Women Riders

Street Diamond - She Rocks!

Written by  June 30, 2005

“Finally, someone recognized women are built differently than men!” That is what you see on the cover of the Street Diamond Motorcycle brochure. Based out of Annapolis, Maryland they were one of 156 vendors who attended the Myrtle Beach Bike Rally in South Carolina. I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Brenda Lee, CEO, Founder and Designer of Street Diamond. The bikes on display were sleek, classy and so practical for women riders.

The Street Diamond mission statement is direct and to the point: “Street Diamond Motorcycles was created by women for women with one objective in mind—to design and build motorcycles that will confidently inspire the women that ride them through superior ergonomic design and driving performance—and to help change the way the industry views women motorcyclists from now into the foreseeable future.”

Brenda started the company in 2003 for the purpose of designing motorcycles for women so that they are more confident and comfortable riding. She wanted a bike for herself and could not find one to fit her. (That is a phrase I hear countless women riders say).

Brenda then spent the next 15 years researching motorcycle designs. The motorcycles offer a lower center of gravity and easier weight distribution, especially for petite women. They are ergonomically designed, heavyweight
V-Twins that come standard with an 88 cubic inch Harley-Davidson motor and 5-speed transmission. All bikes come with a 2-year warranty. Other standard features that I was impressed with were the following:
Seat heights 22”-26”
Narrow seat and tank
28” handle bars for easy reach
Easy clutch
Small air cleaner allowing leg to reach highway pegs
200-250/40x18 tires
Wheel base of 94”

Street Diamonds’ average client age is 30 years old, although Brenda just sold
one of her display bikes to a 60-year-old lady rider. As I was interviewing Brenda, a petite, 5 foot tall rally goer, Vicki Kauralich sat on one of the bikes and said, “Wow, I really like this, everything is within reach and it doesn’t feel 'big.’” Brenda then said, “That is the idea, to get women off big heavy bikes that are not safe or comfortable to ride. Our bikes weigh approximately 600 pounds.”

The criteria they take into account before they begin a custom build job are your size and measurements, riding skills and riding experience. The time frame to build each bike from start to finish is eight weeks. There are four models to choose from: Lil Gem (softail) Platinum (softail), Trillion (big-tire bike) and the Touring Princess. Prices range from $26,000-$30,000. Brenda’s goal is to build 2500 bikes a year. Upon special request you can upgrade with a more powerful motor and a 6-speed transmission.

According to Brenda, breaking into the male-dominated motorcycle field has been a challenge, but so far the industry has been really good to them. They are presently working with Kuryakyn to design controls for their bikes. They are looking for ten primo dealers throughout the United States to market their bikes.

Since marketing your product to the public is the most important aspect of any business, Brenda and her sales staff has attended Daytona, Ocean City and the York motorcycle rallies to give exposure to their new and innovative product, and they are constantly working to develop a network with dealers.

Brenda shared this parting comment with me, “Buyers can decide, part by part, color by color of paints, how they want their bikes built in order to get the perfect design.” If you are going to buy a bike and make all the changes that most of us make to the bike to get it to our satisfaction, you might as well have a custom bike built for your body type that is safe, comfortable and easy to handle.”
I might mention also how awesome they look!

A custom motorcycle is a personalized extension of who you are; ride it with pride! Brenda rocks, but so do her bikes!! Keep up the great work!
To check out the cool Street Diamond bikes, visit their web site at www.streetdiamond.com and refer any question to Brenda or Sandy. They will be happy to help you.

I can’t end my article without sharing a little info about the rally since it was the first time I had attended.

The Myrtle Beach Harley-Davidson Rally is sponsored by the Carolina Harley-Davidson Dealer Association. It runs from May 16-22 and is South Carolina’s largest party on two wheels. There were approximately 300,000 rally attendees where bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts flooded the convention center. They were all looking for different varieties of the same items they were wearing and riding.

One of the biggest attractions at the convention center was the stationary drag racing stand where contestants revved their motorcycle engines against one another. A computer tech announced how much horsepower reached the rear wheel, how fast the bike would have gone and how long it would take to go different distances in addition to who the winner was.

The rally encompassed approximately 30 miles from North Myrtle Beach to Murrells Inlet where a stream of bikes lined the roads in every direction. Our group could not even get into the Harley-Davidson dealership on Hwy 17 because of the traffic congestion and limited parking. Cars were everywhere, which took up valuable bike parking!

The usual rally attractions were there; the biker builder expo featured Kendall Johnson, Dave Perewitz, Ron Simms and Arlen Ness. The House of Blues was rockin’ every night with the sounds of .38 Special, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Travis Tritt and David Allen Coe. We partied at the sold out DAC concert, paid the high prices for drinks and sat on bar stools that cost us $35 apiece to watch the show. Ahhh, but you’re on vacation, so who cares about money! It’s all about the destination, right?! Especially if you go to Suck Bang Blow, one of the most popular bars that features their own burnout pit where a bike nudges and navigates a beer keg during the contest. The smoke was so thick you could hardly see the person standing next to you! The bar gets its name from the way an internal combustion engine works.

We were fortunate to have a friend and fellow biker who lives in North Carolina escort us to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and show us all the hot spots. That probably saved us from getting lost or sidetracked, and it was a great chance to visit with them! As most of you know, when you travel in a large group it’s difficult keeping everyone together. We all had differing agendas and didn’t get to spend as much time with our hosts as we would have liked. We hope to make up for that next year when they plan to come west. Thank you Bill (aka Greasy Rider) and Ramona from Raleigh.

The weather was beautiful, high 70s during the day and a jacket for evening riding. We had views from our hotel rooms that were the best of both worlds.
Half of our group stayed on the Atlantic Ocean side while the others stayed across the street and faced Hwy 17, the main drag through town. The nightly traffic was very light compared to other rallies we have attended, and we attributed that to the fact the rally was so spread out. I think if the rally organizers would restrict Hwy 17 to bikes only during the rally it would be much more entertaining for the spectators who lined the streets at night. It was exciting to watch a storm brewing from our 6th floor balcony; the tide drastically changed, daylight disappeared to dark and the clouds rumbled, but that didn’t stop the party atmosphere that was going on in our room.

All in all, it was a pretty mild rally and seemed to be family oriented considering the number of people we saw with children. The city brought in extra law enforcement due to the increased crowd, but we never saw any disturbances or altercations. Some of the rules that were strictly enforced were excessive noise, no alcohol on the beach or streets, no thongs on the beach, no riding on the beach and the after 11 p.m. noise ordinance.

If you haven’t been to this rally, you might want to consider it next year. Great scenic roads to ride, awesome seafood, and you can’t beat the weather and beach for a little R&R!

I saw an interesting billboard on a North Carolina interstate that should be shared in every state that read: “Drivers be Aware…Bikes are Everywhere”

Our group all left in different directions and we headed back home. We were lucky to take four extra days, making stops in Nashville,Tennesee, touring Opryland Hotel and the homes of the stars. We ended our two weeks with two days of riding and picnicking through the wine country of Hermann, Missouri.
Now back to the grind…and anxiously awaiting our next adventure!

Story and photos by Goldie Arnold
“Never Fly Faster Than Your Angel Can Fly”

Tip of the Month: Ride safe, obey traffic laws, watch out for other bikes and for pedestrians. And don’t forget the sunscreen!