Celebrity Women Riders: Who Does, Could and Should

While the number is definitely growing, female riders remain a relatively rare breed. According to a study released May 2014, only 12% of the riders in the United States were women. While that number may appear small at first glance, it’s actually a 30% increase over the last decade.

The increase most likely comes from many in the motorcycle industry doing their part to coax women into the solo saddle with Harley-Davidson’s efforts being the most visible and some would say, most successful. This is seen in the Milwaukee motorcycle manufacturer selling more new rides in 2013 to women in the U.S than all other brands combined.

Seeing the fairer sex in charge of their own ride inevitably brings a smile to many a biker’s face. Other women who ride their own naturally like to see their numbers swelling and male riders, well do we need to explain why they’re happy with more women riders?

The thought of having one, two or three women bikers along for a road trip adds an interesting layer to the riding experience and certainly brings a new dynamic to any trip. If one takes this thinking to the next level as we often do in the Clutch and Chrome offices, what would that ride look like if that were a celebrity female biker riding along in the pack?

Now we have your attention.

As soon as this thought came to us, a flurry of names of those known to ride were thrown out followed by internet searches to confirm whether we were right or the names were just wishful thinking. When some of the famous names were obviously more fantasy than fact, other lists started to form.

By the end of a fun and sometimes interesting conversation we had three lists; women celebrities who we could confirm have the biker habit, those who may or certainly did at one point and finally, the wish list. Sexy celebrities who don’t ride but we wish they would.

There are a lot of names in the various categories and this article could quickly turn into anything from a directory type listing to something reflecting the laminated list every biker carries in his wallet.

Come on, you know you do.

The qualifiers for this list went further than looks. Honestly, it’s not too hard to look sexy on a motorcycle, so we wanted deeper, biker qualities that would keep the ride fun when any superficial sexiness was blown away by a hard days ride. Did the celebrity exhibit that rider spirit, are they in saddle for passion or just publicity and would they be able to tell a good biker-tale during the mandatory pit stops?

The following famous faces are the top five of those who make the various lists. Because this is a motorcycle website, we’ll start with the ladies who have their own ride, move onto those who might and end with the female celebrities we wish would be drawn to the saddle.

I ride my own

There are some stunningly beautiful and interesting celebrities who enjoy saddle time. Indeed, they are as varied as the riding communities itself.

We’re going big and bold for the first female celebrity who’s probably the most well-known. Tricia Helfer, the 5’11” Canadian model and actress famous for playing Battlestar Galactica’s humanoid Cylon Number Six has made no secret about her motorcycle passions. Soon after her husband took to the saddle, the actress who has lent her voice to many well-known video game characters knew she would be seen and heard in the motorcycle world with a ride of her own.

“I started riding with them, just on the back, but I very, very quickly realized that I wanted to be in the driver’s seat,” Helfer told Canada Moto Guide in March 2013.

More motorcycle facts about Tricia Helfer’s motorcycle habit; her famous riding buddy is Katee Sackhoff a Battlestar Galactica co-star and co-creator of the charitable biker website ‘Acting Outlaws’, she started on a Dyna Wide Glide, went to a Sportster 1200 and then a Rocker.

A tweet from Helfer showing she is still quick to jump in the saddle

Katee Sackhoff too has been bitten by the biker bug, tweeting her latest motorcycle purchases as recently as June 2015.  These were a Suzuki VStrom and Ducati Scrambler, just for the record. Her varied motorcycle collection, seemingly continuous time in the saddle and pure passion for riding should put her at the top of the invite list for any group ride.

Besides, she seems to take one interesting role after another, bringing solid, no holds barred characters to the small and big screen.

Next on the list of sexy female celebrities who ride, Clutch and Chrome leans towards the world of daytime dramas. Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is a Canadian actress, disc jockey, singer and television host. She currently portrays the character of Steffy Forrester on the American soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful but some would say she’s best known for the role of Olivia Castle on Final Destination 5.

Her motorcycle pastime made non-biker headlines when her character in the Bold and the Beautiful rode down the aisle on a motorcycle, stunning her groom and wedding party.

“When I read the scripts and found out this was going to happen, I was game for it!” she said in an interview in 2013, promoting the episode, “I do ride a motorcycle in real life so when Brad [Bell, executive producer and head writer] came up with the idea, I was all for it. It was a great day of shooting.”

Wood has participated in charity rides through Los Angeles and confirmed her biker past in an interview with Music Fashion Magazine.

“I come from a family of bikers: my dad, aunt, uncles, and my late step-brother, Bob Probert. It was something I was introduced to when I was really young, having my own miniature dirt bike,” she answered when asked how Wood started riding.

Wood should consider the riding invitation sent.

It’s a long road trip for our next famous motorcyclist of the fairer sex, all the way to Spain for Elsa Pataky, a Spanish model, actress, and film producer. Pataky is best known for her role as Elena Neves in the Fast and Furious movies and adding a reason to make this list, she reportedly learned to ride a motorcycle at the age of 16 in Spain.

“I wanted to go out so I just learned how to drive a motorcycle,” she told Latina Magazine in 2011, “And then I started to like the world of motorcycles, I was even going to the circuits and races.”

Any bikers looking for riding credentials can find numerous videos and stories on the internet. Most recently she was filmed riding a Triumph Scrambler in the streets of Paris, not only making her taste in rides unquestionable, but shows nerves of steel as anyone who has seen or driven through Parisian traffic would testify.

Pataky told Women’s Health magazine in May 2013 she enjoyed riding her Ducati on track days and documented her riding around India’s traffic-clogged cities of Rajasthan in August of 2014.

How do we know she has that biker spirit that would make for a crucial addition to any road trip? She’s married to none other than Thor himself, Chris Helmsworth who is reportedly as nice as he is handsome. Pataky began dating the Australian actor in early 2010 and by the Christmas holidays they were married!

All the women celebrities that made the list of being riders we would invite to join our imaginary star-studded road trip have had at least a few years under their leather biker belts. What about a famous face that appears to have joined the two-wheeled world fairly recently?

According to Mens Fitness Magazine, Fast and Furious’ leading lady Michelle Rodriguez preferred to leave the speed in her movies, until she laid eyes on her first Harley. When she was gifted a shiny new bike, she decided to learn to ride. While she’s been seen on a dark green vintage Harley-Davidson her passions tend to drift to those of the performance rides as seen in the picture below.

But she is a safe rider for sure. An article in the LA Times had Michelle dropping by Westside Motorcycle Academy for a few extra motorcycle lessons in August 2014.

The actress known for her strong characters popped up in New Zealand for a motorcycle vacation in March 2015. While the local population were happy to have a Hollywood star touring the island, Rodriguez seemed just as excited riding alongside some sheep as can be seen on a video posted to her instagram account.

Tricia Helfer
Katee Sackhoff
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood
Elsa Pataky
Michelle Rodriguez

There are many other celebrity riders we could write about, but as we mentioned earlier there are so many lists to be listed and names to be explored. With that we move onto those who have ridden in the past and may well still take some saddle time.

Invited back to the saddle

She’s won as many accolades and awards as she has hearts. Being mentioned first on this list pales in comparison to the many she’s topped from a variety of magazines and polls. We are talking about Angelina Jolie, the actress, director, producer and humanitarian who can count biker as one of her many titles and talents.

She definitely enjoyed a passion for riding at one point in her life, being seen with Brad Pitt on a motorcycle date where they both rode their own as well as clearly riding a MV Agusta Brutale, when she was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair in January 2007. She's appeared in a saddle in many a movie and though actors are limited to sitting on a motorcycle strapped to a trailer by contracts and insurance, some stunts clearly show her own riding skills.

Jolie doesn’t top this list purely on looks but roars her way in from sheer cool factor as well as her passion for charities and helping those in need, traits shared by bikers worldwide.

We understand Jolie has a busy work schedule and certainly has her hands full with the beautiful family she's raising with Brad, but it would be nice to see her enjoy some two-wheeled time.

As with Jolie, the next sexy celebrity on our list of those who enjoy some two-wheeled time is Catherine Bell. An American actress known for her roles on ‘JAG’, ‘Army Wives’ and ‘The Good Witch’ certainly enjoyed riding motorcycles with her then husband in the early 2000’s.

During that time, she even appeared with service personnel at motorcycle safety classes.

"Be as smart at home as you are on the job," she said encouraging personnel to ride with forethought and consideration, "Find the balance between risk taking and enjoying your ride safely."

The most famous motorcycle photograph of Bell has her seductively sitting in the saddle of a Harley-Davidson, but her passions seem to lie with the faster, performance bikes.

“I also got to ride on the back of a motorcycle with [racing pro] Randy Mamola, on a racetrack at about 160 m.p.h. It was intense,” she said in an interview with Pink Magazine, listing one her best memories.

It was reported Bell sold some of her motorcycles when her children were born and this is where we at Clutch and Chrome have a question mark on whether she still rides. We find it hard to believe that she could give up the two-wheeled habit, but should know between her close ties with the US military as well as being a self-admitted tomboy, Bell would surely be welcomed on any ride.

Known for her tough-love approach as a personal trainer, Jillian Michaels was also an avid rider at one time. Michaels is best known for her appearances on NBC's 'The Biggest Loser', 'Losing It with Jillian' and is scheduled to have a new ‘docu follow’ series "Just Jillian" premiering in the E! network in January of 2016.

“I have a KTM 990 Superduke, I have a Ducati 848, I have a Ducati Desmosedici, I have a Yamaha SZ1000 and I have a Harley” she told Time Magazine In a 2009 interview.

We also know at one time Michaels owned a customized blacked-out V-Rod Muscle featuring polished engine cases with orange highlights, and Reactor wheels reportedly created by the team of Willy G. Davidson Styling studio.

Not surprisingly Harley-Davidson used her as a spokesperson in their 2009/2010 efforts and focus to encourage women to buy and ride their own motorcycles.

But finding any motorcycle-related news beyond 2010 or so is pretty tough and it leaves us to wonder if those five motorcycles are collecting dust in the garage. Even if they are, this would be one great riding buddy to get back into the saddle.

Different riders bring different qualities to a ride. Certain bikers bring the stories, others will bring the food. But what if a rider could bring the music? That’s our thought and one of the many reasons for adding Alanis Morissette to this list of possible celebrity riders. The Canadian-American alternative rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, record producer and actress has won 16 Juno Awards, seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards.

She was also a rider at one point in her life. After turning 30, Morrisette learned to ride a motorcycle to accompany a friend on a road trip to Big Sur.

“I find it really powerful,” she told the Ottawa Citizen In 2008, “It’s such an open road to riding motorcycles and there’s a freedom to it that I’m sure touches somewhere in my songwriting process.”

She’s been pictured riding a S4RS Ducati Monster and was an avid biker while dating and eventually getting engaged to fellow celebrity motorcyclist, Ryan Reynolds in the mid 2000’s. But she’s since married rapper Mario “Souleye” Treadway and the couple had a baby in December 2010, and we all know how family can challenge riding time.

Since we’re talking about singers, let’s stay with that talent and add Jewel to the list. With a full name of Jewel Kilcher she’s famous for her multiple hit singles as well as her appearance on the big and small screen.

Jewel became interested in riding through her ex-husband, pro rodeo cowboy Ty Murray in 2009, signing up for lessons when her husband announced that he wanted a bike.

"I just figured I would become one of those motorcycle widows where you're always at home and your man is always on the road, and I thought if I wanted to see my husband, I should probably learn to ride one myself," Jewel said in a CNN interview.

The pair took a road trip around the United States where she rode a BMW F 650 GS and then husband Ty chose the formidable R 1200 GS.

As with Jillian Michaels, Jewel was also chosen by Harley-Davidson to help celebrate Women Riders Month in May 2009 where she was pictured with a Softail Deluxe. And as with the others in this category, we’re really not sure if Jewel still rides or if the passion went away with the husband when they divorced in 2014.

Angelina Jolie
Catherine Bell
Jillian Michaels
Alanis Morissette

Just try it once, that’s all we ask

The final group of sexy celebrities are those that we wish would ride. As with the other lists, this isn’t chosen on looks alone, but a strong personality to help them find their place in the riding group and the ability to roll with everything the open road throws at them.

In no particular order, we go to an actress who was most recently seen in the television show ‘Wayward Pines’ and movie ‘San Andreas’. The roles Carla Gugino has taken over her twenty-six years as an actress shows her to be a bold person who would be welcomed on any ride. An entertainment website recently described her as ‘Equal parts docile and badass Carla Gugino’s no-nonsense willfulness is a trait that has likely allowed her to thrive and carve out exactly the type of eclectic career path she always wanted.’

From kid-friendly movies such as 'Spy-Kids' and 'Night at the museum' to the non-PG world of 'Sucker Punch', 'Sin City' and 'Watchmen', Gugino has shown an adaptability that would lend itself well to the riding world.

Staying in the thespian world, the next name on our motorcycle wish list is a beautiful one. By that, we mean her name is simply beautiful.

Morena Silva de Vaz Setta Baccarin, better known as Morena Baccarin is a Brazilian American actress. She is best known for portraying Inara Serra in the series ‘Firefly’ and the follow-up film ‘Serenity‘, Baccarin has been seen in ‘Homeland’, ‘V’ and is currently appearing in the recurring role of Dr. Leslie Thompkins in the Fox television series ‘Gotham’.

Aside from her stunning beauty, her apparent ability to move between the acting world and that of the more enthusiastic community of comic books and science fiction with apparent ease gives us the impression she would have no problems with our two-wheeled world. In fact, our world is such a melting pot with riders from all walks of life, we think she would enjoy the company and certainly her stay.

Unfortunately, aside from wearing some fashion motorcycle boots to the film premiere of ‘My Week With Marilyn’, we can’t find any reference of Baccarin getting anywhere near a motorcycle.

Her grandmother was reportedly nicknamed 'motorcycle mama' so one has to wonder if Jennifer Chastain has any biker blood flowing under that striking red hair of hers. Chastain's performances in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and in the 2013 horror-fantasy film ‘Mama’ led film critic Richard Roeper describing her as "one of the finest actors of her generation".

In 2012, Time featured her as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World".

We feel she would be a great addition to the motorcycle world and by all means, Jennifer is more than welcome to add the accolade of biker with her others.

Between her strong character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ as well as that in ‘Interstellar’ the strength and vibrancy she’s portrayed on the screen would serve Chastain well on any road trip of any length with any group of bikers.

After all, who would mess with the woman who tracked down Osama Bin Ladin?

The final name to be added to this final list is a German actress who seems to have that same sensibility and focus that her fellow countrymen show in producing one of our favorite lines of motorcycles. German actress Diane Kruger has long proven she isn’t just a pretty face, landing one remarkable role after another.

The beautiful blonde actress played Helen in the epic war film ‘Troy’ as well as enjoying leading roles in ‘National Treasure’ and its sequel. Her performance in the Quentin Tarantino-directed war film ‘Inglourious Basterds’ was simply great.

As with the other sexy celebrities in this category of ‘Yes, they really should ride’ the closest association we could find between Kruger and bikes were a pair of fashion motorcycle boots along with a single picture of Kruger draped across a classic ride. While she looked breathtaking in the picture, it was obviously the case of posing rather than riding.

The German actress was snapped riding on the back of a scooter with her reported boyfriend, actor Joshua Jackson, but that’s as close to sitting in the saddle as our research would get us.

The way Kruger has managed apparent normalcy in the crazy world of Hollywood as well that sophistication that comes with anyone who has lived in more than one country all blends to the simple fact any group of riders should make room for her any road trip, regardless of the distance or destination.

Carla Gugino
Morena Baccarin
Jennifer Chastain
Diane Kruger

There you have it, our three lists.

We will admit, this project seemed playful and quirky when we started it, but no one in the office realized the time and effort that would be required to verify and research not just the names that appear in the article but all those who didn’t.

The saving grace is the simple fact that writing about motorcycles is always a pleasure and definitely our passion!

Speaking of names, we know there are some who may’ve been omitted from the first two categories; those that do and could. Certainly every motorcyclist has their own wish list of sexy celebrities they would like to look over and see on a ride, so we can never win on that category.

This is our list and we would absolutely love to know yours, email it to us! In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this ride through the smart, beautiful and famous riders, would be bikers and dream team for a road trip.

Share this article

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

About us

Clutch and Chrome covers every aspect of the motorcycle lifestyle. Daily news, in-depth articles, reviews and anything that would interest a rider.


We not only produce our own motorcycle related videos but scour the internet to bring our readers the latest, greatest two-wheeled hits online.

Last posts


Want to really stay in touch? Here's our newsletter!