Staci Wilt is an incredible example of passion, creativity and motivation. Her "go get it" attitude should inspire women and men alike. We were fortunate enough to meet up with her along the road of her travels, grab a couple shots and gather some words of wisdom. Scroll on to read more about this amazing jack of all trades, get some expert knowledge, and here about some of her up coming projects.
Photos by Lauren Beitel
What first inspired you to get a bike and learn to ride?
It really goes back to being a kid. Growing up, there was a family a few houses down that raced motocross and I’d see the boys go up and down the street and thought, “dang. I want to do that!” And then that Disney movie, Motocrossed, came out, and I thought, “DANG WHY CAN’T I DO THAT?” haha. Unfortunately, my parents refused to let me get a dirtbike. There was no way to convince them. I tried everything. I didn’t ride a motorcycle until I turned 19 and bought a 1200 Sportster for my first bike and took a MSF course shortly after. (That’s my style. I commit and figure it out later. I’m a nut, i know. hah.)
What is your favorite motorcycle that you’ve ever owned?
I’ve owned three and they’re all special in their own sentimental way, but my first bike’s probably my favorite. It was a 2011 XL1200X and I put every single one of the 46,000 miles that were on it before I sold it, minus the first three the dealership had to put on to set it up from factory. I wrecked it going about 60MPH back in 2012 and rebuilt it with the help of some friends….It would do 90 in 3rd gear...I took my first cross country road trip on it...there’s just some big stepping stones in my two-wheeled life that sprouted from that bike.
You’ve done a lot of miles on the road. What is the longest ride you’ve ever taken?
I’ve done a few 1K in a day’s/Iron Butts (1,000 Miles in under 24 Hours). My fastest time was 15.5 hours from Phoenix to Oklahoma City.
True distance wise...I lived on my bike for three months in the fall of 2015. I’d say that’s a long ride. Did about 15,000 miles and travelled all over the place. This is the closest itenerary I can give:
Phoenix-San Diego- Portland - Washington State - San Diego - Taos - Denver - Sturgis - Taos - Phoenix - Taos - Oklahoma City - Houston - Phoenix - Joshua Tree - Phoenix
I probably left some stops out, but you get the general idea. It was a blast. By the end of it I was exhausted but I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.
What strip of land stands out in your mind when you look back on your travels?
Mountains. Any sort of hills or mountains. Those rolling purple/blue/whatever hills at sunset give me the warm fuzzies. I grew up in Houston, TX and the last thing you’re ever going to see there is a mountain, so...yeah. Not to mention the roads you usually find along these mountain ranges are extremely scenic and twisty. It’s a win/win situation.
What is the one thing that you can’t live without on the road besides your bike?
Music. I gotta have tunes while I’m blasting down the highway. Bun B, Bouncing Souls, Taylor Swift, A Day to Remember, Florida Georgia Line, Parkway Drive, NWA...all the music, all the genres. One minute I’ll be blasting some metal and the next it’ll be a 90’s throwback to Backstreet Boys.
Tell us about how you made your passion into a career.
I went to college and got my BBA’s in Marketing and Management and automatically knew I was never going to fit in at the big wig corporate companies. My professors even called me out in class for my crazy colored hair and tattoos. I knew it wasn’t for me to join the “rat race.”
I had been working at a Harley dealership near Austin when I graduated college and was searching for my first “big girl job.” Luckily for me it didn’t take too long and I scored a Marketing & Event Coordinator position at another HD Dealer in the area. It was a pretty big deal. I had no real “experience” other than being mildly prepped for the job at the other dealership and I had just scored a job at one of the top ten dealerships in the United States. 8 months went by and I slowly but surely started to hate sitting in an office for 50+ hours a week to pay bills and barely ride my bikes.
I ended up quitting, and started bartending so that I could travel more often and figure out my next move...I told myself I was going to get involved somehow, some way in the motorcycle industry, but knew that dream wasn’t going to come true sitting in that office for 50 something hours a week. It’s been about two and a half years since I quit. It hasn’t been the easiest road, but hard work pays off. Today I’m fortunate enough to work with a handful of really amazing companies in the industry, testing out products, photographing individuals and events, and living the life.
Have you encountered any noteworthy characters on any of your escapades? Any good stories?
Oh, I have A LOT of good stories. A lot of them that are a little fuzzy, and a lot are clear as day. I’m in the works of writing a book right now with my stories from the road. I think I’ll have to save the good stories and people for the book. My road trips get pretty rowdy with all kinds of amazing people. I’ll probably have to give some folks fake names to protect their innocence so to speak, but it’ll definitely be a good read. haha. I’m hoping to have Volume 1 finished and published by the end of 2017.
It seems like more and more women are getting excited about riding. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this is an area that will continue to grow in the motorcycle world/industry?
It’s really rad being able to ride with my girlfriends, and having social media networks that enable us to stay connected is a huge plus since we don’t all live close to each other. When the hype first picked up on the women’s scene, I wasn’t too stoked. A lot of flakes came on the scene that wanted to be cool, but it’s mellowed out. I’ve met hundreds of awesome ladies, and I get stoked to go to women’s only rides and campouts whenever I get the chance. I’ve met a handful of women thanks to Babes Ride Out that are like family to me now.
And, absolutely! This market isn’t going to stop growing as long as we’re alive. Women have made their mark in the motorcycle world and we’re here to stay
Any advice or words of wisdom for other ladies trying to break into the motorcycle world?
So you want to ride a motorcycle?
The best advice I can give to any woman (or dude) wanting to ride, take a MSF course and buy the bike immediately after taking the course. The saying “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it” is pretty accurate when it comes to riding skills. Until the muscle memory is there and you know how to handle a bike instinctively, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! :) Wear Riding gear--PLEASE wear gear. I wore full leathers in the 100 degree humid Texas heat when I was first learning to ride. The best advice I was ever given was from a friend who’s been on two wheels his entire life. He told me, “Don’t stop wearing gear until you’ve ridden at least 15,000 miles. After that, you should have enough ‘Oh shit’ moments under your belt you can decide if it’s worth it or not [to wear boots/gloves/a helmet, etc].” Don’t ride outside your limits, you’ll all meet at the finish line.
So you want to work in the industry?
Don’t give up. Fuck the dumb shit. Don’t work for free. Stay true to YOURSELF and YOUR DREAMS. :) Stay positive. Good things are down the road.