Rider and moto-tour guide Jen Lovaas has been in love with riding for 12 years. She is a longtime member of and has served as an officer in a charitable women’s motorcycle organization. She was so inspired by her love of motorcycles, group riding, and traveling that she started a motorcycle tour business with her good friend and co-worker in 2019. Most importantly, Jen is a passionate and genuine woman who has made her unique mark on the motorcycle industry.

 

Jen Lovaas, co-founder of Native Moto Adventures. Photo Credit: Oh Happy Dawn Photography

 

How did you start riding motorcycles? 

 

Jen: In 2010 I was living and working in San Francisco.  My 1.5 mile commute was taking way too long, both by car and city bus. Every day on my way to work, I was passed by happy lane-splitting motorcyclists. I finally gave in and signed up for a local Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginner course. My intention was to learn to ride a scooter for commuting. Once I took the MSF course on a motorcycle, I was officially hooked from the very beginning. 

 

Why do you love riding motorcycles? 

 

Jen: Flow Theory perfectly describes riding for me. Flow is the feeling of being fully immersed in an activity with energized focus, being completely “on” and aware of everything around you, and pure enjoyment in what you’re doing. That’s what drives my love for riding.

 

Jen Lovaas has gained much of her advanced riding skills by participating in track days. Photo Credit:  Got Blue Milk Photography

 

Who has influenced you the most as a motorcyclist? 

 

Jen: I’d have to say I was and still am most influenced and inspired by my girl gang, Curve Unit. In 2013, I was looking for local women’s motorcycle groups so that I could ride with other women. I will be forever grateful for that google search! Curve Unit is an all-women’s, sportbike-oriented, charitable motorcycling organization.  Having an instant family of strong, supportive, hilarious women was awe-inspiring. 

 

The ladies of Curve Unit led me on a journey that went from casual monthly rides to planning, researching, and leading huge group rides. They helped me find power and strength that I didn’t realize I had, both on and off the bike.  My Curve Unit sisters truly helped me develop confidence in my motorcycling skills.

 

Curve Unit is an all-women’s, sportbike-oriented, charitable motorcycling organization. Photo Credit: Oh Happy Dawn Photography

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in moto-tour guiding?   

 

Jen: Not too surprising, I was inspired by other motorcycle tours! I participated in a two-week women’s motorcycle tour of Tuscany, and a two-week motorcycle tour of southern Peru. These trips expanded my perspective on riding and helped me realize that moto-touring was an unbeatable way to experience the culture, geography, and scenery of a new region. It is also an almost guaranteed way to quickly make new friends. 

 

Jen Lovaas believes group touring helps riders become instant friends.

 

How did you start your own motorcycle tour business?

 

Jen: After returning from my trip to Peru in 2019, I was brainstorming with a coworker and dear friend, Saf Elmansour, who is now my business partner and co-founder. After some research, we found that there wasn’t much of a moto tour presence in the Bay Area. In just a few short weeks, Saf had built a website and we were on our way. 

 

How did going into business with a partner help you be successful?

 

Jen:  Having a partner was essential. Saf brought remarkable business acumen and entrepreneurial experience. We met as co-workers at a software company, but our shared passion/hobby overshadowed everything else. Weekend rides quickly followed, along with a community meetup group, and daydreaming of a motorcycle tour business. It was Saf who finally said “Let’s do this!” and with his marketing and business experience, all the pieces fell into place quickly. 

 

Jen Lovaas and Saf Elmansour relaxing with a Native Moto Adventures customer after a day of touring.

 

Why did you name your business Native Moto Adventures?

 

Jen: From the very start of building the business, we knew that our tours would be much more enjoyable and authentic if we could embody the feeling of “riding like a local”. Our guests love feeling like native Californians, and we incorporate that value in every way possible – from inviting local riders to join our tours, avoiding the typical tourist stops, and quite literally taking the road less traveled. 

 

 

What kind of tours doesRide Native offer?

 

Jen: Out of the San Francisco bay area, we host several one-day tours. These motorcycle tours are geared towards travelers who are visiting San Francisco on a family vacation or a business trip, and can only get away for one day. It is so easy to rent a motorcycle and take a one-day tour with us, and get a real feel for how us west coast riders truly live.

We also host two-day and three-day tours through the Santa Cruz Mountains, Pacific Coast, and Carmel Valley. We are currently developing several more tours out of the Lake Tahoe area as well.

Native Moto Adventures can even do 100% custom private tours by request. 

 

Moto-touring in San Francisco with Native Moto Adventures.

 

What is the most fun motorcycle tour you’ve ever guided?

 

Jen: Joy and pride collided in 2021, when I finally received a call from my very first female customer. I had been waiting a year for this moment! Ironically, she had never ridden with other women before so she was just as excited as me. Things got even better from there when friend and colleague Brittany Morrow said she was visiting SF and requested a tour on the very same day. I invited a few local riding friends (ladies, of course) and Native Moto had its first all women’s tour.  While there is no specific moment that stands out from that tour, I was grinning from ear to ear all day and in literal pain from laughing so hard. 

 

Author’s Note: This was such a fun day and it was an absolute pleasure to participate in a Native Moto Adventure! – Brittany

 

Native Moto Adventures leads a tour of all women through some of the most iconic locations in the San Francisco Bay area.   

 

 

What is your proudest accomplishment as the co-founder of Ride Native?

 

Jen: A few years ago, Native Moto donated a tour to one of our favorite organizations, Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR), for their holiday auction. The auction winner, Joe, flew down from Washington and we hosted a two-day group tour to Big Sur. The energy of the group was palpable, and everyone gelled incredibly well. It was one of those trips where everything fell into place beautifully, and all of our tireless research, planning, and outreach paid off. 

 

The pinnacle moment of the tour was a mid-morning visit to a young couple’s new vineyard in Carmel Valley, off Cachagua Road. The weather was perfect, the scenery jaw-dropping, and this very sweet couple paused their wine making to give us a tour, made even better with coffee, pastries, and a friendly dog. As we said our goodbyes, our guest Joe came over and gave me a big hug and said “this was exactly what I needed, thank you.”  In that moment, it was all worth it. 

 

An ideal day on a Native Moto Adventure with Jen Lovaas as tour guide extraordinaire.

 

What are the disadvantages of being female in the motorcycle industry?

 

Jen: From the very beginning of my motorcycling journey, I’ve been underestimated. People are often surprised that I ride, let alone lead motorcycle tours. While I don’t justify or defend these stereotypes, I understand why they exist. There simply aren’t that many women riders out there. And I want to change that. 

 

Are there any advantages of being a female in your business?

 

Jen: While the ‘novelty’ factor can get tiresome, it has opened many doors for me… and by extension, for Native Moto. I am grateful for any opportunity to increase visibility for women riders, such as speaking at a Ladies Night at a local bike shop.  I want women to see me and think “I can do that, too.”

 

Jen Lovaas with her Curve Unit Sisters  Photo Credit: Oh Happy Dawn Photography

 

 

What advice would you give your younger self?

 

Jen: Don’t wait to get a motorcycle. Do it now! 

 

What is your secret to success?

 

Jen: I pride myself on being genuine and kind, and having just the right ratio of being laid back to being in control.  

 

Jen Lovaas hitting the twisties near Lake Tahoe, California. Photo Credit: saf1photo

 

What does the future hold for Native Moto Adventures?



Jen: Saf and I have always dreamed and often talked about taking this concept to other cities, states, and countries. 

 

Where can I sign up for a Native Moto Adventures tour? 

 

Jen: Sign up at www.ridenative.com | www.instagram.com/ridenative/

 

 

Follow the blogger, Brittany Morrow on Instagram, or Facebook.

 

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