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Record Attendance at Femmoto

All-women's track day a big attraction


record attendance femmoto 2005
The rider's meeting at Femmoto.

The fourth annual Femmoto event held in Las Vegas sold out with 150 women participating making the women-only track day its largest yet. Participating manufacturers and sponsors included Aprilia, Kawasaki, and Moto Guzzi, Buell, Kymco, Michelin and Red Bull.
record attendance femmoto 2005 bonnie strawser
Bonnie Strawser, founder of Femmoto, being interviewed for Speed Channel.

Event founder Bonnie Strawser of Sportbike Track Time attributes the growing interest in Femmoto to several factors. "Women are spreading the word, which in turn makes the manufacturers listen and want to attend, plus motorcycle magazines are running stories on Femmoto."

record attendance femmoto 2005 kawasaki rider
Women riders get the track all to themselves.

Part track day, part demo ride. Femmoto is a one-day event combining the organization of a track day utilizing elements of a demo ride. In another words, test ride a manufacturer's demo bike around a track for a day. Sounds fun, huh? There's one catch. No men allowed. The thinking is testosterone gets in the way of women enjoying a nice day on the track. "Femmoto is a chance for women to get together with other women with like-minded interests," explained Strawser.

Four years ago, Strawser had the idea to hold a track day just for women. Since then, the event has grown to become a platform for female motorcycling related products. "We're here because we'll get some brand recognition out it," said Rick Pawelka, Kymco's marketing manager. "There are a lot of people here with limited riding experience. It just seemed like a logical thing to be here." Femmoto provided the perfect opportunity for Kymco to showcase its entry level Venox 250 cruiser plus two of its scooters. Any style of bike is welcome, even though the event is held on a racetrack.

Kawasaki hauled out a large fleet of motorcycles for the second year in a row including the ZX-6R, ZX-10R and Z750S. "We offer a variety of category leading and confidence inspiring machines, factors that play a critical role for female motorcycle buyers. What better way to reach out and acknowledge this market than to show up with our newest and best machines," said Jan Plessner, Kawasaki's public relations manager.

record attendance femmoto 2005 rider
Anna Pokorska of Chicago tested several models during the day.

This is the perfect opportunity to ride a few different bikes in a controlled environment," said Anna Pokorska of Chicago. "I don't mind riding with men, but men can be silly. They like to show off. Women don't do that."

Sidelining The Men

record attendance femmoto 2005 umbrella boy
Lee Kraus didn't mind switching roles for the day helping out girlfriend Jenna Hofer.

"It was nice to ride with a lot of girls," said Jenna Hofer of San Diego, "although I got lapped twice by this girl named Quickie, but it was cool." Hofer traveled to Vegas with her boyfriend, Lee Kraus, who acted as Hofer's "umbrella boy" protecting her from the 95-degree Nevada heat. "It's nice to see a lot of women on the track," observed Kraus. "We've ridden track days together. So many guys crash or cut women off. I wish it were safer for Jenna. There's definitely too much testosterone with men on the track."

Kraus wasn't the only guy watching from the sidelines. About one-third of the women brought their other half assisting them with getting water, helping gear up in those bulky race leathers, even impromptu shoulder massaging.

record attendance femmoto 2005 woman rider
Shelly Brady with boyfriend Alex Beltran posing on the Aprilia model she purchased after test riding it at last year's Femmoto.

"Most guys don't like to get passed by girls," said Alex Beltran of San Diego, who accompanied his girlfriend, Shelly Brady. "It's nice to see women out here who wouldn't normally feel comfortable at a track day."

The atmosphere at Femmoto makes it easy for a woman to test out a motorcycle on which she might otherwise not feel comfortable. Manufacturer reps were spotted helping gals get on and off of bikes that were too tall for them. In addition, the rider coaches hired by Sportbike Track Time were available to help those new to the track atmosphere.

record attendance femmoto 2005 ride like a girl
Sentiment of the day.

The $100 registration fee paid for the track day, dinner, and a Scooter raffle sponsored by Moto-Euro magazine. There was also a fashion show put on by Fairchild Sports exhibiting its new G-Line of women's motorcycle clothing.

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