2011 Hall of Fame Inductee
While Gloria Tramontin Struck came from a motorcycling family, she didn't originally have any burning desire to ride. In fact, in 1941, when she was 16, her older brother decided to teach her to ride while she told him tearfully, “I don’t want to know how to ride.” Well he won out and since then she has owned 14 bikes--3 Indians and 11 Harleys and now rides a 2004 Heritage Softail Classic.
Gloria was born in 1925 behind her family's business, the Lexington Cycle Shop, in Clifton, New Jersey. The business had been selling bicycles and Excelsior-Henderson motorcycles since 1915. When she was only 3 years old, her father Ernest died at the age of 32, leaving her 28 year old mother Pierina to take over the shop. Pierina became an Indian dealer in the 30's until her retirement in 1947 when Gloria's brother Arthur "Bub" Tramontin took over as a Harley Dealer. Bub's son is now the third generation to operate the business that in 2010 celebrated its 95th Anniversary.
In 1946, at age 21, Gloria joined the Motor Maids that was started in 1940. She and the founders’ daughter, Betty Fauls, are the longest standing members still riding and this year they were the first in the club's history to be honored for 65 years of active riding.
Gloria was featured in the December 1952 issue of Harley-Davidson's “The Enthusiast” magazine in an article entitled “Gloria Goes Touring,” chronicling her first solo tour--to Canada in 1950. Throughout her years of riding, Gloria has been recognized in many ways by the motorcycling community. She’s appeared on TV, in videos, on live radio, in numerous magazines and newspaper articles and in books including “American Motorcycle Girls 1900-1950” and “Biker Chicz of North America.” Last fall, an April 2010 Thunder Press article about Gloria was featured in the EUROPE Hog Magazine and was read all over Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Gloria has logged over 500 thousand miles, riding all 48 continental states many times over. She has made the trip to Daytona Bike Week numerous times in frigid temperatures since 1951, attends the Sturgis and many other rallies and Motor Maid events and conventions from New Jersey to California.
In 1999 at age 74, Gloria realized a long time dream when she and son Glenn took their motorcycles to Europe riding many passes including the Passo Stelvio, the most challenging pass in the Alps. In 2001 they returned to Europe and rode over 4,000 miles in 8 countries.
Gloria's family shares her love of riding. Son Glenn has accompanied her on trips to Europe and the USA and daughter Lori, also a Motor Maid, can always be seen riding with her. Gloria's brother Bub still rides at the age of 91. Gloria met her late husband Len when she sold her Bonneville to him following World War II.
What's next for Gloria? She says she'll ride on 2 wheels for as long as she can--hopefully until she’s 91 when another cross country ride is in her plans.