Chrome Plated Hearts

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Chrome Plated Hearts This page highlights and features women motorcycle riders, their stories, and the bikes they ride.

Katie says, "I was conditioned from childhood to view some things as terrifying: motorcycles, guns, heights, and speed. ...

Katie says, "I was conditioned from childhood to view some things as terrifying: motorcycles, guns, heights, and speed. I told my husband he was going to have to love me just exactly the way I was, because I would never want him to have a motorcycle, would never get on one, would never ski, would never shoot a gun. Just shy of eight years later, and I own my second gorgeous motorcycle, I am quite a good shot and own a cabinet full of guns, and I ski black diamonds every chance I get.

It’s not that I was not brave before I knew Joe. I’ve spent my life being brave. What I was not being was free. And Joe didn’t teach me to be free. He saw me as free. He has always seen me as strong, beautiful, brave, fierce, gentle, soft, and just exactly right. And free. He knew that I might enjoy the focus and power of shooting. He knew that skiing could transport me far beyond any mountain. And he knew that the power of a machine on the road could capture that freedom.

Sometimes, when the weather is perfect, the sun sinking into the hills and lighting everything gold and green and purple, when the two motorcycles hum in perfect harmony, and when the curve of the earth matches the curve of our wheels, I am suspended in time. Those are moments of perfect clarity and grace, and for them, to him, I am forever grateful."

Katie rides a 2005 Honda Shadow Aero. The Honda Shadow has been around since 1983 and is the big sister to the Honda Rebel that she started riding on in early 2018. She rode the Rebel for about three months before she decided to upgrade to something bigger. The real turning point was the evening she rode out on one of her favorite country roads nestled behind two big Harley touring bikes ridden by her neighbors Steve and Amanda and her husband’s Road King and his brother’s Forty-Eight. In her words, the Rebel was like RHEEEEEEEE the whole way.

So, one day she saw the white Shadow 750, fell in love, and took it on a short test ride that turned into a sojourn into the wheat fields of her eastern Washington town. She named her Dolly because she’s got has a tiny waist, big bags, and a big voice, and everybody loves her.

The Shadow has a relatively low seat height at 26.6 inches and a dry weight of 496 pounds, so her petite 5’ 4” frame can handle it well, and it’s got swept-back buckhorn-style handlebars and an upright cruise riding position. The dual-carb, water and air cooled V-twin engine puts out plenty of power, but when she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is at 7,200 feet above sea level, she had to reset the carbs to get enough oxygen into the cylinders. Her longest trip so far has been a casual, three-day round-trip outing from Santa Fe to Taos and around the Enchanted Circle through Angel Fire and Red River. She enjoys the back roads around her new home, and riding downtown to work on her writing and consulting projects at the local coffee shops. She’s a sociologist and a social entrepreneur with a passion for education and advocacy.

She’s shopped around a bit, liking the Softail Slim and the Indian Scout, but nothing seems to have that perfect combination of maneuverability, lightness, and power like the Honda Shadow.




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