy.Curated Cool
Overarchingly, it was a stunning backdrop for friends and soon-to-be friends to meet and witness some excellent motorcycles. Once analyzed more closely, it became apparent that One Moto Show’s organizer and owner of See See Coffee, Thor Drake, left no section unrealized.
Like any good museum, everything was curated and cohesive. From the ‘Liquid Death’ water at the beverage stands to the exact placement of 200 motorcycles in an enormous space, a purposeful eye clearly shaped it all.
The precision took on many faces throughout the weekend. The Seattle Cossacks performed motorcycle-anchored acrobatics with a nostalgic sentiment perfectly in-tune with the vintage bikes inside.
Beards, boots and leather meandered through the yard and it was all too perfect. Every T was crossed and the result was a collective motorcycle-prompted social sigh of relief.