We know you’re a big car head, especially when it comes to Cadillacs, but how did you get into riding bikes?
Man, it’s just a lifestyle, you know. I’ve had uncles and different family members who used to ride motorcycles; I was always intrigued by them. And, you know, I did the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious. I’ve always loved cars and I’ve always loved motorcycles.
How’d you learn to ride?
I have, like, 22 acres of land and a few four-wheelers, so I really learned the gearshifts with those, and from there I upgraded to motorcycles. This will be my third one.
But this is your first Harley, right?
Yeah, I have two sport bikes. What I love about the Harley is that it’s more laid-back. You’re not going as fast, kinda just cruising and relieving stress. It’s about sitting back and just…stuntin’. Harley is one of those brands that gets passed down from generation to generation, and they’ve been around so long, they have a good long-standing product. So, you know, I feel like I’m privileged to be a Harley owner right about now.
What was your inspiration when it came to designing this Fat Boy with bike builder NYC Nick?
The process of putting the bike together is about taking two creative minds and merging them. We talked about it over the phone, drew up some sketches, I told Nick my favorite colors were red and black—Atlanta Falcons colors—and how I wanted certain things chromed. Having a bike that’s going to be customized, you want it to look totally different from anybody else’s bike, and now I’m seeing the final product, and I couldn’t be happier.
If you had to pick, what’s your favorite part of your new Harley?
Of course the murals Cory Saint Clair put on the bike, whether it’s Disturbing Tha Peace, the Battle of the Sexes logo, or my face on the tank. And then, of course, the chrome; all the chrome everywhere always accents the bike.
What is the Battle of the Sexes all about?
You know we’re all really competitive, so in customizing this bike, in going fast, in living life…in the fast lane, all of these different things, it goes into Battle of the Sexes.
Word, so whatcha think of Shawnna’s bike?
I think it’s hot. It’s pink; it’s fit for a lady. But it’s not better than mine! [Laughs]
So Luda sort of surprised you with this Sportster, huh?
Yeah, Ludacris actually called me and said, “Hey, we’re going to do a Harley photo shoot.” I said, “I love Harleys, book my flight and I’ll be there.” But he called me back later and was like, “Yo, I got something to tell you: They’re going to give you a bike.” I think I dropped the phone. I started screaming to my friends, telling them what was up.
Once you got on board with the project, you opted to do a theme to support women with breast cancer. What was the motivation behind that?
Well, my mother is a cancer survivor—not breast cancer—but I think that that demon comes in all shapes and forms. I’m a big supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and to be able to ride a Harley that represents the struggle that women have with breast cancer just does something for me. It says a lot about what I’m trying to do for the movement.
And does a Harley work well with that message?
Harley-Davidson as a brand means empowerment. When you get on one of these and you hit the open road, you feel free, you feel the wind and its strength. That’s why I think more women need to become involved in riding.
What do you think about how your Harley turned out?
I love it. It’s pink, it’s chromed out, it’s Harley for one. That’s it. All it has to say is Harley-Davidson for me, but to be custom made for Shawnna…I mean, all I can say is, I love it. Nick couldn’t have done any better for me.
So it fits you?
Very well. I’m a very petite, small woman, and I’ve had a chance to ride some Harleys before; they can be very intimidating. So this one, being just right for me, I think I’ll have a very good transition into being able to ride with the boys. You know, I ain’t even gonna beat around the bush, Harley’s top of the line. If you’ve got one of these, you know your stuff.
Now you just need to get your license, right?
My motorcycle license is in the process of being expedited. I gotta get a couple more rides out before I try and take on the Harley, but, um, I think I’m gonna do well. I think you gonna have to come back to see this monster RIDES has created.