Readers Ride – Kalie’s Killer Sporty
Kalie Maden is a biker to the core. She’s a wrench, building cool scooters and the bike seen here is her personal ride. Born To Ride asked her how long she’s been riding motorcycles. “It all started when I was just 10 years old,” Kalie tells us. “Santa Claus brought me a Yamaha TTR-90. I was immediately in LOVE as soon as I hopped on and rode around the backyard. Needless to say, 17 years later, I am still just as in love, if not more, with motorcycles.
With such as cool Christmas gift, we had to ask if Kalie’s dad rides. “My Dad rides. I actually have his old 1980 Ironhead Roadster 1000 from back in the day that he bought brand new off the showroom floor!” Kalie confides. “I’m working on rebuilding it, making it into a (somewhat) reliable bike, with some upgraded parts. My Mom has yet to ride her own, but used to ride along with my Dad all the time when they were younger. I’ve tried to convince her to hop on the back of my chopper but no luck yet. Who can blame her? Haha!”
We asked how she got into wrenchin’ and customizing motorcycles. “Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve always been good with my hands and curious about how things worked, mechanically. When I’d get a new toy, I’d be more concerned with the mechanics inside.
“Once I had a motorcycle, I would tinker with it constantly. I think the first time I serviced a carburetor, I was around 11 or 12 years old. The satisfaction of taking a bike that would not start or run properly, pinpointing the problem, fixing it, starting it back up and have it run better than before, was just something that drove me to do more.” Motorcycles are just such a huge part of my life. Riding, servicing, and customizing motorcycles, is my therapy. Sure, it can be so frustrating at times and you might throw a few wrenches across the garage, but you take a breath, come back, and think, ‘This thing isn’t going to fix itself, it needs me to stay calm and think straight, and this will all pay off in the end when I’m riding down the road.’”
Kalie went to the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute to become a certified motorcycle technician. She says, “The years spent at the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute really opened my eyes to see that my true passion in life is putting my artwork into motorcycles. I may not have all the skills that I’d like to have in this moment, but I’d love to keep growing and learning so one day I can roll with the big dogs that inspire me so much.”
Naturally, that led us to ask about custom bike builders that have inspired Ms. Maden. “Wow, where do I start? Some of my favorite builders would be, Jared Weems, Eric Allard, Drew Cemer, Brian Buttera, Savannah Rose, Kyle Ray Rice, Bill Dodge, Joshua Allison, James Alcorn, JP Rodman, just to name a few!” That’s a pretty stellar list.
We asked Kalie to tell us about the bike we’re featuring here, her 2003 Sportster. “This bike started as a stock 100th Anniversary Edition 2003 Harley-Davidson XL883C with apehangers. Over the past six years, I’ve been doing more and more to it. It’s changed looks about five times over the years. So right now I’m running a foot clutch jockey shift setup that I bought from my friend Miles, some Freakshow Fab rabbit-ear handlebars that I’ve painted black, and a Cycle Standard Axed Dual Cap Chopper gas tank from Lowbrow Customs. I cut the rear fender struts to put on a Tsunami rear fender also from Lowbrow Customs.”
When asked about the paintjob, Kalie says she handled that too. “The tank and fender were painted by me. It has Lowbrow Custom Shotgun Exhaust pipes, an Old STF Mini-ED air Cleaner from Lowbrow Customs, chain conversion kit from Lowbrow Customs. The front end includes 6+ tubes from TC Bros, a King and Queen seat from Sully’s Customs, LED bar headlight from Trackerdie, Led Sled 21-inch Invader front wheel. I’m sure I am missing some things but most of my parts came from Lowbrow Customs and I have done 100% of the work outside of making the parts.”
Because Kalie Maden impressed us so much, we asked her what advice she would give to women who might like to try riding a motorcycle. “I would start off by saying, if you are thinking about it, just do it. Everyone starts somewhere. No one was born knowing how to ride a motorcycle and no one expects you to just naturally know how to. Believe me, it’s something that has changed my entire life and now I would be lost without motorcycles. This isn’t a contest, not everyone has the opportunity to start early in their life or learn how to ride in a friend’s backyard. There’s such a silly stigma about women riding motorcycles, anyone with a brain can do it! Keep in mind to ride within your comfort zone and HAVE FUN! Life is way too short not to do the things that scare you or make you nervous. Those things are what make you feel alive. Stop making excuses and START RIDING!”
Well said, sister!