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Dot Robinson – The Woman Who Turned Motorcycling Upside Down
Updated On: Mar 04, 2013

 Dot Robinson. Good-looking, high-powered, fully made-up and literally born to ride.  Dot Robinson’s mission was to unite female   motorcycle riders and make it possible for women to race – and look great doing it!

 Dot Robinson was a motorcyclist even before she was born.  When her mother went into labor on April 22, 1912, Dot’s dad, James  Goulding, loaded her into a sidecar and rushed her to the hospital. Dot’s father was a sidecar designer and an amateur racer, and Dot  grew up around motorcycles in Saginaw, Michigan.

 Dot met her future husband Earl while she was still in high school, and they married in 1931. They both rode in endurance runs and races. Dot earned her first trophy in 1930 at the Flint 100 Endurance race, and the couple made a record transcontinental run together in 1935. Shortly after that, Harley-Davidson asked the Robinsons if they wanted to run a dealership. The couple moved to Detroit and opened a dealership, and ran it for some 35 years.

Dot Robinson - Motorcycle Legend

Dot racked up a shelf full of trophies, but she had to fight as well as compete for them: she won the Michigan State Championship and the Ohio State Championship, and then Dot wanted to compete in the National Endurance Run.  The director tried to keep “women” from competing – even though Dot was the only woman trying to enter.  She gathered thousands of signatures on a petition, but still he wouldn’t budge.  So Dot loaded all the petitions into a big carton and turned the box upside down onto his desk, snowing him under. She  laughed that they eventually became friends, and he told her, “Nobody ever raised that much hell all over the country.”  She had meant to turn motorcycling upside down, and she literally did!


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