Shona Chorlton

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton on a Honda CBR

Name: Shona Chorlton
Age: 24
Country: UK
Languages: English
Years Riding: 16
Height: 5′ 9
Inseam: 32
Current motorcycles: BMW S1000R, Honda CBR600RR, Honda CRF250X, Kawasaki ZX6R and Honda CRF70


Please introduce yourself. My name is Shona. I’m an accounts assistant with a true passion for anything to do with motorcycles. I first started riding when I was eight years old and nowadays not a week goes by where I don’t ride at all. My life revolves around motorcycles. My dad and brother ride, my other half and almost all of my friends do too. I cannot imagine my life without bikes! I ride as many disciplines as I can, including road, track, enduro and learning to stunt.

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton with a friend's daughter

Shona Chorlton with a friend’s daughter


Describe your path into motorcycling. I was 8 years old when my five year old brother got a 50 cc twist-and-go dirt bike to learn to ride on. Being the stubborn child that I was, I sulked until I was allowed to have a go myself. Taught by my dad in a field near our house, I was never naturally talented but I loved it. There was nothing more exciting than knowing I was going to get to ride at the weekends. I even managed to ride into a tree on that 50 cc which landed me in the emergency room but did it put me off? Hell, no.

Around a year later, I learned to shift gears. As the years went on, the bikes got bigger and more powerful. When I was 18, I got myself a 125 to ride on the road. When I was 21, I had a major accident on the motorway and broke my shoulder. Two operations, lots of physical and psychological therapy later, I vowed that I would never stop learning and pushing to become a better rider. I did some advanced training, trackdays, more off-roading, anything that would give me more bike control.

Last year I even decided to go to ‘wheelie school’. This was where I met my other half who was a stunt rider. To start with, I began going on the bike with him, but this was not enough to satisfy my adrenaline addiction. Shortly after, I decided to buy my own stunt bike and learn myself. I am by no means a ‘stunt rider’ but hopefully I will be able to call myself one some day.

How come a lot of stunters don’t wear protective gear? I’m not sure I can answer that, because I wear what would be considered full protective clothing in the stunt world. Helmet, back and chest protector, armoured jacket, Bull-it jeans, knee and shin guards, MX gloves, and high top trainers. It is extremely tiring and you get hot quickly, so maybe they don’t wear gear to keep themselves cool?

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton doing a one hand rolling burnout

Shona Chorlton doing a one hand rolling burnout

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton doing a stoppie

Shona Chorlton doing a stoppie

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton popping a wheelie on her Honda CRF

Shona Chorlton popping a wheelie on her Honda CRF


What kind of modifications do you do on your bike to do some of your stunts? My bike has a lot of modifications – a crash cage, strengthened frame, handbrake, and larger rear sprocket. You get a lot of people say things like “you can only do that because of *insert mod*” but that really isn’t the case. Learning to stunt is incredibly difficult and requires so much seat time. I guess I was a little naive when I first started but I realized very quickly that if I wanted to progress I needed to put the time in.

Tell us a good story. When I broke my shoulder in 2012, I was told by the surgeon to not ride for at least twelve weeks. I still lived with my parents at the time so I used to sit in their shed staring tearfully at my broken bike.

Around four weeks after the operation my dad had managed to repair all the damage, so I had my beautiful CBR600FS waiting for me. She didn’t wait for long. When my dad was at work and mum was busy getting readym I snuck the bike out into the alley, only starting her when I knew I’d be able to get away and took her for a ride. I only went out for 10-15 mins but it felt good, even though I was riding completely lopsided with barely any control over my left arm. Looking back it was completely irresponsible but I just had to get my “fix”. Biking really can become an addiction!

Is there any other kind of motorcycling that you’d like to try your hand at? Trials! I would absolutely love to try out trials riding because for me, except for stunt riding, it is the ultimate level of control.

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton out riding on the dirt

Shona Chorlton out riding on the dirt


Have you made any close female friendships due to motorcycling? Yes. I met Lauren, one of my best friends, through green laning two years ago. Having only met a handful of times, she invited me to an enduro practice day. We borrowed my dad’s old van to take our bikes there and I was a little worried about the journey being over an hour with a girl I barely knew. We clicked instantly though, and after that one hour I felt like she had been my friend for years. We recently did the Dawn to Dusk enduro together and stayed side by side the whole time even though it took us over four hours to do one torturous hilarious lap. (laughs)

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton with her best friend Lauren after the Dawn to Dusk enduro

Shona Chorlton with her best friend Lauren after the Dawn to Dusk enduro


If you could go ride with any of your motorcycling heroes,  who would they be? I got to ride with him this week on our tour in Yorkshire – my dad. He is my motorcycling hero, the one whom I blame for the most expensive hobby I’ll ever have. While we were out riding in the dales, he was taking it easy so I went for the overtake, This seemed to wake him up a bit and we had a good battle for a fair few miles. Every corner just seemed to be so smooth and flowing, although I could see him hovering in my mirror waiting for his chance to get me back. At the next coffee stop, he complimented how well I rode. It meant more to me than he probably realised. (smiles)

If you could change one thing about the world of motorcycling, what would it be? Less hate, more constructive criticism. I find that in most disciplines people are always ready to tell you that you aren’t doing well, but not what you could do to improve. Thankfully I have managed to surround myself with mostly positive people who aren’t afraid to tell me when I am doing well or offer help if I am not.

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton doing a track day at Brands Hatch

Shona Chorlton doing a track day at Brands Hatch

Women Who Ride: Shona Chorlton on the track

Shona Chorlton on the track


If you could design your dream motorcycle, what would it look, sound and feel like? I would love to build a cafe racer. It will happen one day, I hope. I absolutely love their individuality and style. favicon