Name: Kimiko Donahue (Kimi #52)
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Bike: 2006 Suzuki GSXR-600
How did you get into riding?
Ever since I was little, I wanted to race or ride dirt bikes. (And be faster than the boys!) Ultimately, parents never let me, so I joined a bowling league. Then, I did so well on my high school senior paper (about how I want to ride a motorcycle), my parents bought me a 2006 Ninja 250 for graduation. After 4 years of riding, I bought myself a 2006 Suzuki GSXR 600 with help from my college student loans. I began going to track days in March 2011, and obtained my ASMA race license in June 2011, and CCS race license in September 2011. I have only done 3 races.
What are your goals as far as riding goes?
To improve my endurance, speed, vision, corner entry, and trail-braking. There is just so much I’d like to work on. I also hope to pick up an R6 soon!
What are you looking forward to this season?
Entering more races, riding new tracks, and meeting new people (especially female racers!)
Which women (not necessarily riders) inspire you the most and why?
Melissa Paris. I love her story- she bought her first motorcycle with student loans. After watching her race, reading about her, and seeing her pictures, I thought she seemed really cool. Then I met her and rode with her- remarkable is an understatement!
I am an avid Facebooker. AVID.
Any hobbies/interests outside of riding?
I have a strong passion for my job-selling insurance. I also love bowling, Capoeira, singing, playing guitar, fast-pitch softball, and eating Chipotle.
Do you have any pre-track day/race day routines?
No routines really. Just drink my coffee, do some stretches, and check my tire pressures. Actually, having a checklist before leaving the house is good. (You would be surprise how many people forget their bike key or to bring gas!)
Any advice for women who are looking to start riding or going to track days?
Don’t be afraid, and do not get frustrated. Relax and have fun! But for you girls who are competitive- just practice and be positive. I dropped my bike the first day I got it and could barely touch the ground! I remember my first track day: brand new suit & boots, new rear-sets & clip-ons, horrible body positioning, on a very technical track and thought I would be able to jump on and pass the guys. Oops! The track is really the safest place to go fast and show off your skills.