Hump Day Q&A: Shannon Marie Codner Revving up Engines
There are two things that bring in eyeballs on the Internet, cats and beautiful women. So, I tried to combine the two by interviewing a Katwoman, not the fictional Catwoman or some sort of cat-woman hybrid – that would be disturbing. I’m talking about “Katwoman,” model/actress/writer/bike builder Shannon Marie Codner who you may recognize as “Nurse Shannon” from Rock of Love or WCW Nitro Girl “Candi” or from “Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.” The bombshell bike builder, who was recently accepted into the World Championship of bike building, found some time in her busy day to exchange emails with me to discuss fighting crime with Adam West, what she has in common with Martha Stewart and building a bike for Abraham Lincoln.
Where did you get the name Katwoman? Do you own a Catwoman costume?
It was just a nickname from years ago. I’m a cat person and always have been, so the name is fitting. I suppose that’s not much of an enticing back-story now is it, but it’s how the name came to be. Nah, I don’t have a Catwoman costume. Adam West does live in my neighborhood though, so maybe we should fight crime together, you know, with him being Batman and all.
How did you get into custom bike building?
As all of my friends know, I’ve always loved motorcycles and it wasn’t enough to just ride them, so building them was the next logical step, right? Joking aside, I am a creative type by nature and building one-off custom bikes allows me the freedom to do just that – be creative. There’s so much that goes into a bike build. I don’t buy frames and put a motorcycle together. I also actually make the frame, welding it together, cutting the fenders, etc. Some would say that’s too labor intensive, but I see a bike build as more than just picking out a sparkly paint scheme and putting a bike together from a kit. That’s for pansies. Ha Ha! All of the bikes I build are one of a kind. There are no two alike and that’s what sets my builds apart from the run of the mill motorcycle on the road.
You don’t look like the typical bike builder. What do you have to say about that?
I get that a lot. I don’t have any tattoos. Instead, I have boobs. I’m not competitive by nature and I’m not one of those so-called frilly girls that say, “Oh, look at me, I’m a girl and I work on bikes while I wear a string bikini.” No, that’s not me. I am who I am. I’m a little Martha Stewart in the sense that I enjoy crafting, baking and making a home – with a little George Barris mixed in, in the sense that I enjoy designing and building unique modes of transportation and pushing the envelope with the creative thought process. I did a meet and greet motorcycle show recently and a guy said to me, “You’re so dainty, classy, feminine and smart – not the typical girl prancing around trying to be tough like a guy and claiming to work on bikes. You’re hot!” When I do meet and greets at motorcycle shows, I think people are taken aback that I’m there in work boots and jeans, not a skimpy thong bikini…
I don’t know anything about bikes, but I do enjoy the photos of you building motorcycles. Does your guy have to know about bikes? Is that important to you?
No, not at all. Although, they inevitably end up learning subconsciously whether they like it or not. Bike building started off as just a hobby for me that eventually turned into building bikes for others … I’d like to think that a guy would have some interest in motorcycles, but they don’t have to consume his life. I like manly guys, not a guy worried about his image. I enjoy spectator sports and just hanging out and grilling by the pool. Bike building is a huge part of my life, but it isn’t the only thing that makes me who I am today. I also like cars – hot rods, rat rods, concept cars. I’m an avid gardener, baker and cook, too.
You used to have a sex and relationship column called “Ask Katwoman.” What was the strangest question you ever received? What did you learn from that experience?
Define “strange.” I corresponded with some intriguing folks and I myself learned a lot from the experience. That was fun! I learned that people are people. Everyone has concerns or worries. There are a lot of curious people out there. I’d love to find a new home for the advice column.
You are a history buff. If you could build a bike for any of our previous presidents who would it be? How would it look?
Oh, good question! Let’s see. I would go with good ol’ Abe. Off the top of my head, I’d design a chopper with black pipes, a black motor, an extended rake. The paint scheme – simple. It’d be powder coated red, white and blue of course … and the number 16 emblazoned on the oil tank with a little bit of gold pin striping throughout. I’d throw in a skull cap helmet that matches the red, white and blue design because I don’t think his stove pipe hat would stay on.
What can a guy do to impress you?
Not be ignorant. I don’t like airheads. I don’t like indecisive guys or arrogant, ego driven types and I surely don’t like whiners. Don’t complain or be needy. Just be genuine. Don’t second guess yourself and appreciate me for who I am. Don’t try to change me or control me and we’ll get along just fine. I’m painfully shy and like to keep to myself more-so than draw attention to myself, so when I’m not working – I prefer to just be in a low-key environment with a few friends as opposed to out with a guy that wants to be the center of attention.
About Tim Hammer