Photograph by Christine Dudzik
When Shawna Carter purchased her Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R she knew she needed to add some color to it. A purple lover by nature, Shawna wanted to infuse her vibrant personality into her custom motorcycle. Purple-ghosted skulls and bright pinstripe flames are the hallmark of this custom bike, making it a “Plumlicious” speed machine.
Custom motorcycle paint job by local artist
For the custom paint Shawna sought out the amazing talents of local artist Quinn Chipman. Quinn is the owner of Kraken Kustomz, a Tulsa, Oklahoma paint shop specializing in airbrush, hydrographics, kandy paint, and metal flake.
Each day Quinn would send Shawna sample paint designs and ideas. It was exciting for her to see her ride transform from a basic black sport bike into a one-of-a kind sizzling beauty. A bike that would become a vivid extension of her persona and a custom motorcycle Shawna loves.
A Plumlicious handle
Recently Shawna decided to put some thought into naming her majestic royal ride. She turned to her friends to hash out some ideas. When someone suggested she name her custom motorcycle “Pop Tart” she was at first insulted. After she thought about it she had a good laugh realizing that her bike did resemble the color of a purple Pop Tart. Shawna settled on a more appropriate name, one that coincided with her passion for purple. “Plumlicious.”
Shawna’s adrenaline-fueled riding history
Shawna’s riding story actually began over 20 years ago as an adrenaline junky teenager. She would hop on the back of her friend’s motorcycle without giving it a second thought. Her youthful fearlessness never wavering. It wasn’t until a couple of minor accidents that she vowed never to ride pillion again.
“It took two separate minor bike accidents and a little road burn before I decided I didn’t like putting my life in the hands of others.”
Instead of letting those experiences instill fear, she decided to take control and purchased her first motorcycle, a Honda 250.
“I loved riding that little bike around town. It gave me that exultant feeling that rises from your stomach to your face and makes you laugh and smile. Maybe that was the adrenaline. Either way, I don’t remember experiencing that feeling from anything else I did.”
Fast forward to 2012. Shawna had the opportunity to try out the exhilarating rush of a sport bike, yet it would once again put her in the passenger seat. She admits that she was apprehensive to break her vow of riding pillion. But the allure of that sleek two wheeled “rocket” proved stronger than her uneasiness.
Even as a passenger she immediately fell in love with the feel of a sport bike. It’s ability to corner, to accelerate quickly, and of course the ridiculous speeds got her hooked. That initial introduction had her rushing out and buying a sport bike for herself.
Her first sport bike was an entry level Kawasaki 300. Shawna got comfortable with it before moving up to her current Kawasaki ZX-6R.
They are powerful little bikes and the best therapy to lose yourself.
Bridging the gap – sport bikes and cruisers
As a single mother in her mid-forties living in Jenks, Oklahoma, Shawna mostly rides alone. Why? Because the nearest sport bike club consists of a younger age, male-dominated demographic.
Occasionally she will ride with a local cruiser group since there is less of an age gap. She enjoys the camaraderie and is proving that Harleys and sport bikes can coexist. Yet they do have a habit of playfully nudging her to get a cruiser every chance they can. But ultimately to this adrenaline driven, wild at heart woman, she could never give up her sport bike.
If I knew enough women riders in the Tulsa area, I would create a women’s biker group. It would be like a book club in that we would meet for rides, share meals and stories, and network.
A Few of Shawna’s favorite things
Her passion for scuba diving is as strong as her passion for motorcycles. She jokes,
“Someday maybe there will be a dive-bike and that’s when I know my life will be complete.”
Shawna’s favorite rides are those that are completely destination free. Rides where she can enjoy the freedom of the open road, especially along Route 66 in Oklahoma.
On her “bike-it” list she plans to ride southeast of Oklahoma along the Talimena National Scenic Byway. The Talimena is one of the best motorcycle rides in the state.
Connect with Shawna
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