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Hatfeathers Vintage Blog

Motorcycle Riders!

We took a quick road trip this weekend, and we were not alone on the interstate! Here in the Midwest you can tell when it’s time for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, just by the massive amount of motorcycle traffic heading North.
I noticed more women in the driver’s seat this time, along with the usual double riding couples. It got me to wondering about the history of women and motorcycles.

I found a few fun images of early, independent lady riders, like this one. She’s dressed in a skirt, but even a walking skirt length would prove some challenge. Her mushroom top ha would have a bit of trouble staying on, too, I’m sure.
1900s-Flying-Merkel

This gal, though, she’s got the right idea! Smart lace up riding boots and trousers that look similar to johdpurs for horse riding will make it much easier to ride, once she’s done showing off. The flat newsboy style cap has a good chance of holding to her head if she gets up to any speed.
Woman-20s-Motorcycle

These two look like a couple of fun gals! The new independent spirit of the 20s woman shows in their wool bathing suits and knee high stockings. They’re ready to go with wrapped hair scarves to keep the curls in check.
Women-20s-Motorcycle

This duo looks to be from the 30s, back to skirts, but casual and loose summer styles. Wonder if they are just posing for the novelty, or if they took a few laps on the bike?
Women-30s-Motor-Cycle

This image is from the Harley Davidson archives, and shows a gal that is ahead of her time. She’s not riding for novelty, but to get some where. She’s ditched the soft dresses of the day for proper dungarees and leathers. Her skullcap will ensure she gets where she’s going with minimal bugs and knots in her hair.
Woman-30s-Motorcycle

Here’s another gal that is dressed the part, with high top riding boots and gloves. While her outfit looks like it may be costume, she’s got the right idea.
Motorcycle-Vintage-Lady

Finally, the incomparable Ann-Margaret, the best advertisement Triumph motorcycles ever had. Not sure how much protection those dark nylons offer, but the jacket and boots are amazing! Plus, she didn’t just ride in the movies!
Ann-Margret-Motorcycle