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Shoganai 10-23-2010 08:35 PM

Wrenching Wenches Motorcycle Network
Iíve been mulling this idea for some time. Iíve talked with many female riders and they were the spark for this idea.

A little history first.

When I started riding it was on Hondas. First was a 250cc, then 600cc and then a 1300cc. I am a Nurse and used them mostly to commute. Mine you it was 30,000 miles a year. The Honda shop was 10 miles from home and it was convenient just to drop the bike off, they fix it and I pick it up. No worries.

Then I bought a 1993 BMW K1100RS and the shop for it was 3 hours ONE WAY.

Now it made more financial sense to figure out how to work on the bike vs. killing a day to get it to the shop then repeat to pick it up.

At first it was just the small stuff and I still let the shop do the deep engine work because frankly it intimidated me.

Then Steve came into my life and helped me prep for my solo 20,000 mile Alaska trip. He taught me a lot, but NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened on the trip.

In High Level, AB the bikeís input shaft striped the clutch plate.
The whole story starts here >>>

The 10 day Trannyectomy and repair starts here. >>>

Putting it back together.

It was a life changing experience.
After that, I wanted to know how to do EVERYTHING for my bike.
I had faced my fears and had succeeded.
I was no longer intimidated in fact, I was fascinated by the working of the machine I was riding.
I trusted it more and felt strangely more bonded to it.

Now, back to my idea.

I had just finished this project on my 1996 BMW K1100RS >>>

When I posted this. >>>
================================================== ========
I feel so alone

You guys have it pretty damn good.

You can ďhang out with the boysĒ in the garage and do what men do when the women folk arenít about. Itís totally natural and healthy to do this and I fully encourage and support activities like it.

But I donít have one person in my life I can do this with. By that I mean another female rider. I love Steve with all my heart, but he canít fill this need for me.

Iím not a soccer mom, and Iím never going to a Mary Kay party.

The things I love to do the most are to ride and wrench my motorcycles.

Of the women I know in my area that ride, none of them wrench their bikes and none of them Ďadventureí ride, dirt ride, tour or even long distance ride.

Iím feeling social loneliness.
Steve hangs out with Ski and mountain bike buddies and it enriches his life.

There is a sharing that only takes place in same sex groups.

Women think differently. We talk about our relationships, children, periods, cramps, mammograms, childbirth and even sex. We tend to be more openly emotional or at least I do.

Maybe if I could find someone who shares my passions I might learn how to be more feminine.

My heart aches to have just one female friend and fellow rider to talk with while tinkering over some bike part.

The Internet does not fill this desire.

At times I despair to the point of tears.

Like now.
================================================== ========

The members stirred up that idea again and gave me strength to make this post.

Maybe I could start a network of women riders who would like to find other women who want the feeling of sisterhood in the garage. One of mentorship and sharing.

Generally speaking women could list something like this:

A request for help on (year, make and model of motorcycle)
What is the project at hand
Location: City, State
How to contact the poster of the request

Then others can answer the request.
They would make arrangements to meet the one asking for help and together they could work on the project.

On another level, women could list their area of knowledge, their location and resources at hand.

Some may want to offer tech days and such.

I know Iíll take some flack from some men and some women on this idea, but I feel this could be an avenue that would help some women on a level they feel comfortable with and the bottom line is this canít hurt to give it a try.

I'll start.
Hi, I'm Gwen.
I live in Culpeper, VA.
I have a full garage, bike lift, tire changer, and a trailer to haul bikes.
I'm most versed in BMW K-bikes but with a manual and time I'm willing to help anyone do anything on any bike.
I work two jobs, so big projects will need scheduling.
Short jobs, maybe less notice.


Beth 10-23-2010 11:40 PM

This is a great idea!

I wish i were more mechanically inclined..but if heart and willingness to dig in and try count, then...

I`m beth and i live in georgetown ontario ( just west of toronto)
I can do brakes and change oil on bikes, but if someone has the tools, space (I live in an apt) and a manual,i can help figure things out

bmwgrrl 10-24-2010 04:04 AM

I'm in.

My name is Pam, live in Ann Arbor, MI - my background- certified master technician, but on bicycles (high end stuff like wheel building, shock rebuilds, disk brakes, etc.,) and am considering the community college's certificate courses this coming year. My goal is to take the State motorcycle mechanics exam. I can do many things on my bike, am still learning, but game to try and fix anything (and really, I do mean ANYTHING.) I have a good friend around the block that has a full garage and had been gracious enough to show me a thing or two. He's retired, and has some major LD experience.

I think nothing of hopping on my bike and taking a long trip. I've encouraged my sister into getting her endorsement (she bought her first bike this summer, it was her 51st birthday present for herself) and my good friend (46) also just got her endorsement this summer (and a lowered g650gs).

This is an awesome idea - good on ya for stepping up :wave

Pansy 10-24-2010 06:08 AM

Sounds like an AA meeting
Hi, I'm Deb
I have a large garage and.... :lol3

Love working on bikes but I'm basically a gopher.

My experience is mainly on Gold Wings and while I only have the basic tools...
I still have connections who have just about any tool needed.

LadyDraco 10-24-2010 07:05 AM

Great Idea Gwen :wave :thumb...

Hi, I'm Tracy

I live in Bastian/Tazewell, VA.

I also have a full garage, bike lifts, tire changer, and a trailers to haul bikes.

I work on Valkyries only ! Sorry ladies...But I do have tools ..
A impact wrench and air wrench can be your friend :evil :nod
I have learned to enjoy these tools..

Haven't pulled a motor yet.. But have worked in all the other main areas from Clutches to rear ends and all in between...

Semiretired ....Have livestock and farm life so things happen unexpectedly..

I got into working on my own valks , when HB said if something happens to me are YOU going to keep riding ??
I said YES .. He said ,well you better start learning to work on them...
I have loved every minute of it...

I am a procrastinator, LOL good thing I have 2 bikes...
When one is down I have the other one to ride..
SO it can take months before I start my rip downs...:lol3

Right now I have one down.. It needs a lot of work...
Some of it is a bit over whelming but I will tackle it..
At least I have HB to help me ..
And a few good friends that I can call when I get stuck on a oh crap, now what!

Shoganai 10-24-2010 09:36 AM

For those who are reluctant to work on your bike for whatever the reason other than you just don't want to, which I totally respect, I say this, "its just a machine and if it's known how to work on it, then it's knowable."

Also, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance".

Meaning if you learn how to do it yourself, then you don't pay for your ignorance at shop rates.

Thank you for all your replies and support.

HappyRiding 10-25-2010 09:35 PM

I'm Sara and I live near Johnson City, TN. I have basic tools and a refrigerator. I do my own oil changes, spark plugs, air cleaner, etc. I plan to do more of my own maintenance as the WeeStrom starts needing it.


larry manton 10-29-2010 03:12 PM

Great Start
Great Start Ladies..............before you can be good at something you have to be willing to be poor at it. Wrenching on anything is like dancing, fishing,sewing, cooking the endeavor really doesn't matter your going to be disappointed much of the time but'll start to dig it.

The part your going to find is after you gain some confidence and expertise you'll be angry at how much you have been ripped off by your mechanic, doctor, it matters not the story is the same.

Don't be afraid to ask for help and unfortunately for your gender it will have to come from, well you know mostly men, it is what it is but there are many who are willing too help.

The internet is a marvelus tool so use it. I do mostly dual sport rides, carry chain breakers, tire change gear, volt meter, soldering iron and a host of other things........the long and short you'll be self sufficient and confident, and if you have to pay for a service you can say hey Tiger I don't think I need that.

Good Luck.............remember you don't need a penis to succed in life.

Do yourself a favor and always wear rubber glove no matter what your doing, just get in the habit as petro chemicals and the like are hard on the imune system.

LadyDraco 10-29-2010 05:40 PM

Thanks ...

When I do cleanings of parts and what not I wear gloves most of the time..
Ya know what happens ,oh just let me spray this quick:shog ..
But they don't make gloves really small enough so they fit real tight...

Ladies, here are links to my photos of my Wrenchings
As I said Valkyries are my forte`...:shog

Highbinder even has me work on his bikes as well..When small hands are needed..But he does have me do all his brake work and oil changes and U-joints...
He Also has Valkyries...:augie

All kinds of wrenching..

Fork Seals..


Timing Belts

Caliper rebuilds

Fender work..

Steering-Head Bearings

Petcock Rebuild and other wrenching

Catskill 10-30-2010 04:17 PM


First of all Gwen you rule for starting this cool thread and posing as an inspiration for other women to get their hands dirty.

I'm Jessy. My husband James and I live in Liberty, NY.

Being married to a class A mechanic, welder and electrician I am spoiled and I admit lazy.

I take pride in changing my own tires, oil and air filters but NAG the husband to do everything else....I'd love to learn more about what to do on my own bike.

We have a 4 bay shop and more equity in tools, than most people have equity in their homes so there's not job I can't do....I just need to know how....

I've owned several bikes, mostly italian and german made and so far have NEVER needed to take anything to a shop. We have bike owners drive up here from NYC (2 hours south) to have James work on their bikes...He just does not have the time or patience to teach me.


Originally Posted by larry manton
remember you don't need a penis to succed in life.

Can I make this my new sig?:rofl

fancyindigo 10-30-2010 04:40 PM

Hi all! :wave Great thread!:clap

I'm Carmen and about all I am good for on a bike is riding! Ok, I do know how to change the oil, and tires, and take care of a chain...but the rest - not yet. I have been reading and learning more as of late and want to be able to wrench on my bike!

I am a Physical Therapist and good at manual techniques, joint manipulation, massage, and figuring out what is "wrong" with a body (just not a bike - yet). :pynd

brazen13 10-31-2010 01:44 PM


Originally Posted by Shoganai

First off - love this photo. That moment or THOSE TIMES before it clicks - and then you feel like a million dollars because YOU did it!!


My name is Rayna, Woodside, NY and !!!!!Yes!!!!! this is a GREAT idea! My boyfriend, loph917, is really good about it, too, like Steve is for Gwen/Shoganai. Mind you it's all been small stuff at this point but he makes sure I go out with him to fix whatever is wrong and talks me through it. No garage just a rented parking spot for two BMWs - mine and his. I am not bad on technical stuff and give me a manual and some time and I'm in.

It is so natural, as Shoganai said, for guys to do this. Even my dad, who is not a "manly-man" by any means still fixed our cars growing up, you know? Guys are just around the tech stuff more often. My girlfriends are all "oooo, that's so coool! you have a bike!" but they don't have one so they don't "get it" per se. and forget mechanical ability. I just put my friend's IKEA furniture together because she was going to pay someone on craigslist to do it. I was like, please, give me a few beers, i'll do it!! LOL! :freaky

I am intimidated by my bike technically in that I don't know how to do anything major to it... yet. :wink: But let me in there, and I know I could do it. I think it's intimidating because most women weren't brought up hanging out in the garage so we think we can't. boo hiss. no way. Please - my dad was so happy when he realized I took all his lessons on hammering, drilling and so forth to heart. (let him off the hook! ha ha!)

brazen13 10-31-2010 01:49 PM


Originally Posted by fancyindigo

I am a Physical Therapist and good at manual techniques, joint manipulation, massage, and figuring out what is "wrong" with a body (just not a bike - yet). :pynd

And these are abilities not to be taken lightly!!! As a former-dance-student-hip-in-the-wrong-place-all-my-tension-is-in-my-neck, I bow to you good lady!!

nwcycle 11-03-2010 04:11 PM

Hello and Hope I fit in ??
Hello I am Kailey,
I am using my dads account as he is planning a trip alone, and I was looking for info for his trip,
I am 15 Yrs old, My dad has taught me everything from when I was 10,
Simple changing oil in the cars and bikes, and most motorcycle maintenance, I am too weak to change tires, and I still cant do one without pinching the tube:becca
But, I am so in love with the whole world of motorcycling, I currently have a KX100, Have been to most awesome riding areas in my short life so far, Moab Being the Tops....
When my dad gets home from work, I am usually waiting with helmet in hand for my after school ride ( My one and only vice ) .
I called his TL1000R mine as I am the only one who likes it, He loves it, but he also has a few other bikes he rotates etc.
I am looking forward to joining all the Woman out there soon on my own bike, We have a full machine shop, and all the tools to do anything, I helped rebuild my own motor right down to splitting the crank. Was very fun, but I know if I actually had to , I can do this again, other than the boring etc, that I will leave to Dad..
I am trying to talk my Dad out of going down to Copper Canyon Alone !!
Any help here???
He resurrected a old touring bike he had and will be taking it, not worried about the bike etc, just wish he could find someone else willing to take a trip.. and feel better if he was with someone.
I really enjoy this thread, and look forward to getting my own account and meeting some riding sisters!!
Thanks and be safe all.

Catskill 11-03-2010 04:51 PM

WELCOME Kailey!!!!!!!!!!
Of course you fit in. You are so lucky to have a dad that has given you the opportunity to learn so much at such a young age.

We look forward to your contributions.

I am very close with my own mother and I can relate to your feelings when you say you're worried about him going on his adventure alone.

I saw one of your dads post with you in it a while back. He is very proud of you.

Good luck in finding a riding partner for him. If you can't find one at least make sure he checks in with you once a day.:D

Keep at those tires, you will get them soon enough!

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