What is there left to say about this amazing moto lady that hasn't been said before... A figure head in the new womens moto scene the legendary Letitia Cline is a prolific moto journalist who rides just about anything she can get her hands on. As well as co-owning a community workshop called Standard Motorcycle Company with her husband & partner in crime Jason Paul Michaels of Dime City Cycles Letitia is a certified MSF riding coach, is part of the womens riding group the Iron Lillies & is next year planning a 10,000 mile round trip across America with fellow rider Kristen Lassen called the Lost Latitudes . Phew! On top of all this she is a wife & mother who somehow manages to find the time to work in her local community setting up charity initiatives like "The Shirt Off My Back" distributing clothing to her towns homeless population. In total a pretty incredible (and very busy) woman ....Oh and one more thing, did we mention she seriously knows how to party!
We first met Leticia back in October while she was here on a trip to London for the launch of the new Triumph. We had just got back from BRO the day before & thought we were gonna meet up to say hello & have a quick mid week drink....Hmmmmm. After a slew of cocktails & whiskey shots (we lost count after 6), getting photo booth photos done that we promise will never see the light of day ever again, fighting with random hotel neighbours because our motorcycle was too loud then proceeding to ride said motorcycle through the hotel (sorry hotel manager), a sticker graffiti session on some I-macs (again sorry hotel manager), getting kicked out of said hotel & finishing off by declaring THE CROIGS to anyone who would listen, it was safe to say she's in the gang.
We caught up with her (after the hangovers subsided...it took a while believe me) to ask how she got into bikes & all about the ladies she rides with, The Iron Lillies.
How long have you been riding motorcycles?
I’ve been riding since I was 4 years old and been around motorcycles since I was born. My father taught me how to ride and it’s something that has always felt more natural then walking. I took a break for about 6 years after my fathers death. The thought of riding without him was more painful then not riding at all. Eventually enough time had passed and I felt like I was denying myself my birthright. I bought my Iron and then never looked back. I actually sold my car and added a 2 up seat so I can ride my son around. I like to think that I’m making an impact on my child's life just like the way my father did with mine, through the open road.
What inspired you start riding?
There are 3 major things that inspired me to ride and keep riding. My father inspired me at first and he’s what has kept me riding. When I’m having a bad day I get on my bike and ride it out. Some people go to cemeteries to talk to the love ones they’ve lost, I go on long motorcycle rides to talk to mine. Another huge inspiration in my life of motorcycles is my son. I want him to know what strong and independent women look like. If he grows up like this then he will never think less of women and it will be instilled in him that we are all equal. And last but certainly not least, Women. I get a lot of emails from women all over the world sharing their stories on riding and it’s inspirational. I’m so moved by how compassionate most of them are about riding. In general, women are more philosophical then men, so we tend to not only use our bikes as a mode of transportation but also as a reminder that anything is possible regardless of the obstacles. After gaining a following, I felt like it’s was my duty to not just inspire but to encourage and promote the better (and safer) parts of riding, that’s why I am training to be an MSF instructor and stepping out of my own comfort zone by attending track days, adventure riding courses and flat tracking courses. I feel the only way I can really speak for an industry I love I have to be knowledgeable and have experience in all aspects of it.
What was you first bike?:
Honda 50 with homemade training wheels. My dad was a MacGyver when it came to rigging stuff.
What do you ride now? Any mods? :
I ride a 2014 Iron 883 but not much is stock on it. I kept the suspension slammed because I like the way it looks but honestly it feels like crap if I hit the smallest of bumps. I added a custom made steering damper so it will handle better in turns. I also added a cafe fairing from Memphis Shades and even though it’s small it cuts through a great deal of wind. I wielded my sissy bar from the shorter Burly Brand sissy bar. I didn’t want it to be too high and I wanted more options when it came to strapping things onto it. I tend to take a lot of long trips on my sportster and having options when it comes to hauling things always helps. My favorite thing is my RSD moto bars because I’m use to riding dirt and it still gives me the sense of control I’m comfortable with. I have a ton of other RSD bolt on parts like my controls, air cleaner and the 2 into 1 slant exhaust. My seat is Biltwell but it’s covered in a high grade leather to last longer. I also added Speed MerchantPreload Fork Adjusters and foot pegs. I love the way my bike it dialed in. It took some time but it was important to me to have a highly performance bike.
What is your dream bike?:
Sorry to get all sappy on you but it’s my father’s bike. I am currently trying to buy it but having some issues. Bikes aren’t like cars in the way they retain value, sure the rare ones are amazing and of course the price is high but motorcycles evoke an emotion inside of us. They take us back to a moment unlike anything else and that’s because motorcycles are visceral where all the senses are active when riding them. That’s why my father’s bike will always be my dream bike, not because it’s rare or hand-built but because it is the memory of everything that I am and that is priceless to me.
ABOVE IMAGES BY JASON PAUL MICHAELS
Road or dirt?
Dirt I love but since I’ve gotten older I like the road a little more. We have a custom Triumph Scrambler that allows me to do both and often on the same ride so lucky for me I don’t have to choose.
Built or bought?
Whatever gets you riding. I’m an equal opportunist. I feel like that phrase can have a negative conation to it sometimes. I think it’s great if you can build or prefer built bikes but at the same time not everyone has the knowledge or equipment to have a built bike and I think that’s cool too. There are a lot of great "out of the box” bikes coming out now.
Tell us some more about the group you ride with - the Iron Lilies...
We are nine girls who ride sportsters in Orlando FL. A couple of us knew each other but most of us came together through social media. We ride a lot which is the reason why I decided to be apart of it. We meet and ride about 4 times a week and for nine girls to do that is impressive. Most of us work on our own bikes and build custom parts. We have a MMI mechanic, MSF Instructor, Harley Davidson Sale Woman and long time riders. When we were trying to come up with a name it only seemed fair that the women before us (the original women who ride) were paid homage to. After all, women’s groups aren’t new. Neither is women riding. We didn’t want to come out and pretend like were doing something unheard of. We spend a lot of time planning charity rides and have 7 planned until the end of the year. We also work to learn and share that learning onto others. Men ride with us most of the time because we don’t discriminate and we have some great supportive partners. Plus we don’t want to limit ourselves when it comes to riding, I may learn something from a guy that could make me a better rider and if I didn’t ride with them then I would have never known it. To get more info on the name go to out website www.theironlilies.com
I also have a 10,000 mile ride coming up next year with my girlfriend Kristen Lassen. The trip is to honor our fathers by caring on their legacy and to also find our own through the open road. The trip is from the farthest Southeast point of the US to the farthest Northwest point and we will be meeting up with a lot of other women riders along the way. You can find out more at www.thelostlatitudes.com