This weekend is the 11th annual One Motorcycle Show, put on by See See Motor Coffee Co. We thought, what better way to express our excitement than spending a day with one of Portland’s very own riders, Rebecca Dreyfus. Not only is Rebecca the owner & rider of one of the rarest bikes in town, but she is an incredibly talented jewelry maker as well.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Rebecca! Most people call me Becca, and sometimes my alter ego is BECKY. I’m 30 and a Cancer (lol), hailing from Lawrence, Kansas, aka a cute little artsy and liberal college town outside of Kansas City, and I have been living in Oregon for almost 3 years. I work full-time at Clive Coffee as an espresso machine technician and bench tester. In my spare time, I’m wrenching and riding all two-wheeled things, making jewelry under the guise BKY STUDIO, record shopping, plant tending, and looking for any excuse to get out in nature.
Can you tell us about your motorcycle?
My main squeeze is a 1989 Honda Transalp. This bike is kinda funny and special in a lot of ways. Honda’s whole marketing scheme with this bike was “take the best parts from all of our bikes and put it into one and then call it a Rally Touring bike.” V-twin engine for a smooth ride on the highway, liquid-cooled for temp control, high clearance for all-terrain, and comfortable stance to name a few. They started importing them to the US in 1989 and 1990 thinking they would be a total hit because they could do any terrain and distance anyone wanted. Turns out no one knew what these weird-looking bikes were and it was a total flop in the states, so they pulled them and they were sold and made for many years all over Europe. Eventually, the Transalp turned into a coveted collector’s item, and still, to this day, is recognized as one of the first touring dual-sport bikes made, as well as one of the best made in its category. After the Transalp, Honda-engineered the Africa Twin as its successor and those are still being manufactured today. I love all things old and 80s-tastic, so I’d been on the hunt for a Transalp for a few years before I snagged mine about two years ago. Since then I’ve done some extensive maintenance to make the bike feel like my own, and taken it on some memorable trips.
How did you get into riding?
My first “bike” was a 1977 Columbia Commuter, which is a little two-stroke, 49cc pedal start moped! I remember buying that moped in secrecy back in 2010 because my parents were not into the two-wheeled idea, but I wanted something to ride to a college campus on. Around the same time I bought my moped, I was emailing with another craigslist seller who informed me that there was this whole local—and national—moped scene of people that meet up, wrench, and ride on these silly little things. After my first meet up with the local moped group (they immediately put me to work on fixing my moped), I was HOOKED. Shortly after, I started traveling with my moped friends to different rallies all across the country and just storming the streets on our little bikes. I got obsessed with learning how to work on my bike as well as making epic custom builds to show off at rallies and race sometimes. I barely even knew what a wrench was before I met these people, and I loved that there was always something to learn and everything was like a puzzle to solve when it came to building and tuning little engines. What was initially a grocery-getter purchase has turned into a whole new lifestyle where I’ve become a lover of all things mechanical. And, I’ve traveled to so many places and met some incredible people along the way. I wouldn’t have met some of my closest friends if it wasn’t for mopeds, and eventually motorcycles. Through mopeds, I eventually started buying motorcycle projects. I was too broke to buy anything new, and I wanted to ride motorcycles, so I started working on those. I still have a deep love for two stroke mopeds and motorcycles and how they’ve gotten me to where I am today as a rider. I’m mostly riding four-stroke engines now and try and plan out at least one long trip a year to somewhere I haven’t explored yet.
What is the women’s motorcycle culture like in Portland?
From what I’ve gotten to experience, I think it’s pretty diverse in terms of the bikes and types of riders, and it’s inclusive. Most of the time when I meet women in the community, they are just stoked to ride with you and get to know you no matter what kind of bike you have.
What is your best moto ride story?
I got a few good ones! But for drama, I got stranded in the desert with a flat this past May. I took two weeks off to make an epic solo trip to Palm Springs to see some close friends of mine get married. After a week on the road, and after witnessing a beautiful wedding full of love and friends, it was time to get back on the road and start the trek back to Portland. I had decided to spend a night camping in Joshua Tree before traveling back north. 18 miles into the park, my front tire blew out and I was stuck with no cell service, no one really knowing where I was, and no one in sight for miles. Starting to feel a slight panic I remembered that I had come prepared in case something like this would happen. I grabbed my can of slime (weird flat tire filler stuff) and started to fill my tire in hopes it would last until I could at least get out of the park and back into cell service. Little did I know that this stuff wouldn’t work on tubed tires and all the gunk didn’t hold and immediately started seeping out of my tire. Starting to panic even more, I remembered I had packed spare tubes and all the tools needed to remove my tire, but then I realized I had no way to prop my bike up and no way to air up a new tube. The sun was beating down and I was really starting to feel fatigued, and my anxiety was shooting through the roof! I ditched my bike and gear and started walking. Eventually, I managed to flag down a tourist that agreed to give me a ride 6 miles up the road to an emergency phone. Several hours of back and forth picking up the emergency phone and talking with local rangers, I finally got a tow out of the park and got dropped off at a Best Western that was next to an Auto Zone. The next morning I called around to different motorcycle shops (all closed because it was Monday) and stopped into various auto shops that were within walking distance hoping that someone would have a car jack or something to just help me replace this damn tube! I had no luck. Feeling super defeated I walked back to the hotel to find these two older gentlemen looking at my bike. The first thing they say to me is, “Hey, you know you have a flat right?!” Unfortunately, I snapped back saying something kinda snarky and started to cry. They immediately asked what the problem was and I explained the whole debacle to them. Come to find out they were touring motorcyclists themselves from Milwaukee, OR riding around and offered to help! In a short period of time, we found some broken concrete chunks and a 2×4 piece of wood from a local construction site to prop my bike up, got the wheel off, the tube replaced, and one of the riders had a travel-sized air compressor to fill it up. After we exchanged stories and some laughs I was back on the road riding through the East Sierras with gorgeous views. I feel so indebted to those guys who helped me. The friendliness and community surrounding the motorcycle community are incredible.
Any favorite rider/icon?
I’ve never really thought about that to be honest! If I had to think of someone or some people though, I really admire and respect both Jimmy Hillsack and Anya Violet. I got to meet, and have become friends with Jimmy through working at See See Motor Coffee (I worked there for a few years before Clive!) and I really admire that he’s such a real, down-to-earth person, as well as an incredibly talented rider. Anya is the co-creator of Babes Ride Out, Babes in the Dirt, and ATWYLD. I’ve gotten to get to know Anya through the motorcycle community and also admire how much of a real and genuine person she is. She’s working hard at empowering women in the motorcycle community and her story has always been inspiring for me. Both people are solid friends, humans, and RIPPERS of motorcyclists. It’s all about building a positive community around motorcycles and these two people do that so well.
How did you get into jewelry making?
I never really had this definitive moment of wanting to make jewelry, but I’ve always liked making things with my hands and just started making necklaces for myself a few years back. Eventually, I had people asking to buy necklaces off my neck, and the rest kinda snowballed from there! I eventually took a beginner’s metalsmithing class at a local arts center and was just hooked after that. Also, I’ve always been into collecting rocks, so making jewelry that you can set rocks into sounded pretty cool!
Favorite piece of jewelry you’ve made
That’s a tough one! I’ve fallen in love with a good amount of pieces I’ve made and sold or given away. One of my more recent favorites was a huge statement cuff for a wedding outfit that had one of the most beautiful cuts of plume agate I’ve come across. I made an open-back setting so you could shine light through the stone and see all the details.
What’s your favorite band?
I have way too hard of a time picking favorite bands, but I go through music phases. Right now I’m deep in disco, funk, and old soul.
And lastly, what’s your favorite Underwood wine? 🙂
My favorite Underwood wine is the bubbly rose because who doesn’t like a tasty, bubbly drink?!
Cheers and thank you Rebecca!
We hope to see you at The One Motorcycle Show this weekend!