MotoLady is a brainchild of Alicia Mariah Elfving and created to encourage aspiring women riders and makes it one of the few websites about women in the world of motorcycling. MotoLady covers various motorcycles oriented articles in industry news, art, motorcycle fashion, design, and marketing, etc by way of some really catchy original photography and videos.
Women’s Motorcycle Show photo booth gallery is here!
This year Julio Bustamante (juliobustamante.com, @boostamantefotos) was on deck with the sponsor-loaded step-and-repeat banner and camera to capture some of the Women’s Moto Show attendees. Thanks again Julio for coming on board and taking some great pics!
Having an exact number for total attendance is tough since anyone who tried to count just motorcycles gave up after reaching 600. Bikes lined both sides of the street (and down the center double yellow lines) a block in either direction from Lucky Wheels Garage… all the way to the freeway! That’s not including people who drove or took Uber/Lyft. We’re conservatively guesstimating a count of 1,500 total people. Considering I expected maybe 600 after last year’s 350-400… I can see why the LAPD ended up showing up thinking we were up to no good!
As you can see in the gallery below, every kind of motorcyclist came through the show! We had what seemed like every style bike outside, plus all ages of motorcyclists (and future ones too).
Thanks to everyone who bought raffle tickets, and even moreso for understanding that our little party ended up getting a looooot bigger than anticipated, and the LAPD sent the cavalry to come shut us down. But more on that later!
After much anticipation.. here are the winning ticket numbers.
To claim your prize, email me at email@example.com (click there or copy and paste it) with a photo of you and your ticket (in the same photo)! I’ll let you know where you can pick up your prize (or in some cases, who to email).
Thanks again for coming to the show!
PLEASE NOTE that the last day to claim your prize will be the end of the month, January 31st, 2018.
The Horizon Tour road trip–six wheels, six legs, six months. MotoLady on tour.
One month ago I took off in my overland-kitted 98 Toyota Tacoma named the Purple Prius Eater, fully equipped with a custom made hitch-mount swing-out motorcycle carrier for my new Honda Rebel. The road trip is called the Horizon Tour.
The trip will take me all around America with my truck, motorcycle, and old-lady dog Akila. Equipped with Sena video cameras and my Fujifilm XT1, I’ll be creating photo galleries and videos of women riders, custom motorcycles, and so much more.
A ‘Kiwi’ from New Zealand, where they ride on the other side of the road, and everything they say sounds like a question to Americans! She’s been riding for six years and currently owns a 2011 Kawasaki Z750R.
Guest writer Cat attended the third Women’s Sportbike Rally West on her first trip to America, meeting up with Brittany Morrow. Here’s her story.
I’ve known Brittany since she came over to my home town in Wellington, New Zealand for a motorcycle safety event put on by the NZ Government called Shiny Side Up, back in January 2016. Since meeting we clicked immediately, kept in contact and caught up each time she has returned to New Zealand. We have become international unicorn besties since then!
My plan was to come and visit Brittany for a vacation and some girl time, and we decided to time it so I could come to the rally, and I could ride her Triumph named Buzz while she rode her R6–Breezy! The idea of going to an all-women’s rally and not knowing anyone apart from Brittany was a little frightening at the time, and also being a foreigner in the USA for the first time ever. The Wednesday before the rally we picked up Brittany’s friend Diana who had flown in from Canada. Another girl at the rally I could get to know beforehand, so that was great! We both stayed with Brittany in her home, and got a preview of the amount of effort she and other ladies have put into making this rally happen, and helped out where we could.
When we arrived at the Lodge at Big Bear Lake on the Friday all the girls were really friendly and interested to hear about the distances Diana and I had travelled to get to the rally. The atmosphere was fantastic. Brittany did a great job at Rally 101; informal, yet professional and easy to relax with the opportunity to ask questions then mix and mingle. The hotel was brilliant. Nice rooms, good restaurants, and friendly/understanding staff who all seemed willing to go the extra mile. Diana and I were rooming together and had an unexpected bunk mate–Robyn Diamond aka RobynStunts. What a treat and cool chick! The three of us got on like a house on fire and spent a lot of time together over the weekend when we could.
The dinner at 572 Social was fantastic. Great outdoor space and really nice food. Nice and open to allow the girls to mix and mingle. The game later in the evening for getting to know each other was a lot of fun! I was quietly worried about that as I am quite shy in groups, but the way it was structured worked well. Smaller groups asking questions such as how many motorcycles do you own, who has travelled the longest distance to the rally (taken out by yours truly, haha) and writing the names of those who got the highest score for each question. Later the information was compared to the ladies who got the highest score in the other of the groups, for an overall winner for each question. It was a great way to get to know more about the girls, in a relaxed and fun environment!
The group ride the following morning was something I was both looking forward to and a little nervous about, as after all, we drive on the opposite side of the road here in New Zealand. For that reason, and being in a foreign place and on a different bike (plus a GP shifter which was a new experience for me haha), I chose the beginner group to be on the safe side. Brittany lead the ride and set a perfect pace that still let me use some skills on the bike and dedicate some brain power to making sure I shifted gears in the right direction, and take corners on the opposite side of the road to what I am used to! I absolutely loved the riding! Great twisty roads and that are cambered well so the bike tips in nicely, with amazing views. Back home they didn’t seem to consider motorcyclists when building our roads, and many of our twisty roads are off-camber.
A human being, a person, who happened to be a really good looking lady, died in a motorcycle crash a couple days ago… and almost every comment I’m seeing either in the actual articles or in responses is bullsh*t. Talking about about how “that’s what happens when you ride like that”, “got what she deserved,” or even “stupid whore”. Her name? Olga Pronina, known as monika9422 on instagram. She was beautiful woman promoting her looks, yes, she was also a Mother.
Perhaps it’s my overall optimism that humanity, through all it’s flaws, is actually incredible… but the internet horrifies and boggles me with the reactions like this.
Motorcycles can kill you? Wow, we never knew that! Riding without full gear is more dangerous? Wow, couldn’t have found info about that anywhere! Stunting and playing around make it even more dangerous? We had absolutely no idea! (Insert eye roll here.) Every motorcyclist has received unsolicited advice or even just scare-tactic style warnings because they choose to ride.
We know, yes. Motorcycles are inherently dangerous and riding one means your chances of fatal collision are far higher than that of someone in a car. We also share the consolatory knowledge that we feel much, much more free on a bike than they ever will in their cage.
I’m reminded of the mountaineer Reinhold Messner after narrowly avoiding death while climbing Everest without oxygen in 1980. He was asked, “Why did you go up there to die?” His reply was, “I did not go up there to die. I went up there to live.” In a 2003 interview with Messner on the Guardian, he said “When you’re high on a mountain you cannot be anything but what you are.” I believe that is how many motorcyclists feel on two wheels. Whether we’re trying to get a knee down through turns or taking on an Iron Butt challenge, motorcycling leaves you stripped down to your most real self.
I am grateful to it for the sparkles in my eyes, for the warm wind blowing on my cheeks when my visor is open, for unbelievable excitement and a feeling of flowing in the air, for doses of adrenaline.
Some people want to create little social media worlds where they’re poised and perfect, because showing weakness online can create serious anxiety for people. Some people find something they do is appreciated by people around the world and it makes them feel good. While I don’t condone the lack of safety gear Olga sported in her photos and videos, and we all know I’m not into heavy on the T&A moto pics either, I have to respect her choice to live as a free human and to do whatever she wants with herself.
Is Olga really that different than a racer in full gear trying to go as fast as humanly possible for them in the name of competition and proving they’re faster than the next person? We all get our jollies from different things. Different strokes for different folks, to each their own, march to the beat of your own drum… we have a lot of different ways to remind each other of this fact.
So, I implore you, reach out across the aisle to someone who chooses a different style of riding than you. Shake their hand or give them a hug. Remember, they’re someone’s family, and they have every right to make their own choices regarding their life and body just as you do. Whether that’s riding with no gear or going ATGATT. It’s not to say you should condone unsafe behavior, that you have to agree, or even ride with them. You don’t. But you should respect their decisions, and don’t be a horrible human talking smack about someone who died.
Olga Pronina, a gorgeous 40 year old who was frequently the subject of much instagram chatter and reposts, died as a result of injury colliding with a side rail in Vladivostok, Russia on August 1st, 2017. She is survived by her 16 year old daughter.
Olga wrote about her love of riding on her (now deactivated) instagram page, “I am grateful to it for the sparkles in my eyes, for the warm wind blowing on my cheeks when my visor is open, for unbelievable excitement and a feeling of flowing in the air, for doses of adrenaline.” I think most of us know how that feels. She also said, “Thank you for gifting me freedom… and I know that I am not alone. There are thousands like me, those madly in love with their metal horses.”
Rest in peace, Olga. May you ride fast forever in memory.
Alright, folks! The time has come… the GT-MotoLady charity project is over! The customized MV Agusta Brutale 800 we built to raise money for cancer research and awareness was unveiled at the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Austin, Texas, during Moto GP weekend. Following it’s reveal, we were fortunate enough to get it featured on BikeEXIF just a week before the winner was to be drawn!
So, you’re DYING to know, I’m sure… how much money did we raise for St. Jude Children’s Hospital?!
Photo by Brandon LaJoie
We raised $25,000 for St. Jude!!
Okay okay, now you really want to know if you won, right…? Tune into our reveal video!
Contributing author Adrienne resides in Northern California working as a motorcycle safety instructor, making jewelry for her brand Pistons & Poppies, and hanging out with the Hot Rides lady moto collective.
Photographs by Genevieve Davis | Courtesy of Husqvarna
The Babes in the Dirt off road meet up, hosted by the Babes Ride Out crew, slays it’s third year.
Dirt bikes, no drama, and no dudes. Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis of Babes Ride Out (BRO) hosted their third annual Babes in the Dirt (BITD) event at Hungry Valley SVRA in the heart of California’s Grapevine. Throw out any preconceived notions, ladies. Whether you’re a new rider with a spark of passion for motorcycles or the fire of riding has been brightly burning, Babes in the Dirt is the place to be.
First-time BITD and long-time BRO attendee Malary Lee of Austin, Texas sums it up: “It’s simple—there’s not a lot of glam and activities behind it. Basically [you] show up and ride.” That’s the beauty of it. The desert, some dirt bikes, and a bunch of incredible women there to ride them. Malary goes on to say, “The female community is one of the most uplifting and making girlfriends is important!”
The part that veteran BITD’er Lindsay Lohden of LA loves most is that it “feels like one big family. You can jump on your bike, roll up to a group of people you might not know at their campsite 100 feet away and have a great unexpected interaction.”
I asked Lindsay what she thought about the event being for women only. She attends lots of events throughout the year, and says that in contrast to the co-ed ones, “the energy is completely different… There is this feeling of true, unspoken camaraderie at all women only events that I don’t feel at co-ed events. I can’t really put it into perfect words, however it’s almost as though we are all a big team, in it together and a different sort of trust and bond organically occur. I feel an openness, trust and sense of dependability that is just there no matter what, even amongst strangers. Definitely an unspoken sisterhood.”
On top of hilarious karaoke hosted by reigning karaoke queens Katie Sue Weissel and Lea Sabado of Hot Rides and mini-bike races hosted by See See Motorcycles, Husqvarna hauls out a fleet of demo bikes that the attendees get to tear up the trails on for free. As if that weren’t cool enough, their talented team also takes the time to give instruction to riders who have never ridden dirt or need some guidance before going off on their own.
Building those bonds—that sisterhood that Lindsay mentioned is one of the most meaningful aspects of what Babes Ride Out events mean to me. The relationships forged in the three years of BITD/BRO events I have been to have grown roots much deeper than just spending a weekend getting dirty. Some of the women I’ve met for the first time there have become some of my closest friends and being a part of the Babes Ride Out family gave me profound confidence to get involved with other moto-related events.
Hesitant about coming out to Babes in the Dirt? Give it a shot, I’m glad I did. I can’t imagine my life without my Babes.
2017 Honda Rebel First Ride with MotoLady - YouTube
The classic Honda Rebel got a makeover!
Last year, the 2017 Honda Rebel was announced in Long Beach at the Federal Bar Underground with a handful of one-off custom bikes. You may remember my excitement over the chartreuse and blue BMX inspired version in the original announcement. Well, a couple weeks ago the Honda Powersports team threw their press launch in Venice, California for the newly evolved Honda Rebel and it was time to take ‘em for a spin.
I put both Rebel 500 and 300 through their paces on poorly maintained pavement of Venice alleyways, tested it’s maneuverability lane splitting through rush hour traffic, and scraped pegs in Malibu canyons.
The verdict? I LOVE IT!
Okay, I say that about a lot of motorcycles I try… because well, they’re motorcycles! And I personally feel some affections for each one in their own way. There are only two motorcycles that I don’t particularly want to ride again, the Yamaha R3 and the Honda NC700… just a whole lot of “meh” there to me. Now that we’ve reviewed my bias toward two wheels, let’s discuss the Honda Rebel.
The 2017 Rebel is an inexpensive, light weight, peppy, good looking little whip. The design crew Keita Mikura and Edward Birtulescu worked with customization in mind. Rather than designing the motorcycle, sticking a stamp on it and going, “Done. It is as good as it will ever be. It shall never be improved upon!” the Honda team designed a motorcycle that could be left as is, or easily modified to the owner’s preference.
Which makes sense… don’t name something Rebel and then expect it to take orders.
The trellis frame is the same between the 300 and 500 models (and even the 250 Japan version) with a variation in the engine mounts. The headlight is a classic smaller round bucket, bars and pegs a neutral riding position for smaller or taller folks alike. One of my favorite details is the subframe shaped to the curve of the fender instead of being straight and requiring immediate amputation.
If you squint I think it sort of looks like a Ducati Scrambler… and it’s about $3,500 USD cheaper than one. That’s a lot of money for gas, or aftermarket parts, or RACING (I would totally flattrack that lil guy)!
Let’s talk about the engine size. We didn’t sit down and get an hour long presentation about the torque curve, bore and stroke, or top speeds. We were shown some examples of custom options, learned about the idea behind the design, the heart-and-soul history of the Honda Rebel for many riders… and then we were sent off to hit the road. Release the Kraken!!! With routes/places of interest marked by Honda in a ride map app called Rever, we headed out at 8:30a.
Here’s what I know… it’s easy to ride and makes you smile! I’m 5’7” tall with average length legs, and the Rebel’s small frame with low 27.2” seat (just a tiny bit higher than the original Rebel) gives you a ton of maneuverability. The non-ABS version was pretty fun to skip around; mash on the rear brake while giving it a little smooth front brake and feel the tail slide a little bit. While I’m aware not everyone wants to be able to throw the rear end of their bike around like that, I want to remind everyone that I’m not a stunt rider, nor am I the best at rear end slides, wheelies, or anything else. The light (364 lbs / 405 lbs) and low slung bike, combined with “regular bike” size wheels and tires, gives you a lot of confidence and comfort in your bike control. That level of comfort made me swoony for the little 300 immediately. The fellas I ended up riding with actually had to convince me to swap to the 500 in the first half of the day because I was having so much fun on it.
Power wise, if you crack the throttle off the line, the launch is relatively gentle but the engine winds up and snaps into it’s power band sort of like a rubber band has to stretch before it shoots off. The single cylinder 300 and I hit 96 miles an hour with a giant camera bag on my back, tucked behind the handlebars a little bit. So no, it’s not a snail despite being a thumper. On the other hand, the 500 was a fun parallel twin with good acceleration, and I immediately started scraping pegs through corners. They definitely sit low in a neutral position, which means they’d be the first on the chopping block in my garage. I would prefer them moved up a little bit for clearance in corners.
The Rebel engines sound pretty good, though it could be argued the low-key stock exhaust makes ‘em sound a little like a high speed sewing machine. I really want to see what a good megaphone exhaust would do!
What about how it compares to the other smaller modern bikes on the market? Impressively, especially for the price. (Keep in mind the following is all my opinion based on my 135 lb weight and height.) The KTM 390 ($5,299) has a similar top speed, but a little more low end torque (faster off the line). The Duke and RC are less comfortable, but set up for better cornering. Conversely, the Yamaha SR400 ($5,999) is comfortable and classic but slower in every way, the narrow tires make it feel really unstable at times, and it doesn’t even have electric start. While I’d need to spend more time on the Yamaha R3 ($4,999), the laps I did on track with it left me feeling like it needed more power in every area, plus it wasn’t comfortable. As for my beloved Ducati Scrambler 400, I can’t remember it being nearly four grand better than the Rebel. Sure, it’s a Ducati, sure it’s a little bit faster (41 HP), but it also weighs some 39 lbs more than the Rebel 500. So, you do your own math with that one… I for one feel much more agile on it.
Overall, I’m a huge fan of the new Rebels. When you’re introduced to a pair of cool little small displacement motorcycles, good for whipping around town, throwing into corners, and general shenanigans, don’t frump and fret about the power ratio and horsepower. Worry about how they make you feel. Does it make you smile? I know the Rebel does that for me. I’d definitely add one to my stable! After all, they say it’s more fun to ride a small bike to it’s limits than it is to ride a fast bike slowly. Truer words have ne’er been spoken.
Go take one for a test ride at a local dealer and let me know what you think… I’ll bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
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