| My current motorcycle:
A 2008 KLR 650 (Kawasaki)
My former motorcycle:
Number of US & Canadian states I've been to on a
motorcycle of my own:
Number of countries I've toured on a motorcycle of my own:
Number of countries I've toured on the back of a
International trips by motorcycle
Trips riding my own motorcycle
personal Twitter account
Professional Twitter account
| I love traveling. And I really
love traveling by motorcycle. I enjoy riding through beautiful
vistas, I love how connected I feel to my surroundings on a bike,
and I really love meeting people - people are happy to walk up and
start talking to a woman on a motorcycle.
I have a personal essay about why traveling, in general, is not only wonderful, but important to your life, and why women's excuses to avoid traveling are really just words. But I wanted a section of my web site to be about traveling by motorcycle specifically. And specifically focused on women.
I don't travel by myself by motorcycle, but many women who travel by motorcycle do. I'm fine traveling by myself in a car, but not by motorcycle. But I link women who do travel by motorcycle by themselves, because they have great stories and advice.
Is it scary sometimes? Absolutely. As
of December 2012, I've ridden more than 7000 miles on my KLR
(more than 11600 km) since buying it in the Fall of 2011, and
more than 18,000 miles (almost 30,000 km) on motorcycles since
to ride in 2009. But I consider myself a novice
rider - I am still not happy on dirt or gravel, and being short
(5' 4"), I have to be vigilant before every stop, making
sure I can put my foot down and still hold the bike up. I
sometimes have to ask my husband to ride my motorcycle down some
extreme hill on a dirt road, or even to turn my bike around in
some challenging scenario. I accepted long ago that I'll never
be an expert rider and that I have to ask for help sometimes.
But I don't let those limits keep me from riding - I build my
trips with those limits in mind. Remember: you do not have
to ride on gravel and dirt if you don't want to - at least not
in the USA; since I want to travel internationally, I include at
least a bit in my riding every month.
If you want to travel with others by motorcycle, the Internet makes it much easier to find traveling companions, via online communities for women motorcyclists (easy to find on a Google search, and via online communities focused on motorcycle travelers. ADVRider is a great place to meet other people who travel by motorcycle - not just adventure motorcyclists who travel offroad, to exotic vistas, but also people who like to stick to riding on pavement. You can try Horizons Unlimited as well, though I don't find the forum members as friendly and helpful as ADVRider.
Many motorcycle travelers will pick up with another traveler, or a group, while out on the road. It's never a bad idea to ride at least a bit with other motorcycle travelers you come across, or to talk to other riders you meet at a camp site, a hostel, a guest house, a hotel, etc. - you get great advice about the area where you will be riding, other riders will help you out in case of emergency, and it can make you feel safe in places where you might not feel so safe alone.
That said - and what I'm about to say will put me in the
minority of most women riders - don't assume someone is a good,
trustworthy person just because he (or she) is on a motorcycle.
Don't ever feel bad about saying no to sharing a room, to having
a drink with another rider or other riders, to going somewhere
isolated with another rider or other riders, etc. Women who are
harmed while traveling tend not to blog about it - hence why you
seldom, if ever, hear negative stories. Also, a lot of people
have this mentality: I traveled to such-and-such place, and
did such-and-such thing, I was fine, therefore, all safety
warnings are alarmist and untrue.
I would never, ever tell a woman not to travel because she
fears something might happen, because something might
happen anywhere; I'm just saying be cautious, and don't
apologize to anyone who says you are being overly cautious. And
men: please look out for your fellow women travelers! Here's much
more regarding health & safety considerations for women
Here are all of my resources for women who travel by motorcycle
(or want to) that I hope you will find helpful:
My husband designs and sells aluminum top boxes and side panniers. They are tough, light-weight, and affordable. They are German-designed and made in the USA!
This small top box is 20 liter (5.3 gallon)
400 x 250 x 200 mm
1.6 mm (1⁄16") thick aluminum
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The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.