Ya'know what guys? I think we've taken up enough space on the tracks. Now, it's usually men that dominate motorcycling and motorsport but that does not mean we don't have a bevy of gorgeous kick ass bikers carving their marks in the industry. It's just that us boys? We're not giving them enough of the limelight. Let's push the spotlight on them ladies, shall we?
Here, we've rounded up the top 10 female bikers and racers we think you should have heard about for their achievements!
10. BERYL SWAIN, TT
The 1962 50cc TT will go down in history with Beryl Swain as she is the first female rider to take this baby out for a spin! This bike is most often remembered as Suzuki’s first TT victory, on a bike ridden by ex-MZ rider and defector Ernst Degner. Now enough about the bike, Mrs Beryl Swain (her husband was an owner of a motorcycle shop), riding a 50cc Itom, completed two-lap race, a half an hour behind Degner, coming home 22nd of 25 finishers with an average of 48mph against Degner’s 75mph.
9. PATSY QUICK, ENDURO AND DAKAR
Patsy Quick is the first British woman to compete in Dakar 2003 but suffered a serious crash, leaving her temporarily blinded before being rescued by a media helicopter and airlifted to a Cairo hospital. But this did not stop her. Quick returned in 2004 only to be beaten again by appalling weather, and then suffered a mechanical breakdown in 2005. However, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, Quick became the first British woman to finish the rally in 2006. She currently runs a KTM-backed endure riding school in Sussex, England.
8. MICHELLE DUFF, 250 AND 500 GRAND PRIX
Riding for MZ, Norton and Yamaha, winning three 250cc Grand Prix and finishing the 1965 season second in the 250cc championship behind Phil Read, Mike Duff, based in Toronto, Canada, was a successful Grand Prix racer in the 60s. Mike suffered an accident in Japan and spent six months in the hospital but it didn’t stop him. Mike returned to Grand Prix for two more years and began working as a motorcycle journalist. Shortly in 1984, Mike Duff became Michelle Duff, was invited out of retirement to ride in classic bike races in 2000, aged 60, but suffered again when she crashed heavily at Spa in 2008 and gave up track riding. Now aged 74, Michelle still writes and lives in Ontario.
7. KATJA POENSGEN, 250 GRAND PRIX
German-born Katja, grew up riding bikes, knew how to ride a bike at the tender age of 5, then raced for the first time at 16 and at age 19, got her first podium for the European Supermono Championship. This took her to Grand Prix where, in 2001, where she secured a career-best 14th place in the 250cc Italian GP at Mugello riding an Aprillia RS20. After retiring on 2004 and having her daughter, she came back again to the racing world, racing e-bikes and even mopeds, as well as working with motorcycle clothing brands.
6. LAIA SANZ, TRIALS, WORLD ENDURO, DAKAR
Laia Sanz, hailing from Spain, was the Women’s World Enduro Champion in 2014. She also won the Women’s Trial World Championship 13 times and the Women’s Trial European Championship ten times. Sanz started riding at three and racing at seven, which makes it not that much of a surprise as she knew how to handle an off-road bike well. In 2011, at the age of 25, she competed in and completed the Dakar rally, finishing 39th overall.