Thor Drake was born in Oslo Norway way, way back in 1980.
Ten days later his parents took him to Greece where they lived for three years and then finally making their way to Flagstaff AZ where Thor grew up secretly kicking dirt bikes over in the desert and riding snowboards in the mountains. Oddly enough it was snowboarding that got him up to Portland as a teenager where he was legally handed over to Tim Windell of Windells each summer in Government Camp. He got work ass off building the parks up on Mt Hood each summer every day. Eventually moving to Portland altogether once he turned 18, Thor could permanently call the Northwest his home.
Years of odd jobs in the fashion industry, working for NIKE , building skate parks and eventually fast forward to his acceptance into the Wieden+Kenned "Twelve" educational program where he learned that he really, really did not like working for anyone else and could not see himself in advertising for the rest of his life.... See See Motorcycles and The One Motorcycle Show were born.
In 2009, the very first One Moto Show was hosted in an abandoned warehouse near downtown Portland. Why? “Because we thought it’d be fun, and we had the space rented out for another project” said Thor. Back then it was one day, one party, one bike per builder, 1000 people showed up. Ten years later show is now a three-day festival held every February and is more than just fun, however. For several days, thousands of motorcyclists (and moto-enthusiasts) roll into Portland to celebrate bikes and biker culture.
Drake’s influence in motorcycle world is easy to see now, as See See has expanded to two more locations (another coffee shop in Nevada and a standalone KTM dealership in Portland), continues to organize The One Motorcycle Show, and collaborates with iconic industry brands for special projects. The most recent accomplishment was put on display at the 2018 Oakland Supercross, as Ken Roczen raced the night show in a special set of Fox Racing gear that was designed with the See See crew to celebrate See See's creative design with Fox's durability.
Thor isn't just all for brand expansion, but for the general growth of motorcycle enthusiasm as well, be it race promotion at the flat track in Salem or at Dirt Quake at Castle Rock or in motocross at PIR. Encouraging folks just to get on a bike and ride and keeping it fun.
Thor - "I think people forget why they do it. The main reason is that it's fun and it should always maintain that level of being fun. For us, that's the driving force behind the logo, that riding is fun and why we got into it. I came from a family that didn't ride at all, sort of forbade me from riding, so I took an outsider approach and thought there had to be people like me that didn't know. Instead of just being discouraged and pushed away, why not just have all of these goofballs try it out to see what happens? If you think about it, there is a small circle around the core motorcyclist. And the world is massive, so if you give someone the same opportunity that you would someone that is in the core group of riders, you might find there are lots of talented riders out there with their own perspectives. When you have to earn something, you appreciate it more and are concerned with its future. I really want to inspire the next generation to be like the generation before me with motorcycles, when it was an "outlaw" thing to do without a ton of rules to guide you. You did it until someone got hurt, saw it was bad, and then made changes. When you earn it, you stick with it, and when you stick with it, you learn a lot of things and see all that you can do."
The One Show helped usher in a new generation of bike shows. How do you think the One Show has affected the industry?
The point of the One Motorcycle show was to create a new open and inclusive environment. The first show almost a decade ago brought together all types of motorcyclists. Old guys, old gals, young people, families, racers, chopper folk, and yes bearded men in flannels. It was always meant to highlight the bikes as art and the people who build and care for them as the artists. Additionally, the winter can be pretty long up here and it gave people a reason to get together. The show grew naturally and we’re proud to say each and every show has been way different and doubled in size. We believe the show has had a really positive effect on the moto world. From the garage builder both men and women, to the full fabrication shop, even OEM's its provided a space for everyone a place to participate. Not only that, the show has inspired a lot of other shows very similar in style to pop up. We can’t claim anything but we’re happy for what are little team created with the One Show. Hopefully motorcycle manufactures see the importance and continue to support us. (wink wink)
IT seems See See is into all kinds of motorcycle related stuff and you always do it in a unique way. What feeds that creative fire?
Everything on a motorcycle has already been done right? Motorcycles are just innately fun right? Just add a little weird to fuel the fire, and combine the two and add a bunch of hard work and sprinkle some creativity on top and you have a tasty motorcycle cupcake… I just how we do.. And we’re a family.
See See is big on the race scene, What’s next for See See’s racing endeavors?
We’d love to have a national level competitive racing team of some sort, we have a ktm dealership now, almost a 2 years old. One day we hope to have a full team. As far as race promotion goes, we will continue to host and support the pnw flat track and motocross scene and as many race scenes as we can. We’d like to start hosting off-road races, maybe like multiple day treasure hunt races as well. We also strive to pump out one to two race bike builds a year that support our current race team and our addiction to motorcycles that we want to see become a reality. We just finished building out a Ural sidecar Coffee Cart that will be attending all the races we can manage!