For one, I have no responsibility, the complete opposite of the rest of my life. I don’t have to watch for traffic or obstacles in the road, I’m not in charge of directions or checking the weather conditions. Having no fear is another major benefit. I have complete faith in my husband’s ability as a rider both on the road and in the dirt. But the thing I enjoy the most is the closeness and the feeling of being protected. It is rare for us to have time to spend together and alone.
As I read stories of women learning to ride their own motorcycles, overcoming obstacles and riding to help benefit good causes, I have seriously considered taking a Motorcycle Saftey Course and riding my own street bike. Enter Harley Davidson Women’s Garage Parties. They sound like fun, attract large numbers of women, have goodie bags and raffles, and food. They offer an opportunity to learn about the different motorcycles, accessories and apparel, plus it is all women so it is a comfortable setting.
I found a Harley dealer near my home, called to let them know I was coming and pulled out my riding boots and leather jacket. I was welcomed by several eager women who work in MotorClothes at the dealer and found myself one of about 40 women ranging in age from their late teens to late 50’s, including a mother-daughter pair preparing to ride to Sturgis. The owner of the dealership welcomed us and the manager went over the different motorcycle families and then they left us to our girl party.
We were introduced to the women of the dealership, all of whom ride their own motorcycles. We heard their stories and were shown many of their bikes with descriptions of modifications and custom parts. We were able to sit on the different bikes, learn about available riding gear, and shown how to lift a fallen bike. We also received information about Motorcycle Saftey Courses and the DMV test for a motorcycle driver’s license. So, what did I learn and what were my impressions of Harley Davidson motorcycles?
What were my impressions of Harley Davidson motorcycles?
While the all women idea was meant to put us at ease, I was completely intimidated! I live in a fraternity; husband and two college age sons, who are in charge of all things motorcycle. Secondly, these were women who all ride their own bikes which I do not do well. When we sat on the different bikes we were told that we would “just know” the right bike. After sitting on a V-Rod, a Sportster, Dyna, Softail and Touring Bike what I knew was that they were all BIG, WIDE, HEAVY BIKES! Not only did they not feel “right” to me, I was scared spitless. I also learned that motorcycles have no reverse gear and they all have clutches; I am clutch challenged. While I probably knew these things in the back of my mind I was still disappointed.
Harley makes beautiful bikes and the prices didn’t seem unreasonable to me. While they seem huge, I learned there are many alterations that can be made to a stock bike for a shorter rider, and there are lots of custom parts that can be added to enhance the look and feel of the bike. The employees, especially the manager, were extremely knowledgeable, willing and able to help ensure a new owner will be happy, comfortable and safe on her new motorcycle. Best of all, the food was yummy, the ice chest was full of beer, wine, soda and H-D labeled water bottles, and there were chocolate chip cookies!
Watch for my next post “How to Tailor Your Motorcycle to Fit You”