by Bruce Mike
On a recent trip to Daytona Beach I happened across a really interesting bike shop. It’s located in a small strip mall near Daytona International Speedway. What caught my eye as we drove by was the sign above the door – “Motorcycles For Women”. The name of the company is ROAR. The bike in the photo above is their first production motorcycle. It’s called the WildKaT. It’s the first production motorcycle designed for women by women. I found it to be a well-put-together bike.
The other thing ROAR offers their customers is customization of their current bikes to meet their specific ridng needs and wants. They also have a variety of used bikes on their floor with custom paint and modifications, always taking into account what a female rider is looking for in a motorcycle. They set these bikes up knowing that more of a woman’s strength is in her lower body, while men tend to have more in their upper body. One of the goals of ROAR is to get more women riding by educating, inspiring and giving them beautiful bikes that are safe, comfortable and fit them. With the fastest growing segment in the motorcycle market being women, a shop like this makes perfect sense.
My wife is a rider as well as a strong, independent woman. She is petite and sometimes gets frustrated with muscling her bike around. She has often talked about how nice it would be if the motorcycle industry took women into account when designing bikes, accessories and riding gear. She has pointed out that women’s gear, and women’s clothing in general, usually cost more and is less functional. While my wife isn’t into fancy paint and having a name for her bike, she definitely likes the idea of a motorcycle designed by women for women.
What piqued my interest in ROAR was the bike in the photo. I like clean bike designs and this one is beautiful. It has a rubber mounted, fuel-injected, 1200cc Harley motor with hidden dual-shock suspension and four piston caliper brakes. It has an adjustable seat height from 23.5-29.5 inches and a riding position that is upright and comfortable. The digital instrumentation and right-sized windscreen help to maintain it’s clean lines. I’m a function before form kind of guy and this bike definitely meets my criteria while still looking gorgeous.
I like to think I stay current about what’s happening in the motorcycle industry but I have to tell you, I didn’t even know ROAR existed and they’ve been around for about 4 years. I like seeing people in the industry fill a need and these folks are definitely doing it. While they have only the WildKaT in production right now they are working on a sportbike, the StreetKaT, as well as a touring bike the Lioness. Based on what I saw of the WildKaT, I think it’s safe to assume these will be great bikes too.
Kathy Tolleson is the founder and CEO of ROAR Motorcycles Inc. From my limited research and brief conversations during my visit to their showroom in Daytona, Kathy appears to be as passionate about life as she is about motorcycles. She has written a book titled HEAR MY ROAR! Women, Motorcycles and Mental Health. Look for a review in a future issue. If you want to learn more you can find them on the web at RoarMotorcycles.com or call them at 866.621.ROAR.