Always making leaps and bounds, what started as See See Motorcycle Coffee in Portland, Oregon, has become a multifaceted operation. Between two coffee locations, the other being in Reno, Nevada, and the KTM dealership located just across the street from the original location, the brand itself has expanded quite a bit. Add to it the numerous motorcycle shows, events, and recently, the Fox Racing collaboration, and it's become quite hard to find anyone who is unaware of See See to some degree. The man behind the brand, Thor Drake, is as passionate as they come in regards to all things two-wheeled, and for the second year in a row he teamed up with Red Bull to offer a great viewing platform at the 2018 Washougal Motocross.
Last year, when I talked to you here at Washougal, you were a really busy guy. This year, I think you have far exceeded that.
Yeah, it's been back to back weekends and weekdays basically. I'm just trying to take advantage of what I set out to do with motorcycles, which is kind of everything [laughs] and nothing in particular. It's been cool, man. Last weekend we were at flat track races, the weekend before we hosted a flat track race, and the weekend before that we were at the motocross track. Oh, and then at Thursday Night Motocross we raced the vintage bikes. It's cool always getting to mess with motorcycles and meet cool people. It's been fun!
Once again, you've got the big Red Bull platform at Washougal and it even sounds like they sent some of their people from Europe out to support this thing.
I know some of the local Red Bull guys here and I always love working with the Red Bull team. They understand what I'm trying to do and I understand what they're trying to do. They've got a good spot right on the side of the track, which I kind of coerced them into doing for my own benefit [laughs]. But, you know, we bring out about 10 custom bikes from builders around the Northwest, which is also part of our One Motorcycle Show. There's everything from a factory Indian FTR, the same one that Travis Pastrana jumped, to an old factory Harley Davidson race bike that's been converted to a street bike. Then we brought a few of our current race bikes including the Hooligan racer that won the Hooligan series. It got second place at the X Games this year. We got some custom helmets too. We're trying to give the fans a little bit more because you see so many dirt bikes at the Nationals that it's nice to see something a little bit different. We've gotten a lot of questions about what the bikes actually do, and I'm like, "They only go left!" It's great when the little kids come by and they're like, "Why does it have the two shifters on the right-hand side?" It's cool to see that, it piques their interest. It's been really fun over here and it's a good spot. Troy Lee was hanging around earlier with his whole team.
Now, this year The Wild One was a kind of a change up from what you've had in the past with Dirt Quake. How did the event go this year and what new things were brought to the table for it?
So basically, it started as Dirt Quake USA, which I worked with Sideburn Magazine out of the United Kingdom on. They started Dirt Quake, which was a race designed to bring new racers to the sport. Flat track was dying and they needed new people to partake. They crafted this race that invited everybody with all kinds of weird bikes and costumes. We did that for four years together and then Sideburn decided to sell. That's when we changed the name to The Wild One. It's a hat tip to our other show, the One Motorcycle Show. If you take the letters of The Wild One it spells "two." Now we have the One Show and the Two Show. I think if anything it was a little bit more evolved as a show this year. Everybody was there to have a good time and it wasn't necessarily about the racing. It was about the celebration of racing culture. Everything from taking a dip in the river next to Castle Rock to watching top dudes battle it out on the raceway. It was a great event and we had over 300 entries and a couple thousand spectators. Everyone camped out for the weekend and finished it off with an awesome band from Canada called the Vicious Cycles. All of their songs are about motorcycles. It was pretty badass. I would say that in years past it's been a little rowdier. This year, it wasn't any less rowdy, it was just a little smarter. We had a mini bike racing area, a burnout pit, a place for the bands go, and everyone behaved themselves within the structure that we laid forth. It was a pretty wild one [laughs].
This year you had that Fox collaboration, did you notice an impact on the awareness people had off See See after that gear came out?
Yeah, definitely. A lot of the questions I got were, "How did you get [Ken] Roczen to wear your logo?" He wanted to do it, though. They showed him the gear and he wanted to be a part of it. Roczen is one of the best athletes and he's got a good head on his shoulders and knows when something's cool. He's down to support the smaller, independent guys, and so is Fox. They, maybe for the first time in history, changed their logo for a collaboration. Our whole take on it was to strip everything back and take all of the bells and whistles off of motocross gear and start fresh. We started where motocross gear started with leather and ripstop canvas. It's different, it's not for everybody, but it'll last a lifetime. It's the most durable stuff I know of. Being from the Northwest, we ride in cold conditions so it's really good for that. I'm super proud of it! It turned things on its head and a lot of people don't get it, which is kind of the point. If we made everything like everybody else, we'd be like everybody else. There's no room for See See in everybody else's market, so we have to do it different.
You've already got a lot going on now, but is there anything new you can tell me about that you have planned for the future?
Yeah, onward and upward! We've got our KTM dealership across the street from our coffee shop and we've opened our shop in Reno, but we're always looking for ways to expand. This year we'll have our 10th anniversary of The One Show, which is pretty crazy. We've set the bar for a whole genre of motorcycle building and custom shows. In the near future, personally, I'm having a little baby, so that's super cool. My wife and I got a boy on the way, so I'll be teaching him how to run the company at some point [laughs]. Hopefully, he can take the reins! We always want to expand and progress and flip things on their head and rethink how things are done. We always want more racing and more motorcycles!