The shortest day of the year is behind us and some of the best moto events in the land come out of hiding after New Year’s. Before you know it, spring will be here—and the two-wheel gatherings will only get bigger and cooler. We’ve found the best way to get through this dark, slippery season is to take in as many moto shows as possible. Here are five of our faves to whet your whistle for 2019:
Hard to believe it's been 10 years since Thor Drake and company hosted the first One Motorcycle Show in an old, abandoned warehouse in Portland, Oregon. It’s the big 10th Anniversary Show this year, but you’ll still find an all-inclusive celebration of the wild, weird, rare, and funky bikes that everyone can enjoy. The now-booming event has grown to also include minibike racing, live bands, and indoor flat-track racing (staged in a separate venue in Salem).
Mama Tried Motorcycle Show
Feb. 15–17, 2019
Mama Tried Motorcycle Show is an indoor invitational that connects motorcycles and builders to fans and riders. The show features more than 100 motorcycles of all shapes, sizes, and calibers, including flat track, hill climbers, choppers, and bar hoppers. The Flat Out Friday races happen on February 15, pitting seasoned veterans against first-timers on a Dr Pepper syrup-soaked surface in front of 10,000-plus fans. Now that’s entertainment.
Rat's Hole Custom Show/Daytona Bike Week
Mar. 16, 2019
Daytona Beach, FL
Because Daytona's one of the big stops on the national bike scene, there are a ton of separate shows happening from March 8 to the 17, when Bike Week unrolls. But our fave is the Rat’s Hole Custom Show, which claims to be the “longest, most prestigious custom bike and chopper show in the world.” This series has been around since 1952 and pops up at other bike events throughout the year too. The Florida show is March 16.
Like the Rat's Hole Show, the Boardwalk Classic Bike Show is also a Daytona staple, while the Perewitz Custom Paint Show, will be at Destination Daytona on March 9 this year.
The Outlier’s Guild Custom Motorcycle Show
Mar. 23, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
The relatively new OG Moto Show in downtown Los Angeles features select café racer, bobber, classic, tracker, scrambler, choppers, brat, and full customs displayed in a huge warehouse. The event brings out thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts who all get the chance to ogle designs and benchrace in a cool setting with, of course, a backdrop of art, music, and more.
If you’re a fan of both racing and custom bikes, the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is definitely your jam—the Grand Prix of the Americas happens on the same weekend. While MotoGP pilots rip around the nearby Circuit of The Americas in the frenzied embrace of speed and power, the show celebrates physical craftsmanship, showcasing builders and more than 150 of their one-of-a-kind hand-built machines.
If the pastoral (mostly, anyway) rolling hills of northern California are more up your alley, the 11th annual Quail Motorcycle Gathering will return to the greens at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel Valley, where Gordon McCall’s two-wheel Concours d’Elegance celebrates the Evolution of the Motorcycle, honoring both pre- and postwar eras of the world’s finest sport and racing bikes, as well as a pretty impressive assortment of flawless customs and one-offs.