The right to ride is her inheritance, and being around bikes is an everyday affair for her. On her first visit to India, Karen Davidson, the great grand daughter of the co-founder of Harley Davidson, William A Davidson, reveals that she took to biking when she was only nine. In a freewheeling chat, she talks about her famous lineage and her views on the rise of women bikers, in India, and the world as a whole.
“The association of women with bikes, especially with reference to our company, goes back to the early 1970’s where women were an integral part of biking groups. Therefore, they had a presence then also, but the only thing that has changed now is their role — from being pillion-riders to becoming the drivers who know their machine just as good as men do. The number of women owning super bikes is on the rise, therefore, they are essential members of our riding community,” she says.
We ask her if she has plans to encourage women bikers in India. “In India, we already have a biking community called Hog. There are already around 15 women riders within that group. I feel the media can definitely help encourage women riders take up biking passionately in India,” she says.
Karen, whose dad Willie G Davidson is Harley-Davidson’s senior vice president and chief styling officer, says it was in her DNA to join this field. “I was very good at art. I went into fashion designing as well. That’s how I joined HD as a creative artist. So, I put my artistic and fashion sense together, so as to help produce authentic leather works for the brand,” she says.
Elaborating on the sight-seeing she has already done while in India, she says, “We went to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. It is amazing. I loved the details on the Taj Mahal.”