Saudi women, free to drive, kickstart Harley-Davidson bike chapter

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Women are discovering how to ride bikes in Saudia Arabia(REUTERS)


“speakable”> In a bit more than a month given that females in Saudi Arabia won the historical right to drive, a group of them is gone out on the roadway on not 4 wheels, however 2.

“ We have actually been waiting a life time for this, ” stated Aliya, a passionate 23-year-old trainee from Jeddah who is set on motorcycling. “ Always enjoying my siblingsride. Now they ’ re mentor me. ”


Five girls bound in their compulsory black abayas meander excitedly through the Harley-Davidson shop in the nation ’ s capital of Riyadh, taking a look at the line of traditional bikes and skimpy Harley branded tee shirts– a principle that would have been unimaginable less than a year earlier.

It is a welcomesight for all the all-male personnel at the popular motorbike shop, who state they can ’ t wait to see ladies rolling and revving through the Riyadh streets.


“ This is for sure going to be growing, we currently have had a great deal of girls inquiring about the training and asking to obtain a bike, ” stated Marwan Al-Mutlaq, trading supervisor at the Harley-Davidson Saudi flagship. “ And we have actually currently developed the ‘ Ladies of Harley ’ Riyadh chapter, so they can go on their own group trips too. ”

The chapter opened with 8 starting female members-however they prepare for that number will quickly blossom. In preparation, the shop has actually gotten a choice of protective equipment and female-specific clothing, in addition to marketing posters including females together with males on motorbikes, looking like any such retail place one may see in the West.

Marketing products including females decorate the walls of the Harley Davidson car dealership in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Hollie McKay)

“ We have the standard equipment for ladies-armored coats, helmets, boots, devices and gloves, ” Al-Mutlaq included. “ But we anticipate there will be a growing interest, and we will get a larger variety as more females discover how to ride. The most essential thing for now, is females discovering how to ride. ”

Harley Davidson clothes for ladies in Saudi Arabia (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

Saudi females are gradually collecting those required motorbike abilities through weekly events at the Bikers Skills Institute. Set inside a racetrack on the periphery of the capital town hall, and under the guideline of a skilled rider initially from the Ukraine, an all-female riding class assembles on Wednesday nights.

Dressed in their security vests and form-fitting denims, the ladies practice whatever from equipment shifts to fast stops, cone-weaving and U-turns, in a detailed program that costs around $ 400.

Women’s riding equipment is anticipated to increase in coming months as more females learn how to ride in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

The girls’bike lessons began in February in the accumulation for the brand-new procedure, and has actually brought in modest groups of excited women. Other ladies riders informed Fox News they have actually currently obtained their two-wheeling abilities in the West, or in surrounding Arab nations like Bahrain, Dubai and Jordan.

“ Most males are really thrilled to see a lady driving here, and riding a motorbike is the next action, ” kept in mind Harley ’ s male riding fitness instructor, Mohammed, highlighting they have an “ assimilation ” cubicle established in-store where females are welcome to check out.



Male personnel and fitness instructors at Riyadh’s Harley Davidson car dealership program complete assistance of their female equivalents riding and driving (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

The lifting of the female driving restriction, revealed in September in 2015 and carried out on June 24, becomes part of a sweeping list of reforms by the enthusiastic young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam, created to bring the genders closer to equality-and squash the country ’ s undercurrent of spiritual extremism.

Some of the preliminary ecstasy of the new-found liberty was eclipsed by a swell of arrests of females activists who had long lobbied to raise the extreme driving restriction simply prior to it entering impact. As well as though the Kingdom ’ s women are lastly inching closer to discovering their flexibility behind the wheel– or the throttle– numerous obstructions still stand in the method.

Women stay bound by guardianship laws needing male approval to get a license. And the basic gown code of a long streaming abaya is both naturally hazardous and not practical for motorbike riding.

(Fox News/Hollie McKay)

But for now, the boys of Riyadh ’ s Harley shop state it ’ s just a matter of time prior to all the kinks are settled.

“ I will support females to ride in any method I can. I ’ m supporting my woman, she has actually currently done the training and is continuously practicing and enrolling to obtain much better, ” Al-Mutlaq took pride in his 19-year-old sweetheart. “ She desires an aggressive bike– she is intending on getting the Fat Boy. ”

Hollie McKay has actually been a personnel press reporter considering that 2007. She has actually reported thoroughly from the Middle East increasing and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay

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