The 10th annual One Moto Show wrapped up in Portland, Oregon, this weekend with thousands of attendees showing up to see the wildly diverse selection of custom and vintage bikes on display. The large warehouse was filled with motorcycles ranging from turn-of-the-century restorations to land-speed racers, choppers, café racers, dirt bikes, and just about anything else you could imagine.

The One Show was started by Thor Drake as an alternative to the stuffy, traditional shows with regurgitated bikes in boring venues he was so used to seeing and now it has inspired multiple shows across the world. The show now includes Super Hooligan racing, live music, minibike racing, and much more. We caught up with Thor on the final day of The One Show to talk to him about why he started this amazing “art project,” as he calls it, and what makes it so special.

Why did you start The One Moto Show?

Basically 10 years ago there wasn’t a lot of shows that appealed to what I thought was cool. So I just…started it—I just went for it. It was just the fact that there wasn’t a show that highlighted the bikes that I really appreciated, which are racebikes and just a little bit of everything. And also, most of the shows were at convention halls or a grassy field, not something that could really do justice to the amount of time and passion that people put into motorcycles. It was a harebrained idea that sort of resonated with people, like a lot of what I do (laughing).

How has it changed over the last 10 years?

Every year we just try to make it better. It has grown bigger and bigger every year. We try to add a new layer to it every year that will sort of cross boundaries and bring people together. I’d say the biggest noticeable thing is that now there’s a big contingent of racers who are aware of the custom culture and vice versa.

Honda Cb350
Rawhide Cycle's perfectly 70's Honda CB350 custom is an exemplary demonstration of what many builders were doing with more affordable platforms at the timeMorgan Gales
The BMW R18 built by CW Zon made the trip from Japan after winning Best In Show at the Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom ShowMorgan Gales

What's the one thing you find yourself getting excited about as the show comes up every year?

Mostly it’s just the people. Motorcycle people are cool!

What's your favorite style of bike?

The kind with two wheels! The whole concept of The One Show is that you as a builder sort of get enthralled with one style of bike, whatever it is, and most motorcycle people sort of go down one path that slowly evolves. But that’s the idea, that you’re always trying to accomplish that one perfect motorcycle. For me, I love dirt bikes, I love flat-track bikes, I love streetbikes, I love choppers—I mean, really, for me it’s the one with two wheels. Different day, different mood, different bike. I have about 20, so...

Jordan Graham
Super Hooligan Racer Jordan Graham punching an official that grabbed him by the throat after an on-track altercation with another racer.Justin George
Yamaha SR500
Yamaha SR500s are cheap, torquey, and a great looking motor for a little chopper like this one.Morgan Gales

Where would you like to see this show in the next 10 years?

When this show started I stupidly said I would do it for 10 years, not knowing what amount of work it would take, and we’ve gotten to this goal. I think once you achieve a goal you sit back… and evaluate, and as much as I have been a good promoter, I have been a hindrance. I make it sort of my art project and it’s backward, upside-down, and usually not the right way to do things. It’s a little more work for everybody, but it’s an art project.

Now I really want to see it go beyond what I can accomplish as a guy who is self-taught. Next year we’re moving to a bigger venue, we’re doing the Memorial Coliseum—the Beatles played there! The Blazers won their 1977 championship there. It’s a cool building, right downtown and we can add more racing and have the bike show all under one roof. That to me is how you get to the bigger masses, to influence the next generation of kids. So that’s where we’re trying to take it—I’ll step away from some of the stuff I don’t need to worry about and really focus on making the racing and the bikes and the curation tighter and less frustrating for people.

Exelcior twin
A 1913 Exelcior twin restored by Steve Knepper.Morgan Gales
One Moto Show
Even scooters get some love at The One Moto Show.Morgan Gales

Be sure to check out for more details on next year's show, it's not to be missed!