Photos from 250+ Feet up COTA’s Petrolsaurus Rex

Standing 251 feet above Turns 16, 17, & 18, the COTA observation tower provides a bird’s eye view of just about every tun on the circuit, if you can stomach its subtle sway in the wind and clear-glass floor at the precipice. Officially called by COTA as the “Observation Tower” – it really needs a better name for casual conversation. We’ve heard COTA Cobra used a few times with some lovely alliteration, but the structure has always struck us as less snake-like, and more like a big dinosaur — we’re going to use the name “Petrolsaurus Rex” until I hear something better, or COTA sends me a cease and desist order. I climbed to the top of Petrolsaurus Rex (read: took the elevator) during the MotoGP Warm-Up session, and snapped a few photos in the process. Enjoy!

MV Agusta F3 800 Ago Now Officially Debuts

We already announced the bike last November, and brought you a bevy of hi-res images of the special edition machine. Although now that we think of it, MV Agusta never released anything on this Giacomo Agostini tribute motorcycle — better late than never, right? Back at the EICMA show launch, where the MV Agusta F3 800 Ago was first shown to the public (and Agostini himself), the Varese brand promised us two additional motorcycle launches in early 2014. MV Agsuta made good on half that promise with the Dragster 800 model, hopefully this Ago special edition isn’t the other half of that statement, and MV Agusta still has something waiting in the wings. That being said, the Tricolore & Gold paint scheme is gorgeous, and looks even better in person.

Isle of Man TT Gets TV Deal for Australia & USA

Want to watch the Isle of Man TT from the comfort of your non-British TV, but haven’t been able to in the past? A new TV from the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development will do just that. Inking a new TV contract with North One TV, the Isle of Man TT will be televised in the American, Australian, and of course British markets, making it easier than ever to watch the iconic road race. With a five-year contract with the Velocity Channel in the US, the American cable channel will show seven one-hour race shows. Each segment will air within 24hrs of each race, and be tailored for the American market.

Castiglioni Denies Fiat Buyout of MV Agusta Is in the Works

After reporting 22% growth in Q1 2014, Giovanni Castiglioni had some closing words about the rumors that Fiat could acquire MV Agusta — a popular rumor that has been swirling around in the press the last two months. Denying outright that MV Agusta had, or was in, talks with the Fiat-Chrysler group about an acquisition (some reports linked even MV Agusta to being bought by Fiat-owned Ferrari), Castiglioni said the Italian company solely was focused on building growth, and building motorcycles. “Moreover, I’d like to take this opportunity to deny rumours circulated by the media over the last few days concerning supposed negotiations vis-à-vis the sale of a share of MV Agusta to the Fiat-Chrysler Group,” said Giovanni Castiglioni, the President and CEO of MV Agusta.

A 2WD Hybrid-Electric Motorcycle for the US Military?

In the coming years, US special forces may be riding a tw0-wheel drive, hybrid-electric, multi-fuel motorcycle co-developed by BRD Motorcycles and Logos Technologies. Helping make this project possible is a Small Business Innovation Research grant from DARPA. The goal is to make a single-track vehicle for US expeditionary and special forces that will be nearly silent in operation, yet also capable of traveling long distances. Details on the proposed machine are light, of course, but it sounds like the 2WD dirt bike will be based off the BRD RedShift MX (shown above), and use an electric drivetrain, as well as a multi-fuel internal combustion engine to achieve its goals.

Colin Edwards Will Retire from Racing after 2014 Season

Announcing his decision during the pre-event press conference for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, Colin Edwards told the assembled press that 2014 would be the Texan’s last season racing a motorcycle. Citing a lack of improvement on his performance in pre-season testing and at the Qatar GP, Edwards decision perhaps answers the lingering question in the paddock of when the American rider would hang-up his spurs after an illustrious career in AMA, WSBK and MotoGP. Talking about his inability to come to terms with the Forward Yamaha, which Aleix Espargaro was able to take to the front of the pack in Qatar, Edwards was at a loss when it came to understanding the Open Class machine and his lack of results.

MSF Updates Its Basic RiderCourse Curriculum

It is no surprise that statistics from the NHTSA show that motorcycle accidents and injuries are on the rise. According to the 2012 Motor Vehicle Crash report published by the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities for that year rose to 4,957, up seven percent from 2011, while injuries increased 15% to 93,000. While the NHTSA statistics are misleading because the motorcycle category includes mopeds, scooters, three-wheelers, pocket bikes, mini bikes, and off-road vehicles, new riders need every advantage they can afford. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has taken notice of these statistics and has revised the curriculum for its Basic RiderCourse to include a new Basic eCourse, which students will take prior to in-person instruction.

Yamaha Trademarks “R1S” & “R1M” at USPTO – “YZF-R1M” Trademarked Abroad – But Why?

Are new Yamaha YZF-R1 models coming down the pipe? That’s the question being asked after trademark filings in the US and abroad tipped off Yamaha Motor’s intention to use “R1S”, “R1M”, and “YZF-R1M” for motorcycle, scooter, and three-wheeled purposes. The filings are being taken as hints towards a possible multiple trim levels of the Yamaha YZF-R1 superbike, with the “S” and “M” designations being different spec machines than the current base model. The “S” nomenclature is a popular one in the two and four-wheeled world, though “M” would certainly be a novel designation, outside of say…BMW.

Bell & COTA Create Texas-Themed Limited-Edition Helmet

Continuing its theme of making limited-edition helmets for premier-class US rounds, Bell Helmets has teamed up with the Circuit of the Americas and Chris Wood, of Airtrix, to create a Texas-themed Bell Star Carbon helmet, just in time for COTA’s MotoGP race next weekend. Available only until April 13th, the Bell/COTA helmet features a red, white, and blue flag motif on the front, with both the American and State of Texas flags visible, which then wrap around the rear to merge with a hardwood design, reminiscent of the floorboards in a Western saloon. The helmet is also crowned with a Longhorn cattle skull, which adds to the Texan motif. The specially designed helmet also features a horseshoe, the COTA logo, and the 2014 Red Bull MotoGP of The Americas logo.

Aprilia Mounting a Return to MotoGP in 2016

Towards the end of the 800cc era, MotoGP looked to be in dire condition. Grids were dwindling, factories were reducing their participation, and teams were in difficult financial straits indeed. By the end of 2011, there were just 17 full time entries, Suzuki was down to a single rider, and were about to pull out entirely for 2012. How different the situation looks today. In a recent interview with the official MotoGP.com website, Aprilia Corse’s new boss Romano Albesiano gave a brief outline of their plans. The Italian factory will continue to work with the IODA Racing team for 2014 to collect data on the electronics and tires, which they will use as input on an entirely new project being worked on for 2016.

The Women’s Motorcycle Exhibition

01/17/2014 @ 2:54 pm, by Aakash Desai52 COMMENTS

The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition womens motorcycle exhibit marie

The Riverside Art Museum is hosting “The Women’s Motorcycle Exhibition,” an exhibit featuring the photography of Lanakila MacNaughton until March 16th.  The Portland-based photographer is also motorcyclist and wanted to capture a female-centric perspective on the colorful and wild side of motorcycling that is either underrepresented or misrepresented in this male-dominant culture.

Lanakila’s portraits show women embodying roles that are typically reserved for male motorcyclists, including images where a male takes on the role of pillion passenger in an obvious gender reversal. Another interesting set of images depicts a desert road scene where two barely dressed ladies (save for the stickers on their breasts) ride missionary (a la Kanye’s “Bound 2” music video).

We were excited by the potential for this exhibit to further the conversation around reimagining the role of women in motorcycling. Although the number of women riders in the U.S. is increasing, in marketing and in product development women are still considered a niche demographic.

There is not much space in the culture for women to stand on their own without being coddled or catered to by patronizing marketing gimmicks or feeling ogled by every dude on the road. Simply developing bikes with lower seat heights and apparel with pink and purple flower schemes is not going far enough to really opening the doors of the industry guys’ club.

In the past year, there have been some fantastic spoofs of the “babe on a bike” trope that is so cliché and yet so prevalent in motorcycle culture. Jensen did a fantastic commentary on the persistent treatment of the female body as a sexual object rather than genuine target demographic.

The “Women Who Ride” exhibit aims to challenge that. However, Lanakila has chosen to represent primarily white women, barely dressed and speckled with tattoos and piercings. I would challenge her to expand the scope of her work and bring in women from all different walks of riding life.

What are your thoughts? Does the exhibit create space for women to participate in motorcycle culture on their own terms? If you are a female, what are your thoughts on the images and on the conversation we should be having about women and motorcycling?

The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition womens motorcycle exhibit allison rose lear

The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition womens motorcycle exhibit emma

The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition womens motorcycle exhibit kasey

The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition womens motorcycle exhibit tamara

The Womens Motorcycle Exhibition womens motorcycle exhibit venice vixens

Photos: © 2013 Lanakila MacNaughton / The Women’s Motorcycle Exhibition – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. paulus says:

    “the colorful and wild side of motorcycling that is either underrepresented or misrepresented in this male-dominant culture.”

    … a niche, within a niche, within a niche.
    The West is not the world and does not represent all motorcyclist and/or all women motorcyclists.

    Mixed feelings on the intent of the images. Represent, or equally exploitive? Seeking attention, yet being made to feel exploitive if looking. Is it different and OK, because a woman shot them? These images are also a niche perception and do not represent the global woman motorcyclist. They are focused on US hipsters more than women motorcyclist in 99% of the rest of the world.

    Only people with lots of time and disposable income have time and ability to complain. The rest are making do and getting on with try to earn a living today and a better tomorrow for their children.

    There are motorcyclist women in the world, especially in countries where motorcycles are the primary form of transport. There are literally millions of them. They are listened to, marketed to and models designed to meet the needs.

    In the ‘big capacity’ motorcycle markets of the world, it is a male dominated market. More males buy, modify and race bikes… it is just a fact. If these images do accurately represents ‘mis-represented’women… then there is no need to change anything. Women on the same motorcycles as men, behaving like men. There is no male/female divide. All can use the same and be treated the same.

  2. Aakash says:

    Great comment and a thoughtful way to start this discussion thread.

  3. TexuaTim says:

    I dont get nor have ever gotten why women want to act like men..cmon pretty soon one of them will say “we helped pioneer motorcycle’s”…if there is anything that can be just ours it should be bikes…we build em and race em and then we get on the back with a woman?…not me sorry…and I still dont get why so many men let the woman drive when there together these days.
    I drive a lot for what I do and I see more women driving badly than men..are we to be emasculated and let them drive us a around on bikes now too? or are we going to be and act like a man ?…my generation the man drives and the women are okay wth that even with womans lib they would rather us drive and open the door for them..not like this generation when they get insulted if you do either.

  4. Norm G. says:

    I had a girlfriend who fancied riding, and my buddy’s wife pursued the same. ultimately, both stopped riding and preferred the simpler security of riding pillion. not mad. hey, I’m a man and I love boobs. whether they’re in front me, on the side of me, or pressed against my back, it’s a WIN-WIN. more notably, she loves that I love it. that’s something not to be overlooked.

    the nature of human evolution is such there will always be these “aberrations” in the male/female roles, but that’s all they will ever be. and that’s fine, there’s room for both, but as evidenced by my example, women will ultimately gravitate towards whatever they feel most comfortable doing. more often than not, that’s dictated be societal pressures, than it is their own will.

    men and women are equally “sheep” in this regard. but try as we might, we will NEVER sufficiently overwrite the core “operating systems” locked in our DNA, and that too is a beautiful thing. nature’s code is FAR too powerful, so I say let a woman be a woman, and a man be a man…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZq3jNzlGJE

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “There is not much space in the culture for women to stand on their own without being coddled or catered to by patronizing marketing gimmicks or feeling ogled by every dude on the road.”

    breaking news, the majority WANT to be ogled. that’s why they’re doing it. the last thing a woman (traditional this) wants is to have the stealth capabilities of an F22 RAPTOR. when it comes to a man’s radar, they want to be able to peg that meter OFF SCALE. there is nothing more psychologically damaging than when this doesn’t happen. again, neither bad nor good, simply the way of things.

  6. Aakash says:

    Norm,

    Don’t make the mistake of presuming what the “majority” wants. Such logic is eerily similar to the logic that rapists use to justify their behavior.

  7. Aakash says:

    TexuaTim,

    Not exactly sure what you are trying to say. Can you be a bit more coherent?

  8. Disheartened, but not surprised to read the comments from Tim and Norm. You guys define women by the generalizations through which you see them. Who says motorcycling is a realm only for men? And how does a woman riding take away your masculinity? Small minds coupled to severe insecurity if you think that’s the reality, and that your manhood can be taken away so easily.

    There is nothing masculine about motorcycling per se, except beyond the stereotypes that have been created. I would love to see the worldwide numbers on the gender breakdown of this so-called male-only domain. I bet it’s more 50/50 than you think. We have to understand that even what we experience with our own two eyes is only a fraction of the story, as Aakash and Paulus have stated in their words.

    The photos here are but only one facet of women on motorcycles, defined by only one niche of the industry, located in only one market of the United States, which is just one of many countries with avid two-wheelers in this world. Think bigger.

    To bring it back home, there is a new generation of motorcyclist being created here in the United States though, and it up to us, its members, not you, to define what that means.

    Women are hipsters who ride cafe racers, women are thriller-seekers who ride sport bikes, and women are adventurers who troll the boards of the ADV forum looking for their next great escape. Some ride pillion and some ride solo, but just like their male counterparts they come to this passion with their own reasons, and define themselves accordingly by what and how they ride.

    Pigeonhole thinking is what has lead to motorcycling being a male-dominated arena here in the Western world, but that is changing as the boomers give way to the millennials. I’m not the thought police, you can have your own opinions, but understand as each year ticks by, yours become increasingly the minority.

  9. paulus says:

    Everybody defines themselves by what and how they ride… but no single niche of any gender/category can claim to represent the thoughts/needs and opinons of the whole gender collective. Male or Female.

    At the end of the day we have a shared passion… there are motorcyclists… and there are everybody else; still waiting for enlightenment :)

    Ride on!

  10. Norm G. says:

    re: “Don’t make the mistake of presuming what the “majority” wants.”

    not presumption… observation. critical difference.

    look, I didn’t make the rules, I don’t know who did. but I tell you with absolute certainty these rules WILL DEFY BOTH our attempts to alter or change them in any appreciable way. just haven’t come around to this realization yet. however (comma) you will. spend enough time on the planet and I guarantee.

    in fact, you should revisit ALL THIS in 20 years to see what has changed (or not). in the meantime, rather than “raging” against the machine I encourage you to simply “study” the machine, so that you may one day value and appreciate it’s beauty. fellas, this heere chemistry’s complex… (southern yokel accent)

    understanding is the key.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “not surprised”

    and there it is. in your own words, you WEREN’T surprised. ok why…?

    the confusion/angst people experience in these matters can be directly traced to them NEVER stopping to answer this question.

    habit is to treat it as being rhetorical, except it has answer.

  12. KSW says:

    Paulus and Jensen seem to be on the right path and I’ll add a little link to one of Alicia Maria Elfing’s site, MotoLady. http://themotolady.com

    I see women on motor bikes all around the world. In Europe, especially Italy and Spain, women are on all sorts of bikes. Don’t think women just ride scooters, you’d be wrong.

    Look at lady’s who race like Melissa Paris and Elena Myers are the two big names in the U.S. but not the only ones and Melissa will be mixing up with the boys in the CEV series this summer. Poor Elena who has gotten a clueless manager is stuck in AMA but still leads the pack of images clicked on my website when it comes to racers. Maria Costello is racing the Isle of Man TT and other series. I personally don’t find that women riders are much different than men riders and I don’t think Jesse Combs is looking to impress the men for attention. Even the uber cutie Christie Lee who commentates for AMA is a rider and does track days. Sara Timlin, hope I got the last name right is a track day instructor and stunt/model rider in Cali.

    Need I say more?

  13. Mariani says:

    @KSW

    ‘Leads the pack of images’

    I don’t have a problem with women riding but as far as racing is concerned they simply do not perform.

  14. As a female rider and lover of the medium (photojournalism), I happen to think these photographs are stunning. Not because of the subject matter, but because they are technically quite good, and because of what they convey to me, the viewer: strength, independence, individualism. Who says they don’t portray “real women riders” (whatever THAT is)? And since when does art have to be all-inclusive, representing all facets of any given subject? It’s an art project, people; not a documentary.

    The conversation we should be having is how the perpetuation of gender stereotypes stifles opportunities in motorcycling for our daughters, not ourselves. Grown women will do whatever the hell we want, but only after deciding it’s worth swimming upstream for. The goal should be to get rid of the gender stereotypes that create the current.

    TexuaTim, I remember the ’60s, too. It’s about the last time men felt openly “emasculated” by women doing anything. Walk toward the light. Your manhood is yours to keep.

    Finally, can we all just agree that the word ‘hipster’ is the most over-used word in the English language right now? For the love of God, stop using it!

  15. Judge says:

    “It’s an art project, people; not a documentary. ”

    Exactly what I was going to say.

  16. KSW says:

    Well said Heather, “stifles opportunities in motorcycling for our daughters, not ourselves” At this years Motorcycle Live show, which has 50cc for youth to ride inside the show, yes America inside the show, I ask about the large number of girls riding. “What is the percentage of girls to boys?” I ask. “About 50%, but when they get to license age it’s more like 5%” “Why do you think that is?” I ask. “Probably the over protective mum’s but I ride and so will my daughter.” the female Honda rep responded. I too don’t see any difference between male and female riders other than parts of the body that are different.

    Mariani,

    Don’t know that all the men Elena beats would share your sympathy. Elena also won at Daytona 2 years ago.

  17. Mariani says:

    @KSW

    You only reinforce my point. The girl (this single one, on what is otherwise a male-only grid) won a few national supersport races, so lets lets use her as an example that all women can do it, despite the fact that she is on her own.

    Nothing against the opposite sex, but the results speak for themselves.

  18. Mariani, I’m not sure what you mean when you say (referring to women racers), “…they simply do not perform”. If you mean they don’t finish on the podium, then they’re as under-perfoming as 90% of the male riders in any given 30-rider race, right?

    As far as their scarcity, how can you use Elena Myers as an example for the premise that “all women can do it”, any more than you can use Marc Marquez (or Josh Herrin, if you want to stick with an AMA reference) as an example that all men can do it?

    There is certainly more than one woman blazing the way in professional US road racing, and to infer otherwise is probably more shortsighted than you intended. Melissa Paris finished with more distance under her belt than any other rider in AMA Pro RoadRacing Daytona Sportbike last year, male or female, including a top-ten finish in the Daytona 200 with some 40 men behind her. Shayna Texter took more than one podium finish in AMA Pro Singles Flat Track, and finished 7th overall. Shelina Moreda continues reliably respectable finishes in the HD XR1200 class and continues valuable contributions to the evolution of electric motorcycles as a member of Team Brammo (the only woman racing e-bikes in the USA, btw). There are women competing (and winning) in Canada (Stacey Nesbitt, Jodi Christie) and Spain (Maria Herrera), and…well…I think you see where I’m going here. “…simply do not perform?” You’re simply wrong.

  19. Casey says:

    I get the fact that this is an art project not a documentary. But, the initial impression I get after looking through these images are that these women were simply models who were told what to wear and how to pose for the shoot. To me, the project comes off as a hipster fashion shoot with motorcycles only serving as props. These women could be dedicated riders who have a deep passion for the pursuit. But these images do not convey that to me in any way.
    I feel this does little to help elevate the female role in the moto realm.

  20. Mariani says:

    @Heather McCoy

    Oh no, I’m not.

    Using your own examples, there are only male riders on MotoGP. Marquez is winning championships, rather than just a race or two.
    The winners on all the bigger, international classes are males (do correct me if I’m wrong).

    The difference here is that you will have several men winning on the categories those ladies take part on, but -again- the girls are few and far between.

    You don’t see half of WSBK’s field being female for a reason. The finest female riders around simply aren’t on the same level, and so they don’t get hired as a result of that.
    They fail to perform to the extent that those riders, in those classes do.

  21. There is nothing inherent in motorcycle racing that predisposes men to being better at it than women; if anything, the opposite is true.

    However, there are many societal constructs that favor young boys to being groomed for motorcycle racing, where as the same cannot be said of young girls.

    The women you see in motorsport, of any variety, had to overcome taller hurdles with fewer resources than their male counterparts. There’s a big fallacy in logic you’re making here.

    The greatest motorcycle racer ever born could be a woman. We just don’t know it because she has never ridden a motorcycle.

  22. Mitch says:

    “There is nothing inherent in motorcycle racing that predisposes men to being better at it than women; if anything, the opposite is true. ”

    Men will sacrifice everything, including their well-being, for victory. Women will not – they’re too smart for that. Men will always go harder to win, especially during motorcycle racing where mistakes can cost you your physical integrity.

  23. L2C says:

    “Men will sacrifice everything, including their well-being, for victory. Women will not – they’re too smart for that. Men will always go harder to win, especially during motorcycle racing where mistakes can cost you your physical integrity.”

    Guess you don’t know, or have not met, any single mothers.

    And how can being “too smart” be a liability?

  24. KSW says:

    Heather,

    Loved your link and some great content. Asphalt & RevGirl, still A&R but now covers all the bases in motorcycling with equally great use of images. Just saying’

    This got of to a race ‘thang but lets not forget the big picture and the ones that started this post are some bloody good craic.

  25. Mariani says:

    @Jensen Beeler

    You call my logic a fallacy and then go on to say what you did?

    Let’s agree to disagree.

  26. L2C says:

    @ Mariani

    @ Mariani

    “The greatest motorcycle racer ever born could be a woman. We just don’t know it because she has never ridden a motorcycle.”

    You think Jensen’s comment quoted here is contradictory to your fallacious reasoning? Are you saying that he has done the same?

    When you say women, Mariani, who are you referring to? Are you aware of the bans and restrictions on women’s mobility that exist in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan?

  27. Jensen, you are spot on. Yes, there are exceptions, but by and large, little boys get the mini-bikes, little girls get EasyBake Ovens. I do see that changing, but the women who are racing now hit that stage a generation ago. You’re right: the greatest rider of all time might be the little girl who’s just now begging for that mini-bike, or begging for track time on her brother’s old 125 instead of trying out for the dance team.

    At the risk of creating a firestorm of controversy, there are real physiologic differences between the sexes that favor men in racing. Not only do men have more muscle mass than women (about 40% more), the muscle fibers they have are stronger (5-10% stronger). Women athletes who compete with men have to work harder and longer to do it.

    And thank you for the props, KSW ;) Regarding the photo exhibit, according to the photographer, these women are all honest-to-God riders. How come if some of them happen to look like models, someone automatically doubts they’re a “real rider”? I’d say just about any shot that depicts a woman singularly in control of a motorcycle, real or implied, model or not, is progress. Hell, even the T-Mobile girl was progress!

  28. Mariani says:

    @L2C

    Are there bans and restrictions that apply in America, Europe or Japan?

    Once they get in a motorcycle the whole patriarchy gibberish is irrelevant.

    “You think Jensen’s comment quoted here is contradictory to your fallacious reasoning? Are you saying that he has done the same?”

    He has.

    My reasoning simply isn’t a fallacy. Women can’t compete with men on motor racing (not on equal-footing), so you get an all-male leading pack on virtually everything. Unless, of course, you want to count national championships with Danica Patrick winning one race in fourteen years.

    If you dropped Elena on WSBK/MotoGP or Danica on F1/WEC they’d get murdered.

    The finest female racers can’t match their male ‘equivalents’. Do you understand this?

    Yes? Don’t compare those women with the men they are racing against (although it goes without saying that they are still on top), but with the ones who are/were the best of their gender.

    Of my knowledge, Michele Mouton is the only woman who really was on the same level than her rivals, those being the top rally drivers at the time.

    And that is it.

  29. L2C says:

    @Mariani

    The fact is that there are legal and/or societal constructs that prohibit/limit/discourage women from participating in sports no matter what country, state, city, town you decide to address. And just in case you have forgotten or never knew, the act of driving a car, riding a motorcycle, and riding a bicycle is the participation in a sport. There are offensive and defensive techniques that have to be learned in order to successfully operate either in day to day life, as well as in competitive sports.

    Your reasoning is a fallacy. And I will demonstrate it for you:

    “Women can’t compete with men on motor racing (not on equal-footing), so you get an all-male leading pack on virtually everything.” -THEREFORE- “The finest female riders around simply aren’t on the same level, and so they don’t get hired as a result of that.”

    That, Mariani, is the very definition of a logical fallacy.

    “The finest female racers can’t match their male ‘equivalents’. Do you understand this?”

    If female racers are able race against their male equivalents, why do they not match?

    Put another way, why would two athletes of equal ability not also be each other’s equal performance-wise?

    You want to tell me again about why female racers of equal ability to their male counterparts aren’t hired again?

    Mariani, the only thing I’m convinced of is that you haven’t given any serious thought to what to you say.

    Another example: “The finest female racers can’t match their male ‘equivalents’. Do you understand this?” -THEREFORE- “The finest female racers have not won any races against their male equivalents, qualified for pole position and/or qualified for better grid positions against their male equivalents, or won more championship points than their male equivalents. What the hell?! Why do women even bother to race against their male equivalents?”

    Of my knowledge, Michele Mouton is the only woman who really was on the same level than her rivals, those being the top rally drivers at the time.

    Well, this sole fact, if true, renders your entire argument moot, now doesn’t it?

  30. Mariani says:

    “If female racers are able race against their male equivalents, why do they not match?”

    They aren’t able to. How hard can it be for you to understand this?

    “Put another way, why would two athletes of equal ability not also be each other’s equal performance-wise?”

    The best female racers are not of equal abilities to the best male racers. They are of equal abilities to lesser ones.

    If they are the best racers of their sex, don’t compare them with some competent man who rivals them at some national championship, compare them with the likes of Senna, Loeb and Rossi instead.

    Mouton is the only woman who ever won a World Rally. That shows that she is exceptional, yes, but it also shows that no other woman was/is competitive enough in that sport to this day.

    The same goes for everything else.

    Myers won a national 600cc race and you all take for granted that both sexes can perform equally.

    For crying out loud, just look at the higher international categories and tell me if you think she (or any other female racer) is on the same level.

    Don’t cry sexism on this one. The results speak for themselves.

    Unless you want to throw away pragmatism and go down with the ‘The greatest motorcycle racer ever born could be a woman. We just don’t know it because she has never ridden a motorcycle.’ route.

  31. Mariani, the argument you’re making is akin to being given a bowl that has been filled with red and blue marbles. After grabbing a handful without looking, you see that only red marbles are in your hand, and thus conclude that only red marbles must be in the bowl after all.

  32. Heather, I am aware about the general physiological differences between men and women regarding muscle mass and strength, but motorcycle racing isn’t a sport that favors the strongest. It’s a sport of physical precision and mental stamina, something physiologically speaking women have been shown to excel at more than men.

    Women, in general, are also physically smaller and lighter than men, which is a huge boon in a sport that spends millions of dollars to drop grams of weight off a racing machine. Let’s not forget the push for combined minimum weights for riders and machines in Moto2 and MotoGP, and how often have we heard talk about the disadvantages that Marco Simoncelli and Scott Redding faced for being taller riders, and thus less aerodynamical?

  33. GG1k says:

    Holy sweet baby jeebus. Lookit all the men getting their underwear all knotted up about women riding and racing. Some of us ride and race because we love it. We wear full gear (not that crappy-ass half helmet BS and gloveless idiocy shown in the pictures), it’s not pink, and we don’t give a flying fu*k if someone suffering from testosterone poisoning “ogles” us or not. Some of you neanderthals need to consider evolving just a bit- and getting over yourselves… lol… it’s really not all about getting your attention…. I know a lot of women who race, none of us are doing it for any other reason than we love it… just like the guys who race. We spend the money, we fix our bikes when we bin it, and do our best to get the podium. Do we? On occasion. If we don’t, so what… we’re having FUN!! And FWIW, I know more male racers without trophies than female racers without trophies. And none of that matters! Why is it so hard for some of you to understand that it’s just another hobby to be passionate about and take joy in… like painting, or mountain/road biking, writing stories or poetry, singing, dancing, climbing mountains, whatever?
    Finding something to be passionate about is what’s important in life. Women are just as competent at riding motorcycles as men (like anything else, some are better, some aren’t)… but making some big deal out of it is just silly. We can ride bicycles, own property, vote, raise livestock, move cattle, run farms, wrench on our own vehicles, and some of us ride the hell out of motorcycles. Why? Because we love it. And that’s the only thing that matters.

  34. GG1k says:

    @ Jensen Beeler- well said! *applauds* I don’t expect your reason and intellect to be appreciated by some of the guys in this thread, however… lol.

  35. Mariani says:

    No, Jensen, I cited the very specific bowls I’ve looked.

    But fuck it, if that last post won’t get my point across, than nothing else will.

  36. L2C says:

    @ Mariani

    You said the same thing in your last post that you did in all the others except your very last post. But you are right, you have failed to get your point across. You have done this precisely because there is nothing persuasive about what you say. Never mind the fact that you contradict yourself over and over again, and fail to comprehend your own words.

  37. TwoWheelLoo says:

    I love living in Portland.

  38. jackie says:

    The photos, for me, represent a group of women who like motorcycles as a fashion statement, not as motorcycles. I don’t take them seriously, because they don’t want to be taken seriously. They want someone to look at them, and the motorcycle is only another tool to achieve that end.

    What does tape on your nipples have to do with motorcycles? Not that I dislike, tape, or nipples, or the combination of the two if deftly applied for that matter, but how is “that” motorcycling?
    How about hot-pants? Or a bra as riding attire? Etc. etc.

    Why not represent the real racer, or mechanic, or the woman at the track, or commuting to work. I know plenty of those women. I ride with those women. Those women I take seriously. The characters portrayed in these photos, not so much.

    Personally, I find the photographer’s method to be prosaic and uninspired.

  39. L2C says:

    Maria Herrera. Spanking an entire field of her male equivalents. In Spain. Think about that. Spain.

  40. GG1k says:

    @ Jackie- Beautifully said!!

  41. paulus says:

    +1 for Jackie’s comments.

  42. Doctor Jelly says:

    My only criticism of women riding is how come I see so many that can’t arch their back over the bike? It looks like they’re afraid of the bike and are trying to push it away! It stretches their arms out completely and gives less effective control over the bike, which is downright dangerous. I see it on everything from cruisers to sportbikes and it makes me as uncomfortable to watch them as they look to be!

    Lately I’ve only seen one gal on a bobbed Shadow with full leathers and full face helmet that was clearly comfortable with her bike and how to ride it safely/effectively. THAT is what I found attractive about her. The last one I saw on a sportbike had her arms completely outstretched, back arched so her belly was pushing into the tank. It looked like any kind of unnatural movement in the front end (hit a small rock, get caught up in a crack/tar snake, etc) would have spit her off that bike! Not to mention her lack of protective gear made her appear very unattractive to me…

  43. Singletrack says:

    Going back to the beginning – as an art project, the Women’s Motorcycle Exhibition is great. The photo quality is fantastic. Free spirits and counter culture fashion maybe, but it ain’t motorcycling, as I see it.

    Delving deeper into the subject matter, they all seem to be riders, not just models though.
    But for me, I can’t respect the ones riding with shorts, corsets and no helmets. To me its just posing. Sexy, but still just posing. Many of the photo sets perpetuate the view of women as objects.

  44. singletrack says:

    Further discussion… based on this quote from LANAKILA MACNAUGHTON on her web page.

    “… I hope to help discover and present female riders from all different communities, riding backgrounds, styles, and influence connectivity amongst riders from these different areas. I want to change the way women are peceived not only in the motorcycle world but society in general. I invite different communities and venues to host the photo exhibit to aid in this discovery. I hope to promote and present, the freedom, independence, excitement and personalities’ of “the born to be free” woman motorcyclists. ”

    As far as her stated ambition goes, the exhibition falls well short of the mark. All I see are classic images of motorcycling that are EXCACTLY as general society perceives it. Black leather & lace and stereotyped classic brit/cruiser motorcycles. In fact, many of these women (Venice Vixens and ESMB excluded) would look the same in a male targeted motorcycle pictorial – except they’d be passengers. Maybe that the point, that they’re riders instead of passengers, but there ain’t a lot of difference in the imagery. Are women not empowered if they ride wearing real gear, alongside men ?

    If she wants to change the way women are perceived in motorcycling, she should also go to a women’s motocross race, a touring rally, or a sport bike race/rally/event. You know, to other riding communities.

  45. Jim Hollinrake says:

    Thank you to Jensen for articulately sticking to your guns here. Thank you Heather, GG1K and L2C for eloquent commentary.

    Thank you Mariani and Texua Tim for providing plenty of evidence that society continues to tell us that we should feel threatened when women are actually recognized as being equal. Your posts provide a lot of information about your insecurities and marginalizing thoughts about women. You seem so worried that women enjoying “your” hobby might diminish it, as if being female were shameful. It’s really sad.

  46. Jim Hollinrake says:

    And I too have to acknowledge that the photoshoot portrays these particular women as using the bikes as props or fashion accessories, but it’s entirely safe to say that a big majority of men use their bikes exactly the same way.

    So if you want to play the “motorcycles are a MAN’S thing hurrrr” armchair statistics game, that means there are far more men using motorcycles as a fashion accessory than women.

  47. AJ says:

    It’s an artistic photo shoot – if the artist would stick to the idea that she wanted to show some ladies on bikes and use that as the purpose of her shoot, then I’d be fine with it. Where it pisses me off, is when she describes the exhibit as such:

    Quote:
    “I hope to help discover and present female riders from all different communities, riding backgrounds, styles, and influence connectivity amongst riders from these different areas”

    Um, no, you’re not – you’ve focused on one very small and very niche part of the female riding community. You’re not trying to find women of all riding types and styles who are breaking norms.

    and

    Quote:
    “I want to change the way women are peceived not only in the motorcycle world but society in general”

    I call BS – you’re pandering to a stereotype, certainly not challenging perceptions :/ And you have a typo….directly copy and pasted that from her website.

    IF the artist would quite sounding like she’s trying to help/promote/change perceptions of women who ride, I could appreciate the art for what it is – some of the pictures I’d even think were pretty cool, but her “reasons” for the shoot make me lose all respect for her as an artist. Quite trying to act like you are “helping” female riders, and instead focus on your artwork and your personal reasons for it. IF you truly want to do what you claim, then you really need to get to know the WHOLE community

  48. TexusTim says:

    look women want to say “we can do anything men can do” okay so they want to be in the front lines in the military,get paid for hazarous duty, get free college education.
    so in bootcamp they only have to do two pullups to pass the fitness exam just two !…OK 85% CANNOT DO THIS SO THEY GET A PASS ON THE TWO PULL UPS ! so why is that ? thought you could do anything we can do ? Im 57 ,dont work out and can do ten pull ups no problem…so women want special treatment but want to be treated the same as men okay get fit and pull your weight or stay home!
    if you cant do two pull ups you cant pick the bike up when it falls over or get some help from the guy you talked into getting on the back…lol… give it a break there a difference and thats not a bad thing.

  49. Jim Hollinrake says:

    Look, a weak little woman picking up a MAN’S motorcycle. http://youtu.be/84YfDGKA4Og

    I bet you base your political beliefs on what women should be allowed to do with their bodies, too. It’s refreshing that your generation is starting to die off from high blood pressure as a result of flying into a rage every time one of you feels a need to assert some sort of manly superiority.

  50. GG1k says:

    AJ, well said! It would have been nice if the moron behind the camera had bothered to come out to the track for one of the AFM rounds, and grabbed some shots of women racers in full tuck, pinned, coming up the front straight at T-Hill… hell, my braid looks awesome when I’m doing triple digits! Lol…

    Jim Hollinrake- you, Sir, are amazing. Thank you for being so articulate! If there were more men like you out there in the world, I’ve a feeling it would be a much nicer place!

    TexusTim- lol. FFS, you spelled Texas wrong… and what in the hell does doing pullups in the military have to do with women riding motorcycles? Seriously, that’s what you’re trotting out?
    When it comes to riding, some of the women I know are hardcore. Some of them (myself included, a few years back) are moto only. Some of us put in hundreds of miles every weekend. We wrench on our own bikes, and for the record, I’ve picked up my own bikes. I know men who can’t. I’ve had to help more than one guy pick up his bike.
    Are there women who aren’t “hardcore”… who don’t wrench on their own bikes… who don’t ride them very much… who are more concerned about how they look on the bike than on the ride itself?
    Absolutely.
    But that describes almost every guy I’ve seen on one of those OCC/Arlen Ness one-off “customs” with flames and chrome… and a whole lot of the HD guys, too, so I hope you’re treating them with the same level of disdain you are the women… but I doubt it.
    Yes, there’s a difference between men and women, and it’s a beautiful thing. And it doesn’t have a single goddam thing to do with riding motorcycles… any more than it does with brain surgery, engineering, operating a backhoe, or flying a plane.
    Anyone who thinks it does is, well, a moron.
    If there were less people like you out there in the world, it would be a much nicer place…

  51. Vespa says:

    In Italy half if the female population ride scooters or bikes with the skill most of the man never reach and in the process they always stay elegant and stylish woman ;) Watch and learn boys :))) It doesn’t get much better there from :)) In LA you hardly see any motorcycle in daily commuting any more :(

  52. Karen says:

    The photographer says: “I hope to help discover and present female riders from all different communities, riding backgrounds, styles, and influence connectivity amongst riders from these different areas. I want to change the way women are peceived not only in the motorcycle world but society in general.”

    I do have a problem with that description:

    1. This project only represents almost naked-mostly white-hipster chicks-cruiser riders.. It’s so far from representing different riders.

    2. Photographing women, wearing no gear, showing off their skinny legs while riding is doing absolutely nothing to change the way women are perceived in society.

    If the project description was something like:”Cool photo shoot with a group of hipster tattooed squid ladies and their bikes” I would have absolutely no problem with it.

    Just don’t try to be something you’re not. You (photographer) are not representing most of the women riders I know and you’re not doing anything to change how women are perceived.