Kaitlyn Hagen

Kaitlyn Hagen is a pioneer for building the moto community in the maritimes! She doesn’t judge, doesn’t care what you ride and isn’t worried about the “too cool” race that so many get wrapped up in. She’s genuine and real. She’s also a buyer and store manager at Pro Skates— a skateboard, snowboard and surf shop in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Pro Skates has been in business for 31 years, and is Canada’s second oldest skate shop. She feels very fortunate to be a part of that. A few years ago She had been considering getting her motorcycle license after an interest had been sparked by a few of her friends with bikes. Around the same time she met her partner Justin, who had grown up dirt biking and was also thinking about getting his license. So, she signed up for the safety course, he took his balance test, they bought bikes and the rest is history. She has enjoyed growing their passion for motorcycles together. She’s been riding for two years now and her favourite people to ride with are Justin and her close crew of girlfriends. Her dream moto trip is Southeast Asia and Indonesia! How amazing would that be?? Take a look at the rest of Kaitlyn’s interview!  

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What kind of motorcycle do you ride and why?



I ride a 2002 Harley Sportster 883 Custom. After outgrowing my first bike, a 1982 Yamaha SR250, in my first season of riding, I needed to upgrade. A Sportster seemed like an affordable option for me, and the 21” laced front rim on the Custom caught my eye.



What is your dream bike?



My dream bike would be a chopper that I built myself. But in my dreams I would also have a dirt bike, a dual sport bike, a comfortable, reliable bike for longer road trips and a garage to put them all in.

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Were you intimidated by the male dominance in the riding community?



I grew up skateboarding and snowboarding and have worked in the action sports industry, which is extremely male dominated, for nearly six years, so being “a woman in a man’s world” is not new to me. I completely understand how it could be intimidating to others though!




Did you have female friends that rode who helped you get started?



I met a few other female riders shortly after I got started. They taught me how to group ride, and by never pushing me beyond my limits, helped me progress as a rider safely and comfortably.

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How has riding helped you in your personal and professional life?



My day-to-day life is very busy, revolving around around deadlines, schedules and never ending to-do lists. The time I spend riding is the opposite of that. It’s one part of my life that I try not to over plan, and I think the contrast has become necessary for me to stay sane.


Do you have any women in the moto industry that you are inspired by? Why?


My biggest inspiration is Lanakila MacNaughton, founder of the Women’s Moto Exhibit. The fact that she shoots medium format film from the back of a moving bike is amazing. From the few interviews I’ve listened to with her, she seems very honest and humble. Plus, she drives a badass Shovelhead.


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Have you been to any women’s only moto meet-ups? Which ones? How was your experience?


Last month, I went to Babes Ride Out East Coast in Narrowsburg, New York and The Backroad Ball in Penobsquis, New Brunswick. Both were very different but equally awesome experiences. One thing they each had in common was the sense of unity amongst the women who attended. I also hosted a women’s motorcycle social alongside Women of Moto during their visit to Halifax, which was really fun to organize and had a great turnout. June was a busy month!

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How do you feel you have broken stereotypes as a female rider?



I’ve been asked more than once “how I enjoy riding on the back” by men who make an assumption seeing me with a helmet in hand next to my partner. The look on their faces when I tell them I ride my own makes my feel like I’ve broken a stereotype just by being a female rider.

Where do you see the women’s moto movement/culture in Canada heading over the next few years?


I’m hoping that the recent upsurge in women’s events and groups will help lead to a stronger female presence in the Canadian motorcycle community overall.



How do you feel the image of female riders has changed over the past few years?


It seems like now more than ever, all types of women on all types of bikes are hitting the road. It’s awesome to see how each individual female motorcyclist expresses themselves through their riding.

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Why do you think women’s moto events/groups/projects are becoming so popular?


I think it’s because they breed empowerment. I feel like every woman has been made to feel like she couldn’t do something because of the lack of a certain chromosome at some point in her life, which is not going to happen at a women’s only event. It’s also nice to connect and chat with other women riders as most I have met are willing to admit the mistakes that they’ve made. I feel like this can help to build confidence, especially if you’re new, knowing you’re not the only one who’s dropped your bike or stalled at an intersection, and that you’re not a bad rider because of it.




Describe how you feel empowered when you ride?


In my everyday life, I will admit that I’m not always as strong and fearless as I would like to be. When I ride, any feelings of self-doubt seem to melt away, and I feel like I am strong enough to do anything. Last month, after completing a 4000km road trip through two provinces and eight states in twelve days with rain nearly the entire time, I felt like some sort of superhuman and it was awesome.

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What is your favourite place to ride?



My favourite place I’ve had the opportunity to ride was the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. It was breathtaking despite the fact that it was pouring rain when we rode through. The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia takes a close second, and I plan to ride there again this summer.



Do you think current motorcycle trends cater to you?



Yes and no. I’m a fan of some of the vintage-inspired trends happening right now, but still find it hard to find gear that I like when it comes time to make a purchase.

What would you like to see in the moto community for gear, bikes, etc.?



It would be great to see more women’s gear that is both protective and versatile. I love what ATWYLD is doing because while most of their pieces have a focus on safety, they can easily be worn off the bike and not look like you’re wearing “gear”. Our riding reason in Eastern Canada is short, so it’s nice to know that if I were to invest in one of their pieces I would be able to wear it year-round. I had the chance to try on some of their new collection at Babes Ride Out East Coast this year and was definitely not disappointed!