1. Who are you where are you from
My name is Jennifer Dunstan- born and raised in Connecticut, educated in NYC, now living that Cali dream. Still - You can take the girl out of NE, but you can't take the NE out of the girl.
2. What was your childhood like
I consider my childhood to be pretty well balanced. My parents definitely made all the sacrifices so my sisters and I could enjoy a happy up-bringing, I consider us to be very lucky!
3. what is one of your favorite memories or stories as a kid?
My fondest memories from childhood probably come from my time being a horseback rider, tossing hay and mucking stalls to pay my way. I never resented it, I was always super grateful to get to pet some beautiful horses at the end of the day. I think learning how to command a 1000 lb steed from a young age did wonders to build my self confidence and learn how to face danger, control fear.
4. What was the first thing that inspired you
Really difficult to pinpoint that very first ever moment of inspiration I think. But I know back then and true to do this day, whenever I see another woman breaking ground in a new sport, profession, or frontier I feel instantly inspired. Though I am fortunate to have grown up in a generation that has, more or less, been told we can be anything we want when we grow up - it's often easier said then done.
5. Who do you look up to?
It's an ever growing list for sure! Wayne Rainey is not only a multi-time world champion, but now he works tirelessly to resurrect road racing in America which I find to be a noble cause. He could happily rest and enjoy retirement, but he instead fights for a future for a new generation of American racers. Racers like Melissa Paris, Vicki Golden, Maria Herrera, and Jenny Tinmouth inspire me on the daily. Not just because of their speed and talent, but because of their work ethic and their dedication to the sport and their fans.
6. What does independence mean to you?
Independence to me means the freedom to be myself, and the freedom to pursue my ambitions.
7. How do you remain authentic?
Authenticity means everything to me. It’s all too easy in this day and age to be sucked into the social media vortex and feel you need to look a certain way, act a certain way, emulate a certain way. I watch trends come and go, in moto and beyond, and ultimately it unphases me because I know who I am, what I love. I was riding and racing bikes before there was Facebook and Instagram, and I’ll be doing it for the rest of my life.
8. When did you start riding and what was your first bike?
I started riding in 2000 when I was still in high school, my first bike was a 1985 Honda Rebel 250. It was hands down the perfect beginner bike - easy to flat foot on, had absolutely no speed or power to get me in trouble, and if I dropped it it wasn't the end of the world because it wasn't exactly a show bike hah.
9. What do you feel when riding?
I feel like I experience the entire emotion spectrum when riding. The adrenaline rush in speed and racing, joy and contentment when going on a casual cruise, quiet introspection on solo rides on sleepy back roads, fear and angst in those close calls and crashes, curiosity and wonder off roading in new terrain … I find motorcycling to be an amplifier to all these emotions, the highs are so high, and the lows sometimes incredibly painful. I would never trade it for anything - it makes me feel more alive than anything else. There is no numbness or dullness in riding.
10. Are there any particular motorcycle adventures that stick out to you?
I have had so many incredible adventures riding it's hard to focus on one. The most memorable would probably have to be my wedding track day at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway. It was such a pleasure to share this part of our life with all our friends and family, and to escape the duties and stresses of a wedding day with some hot laps with my husband was pretty special. We had the track all to ourselves for several laps, and just the sound of our bikes and riding in unison was pretty magical.
11. For women who are on the edge and may be apprehensive to ride what would you tell them?
For any women on the fence about riding, I’d say take the MSF/New Riders course and you will find out pretty quick if bikes are something you are into. For a few short hundred you will get instruction, a safe environment to practice in, and a loaner bike. If you like the feel of that throttle and the wind of speed, welcome to the club.
12. What advice would you tell newer riders?
Ironically...I would tell newer riders beware advice given to them from “advanced” riders haha. I’ve seen way too many instances of folks wholly not qualified giving new riders bad advice, and unfortunately these new riders learn lessons the harder way because of it. If you are wanting expand your skill set riding, trust in the pros, go to a school or program with qualified riders who can help you out.
13. What was your first bike and what do you ride now?
I now race a 2004 CBR600RR and ride a 2014 YZ250F.
14. What is your profession
I currently work for Alta Motors as a regional sales manager. I'm really proud to join a team passionate about changing motorcycling as we know it. The future of fast is here, and it's electric. I also run Fable Riders in my free time; a brand owned, operated, and designed by female riders. We're a small start up with big dreams, we hope to continue changing the way women in motorsports are approached.
14. What is the racing community like and what advice would you give riders who want to start racing?
The racing community is like family to me, it is a difficult sport to participate in without that bond and friendship. We pit together and share resources, notes, and beers! Some of my greatest triumphs and deepest sorrows come from the paddock...
15. How have motorcycles changed you for the better?
The ways in which motorcycling has improved my life are innumerable. I pursued a degree in industrial design because I loved sketching my bike, I met my husband at the race track and then we got married at one, I have made friends for life at bike nights and in the paddock, and I earn a living in the industry. Riding and racing bikes have taught me so much about perseverance, humility, respect, and courage. Riding is my way of life.
16. What was the toughest thing you've been through and how did you get out on the other side?
My friend and pit mate, Joanna Bitter, passing away in September of 2015 still remains one of the most difficult realities to face. She was so many things to me- a mentor, a friend, a fast expert racer, an accomplished professional, an adventurer - I had tremendous respect for her. I loved watching her race, I loved her witty quips and sass in the paddock, and I enjoyed when she showed me photos from her trips afar in India or somewhere else foreign while on business. Saying goodbye to her was probably the saddest day of my life. At first the reminders are painful, and perhaps I tried to hide from them a lot. But as time passes and her memory crops up - from a song, from a photo, from a turn of phrase - I find I'm really appreciative of the sentiment now. She can’t be here with us anymore...this I have accepted. But I get to keep the memories, so I'm going to hang onto them for all I'm worth.
17. Do you have any favorite quotes?
Carpe Omnious - Seize it All
18. What moral codes do you live by?
Live and let live is core to my moral conduct. Unless the actions of an individual are causing bodily harm to another, it’s my wish that we all could allow each other to live our lives as we deem fit. Respect is so important too- respect for one another, respect for our history and heritage, respect for our planet and its finite sources. Carelessness and selfishness rank high on my detestables list, I try my best not to engage in those vices as best I can.