Marie Kifa, known as @marie_vill on Instagram, started riding in the Philippines when she was 19. Now 35, she’s a cross-country touring, adventure seeking rider and active member of the DC MotorBabes.
Growing up, her dad owned a motorcycle, and from the minute he plopped her on his lap while he was sitting in the saddle, she knew she was going to be a rider. Her mother, as do nearly all our mothers, did not approve of her riding a motorcycle though. But Kifa didn’t let that stop her. Not to say we condone doing things behind our mothers’ backs, but she went out and bought herself a motorcycle anyway, and thus did her story begin. Funny enough, her mother found out through a friend that her daughter was riding, which then prompted Kifa to show her mother that it was in fact alright that she was riding, and proved herself to be a safe and skilled rider — which she continues to be to this day.
Kifa rides a Bonneville Mag Wheel which she’s been customizing into a creation all of her own design. Part scrambler, part racer, her bike is a machine that’s as capable as it is beautiful. Her personal build is the perfect product of her love for the new heritage, as it reminds us of the bikes from the good ol’ days yet pushes the expectations of what these motorcycles can do. Its raw metal tank, leather slammer seat, upright bars, exhaust system, and sleek bullet turn signals make the bike drip with retro character.
Her love of things with history started with her grandfather teaching her how to drive stick on their old, beat up Jeep and tractor. He taught her to value everything, no matter how small or old, because “anything has a chance.”
“Anything vintage has a history and a story. You get to create your own and make it iconic. It’s like a bond waiting to be made. That’s why I like British Customs, because they make it simple, and each part tells a story that represents you.”Kifa is also deeply ingrained in the motorcycle community, and is a member of the DC MotorBabes, a Washington D.C.-based all-women motorcycle club. Established only last year, the club has since grown into a thriving community for like-minded riders. The club started as a way to help finish bringing the DC moto community together by creating a women-only club — something that was sorely missing from the scene.
“The motorcycle community is so different from all the friendships I’ve ever had. It’s very simple and relaxed; everyone welcomes you with open arms before they even get to know you.”Kifa is an great example of a member of the new generation of riders who are using new methods of networking, like social media, to enjoy good ol’ simple pleasures, like riding. That’s how the DC MotorBabes was born, she told us: a few girls looking for riding buddies found each other online, met up in person, hit it off, and started a motorcycle club. Now, they’re DC’s biggest all-women motorcycle club, and have garnered national admiration and respect.
“As a woman, riding with other females is the most powerful thing, especially if you’re a new rider. Our goal is to grow the number of women riders in the DC area and bring the rider community together.”
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