Hi! I’m Savannah, or Savvy. I race motorcycles on the weekends and work at a Pediatric Neurology clinic during the week. Originally from Colorado but located in Southern California, I love everything about motorcycles from riding them to wrenching on them. If I could have every type of motorcycle, I would! I also love music (I’m a board-certified music therapist), woodworking, and working out, indoors and outdoors.
Q. Why did you start riding?
A. For most of my life, I never really thought about the possibility of riding a motorcycle. Never really payed attention to them. When I moved to Cali, my roommate at the time took me for my first ride and I was completely hooked. I spent a year as a passenger, totally addicted to the feeling. When my roommate moved away, I knew I had to get my own. I took the MSF course by myself, bought my 2008 Ducati Monster and attempted to hit the streets.
I rode pretty much every day on the streets and then was introduced to the racetrack. One thing led to the next and I started only riding at the track and then eventually started racing. I learned so much along that journey and have met so many incredible people that the reason why I ride changed from just the feeling of riding to the feeling of empowerment, independence and community.
Q. How long have you been riding?
A. I have been riding for 4 years now! A lot has happened in that time. I rode on the street for about 1.5 years of those years, the racetrack for about three and have been racing for two (entering into my third!)
Q. How would you describe your riding style?
A. Calm in practice but a beast during a race! Haha! I like to ride pretty fast but even when I’m practicing at a track day I never really lock into my full riding style until the green flag drops for a race. After that, it’s pure focus, zen, and a little bit of rage. ;)
Q. What bikes have you had and which one is/was your fave and why?
2008 Ducati Monster 695
2006 Yamaha R6
2017 Yamaha R6
2012 Kawasaki Ninja 300 (my first race bike)
1993 BMW K75 (rebuild project)
2012 Yamaha XT-250
2016 Yamaha R3 (championship winning race bike)
2018 Yamaha TTR125 (flat track style)
2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400 (current race bike)
My favorite…. That’s like asking a parent to pick their favorite child…. It would have to be a tie between my first bike, the Ducati Monster, and my R3 race bike. The Ducati Monster is such a sexy bike and so fun to ride, plus it was easy to learn how to take care of because it’s naked! I won my first championship on my R3 race bike. It was built so well and handled so nicely. I miss it every day. One of those bikes I’d put in my living room forever if I could.
Q. What experience/lesson stands out the most to you, as it relates to skill development on your bike?
A. Most of my skill development has come from racing, following fast riders and receiving formal coaching, like JP43 Training. A big ah-ha moment for me was when I started really understanding how to balance brake application, throttle and turn in to get the right bike placement for the most drive.
Q. What advice do you have for womxn who are interested in riding, but haven't started yet?
A. Don’t let the barriers of a male dominated industry get in the way! You can learn a lot on your own and through the people in the community. Sometimes you might have to wear men’s gear to stay safe or deal with the strange looks of concern in the dealership when you sit on a “big bike”, but don’t let those things stop you from getting out there and doing what you want to do. And, learn how to work on your own bike! You’ll save a lot of money and the knowledge can help you when you are in a jam.
Q. What has been your most exciting accomplishment on your bike?
A. Winning the 2021 expert 350ss championship, the first women to win a coed expert class at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway Association (CVMA).
Q. What motorcycle gear is your "go-to"?
A. Definitely my 6D helmets! They are so comfortable and so safe! Out of all the helmets I’ve crashed in, I had the least amount of head injury symptoms when I wore my 6D.
I also love my 64 Degree Racing custom compression suits. Definitely a must have when you’re wearing a full suit so it doesn’t stick to you. Their designs are pretty cool too! Lastly, my Forma boots. I’ve had mine for two years and crashed 4 times in them and they’re still in amazing condition.
Q. What would be your "dream bike" to own and why?
A. I cannot pick one bike so I’m going to say my “dream garage” would have a Yamaha R3 race bike, an Aprillia 660 race bike, Kawasaki 636 race bike, a 2008 Ducati Monster, a fuel injected Kawasaki KX250f, a BMW f850 GS, an Indian Scout Bobber, a Yamaha TTR125, Husqvarna FS450, KTM 350 EXC-F and a lot of tools.
Q. Who inspires you from the moto world and why?
A. Melissa Paris! Inspired by her ever since I started racing. Not only is she a bad ass professional racer, but she also is a crew chief who knows how to wrench. She holds her own in the industry.
Q. How have motorcycles changed your life?
A. Learning how to race has brought out a strength in me I didn’t know I had. Racing pushes you to your limits emotionally, physically, and mentally. Not only on the racetrack but off it too. I have accomplished things and pushed myself in ways I never have in my life which has given me so much more self-confidence, strength, independence and self-love off the track. But it also gave me community. I know I would not be where I am at now without all the support from the people in this community. I have gained so many friends and now have a special bond with so many people all over the U.S. who ride.
If you are interested in following Savannah, her IG handle is: @savvyracing.
Thanks so much, Savannah, for allowing us to interview you and share your story!
If you enjoyed our interview, check back in for our next Ride Like A Girl Spotlight, which will be posted in early March.