Husqvarna

Bytown Motorcycle Association Presents the Annual Ladies Ride and Social | A Trail Ride & Social Event for Women in the Limerick Forest

Babes in the Dirt Bytown Motorcycle Association

We are proud to support The Ladies Ride and Social is a Trail Ride & Social Event for women in the Limerick Forest, near Brockville Ontario. This one day event is designed for ladies to have fun on the trails and to meet other like minded riders in a relaxed atmosphere. This event is spearheaded by Sascha Lange, Women’s Advocate Bytown Motorcycle Association, and Co-Producer- Ladies Limerick Ride and Social. 

Event Location: Limerick Forest, Oxford Station, Ontario

Social Handles:

Tell us about Bytown Motorcycle Association (BMA) and what the organization does?

We are a group of novice to expert off-road and dual sport riders who love the dirt. We work hard to develop, maintain, and sustain the off-road trail networks here in Eastern Ontario. Our club hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year.

Tell us about your annual Ladies Ride and Social (what it is, how long it’s been happening, what the goals are):

The Ladies Ride and Social started in 2016 as a joint event between the Bytown Motorcycle Association and Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada.

What it is:

The goal for the Ladies Ride and Social is to engage women riders and to grow participation by creating an inviting atmosphere that encourages women to join group rides, socialize with other women and to find new riding buddies. We welcome new riders to try a motorcycle for the first time and experienced BMA women to lead groups through their favorite trails.

The key for this event is to make the barrier for participation as minimal as possible by hosting rides for all skill levels and by having a dedicated area to practice finer skills. The event is also free! We create a welcoming environment with a lounge area where riders (and their friends and families) can mingle.  A complimentary BBQ lunch and treats are provided to all ladies and girl participants.The day concludes with a huge prize giveaway where everyone will be a winner!

Babes in the Dirt Bytown Motorcycle Association

What is the riding like in and around the Limerick Forest?

The Limerick forest has a mix of double track and single-track trails. Limerick is a shared use forest. Doubletrack is shared with ATV’s and side by sides and single-track is shared with horses, mountain bikers and hikers.

The doubletrack trails are a great way to start off-road riding. The single-track trails are purposely built as motorcycle trails and as practice trails for enduro. Single-track trails offer twisty turns, hills, sand and roots. Limerick isn’t very rocky like many other riding areas.

The routes in Limerick forest are numbered very clearly as there are many loops around the 2 main parking areas. Connecting the various loops can make for a nice long ride. It’s also convenient to ride back into the gravel pit for breaks and to have some drinks and snacks before continuing your ride. Overall, the Limerick Forest is a super fun and appealing area with lots of accessible single track. It is important for us to note that we promote the respectful use of the forest so the different groups can continue to co-exist on the trails.

What should ladies expect this year?

·         Group rides for all skill levels

·         Skills practice area

·         A lounge for breaks

·         Complimentary lunch and yummy treats

·         Husqvarna Motorcycle Demo Bikes for 18+

·         Prizes for all women and girls!

·         Special Guests!

 Participation is free for ladies and girls!

Babes in the Dirt Bytown Motorcycle Association

Husqvarna Motorcycles in Canada has partnered with the BMA organization and their Ladies Ride and Social event for a few years now, tell us about the relationship and what happens on site.

We have the co-organization of this even dialed. The Husqvarna Motorcycles team provides a nice range of bikes for ladies to try out on the trails or in the skills area. They also amp up the event by creating the lounge area, arrange for special guests and a ton of really cool prizes.

Babes in the Dirt Bytown Motorcycle Association

The BMA’s volunteers lead the group rides, setup the skills area and practical things like registration and parking. Jointly we cover the things that make this event a real social, from the lounge to the food.

How do we sign up!?

·         http://bma1.ca/womens-ride-out.php

Babes in the Dirt Bytown Motorcycle Association

Roll Call | Get to Know Vanessa Watson of Husqvarna

Vanessa is one of those women whom we admire, look up to, and respect wholeheartedly. She is one of the kindest and most dedicated person you will ever meet on 2 wheels and it shows every single time she throws a leg over her moto. You may have met her at Babes in the Dirt (1-4) or were lucky enough to have gotten to ride with her in between but now we finally have an interview so you can get to know her in depth, find out how she got her taste for the dirt, what it's like to work at Husqvarna Motorcycles, and her advice to any ladies ready to hit the dirt for the first time. 

Photo by WLF Enduro

Photo by WLF Enduro

What is your name?

Vanessa Watson       

What do you do for a living?

Marketing Specialist at Husqvarna Motorcycles

Where are you from?

Californian through and through. Born in the San Bernardino Mountains, but moved to Temecula just before going into middle school in 1990.

Where do you live?

Fallbrook, CA

When were you first introduced to riding dirt? Who introduced you?

I am very fortunate, some say spoiled…. My first dirt experience was shortly after being hired at Husqvarna on a brand new FC 250. We had rented out the track at Cahuilla Creek for a test run of the concept that has evolved into the current demo program we run at Babes in the Dirt. It was less than awesome, I didn’t even get out of the staging area before falling over multiple times in front of everyone... Dirt bikes are really tall! We have learned a lot since then and now we lower bikes for shorter riders. So, I guess you could say that working at Husqvarna and being part of an amazing team was my introduction to dirt, the same way it has been for a lot of other ladies that have come to Babes in the Dirt over the years.

How long have you been riding?

5 years

Why do you like riding dirt?

I love riding dirt for a lot of reasons. I grew up riding bikes and building dirt jumps with friends on the undeveloped land behind our housing tract. I’d get up in the morning, go out on my bike all day and come home in the last moments of dusk. I have always loved being on two wheels. Back then it was freedom and in a way, it still is. It’s a break from cell phones, the internet and responsibilities; it’s just me talking to myself inside my helmet. Lots of cussing.

I love riding dirt because of the skill it requires. When I ride I repeat the things I’ve learned in my head. I have little mantras and when I practice the techniques I see the improvement. Again, so fortunate, I ride with and learn from some pretty legendary people in our industry.

Run us through the list of bikes you have had?

  • 2015 Husqvarna FC 250
  • 2018 Husqvarna FE 250
  • 1994 Harley Davidson Sportster

What do you ride now?

  • 2018 Husqvarna FE 250
  • 1994 Harley Davidson Sportster

If you could have 2 bikes what would your other bike be?

That’s really hard, do I only get to have two!? If we are talking dirt I would love to have a motocross bike again but probably a TC 125, I am also really in love with the TE 150; that is a super fun, light weight bike. Definitely a two-stroke!

If we’re talking street, a VITPILEN 701 and not just because I work for Husqvarna… The design of the 701 is the first modern street bike that I have ever looked at and thought, “Damn that bike is beautiful as is”.

Tell us what you love about the bike you ride now?

Previous to my FE 250 I had a 250 motocross model and at time it was a little too much bike for me. I hadn’t been riding very long and didn’t have the control or skill for the power of that bike and it was intimidating. I hadn’t ridden many of other types of dirt bikes to know that I might like something else better. Since improving my riding abilities and knowing what kind of riding I enjoy the most I would say the FE is the perfect bike for me. This bike is also the bike that comprises the majority of the Husqvarna Demo Fleet that we bring to Babes in the Dirt. It’s great all around and being a dual-sport means that I can ride it off-road or on the street. It’s without limitation, and to me it means freedom and power and that makes me feel like a bad ass!

What kind of terrain do you like riding the best?

Single track and whoops.

photo by WLF Enduro

photo by WLF Enduro

What kind of terrain is a challenge for you but you want to master?

Rock sections and sandy whoops.

What is the most challenging riding experience you have had?

Progression means to me that I’m challenging myself and riding with people more skilled than I am on increasingly technical terrain. I am really into riding off-road, single track stuff right now which is always a challenge but I also enjoy riding at a track and working on cornering.

Where are some of your favorite places to ride?

I just rode at McCain Valley for the first time and that was incredible, such a fun day! That place is a literal playground if you like riding off-road, single track trails. Company wasn’t bad either! That’s definitely one of my favorite parts of riding trails, you’re out there with your friends pushing each other, encouraging each other.

What is on you moto bucket list to ride?

Revelstoke, BC and Moab, Utah. Definitely.

Do you ride with a lot of other female riders? Yes, pretty much always. A lot of the women here ride and I have made so many friends coming to Babes in the Dirt events. The guys on our team are also really supportive and often extend the invite to a track day or a trail ride.

Do you have anyone in the moto world that you look up to? 

Another hard one, I have been lucky enough to ride with Mike Brown quite a bit. That’s a pretty special opportunity and I try and absorb as much as I can from him. He’s such a cool, laid back guy, super helpful and eager to share tips for improvement. Also, Ashley Fiolek, she’s a personal hero of mine. Her story is so inspiring and she has such a fluid riding style, she really looks at home on a bike. A colleague/ friend and I attended her MX school, we learned a lot and was I completely impressed at her ability to instruct.  

What was your experience at Babes in the Dirt/Babes Ride Out events?

I have always attended Babes in the Dirt for work, that being said, it’s the best work I could ask for. Come on, I get to ride dirt bikes with rad women in the California desert! Seeing the event grow over the years and evolve into what it’s is now has been awe inspiring and I couldn’t be more proud of our role or to be part of our team. The inclusive vibe and free flowing kindness and helpfulness is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Babes in the Dirt empowers women and creates friendships to last a lifetime all bonded by the sport of motorcycling. Now if we could just do something about the wind!

What advice do you have for someone thinking about getting into riding dirt?

Well, if you already ride on the street, riding dirt will challenge you to become a better, more technical and reactive rider. I think everyone that rides a motorcycle should do it. Personally, I went through an MSF riding school and got my motorcycle endorsement never having ridden a motorcycle before. I didn’t feel confident enough in my skill set to just get out on the road even after the course; so I spent the first couple years of being licensed riding only on dirt. I established guidelines for myself, “once I can do this, this and this, then I will feel confident enough in my skills to be out on the road.” Take a fundamentals course, ride with people more skilled than you, follow them, watch the lines they take and ride within your limits. Lastly, come to Babes in the Dirt, make new friends to ride with and be empowered by. Learn to load your own bike so you never have to depend on someone else if you want to ride. That alone will build your confidence, you can do it!

How long have you worked at Husqvarna and what do you do there?

I was the first external hire for Husqvarna after the KTM Group acquired the brand in 2013. I started out here as the Office Administrator hoping to move up in a company about to have some major growth. At the time there wasn’t a marketing or media team so I was tasked with a lot of marketing related projects. My then boss gave me some solid advice, “do as much as you can, learn the processes and own the projects you complete. When the time comes to hire for the positions you want, you can say you already do that.” I did just that and I am now in the Marketing Department as a specialist and I love it!

Aside from my daily duties of tracking and recording print and digital press, accounting for departmental expenses, creating press releases and marketing bulletins, I coordinate efforts for demo events such as Babes in the Dirt and WLF Enduro’s Mission II. I also work closely with the events team to translate the intended marketing message and brand aesthetic. Most recently, I was in New York to assist in our North American VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN media launch announcing the arrival of the new street product to the U.S. marking Husqvarna’s exciting return to street motorcycling.

Tell us about what it’s like to work there?

I am around motorcycles and motorcyclists all day long and sometimes riding motorcycles is even part of my job. We have race teams of world class, championship winning athletes and everyone here holds themselves to the highest standard. It’s nothing short of amazing and consumes a huge part of my life. We get up every day, Monday through Friday, and call it a job; and on Saturday and Sunday we do it all over again for fun. 

One of Husqvarna’s primary initiatives is Women’s Motorcycling; it’s also my favorite part of the job. I am so proud to work for a manufacturer that sees the value in marketing to women and increasing the number of women on motorcycles by supporting events like Babes in the Dirt and learn-to-ride programs like Ashley Fiolek’s MX School; which ultimately help lower the barriers-to-entry. I work with a fantastic team and every single one of us looks forward to seeing the excitement, happiness and pride on someone’s face after learning to ride a motorcycle or getting back on a bike after a long time. It’s a great reminder to me that in the midst of all the hard work, motorcycles are fun and at the end of the day, that is what it’s all about!   

 

 

 

 

Husqvarna Demo Sign Up is L-I-V-E for Babes in the Dirt 4!

Husqvarna Motorcycles will be joining us at Babes in the Dirt 4 with the fleet of demo bikes. If you have not had the chance to try out one of these amazing machines this is your opportunity. Please read the following very carefully before signing up for ANY of the demo spots. 

  • To learn more about the bikes that will be available to demo click HERE

  • To learn more about the demo team click HERE

In order to participate in the Husqvarna Motorcycles Demo Program you must bring the following:

1. Government issued photo ID (motorcycle license is not required)

2. Signed waiver release form (this will be emailed to you prior to the event).

3. Proper riding gear. If you do not have these items or cannot borrow, please do not sign up as they are ALL manditory before you get on their bikes.

• DOT approved helmet

• Goggles

• Motorcycle gloves

• Motorcycle jersey or approved long sleeves

• Motocross riding pants (no jeans)

• Motocross boots (no work or street boots permitted)

The above is for your own safety. You must be fully geared and show up 30 min before your time slot with signed waiver in hand. Failure to do so forfeits your spot to a rider on the waitlist.

We have a few different riding levels this year to ensure ladies don't get in over their heads. Review carefully and pick a class that best fits your level.

New to Moto: I have been on a dirt bike less than 5 times. I am not fully comfortable operating a dirt bike yet or do not know how to at all. For this option, you will be included in a training course on site.

Beginner: I know how to operate a dirt bike. I am comfortable with shifting and braking. I am comfortable off-road but am still learning how to ride different terrain.

Intermediate: I am very comfortable operating a dirt bike. I am very comfortable in a wide variety of terrain.

**FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP AS AN INTERMEDIATE IF YOU ARE NOT A WELL EXPERIENCED DIRT BIKE RIDER**

New to Moto Training Course Schedule

Friday April 27th

  • 2pm
  • 4pm

Saturday April 28th 

  • 9am
  • 11am
  • 2pm
  • 4pm

Intermediate and Beginner Demos Schedule

Friday April 27th

  • 2pm
  • 4pm

Saturday April 28th 

  • 10am
  • 12pm
  • 2pm
  • 4pm

FAQs

Can I request a certain bike from the fleet?

Sorry, you'll be paired with a moto based on which level you choose. No requests please.

Can I sign up more than once or for my friend?

To let as many ladies experience the demos and to keep it fair, you can only sign up once and you cannot sign up your friends. If we see a duplicate name or email, we will cancel the sign up automatically no questions asked.

Shoot! There are no more time slots available, what do I do?

If the demos are full, make sure to stop by the Husky booth 30 min before each demo takes place fully geared and ready to go to get on the waitlist. Often riders miss their class and the next person in line that is ready to go gets to slide into their place. Even though Husky managed to work through a ton of riders on this waitlist, nothing is ever guaranteed so plan accordingly.

I don't have the gear listed, what are my options?

Please borrow from a friend or post in the facebook page for the event by clicking here to see if anyone can loan you gear. If you don't have the gear, you can't demo the bike. It's for your own safety.

Dangit! I signed up and can't come. What do I do?

No problem! Please cancel your demo ticket immediately. This way the spot can go to someone who can show up :) It's very easy and very appreciated Simply log in and cancel the free ticket. Click HERE for step by step instructions.

How do I know if any spots are available from cancellations?

Simply check back here as a cancellation will auto populate an opening on the tickets page.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements?

Demos, just like the event, are 21+. No motorcycle license is needed to participate.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email babesrideout@gmail.com

Alright! Now that you are well informed, click HERE to sign up for the ride of your life! 

 

Roll Call | Meet Megan Griffiths aka @megs_braap

We have been looking up to Megan Griffiths aka @megs_braap for a few years now. Watching her ripping through the woods in BC,  practicing braaaping over logs, or training with as much strength and determination as on can muster is truly inspiring. Megan applies herself to riding with all she’s got and drives the rest of us to push ourselves a bit harder. We cannot wait to meet her at Babes in the Dirt 4 this year! Read on to get to know a little more about her.

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Where are you from?

I am from Kelowna, BC. 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am 27 years old.  I am an electrician but I have been working towards making a career in the motorcycle industry.  I am working towards putting on riding clinics and group rides soon!  I also love filming, editing, and creating content for my YouTube channel.  I love spreading the love for the sport.  Outside of riding, I'm a pretty adventurous person.  I love snowboarding, camping, hiking, trail building, and basically anything outdoors.  I am also a crazy dog lady haha.  My dog and I go everywhere together, he's my partner in crime. 

How did you get in to riding dirt bikes?

How I got into riding is pretty random.  I had always wanted something with a motor ever since I was a young child.  I loved adventure and I loved the thought of ripping around in the woods and exploring.  I wasn't sure whether I wanted a quad or a bike but I eventually made the decision to get a bike at random and I'm really glad I made that choice!  I didn't really have anyone to teach me so I basically just motored around on forest service roads for a couple of years until I met Hippy (just picture a long haired man wearing a hoody and pyjama pants in the dead of summer).  He was working at our local riding area as the "camp host".  He was the first person to really influence me with my riding. He basically showed me what woods riding is all about and helped mould me into the rider I am today.

How long have you been riding?

I have been riding for ten years now.

What is it about riding that you love so much?

There are a couple of things that I absolutely love about riding dirt bikes.  The first thing is the adventure of it.  I can't get enough of exploring new places and finding new terrain.  I always need to see what's around the next corner or over the next hill!  Being out in the woods is the best place for me.  Another reason I love it so much is for the feeling you get when you start improving your skills and becoming a better rider.  There is no better feeling than when you leave your comfort zone and succeed at something you couldn't do before.  There is no limit to what you can do on a bike, the bar just gets higher and higher as you get better.  There is no end to the challenge! 

babes in the dirt

Where is your favorite place to ride?

My favourite place to ride would have to be here in Kelowna.  My riding area is called Bear Creek.  We have hundreds of kilometres of single track trails through the mountains.  We have such a variety of terrain type as well as trail difficulty.  It's a really great place for me to train and have a whole lot of fun.

Is there somewhere in the world that is on your riding bucket list that you have not been to yet? Where?

I've always wanted to ride Moab in Utah.  I've seen so many pictures and videos of all these amazing rock features and I've just been dying to check it out for a long time now. 

What type of riding do you love most? Track, trails, single track, sand, enduro cross?

Aah that's a tough one for me because I really enjoy almost all types of off road riding.  I love riding the track because it's fun to go really fast, rail berms, and fly through the air, I love riding trails because of the adventure and the challenge of new or challenging terrain, and I love riding sand because it's super tough and is really great cross training for woods and track.  If I had to choose an all time favourite though.... I would have to say trails.

Share one of your most challenging riding experiences.

One of my most challenging riding experiences outside of the ISDE in Spain would have to be my first time riding and area we have here in BC called McNutt.  This place is known for it's tough terrain.  It pours rain almost every day and the trails are all made up of boulders, roots, more boulders, and even more roots. Honestly, I remember looking at the trails and just assuming that it wasn't even physically possible to ride up.  Clutch control, balance, and proper body positioning and weighting is hugely important there.  Riding this stuff after riding the fast, flowy terrain back home for so long was definitely a wake up call.  I may have had a "McNutt meltdown".... or two while I was there hahah.  This place opened my eyes once more to what is possible to do on a bike though.  It just made me want to try harder, learn more, and get better.  

Tell us what it was like to race the ISDE?

Racing the ISDE was definitely the craziest thing I've ever done.  I was so nervous going into it and had no idea what to expect.  It was really really tough, physically and mentally. The days were long, and I had injured myself pretty badly on the first day.  Finishing this 6 day race was probably the hardest thing I've ever done.  I have many bad memories in the very back of my mind of the pain and the struggles with my separated shoulder and my concussion.  The cool thing is though, that I actually have a lot of good memories as well.  My mind was blown when I experienced the camaraderie even between teams from different countries.  We had some really nasty conditions after some heavy rain and there were times out there when we'd work together to make it through.  I specifically remember riding with one of the girls from Slovakia.  We were similar in speed and we basically stuck together and got through.  If I could use one word to describe my experience at this event, I'd say it was EPIC.

babes in the dirt

What bike do you ride currently and why do you love it?

 I currently ride a 2017 Husqvarna TX 300 and a 2018 Husqvarna FX 350.  I love my 2 stroke (the TX 300) in the technical terrain because it's light, nimble, and a total tractor.  That bike is nearly impossible to stall.  I love my 4 stroke (FX 350) in the more open terrain because it's smooth, planted, extremely fast, and is SO MUCH fun to ride in the fast, flowy trails.

What are your goals as a rider? Who do you look up to in the moto world?

My goals as a rider are to continue to improve on my skills and broaden my skill set.  By that I mean that I want to become a more well rounded rider.  Motocross, enduro cross, cross country, you name it! I love it all and I want to work on my skills in all these categories :).  I look up to riders like Chris Birch and Graham Jarvis for their incredible skills, and I look up to riders like Victoria Hubacek and Malcolm Hett for their skills on the bikes but also for their passion and love for the sport.  I watched both of them racing when I first started and they were a really positive influence on me.

Have you ever heard of Babes in the Dirt?

I heard about Babes in the Dirt last year on Instagram but was unable to come down and check in out.

Are you looking forward to Babes in the Dirt 4?

I am really looking forward to attending this event!  I can't wait to meet a bunch of like minded women who ride motorcycles! What could be better right?!

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in riding?

My advice to someone who wants to get into riding is to never sell yourself short.  It may seem tough or overwhelming when you first start but the possibilities are endless! I truly believe that anyone can achieve any level of greatness at whatever they are doing.  It all depends on how badly they want it :).

babes in the dirt

photos by Ashley Kalizuk @ashkaleigh

Meet the Husqvarna Demo Team

Over the years the crew at Husqvarna Motorcycles have become like family to us. Each year they come out and work their asses off to make sure that everyone has a good time. Get to know the amazing people behind the bikes we love!

photo by Genevieve Davis

photo by Genevieve Davis

ANDY JEFFERSON

Andy Jefferson of Victorville, CA began racing in 1976 and won his first professional purse race at De Anza Cycle Park in 1979. He raced as privateer on a Suzuki until an injury in 1981 and in October of 1981 he received a phone call from Mitch Payton of Pro Circuit Husqvarna offering him the opportunity of a full factory ride. This began Andy’s career on a Husqvarna racing all over Southern California chasing the CMC Series number 1 plate. He also raced selected nationals and supercrosses with his best finish in supercross at 17th place and earning a 10th place at Saddleback National 500cc Motocross overall. Andy retired from professional racing in 1985 due to injury. After 1985 he continued riding and remained relevant to the industry. In 2010 Andy took an after sales manager position with the re-branded Italian made Husky’s and followed the brand after the 2013 acquisition by KTM Group. He now currently serves as the Media Relations Manager for Husqvarna Motorcycles. This will be his fourth year at Babes In The Dirt, affectionately known as Andy’s favorite event of the year. 

photo by Genevieve Davis

photo by Genevieve Davis

TAYLOR RAULS

Hi Babes! I am Taylor, Marketing Specialist at Husqvarna Motorcycles. I have been with the company for almost three years and this is my third Babes In The Dirt! At Husqvarna, my day to day consists of a wide variety of things including advertising, communication materials, press releases, and race team marketing. It is an exciting job that keeps me on my toes. I started riding when I was a kid with my entire family. From there, I moved to racing truck and buggies. My passion for off-road and action sports runs deep and I am lucky to work in an industry that I love. Outside of work and racing, I enjoy spending a lot of time with my family, kitties and boyfriend, shooting guns, and working on my house. I look forward to seeing and meeting more ladies who want to ride dirt!

photo by Genevieve Davis

photo by Genevieve Davis

VANESSA WATSON

I have been with Husqvarna Motorcycles since shortly after the acquisition by KTM. Hoping for a foot in the door to opportunities for growth within the company, I was hired as the administrative assistant. My two wheel background began in the mountain bike industry in the early 2000’s with Intense Cycles and I have been with Husqvarna Motorcycles for 4 years now. My current role is the Marketing Specialist for Street and Lifestyle for the brand.

Aside from my daily duties of tracking and recording print and digital press, creating press releases, and coordinating efforts for demo events such as Babes In The Dirt, I work closely with the events team to create events and translate the marketing message for Husqvarna Motorcycles. Most recently I was able to go to New York to assist in introducing our VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN model range to the press announcing Husqvarna’s exciting return to street motorcycling.

I have been riding motorcycles for a little over five years and while I have had my M1 endorsement for that entire time, I have only really been riding on the street for about the last year and half. Before feeling confident enough to get on the road I took my time learning to ride; becoming a better rider through MX and road track days, off-road group rides and desert trips. Outside of my office hours I spend time with my 14 year old son, Ethan, riding motorcycles, traveling, catching shows, strengthening my friendships and contributing to Two Wheels And A Purpose, a business podcast hosted by Jon-Erik Burleson and myself.

Thanks for having us again this year, our entire team loves seeing the happiness that comes with the love of motorcycling brought to new women through this event!

photo by Genevieve Davis

photo by Genevieve Davis

ANTHONY DA GRACA

My name is Anthony da Graca AKA “Meatball” I’m the Media Relations Specialist at Husqvarna Motorcycles. I’ve been in this position for a little over 2 years now. My role in the company is to build and prep our dirt bikes and street bikes for magazine testing and articles, I attend media motorcycle shootouts, to ensure that the motorcycles are set up for each test rider in order to provide the best feedback possible. This will be my 3rd babes in the dirt and I’m really looking forward to be involved in another one. I started racing dirt bikes when I was 16 all just for fun. On my free time I enjoy going riding on the weekends and relaxing at home to mentally prepare myself for every Monday.

photo by Genevieve Davis

photo by Genevieve Davis

SCOTT BURTNESS

Hello, my name is Scott Burtness, I am the Event Specialist here at Husqvarna Motorcycles. My role here consists of scheduling events to doing any mechanical work to the bikes when needed! I have been working in the industry for 10 years and here at Husqvarna for a year and a half and in that time I have been apart a lot of special things, from working with past champions and on their bikes to someone riding a motorcycle for the very first time to someone who has been around motorcycles their whole life and still has the same love for motorcycles they had when they first started riding! I got my first dirt bike when I was 10 years old, but my love for motorcycles started around the age of 6 years old, that is when I watched my first Supercross race, from then on I was hooked! The motorcycles community is very special and I am very thankful to be part of it and the Husqvarna family.

photo by Genevieve Davis

photo by Genevieve Davis

JENNA PARKER

Company: Husqvarna Motorcycles North America, Inc.

Position: Marketing Manager

1995 was a year that changed my life forever.  In that year I had been introduced to my first motorcycling experience. I am not like most of the riders you hear about today that have been riding since they were in diapers. I was well into my awkward preteen years and it took seeing a supercross on TV and making the connection to a couple of old rust buckets in the garage to capture my interest. 

You see motorcycles were a huge part of my family on my paternal side and these old rust buckets would be an important connection point to many of the males in my family. My grandfather had been an owner of a motorcycle shop in Norwalk, California in the 50s and 60s and sponsored many racers in all facets of motorcycle racing – from flat track to hare scrambles and anything in-between.  He himself also raced, and at a young age (maybe too young) had my dad and uncle racing.  My aunt also rode, and even my grandma threw a leg over sometimes!

1995 would mark the return of the iconic Lake Elsinore Grand Prix and my dad would rebuild one of those cobweb collectors to race in the vintage and legends classes. It was a 1972 Husqvarna 450 and was adorned with a metal fuel tank, which is iconic to that era of Husqvarna Motorcycles. My dad spent almost 11 months working with a vintage motorcycle shop in San Marcos, California rebuilding the machine and restoring it to its former glory. I remember the very first time that I ever rode on a motorcycle. My dad finally got one of the bikes home and started it up. I hopped on with him and we ripped around the properties and through a hole in the back fence

which opened into some rugged, hilly, rocky, terrain. It was loud as hell and vibrated like a jack hammer. All the neighborhood boys had the newest Kawasakis and Yamahas, and laughed at my dad’s old Husky. But I really didn’t care. I didn’t have an understanding of what “cool” was yet and to me this was it. It was also the first time I ever thought my dad was cool (and he was a rodeo cowboy, military veteran, fire fighter!).  Plus, the Husky was foreign to me and everyone else, somehow making it cool in its own right. It was also the first time I ever felt connected to a place outside of the US – Sweden. I knew I was part Swedish myself, but a Swedish dirtbike really made me feel cultured and unique.

Shortly after my dad alongside my grandfather returned to racing at that Lake Elsinore Grand Prix and our interest in watching Supercross and Motocross on TV grew, my dad got my brother and I our first dirtbike (which we had to share).  It was a 1990 Yamaha PeeWee 80 and it was ugly as sin. My dad tried to modernize it for us by adding some modern blue plastics to the pink, purple and white colorway – but it just got uglier. Plus, I might have been already a bit too tall for it at 10 years old, but we rode it into the ground (and once into a tree).  Not too many years later, I graduated to a shiny new TTR125 which was the best bike for me as a young teenager with the skill level I had. I enjoyed pinning it through the

wash but wasn’t too fond if taking it off jumps yet. We enjoyed growing up with enough space to have an off-road loop and our own mini moto track which was built by an industry track building professional. We also enjoyed trips to the desert and local moto tracks.  I, however, feel my skill level on a bike is still somewhere between where I was at during my time on the PW80 and the TTR125.

 

As time went on I got more interested in other things besides riding dirtbikes (like dirtbike riders) and stopped riding. I went off to college and upon graduating found myself working as a personal banker (completely unrelated to any career path I had ever wanted to pursue in life).  In 2011, after a very unusual twist of fate, a random stranger reconnected me to an old friend who had told me that there was a job opening at his company for a marketing coordinator – that company was Husqvarna Motorcycles.  “HUSQVARNA STILL MAKES MOTORCYCLES?!” I exclaimed. Having been submerged into dirtbikes and motocross my whole life, I surprisingly had never wanted work in the industry.  But Husqvarna Motorcycles?! This was the coolest brand, with such a rich heritage and provided a deep connection to the men in my family. I couldn’t believe they were still in existence and seeking to remerge in the scene. I took the job with Husqvarna (then owned by BMW), became a rockstar in my family and learned from some of the industries coolest people (including current colleague, Andy Jefferson). After a couple of years, the brand was sold to Pierer Industries and was realigned under the KTM Group umbrella.  Through the transition I took on a role in KTM sales department but it wasn’t long before the Husqvarna brand was ready to take off again and I found myself heading up the marketing efforts, with the support of industry legend, Mark Blackwell.

Now the marketing manager for North America, I have a small but solid team that absolutely lives and breathes all things Husqvarna and together we look after all aspects of marketing including PR, advertising, social media, motorsports, events and other marketing communications activities. We cover all segments of the brand from off-road to street, racing to lifestyle. I also serve on the executive board of a not-for-profit corporation known as the U.S. Motorcycle Coaching Association aimed at growing the sport of motorcycling. This is our fourth year being a part of Babes in the Dirt, and my third year attending. It is our favorite event of the year because the people are rad and the experience is priceless.

Husqvarna Motorcycle | Meet the Fleet

Whether you have been riding off-road all of your life or never before, you can rest assure that riding a brand new Husqvarna Motorcycle will be a highlight of your moto-loving life and help to take your riding to the next level. Top of the line suspension and having all the power you need makes for a fun day in the dirt. Trust us! Meet the fleet of Husqvarna Motorcycles that will be available to demo at Babes in the Dirt 4. Stay tuned for sign-ups and info.

This year at Babes in the Dirt 4, Husqvarna Motorcycles will be bringing 20 demo motorcycles for beginner, new, and experienced riders. Beginning with the small displacement bikes, best for those “new-to-moto”, we have two, 2018 TC85’s. From there the bikes go up in engine size and seat height. The majority of the fleet will consist of 2018 FE250’s and a selection of other off-road and motocross models. Read on for a brief overview bikes that will be available at this event and visit www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com for full model range and technical specifications.

Photo by Genevieve Davis

Photo by Genevieve Davis

The 2018 FE 250 will comprise the majority of the demo fleet at Babes In The Dirt. FE models are dual-sport motorcycles, dual-sports are capable off-road bikes that are plated and ready for the road. The engines are second to none in terms of overall performance and versatility making the bike accessible to both novice and experienced riders. These models will be lowered by shortening the Rear Shock 12mm, which lowers the seat height from 38.19'' to roughly 36''. The forks are then raised in the triple clamps balancing out the front and rear of the bike.

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Featuring seven updated models and an all-new TC 85, Husqvarna Motorcycles 2018 motocross range combines cutting-edge technology with high-end componts to offer riders of all ages and riding levels one of the most efficient and sophisticated motocross line ups on the market.

The 2018 TC 85 17/14 is our standard size 85cc, meaning the wheel size is standard with a 17’’ front wheel and 14’’ rear wheel. This is a great beginner motocross bike with a low seat height of 33.46’’. A lower seat height gives a new rider the necessary confidence to feel comfortable while riding and stopping.

2018 TC 85 19/16 this is our big wheel 85cc, this bike has the same engine as our standard size 85cc but with larger wheels, a 19’’ front wheel and a 16’’ rear wheel offers a slightly taller seat height of 34.45’’.

2018 TC 125, is our standard size Motocross bike with a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel. This bike is the natural progression for a rider who is out growing their 85cc and wants something bigger but with a minimal jump in power; perfect for those who are still gaining confidence in the dirt.

2018 FC 250, is a standard size Motocross bike and raced by the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne in the 250 class. It features a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel.  These models will be lowered by shortening the Rear Shock 12mm, which lowers the seat height from 38.19'' to roughly 36''.The forks are then raised in the triple clamps balancing out the front and rear of the bike.

2018 FC 350, is our standard size Motocross race bike with a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel. These bikes will be available for demo at the stock seat height of 37.8''.

2018 FC 450, this our standard size Motocross bike, the same bike Husqvarna Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Race Team riders Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson ride in the 450 class for Motocross and Supercross.. The FC 450 features a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel, this bike will be available for demo at the stock height with a seat height of 37.8 and should only be ridden by the most experienced riders.

 

Stay tuned for sign-ups and info.