Raven “Butta” Miller caught BGR’s eye after sharing in our Facebook Group that she rode 24 states 3,768 miles in 6 days on her Busa! We’ll be chatting with her more about this on IG Live in a few weeks but for now, let’s get to know a little more about her!
Please introduce yourself.
My name is Raven aka Butta and I ride with Smokin Curvz Motorcycle Club. I am in the Mother Chapter out of Fredericksburg, VA. We also have chapters in Macon and Augusta, GA and Houston, TX. I am a nurse and I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Louisville, KY. I have a daughter that’s 15 and a son who is 10. I enjoy playing basketball and hanging out at the beach.
Describe your path to how you got to where you are with motorcycling today.
I stepped onto the motorcycle set in 2014 and I started out in a social club called the Benevolent Beautiez in San Diego, CA. I saw our club sisters, the Smokin Curvz Motorcycle Club pull up to bike night on their bikes and I immediately fell in love and wanted a motorcycle. In January of 2015, I bought an ‘02 Yamaha R1 and soon after began my Prospect period with the Smokin Curvz Motorcycle Club. I used to ride dirt bikes as a kid, but it had been 30 years since I had been on 2 wheels. It was all motor memory once I was shown again how to ride. My 1st long ride was in 2017. I rode my 06’ Hayabusa from Louisville, KY to San Diego, CA by myself – it was about 2,200 miles and took me 2.5 days. I currently ride an 05’ Hayabusa.
What has been your best experience while riding?
The best experience when riding is just crossing paths with other riders – either at a gas station or food stop. Strangers sharing stories, asking where I’m traveling to and from, and keeping me in prayer.
And the worst? (Or not so good?)
The worst experience was actually on this last road trip. My club and I had just split off in Philly, they were headed South on 95 Hwy and I was headed West on the Pennsylvania turnpike. I caught a flat tire on a Sunday afternoon. I was 650 miles from home and by myself. I had to get the bike towed to a motorcycle shop that was already closed and spend an extra night on the road that wasn’t in my original plans. However, on Monday morning I was able to get my tire fixed and was back on the road and made it home safely.
Can you relate a good story from your motorcycling experiences?
When I was just learning how to ride, I met up with a couple of guys from the set to go out for a ride. It was KSU time and I went to start my bike and it won’t start. So I start freaking out because I had just ridden it to the meetup spot and my boy Numberz was like “Butta, is your kickstand down?” I was like “yeah.” He was like, “put it up.” So, I put my kickstand up and what do you know? Rookie mistake. It started right up! We still laugh about that till this day.
If you could change anything about the world of motorcycling today, what would it be?
If I could change anything about the world of motorcycling today it would be that every state has the motorcycle helmet law enforced. I honestly hate to see other riders out riding without a lid on. Our lifestyle, passion, and hobby are dangerous enough to not protect yourself at all times. It’s not “if you’ll go down” but, “when you’ll go down” motorcycling.
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into motorcycling?
Advice for people who want to get into motorcycling is just “ride your ride.” You don’t have to start out on the biggest, fastest, nicest looking bike. Start out on something you’re comfortable with and move on up when you’re ready. Never allow someone to ride your ride for you. That goes along with the kind of bike you choose to get and how fast you choose to go on your bike.
If you could go on a ride with any of your motorcycling heroes – living or dead – who would they be?
There are a couple of female riders I admire: Marian “Ms. Showtime” Peterson, SJ “Sidewayz” Harris (may she continue to RIP), Porsche “PT” Taylor, Christina “Cali Cat” Farr, and Tamika Wade.
If you could teleport to any other place and time in history and ride your bike, where and when would that be?
If I could teleport in time to ride, I would want to go back in time and ride with Bessie Stringfield. Her riding cross country solo, and being African-American is definitely inspirational!
What’s your dream bike? If you could design your dream motorcycle, what would it look, sound and feel like?
I don’t really have a dream bike. I love my Busa. Last year, I crossed 22 state lines and traveled over 18k miles. This year I’ve done 24 states in one trip and have over 10k miles for the year already. So everyone thinks I need to get a cruiser. But, as of right now, I’m happy and comfortable with my Busa.
What is your favorite Sunday ride to do when you’re back home?
Back home is in San Diego, CA and one of my favorite places to ride to is Mission Beach. The beach is beautiful and there is an amusement park with rides, games, and food. It’s a nice tourist attraction. Another is up to Mt. Helix cross – you can see almost all of San Diego from on top of the mountain.
What was the last great book you read?
I am not much of a book reader, however, I did purchase the “Prospect’s Bible” by John E. Bunch II. It is very informational and a good book to keep on hand
Any good music you have discovered of late?
I listen to all genres of music and nothing really stands out. When I’m riding and listening to music, I do more thinking of the things going on in my life than I do actually listening to the words of the songs in the music that is playing.
The last great meal/food/cuisine you had?
On this last road trip, our club stopped at a spot in Waterford, CT. It had the most mouthwatering hot, fresh, buttery cornbread we had ever eaten in our lives! The manager told us that was what they were known for and we definitely all agreed that we knew why!
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
A legacy that I would like to leave behind is just that when people make a reference about me, “Butta”, they know that I’m always down to ride. I will show up rain or shine on 2s. We all have our own reasons as to why we ride. For some, it’s a hobby. For me, it’s a passion and a lifestyle. Respect is earned, not given. Each time I get on my bike, I hope to earn more and more respect from my fellow riders. Especially the men, since being a woman on the set, I am still considered a guest.
Any thoughts about Black Girls Ride Magazine?
I love the BGR magazine, I follow it online. It is very informative, it has some great topics and discussions. I think it’s definitely a great tool for female riders to have on hand!