The Fastest Woman in the World on a Motorcycle is land speed racer Leslie Porterfield, named by Guinness World Records because of a record setting motorcycle run she made in 2008. The title was previously held for more than thirty years by motocross rider and stunt woman, Marcia Holley. Holley's record of 229.361 mph was set with a single engine streamliner motorcycle in 1978. Guinness is recognizing Porterfield's time of 232.522 mph set at the 2008 BUB Speed Trials at Bonneville on a 2002 2000cc Turbo-charged Suzuki Hayabusa.
"I couldn’t believe it when they called," says Porterfield from her Dallas, Texas, dealership, High Five Cycles. "It's takes awhile after filing the paper work with the FIM (International Federation of Motorcycling) to get the record certificate, and then with Guinness -- this has been going on for awhile. When they called I was just thrilled.”
Porterfield first set the Salt Flats of Bonneville on fire in 2008 by recording an overall land speed record of 232.5 mph in the 2000cc modified class, the fastest record of any woman on two wheels. After that she was honored as the AMA Female Rider of the Year in 2008 shown accepting her award in the photo at right; then was featured in the Discovery Channel documentary "Speed Capital of the World: Bonneville," and toured the world as a public speaker all while owning and running her own motorcycle dealership, where she is also an appointed Foremost insurance agent. Foremost is also one of Porterfield's racing sponsors.
"Recognition such as this is an enormous achievement for any of the Foremost sponsored riders, but in Leslie's case it's especially sweet for us since she is also a Foremost independent agent," says Randy Slotten, Marketing Director, Foremost Insurance Group.
Porterfield was already a rising star in the professional motorcycle industry before Guinness came calling, as well as an advocate and role model for the rising population of female riders. Most recently, she has been a featured speaker at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Shows and the 22nd Annual AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Breakfast.
Leslie with her dog, Freeway, at last year's AMA Women & Motorcycling Conference in Keystone, Colorado.
While her crew begins prepping for the next round of speed trials, which begin in May in El Mirage, California, Porterfield is taking some time to focus on StandUp for Kids, a non-profit organization that assists homeless children in America. In June Porterfield and StandUp for Kids will raffle off a Honda CBR1000, with all proceeds going to the charity. After that it'sback to Bonneville, back to BUB and back to the hunt for her next accomplishment. "I don't just want to be the fastest woman in the world," says Porterfield. "I want to be the fastest person in the world. That's what's next."