Portland event making impact with OEMs, aftermarket companies alike
In a city with 154 days of measurable rain per year, Portland, Oregon is, paradoxically, home to the One Moto Show, now in its eighth year. Held annually in February, it has doubled in size each year due largely to the vision of its founder Thor Drake, his staff, volunteers and a host of manufacturers such as BMW Motorrad, Indian Motorcycle, Ducati, KTM, Ural Motorcycles, Alta Motors and this year’s presenting sponsor, Harley-Davidson.
“Our driving force to keep this going was the feeling that we were adding to something that we loved. We want to give back to motorcycling. We want to be inclusive and inspire people to participate,” Drake said. “As things progressed, the show got bigger. We’ve been in multiple locations and have been lucky to work with some of the most trusting sponsors within the world of motorcycles.”
While the OEM presence was noticeable, so were those of parts, accessory and lifestyle companies, from Icon 1000, Wyotech and Bell Helmets, to Red Clouds Collective, Danner, Fox Racing’s Moto X LAB, Alpinestars, Ship John, Roland Sands Design, Iron & Air, LED Lenser USA, American Flat Track, Meta magazine, and newcomers like Pack Animal, ATWYLD and Velomacchi Privateer Gear.
“Whether it’s camping, casual riding or off-roading, we see our customers utilizing the capabilities of the sidecar and on-demand 2-wheel drive to compliment their current lifestyles and activities,” said Matt Trigaux, communications director for Ural. “We continue to see strong growth in both the outdoor markets and with casual riders. What’s exciting for us is the universal appeal we see from customers with varied backgrounds. They are all imagining how Ural can fit into their current lifestyle and approach purchasing with activities already in mind of how they’ll utilize the product in different ways.”
Kevin Murray, president of Velomacchi, maker of duffle packs and backpacks for riders, said, “The One Moto Show has helped to define and refine a new culture in motorcycling for the last eight years. It is a very important show to meet with industry leaders, taste makers and riders to see new product and get feedback.”
Launched in July, women’s motorcycle gear and apparel brand ATWYLD was inspired by the void in gender-specific gear. Founded by Anya Violet, Jaime Dempsey and Corinne Lan Franco, ATWYLD was created to put a layer between female riders and the road that is both stylish and functional.
“We created the word ATWYLD to represent the single moment that exists between fear and thrill. It’s that moment when you are on the absolute edge of your comfort zone and your adrenaline is pumping. Riding a motorcycle is, for us, about reaching this ATWYLD moment as often as possible,” said Lan Franco, the company’s creative director.
San Francisco-based Fictiv, a rapid prototyping and distributed manufacturing company, used the show to introduce FOSMC: Fictiv’s Open Source Motorcycle. With FOSMC, 57 open source modular part designs can be accessed, easily assembled with no welding, and produced with standard prototyping technologies. Designed to work with Amazon Web Service’s innovative new IoT (Internet of Things) platform for motorcycles, Fictiv claims that in a weekend, a custom-designed, street-legal motorcycle can be built with a wrench and some hand tools.
Drake, the One Show’s founder and creative force, collaborated with Fox Racing’s Moto X LAB, the engine for new products and ideas that drives innovation across both performance and cultural spectrums, linking products, athletes and culture with a fresh perspective. Products with the LAB moniker are created with a special amount of thought and ingenuity, developed outside normal day-to-day constraints. The Moto X LAB serves both the Fox and Shift brands.
Brisbane, California’s Alta Motors designs and manufactures some of the most advanced electric motorcycles in the world. Its goal is to create bikes that are easier to ride fast than anything else, with instant throttle response, flat, endless torque and more rideability than gas bikes. The ST displayed at the One Moto Show is Alta’s latest. As a full scale OEM, Alta looks to not only advance the field of motorcycle technology, but to also apply its technology and advanced engineering across transportation markets.
Advertising legend Jay Chiat often said that his agency would continue to expand until it was no longer good, and the One Moto Show echoes that sentiment, although its stewards seem to have a firm grasp on what makes the event different and exciting each time.
Jason R. Sakurai is a Washington state-based freelance writer.