How long have you been riding motorcycles?
The first time I ever rode was in an empty parking lot back in 2016. I had been begging my good friend/coworker Viet Nguyen, the only person I knew who rode, to bring in his Yamaha XT-250 so that I could learn. Then one day, he casually mentions, “I brought the bike - want to learn after work today?”
That was a year and three months ago. The plan is to someday answer this question with, “Most of my life!”
Why do you ride?
I ride for two reasons, with the first being the motorcycle community. It has an irresistible presence that I’ve always longed to be a part of. Now that I’ve become a member, I’ve realized that there is so much more to it than just riding. I can’t tell you how many times strangers become friends with me purely because I’m on my motorcycle. Riders have stories and experience that they love sharing with others. There’s always so much more to learn from other riders.
Second, Los Angeles quite literally has some of the worst traffic in the world. I used to sit in my car for hours and admire the motorcyclists that got to lane split down the freeway. I thought, “Damn, I wish that was me.” But then I realized why couldn’t that be? So here we are, a little over a year later, with me riding past the cars I used to sit between.
Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past.
I knew I was going to drop my first bike often. So I opened up Craigslist in search of a used bike that was fairly priced, looked cool, and was something I wouldn’t mind denting. I ended up purchasing a custom-built 1997 Suzuki Savage LS650 café racer.
Though I was warned of the dangers of custom bikes and their troubles, I bought it anyways. It couldn’t be that difficult, right? WRONG. The lever connecting to the rear brake would often snap and wrap around the rear drum. Another time the foot peg broke off. Later I would watch my headlight pop off and roll down the street. The problems were endless.
Despite the frustration, I was learning all kinds of maintenance I wouldn’t have if I had started on a brand new bike. I understood why my thumper engine ate so much oil and how it differed from other motors. When the battery died, I mastered the art of popping the clutch as I pushed it down a hill. When my engine wouldn’t start, I figured out that the starter clutch/gear had slid out of place. Oil leaks forced me to learn how to properly replace the gasket on my engine and torque settings. Having a rear drum meant I had to pick up on the type of shoe I needed and how it contrasted to my front disc brake. Eventually I ended up knowing more about motorcycles than most of the boys I rode with!
After a year of working my way through issues, I decided that riding on a machine that ran like a problem randomizer was probably not in my best interest. I sold the Suzuki and moved on to my current bike, the 2017 Triumph Street Scrambler.
What first attracted you to the new Triumph Street Scrambler?
I noticed the 2016 Triumph Street Twin first. It was the first bike that had the classic look I wanted but also was the perfect seat height. The engine is 900cc’s, which meant I’d have more power to work with when I need it on the freeways. The bike had most of the look I was going for but it needed a few more accessories.
Then Triumph released it’s 2017 Street Scrambler, which is basically the same bike but with a scrambler build. Literally everything I wanted to change on the Street Twin was already done on this model. The rest is history!
How did you know it was the bike for you?
To put it simply, it met my four requirements: my feet touched the floor, engine was 900cc’s, had a classic look, and came in black.
Tell us what it is like to ride?
It depends on the kind of ride I’m doing at the time. If I’m doing my morning commute to work, it’s an adrenaline rush. I try to remind myself that I should ride like I’m invisible because most cars don’t look for bikes. When a car barely misses me, I feel a wave of heat rush through my body. Other times I can see the cars to the left and right of me closing in and I’ll feel my heart race.
But when you’re riding just to ride, it feels like the rest of the world fades into the background. The helmet wraps you up in your own world. It’s just you, the bike, and open roads. You can see everything and feel the wind holding you up as you cruise through the city. You think less about all the miniscule things and focus on the ride.
What made you choose the Street Scrambler over the other Triumph Models?
The design of the 2017 Street Scrambler came with a lot of modernized parts that I would have needed to buy if I went with an older model. The turn signals were smaller, the exhaust looked updated, and it came with a seat rack! I wanted a bike that would need minimal changes. Getting the scrambler also meant that eventually I’d use this bike to learn how to ride on dirt so that I can explore dirt roads when I go on adventures. It’s the perfect bike to grow into and learn on!
What has been you favorite adventure you have taken on your new Street Scrambler?
The late night rides through Downtown LA. Being on your motorcycle puts you right in the middle of all the city lights. Being in a car limits you to seeing how incredible the buildings look as you cruise through them. Sometimes fog sits in between them and the lights make them illuminate.
But pretty soon, Babes Ride Out will undoubtedly be my new favorite adventure.
Do you have any fun road trips planned?
My friends and I are planning our first camping trip out to Sequoia National Park. It’ll be the first time that I’ll get to camp out with the very three people who I got my motorcycle license with. It’ll be exciting to test out the “scrambler” side of my motorcycle for the first time on the dirt roads.
And obviously, Babes Ride Out!
Tell us about your experience at Babes Ride Out, have you been before?
Although I have never been, looking at all the photos, videos, and posts from people who have previously gone before makes me so excited to be a part of the experience this year. I haven’t met many women who ride, so it’s incredible that I’ll be surrounded by thousands of them in a few short weeks!
Can’t wait to meet all the babes of the desert and road!