Speedy Suzanne has been drag racing for 8 years
THE first time Suzanne Watson went on a motorcycle she was 12, and she still remembers getting off the bike with a grin from ear to ear.
Now, 26 years later she is still riding and racing, even mixing it with the boys at Benaraby Dragway.
"My first experience was on the back of a ZZR1100 at 12 years of age," she said.
"I remember the white dotted lines turning into one long white blurry line and could not wipe the smile of my face.
"I fell in love with everything bikes.
"I was then always only a passenger until I was 18 and legally able to get my licence."
But it wasn't until she worked in a motorcycle store, years later, that she got her first bike.
"I had worked in a motorcycle store in Rockhampton where I had access to many bikes," she said.
"My favourite was a 89 YZF750R it was a perfect fit for me and it was fast.
"I was never financial enough to own a bike until 2008, after not riding for eight years I purchased a Yamaha XV1300, which was my first new bike and first cruiser.
"The I progressed to a Harley Deuce, Triumph Sprint and my now forever bike, a 2010 Victory Jackpot."
After riding bikes for so many years, Gladstone resident Suzanne's first real race was in a car, when her partner Peter introduced her to drag racing.
"I had started drag racing in a SS Commodore in 2012, then progressed to racing my Victory in 2013," she said.
"I was so nervous to run my bike, I had been down the track heaps of times in the car but I was now taking my prize possession out there.
"After a few runs the nerves had gone and the excitement had set in and I loved it."
The two vehicles couldn't be more different to race, Suzanne said.
"The biggest difference between racing the car and bikes was how challenging the bike was. "There was always something different you could try to get a better time and it wasn't about spending more money.
"It was all up to me to hone into the skills required to become a rider worthy of the bike's ability."
The person with the most money doesn't always have the most fun in the sport, Suzanne said.
"The greatest thing about drag racing is that you don't have to buy the best or have all the bells and whistles to get that buzz," she said.
"I could take out our old $100 KLR650 and it will still give me the challenge.
"It would give me the ability to learn a heap of new, different skills and challenge me all over again.
"The fact is that in dial you own (handicap) racing, it also gives everyone the ability to be competitive.
"It doesn't matter how slow or fast you are, if you have all you skills in place on the day you can win."
For anyone interested, Suzanne said you won't regret it.
"There is no boy club and girls club, we are all equal racers," she said.
"The team at the track a very supportive and so are all of the competitors.
"We all have had that first few runs and are happy to help with any questions you may have.
"A word of warning, once you do your first few runs you will become addicted and prepare for you world to turn into everything drag racing."
Benaraby Dragway wil host an Off Street Meet on Firday night, July 10, and the second round of the Central Queensland Drag Racing Championship on Saturday, July 11.
For more information visit www.benarabydragway.com.