Name: Savannah Rose
Location: Rural Wisconsin
Job: Social Media Coordinator/Photo& Video for S&S Cycle (performance motorcycle parts – @sscycle)
Motorcycle: 2000 Sportster Chopper, 1994 Honda XR250L, 1975 Honda CB360, 1981 Honda XR100
When did you start loving motorcycles? Has anyone transmitted this passion to you?
Growing up, I always thought motorcycles were cool.
At 15, I desperately wanted to start on a Vespa, but somehow ended up in classic cars instead – I bought a 63 Mercury Comet. But I always wanted to ride, and between finances, and being nervous to ride in So Cal where I grew up, I put it off.
Later, my mother bought a Rebel, and eventually her Sportster, and I figured if my mom could do it, I could. I still kept putting it off.
Then I met my friend Emma B, and she rode a Triumph. Finally, it was time.
I bought a CB360, took the MSF Rider Course, and here I am…
First ride experience: feelings, sensations.
My first technical ride was in the MSF course, on the shortest 250cc bike there was in the class.
But my first real ride was on my CB. Yearly, I went on a vacation to Nor Cal, up in Bass Lake (near what’s now Bandit Town) and trailered my little Honda all the way up. As soon as I was there, I unstrapped it and ripped around the lake. Bass Lake is beautiful in the summer, with giant pine trees, deer, and warm temps.
I’ll never forget that ride or the feeling of getting squirrely in the dirt around the lake – that was sketchy!
What do you ride? Details.
I currently have a small stable of motorcycles…my main girl being my 2000 Sportster.
It’s my mom’s Sporty that I mentioned above – when the time came she decided to retire from riding, I bought it and quickly tore it apart (sorry, Mom!) I started building it when I was still in So Cal with the help of some friends (Roy of Helmet Division and Rene of Primo’s Helmet Design) – and then I scored the job at S&S.
I packed up and moved across the country, and had to start over on my build. With the help of my bestest newest friend Skippy, and some of the crew at S&S, I installed a hardtail section, and set to work customizing EVERYTHING on the bike.
I learned welding, some fabrication, how to completely rebuild the engine, and finally painted it myself – most of which was done in my kitchen (hey, Wisconsin winters are cold, and garages aren’t heated here!) I ended up being involved in Michael Lichter’s Motorcycles As Art show in Sturgis at the Buffalo Chip, where the bike was on display for Bike Week (a HUGE honor, Michael is THE moto photographer and has been for near 40 years!)
Here’s the rundown on my bike:
2000 Sportster – named “KitchenMade”
1200 S&S Super Stock – .482 cams, Super Stock Heads, Teardrop Air Cleaner, fully rebuilt and powdercoated silver
Road 6 Customs Hardtail Section
Zombie Performance “Titty Bars”
Shaved and chromed front end
Performance Machine Brakes
TC Bros – Moto Iron Controls
Biltwell Throttle, Mirror and Model B Taillight
Throttle Addiction Wassel style tank
Saddlemen custom solo seat and p-pad
Lowbrow Customs StingRay fender
Paughco headers with Emgo mufflers
Custom sissy bar by me
Led Sled Customs oil tank and kickstand
Chrome by AIH Chrome in Iowa
Paint is House of Kolor white with lavender pearl topcoat, by me.
Tons of other little details, if you see me at a show, I’ll show you everything!
Also in my stable are a CB360 I bought from a coworker – completely untouched and original.
A 94 XR250L, my enduro – she’s all white, and perfect for both on and off road – and we’ve had some experiences together for sure – like getting stuck in the WORST mud, downhill on a mountain. That bike is a trooper, and goes wherever I want to take it.
And of course, a little XR100 for ripping around the yard, through the snow, and that one time I raced it at Mama Tried’s Flat Out Friday.
What is the place you love the most to enjoy your motorcycle?
I do miss riding the deserts of So Cal, and very much miss Nor Cal, Wisconsin has INCREDIBLE riding.
So for the Sporty, I’d say my favorites are the twisty backroads here in Wisco. Surrounded by farmland, cornfields, and forest, I’m in the Driftless area – incredibly hilly, twisty and gorgeous.
As for the dirtbike, I’d have to say Colorado – where the terrain can go from arid desert like with rocks, to big mountains and farmland in between.
What about your local motorcycle community?
Rural wisconsin doesn’t have a huge motorcycle scene, but I am fairly close to Milwaukee – which is the heart of Harley Davidson country!
The midwest riders are dedicated and will ride even with snow on the ground.
It also breed INCREDIBLE shows, like Mama Tried and Fuel.
What is the most beautiful motorcycle adventure you’ve experienced so far?
That’s a hard one – part of my job for S&S is attending, and photographing (and of course, publishing on our Social Media channels!) all of the big motorcycle events.
I travel to Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week, Babes Ride Out, Born Free, and so many more events. The riding at each event, and location, is totally different and killer in it’s own way.
Sturgis has the Black Hills, Daytona has “The Loop” – a short jaunt through swampland, Babes Ride Out is in Joshua Tree National Park…but I’d have to say my two favorites have been El Diablo Run – that goes from So Cal down to San Felipe, Mexico – riding along the Baja beach, experiencing a different culture, language, and of course, incredible tacos.
The other would be Hot Bike Tour 2016 – getting to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway and the infamous Tail of the Dragon – which is 318 curves in just 11 miles. If you’re ever in Tennessee / North Carolina, DO NOT MISS THIS ROAD!
And I can’t forget Babes Ride Out – I’ve attended since it was Babes In Borrego in 2013, and each year I’ve rolled with a different crew. This last year I got to ride my finished chopper with my friend Angelica – a newer rider, and I pushed her to take Ortega Highway out with me, and taught her and helped her build her confidence along the way. It was rad to see her improve each time she hopped on her bike!
I guess I’m really lucky to have my job and get to experience all these crazy rides!
What does it mean to build and modify your own motorcycle?
To me, the passion for the machine is most important.
I love my bike, I really do spoil it…but the knowledge and satisfaction you gain by tearing it apart, getting to know every nut and bolt, and putting it back together – and most importantly, having it work properly…is the key.
When you make every decision on what you want each piece to look like, what color, what shape, the bike is absolutely you in every way. And when you understand how everything functions – what each part does, why it does that, and how it works – it’s not only incredibly satisfying, but when you break down on the side of the road, you’ve got it.
You know how to fix it. You can handle it yourself. And let’s be honest, when you can school some tough guy who thinks he knows what he is talking about, that’s an incredible feeling too!
I picked every single part on my bike. From picking the actual pieces – what tank, what fender, how the sissy bar should look – to actually working on each piece – grinding the welds, polishing and prepping for chrome plating, sanding and filling the body panels, and finally laying the paint on the bike – it’s MINE.
I know where every bolt goes, I know how everything works.
That bike is totally an extension of me.
There is just an indescribable feeling in knowing that YOU BUILT IT.
What will be your next moto-adventure?
Let’s see, next on my radar is Mama Tried – unfortunately, it will probably be snowy so I will be trucking my bike to the show to be in the S&S booth.
But, shortly after that is Daytona Bike Week, where I get a break from the snow and get to ride in sunny Florida! I’ll hit all the chopper shows during the week and get as many miles on my little Sporty as I can.
And as soon as it’s warm here in Wisco, I’ve got a beautiful ride to work, and there’s nothing better than taking the long way in…
Besides motorcycles what are your other passions?
I’ll be honest, the majority of what I do is motorcycles. Even at work! But aside from that, I’m starting to do art again – I used to paint for a living, and I’m trying to get back into that.
I used to work full time and run a vintage shop, which I sold due to moving across the country. So now that I’m in the country, we find a lot of random ways to have fun.
My friends built a dirt track in their yard, which we ride on motos, golf carts, trucks, whatever we can find with a combustion engine!
Traveling and taking photos is always on my radar – I’m by no means a pro, but I really love taking photos and getting to share my view of things.
Savannah, what is a MOTORCYCLE for you?
Motorcycles have changed everything for me – from my free time now being spent wrenching and riding, to the friends I’ve made in the scene and industry – to my job that allows me to ride, take photos of bikes, and post them on Facebook, to the fact that I don’t stress nearly as much as I ever did without such a great stress reliever!