2018 Motorcycle Rallies, Shows, & Events

The full list of our handpicked events to attend in 2018 appears in issue #358, available at Greaserag.com.

It’s February. 2018 is here, and there’s no going back. So let’s look forward to some of the premiere events of the first half of 2018. We’ve picked just a handful of must-attend events for 2018 year, and the full list is available in issue #358. We tried to focus on the up-and-coming events that you have surely heard about, but may not have had a chance to attend yet. We have high hopes for these events, and hopefully we’ll see you out at one (or all! Ambitious!) of these events.

Here is the first half of the list we compiled:

The ONE Moto Show Portland, Oregon, Feb. 9-11, 2018

The ONE Moto Show humbly started as a low-key, no-frills affair where people brought that one motorcycle that had a unique story or held a special place in the owner’s hearts to share with other like-minded individuals. Stories were swapped over a few cold PBRs, and every now and then an indoor burnout or two would break out before the night was over. Nine years later it has grown into one of the pre-eminent gatherings in the Pacific Northwest, a three-day-long party full of Portland funk and flair. Held in a huge 100-year-old factory building, hundreds of motorcycles are spread out over two floors, lining hallways and filling expansive chambers. Moto-themed artwork and photography grace the walls while local bands entertain the throngs nightly. Electric mini-bike races add a layer of mayhem to the already eclectic vibe. On Sunday, the action shifts to Salem Indoor Speedway for some bar-bangin’ hooligan flat track action, with a pro purse thrown in for good measure. Thor Drake and See See Motorcycles created the show to “celebrate the weird, rare, unconventional bikes that we love, in a way that everyone could enjoy” and stay true to its roots. It’s all of the above—weird, rare, and unconventional, and definitely an event anyone who loves motorcycles will enjoy.

Sons of Speed Races, New Smyrna Speedway, Daytona, March 17, 2018

Billy Lane’s zany idea of throwing 100-year-old bikes on a racetrack with lunatics commandeering them has become a thrilling reality. The fourth installment of Sons of Speed is set to take place March 17 at New Smyrna Speedway during Daytona Beach Bike Week. The event continues to grow both in popularity and classes as this time the race is going from one class of race bikes to three: Early 61s, Hot 61, and 45 Shoot-Out. The Early 61s will be the slower, pre-1929 boardtrackers, the Hot 61s will be the much faster pre-1929 hot rod boardtrackers, and the 45 Shootout will be 45″ flathead race bikes, with or without brakes or transmissions, sort of like the old Class C race bikes of the past. It’s a one-of-kind race taking place at least twice annually, and seeing these old-school racers tear up the track is a thrill in itself.

The Handbuilt Show, Austin, Texas, April 20-22

“The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is an inspiring showcase of work from builders and craftsmen who combine knowledge, skill, and ingenuity to create one-of-a-kind hand-built machines.” So says the show’s website. In a handful of years, the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show has established itself as one of the premiere motoevents in the South. The Handbuilt is exactly that, a showcase of craftsmen who still take pride in doing things the old-fashioned way, heralding originality and hand craftsmanship. You’ll see a bit of everything in the show, from throwback choppers to resto-mods to one-off customs. Add artwork, photography, music, the Wall of Death thrill show, a Shiner Bock or two and the always authentic Austin vibe to the mix, and you’ve got the recipe for a must-see show. The line to get into Fair Market will wrap around the block Friday and Saturday nights so plan accordingly. But it’s definitely worth the wait as the team from Revival Cycles throws one mean Texas-style soiree.

Quail Motorcycle Ride and Gathering, Carmel, California, May 4-5, 2018

The Quail Motorcycle Ride and Gathering celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. As The Vintagent Paul d’Orleans would say, “Motorcycles are made to be ridden,” and on the first day this adage is celebrated. Motorcycles in the ride run the gamut, many of them vintage and antique bikes you don’t see on the road every day. The Quail Ride takes a scenic 100-mile spin through Steinbeck country and beautiful Carmel Valley, eventually stopping at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for a couple of spirited parade laps topped off by a delight banquet at the lodge. The motorcycle concourse takes center stage the following day with bikes ranging from turn-of-the-century boardtrack racers to state-of-the-art electric motorcycles to GP-winning race bikes. It’s the type of event where you’ll see Vincents and Broughs next to Knuckles and Pans. It’s a place where can you rub elbows with the likes of Mert Lawwill, Wayne Rainey, and Kenny “King” Kenny Roberts and share a casual conversation. This year one of the featured displays is the Arlen Ness Private Collection. Vendors and manufacturers line the perimeter, a tasty BBQ lunch comes with the price of admission, and there’s always a special guest or two. The immaculate grounds of the Quail Lodge and Golf Course are comfortable and inviting, adding to the Quail experience. Seeing how this is its 10th anniversary, we expect show founder Gordon McCall to have a surprise or two up his sleeve.