Tag Archives: leah misch

Leah Visits the Evel Knievel Museum

1On her way toward Oklahoma to visit friends and leave her beloved Scout for the winter, Leah Misch stopped in to see the new Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka Kansas. Housed in a new facility adjacent to historic Harley-Davidson, the museum opened this past June and garnered visitors from all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries in just three months.


Visitors see Evel’s motorcycles, leathers and helmets along with dozens of personal effects including his casts and gold checkbook. Plus:

  • Fully-restored Mack Truck Rig “Big Red” – cab, dressing room and trailer
  • Snake River Experience Room featuring the actual X-2 Sky Cycle
  • “Plan A Jump” interactive wall
  • Broken Bones interactive touch screens including Evel’s actual X-rays
  • Virtual Reality Jump Experience
  • “Big Red” Gallery with restoration film, crew recollections
  • 1970’s-era movie theatre with marquee, seating and décor
  • Film and crash videos of many famous jumps
  • The kid’s room, the garage, the family room
  • Children’s letters to Evel from decades ago
  • Many never-before-seen personal items and images7


It’s the one and only exhibition showcasing the world’s largest collection of authentic artifacts that belonged to the most legendary, death-defying daredevil of all time! The Museum’s extensive and complete displays reflect the impact of a man who did the unthinkable and, some said, the impossible. They were tumultuous times in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. America needed a hero – and Evel Knievel gave us one!

Enjoy Leah’s pictures and visit the Museum yourself.654 3 2



What it’s like to be an Ultimate Biker Makeover Winner!

We catch up with our 2016 Ultimate Biker Makeover Winner Leah Misch to find out how she is enjoying all her new gear.  
She has been fortunate to receive some help from some of our sponsors with install of her new parts and even helping 
to take some photo’s.  We love nothing more than being able to help riders stay safe on the road with new gear for 
them AND their Motorcycle!  

GG- How did you hear about the Garage-Girls Ultimate Biker Makeover?
  LM-I saw an add for the contest as I flipped through American Iron Magazine dreaming about buying a new pair 
of riding boots after literally wearing a hole through my 6 year old riding boots.
GG- What promoted you to enter?
  LM-I tore out the page from the magazine add and thought about entering the contest for almost a month before 
finally deciding to sit down and write the essay.  I’ve always struggled with writing and hesitated entering the 
contest since I thought I wouldn’t likely win.  But as I trained for my first Half Ironman I thought back to the 
days when I contemplated if I could run a 5k.  The beginning steps in anything is to ‘try’.  Even if I didn’t win 
the contest, it would get me to take the first steps in writing a book many people have told me I need to do.
GG- Now that you have won, what do you think of the prizes?
NEW SPORTY EDGE!!!  Ill totally put everything to good use in finishing my 50 state goal
GG- If you could encourage others who are down on their luck for any obstacle in life, how would you encourage them? 
What would you say?
  LM- “Take the first step in faith, you may not see the whole staircase; but just take the first step”- “Life begins 
outside of your comfort zone”.
Life’s like a bike; to keep balanced you must keep going’- Einstein         
  These quotes were some of my most life changing quotes as I took many first steps in life when I wanted to give up.... 
instead I keep going as I continue to live towards my bucket list goals I set for myself after leaving an abusive 
relationship I was lucky to survive. Ex… Running my fist 5k after overcoming morbid obesity. Taking my first steps 
after breaking my back to later finishing marathons.  Flying into hurricanes to help victims of disaster during 
crisis situations. Learning to first ride a motorcycle and years later traveling across the country on a motorcycle, solo.

GG- Any advice for others thinking about entering the Ultimate Biker Makeover contest in 2017?
  LM-You Go Girl is a motto I share with others to overcome adversity, break through barriers, and achieve the goals 
you set for yourself. 
 Remember, the only limits are those you set for yourself.  Take the first step and just try; you may not see what’s 
at the top of the staircase, but just take the first step to try something new because life begins outside of your 
comfort zone
GG- Any special words you want to send to all the sponsors who help make this happen?
  LM-Thank you for sponsoring a contest which encouraged me to not only keep riding safely; but to learn how to work 
on my bike myself. I added a set of tools to my Christmas List and hope to continue exploring motorcycle maintenance 
and the DIY work on Scout!  Thanks Garage Girls and all the awesome sponsors! 
Special thanks to Sara Liberte for starting a contest that literally changed my life.  I’m excited to ride fashionable 
and safe as I continue my 50 state goal
P.S. my 50 state goal first started when I put on my list “to see the Statue of Liberty”.  I got in my car and drove 
by myself from Minnesota to New York to see the Statue of Liberty.  The statue represents a woman escaping the chains 
of tyranny, which lie at her feet as she holds the flaming torch of liberty in her right hand)- You Go Girl!  
Thank you Sarah ‘Liberte!!!’
After doing a solo trip in my car to the east coast to see the Statue of Liberty; I gained the confidence and 
love for traveling.  That is when I added to the bucket list ‘watch the sun rise or set in all 50 states by age 30’…  
Alaska is my last state, which I’m now hoping to finish my 50 state goal and take Scout with me safely in style  
You Go Girl!!

So Easy Even a Girl Should Do It: S&S Stealth 2 Air Filter Install

Story by Leah Misch
Photos by Leah Misch ad compliments of S&S Cycle
Editor’s Note: The Garage Girls Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest has been a hand up to riders for quite a few years now. The 2016 winner, Leah Misch, is from Wisconsin and when S&S Cycle, one of the contest sponsors, learned she had won they invited her to visit company HQ and offered to install the prize they provided. Here’s that story:

I turned 17,000 miles on my 2015 Indian Scout motorcycle (I call her “Scout”!) while on a solo tour across the country. I rode so much I literally wore a hole through the sole of my shoe but I thought I could put off getting new shoes until I arrived home. Riding in Tennessee, ironically on “Lookout Mountain,” I laid down my motorcycle. All the multiple minor factors added up to losing my balance on a descending right stop on a freshly rain-drizzled road. Proper riding gear could have prevented this.
The week after I returned home I saw the Garage Girl’s Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest. Contestants were asked to submit an essay on “why you deserve a biker makeover.” I laughed to myself on the irony of the situation… “My bike NOW needs a makeover because I neglected to give myself a gear makeover!”
So I submitted an entry highlighting the importance of proper gear to ride safe. I thought my chance of winning was slim since I’m not the best writer, but I figured it was the first step in starting that book everyone keeps telling me I need to write, about my travels and life story.

leah-1See, it’s been quite a journey! I left an abusive relationship, ran my first 5k, overcame morbid obesity, learned to ride a motorcycle, walked again after breaking my back, finished my first marathon and traveled across the country solo on a motorcycle. Then I crossed paths with S&S Cycle in Sturgis.
I met Dave Zelma, S&S Cycle’s marketing director, this year at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s Hooligan Flat Track Races. He invited me to check out the S&S Demo Day at Sturgis Dragway the next day. I thought to myself, “Heck yeah; that sounds really cool!” The next day I tore up tread on the S&S 143” Dragon as I ran it down the track for my first experience ever on a drag strip; wow, does that bike have power! When I said my good-byes that day I never thought the next time I’d be seeing them would be to install the Stealth II Air Filter I’d won in the Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest!
I was so excited when I received an email saying I’d won the contest and couldn’t believe the list of awesome prizes. My bike really needed the S&S Stealth 2 Air filter after recently turning 21,000 miles. Not only did S&S provide this high performance product, but since I live right in LaCrosse they invited me to their facilities in Viola for the install!

leah-2The S&S staff greeted me with a warm welcome and smiles at the door then lead me to the shop. During a walk-through tour, I reencountered some of the great S&S people I had met out in Sturgis. I was excited to be there and learn more motorcycle maintenance so I asked, “Is it okay to watch the install?”

“No,” I was told….
My heart dropped and my head hung low.
“We are going to show YOU how to do it!”

leah-3Step by step Grant Hillegass and Dean Young taught me about the different tools needed to remove the bolts, the jack to support the frame, and fitting the black piece of hose that runs to the air filter. It was fascinating to see the mechanics making Scout function. They showed me where the old air filter sat under the gas tank.
We did a fun grand reveal, opening the box of the new S&S Stealth II Air Filter, and it felt like Christmas in October! Putting the new filter in was surprisingly easier than anticipated.

leah-4 leah-5leah-6leah-7leah-8leah-9leah-10leah-11Most of the work was removing bolts. Taking out the stock air filter required removing a few additional bolts. The S&S Stealth 2 Air Filter does not require this additional step, which makes the reusable air filter easy to maintain and wash. High-performance, efficiency, and simplicity; I like it! That’s the lifestyle of most bikers, right?
I was given the honor of firing-up the new improved Scout and hearing a roar she’s never belted out before! Awesome! Then it was time to put her back together.
After all our “hard work,” we reminisced on motorcycles and travels over lunch. The day ended with a personal tour of S&S and learning the history of the S&S factory in Viola, a company now globally known for its complete high performance engines and components. As we walked through the S&S company museum it was fun being quizzed on different engine types from Knuckleheads, Panheads, to Shovelheads. It was even moving to see retired record-holding machines from history like the streamlined motorcycle that raced at the Bonneville Salt Flats, setting a record of 276.51 mph.

Next we toured the manufacturing facility where I watched S&S products being manufactured on high-tech equipment by dedicated staff. S&S continues to bring us these great high performance parts and engines that will continue to shape the future of the motorcycle industry.
I’m so glad the people at S&S took the time to show me how to do the install. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life and it totally motivated me to want to learn more.

leah-12leah-13The new Stealth II Air Filter can be found at: https://www.sscycle.com/products/stealthtwo-air-cleaner-kit-for-2015-2016-indian-scout-and-2016-victory-octane/
Check out Leah’s winning essay here http://garage-girls.com/2016-ultimate-biker-makeover-leah-misch/, And we tip our hat to these sponsors of the Garage Girls Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest: Avon Tyres, Baker Drive Train, Harley Davidson Footwear, Vance & Hines, Mustang Seats, S&S Cycles, Klockwerks, Spectro Oil, J&P Cycles, Hijinix, Geico Motorcycles.