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ADV Prepping8 Steps to Inspire Her to Become Your Riding Partner

8 Steps to Inspire Her to Become Your Riding Partner

 A thoughtful approach to persuading your lady to ride the world with you.

Published on 09.24.2014

Motorcycles aren’t new to me. I’ve been riding for more than two years… on pavement. Nevertheless, my interests took a turn when my boyfriend brought up the idea of traveling the world on motorcycles. I had always wanted to travel the globe and figured motorcycles would be a cheap and fun way to do it, but I forgot that most of the world’s roads are dirt or gravel. If you want to experience the earth’s most beautiful locations, inevitably you have to get off the pavement.

My boyfriend, an avid off-road rider, suggested a month-long trip down to southern Baja, Mexico. We’d make our way down the coast at a leisurely pace, eventually arriving in La Paz to catch the finish of the SCORE Baja 1000 off-road race. Much of the journey would require us to travel on dirt roads in our search for breathtaking views, good food, strong drinks, new friends and warm(er) waves.

I admit I had my reservations at first, but the more we talked about it, the more my excitement grew and the more it had to happen. My willingness being the deciding factor, I traded my old Honda CM200 for a Yamaha XT225 dual-sport. Sliding down gravel roads, skidding into hairpin turns and catching myself in deep sand were all new experiences for me. This would also be the first time for both of us touring on motorcycles outside of the United States.


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With our decision made, we set a departure date and began planning. As more friends heard about our trip, we received lots of advice and many questions; among them, a common question appeared, “How do I get my girlfriend to do that?!” While there wasn’t a lot of “convincing” in my case, I do have some ideas on the best way to approach your girlfriend or wife with the prospect of an off-road motorcycle adventure.

So you want to travel the world with your lady on an Adventure Motorcycle?

Before you gather the courage to ask her all the impending questions, honestly answer a question yourself: Why do I want to explore the world on motorcycles with my wife (or girlfriend)? If your answer is something along the lines of, “this is a passion of mine that she could enjoy also,” then you’re off to a good start. If your answer is something more along the lines of, “I think she should share this with me,” then you might want to try a “bargaining” approach rather than “suggesting” or “persuading.”

In any case, if she doesn’t already have some inclination for adventure, it’s probably a waste of both her time and yours discussing the topic. If you decide to give it a try, then a thoughtful approach is the best way to proceed. Here are eight things to think about that will help give you the best chance of making her your riding partner.

1.) Do a little research.

I’m sure she trusts your opinion, but it’s good to have other sources of information to help reassure her. Find some statistics (useful, not scary… just use your best judgment), have a list of bikes that you suggest she ride and why, and even provide some blogs or testimonials of other female riders for inspiration.

At the very least she will recognize that she’s neither alone nor incapable. Lastly, though this may seem superfluous to you, show her that being an adventure motorcyclist can be stylish. There is a variety of both practical and attractive riding gear out there. Helping her find it may make the process a little more fun for her.

Women's Stylish Motorcycle Boots
Style matters. Show her where she can find gear that is both fashionable and practical.

2.) Get her involved in the planning

You may be the one with all the knowledge and experience to plan your journey, but don’t forget that this trip is for both of you to enjoy. Involve her in the research for places you will see, where you will stay and the best places for food and drink along the way. Find out what activities and entertainment sound most appealing to her on your rest days and integrate those into your plan.

Make sure you plan for a riding pace she is comfortable with that includes regular stops to take photos and enjoy the scenery. Remember it may not be all about the ride for her. If you are constantly pushing for too many miles each day, her most vivid memories will be full of fatigue.

3.) Consider her safety and comfort.

If she’s not comfortable with her gear or the motorcycle itself, riding can become a real burden. It’s important that she has a bike that fits her and gear that provides good protection. As a new off-road rider, she may feel uneasy behind the handlebars at first. Try to anticipate dangerous and uncomfortable situations before they occur. Remind her of important steps and motivate her to become a better adventure rider.

You should also encourage her to experience trails outside of her comfort zone. If she reaches an obstacle that she’s not ready to overcome, offer to take her bike through it for her (this has helped me a lot). Don’t judge her. Don’t tease her, even if that’s how you normally show affection. Pushing her too hard could discourage her and make her never want to try again, but don’t be too gentle or it could harm her ability to learn. Whatever you do, make sure she is comfortable and confident behind the bars before setting off on your big adventure.

Riding in the fog
Try to anticipate dangerous and uncomfortable situations before they occur.

4.) Listen to her questions and concerns.

This is self-explanatory. Listening to her and helping her find answers might be all she needs to ease her mind. It can help! Take notes (mentally or physically) and refer to them when planning your trip. Getting her fully prepared and up-to-speed on everything she needs to know will build her confidence as an off-road adventure rider.

5.) Help her create a financial game plan.

Motorcycles aren’t cheap. Gear isn’t cheap. Gas and maintenance and all the other extras… you understand. Add the expenses of travel and entertainment to the equation and you’re looking at spending some real money on your trip. Daunting as it may be, you have the advantage of being a duo and can pool your resources together. If she needs it, help her finance a bike. Help her find and purchase affordable gear. Budget together. She’ll appreciate that you are willing to invest in her success.

6.) Comfy camping is key.

Staying solely in hotels and resorts can add a lot of extra costs to your trip. It’s likely you will choose to camp a lot during your travels to save money. This alone can be a hindrance for some women (a lot of men too). Light-weight, practical gear is important, but don’t skimp when it comes to comfort in your camping setup.

Make sure you riding partner is comfortable.
Make sure she’s warm, dry and comfortable while camping and she’ll thank you for it.

You may have a high tolerance for pain and discomfort, but if your lady is too hot, too cold or soaking wet, I guarantee she won’t be enjoying the experience. When it comes to the place where you lay your head at night, make it plush, warm and clean and she’ll thank you for it. Also, try to check into a hotel every few days so she can get a shower and wash her hair.

7.) Encourage her. 

Sometimes her pride or inexperience can cause her to try riding tougher terrain than she’s ready for. This can put her in a dangerous position. Look for the warning signs that she may be fatigued or in over her head. If she’s been pushing too hard, find her an easier route or give her a long rest. Don’t be afraid to tell her that you think “now” is not the time for this particular trail, but in due time she will be ready. Be direct. Be firm. But be kind and show respect. Remind her that you believe she can do it and you have faith in her. Oh, and whenever you guys finish a rough ride, tell her you’re proud of her and give her a smooch. This makes a huge difference!

8.) Be patient. Stay positive.

This whole process can be disheartening at times. Try not to let the stressful situations get to you. If it seems difficult for you, imagine what she’s going through. Breathe slowly and remain positive. Think about a future with the two of you cruising alongside each other through beautiful landscapes in exotic lands. All your efforts will be rewarded with the wonderful moments you will soon experience together as riding partners.

“When you understand the situation of the other person, when you understand the nature of suffering, anger will vanish, because it is transformed into compassion.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Author: Kyra Sacdalan

Kyra is a freelance journalist and author, as well as the co-creator of WESTx1000 a multimedia company that creates content for the adventure community. Conceived in a coin-op laundry room in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, what started as an excuse to ride dirt bikes in Baja has become a portal into the lives of two authors, photographers and cultural anthropologists. Whether they’re documenting the infamous Baja 1000 off-road race, crossing the country on a pair of Indian Scouts, investigating Japan’s eclectic motorcycle culture, or riding their dual-sports from Barstow to Vegas, the idea stays the same…

Author: Kyra Sacdalan
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 16

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16 thoughts on “8 Steps to Inspire Her to Become Your Riding Partner

  1. This is a well-written piece that a lot of guys (and gals) can benefit from. My lady could ride for years before we met, but was new to adventure riding. I helped her try out 22 (yes, twenty-two) different bikes until we found one that fit her and that she liked (F700GS, factory lowered). This was key to the whole experience. She already loved camping, exploring and riding, but she needed a horse she could trust! Now, there is no stopping her!!

  2. Or… instead of all that work riders could in the first place just set out to find adventurous women partners who already love to ride themselves. Capable women riders already do their own financial planning, already select and maintain their own bikes and equipment, and are already doing epic trip planning totally on their own. On top of that women riders who have always done these things on their own and not because of their partner are hot as hell. If you ride you can skip all the manipulation, crying, begging and hand wringing, just take the time to find a capable and adventurous partner in the first place. It is much more fun for both partners and much more real experiences to share if you both are in it for the love of riding and not for any other reason.

      • Peanut – ha good point, not sure that is a good idea, seems kinda like a major douche move, maybe just ride alone and skip it if she isn’t really into riding enough to figure some of that out on her own. For me as a woman who rides every day I don’t know if the author intended for it to be but this article seems too condescending and insulting to women riders out here that really don’t need a man to educate us on how to ride a dirt bike. Its really not that hard. Lots of us girls live to ride and could use a great guy who wants to go with.

        • Hey Scout,

          I just wanted to express my opinions on how someone could motivate their Partner to ride outside of their comfort zone. No should ever be manipulated into anything let alone an activity that requires skill and dedication. This was not the intention of the piece and receiving your opinion and point of view are appreciated. Thank you!

          • I agree with the author. I think it is clear that the article is not intended for women who find the sport on their own but women that might have thought about it yet need some encouragement from their partner to try it. I for one, felt the same way. Thankfully, my hubby finally made me get out of my comfort zone by doing a lot of things mentioned here. It definitely wasn’t easy but I was lucky he had a sensitive approach to things. I ride all the time now and it is amazing to be able to share the experience of riding through remote places together.

  3. 1. If a woman wants to ride, she will, no need to manipulate her into it. If you have to talk her into it, she may resent you for it later.
    2. If she wants to look cute, Google is a great resource for finding cute motorcycle attire.
    3. If she wants to ride, ask her if she wants to plan, don’t force it. Allow her to give her opinion and consider it even if you don’t like it. You did after all ask her to join you on your journey.
    4. If she is riding she should do her own research and find out about safety. Have her take a motorcycle safety course then go out and practice riding in every type of condition imaginable so she’ll be prepared for whatever you encounter.
    5. Listening is great, being empathetic is better and being patient is key.
    6. If she’s intelligent, she’ll already know how to financially plan her life in order to acquire a motorcycle.
    7. If your lady isn’t willing to sleep on the dirt, you may want to reconsider the trip.

  4. Wow this is pretty cool I just saw your bikes being worked on the other day at a local shop interesting to read this story, I look forward to reading about your travels!

  5. I wish it was that easy. Best I’ve done is inspire her to ride a 50cc scooter. She ended up liking it because she could park in front of her shop. When she moved to a new location and could no longer park in front, the scooter sat in the garage for a year. :-/

  6. Que the butt-hurt from girls who already ride, I knew that was going to happen. If you’re a girl and you already ride, good for you….but this article isn’t about you. Yeah, that sounds a bit brash, but it’s true. Adventure riding is still a 10:1 male dominated interest. Just like Yoga, Pilates, and Bar are a 10:1 female dominated interest. And guess what? That’s OK. Men and women naturally gravitate towards different things. This is a woman writing to men who want to get their non-riding girlfriends and wives interested in ADV riding. It’s her perspective on what fears and concerns non-riding women may have and how to help the men in their lives help overcome them. Hell, the first time I took my bike off road I think I sucked up half my seat cushion, lol! ADV riding is intimidating for anyone to start doing and it typically encompasses the outdoors, exposure to inclement weather and camping to name just a few. Many women do not do well with some of those things, let alone all of them at once. Fact actual. Likewise, I read a similar article on how to get, “the man in your life” to attend hot yoga with you and get over the fears men naturally have….tight pants, trying to touch your toes, and the fear of looking stupid in front of a room full of girls when you fall over, lol.

  7. Absolutely LOVE the advice and have come to the conclusion that your gene’s Kyra should be cloned to ensure this amazing spirit of adventure in all!
    Thanks for taking the time and making the effort to share this great info!
    Safe travels to you both!

  8. Kyra,

    Kudos on a thoughtful and thorough article. Not to be unnecessarily critical, but there’s no way anyone will always be warm, dry, and comfortable while camping. If you’re in the weather long enough, no matter how good your equipment is, you’re going to be miserable sometimes. That’s part of the victory of outdoor travel. Overcoming tough conditions and enjoying the journey through the hard and easy parts alike. Best wishes and safe travels to you. Let us know what you find on the road in Mexico.

    Jeff Adams, North Conway, NH

  9. I’ve edited the article and switched the gender specific pronouns. Ask yourself why it sounds ridiculous:

    8 Steps to Inspire Him to Become Your Riding Partner
    A thoughtful approach to persuading your man to ride the world with you.

    Published on 09.24.2014

    Making your husband your riding partner

    So you want to travel the world with your man on an Adventure Motorcycle?
    Before you gather the courage to ask him all the impending questions, honestly answer a question yourself: Why do I want to explore the world on motorcycles with my husband (or boyfriend)? If your answer is something along the lines of, “this is a passion of mine that he could enjoy also,” then you’re off to a good start. If your answer is something more along the lines of, “I think he should share this with me,” then you might want to try a “bargaining” approach rather than “suggesting” or “persuading.”

    In any case, if he doesn’t already have some inclination for adventure, it’s probably a waste of both his time and yours discussing the topic. If you decide to give it a try, then a thoughtful approach is the best way to proceed. Here are eight things to think about that will help give you the best chance of making him your riding partner.

    1.) Do a little research.
    I’m sure he trusts your opinion, but it’s good to have other sources of information to help reassure him. Find some statistics (useful, not scary… just use your best judgment), have a list of bikes that you suggest he ride and why, and even provide some blogs or testimonials of other female riders for inspiration.

    At the very least he will recognize that he’s neither alone nor incapable. Lastly, though this may seem superfluous to you, show him that being an adventure motorcyclist can be stylish. There is a variety of both practical and attractive riding gear out there. Helping him find it may make the process a little more fun for him. Style matters. Show him where he can find gear that is both fashionable and practical.

    2.) Get him involved in the planning
    You may be the one with all the knowledge and experience to plan your journey, but don’t forget that this trip is for both of you to enjoy. Involve him in the research for places you will see, where you will stay and the best places for food and drink along the way. Find out what activities and entertainment sound most appealing to him on your rest days and integrate those into your plan.

    Make sure you plan for a riding pace he is comfortable with that includes regular stops to take photos and enjoy the scenery. Remember it may not be all about the ride for him. If you are constantly pushing for too many miles each day, his most vivid memories will be full of fatigue.

    3.) Consider his safety and comfort.
    If he’s not comfortable with his gear or the motorcycle itself, riding can become a real burden. It’s important that he has a bike that fits him and gear that provides good protection. As a new off-road rider, he may feel uneasy behind the handlebars at first. Try to anticipate dangerous and uncomfortable situations before they occur. Remind him of important steps and motivate him to become a better adventure rider.

    You should also encourage him to experience trails outside of his comfort zone. If he reaches an obstacle that he’s not ready to overcome, offer to take his bike through it for him (this has helped me a lot). Don’t judge him. Don’t tease him, even if that’s how you normally show affection. Pushing him too hard could discourage him and make him never want to try again, but don’t be too gentle or it could harm his ability to learn. Whatever you do, make sure he is comfortable and confident behind the bars before setting off on your big adventure.
    Riding in the fog
    Try to anticipate dangerous and uncomfortable situations before they occur.

    4.) Listen to his questions and concerns.
    This is self-explanatory. Listening to him and helping him find answers might be all he needs to ease his mind. It can help! Take notes (mentally or physically) and refer to them when planning your trip. Getting him fully prepared and up-to-speed on everything he needs to know will build his confidence as an off-road adventure rider.

    5.) Help him create a financial game plan.
    Motorcycles aren’t cheap. Gear isn’t cheap. Gas and maintenance and all the other extras… you understand. Add the expenses of travel and entertainment to the equation and you’re looking at spending some real money on your trip. Daunting as it may be, you have the advantage of being a duo and can pool your resources together. If he needs it, help him finance a bike. Help him find and purchase affordable gear. Budget together. He’ll appreciate that you are willing to invest in her success.

    6.) Comfy camping is key.
    Staying solely in hotels and resorts can add a lot of extra costs to your trip. It’s likely you will choose to camp a lot during your travels to save money. This alone can be a hindrance for some men (a lot of women too). Light-weight, practical gear is important, but don’t skimp when it comes to comfort in your camping setup.
    Make sure you riding partner is comfortable.
    Make sure he’s warm, dry and comfortable while camping and he’ll thank you for it.
    You may have a high tolerance for pain and discomfort, but if your man is too hot, too cold or soaking wet, I guarantee he won’t be enjoying the experience. When it comes to the place where you lay your head at night, make it plush, warm and clean and he’ll thank you for it. Also, try to check into a hotel every few days so he can get a shower and wash his hair.

    7.) Encourage him.
    Sometimes his pride or inexperience can cause him to try riding tougher terrain than he’s ready for. This can put him in a dangerous position. Look for the warning signs that he may be fatigued or in over his head. If he’s been pushing too hard, find him an easier route or give him a long rest. Don’t be afraid to tell him that you think “now” is not the time for this particular trail, but in due time he will be ready. Be direct. Be firm. But be kind and show respect. Remind him that you believe he can do it and you have faith in him. Oh, and whenever you guys finish a rough ride, tell him you’re proud of him and give him a smooch. This makes a huge difference!

    8.) Be patient. Stay positive.
    This whole process can be disheartening at times. Try not to let the stressful situations get to you. If it seems difficult for you, imagine what he’s going through. Breathe slowly and remain positive. Think about a future with the two of you cruising alongside each other through beautiful landscapes in exotic lands. All your efforts will be rewarded with the wonderful moments you will soon experience together as riding partners.

  10. Superb Kyra, really inspiring article abt you…. Loved reading it and hopefully it will help us knowing more yourself in near future 🙂 thank you to you and your boyfriend..keep writing, may be you shall here from me too one day 😉