April-June 2009  



Women Pioneers:

Honoring Women Making Motorcycle History

Leslie Porterfield

2008 AMA Racing Female Rider of the Year

Most people would never have expected this woman, Leslie Porterfield, to return to land-speed racing much less conquer and hold three land-speed records after her accident on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2007. But not even seven broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a concussion could quell Leslie’s strong “need for speed.” Nope, after a two-month quick recovery she had more hard-earned edge and experience to fuel her fire for the coming year. And oh did 2008 bode well! The AMA officially named her the “2008 AMA Racing Female Rider of the Year” for becoming the fastest female in America with a top speed of 234.197mph on a modified 2002 Suzuki Hayabusa. This also led to her induction as the first woman to enter the Bonneville 200mph Club on a conventional “sit on” motorcycle. Leslie is a natural motorcycle dynamo, riding since she was 16; her first bike only cost $200, which she bought just for transportation. Who knew that little investment would lead to such an exciting moto career? When Leslie’s not racing and setting records, she owns and runs a successful motorcycle shop, High Five Cycles, in Dallas, Texas. For more info on all her accomplishments and accolades go to

all photos courtesy:

Watch You Tube video: Leslie Porterfield discusses running 234 mph on the Salt Flats

Posted by American Motorcyclist 11-23-08





Glasgow Riding Boot
Becky Shimek
photo credit: Becky's son Evan (9 years old!)Footwear is a complete fetish of mine. Wrap me in a paper bag for all I care*, but if the shoes aren’t fly, then I’ll resolve to stay home. This ultimately presented a fashion hurdle when I first took to riding just five short years ago. Sure, protection has always been my first concern when choosing a riding boot, but I didn’t want to comprise style. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what I was forced to do thanks to my finicky foot nature.
Then in 2006 Santa brought me a killer pair of motorcycle boots. Icon had just recently launched their Bombshell boot. A wedge heel no less. And the best part – they were real riding boots; complete with a suede protective patch for shifting. Life was good.
Fast forward to the present. My Bombshell’s are still in good condition, but a girl’s just gotta have more than one pair of shoes in her riding closet. To my surprise though, its was the Harley-Davidson brand that I would add to my collection.

I’m a “sportbike” girl, so naturally I gravitate towards a style that doesn’t’ exactly match the HD image*. But after thumbing through their latest catalog, I found more than one pair of riding boots that fit my taste (and budget). I decided on the Glasgow.

The Glasgow is a 14” Equestrian style boot with lace detailing. It has a European flair, hence the name Glasgow, but the real beauty is that it’s made in the USA, another reason so many gravitate towards the HD name. Unlike my former Italian moto boots, these are a guilt-free pleasure.

photo credit: Brian Shimek

Beyond Appearance

Although the Glasgow was true to size in length, I found them a bit wide for my narrow feet (size 6) so I wear two pair of socks to compensate – an easy fix. The upside to its wider characteristic is that I can finally tuck my pants into the boot, which is not an option with my Bombshells.

Another huge plus going for the Glasgow is that they are very comfortable. I wore them for nine hours each day while working a hectic three-day weekend during a motorcycle event; I was on my feet 90 percent of the time and when I got home my feet weren’t even throbbing as usual.

Sometimes with new riding boots, your feet have to get reacquainted with the pegs, shift, and back brake. It really didn’t take many miles though, until my boot and machine were in sync. By the second ride, all were in perfect harmony. Check plus!

As far as durability, I’ve only had the boots for a couple of months now, but I suspect they will have a long life because they are made with a process called “Goodyear® welt construction,” which, according to my Internet research, is ‘a procedure consisting of sewing, using a thread 12 strands thick, a strip of leather (welt) -- the leather and the lining altogether with the insole, to which previously a crack is made in all its contour where the seam is fixed.’ Sounds impressive anyway. 

So the Glasgow has won my affection for their function, their comfort, and most importantly (grin): their appearance.

 photo credit: Brian Shimek

Boot descriptions as per the catalog: 

  • Full grain leather uppers. Full length cushion sock lining. Inside zipper. Rubber outsole. Goodyear® welt construction. Riding Appropriate Footwear.

  • Width - Medium (B, M) Heel Height - Shaft measures 13 Inches, Circumference measures 16 Inches, and 1.5 Inch Heel Material.

Outsole Performance Ratings:

  • Abrasion-Resistant: Good
  • Slip-Resistant: N/A
  • Oil-Resistant: Better


You can actually find these boots at a range of prices. I’ve seen them listed online anywhere from $139.00 (retail) to $99.99 (, and even $89.99 ( Please note, I’m not advocating any of these sites and personally have not used them. Always read reviews of the site itself before making any online purchase.


* The following sentence might be hyperbole

*I've been an avid Kawasaki rider for the past few years until recently I fell in love with the Buell XB12S, shown in the pictures.




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