“The event features custom, race, rare, and restored motorcycles built by and for women and is open to all attendees.”
We’re thrilled to hear that the 8th annual edition of the Women’s Motorcycle Show is coming to Los Angeles on Saturday, June 17. Recently we caught up with WMS host and organizer Alicia Mariah Elfving — aka the MotoLady — to learn more about the show’s history, objectives, and what to expect this year.
History of the Women’s Motorcycle Show
If you’re very active in online motorcycle circles, there’s a very good chance you know the Motolady. Alicia founded the MotoLady website in 2011 as a way to encourage current and aspiring women riders with a positive sense of community.
Motolady has grown exponentially since then, featuring Alicia’s own photography, video, and design alongside that of many global talents to give a rounded reflection of the motorcycle industry and culture around the world.
The Women’s Motorcycle Show was a natural evolution of the Motolady’s annual party:
“Every year we held an anniversary party that took place around the middle of January to celebrate another year of women who ride. The fifth year of these parties became the first official Women’s Motorcycle Show!”
The first show featured a collection of 17 custom motorcycles — one of which was actress Katee Sackhoff’s — and had around 250-300 attendees. Attendance exploded in the ensuing years, with hundreds of bikes filling the streets and more than 2000 folks walking through the doors in just a four-hour period.
“The idea behind WMS is to open the minds of men and women riders alike to all the possibilities. To inspire. To capture that excitement and amplify it to the max.”
The late Jessi Combs had a big hand in the first few years of the event, attending up through 2019 and her tragic crash while piloting the jet-powered North American Eagle to a new women’s land speed record of 522.783 mph on an Oregon dry lake. In 2020, an empty bike stand was left to show what everyone was missing. Says Alicia:
“I left markers so that people could leave her a note. She started Real Deal Revolution with Theresa Contreras. Theresa still has a big part in the show, and Real Deal is our largest activation doing welding, pinstriping, and leathercraft demos (this year).”
The Motolady and crew took the show to Texas in 2021 and Oregon in 2022 with great success. But California was calling them home:
“Once event restrictions lifted, we knew we had to return to our Los Angeles roots for our eighth annual show.”
WMS 2023: Back with a Bang!
The 8th annual Women’s Motorcycle Show will take place in the Los Angeles Arts District at AutoConduct, a one-acre compound smack in the heart of the city. It’s an all-day event that includes a custom motorcycle show, art gallery, interactive workshops, tattoos, and other activities, with the evening switching back to the show’s rock-and-roll roots.
“We’re bringing back other crowd favorites including the raffle, piñata whack, and Hot Wheels track! And for the first time ever, thanks for our huge location, WMS will be hosting vendors. Come try on some new gear, challenge your friends to a digital drag race, and celebrate women in motorcycling while you’re at it.”
What to Expect: Arts & Entertainment
● Curated custom motorcycle show (inside)
● Ride-in bike show (parking lot, 5pm)
● Real Deal Revolution Workshops including welding, pinstriping, and leathercraft – all by donation (founded by Jessi Combs and Theresa Contreras)
● Art Gallery featuring both 2D and 3D work from Paige Macy (Stripe Cult Painting), Mallika Prakash (Mallika Moto), Theresa Contreras, Courtney Ware (Enjoy Ware), and others
● Tattoos from @lydia.tattoos and @vanaemary
● Brand New Limited Edition Merch for 2023
● Iron Butt, People’s Choice, and Judge’s Choice awards, made by Ria the Welder & New Church Moto
● Raffle featuring items from RevZilla, REV’IT!, ScorpionExo, Dainese, S&S, Simpson, Icon Motosports, UglyBros USA, Black Arrow, Pit Viper, Torco, In View, and more
● Presentations from storied riders like Gevin Fax
● Live music starts at 7pm
● Award categories: People’s Choice, Judge’s Pick, Iron Butt (curated show), and First Place (ride-in show)
● Food & drinks
● Motorcycle parking
We can’t wait to see what bikes turn out at the show this year and hope to bring you some of them as features.
More Bikes and Builders / Racers
A few bike and builder / racer portraits from past shows.
Photos: Brandon LaJoie
Photos: Daniel Bergeron
Photos: Alex Martino
Full Highlights from Past Shows