Dena Sodano Lives Beautiful

Dena Sodano with her 2003 Kawasaki 636.

I remember when I first found out about Dena. I was combing the Chic Riders forums, fascinated by the number of women stunt riders populating their pages – women like Jessica Maine and Alicia Speck to name a few. After perusing a few myspace pages connected to Chic Riders, I stumbled across some video of Dena skitching (assuming I have the terminology right). Anyway, she rode a sport bike like it was a bmx bike – easily and flawlessly. She was smooth and her movements controlled. She was the only other female I’d seen who could ride like Jessica did. Amazing.

Dena rides her motorcycle with none of her appendages actually touching the handlebars or the seat. I didn’t know that was even possible?

Fast forward a few years later and Dena became the first woman to do circle wheelies on a full-size motorcycle. Now she does wheelies effortlessly aboard her 2003 Kawasaki 636. Dena erupted onto the scene at a time when women were finally starting to populate the XDL series and she was able to take two women’s XDL championship titles before the XDL eliminated the series due to a lack of consistent participation.

Dena makes wheelies look easy.

Dena is the first of few women to take the risk of competing and be successful. I think too many women are pushed out of the stunt scene because of pressure from the audience and their peers. This proves that the successful ones have walked through fire and come out perfect on the other side because their love of riding outweighed the scrupulous eye of the “stunt scene.”

There is a small group of elite women stunt riders emerging as the new power circle amongst professional women riders. Dena is undoubtedly a member of this group and I think Dena is doing a pretty good job of proving that stunt riding, like road racing, is a level playing field for both men and women riders as long as you have the heart to live your life fearlessly chasing your dreams and the discipline to train for hours a day.

Read on to discover a small visible secret to Dena’s inspiration – her “Live Beautiful” tattoo.

From Dena:

Dena’s visible reminder to live her life in a way that’s best for her.

“My favorite tattoo isn’t big. It’s located on the inside of my left forearm and reads ‘Live Beautiful’ in a calligraphy font called “Scriptina.” I got it in 2009 when I was really fed up with where I was and what I was doing in life. It suddenly dawned on me the only reason things weren’t going the way I wanted was simply because of me. So I skipped out on work that day and got this tattoo as a reminder to live my life the way I want and happily. I learned you simply go fix it and move along. I have a life and your damn right I’m going to live it! Live Beautiful.”

Thank you to Dena’s sponsors because without them, we’d have no Dena!

Sodano Auto Body & Paint (You’re the best Dad!)

Speed & Strength –

Racing 905 –

Shinko Tires –


SARTSO Jeans –

Bikemaster Parts & Tools –

Motul –

Team Lojic –

Righteous Stunt Metal –


Hindle Exhaust –

Team Motion –

Check out this video to see some of Dena’s mad skills.


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