Jan 14, 2021

Cait Maher's Moto Guzzi and Yamaha // Touring and Off-Roading

Kelly Kozakowski

Why did you choose your Moto Guzzi V7 Rough and Yamaha TW200?

Well I actually have 4 bikes right now. I still have my first bike, a vintage Kawasaki, as well as a '71 Harley Davidson Aermacchi as a project. The Moto Guzzi V7 Rough I've had about 2 years or so, and I chose that because I live for long distance touring but have a hard time managing 'traditional' touring bikes because of their size. I picked up the Rough when it was new and turned it into the touring bike I'd always wanted!

The Yamaha TW200 is the newest addition to the garage, finally, after spending the year trying to track one down. I've always struggled with riding off-road, so I figured the best thing to do was get a bike I was comfortable on and start challenging myself to learn. So far it's been amazing!

How did you get into riding motorcycles?
Believe it or not, I started with a moped! I was living outside of Chicago and knew if I bought that first, I wouldn't have to get a permit or license. I didn't know anyone else that rode, so I was relying on what I could learn online. I sold that moped before I moved to California a year or so later and eventually found my first motorcycle, a 1976 Kawasaki KH100! I still didn't know anyone else that rode, so I picked it up and taught myself how to shift and learned to work on it myself.

2019 Moto Guzzi V7 Rough

What inspires you to ride?
Looking back, I can identify a few times where I chose to do something because people in my life told me I wasn't ready yet. I felt I owed it to myself to prove I could do something like a long solo trip. It wasn't until I was in the middle of one when I realized how much fun I was having! After that, my motivation has been to inspire others to get outside their comfort zone. It's not out of spite like my first long trip, but because they are confident and prepared and ready to experience something new. I'm absolutely applying the same thoughts to my recent dirt adventures as well.

Why did you decide to make your Instagram?
My current instagram actually started as a spot to post things I had made. I have about a dozen hobbies, all starting from seeing something out in the world and thinking "I could make that," and then just creating whatever it was! Motorcycles slowly crept into the feed because I was riding nearly every day, eventually selling my car, and getting very involved with the women's motorcycle community in SoCal.

2021 Yamaha TW200

What is the best life lesson you've learned from owning/riding a motorcycle?
If it's right for you, it will find you. The best route, campsite, riding group, inspiration. It's all out there, all you have to do is take the chance and hit the road. I've found the most beautiful places by just saying yes and trying something new.

What is the most exciting adventure you’ve taken on a bike?
Last summer I did a 1k-in-a-day from Costa Mesa, CA to Amarillo, TX. It was super hot so I did it overnight,  riding 18 hours straight through sometimes 100 degree heat! I'd wanted to do that for a while and was stoked that it went so smoothly! It also kicked off a long cross-country trip and set the tone for the whole summer of travel.

What does being a part of the motorcycle community mean to you?
It means everything to me. I've never felt like I've belonged to such a wide and diverse group until I found motorcycles. It connects so many passionate and dedicated people! I really have made some of the closest friends because of this community. The willingness to help others and share knowledge is something that always stands out and I always try my hardest to make sure I'm representing it the same way.

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