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Feb 19, 2015

The One Motorcycle Show 2015


Photography by Kit Engwall

At this point in the game it’s pretty much a no-brainer that when The One Motorcycle Show goes down in Portland, OR , Chrome Industries will be there bustin’ loose. Word on the street is the One Show Founder, Mr. See See Motorcycles Thor Drake, only plans on doing 10 shows, so this Feb. 13-15 we put on our extreme party pants and got to work making No. 6 the best One yet. Three days of motorcycles, mini bike races, friends and Dirty Needles … Embroidery that is.


Without debauchery, our Chrome van, Vanna Black, would just be a weird “free candy” box van. To keep with tradition we invited Cody McElroy from Dirty Needle Embroidery to help us get sideways like we do. Hailing from Reno, this desert rat is reviving the art of free-motion, handmade patchwork using single needle sewing machines.



Proceeds from all the Dirty Needle patches sold at the show will go toward paying for Cody’s wife’s liver transplant. Now that’s a cause we can all get behind.


Cody brought along his pals from Lowlife Knives and Zig Zag Patch Co. to sling their handmade goods outside of Vanna. Unlike last year, when Portland was covered with a sheet of ice, the weather this year was wicked nice. No one had to press their body to anyone else’s for warmth. Instead, bodies were pressed together only for pleasure. Mind you, we haven’t even made it inside the building yet. This is just the parking lot.


When you have a large parking lot it’s only natural to want to build a race track on it. We find it unhealthy to resist those urges, so we didn’t. The See See boys stacked some pallets here and there, tacked them together with a nail or two, slapped some sheets of plywood on top, and we had ourselves a race track. Obviously, safety is our number one concern so we put flags all over.


Here’s a math problem for you: two riders + 50cc mini bikes + velodrome-ish track x booze = ? Figure it out? Put your calculator away. The answer is: crashtastic, heart pumping, thrill ride, party extravaganza.


Foot down, asses out, that’s the way we like to … RACE! What were you thinking?


If you could tear yourself away from the outdoor antics and make your way inside, you’d find the reason we were all at there in the first place, The One Motorcycle Show. This year’s One Show venue, an old steel processing plant in SE Portland, was the most unique location yet.


Unlike many places in Portland where the interior is purposely distress to make it look old, this place was old. The holes in the walls and grease on the floor came from many years of blue collar work, instead of a bearded man in designer jeans sipping espresso.


Displayed inside were this year’s installment of the 21 Helmets Show. Every year 21 artists are chosen to take a blank helmet and put their personal spin on it. It shows us that being safe doesn’t mean you have to look like a dork and anything can be used as a canvas to express yourself.


This here blog post is a classic example of saving the best for last.









You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting an amazing machine. Come to think of it…  swinging a dead cat would probably be frowned upon there. Regardless, each motorcycle was something to be appreciated. Even if it wasn’t a bike you’d ride, someone poured countless hours into that shred machine and that alone is worthy of anyone’s time. The cops came early on opening night to tell us that we are all stand up citizens and they would appreciate it if we could be law abiding elsewhere. We did because we still had two more days to do it all over again. The One Show is a marathon, not a sprint and the following two days did not disappoint. Next year, you can bet your sweet buns Chrome will be there. In the meantime, we’ll be scheming on how to make the races cooler, the jokes funnier, and the beer boozier. Until next time.