Sarah Schilke Joins BMW Motorrad USA

gearchic_sarah_schilke_bmw_motorrad Yes! More Women taking over the motorcycle industry. So excited to see my friend Sarah move into an incredible position with BMW Motorrad USA, one of the most popular brands among women riders. 

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 4, 2015 – Industry veteran Sarah Schilke has announced she has accepted the position of National Marketing Manager with BMW Motorrad USA, a move that opens up her previously held seat on the MIC Board of Directors. 

Schilke was serving her third term on the MIC BOD. “We will miss Sarah’s leadership and dedication at our meetings,” said MIC Board Chairman Dennis McNeal. “But we know that her input and influence will continue through BMW’s ongoing MIC Board participation.” BMW Motorrad USA is represented on the Board by BMW Vice President Kris Odwarka. 

Schilke’s résumé consists of a wide range of industry marketing experience, including such roles as Marketing and Public Relations Manager for Schuberth North America, Western Advertising Manager for American Motorcyclist Magazine and Marketing Director and Show Feature Manager for Advanstar Communications.

“I congratulate Sarah on her new opportunity, and would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her previous service to the industry,” said MIC President Tim Buche. “The remaining eleven MIC board members are well-poised to continue their ongoing efforts to preserve, protect and promote the motorcycle industry, and we look forward to filling this open seat during MIC's annual election cycle later this year." 

The 2015 MIC Board of Directors includes Arnold W. Ackerman (Motorsport Aftermarket Group), Steve Bortolamedi (Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.), Russ Brenan (Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.), Jon-Erik Burleson (KTM North America, Inc.), Don Emde (Don Emde Inc.), Robert Gurga (American Honda Motor Co., Inc.), Andrew Leisner (Bonnier Motorcycle Group), Larry Little (Marketplace Events Motorcycle Group), Dennis McNeal (Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.), Steve Menneto (Polaris Industries) and Kris Odwarka (BMW Motorrad USA). 

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at

Riding a Motorcycle in Dublin, Ireland with Alpinestars

For 1 week I was the lucky recipient of a free trip to Ireland! Luckily, I had a day to ride two wheels and here's my brief story.  It all starts with a surprise trip to Ireland on behalf of my husband, but without my husband. Let's just pretend it was a secret mission where I was preoccupied for 6 days and was able to rest on the 7th. So I decided to rent a BMW F650Gs, from Celtic Rider.

celtic rider bmw f650gs motorcycle rental dublin ireland
celtic rider bmw f650gs motorcycle rental dublin ireland

It was sooooo nice out! Maybe mid 60s and a few clouds but mostly blue sky. I rented a Garmin just in case and ended up heading south into Wicklow Mountains National Park. I had to stop and take this pic.

First road, the only dry part. Killakee Road towards Wicklow Mountains Nat'l Park
First road, the only dry part. Killakee Road towards Wicklow Mountains Nat'l Park

I felt like the clouds were moving away from me so I kept going, pretty slow ~45mph. The road was windy but no blind corners and hardly any traffic! This was probably the most cars I'd passed at once. Eventually I found some sheep and a couple of postcard perfect scenes that I had no choice but to photograph. I had to stop, pinch and remind myself exactly where I was. IRELAND!

Eventually I made it to this small junction, where a small parking lot looked good to stop and plan my next route. I met this lovely man named Eddie who was fascinated by my fancy Garmin.

Eventually I made it to the junction of Wicklow Way and Military Rd known as Sally Gap. Stopped and chatted with Eddie (wearing helmet).
Eventually I made it to the junction of Wicklow Way and Military Rd known as Sally Gap. Stopped and chatted with Eddie (wearing helmet).
View of the parking lot.
View of the parking lot.

And this is where it gets rainy. After leaving this cute parking lot, it started pouring about a half hour later as I wandered further West. I rode for awhile in the rain and eventually I got sick of it so I decided to find a spot to dry off and get comfortable. I found an underground parking garage, had lunch and waited until it dried out. I then tried to get lost and wander some local towns since my Garmin wasn't cooperating.

Sadly I didn't get as far as I wanted to go. I stayed within 30-40 miles of downtown Dublin instead of heading west where all the good roads seem to be. :(

I relied on the 2 short suggestions that I was given and ended up not riding very far. Even with these minor disappointments I still had a GREAT time riding around Dublin. The people were so nice, the scenery was breathtaking and the BMW was awesome! I think they had a stock 2008 F650GS, and it was perfect. It only took me a short while to get used to the other side of the road too.

I definitely plan on making Ireland a riding vacation destination so I can explore the rest of this beautiful country. I know there is lots to see and I can envision renting a bike for a week to see and experience far more than I was able to.

I also managed to take a tour of the Guinness Factory! Freshest Guinness you'll ever drink, tapped straight from the newer factory across the street. 


The Gear

I was also able to wear this fantastic GORE-TEX outfit from Alpinestars, which made my wet ride perfectly comfortable. I stayed warm and dry the entire time.


For a longer ride report and full gear review, please tune into Episode 25 of my podcast at

Episode 19 of Moterrific, Falling Off Again, Again and Again

Sometimes falling off your bike a few times can be a good thing. Under the right circumstances of course :D

Listen to Episode 19 as Cristi shares her experience at the BMW Performance Center. How did she manage to have any fun or boost her self confidence?

Relevant Links:

Motorcycles for Short Riders

Motorcycles for Short Riders

Motorcycles for Short Riders aka Tips for Success if You're Short

New BMW Womens Motorcycle Boot

For those of you looking for a less expensive alternative to the Daytona Ladystars, BMW may have what you're looking for.

BMW Pro Touring 2 Unisex Motorcycle Boots for Women


$259.00 (some shops may be selling them at the higher price, when in fact they are supposed to be set at this price)


6.5 to 13, Unisex. My girlfriend tried these on (she's an 8/Euro 38) and they fit her perfectly.  

Where to Buy: or your local BMW Motorcycles Dealer


  • Full-grain hydrophobic soft approx. 1.8-2.0-mm-mm cowhide
  • Highly breathable, wind and waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane
  • Large shin protector, with additional stiffening and foam padding
  • Reinforced in gear-shift area
  • Soft velour lining around opening
  • Washable, anatomically formed insole with antibacterial function
  • Flex zones at heel and instep
  • Abrasion-resistant heel protector
  • 1.5-2" insole (heel height)

These offer a substantial increase in height, noticeably in the heel. At $349, I know they aren't cheap. Then again, when is really good motorcycle gear "cheap"?

Since these offer a GORE-TEX membrane, they definitely add to the pricepoint. But BMW makes high quality gear, mean to last and ride for thousands of miles.  

I'm sure if you go home with these, you won't be disappointed.   


Women's Motorcycle Pants for Spring or Summer

Here are some recommendations for protective pants that will keep you cool and safe in the warmest of riding conditions.   I highly recommend wearing a good wicking/moisture managing base layer to make your riding pants more comfortable when going on a long ride, especially on a particularly sweaty day. It'll also help your pants fit better, making them easier for on and off (bathroom breaks!) as well.

If you're looking for a pant that has a strong abrasion resistant outer shell, breathability and fit, I hope one of these will work for you.

1. Dainese New Drake Air


If there's something that Dainese is known for, it's Fit and Function. These will fit you like your favorite pair of jeans. With venting on the front of the thighs, it should keep you cool on a warm summer day. I would recommend these for the most petite fits, as it features a smaller starting size of a European 40 (US 0-2) and a narrow, straight leg.

2. REV'IT Tornado

$259.00 (New for 2011)

The Tornado (with a matching jacket) is the ultimate touring pant for women. These have 2 removable liners, one thermal and one waterproof/windproof. The outer shell offers a little more ventilation than the Turbine but offers only Knox Armor and constructed of 86% polyamide, 14% polyester. It also has a slightly different polyester mesh weave. I would also recommend these for a petite fit, as the starting size is European 34 (US 0-2). But if you're a plus size, and need something over a 10-12, I recommend the men's version of these pants.

3. REV'IT Turbine


With a slightly higher price point, you get better armor (ProLife CE), SuperFabric on the knees, and an outer shell constructed of 1000 Denier Cordura®. So you're getting a more protective pant than it's little sister, the Tornado above.  For the hardcore dual sport / adventure / touring rider looking for a pant that's going to protect  you and keep you cool and dry. I would also recommend these for a petite fit, as the starting size is European 34 (US 0-2).

4. Olympia Airglide 3 Overpants


These are the only summer mesh overpants with a full hip to toe zipper!  What you'll also find are velcro adjustments in the pocket where the knee armor fits so you can move it up and down as you need to (especially if you're wearing these on different bikes which can have different seated positions).  These are also a little long on purpose so those of us who are vertically challenged can hem them as needed. Just be careful not to hem them in front of the mirror. Make sure you sit on your bike to know how much length you really might need! I recommend these for the curviest/full figured/plus size girls who need more room in the hips/butt and thighs.   They run up to a true US 18.

5.FirstGear HT Air Overpants


With a mesh construction on the outer shell, these offer a removable, waterproof liner and 2/3 length zippers along the sides.  I like how the 2 front pockets are in a much more useful place than other pants who place them a little too high for my use. It's so much easier to reach for a pocket on your thigh than it is to reach for a pocket way up on your hip.   I would recommend these as an ideal fit for the curviest/full figured/plus size women out there who need something with a wider leg fit.   These also run up to a true US 18.

6. RS Taichi Crossover Mesh Riding Pants

$179.95, MotoLiberty, Scuderia West

These look like a great pant with mesh panels right where you need them. I've never seen these in person, so I'm not entirely sure of the fit. However, with RS Taichi being a Japanese company, the fits tend to be more petite and compact, you could say.

7. BMW AirFlow Pants

$399.99, BWM Motorcycles USA
(Gear & Web EPC/RidersApparel/Overview/MotorcycleSuits/TextileSuits/Airflow Suit)

Unfortunately their website navigation is a little arduous and I'm unable to copy the URLs so I wrote the submenu locations above. I've only tried on the matching Airflow jacket, but from what I've seen with the jacket, I think the pants would be great.  The wonderful thing about BMW is they offer Long and Petite options in many (but not all) of their gear, depending on the model.  These do not appear to come in anything but a standard 4-16. I couldn't find a size chart, but you can view it electronically. You can only find these through BMW Dealers, and not all of them carry gear, so call your local dealer to check. Keepin mind the fitment is petite, and a little narrower overall.