CHENNAI: Dthe wee hours of the morning on GST Road, you may often spot a rider driving a Harley Iron 883. The bike, a beast by itself, is her soul, says the rider. You heard that right! It’s a female Harley rider.
“But what’s there to be surprised about?” says the woman beneath the helmet. Meet Shubra Singh Srivastava, the proud owner of Iron 883 Denim Charcoal. “I am a Malaysian who migrated to Chennai for work. I have always been fascinated by bikes, and I am glad that my passion has followed me till here,” shares the Economics graduate.
Her passion for motorcycles started when she was 10. “I was always intrigued by bikes. At 10, I rode my father’s Yamaha and I’ve never stopped riding ever since,” she smiles.
Later, she went on to ride every branded-geared bike including KTM, Kawasaki, Royal Enfield, Triumph and yes, Harley Davidson. Fueling her passion for super bikes and biking, her parents presented Shubra her first bike when she joined college — Harley Davidson Dyna. “I did well in school and I got what I always wanted! My very own superbike,” shares the Harley patron. Flaunting it everywhere, Shubhra says that she loved the ‘biker life’.
Talking about hitting the roads in Kuala Lumpur with her Dyna and hanging out with a bunch of bikers, she shares that biking had made her more confident over the years. “Biking has always been considered something that only men can do. So, being a biker, and riding a bike better than a man is a boost! But people have changed a lot now. They are more accepting towards women who ride bikes.”
But then she asks, “Who are they to accept? What is so unusual if a woman rides a bike?” We agree completely!
Being an early riser, Shubra makes it a point to ride her bike every day for 45 minutes. “My favourite stretch is the GST Road and I also ride through Puducherry, Mahabalipram, ECR and OMR. These bikes need space and good roads. It’s unfair to ride them in congested spaces,” she explains.
Shubra’s biggest support system is her husband, who she had met during a flight journey. And he’s a marine engineer-cum-biker too. “But I knew that only after marriage,” she laughs. The duo currently own an amber whiskey Fatboy and an Iron 883, apart from the other bikes they own.
Her dream bike? “The Fatboy, which my husband owns! I already have my eyes on that. Once in a while I even drive it without telling him. We are very possessive about our bikes. Similarly, I love my Iron 883. I probably love her as much as I love my husband,” she quips.
The relationship between a bike and the rider says a lot about a biker’s personality, opines Shubra. “One has to spend time with his or her bike to develop an understanding. You have to face situations together — pits, new routes, U-turns and everything else. I respect my bike and understand both its merits and demerits,” she shares.
Watching videos, biographies of bikers and reading books refine one’s skills and knowledge on bikes, she says. “Riding a superbike comes with a lot of responsibility. You have to make sure that you ride safe and also ensure the safety of people on the road. Reading also helps you understand the technical aspect of bikes. It makes me a better rider. My association with bikes and my Harley will never end. I am a badass girl riding a badass bike,” she grins.