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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2010, 11:13 pm Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Wrenching Wenches Motorcycle Network

Iíve been mulling this idea for some time now and could use some feedback, suggestions and input. Iíve talked with many female riders and they were the spark for this idea.


A little history first.

When I started riding it was on Hondas. First was a 250cc, then 600cc and then a 1300cc. I am a Nurse and used them mostly to commute. Mine you it was 30,000 miles a year. The Honda shop was 10 miles from home and it was convenient just to drop the bike off, they fix it and I pick it up. No worries.

Then I bought a 1993 BMW K1100RS and the shop for it was 3 hours ONE WAY.

Now it made more financial sense to figure out how to work on the bike vs. killing a day to get it to the shop then repeat to pick it up.

At first it was just the small stuff and I still let the shop do the deep engine work because frankly it intimidated me.

Then Steve came into my life and helped me prep for my solo 20,000 mile Alaska trip. He taught me a lot, but NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened on the trip.

In High Level, AB the bikeís input shaft striped the clutch plate.
The whole story starts here >>> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142933

The 10 day Trannyectomy and repair starts here. >>> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...142933&page=40







Putting it back together.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...postcount=1021


It was a life changing experience.
After that, I wanted to know how to do EVERYTHING for my bike.
I had faced my fears and had succeeded.
I was no longer intimidated in fact, I was fascinated by the working of the machine I was riding.
I trusted it more and felt strangely more bonded to it.




Now, back to my idea.

I had just finished this project on my 1996 BMW K1100RS >>> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...=408937&page=4


When I posted this. >>> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=617163
================================================== ============

I feel so alone

You guys have it pretty damn good.

You can ďhang out with the boysĒ in the garage and do what men do when the women folk arenít about. Itís totally natural and healthy to do this and I fully encourage and support activities like it.

But I donít have one person in my life I can do this with. By that I mean another female rider. I love Steve with all my heart, but he canít fill this need for me.

Iím not a soccer mom, and Iím never going to a Mary Kay party.

The things I love to do the most are to ride and wrench my motorcycles.

Of the women I know in my area that ride, none of them wrench their bikes and none of them Ďadventureí ride, dirt ride, tour or even long distance ride.

Iím feeling social loneliness.
Steve hangs out with Ski and mountain bike buddies and it enriches his life.

There is a sharing that only takes place in same sex groups.

Women think differently. We talk about our relationships, children, periods, cramps, mammograms, childbirth and even sex. We tend to be more openly emotional or at least I do.

Maybe if I could find someone who shares my passions I might learn how to be more feminine.

My heart aches to have just one female friend and fellow rider to talk with while tinkering over some bike part.

The Internet does not fill this desire.

At times I despair to the point of tears.

Like now.
================================================== ============

The members stirred up that idea again and gave me strength to make this post.



Maybe I could start a network of women riders who would like to find other women who want the feeling of sisterhood in the garage. One of mentorship and sharing.


Generally speaking women could list something like this:

A request for help on (year, make and model of motorcycle)
What is the project at hand
Location: City, State
How to contact the poster of the request


Then others can answer the request.



On another level, women could list their area of knowledge, their location and resources at hand. They would make arrangements to meet the one asking for help and together they could work on the project.





I know Iíll take some flack from some men and some women on this idea, but I feel this could be an avenue that would help some women on a level they feel comfortable with and the bottom line is this canít hurt to give it a try.




I'll start.
Hi, I'm Gwen.
I live in Culpeper, VA.
I have a full garage, bike lift, tire changer, and a trailer to haul bikes.
I'm most versed in BMW K-bikes but with a manual and time I'm willing to help anyone do anything on any bike.
I work two jobs, so big projects will need scheduling.
Short jobs, maybe less notice.



NextÖ

Nana Korobi Ya Oki
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2010, 1:29 pm
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"could use some feedback, suggestions and input."

Hi Gwen, best of luck to you in this venture. You asked for input, and here is mine, for what it's worth: You'll have a difficult time putting together a group of women motorcycle wrenches, just because you're in a male-dominated sport/pastime. There are probably more women motorcyclists now than ever before, but you are still a relatively small percentage of the whole population. I'm talking drop of water in the ocean here. Even here, you don't have much of an audience. There is only a handfull of women on this board, and the membership is worldwide. And you're asking to narrow down the specs on this pool even more by trying to collect not only a group of women motorcyclists, but a group of women motorcyclist wrenches who live near you.

How about this? Try not to narrow down the specs so much, and maybe start by trying to just identify women motorcyclists in your area who want to go on group rides or form a club? And also, try some advertising in your area where women will see it. I don't know where that might be... Your local motorcycle dealerships might help with that.

But listen, don't give up on us just because we're guys. We all have a common interest here, and when you want to talk about where to get that special tool for your tranny overhaul, your voice is just as loud as anyone else's here, and just as welcome.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2010, 1:56 pm
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You might want to fire some E-mails that way, some of the mechanics there may have some input for you. Oooops, I've never used that smilie. Just joking, I have worked with many female marine engineers. And....if you guys come my way, I'll even let you use my tools!

I always enjoyed your posts on ADVRider !

http://www.essentialmotorcycleservices.ca/

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old Oct 28th, 2010, 1:36 pm
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Hi Gwen,

Just wanted to give you a high 5 for all the hard work you've done. Sometimes it can be a bit lonely being a woman and riding a BMW. While I don't need garage or wrenching help at this time, knowing a resource is handy. Unfortunately I don't have a garage, bike lift or a trailer, but I've turned a few wrenches in my day. I currently ride a 2006 K1200 GT. I am always looking for someone or someplace to ride as well. I live in Silver Spring, Md. Oh and if you are free and up for a bit of a ride, Bob's BMW in Jessup is doing a ride and garage tour that just might be of interest to you on November 21st. I did the one in July and had a good time, even if I was one of only 2 women and the only one not riding as a passenger.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 1st, 2010, 3:03 pm Thread Starter
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Thank you very much Kalli.
Sadly work will keep my from going to Bob's that day.

We live to close not to hook up for a ride at least.
I'll PM you info.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalli
Hi Gwen,

Just wanted to give you a high 5 for all the hard work you've done. Sometimes it can be a bit lonely being a woman and riding a BMW. While I don't need garage or wrenching help at this time, knowing a resource is handy. Unfortunately I don't have a garage, bike lift or a trailer, but I've turned a few wrenches in my day. I currently ride a 2006 K1200 GT. I am always looking for someone or someplace to ride as well. I live in Silver Spring, Md. Oh and if you are free and up for a bit of a ride, Bob's BMW in Jessup is doing a ride and garage tour that just might be of interest to you on November 21st. I did the one in July and had a good time, even if I was one of only 2 women and the only one not riding as a passenger.

Nana Korobi Ya Oki
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 11th, 2010, 7:13 pm
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beemeristas

Gwen

"I trusted it more and felt strangely more bonded to it." exactly captures it. I strongly believe that those who credit card their way through motorcycle maintenance miss the best half of the fun.

But I do think you are working your way up three hills different here.

The first hill is the small proportion of riders who are women. Level the terrain as much as you can. You may have better success at places where women riders are more concentrated. I am thinking of motor maids, for instance. Make this same appeal to members at www.motormaids.org and I'll bet you get some response. There may be other women's motorcycle groups I don't know of; but that one is famous.

The next hill is the small proportion of women who wrench. As you yourself point out, women are different. When a woman meditates, there is apt to be porcelain, or sheers, or those bed skirt whatchamallums involved. When a man meditates, there is apt to be steel in his hand. We are masters of linear thinking, while you are mistresses of more spherical thinking. So level the terrain where you can, by looking for female linear thinkers. I am willing to bet there are more wrenching wenches among young women in the service, or girls attending engineering or trade schools. For example, I just now put "Massachusetts Institute of Technology motorcycle riders" into google and came up with a whole bunch of hits, like groups working on electric bikes, bike helmets, and so forth. My kid sister was in the motor pool in the army. I put "army female motorcycle riders" in google and got places where they meet.

The third hill is the tiny proportion of beemerphiliacs who aren't convinced that you need a note from your Mommy to turn a screwdriver. I am lucky. Dad got me into motorcycling. When I was ten or twelve, he started buying a succession of busted trail bikes from his work buddies for fifty bucks apiece. We'd go out in the garage and get them running. They always had bent handlebars, so we'd back the Rambler station wagon over the bar and grunt it straighter. The shift splines were typically stripped, so we'd drill a hole and drop a machine screw through so the shifter would engage. Swap on a clutch lever. Always two-smokes back then, so with a clean plug and a lot of kicking you'd get some kinda response. Fiddle with points (yep, points back then). Once we got a bike so it would make a consistent racket, then Mom would come out of the kitchen wiping her hands with a dish towel and complaining "Jim, he's going to wreck that thing." Dad would reply: "I hope he does!" and off I'd buzz, determined not to disappoint Dad. At any rate, by the time I hit beemers I already had the conviction that wrenching and riding were two sides of the same coin. Little did I realize there's a whole host of people out there who think that VISA and riding are the two sides of that coin. Our nearest BMW dealer is Bob's, two hours nasty slab away. I have had discussions with any number of fellow MOA members who ride their beast two hours down, waltz about the show room for two more hours buying yet another expensive armored jacket to hang with the other six in the foyer, plunk down $400, and ride two hours back, when they could have done the whole oil change valve check thing themselves at home well before half time of the Penn State game. Christ, Bob's wanted $875 to service this K75 I bought for $1,500. Had they known the fuel pump was bad and the injectors clogged, I could have dropped two grand in a heartbeat. I am rambling now; but what I am trying to get at is that if you want to find wrenching wenches, you are posting to the least likely group. Try Harley, Honda, any other forums, any at all. Places where the inmates are not so well heeled. Beemerphiliacs are not your target market.

One more example: The secretary of our group, a saleswoman and motorcycle enthusiast, called me by cell phone to fetch her from the side of the road, where her F650 had overheated. I correctly diagnosed a water pump impeller. Advised her to remove the thermostat, open the cap, start the bike, and see if water rushed by. If not, order a new pump and I'd help her slap it on. Appalled at the idea of oily hands and terrified at the bizarre notion that mere mortals may turn wrenches, she instead toted it to Bob's. $2,700 later, she got it back. Never did trust that bike after that, and bought a Guzzi Norge a month later. That lasted about six months before she scored a lowered R12GS. She is not your target market.

Good luck. Love ya. The domain wrenchingwenches.com is available, I own a server, and I would host it for you gratis. The concept really appeals to me. Drop me a PM if you want. Let us know if you form a group. Or feel free to scoot up to our tech day next March. You can tell the Visa toters how much fun it is to wrench.

Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism, complete with witch hunts, funny outfits, and solemn preachers thundering doom. The name of God is changed to Safety; the name of Satan is changed to Lawyer; but the object remains the same: to suck all the life out of life and make you live on the husk.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 12th, 2010, 1:20 am Thread Starter
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Ocelot

Thank you so very kindly for taking the time to post that amazing reply.

Lots of great ideas and I need this type constructive criticism because my POV alone it will not be enough to make this work.


I am very interested in buying that domain but don't have a clue how to go about that.

If you could advise me I would be very grateful.

I have a friend on ADV who posts as NikonsAndVstroms who has offered to build a web page if I needed one.





If I may...do I know you from another site by another name.

Nana Korobi Ya Oki
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 12th, 2010, 4:36 am
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Pm

Easy as pie to do. Costs just eleven clams a year from GoDaddy. Only a couple technical details to know. I can score it for you in a snap, put it on the server, and give your friend access. It would be alive before the day is out.

I can also put you in touch with a pair of women here who were actively pursuing starting a women motorcyclist magazine, until the economy went all to crap and sank the project. They may be able to give you company, content, or ideas.

I will PM you now with my direct email and phone number.

Known on other forums by the moniker webmost.

Unmitigated risk aversion is the new Puritanism, complete with witch hunts, funny outfits, and solemn preachers thundering doom. The name of God is changed to Safety; the name of Satan is changed to Lawyer; but the object remains the same: to suck all the life out of life and make you live on the husk.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 17th, 2010, 7:39 pm
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wrenchingwenches.com!!!

You HAVE to do it!

Just make sure it's "guy friendly" some how so we can come in and give advice if needed.

I think it's an awesome idea.


Tony G

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old Nov 18th, 2010, 8:42 am Thread Starter
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Well, Iíve gone and done itÖ

I bought the domain name wrenchingwenches.com, .net and .org.

Holy SHIT, what have Iíve done?


The concept is to bring women together in a supportive learning environment where they can gain courage and confidence to work on and repair their bikes.

I hope men with the temperament and patience to teach will join as well.


A series of events and people popping out of nowhere to offer their services and help has given me the courage to attempt to start my own forum.

While traveling this September, I met Jon aka NikonsAndVStroms who offered his services to build a site if I ever wanted to build based on an idea I had.


Then Ocelot offered to walked me thru buying a domain and how to set it up.

AND he said he would host it for free!

Ocelot and I talked on the phone and I got a good feeling about him.

Others have come forward like GSbiker, geode, Smithy and some from other forums to offer help and advise. :bow


So, there ya have it.


There is also a HUGE amount of stuff that needs to take place and get done before it goes live, so it will be at least 3-6 months.












On a side note:

It was brought to my attention that Ďwenchesí might be seen as a bit demeaning term to use. The thought added that some women would see like that also.


I understand where the comment came from.


The word has less than a noble history. But its older meaning is that of a milk main, a woman of simple and poor means. http://www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/wench.htm


Yes, it has a dark side, but in America, it almost never used as a derogatory or demeaning term.


Among women, we often call each other wench or heifer, but only as a term of rough affection. Like men use bastard or some other sideways term that only close friends can get away with.


These are "slap on the butt" words, if you know what I'm saying.


I want to avoid looking too formal so as not to make people feel like they wouldn't be welcome.


I want it to sound fun and casual, like the way a garage does when the beers come out and everyone sits around looking at what they just finished fixing.



I would really like to hear your thoughts on what you would like in such a forum.

Nana Korobi Ya Oki
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