Queen — A highly respected and resilient woman with a strong moral compass of values that she lives her life by every single day. This is the title given to Torri Thornton. All hail the queen, long may she reign.
While working for Honda Financial Services in April 2001, Thornton was exposed to several types of Honda motorcycles. She had never ridden before but the sports bikes grabbed her attention. A co-worker who seemed to have a vast knowledge about motorcycles told her that if she ever owned one, he would perform all service and repairs for free. Another co-worker who was a member of a co-ed motorcycle club, invited Thornton to different events. At this point they really had her attention and she began to
think seriously about enrolling in a motorcycle safety riding course. Being an employee meant she received discounts on motorcycles, parts, and even a reimbursement on the cost of a safety or riding course.
For 10 years Thornton thought about taking that class. She explains why it didn’t happen. “When I would decide to do it, someone would have a bad wreck or die. I kept changing my mind, which is why it took a long time for me to take the class. Plus I’ve always been a girly girl and didn’t want a helmet to mess up my hair.” But desire overtook obstacles and March 29, 2014, Thornton decided that as a birthday gift to herself, she would take the riding class. As they say, the rest is history.
Her first motorcycle was a 2013 Honda CBR500. She adds, “Learning how to manage my hair under a helmet became second nature to me.” But the CBR500 only kept her interest up for a few months. She wanted, “needed” was her precise term, something faster and louder, something that would get her more excited. Up next in her line of bikes was a new-to-her 2006
CBR1000. Speed and performance were no problem with this bike. This bike tested all her abilities and that maxed out her excitement level.
One day while scrolling through Facebook, she came across a picture of a custom Gold Wing F6B. The thoughts filled her head that a bike like that was something she could really get into. She decided to take a trip to Mountain Motorsports to see the bike in person and to see if she could get it off the kickstand. With no problems lifting the bike off the kickstand, she felt comfortable once sitting on it and purchased the bike. She was now the happy, proud owner of a 2013 Red Honda Gold Wing F6B.
After a few months of riding her new F6B, she couldn’t get the customized bike she had seen on Facebook out of her mind. It propelled her to make a few changes to her bike. A 21-inch front wheel was her first priority. Being the daughter of a DJ and music lover, she knew an upgraded sound system wasn’t far off. Thornton says, “In my car, house and on my motorcycle, I have to have my music loud and clear.”
As she continued to do more research into customizing and the custom bike lifestyle, she found several small upgrades she also wanted to do. She reached out to her mechanic and informed him about the F6B purchase and how she wanted to customize the bike. No matter what Thornton came up with, he found a way to put those ideas into motion.
The first round of upgrades began with Kuryakyn driver floorboards, glovebox caddy, Ergo III cruise mount kit, ISO gloss black grips, and kickstand extension; Pathfinder turn signals, driving lights and LED headlights; Show Chrome clear lens covers; ScreamFox LED light kit;
JL Audio Bluetooth adapter; Mustang Tripper seat; RC Components 21″ Exile wheel; Rockford Fosgate amp; and CT Sounds speakers. Stage one of the build was complete.
When Thornton rode around town, people complimented her on the way the bike turned out. She even had some people literally lying on the ground trying to find out where all that music was coming from. Visions of greater things moved her into stage two of the build.
The bike was outfitted with a new, removable tour pack and another upgrade was done to the sound system. As a member of the Kustom Gold Wing and F6B group, Thornton was always seeing new ideas posted to their Facebook site. The custom paint schemes grabbed her attention. For stage three, she contacted a painter from Madison, Georgia, to perform his magic. The bike was disassembled and sprayed with a Wine-Red Pearl True Kandy paint, topped off with a 4 1/2″ rack kit, a new 23″ Spearfish wheel and Avon tire combination from Rotation Wheels, and a chrome stock rear wheel from Dresden and Associates in California.
The final build was complete and Thornton’s excitement level was through the roof. She picked the bike up from the builder October 28, 2018, at 9 p.m., and just had to take it out for a cruise around the city. Around 11:30 p.m. while riding on Interstate 20 at about 65 mph, she says she felt the front end of the bike start to wobble, then the rear started fishtailing. She says, “I knew at that moment I was going to have an accident and there was nothing I could do to prevent it from happening. I was thrown off the bike and luckily behind it. As the bike started rolling down the interstate, I could remember thinking to myself ‘Am I ever going to stop rolling.’ I rolled a few more times and came to a stop in the fast lane.
All the cars had stopped and there were people everywhere trying to see if I was OK. I felt my arms, then my legs and I thought, I think I’m OK. I stood up and got my wits about me, found my phone, my wallet, and began picking up debris. I walked away with some minor road rash on my stomach, no soreness or any other injuries. At that moment I knew God was watching over me.” She also believes that because she knew why the accident happened, it didn’t scare her away from riding. The very next day, she contacted her insurance company and within a couple of days after the accident, she started shopping for a new bike.
It was November 7, 2018, approximately two and a half weeks after the accident, that she purchased a 2015 Blue Honda F6B. After her initial ride she knew she couldn’t leave the bike stock. She says that it just didn’t feel right. That prompted another call to her custom builder to let the makeover begin.
All the upgrades with the new bike were much the same as with the 2013 F6B. The differences were an addition of a new Evil Wing tour pack; 1 1/4″ lowering kit; Traxxion Dynamic’s 4 1/2″ rake kit; All Balls head bearings and fork springs; Longboy low profile hugger wrapped fender; all new music upgrade with PRV speakers and SounDigital amps; Alpine 7″ touchscreen receiver; Stinger battery; and of course new paint. This bike won the King/Queen of Daytona Sound Competition for overall clarity and first place in the middleweight division.
Thornton’s bike’s name is “Quite Storm,” which is fitting because Hondas are known for their quietness, but when the music is turned on, it’s as if a storm has passed through. Her nickname, “X-Clusive,” comes from her unique way of color coordinating her attire with her bike.
She concludes, “The group is like a family and with me being the only female in the group that is into the customizing and music, I feel like I’m the little sister with so many big brothers looking out for me. I love seeing all the different ideas the group comes up with in these builds. My advice to others is to do what you like and not get caught up in trying to do what others have done. Be yourself and let your bike speak for you. If you have the vision and the right resources, the sky is the limit.”
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