Her Story. A series of blog posts telling the stories of 'women who ride' from all corners of the globe. We hope that by sharing these stories we can help encourage other women to build their confidence, learn from others and inspire others.
This month we have a story by Bee Ang from Perth, Australia. Bee takes us through her riding journey & touches on how hard it can be for shorter riders to break through those barriers.
We hope you enjoy her story!
Hi there, my name is Bee, 44 years old, living in Perth Western Australia. I migrated here at the age of 20 and have only ridden a push bike.
At the age of 27, I decided to get myself a motorcycle as it is the cheapest means of transport I could afford. I have no idea how to look after one let alone maintenance. I had a few lessons, went for my practical test and passed. My first bike was a Kawasaki Ninja 250. It was fun, however I wasn’t confident on it as I need to tippy toe! Found a group of friends on the internet and started riding more on the weekends. Unfortunately a year later, I had skidded over some gravels and fell, and gave up riding after.
Motorcycle was never on my mind after that incident. It was not until when I’m at the age 39 (11 years on) that I walked into a motorcycle dealership and saw the Honda Rebel CMX500, that name definitely caught my attention. I didn’t have the confidence then to test ride so I rang up a lady instructor to go with me. It was like a dream when I got to ride on the bike.
The following years I took the bike everywhere in WA. However I found it lacked in power or should we call torque. I needed something bigger and better.
Now in WA, your first licence is restricted to bikes under 650cc. Back in the day when I got mine, the restriction was up to 250cc. And so to fulfill my need, I will need to go for my second practical test so I can get an open class licence.
It took me ten lessons, eight lesson which I dropped the bike performing O turns to pass the test and I glad I did. Moved on from that CMX500, I got myself a Triumph Bonneville T120. So much of a difference, with power comes with weight. The new bike weighs 220kg while the Honda weighed 180kg. I do still miss my Honda.
With the Bonneville I travelled to further outskirts of WA and gained more confidence as the year passed. I wanted to learn to ride a taller bike! And so I got myself a second bike, the Triumph Street Triple 675. It was a bargain, but being short (inseam of 28 inches) I needed to make adjustments to be comfortable on the bike. I had it lowered and did some research on how to be taller. Got myself some Daytona boots and voila! I was able to ride.
Not until last year 2022, my friends invited me to a group ride in Chiang Mai Thailand. Being short, I was worried that the rental bike would be too tall. Trying to bring my taller shoe will be too heavy to carry from Australia to Thailand so I took the plunge and went for my comfy riding shoes instead.
The trip in Thailand had to be the most fun riding days. It was very challenging, with lots of nerve ending S turns and hook turns that are as sharp as a u-turn which I’m not a fan of. I was terrified each and everyday, there was uphill and downhills which I wasn’t used to. At the end of the trip we even rented a scooter just for fun but had hit some bad road. Off-road riding on a scooter is not the same but is doable!
Now that I’ve returned from the trip, my next challenge would be to learn to ride off road properly. These bikes are not manufactured for short people like me so I’m still in search of one at the moment so I can go off road and learn the basic! Eventually I’m planning to upgrade from my Bonneville to an adventure touring bike.
To anyone who is thinking about getting a licence. Nothing is stopping you doing so. There will be challenges however that would be part of learning. Being fearful is ok, it will push us to what we thought we couldn’t do and we could prove ourselves wrong.
The feeling of the wind on the face is indescribable. You just have to sit behind the handlebars to enjoy this. You are in control! Go for it.