By; Leah Misch
As a new Garage Girl is about to be crowned with a wrench in their hand; I smile reflecting on how much the Ultimate Biker Makeover changed my life. Wow, did I learn a lot this past year…
For instance, I learned a muffler and an exhaust are two different things when I installed the Twin Slash Slip-on from Vance & Hines. Who would have thought a muffler silences noise and is not the exhaust system itself!
One of the prizes I was most excited to win was a new pair of boots from H-D Footwear and Cobra Tires from Avon Tyres. Lol, I remember commenting, “I’m excited to win a new pair of heels and my motorcycle is excited for a new pair of wheels”. This is when I learned tires and wheels are also two different things! Hey, I’m learning!
The Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest motivated me to learn self-maintenance on my Indian motorcycle. There was just one thing I needed; a set of tools! I bought my first set of tools and used it to change my oil with the Spectro Oil I just won. Yes…. I did manage to strip the drain plug, but I learned how to use a torque wrench!
…despite setbacks the curiosity of learning kept me motivated
I learned how to self-install Kuryakyn accessories, a sporty Mustang Seat, and Klock Werks adjustable handle bars with, the editor of American Iron Garage. I give Tyler credit for being so patient to teach me the self-installs with a million questions from me of how these fascinating tools worked.
One of the coolest parts of wining the contest was the friendships I made along the way. Dean Young II and Grant Hillegass taught me to self-install the Stealth Two air filter in my Indian Scout motorcycle and in doing so took me under their wing to teach me Motorcycle Education 101.
The team from S&S Cycle invited me to their facility where Grant Hillegass gave me a personal tour of their museum. This is the day I learned so much about motorcycle performance. For instance, a Dyna (Harley Dyna) and dyno (short for dynamometer) are two totally different things. However, S&S cycle makes them both perform well.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my mistakes while learning motorcycle maintenance; but in comparison, who hasn’t ‘fallen off their bike’ as they learn to ride. It is the courage to get back up, get back on, and learned to ride thanks to Sara Liberte.
I’m not sure how I could ever repay Sara Liberte from Garage Girls for what she did to change my life by establishing the Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest. However, in paying it forward it has inspired me to create a platform for motivating someone down the road. I am in the process of creating a website www.ridingwithleah.com for people to follow my journey of overcoming life adversities through sharing my travels around the United States. My goal is to someday use the website blogs to write a book, thank you Sara Liberte… You Go Girl!
Thank you Leah for staying in touch, we are thrilled to see what you have learned and gained from this experience. Thank you to Allstate Motorcycle Insurance for helping us to #keepridersriding
photo credits: Tyler Greenblatt