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Cashie
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#1 Post by Cashie » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:39 am

http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=6856826

Women Rising Motorcycle Customers

The image of the rough, tough biker is taking a much different look these days, as a growing percentage of motorcycle owners and riders are women. The biker image has always been one of the rough tough tattoo branded man, but women now make up 10 percent of all riders in the U.S.

"We were one in thousands, and it's much more common to see groups of three, four, or five women riding together," said Longview rider Robin Saldana.

"Its the freedom, and it's the open air," said 58 Year Old Sandy Coggins. "It's the feeling of accomplishment I think." Harley-Davidson customizes bikes for women riders. The company says women make up 12 percent of Harley sales. Saldana is a rider and works for Harley-Davidson.

"Harley is specifically catering to women," said Saldana. "We're now developing road gear, ride gear and things that specifically fit us and things that fit our needs." It's not an equality issue, or breaking into a male dominated world, they do it for the reasons everyone rides.

"It's a feeling of accomplishment, being able to do something on your own," said Coggins. "Normally, you would let the man do it. I never was much for riding behind anyway." Their doctors, attorneys and grandmothers, and love the freedom and confidence they get from riding.

"We're not the young girls anymore," said Longview rider Debbie Wells. "We're older professional people working."

"There's nothing like sitting in the front seat as opposed to the back seat," said Saldana. Motorcycle sales in the U.S. is a $9.7 billion industry.

Don't put a saddle on a horse that can't be tamed. There's something beautiful about a free spirit.

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#2 Post by Cashie » Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:46 am

And another (I'll post more sport bike articles pertaining to women, too):

http://news.scotsman.com/international. ... 1181672007

Say hello to the easy riders
CLIFFORD KRAUSS
IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
AT A recent convention of Harley-Davidson dealers, marketing consultant Delia Passi was sharing the finer points of selling to women with her audience of about 150, many of whom wore boots, jeans and tattoos. One wore a T-shirt that read, "Born to Party, Forced to Work."

Neatly groomed hair is a good start, she said. Always maintain eye contact. Keep those handshakes firm, but not too firm. Clean the bathrooms. Set up a play area for children. And don't forget the little things that can help draw in passers-by. "Put a plant out there to say you are female-friendly," she said.

Many of the dealers took notes, and for good reason. American women are the fastest growing part of the motorcycle business, buying more than 100,000 of them a year.

"Half the population is female, and there is pent-up demand," said James Ziemer, Harley's chief executive. "We need to remove barriers."

So they are producing more motorcycles that are low to the ground with narrower seats and softer clutches, and adjusting handlebars to make bikes more comfortable for smaller riders.

They are selling more clothes, too, in bright colours and with rhinestones. Even the skull motif has undergone a friendly makeover on some clothes to include wings and flowers.

Harley-Davidson's dealers in the US also hold frequent garage parties for women, to let them learn about bikes, including the best way to stand up a 750lb motorcycle that has tipped over.

The efforts are paying off, though slowly. About 12% of all Harley motorcycle sales in the US are to women - roughly 32,000 new bikes in 2006, compared with 4% in 1990, 9% in 1998 and 10.6% in 2003. Women will spend about $300m on Harley bikes this year in the US, not including accessories.

"I think 12% is just the beginning," said Jerry Wilke, Harley's vice-president for customer relationships and product planning. "The opportunities to cater to women are endless."

Harley has also launched a website aimed at women (www.harley-davidson.com/womenriders) and is advertising in women's magazines with a striking image of a rider using the chrome plating on a bike as a make-up mirror.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of women in the US operating motorcycles increased 34% to 4.3 million in 2003 (its last owner survey), from 3.2 million in 1998. For all of Harley-Davidson's new marketing efforts, it lags slightly behind its competitors Kawasaki and Suzuki in percentage of motorcycle sales to women, in large part because the Japanese companies offer a wider range of smaller bikes.

Before women start considering which model to buy, Harley-Davidson has to eliminate any fears they may have.

"This is your baby step," Jeri Davis, the special event coordinator at the dealership in Grand Prairie, Texas, told a gathering of 50 women. "We want you to buy your first Harley-Davidson and not feel it's your first rodeo."

At the end of the two-hour party, many of the women said they were ready to take lessons. "I want to get away from the fear," said Leticia Andrade, a 40-year-old business systems analyst dressed in a Harley-Davidson T-shirt festooned with roses and a butterfly. "My kids are grown and gone. I'm a grandma now, and it's time for me."

Don't put a saddle on a horse that can't be tamed. There's something beautiful about a free spirit.

Saving the world, one computer at a time.

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#3 Post by CrashDummy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:11 am

How does anyone pick up a 750 pound motorcycle?
How to make a small fortune racing ... start with a large one.

Go into a corner with a little less speed and come out faster

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#4 Post by Cashie » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:53 am

CrashDummy wrote:How does anyone pick up a 750 pound motorcycle?
Dunno, but it would have been helpful for me to know how, the last time I dropped my bike.

Don't put a saddle on a horse that can't be tamed. There's something beautiful about a free spirit.

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#5 Post by CrashDummy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:40 pm

Some one I used to know watched a video on how to pick up a bike. The people in the video were picking up large BMW's equipped with hard bags. She had me lay my 500 lb. 97' VFR on the ground so she could try to pick it up. She couldn't do it and neither could I. Maybe if it had hard side bags to keep it a little off the ground we could have done it.
How to make a small fortune racing ... start with a large one.

Go into a corner with a little less speed and come out faster

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#6 Post by Cashie » Tue Jul 31, 2007 3:06 pm

CrashDummy wrote:Some one I used to know watched a video on how to pick up a bike. The people in the video were picking up large BMW's equipped with hard bags. She had me lay my 500 lb. 97' VFR on the ground so she could try to pick it up. She couldn't do it and neither could I. Maybe if it had hard side bags to keep it a little off the ground we could have done it.
Like this video? Although, I would NOT recommend his last bit of advice. Laying on the side of the road?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPjYweKeiLk

Don't put a saddle on a horse that can't be tamed. There's something beautiful about a free spirit.

Saving the world, one computer at a time.

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#7 Post by CrashDummy » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:01 pm

That's a good video. We tried what he said but had the same results as the woman in the video did. I wouldn't lay right next to the side of the road but somewhere near the bike. That is a good tip. I've had motorists just drive by me an my horizontal bike. I guess if you look like Desiree you won't have that problem. She doesn't even get tickets. :shock:
How to make a small fortune racing ... start with a large one.

Go into a corner with a little less speed and come out faster

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#8 Post by Jello_Biafra » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:56 pm

CrashDummy wrote:How does anyone pick up a 750 pound motorcycle?
I know a guy that picks up his ZX14 from time to time.. :shock:

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#9 Post by Chill » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:47 pm

Thanks for the info Cashie. Keep it comming. I'm getting all juiced now. :D
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#10 Post by Cashie » Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:40 am

http://autos.canada.com/womenontheroad/ ... 68eef52a96


Get your motor running!
Women In The Wind motorcycle chapter hits highway searching for adventure
Caitlin Crawshaw, Freelance
EDMONTON - With the summer in full force, motorcycles are everywhere, zooming past your favourite coffee shop or cruising past you on the freeway, the sound of their engines reverberating off pavement.

For some, the absence of seatbelts is ridiculous; for others, bikes represent the ultimate freedom. But whatever your take on the phenomenon, your image of a biker is probably true to the stereotype.

Members of the Women In The Wind motorcycle group leaves a south side location during a recent ride along Edmonton's streets.

Until you meet Missy Hecht. The petite Mississippi native, small-business owner, mother of three and former evening-gown designer is perhaps the furthest you'll get from the moustached, butch biker stereotype. And on her purple bike -- adorned with Betty Boop decorations -- Hecht often encounters burly bikers who, rather than heckle her, are generally supportive.

"I have a very, very girly bike and the men will come up and talk about how pretty she is and everything. And even though she's so girly, they're out there saying, 'Man, that's a cool looking bike!' "

An avid motorcycle rider for the last six years, Hecht got her first taste when she hopped on the back of her husband's motorcycle and went for a spin. For a year she rode shotgun, until a friend suggested she go for a ride on the smaller motorcycle he was trying to sell.

"I thought it was awesome. To me, it was the closest thing to being a wild horse that there is ... when I was out there, all I was thinking about was God and nature and how wonderful it was," said Hecht.

"I constantly try to communicate with God, and when I'm out there riding, I'm just constantly thanking God for the beautiful nature, and the animals he's given us and the beautiful weather. So, it all comes together like that."

Hecht adds that riding's also a great way to spend time with her husband, and led her to a great support system - the members of Women In The Wind's (WITW) Edmonton chapter. The international network of women motorcyclists is a social community, and works to promote a positive image of motorcycling, as well as the importance of safe driving.

Since joining the group in 2003 (she's now the president), only three years after moving to Canada, Hecht says the 69-member group has become like family. "They're my sisters."

They're also all very different. Hecht explains that when it comes to the ladies of WITW -- and women motorcyclists in general -- most have little in common with one another outside of their love of motorcycles.

"It's people from all walks of life. We have young riders and some of our older riders in their 60s. We had one lady that went around the world for three years ... we've got people who've been riding for 40 years, and some who started two weeks ago. It's all different skill levels, all different ages, and all different kinds of motorcycles."

Fellow WITW member Myra Abstreiter, a Telus data co-ordinator whose children are now grown, agrees that it's impossible to generalize women bikers, but she says it's probably easier for women with grown families to pursue motorcycling because of fewer demands on their time.

In the summer time, Abstreiter lives and breathes motorcycles. Her first experience with bikes happened in rural B.C., when she began riding dirt bikes around the farm.

The bikes got bigger and bigger, and soon she moved to motorcycles.

"It's just something I took to, like a duck to water," she said. "I believe it's because I spent a majority of my childhood riding horses, and there's a very close feeling between riding a horse and riding a motorcycle ... you're out there and it's just you and the horse, or you and the motorcycle."

When Abstreiter moved to Alberta, she stopped riding horses and found motorcycles to be a great alternative. But it wasn't always easy getting on a bike in the city, given the risks involved.

"For the first three years, before every ride I was physically ill. It just made such a turmoil that I was physically sick. Just with thinking, 'What do I do when I'm out there?' Just scared of dropping it, of getting hit."

But, after a couple of years of attending WITW meetings and rallies in her car, Abstreiter gained the confidence to ride her Triumph 900cc into Edmonton. Having overcome that fear, she says biking continues to be a "personal journey."

Hecht is overcoming some anxiety, too, these days. While she was never initially nervous on a bike, last summer she had the shock of her life on the highway near Medicine Hat.

"A one-ton truck T-boned me. I was in the hospital for two weeks, broke an arm, messed up my shoulders, but God saved me. He saved me to ride again," she laughed.

Laid up in bed for nearly seven months, Hecht says she's now at about 85-per-cent capacity.

She's often on her bike these days, but more tentative, following a couple of close calls this summer.

But while some would hang up their helmet, Hecht is a believer in getting back in the saddle. "It's just not in my personality to let it scare me."

The Edmonton chapter of WITW will be hosting the Alberta Ladies' Rally Aug. 17-19, featuring a show-and-shine, poker run, motorcycle games and more. Next summer, the chapter will host the WITW Summer Nationals, drawing members from across North America to Edmonton. For more information on either event, check out: www.telusplanet.net/public/witwedtn/

©The Edmonton Journal 2007

Don't put a saddle on a horse that can't be tamed. There's something beautiful about a free spirit.

Saving the world, one computer at a time.

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#11 Post by CrashDummy » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:23 am

Hi Steacy. I couple I knew moved to Edmonton years ago. They said it was so cold in the winter that birds would sit on their chimmeny, pass out from the fumes, fall into the fireplace and then fly all over the house. If WITW can get 69 members in that climate it shouldn't be long before CU has 69 members.
How to make a small fortune racing ... start with a large one.

Go into a corner with a little less speed and come out faster

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