Meet Nathalie Kossek, a designer, photographer, model, and lover of all things outdoors. This adventurous thrillseeker tells us about her favorite trips, experience at Babes Ride Out, and why her Triumph Bonneville T100 was the best purchase she's ever made. She also offers expert advice and recommendations for new riders that is absolutely priceless!
Name: Nathalie Kossek
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Tell us about yourself.
I’m really quite routine day-to-day! Maybe even a little boring, ha! I love my motorcycle, surfing and camping whenever I can. Being outside and active is critically important to me or else I get a little stir crazy! I’m a photographer/designer/model living on the Westside in Los Angeles. I grew up in Ohio with Polish parents and that background is really important to me. I moved to the west coast almost 8 years ago and LA was a pitstop I never left. Other hobbies? I like to read a lot and pretty much carry a book with me everywhere. I tend to pick up a lot of random ones too… I’m currently learning 3D design, because, why not? Oh, and if I’m not reading (or eyeballs deep in computer stuff) I’m most likely listening to My Favorite Murder or another excellent podcast. Random fact: I’ve been 6’ tall since I was 13, and yes - it was very awkward! Most people find me intimidating due to my height/initial shyness/interests but I’m pretty nice! Don’t be afraid to say hi!
Where are you from?
I was born in Toronto, Canada but grew up in Dayton, Ohio.
How long have you been riding motorcycles?
Since about 2014 on my own. I always rode with my dad growing up and I think that’s where I really started to fall in love with it.
Why do you ride?
I don’t have a deep answer for this one. It’s a simple and honest joy in my life that I want to keep doing as long as I can so I can keep seeing the world around me. Small perks though, like finding a parking space at the beach during the summer seasons or splitting lanes to get to your destination faster, aren’t too shabby either.
Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past if any.
I mistakenly got a vintage bike as my first one without any great mechanical knowledge… blame my ego. It was a Honda CB550F Super Sport. Beautiful, but never ran well. I bought the bike with the intention of learning to fix it myself; but honestly I didn’t have the resources at the time nor did I know of the great communities that helped you get your bike working. I got rid of it real quick and got my current one that just WORKED. Bit of a learning curve on that experience.
What bike do you ride now?
A 2014 Triumph Bonneville T100 SE.
What first attracted you to Triumph?
I liked the classic style - plain and simple. I’m such an aesthetics person - perhaps it’s the designer in me?
How did you know it was the bike for you?
Um, it ran?! No, I’m kidding. But honestly, It felt good when I sat on it - as if it were a pretty seamless fit to me. The Bonneville was also such a clean aesthetic that I didn’t have to do anything to it (modifications wise) if I didn’t want to.
Where did you buy your Triumph?
Drove it new off the lot at a dealership! I’m the first owner of my bike.
Tell us what your bike is like to ride?
I love how it’s great for a lot of different types of riding. You can have it for city riding, the freeways, long rides, etc. It goes a lot of places. The ride is smooth and really easy to maneuver as well. I have some great saddlebags too that enable me to take a good amount of stuff with me and the bike handles it like a champ.
What made you choose this bike over the other Triumph Models?
The Bonneville is just romantic. It makes me feel nostalgic and I liked the vintage aesthetic.
What has been your favorite adventure you have taken on your bike?
I feel like I’ve exhausted my LA to Moab story, but the experience really was amazing. It was a completely solo ride to a destination I’ve never been to. I really had to learn to trust my instincts and entertain myself. I cannot wait to ride longer rides this summer. Last fourth of July, a group of us ride up to Mammoth Lakes and day long rides to destinations are always fun too.
Would you recommend your bike to other riders? Why?
I definitely would! It’s beautiful, comfortable and so easy to get on and go.
Do you have any fun road trips planned?
I’m planning a trip up to the Montana/Dakotas area this summer. Right now debating if I should take the same route back or go through Montana. I’m willing to crowdsource ideas ;)
Have you been to any Babes Ride Out events before? If so, what was your experience like?
I’ve been to every one since the second one. I really look forward to it every single year and pretty much immediately block off my calendar that weekend. I really want to bring ALL my girlfriends, even non-riders; because I have that much fun. I want to share this world with everyone I know and hope that I can even more people on bikes. I found BRO on Instagram a few years ago and it’s definitely something that has made my life more fun!
Any stand out memorable moments from BRO events?
Too many to name to be honest! But I’ll condense it down to last year. It was crazy windy, we’re talking about 30-40mpg feeling winds. I mean, my tent was blowing down onto me as I was sleeping! I thought it would die by the next day but it didn’t. Hoping it would be okay at Big Bear, a small group and I went down Old Woman Road to the mountains. It was like pins and needles with the wind and sand; I don’t think we made it 10 miles. Jessica Renich (@splitendslayer) said she couldn’t stop playing Darude’s “Sandstorm” the entire time, which made the whole ordeal pretty hilarious in retrospect. Pretty sure the group of us stopped and went straight back to Pappy and Harriet’s like everyone else!
From years past, you can’t go wrong with the dance parties, beautiful desert rides, awesome vendors, beautiful new triumphs on display, delicious pizza after you’ve had one too many brews and sitting around under the stars after everything dies down and getting to know the people you’re with better.
Any recommendations for new riders?
Um, a few! haha!
IMPORTANT: BUY A BIKE THAT WORKS. Unless you’re handy and/or have the time and resources, I feel like the most important thing is to know how to ride and how to ride well. You need to practice as much as you can, just like any other thing you want to be better at. Don’t buy something to make yourself look cool or because it’s popular. Ask around and test bikes that you’re interested in. It can be a big purchase and you don’t want to waste your time and money.
Second, Take the safety classes that are available in your city, they really are indispensable and will make you more comfortable behind the handlebars.
Third, don’t feel intimidated by groups and feel like you can’t ride in them. I’ve never been with a group that didn’t respect my limits, but I’ve certainly felt the personal pressure to go as fast as more experienced riders did. Now, I LOVE going fast; but back then I didn’t yet have the skill set. New riders need to know it’s okay to be safe, follow the road rules, to speak up and know their limits. It’s actually better for everyone around if you keep your ego in check and be honest! And you’ll have more fun!
Lastly, don’t be afraid of the bike. It’s a learning curve and eventually you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.