It was the Spring of 2019 and the infamous El Diablo Run was just around the corner. Bikers from around the country were preparing for a wild trip down to the Sea of Cortez. But for Natalie Kleiner, a mysterious bout of mononucleosis had left her virtually bedridden for four weeks. Teased by friends that she had contracted the kissing disease, she was adamant that was not the case. “I hadn’t touched anybody in two years!” she said.
Well, long story short, with the support of her friends and fellow riders, she fired up her bike and joined the fun with a spare gas tank in tow to complete the 238-mile journey.
“That sense of security and caring is really awesome,” she said. These types of experiences are lifechanging, especially within the motorcycle community where lasting friendships are forged.
Kleiner first learned to ride on the dirt roads of northern Minnesota, her home state, where the learning came quick. She was taught to ride by another women, who she describes as “a hardworking badass.” Now, she rides a custom 1994 Harley-Davidson FXR and also owns a 2006 Dyna Street Bob—her turnkey bike for cross-country travel.
She has attended various rides and rallies across the country, came out to support the V-Twin Visionary Tour in the Smoky Mountains, and most recently was an invited builder to the 2020 Mama Tried Show in Milwaukee, which was unfortunately postponed due to social-distancing orders.
As we all know, once motorcycles graft themselves to our bones, it becomes a disease that can’t be cured, an itch that always flares up.
“There is no better feeling in the world than when you’re blasting down the road with one of your best friends next to you,” she said.
Kleiner is now in the early stages of producing a motorcycle apparel line for female riders, having spent the majority of her adult career in the fashion industry, including a six-year stint in Italy. The company is called THE DEHAVN, and Thunder Press looks forward to watching it grow and succeed.
“I want women to still look frickin’ amazing after a ride and be able to go into the restaurant and still look well put-together. I think that is definitely needed in our world, cross-functional riding gear,” she said.
Her advice to the motorcycle industry is that manufacturers need to sell young people on the experience of riding. “Millennials are not interested in investing large amounts in material things, but riding motorcycles fills that investment in experiences that we all crave. You can ride all over the country or meet another biker in a parking lot and talk for hours.”