AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame | Where Heroes Live On
First Name
Last Name

Gloria Tramontin-Struck


been a member of the Motor Maids and the AMA since 1946, she has ridden nearly 700,000 miles

At 91, Gloria Tramontin-Struck is well known as the reigning matriarch of the women’s motorcycling community, having owned 14 bikes that she has ridden in the 48 contiguous states several times over.

Her family owned a motorcycle shop in Clifton, N.J., and Tramontin-Struck started riding at age 16, thanks to a not-so-gentle nudge from her brother, Arthur.

“I was a very shy, quiet, meek person,” Tramontin-Struck says. “How could that come into my mind to ride a motorcycle? [Arthur] didn’t take no for an answer. I have him to thank for 75 years of riding. It changed my life—and I’m certainly not shy anymore!”

She says her love for motorcycling grew over time, but what really got her hooked was traveling.

“Travel is my first love,” Tramontin-Struck says.

And, in 2016, she still rides her 2004 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softtail Classic to destinations across the country from her New Jersey home.

She traveled solo on her motorcycle for most of her life. But now, because of her age, she prefers to travel with her daughter, Lori DeSilva, leading the way on her bike. Tramontin-Struck says her granddaughter is riding now, too.

Some of her regular stops include the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Daytona Bike Week and the Motor Maids Convention.

She’s been a member of the Motor Maids and the AMA since 1946.

Tramontin-Struck says the Motor Maids are like family. She and Betty Fauls, daughter of Motor Maids co-founder and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Dot Robinson, are the first women to reach 75 years in the group and still be riding.

Tramontin-Struck’s love of riding is not confined to local rides and cross-country rallies. At the age of 25, she dreamed of riding her motorcycle in Europe. It took a while for that dream to materialize.

“Then, one day, I was 74 years old,” Tramontin-Struck says. “I said, ‘I better hurry up and do this.’”

So Tramontin-Struck and her son, Glenn, took their bikes to Europe to ride the Alps. The trip was great, but she wasn’t satisfied. They returned two years later, in 2001, for a second trip.

“I remember in 1950, people did not even tour the United States,” Tramontin-Struck says. “Today, of course, touring is second-nature with motorcyclists. My European trip was my goal, my dream.”

Tramontin-Struck says motorcycling has changed dramatically over the decades, especially in regard to women riders.
“It wasn’t really proper in 1941 for a woman to be riding a motorcycle,” she explains. “I have been refused gas and a room and called names. Today, guys want their wives or girlfriends to ride. There’s no stigma against women riding.”

Tramontin-Struck estimates she has ridden nearly 700,000 miles. But she dismisses the notion that the number of miles ridden, in itself, is a significant accomplishment.

She encourages people to live their dreams.

“I think I inspire,” she says. “So many people tell me that. That word always seems to come to their mind: inspiration. I am enthused about my life and how I live it.”