Celebrating International Women’s Day with Santina: From America to Australia’s Salt Flats

Posted On 17 Oct 2023
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This entry is part 31 of 44 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#1

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, there’s no story quite like that of Santina. An American woman who found her passion and purpose amidst the roaring sounds of motorcycle engines and the thrill of the open road. Her journey takes us from working at Harley Davidson in the U.S. to selling Royal Enfields in Australia and daringly attempting an Australian land speed record.

Meet Santina: The Woman Behind the Wheels

Starting with dirt bikes almost three decades ago, Santina’s love for motorcycles was not just a pastime, but a lifeline. Even amidst personal crises, her passion for bikes remained steadfast. A close friend saw the fire in her eyes and urged her to transform this passion into a career. This passion would lead her from a small town in Nevada, across the Pacific, to Australia.

The Journey to Expertise

Being one of the few women in the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute wasn’t easy. Many of her male counterparts had grown up in garages, inheriting years of mechanical wisdom from their fathers. But Santina was determined. Despite initial struggles, she achieved factory certifications for Honda and Suzuki. But it was her unexpected camaraderie with the Harley community that truly felt like home.

Racing Down Under

Moving to Australia was a new chapter for Santina and her partner Will. The racetrack, however, provided familiarity, becoming their community. After an encounter with racer Maria Costello and another with a vintage Royal Enfield owner, Stacy, the wheels of Santina’s racing dreams began turning in earnest.

Starting with stock 650s on Wednesday night races, Santina quickly realized that she wanted more. The thirst for speed, precision, and the sheer thrill led to the creation of “Double Tap” – a customized Continental GT chassis that she began to race with.

However, it was “Revelation” that truly transformed her racing experience. Designed by her partner, Will, this custom-built motorcycle was tailored to fit Santina perfectly. Whether it’s for drag races or land speeds, the motorcycle’s adaptability was a testament to its ingenious design.

The Quest for the Record

Land speed racing is not for the faint of heart. Ideal locations are scarce, with only three places globally fitting the bill – Bonneville, Bolivia, and Lake Gardner in South Australia. It’s in this latter location that Santina, with her profound expertise and passion, is set to make her mark.

In conclusion, Santina’s story is not just about motorcycles. It’s about passion, perseverance, and the indomitable spirit of a woman determined to leave her imprint on the world of racing. On International Women’s Day, it’s stories like hers that inspire countless others to chase their dreams, no matter the odds.

Series Navigation<< The Charm of Ducati 900 SS: A Glimpse into the Life of a Motorbike EnthusiastDiscover the Real Essence of Bali on Two Wheels: A Conversation with James from Intrepid Motor Bali >>
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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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