It flows like two-stroke oil through the veins of See See Motorcycles. The potent black elixir is part of company culture and embedded deeply in their MO. The aroma of brewing coffee envelops you soon as you walk inside their See See Motor Coffee Co. shop in Portland, Oregon, so it probably wasn’t surprising that See See ringleader Thor Drake went ahead and converted a Ural into a mobile coffee stand.
At its core, the See See Motor Coffee Bike is a 2014 Ural cT, a sidecar-equipped motorcycle powered by a 750cc flat twin paired to a four-speed gearbox with a reverse gear. It’s a workhorse of a motorcycle and a utilitarian source of company pride. Urals are popular in the Pacific Northwest, See See’s home, because the three-wheelers are easy to work with and can sludge through mud and snow like a Soviet tank.
And while Thor didn’t have to tinker with the bike itself, building a mount for an expensive La Marzocco two-group espresso machine and figuring out how to power it onboard proved to be a challenging task. A time-lapse video shows the continual process of measuring, cutting, and welding that the job required. Thor does take the occasional break to shoot the breeze and—what else—sip coffee. Dipping into the well for inspiration, by chance?
Securing a spendy 112-pound espresso machine wasn’t the only challenge to contend with. You need water to make coffee, so See See outfitted its Motor Coffee Bike with a 26-gallon tank that feeds purified water to the machine. This added another 216 pounds to the sidecar, and taxed the limits of its capacity, so Thor bolstered the Ural’s suspension with an airbag. Can’t have hot coffee spilling all over the place, right?
And now, this thing is ready for business. It has a built-in hand sink, a cooler and a 220-volt/110-volt electrical panel. Gotta have somewhere to plug in the coffee grinder, after all. Even with the addition of the water tank, the Ural sidecar still has plenty of storage space so everything a barista needs can be neatly packed away and transported. A pop-up See See Coffee umbrella adds outdoor café ambiance to the package. Thor did a bang-up job of integrating everything so it looks like the mobile Ural coffee stand came that way straight off the showroom floor.
Thanks to its Motor Coffee Bike, See See will be “Brewin’ Coffee, Roastin’ Tires!” at various events this year, starting with See See’s The One Motorcycle Show, February 8–10. It’s guaranteed to get a wee bit crazy in Portland as the show is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Music, motorcycles, moto-art and culture, minibike races, and plenty of PBR are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s also The One Pro Flat Track Races at Salem’s fast indoor track which kicks off the 2019 Superhooligan series, followed by special guests, after-parties, and award ceremonies. If ever there was a year to be at The One Show, this is it.
And if you’d like to have the See See Motor Coffee Bike at your event too, just let See See know and the guys will happily book it out. I think they should take their idea one step further and mount a loudspeaker on this thing and ride around neighborhoods like the ice cream man. I’ll take two lumps, please.