Marina Sienkiewicz

Marina is a sport bike rider from Poland. She gives us a view into a motorcyclist’s life in Poland as well as some stories of her long distance tours in the Alps. The pictures, as you can imagine, are breathtaking! [Rashmi Tambe, Editor, Global Women Who Ride]


Name: Marina Sienkiewicz
Age: 54
Country: Poland (Warsaw)
Languages: Polish, Russian, English, French
Years Riding: 8
Height:167 cm
Inseam: 76 cm
Current Motorcycles: Honda CBF 600N
Kms Per Year: 7000 km
Image: Marina Sienkiewicz on top of Grossglockner, the highest mountain in Austria


What is your favorite type of motorcycle riding? Definitely touring. Last year I spent three weeks riding through The Alps and it was the best holiday I’ve ever had. When I came home I wanted go back right away. It wasn’t just a journey, it was like a new way to live. This year I’m going to Greece through the Balkans and Romania. I dream about riding around the world, maybe when I am retired.

Women Who Ride: Marina Sienkiewicz on top of Stelvio Pass, Austria

Marina Sienkiewicz on top of Stelvio Pass, Austria

Women Who Ride: Marina riding in the Alps

Marina riding in the Alps

How did you get into motorcycling? It was many years ago when people didn’t travel a lot, especially between eastern and western Europe. My parents took me to Italy to show me Venice and Florence. They were nice but I mainly remember all the bikes. From that moment on, I’ve dreamed about riding.

Unfortunately the attitude in Poland at the time wasn’t good. Driving, riding and many other things were not for women. Imagine, nearly forty years ago the motorcycle was rare, and the idea of a girl on a bike was impossible. I heard from everybody that riding is dangerous, not for a girl, not for a woman, not for a wife, not for a mother. Maybe I was weak, not strong enough to make my dream come true.

After I turned forty, my life started to change. I lost my job, got divorced, and my daughter was old enough to live her own life. I was alone but not lonely. It meant nobody could tell me what to do. I got a motorcycle licence and bought my Honda. My parents was horrified but they accepted it after seeing my determination. Now my mother is even proud that she has a daughter who is a biker. Only my daughter accepted my love for motorcycling and supported me right from the beginning

What bike did you first start on and why? My Honda CBF 600N is my first bike. When I bought it I didn’t realiz that it would be difficult to ride her. She is rather high and very heavy. Or perhaps I am short and not very strong. It was hard for me move her, so during the first couple of years, I dropped her a few times.

When I started riding I made every possible mistake but I never crashed. She forgave all my mistakes. It felt like she wanted to tell me –“Riding is not a game. If you want to ride you must learn, you must know as much about riding as possible. If you learn, I will take care of you.” I really love her.

Can you share a good story from your rides? A few years ago I went over the speed limit on a street in Warsaw. I was going 71 km/h on a 40 km/h street. I was stopped by the police on their bikes. They started shouting at me, talking about how it was dangerous to ride so fast.

When I took off my gloves and helmet they started to apologize. If your misdemeanor is not serious and the first time offense, the police can give you just a warning. One of the cops apologized that he couldn’t give me a warning because it was already registered and promised to give me a very light ticket. They hadn’t expected an old woman who had all the documents instead of some young boy with no documents. The memory of the policemen apologizing was unforgettable.

Do you do track days or race? I try to do a track day every year. On the track you can try many things much more safely then on the road. Last year I completed the first level of California Superbike School.

Are you part of a motorcycling group? I don’t like to be part of a group. A lot of groups are more or less closed, often limited to their own problems. Sooner or later I feel trapped in groups. Perhaps it’s just something in my character – a little bit of a lone wolf?

The only group I’ve liked is a local one in Warsaw called Na Rybke. We meet every Wednesday after work and ride somewhere close just to talk and get to know each other better. It is very good for beginners who learn how to ride in group and feel safe.

Women Who Ride: During our trip to Lithuania

During our trip to Lithuania

Women Who Ride: Group photo during a ride to Budapest

Group photo during a ride to Budapest

Do you do any volunteer activities related to motorcycling? There are many events organized by local where they collect blood, volunteer at orphanages, ride for children etc. Sometimes we take a part in events to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Do you think you will ever stop riding? Never, I know some day I will be too old for riding but I don’t think about it now.

Women Who Ride: Marina Sienkiewicz somewhere in France

Marina Sienkiewicz somewhere in France


If I were to visit you and we went riding for one morning, where would you take me? One morning is not enough. There are no good roads for bikers near Warsaw, but if we had one day I would take you on a lovely trip to Mazurian Lakes.

Are motorcyclists discriminated against in any way?
People don’t like us. They call us “organ donors” but it’s changing. There are more and more bikers now and people realize that this “stupid organ donor” could be their friend, mother or daughter.

What are the best months for riding there? May through October.

Do you have access to high quality motorcycling gear? There are many shops with motorcycling clothes that are very expensive and of high quality. We also have Polish gear which is very good and much cheaper. The thing I hate about motorcycling gear is that clothes for women are usually pink.