Nike Vice President of Design Tinker Hatfield has shaped sneaker culture for over 40 years with his Air Jordan, Air Max, and MAG (from Back to the Future) shoes. Goaded into ditching his scooter by Michael Jordan himself, the legendary sneaker designer has been riding motorcycles since 2003.
Just five years after Hatfield throw a leg over his first motorbike, in 2008, Thor Drake co-founded See See Motorcycles, a Portland, Oregon-based custom shop and café, and started planning the first One Motorcycle Show. While Hatfield and Drake’s design background and motorcycling roots may be vastly different, the two shared a similar vision for a custom Zero SR/F build.
“The Zero motorcycle that we were working with is very beautiful and reminded me of an Italian superbike. Thor and I decided our goal was to ‘Portlandize’ it,” admitted Hatfield.
To achieve such an eccentric feat, both parties drew from the world of aviation to tattoo designs. The team maintains the Zero SR/F’s striking silhouette but added some blue-collar toughness with a riveted polish aluminum “fuel” tank. Drake’s handiwork may call WWII fighter planes or Airstream trailers to mind, but it certainly captures Portland’s alternative and edgy side.
The pair add some flair in the form of teal-painted rims, gold handlebar ends and bobbins, and a white powder-coated frame. A new rear sprocket cut in the shape of See See Motorcycles’ logo also lightens and livens the build. Of course, even with such eye-catching elements, the hand-painted tattoo-inspired custom seat steals the show, highlighting the artistic spirit of the city.
Hatfield and Drake’s upgrades weren’t only aesthetic in nature, however. While the duo didn’t need to fiddle with the electric motor or drivetrain, Ohlins suspension and a Brembo braking system improve the SR/F’s handling and stopping power. Drake and Hatfield may come from different worlds, but their shared vision for the Zero SR/F and motorcycles at large couldn’t be any more aligned.
Following the build’s debut, the custom SR/F will go to the Los Angeles Bonhams Auctions event on October 21, 2021. The proceeds will benefit the Friends of Columbia County.