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“Dawn has what this author refers to as “a true heart.”
I’ve ridden with Dawn. I have not had a better road partner.” ~ Joan Krenning
A new female rock star has emerged in the motorcycle scene of “endurance adventure road riding” out of Colorado. In 2011, a 52 year old from Boulder named Dawn Lee purchased a Honda Shadow Spirit 750 and began her journey.
DAWN LEE ON RIDING
SWR: IT’S ONE THING TO HAVE AN IDEA, IT’S ANOTHER THING TO TAKE ACTION ON IT. WHAT GAVE YOU THE COURAGE TO ACTUALLY START RIDING INSTEAD OF CHOOSING A DIFFERENT PATH?
DAWN LEE: Motorcycle riding IS the different path. I never even considered being anywhere near motorcycles until I jumped on the back of one for a long road trip. Once I completed the MSF course and received my endorsement, it simply never occurred to me that I couldn’t do it. I went into the class thinking that if I passed, I’d be riding soon. If not, I’d stay in the backseat and it was all good.
SWR: WHAT WAS THE DECISION TO JUMP INTO RIDING MOTORCYCLES LIKE FOR YOU? WAS THEIR FEAR INVOLVED?
DAWN LEE: No fear. My first real experience on a motorcycle was in the backseat on a 2200 mile ride. I knew nothing about bikes at that point and was just out to try a new adventure.
SWR: WHEN DID YOU GET INTO MOTORCYCLING, AND WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?
DAWN LEE: July 2011. A friend invited me on a road trip – on the backseat of his Yamaha Roadstar. As I said above – it was a new adventure to try out. I had never considered motorcycle riding before this point
SWR: WHAT MOTORCYCLE DO YOU RIDE? HOW LONG?
DAWN LEE: 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit 750 purchased used October 2011. 2009 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT purchased NEW in April 2014. 2016 Indian Chief Dark Horse 111 purchased new in May 2015.
SWR: WHAT IS IT ABOUT MOTORCYCLING THAT FITS INTO YOUR STRENGTHS?
DAWN LEE: Independence.
SWR: HOW HAVE YOUR RIDING SKILLS PROGRESSED SINCE THAT FIRST RIDE?
DAWN LEE: Significantly. However, I still have a lot to learn
SWR: YOU ARE THE WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN LABELED BY OTHER WOMEN AS, “THE PERFECT RIDING PARTNER.” DO YOU KNOW WHY?
DAWN LEE: Not really. I assume it’s because I can usually hold my own and I try to stay out of everyone else’s way.
SWR: WE’VE BEEN TOLD YOU ARE ACTIVE YEAR ROUND. WHAT OTHER SPORTS INTERESTS KEEPS YOU BUSY?
DAWN LEE: Mostly skiing and snowboarding. I was approaching 50 days on the slopes every season. But, in a good early riding season, I may be down to 30-35 days on the slopes.
SWR: DO YOU HAVE A ROAD NAME? WHAT IS IT? AND WHY?
DAWN LEE: No road name
SWR: WHAT RIDE WAS THE ONE THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE IN A MOMENT?
DAWN LEE: My first trip in the backseat of that Yamaha. 2200 miles from Chicago to Boulder via Sturgis.
SWR: WHAT CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE?
DAWN LEE: Louder pipes. That’s the only thing consistent on my 3 bikes.
SWR: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU HAVE SEEN IN THE WORLD OF WOMEN AND MOTORCYCLING?
DAWN LEE: I’ve only been riding for 5 years. But, in that time, the increase in the women riding motorcycles has been astounding.
SWR: WHAT WOMEN INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
DAWN LEE: Inspiration is a difficult concept for me. I can’t say that any man or woman has “inspired” me. I love traits and attributes of many people.
SWR: IT SEEMS COLORADO IS A HUB FOR MOTORCYCLISTS? WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE RIDE?
DAWN LEE: Locally – Lookout Mountain. It has tight curves and a beautiful view at the top. It’s close so it’s great for a quick run. Across all of Colorado – Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The roads are fun, plenty of curves and amazing views.
SWR: HOW DOES THE WOMEN’S MOTORCYCLE SUMMIT MAKE YOU A BETTER RIDER? AND WOMAN?
DAWN LEE: There’s always something at the Summit for everyone. Skills improvement, health tips for the road, gear recommendations, and more. The friendships that are re-kindled and started new are the most beneficial – sharing experiences and tips for the road trips.
Dawn Lee is a legend in the motorcycle world for her good natured attitude and love for the sport.