@ridelikeagirl.co - Rider Stories

What Do You Currently Ride?

I recently upgraded to my first ‘big bike’ and decided to go with the new Honda Rebel 1100. Since I started riding, I’d always envisaged owning a Harley Davidson. But when I saw the launch video for the Rebel 1100 back in 2020, I knew it would be a strong contender for my next motorcycle. After numerous visits to Harley and Honda dealerships (and a lot of deliberation), I decided it was the bike for me. The Rebel ticks all of my boxes in terms of its styling, comfortability, features and price point, and I’m really excited to see what Honda does with this platform in the future.

The bike was delivered in mid-November, and I’m already madly in love with it. Whilst it looks like a cruiser, it’s deceptively sporty which makes it incredibly fun to ride. It’s got so much low-end torque that I literally giggle inside my helmet every time I set off from a set of traffic lights. The rider modes and cruise control options make it feel really plush, and I’m a huge fan of the paintwork and LED headlight. My only regret is buying it in winter, as I can’t wait to take it on tour!

Why Did You Start Riding?

Simply put, it was the fear of missing out. I’ve always loved motorcycles and motorcycle culture, but never dared dream of owning one myself. In late 2019 my boyfriend and I started rewatching the ‘Long Way Up/Long Way Down’ series with Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, and once we’d finished that we moved on to ‘Ride’ with Norman Reedus. It was during the first episode of ‘Ride’ that it suddenly dawned on me, I was never going to experience the feeling of riding a motorcycle. The freedom, the adventure, the excitement, it was never going to happen if I didn’t do something about it. My boyfriend felt the same, and so we sort of mutually decided that day that we would give it a go. We booked a taster session at a local riding school, and afterwards, we were absolutely hooked. We did our CBT training together in summer 2020 and got ourselves a couple of 125’s. Although covid got in our way a good few times, we eventually managed to gain our full motorcycle licenses in November 2021. Now, we can’t wait to go on some amazing adventures together (bring on 2022!)

Why Do You Enjoy Riding?

There are so many things to enjoy about riding a motorcycle, but for me, it’s the feeling of freedom and the positive effect it has on my mind. Before I started riding, I heard people joke about it being a kind of therapy. However, I can now confirm this is totally true. Even a quick ride is enough to clear your mind of negative energy and put a smile on your face. It’s also brought out a more adventurous side in me. Now I can’t wait to visit new places and experience the joy and excitement of travelling on two wheels.

I feel that owning a motorcycle is almost a rebellious act (especially as a woman), and with that comes a feeling of ‘badassness’ that I haven’t managed to achieve elsewhere. It’s made me feel stronger, more confident, and that I can take on bigger challenges. Since starting out I’ve met so many incredible women who ride that inspire me every day, and I’m hoping that I can now do the same.

What's Your Go-To Outfit?

First off is my Shoei Glamster Helmet. This is my go-to as it has my Packtalk installed (so I can listen to music or the satnav) as well as a Pinlock to stop my visor fogging. However, in the summer months I usually switch it out for my Shoei Ex-Zero (I just love the style and feel of this one) and a pair of DMD ‘Ghost’ goggles. On my neck I’m wearing a Kytone or 250 London neck tube and my current favourite jacket is the Richa Lausanne Textile Jacket.

I’m absolutely obsessed with gloves so I have a nice little collection, but my current faves are either the Black Arrow Moto Queen Bee gloves or the Ipnotico gloves by Holy Freedom. Both come in unique designs but still maintain all the safety features you would want in a pair of motorcycle gloves.

There’s only ever one option for me when it comes to trousers and those are the MotoGirl leggings. I own a summer pair (the ‘Sherrie’ leggings) and an all-season pair (the ‘Ribbed Knee’ leggings). I can’t recommend these enough, especially as MotoGirl offers the most size-inclusive range of clothing that I’ve seen for ladies. I also have the MotoGirl/Tucano Urbano waterproofs which I keep in my bag and chuck on if it starts raining.

Finally onto shoes, and I must admit I’ve been wearing the same pair of Dr.Martens boots since day one. However I’ve just ordered a pair of TCX Street 3 WP motorcycle shoes which look just like a pair of High-Top Vans, but with reinforced ankles and toes etc. so I’m looking forward to trying those!

What Clothing or Equipment Could You Not Live Without?

I’ve mentioned a couple of items already, such as my Packtalk Communication System, Pinlcok Visor and MotoGirl Leggings. Aside from these, I’d say I can’t live without my Quad Lock Phone Mount, Oxford Biker Tool Kit, Halfords Advanced Lithium Jump Starter and Knox Studio Rucksack.

The Quad Lock is hands down the best motorcycle phone mounting system that I’ve found and although there are cheaper options out there, this is definitely one I’d spend the extra cash on. The Oxford Biker Tool Kit is the perfect thing to throw in your bag or under your seat and has saved my ass many a time, plus it’s super affordable. The Halfords Advanced Lithium Jump Starter is another product that has saved my skin more than once, and I particularly love this one because it’s small, lightweight and can start anything up to a 3-litre engine. Plus, it’s got a built-in flashlight as well as USB charging ports in case you need to charge your phone in an emergency. Finally, the Knox Studio Rucksack is a great size, comfy to wear and is 100% waterproof, perfect for commuting or if you need to pop to the shops.

What's Your Best Advice to New Riders?

First off, I’d recommend finding yourself a reputable riding school and getting booked in for a taster session or new rider course. If you have a friend or family member that rides who’s willing to show you the ropes that's great, but going to a riding school will allow you to start learning away from public roads and with expert advice. If you’re particularly nervous, this should help you to feel more at ease. I personally opted to do my CBT, have a 125 for a year or so and then progress to getting my full licence once I felt ready, which I’d recommend to everyone. It makes it a lot easier when it comes to taking the Module 1 and Module 2 tests and it’s also going to give you the experience of riding and owning a motorcycle without a lot of the cost.

The second piece of advice I would give to any new rider is to not be too hard on yourself. We’re not inherently born knowing how to ride a motorcycle, and I think as we get older we tend to become more impatient when it comes to learning new skills. Some people pick it up quickly, and some need a little more time, and that’s fine! Remember that mistakes are a big part of the learning process, and even seasoned riders make them every now and then. So if you’ve had a bad lesson or made some mistakes out on the road, just get right back on that saddle and try again. The more miles you start getting under your belt, the easier it’ll become.

My final couple of tips are to always assume everyone on the road doesn’t know how to drive (you’ll soon find out this is actually true) and when it comes to motorcycle gear and security, buy the best rated products that you can afford with the money you have.

This information is given to you as a guide to support you in your choice of licence and RideTo has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided about motorcycle licence and training requirements. However, RideTo cannot guarantee the information is up to date, correct and complete and is therefore provided on an "as is" basis only. RideTo accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever arising. We recommend that you verify the current licence and training requirements by checking the DVSA website.