Why did you choose your Triumph Scramblers?
I have several bikes in the stable these days, but I choose them for their versatility. I am particularly partial to Triumph Scramblers, either air-cooled 900's, the Street Scrambler, or the more robust Triumph 1200XC. I adore adventure riding on a modern classic and have found that venturing farther into the unknown on a big bike has pushed me to face my fears on and off-road, ultimately becoming a much more well-rounded and self-sufficient rider.
I also have a 1966 Triumph T100c Desert Sled, which has been recently brought back to life at Hello Engine. It should be illegal to have that much fun on a bike off-road! I just finished restoring my very first bike, a 1975 Yamaha XS650 Tracker. Now I just need to invent the time machine to take it back to ASCOT to race on the flat track!
Tell us your story, how did you get into riding?
I've always been interested in bikes, particularly in the history of British motorcycles and racing. I idolized riders like Bud Ekins and Steve McQueen for their fearlessness and style. When I was in school for mechanical engineering, I used to spend a lot of time as a spectator at vintage races or hanging out at mechanic shops. It was so fascinating to learn all the how's and why's about the bikes, but I refused to go for a ride as a passenger. I promised myself that the first time I rode a motorcycle, I would be at the helm. And so, within a matter of weeks, I had my M1 license and bought my first bike. That is the approach I take with many aspects of my life. There is no better way to achieve your goals than to just march right up to a closed door, and kick it open!
What inspires you to ride?
There are certainly specific people that inspire me to ride and push my skills just a little farther. But, at the end of the day, I'm predominantly inspired to ride by the feral desire to explore. Every new road, scenic overlook, trail, off-the-grid camp spot pushes me further. I'm constantly asked how I have the time to ride so far from home so often, and the answer is - I'm not always as far away as it seems. I thrive on finding new spots to explore within a few hundred miles of where I live. There is nothing quite like falling in love with your own 'backyard' over and over again.
Why did you start your account? (passion project or full-time)
I am the most reluctant social-media user that ever was! I started my account as a way to keep up friends in faraway places about ten years ago. I had no idea that the platform would grow into a place where I could share my experiences in riding, music, and engineering with like-minded folks from every corner of the globe. I love how we are able to make the world feel a little bit smaller and feel a little more connected through our shared two-wheeled experiences.
What would your top tip be for someone getting into riding?
The best advice I ever got was to pay attention to the fear/fun ratio. You should always feel as if you are about 51% having fun, and 49% fear when you are learning. If the scale tips in the opposite direction, it is time to slow down, dial it back, re-group, and try again. Safety is paramount, and we only get one life. Ride your own ride at your own pace, and keep it FUN with the shiny side up!
Tell us about the most exciting adventure you’ve taken on your bike?
I've been very fortunate to be able to ride bikes all over the world- from VMX racing in Japan to riding through the jungles of Costa Rica on a janky little Honda. But one of my favorite trips has to be one that I took earlier this year through Arizona and Utah with my boyfriend Jorma (@jormadanielvik). I was able to explore back roads and trails that looked much like the surface of Mars on my air-cooled Triumph Scrambler.
Winding along the sandy slot canyons just over the Arizona border and brick red dirt alongside the natural arches in the Grand Escalante National Monument felt much more like space exploration than a road trip. Culminating with riding our 550lb motos up the steep inclines of Swing Arm City, in the burnt in ruts of legendary off-road riders that came before, this trip was one for all time.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
It may sound cliche, but motorcycles have truly changed my life in more ways than I can even begin to count. The people I've met, the places I've seen, the machines I've been able to adventure on have all shown me that I am much more capable of conquering my fears than I ever knew was possible. Every time I swing my leg over a bike, I am grateful to have had these experiences and grow evermore insatiably curious about what may be around the next turn. 10 out of 10 would recommend.
Follow Tamara Raye on Instagram to see what new adventure she is going on.