THE first woman on the Motolegends list is Elspeth Beard, who in 1983 began the journey that would see her become the first British woman to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle. Beard has also visited Pakistan and crossed the mountains to educate women and help them discover the freedom that motorcycles can provide.
The list also includes Beryl Swain, who became the first woman to complete a solo TT on the Isle of Man. This led to the undesirable result of his license being revoked due to the apparent horror of the possibility of a woman being injured while riding a motorcycle, especially on a course as dangerous as the Isle of Mountains course. Man.
Veenu Paliwal for some time held the distinction of being the only woman in her hometown of Jaipur to ride a motorbike. Paliwal made a documentary about the motorcycle and divorced her husband who took issue with her riding, before she was tragically killed on a 10,000 km journey in India.
There’s also a trio of motocross riders who made the list: Ashley Fiolek; Kiara Fontanesi; and Courtney Duncan.
Fiolek differs from the other two in that she raced in America, not the Europe-based Women’s Motocross World Championship, an MXGP support class.
Fiolek has the distinction of being the first deaf female professional motocross racer, as well as the first woman to grace the cover of the coveted TransWorld Motocross magazine. She became WMX Pro National Champion in 2008 in the United States and was the first woman to race for the American Honda factory team, and is also an X Games gold medalist – the first deaf person to achieve such success.
Fontanesi and Duncan both found their respective success in Europe, with Duncan transitioning from her native New Zealand to compete in the Women’s Motocross World Championship. Fontanesi became MXW’s first star, winning six titles and even a wildcard in the MX2 Grand Prix class.
While Fontanesi’s decision to have children has interrupted her racing career in recent years, Courtney Duncan has emerged as MXW’s newest star, winning three successive titles in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Also on the Motolegends list are Maria Costello MBE and Jenny Tinmouth, with Tinmouth being the fastest woman to ever ride the Isle of Man TT circuit and the first woman to ride for Honda UK’s Superbike team; and Costello was the rider who preceded Tinmouth in being the fastest woman on the mountain course, as well as being the only woman to finish on the podium in the TT.
The full list of Motolegends is available here.