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8 Women Who Really Know How to Take the Engine by the Horns

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.



When it comes to women and engines, you imagine a girl sitting in the back. She may be just an accessory to the motorcycle, a trophy won by the leading male. Legend says that sometimes the accessories come to life and lead their own motorcycles. Surprise, some even surpass men in some respects.

Perhaps you’re thinking of how many female motorcyclists you saw on the street. However, there were few. But how many female moto champions have you heard of? How many girls riding on bikes impressed you? You have no idea of how many things the fair sex is able to do!


  1. Theresa Wallach - From Northern Europe to Southern Africa

    The Rugged Road

    Do you have courage? Theresa Wallach has redefined it.

    In 1934, she took Florence Blenkiron and went from England to Cape Town, South Africa. She chose to go with a motorcycle Panther Redwing Model 100, 600cc, with sidecar and trailer. As if it were not dangerous enough, she forgot the compass at home.

    Nowadays, if you go on long trips, you might run out of gas – but you know there is a gas station somewhere. Or maybe your car breaks down – you make a call and someone comes to tow you. In some areas, you have to deal with offenders – at least you can call the police and your insurance company. It’s unpleasant, but you can handle it.

    What happened to Theresa Wallach on her long journey? She fought with the French Foreign Legion in order to go further – even armed stalwarts were not enough to stop her. In the desert, the trailer hooked on her motorcycle broke, so she had to make a new one (the woman on the go: she has so much luggage that her trailer goes on strike). She had to rebuild the motor in Agadez. She met gorillas, lions, snakes, and… friendly people on her adventure. She had an accident in Tanzania, it just so happened to be with the only car that she saw in her few days of driving.

    Theresa Wallach and Florence Blenkiron

  2. Hazel Kolb - 80 Days on a 80

    On the Perimeter

    Have you ever thought that, at 53, a woman would want to tour the United States? 24,000 miles – a trifle. And that in 1979! If I tell you that the means of transportation is the motorcycle, would you fall off your seat or are you still standing?

    The woman in question is named Hazel Kolb and she made the tour in question on a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide 80 cubic inches (1300 cc), at his only 53 years old. All related promotion of the journey changed the face of this phenomenon. Therefore, she was surnamed “Motorcyclin’ Gran’ma”; she was considered Ambassador of motorized travel on two wheels.

    What past must she had to dare this? Hazel was born in 1926 and grew up in the town of Hannibal, Missouri. Her family was poor – both financially and emotionally. As a child, she always fought with her brother and her parents did not get along too well. The first in her family to have a motorcycle was her brother and he was the one who inspired Hazel. Her first ride as a passenger made her decide that, one day, she would buy a motorcycle and drive up to California, to her brother.

    Where did her passion for long journeys come from? She was inspired by her second husband, Jack Kolb, a local farmer. He bought a Harley-Davidson with whom he took long motorcycle rides, with Hazel as a passenger. After a while she started to drive.

    What would make an elderly woman want to travel instead of staying quietly at home? Hazel Kolb decided to tour America in honor of her former husband. The two were planning to make such a journey together. But too soon, her rider went on a journey to the other world 1)Why she rode the perimeter of the U.S. all by herself” by Bill Stermer, article published in Women Riders Now in 2009.

    The dream, however, remained. So Hazel decided to continue solo. The decision was supported by the people at Harley-Davidson. Their public relations department arranged with journalists in order to conduct interviews with the woman and to plan televised appearances throughout the trip. A special phone line was set up so that journalists could call to meet with the motorcyclist. Her popularity has grown so much that she appeared on national television in “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and “Good Morning America” 2)”80 Days on a 80″ by Ed Hertfelder, article published in American Motorcyclist in October 1979.

    During this trip, Hazel Kolb has fulfilled the promise to her brother, get to California by motorcycle.

    Hazel Kolb

  3. Maria Costello - Left to Win a Race and Broke a World Record

    It is in women’s genes to go shopping for a blouse and come back with three full dressers. What happens to women who choose to race moto instead of shopping? They break a world record instead of winning the race.

    Isle of Man

    Something like that happened to Maria Costello in Isle of Man TT, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world for motorcycle speed. The race is extremely dangerous 3)That Near-Death Thing: Inside the TT: The World’s Most Dangerous Race” by Rick Broadbent, book published by Orion Publishing in 2013, since it takes place in the narrow streets of the rocky island. In a century of racing on the island, about 250 bikers lost their lives 4)List of Snaefell Mountain Course fatal accidents” in Wikipedia. Do you feel the fear creeping inside of your bones? Not if your name is Maria Costello! In 2004, she went to participate in the race. She wanted to win so much that she reached an average speed of 114.73 mph (184.64 km/h). Quick enough to be recorded in Guinness World Records as the fastest woman on the famous circuit (Until, 2009, when the record was broken by another extraordinary biker: Jenny Tinmouth).

    Maria has broken more than 20 bones during races. But nothing can stop her from riding her motorcycle. In fact, when she broke the Isle of Man TT record, she had a broken collarbone.

    Maria Costello is not only a great biker, but also a very charismatic person. It is present in the media, both as subject and as a journalist. Always about motorcycles, of course. Her entire career was spent promoting motorcycling, so she received the royal title of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Now that’s a “trophy”!

    Maria Costello

  4. Leslie Porterfield - The Fastest Biker in Guinness Book of Records

    From garbage collector to astronaut, you thought you heard of all the occupations in the world! But what do you think about a woman who lives to beat the world records for speed on two wheels?

    This is Leslie Porterfield’s purpose. She’s passionate about motorcycles, likes speed, so why not beat a world record? If she managed with one, then why not succeed with more? Because neither records are plain nor simple: they are many different classes of motorcycles and different ways to measure the speed (punctually, averaged over a distance, etc.).

    Her career began at the age of 19 when she obtained her license for racing on a motorcycle circuit. But was drawn to off-road, as well. She participated in the race Baja 1000. Baja is the paradise of any child’s soul trapped in an adult body. In this area of Mexico, where the desert is predominant, all kinds of courses and off-road competitions are frequently organized for all kinds of vehicles.

    In 2007, she arrived in the Bonneville Salt Flats, ideal for those who have the need for speed. As long as the eye can see, a salty desert, perfectly smooth. During her first attempt, she broke 7 ribs 5)Sunday Night: Chasing Speed with Leslie Porterfield” by Eileen Marable, article published in Velocity by Discovery on March 31, 2012. Someone could say that she would better take care of her business. But speed on a motorcycle is her business! So she returned. And set no less than four world records!

    374 km/h
    is the speed with which Leslie Porterfield broke the world record and was recorded in Guinness Book of Records
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    Which of the four records is the most impressive? Leslie Porterfield is in the Guinness World Records as the fastest woman on a “conventional” motorcycle (unlike those with bodywork and bizarre inventions). Speed reached: 374,208 km/h. The measurement is performed according to a standard test, which means the average of racing a mile back and forth.

    What is the climax? The fastest woman in the world had time to make two children! Twins because it’s twice as fast. She also has a motorcycle business as a dealer in Dallas, Texas. When you live for speed, you have time for everything!

    Leslie Porterfield

  5. Becci Ellis - Faster Than the Fastest

    Guinness World Records registers records only under certain conditions. That is why sometimes there are records that have been broken above the ones written in the book.

    Becci Ellis rides her bike just for pleasure, in her spare time. She has a job as an IT analyst and two children to raise. Her husband works on motorcycles in the family garage. And not for nothing. The results are impressive.

    In 2008, he bought a worn out Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, thinking to recover some parts. After playing with it for a little while, he realized that he could turn it into a superbike. It took a few years, but it was a jewel on two wheels 6)Fastest woman on a motorcycle is an IT analyst from Scunthorpe: 264mph speed record set by amateur racer whose husband built her superbike in their garage” by Jennifer Newton, article published in Daily Mail on October 11, 2014.

    425 km/h
    is the speed Becci Ellis reached on a motorcycle.
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    What do you do if you are good at ultra-fast motorcycles, but you do not have a pilot? You ask your wife for help! And so, at 46 years, the British Becci Ellis became the fastest woman recorded by a radar, with the astonishing speed of 264.1 mph (425 km/h).

    Let’s say you’re a kid. How cool is it to have a mother like Becci Ellis?

    Becci Ellis

  6. Shelina Moreda - Indianapolis Motor Speedway's First Woman

    Make way, gentlemen! A woman enters the Indianapolis Speedway!

    Her name is Shelina Moreda; the beautiful biker was the first to compete at the Indianapolis circuit 7)Shelina Moreda Making a Name on Two Wheels” by Sarah Spain, article published in espnW on May 29, 2012 . Also, she is the only woman to compete at AMA Pro Harley Class and is one of the few US women participating in national competitions. Hardworking from nature, she is not satisfied with the pilotage on the circuits in America, but she goes to competitions in Europe.

    Passionate about everything new, Shelina was the first woman to compete with an electric motorcycle worldwide.

    She made the first film of a race with a GoPro camera. The video recording has achieved over 800,000 views on YouTube.

    The love for motorcycles is a family legacy. Her father participated in car racing and motocross. She went, for the first time, with an ATV when she was little and from 12 years old began to feel attracted to motocross. From here to motorcycle speed was just a graceful step 8)Shelina Moreda: Most Beautiful Motorcycle Racer” by Namita Nayyar, article published in Women Fitness on November 13, 2013.

    Shelina Moreda

  7. Melissa Paris - First Woman to Draw Attention in the Daytona 200

    Slowly but surely, to the horror of men, women enter into motorcycling. And not just anywhere, but even in such difficult races as Daytona 200, a race of 200 miles (320 km), which is held in Daytona annually.

    In 2009, Melissa Paris obtained the best place for a woman until then: 21st. In a sport dominated by men, her performance drew attention.

    The passion for motorcycles first appeared when she was 20 years old, after she was a passenger to various friends. She took a loan and bought a Yamaha FZR-600. Among bikers the story goes, a motorcycle like this is pure death in the hands of a beginner. It appears that for Melissa it was pure luck, because in just a year, she participated in her first competition: Streets of Willow Springs. There followed many other races, culminating with the performance from the Daytona 200.

    Although Melissa does not come from a family of motorcyclists, she thought it would be a good idea to establish one. So she married a sports biker: Josh Hayes. The two even competed in the same race. Do you realize what their children get out of such a combination!?!

    Melissa Paris

  8. Elena Myers - The First Woman to Win in AMA Pro

    Mistakes can happen a lot in life. You can crush the feet of your dance partner – by mistake. You can make vocalizations until the glass breaks – by mistake. Or you can drive so badly that guardian angels announce that they want to get out of the car – by mistake, you did that, too. But to have someone win a race in the US national championship of motorcycle (AMA Pro) by mistake, well that’s something only Elena Myers could do.

    When the miracle happened, the girl was 16 years old and was the youngest participant in the competition. Moreover, it was the first time she participated. A year ago she was denied because of her age. The event took place on the circuit in the Infineon, in Pro SuperSport class.

    Let us relive the end of the race that made history. In round 9 of the 18 planned, Elena Myers was in front of Joey Pascarella. His bike went out of control, so the race was stopped for security reasons. The organizers concluded that cleaning the runway would last too long and there would be no time to resume the race. So whoever was in the lead won. That meant the teenager Elena 9)Elena Myers, 16, becomes first female to win in AMA Pro Racing” by Curtis Pashelka, article published in San Jose Mercury News on May 15, 2010.

    Anyway, Elena subsequently proved that it was not pure chance. She obtained several remarkable results. Including the first woman to win a race of any kind on Daytona International Speedway circuit and the best ranking for a woman in Daytona 200 (9th) 10)Elena Myers Triumphs in Daytona 200 Debut” by Matthew Miles, article published in Cycle World on March 18, 2013. And that is just the beginning!

    Elena Myers

So let’s forget about stereotypes. The woman is not “doomed” to stand behind the man. Nor to stand with one hand on the handle of a pan. She is just as equally qualified to stand with both hands on the handlebars. And not just on the motorcycle, but in anything she really wants.


Andreea Iovita
Article written exclusively for Miratico by Andreea Iovita
Andreea Iovita wrote this article after a long journey by bike, by herself.

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References   [ + ]

1. Why she rode the perimeter of the U.S. all by herself” by Bill Stermer, article published in Women Riders Now in 2009
2. ”80 Days on a 80″ by Ed Hertfelder, article published in American Motorcyclist in October 1979
3. That Near-Death Thing: Inside the TT: The World’s Most Dangerous Race” by Rick Broadbent, book published by Orion Publishing in 2013
4. List of Snaefell Mountain Course fatal accidents” in Wikipedia
5. Sunday Night: Chasing Speed with Leslie Porterfield” by Eileen Marable, article published in Velocity by Discovery on March 31, 2012
6. Fastest woman on a motorcycle is an IT analyst from Scunthorpe: 264mph speed record set by amateur racer whose husband built her superbike in their garage” by Jennifer Newton, article published in Daily Mail on October 11, 2014
7. Shelina Moreda Making a Name on Two Wheels” by Sarah Spain, article published in espnW on May 29, 2012
8. Shelina Moreda: Most Beautiful Motorcycle Racer” by Namita Nayyar, article published in Women Fitness on November 13, 2013
9. Elena Myers, 16, becomes first female to win in AMA Pro Racing” by Curtis Pashelka, article published in San Jose Mercury News on May 15, 2010
10. Elena Myers Triumphs in Daytona 200 Debut” by Matthew Miles, article published in Cycle World on March 18, 2013

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