Motorcycle Shops of Portland, Oregon

| June 15, 2014 | 3 Comments

While driving back from my vacation on the Oregon coast I had the opportunity to stop in Portland for a couple hours to checkout some of Oregon’s finest motorcycle shops. Since I had no idea where to go, I’d sent the Moto Lady a message on her Facebook page asking for suggestions.  Her response was as follows –

Definitely See See Motor Coffee Co, MotoFactory, Holiday Customs, MotoCorsa, Vicious Cycles, Cheshire Motorsports, Bridge City Cycles, Ltd., and if you happen to be there at a time the Rose City Motorcycle Museum is open, there too. There are a ton of awesome shops in Portland

I’d tried to make Rose City Motorcycle Museum the priority until I found out this private collection was only open to the public on the first and third Tuesday of every month, and I wasn’t going to be through until Wednesday.  The Moto Lady hooked me up with the owner’s contact info and suggested I give him a call to see if something could be worked out, but with too many uncertainties I decided to forgo this experience until my next visit to the area.  Bucket listed.

Naturally I waited until the very last minute to make my final decisions ( in the temporary parking garage of PDX to be precise ) where I scribbled a bunch of directions via Google Maps onto a piece of paper.  I also had my daughter with me now to tag along for my ‘shop hop’, and although we’d been a number of places together I was doubtful she was going to enjoy this.  Fortunately, I was wrong :)

Our first stop was MotoFactory –

MotoFactory - Not my pic, found it on the interwebs

MotoFactory – Not a picture by me, found it on the interwebs, I totally spaced taking one…

Upon entering we were greeted by co-owner Sean Hayes in between his shuffling through a catalog or manual of sorts. Naturally I hadn’t really thought about what to ask him, so I quickly explained we were from out of town and wanted to take some pictures of whatever bikes they had.  I really just expected him to point me to what was out front, but after a moment he said, ” Let me ask my wife if it’d be okay to take you in back.” and off he went.  About thirty seconds later we got the thumbs up and proceeded to follow him further into the shop –

honestly this place looked 10 times more full than what this picture shows

this place felt 10 times more full than what this picture shows

Co-owner Nean Kiskela and hired gun Joe Tessitore were busily moving from project to project as we milled around and took pictures.  My daughter was trying to look like she was having fun, but when their dog Sweet Pea aka. ‘The Shop Beast’ came up to greet us, well, ‘our adventure just got cool dad!’  While she followed their pug around I kept snatching photo –

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And there was more in the back –

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Nean took a moment and led us back further to show us their full machine shop and the wooden elevator they use to haul bikes up from storage underneath on the 1st floor.  Although they offered to move things around if I wanted to get some better pictures, it was obvious these guys get a serious amount of business and I didn’t want to take up more of their time than necessary.  Back out front I took a couple more shots –

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– and they took a moment to pose for me :)

The owners of MotoFactory - Nean Kiskela and Sean Hayes

The owners of MotoFactory – Sean Hayes and Nean Kiskela

Before we departed I asked Nean if she had any suggestions for places to visit. Immediately she said, ‘You gotta check out See See Motor Coffee Co‘. See See was scheduled as our last stop, but since we hadn’t ate yet and they had a cafe I thought maybe some directions would be good now and we’d go there next.  Nean paused for a moment, then started giving me directions in a ‘locals who know their way around’ kind of way.  I think it was pretty obvious to her how quickly my eyes glazed over, but she kept going until the route was laid out.  We thanked her for their time and hopped back into the car to continue.

Our next stop was Bridge City Cycles, Ltd.  They took a little bit for us to locate, but one great thing about a motorcycle shop is there seems to always be something around saying ‘look over here’. When we saw this bobber parked out front we figured we were in the right the place –

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Unfortunately the owners didn’t have anything available in the lobby to take pictures of, and were somewhat reluctant to let us into the back to checkout what they were working on.  They did however take the time to chat and let me get their picture –

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I wish I’d written down their names because my blood sugar drop due to lack of food all day kept me from storing anything else in my long term memory.  Once again we were lucky to meet some cool people though.  I asked for their suggestions on shops to checkout and they HIGHLY recommend Dr. Brown’s Motorcycles who by the sound of it is somewhat of a local legend.  They took the time to write down his address for us and bidding our farewell we set out for See See Motor Coffee Co.

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Finally we got to eat!  The menu at the See See cafe was short and sweet.  My daughter had a hot dog and I had the Breakfast Sandwich which I’m still trying to figure out how to describe.  It was good, just a mix of flavors I’d never had before.

We sat at the window and watched people socialize.  There were practically every kind of bike parked outside, from vintage to modern, dual sport to street.  The helmets decorating the east wall ranged from simple to bizarre ( the one covered in bird feathers is what I’m referring to here).

The bathroom consisted of a one-holer, and you had to keep your eye out for vacancy.  My daughter went looking for it at first and came back saying all she found was a sign saying ‘crapper’ on it.  Once I explained that was it, now every restroom is referred to as ‘the crapper’.  I can’t wait until we get our first call from school letting us know how our daughter’s lingo improved over the summer…… Go dad.

If I didn’t have a 13 hour drive ahead of me, and had more than the four hours sleep from the night before, I think I would have taken a moment to get figure out directions from See See to Dr. Brown’s, because it was just a block away!!!  More bucket list.

There’s definitely too much awesomeness in Portland for only a short visit.  If they plan on doing The 1 Moto Show again in 2015 I will most certainly be there and will take a couple days to do it right.  Thanks for reading.

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3 Comments on "Motorcycle Shops of Portland, Oregon"

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  1. Maddog says:

    OH man, you were soooo close. That bobber in front of the building that Bridge City is in belongs to Jared Johnson the owner of Holiday Customs and his shop is actually in the same building as Bridge City. I’m surprised that Anthony at Bridge City didn’t mention that while you were there. So now you know where to go on your next visit. Dr. Brown’s really is just 1 block from See See too. Try to end up in Portland on a Tuesday next time. There is always a moto meet up happening somewhere in town on Tuesday nights.

  2. All are great shops =) Especially See See and their The 1 Moto Show. Wish we were there this weekend =(

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