Talk to any motorcyclist and you’re likely to hear how they love the exhilarating feeling of freedom they get while riding. The feel of the wind, the intensity of the smells in the air, the vibrant views that come at you as if you’re wearing 3D glasses …
Even still, there are some people who remain unconvinced about the joys of riding—whether it’s procrastination, fear, or disinterest—they just can’t or won’t see the proverbial light.
If your enthusiasm for motorcycles has yet to persuade someone to learn to ride, start riding again, or to at least accept your passion for motorcycling, perhaps science can. Time to rehash the study done by Ryuta Kawashima in Tokyo (in conjunction with Yamaha). It makes an impressive case for riding. Yes, car drivers, we’re rubbing it in—and it never gets old!
Riding Motorcycles Daily Improves Cognitive Functioning
Who doesn’t want to be better at problem-solving and carrying out complex tasks? I don’t know about you, but I’m all for increased mental abilities. Maybe if I ride a motorcycle enough, I’ll finally be able to move things with my mind. Now there’s motivation! Does it still count if you’re on the back? The study didn’t cover that one …
Higher Levels of Concentration
If you ever hope to bend a spoon with your mind, then you should ride a motorcycle every chance you get. Seriously though, this one makes perfect sense. It takes much more concentration to ride a motorcycle than it does to drive a car. From shifting and stopping, counter-steering, to cornering, negotiating curves, and avoiding hazards on the road—your mind stays in high gear because you are so in tuned to your surroundings. Besides, doesn’t everyone have at least a teensy-weensy desire to be James Bond (or an Alex Parrish from Quanitco)? As a motorcyclist, you must be daring and quick on your feet—very 007-like.
Reduced Stress Levels
A recent study by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that individuals in the U.S. are consistently feeling stress levels of at least a 4.7 on a scale of 1-10, and that stress is directly affecting our health. Apparently, we’re all anxious, angry, or tired—perhaps that explains road rage! Yet another reason to ride. When was the last time you came across someone who was mad or stressed out because they were riding a motorcycle?
Improves Memory and Reasoning
Dr. Ryuta Kawashima claims that riding motorcycles can prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. If that isn’t a good enough reason to ride, I don’t know what is. Plus, the memories you make while on a motorcycle tour are literally unforgettable. So, if you start riding while you’re young, you’ll keep your mind sharp—start when you’re older and you’ll re-sharpen your mind—sounds like a win-win!
Stimulates the Brain
Most any motorcyclist will confirm that riding takes them to a happy place. Kawashima’s study even showed that riding motorcycles takes a person to a higher state of consciousness. The act of riding is a feast for the senses—no wonder the brain is so stimulated. Read any of Bud Miller’s Zen Motorcyclist columns in our magazine or on our blog and you’ll understand.
Motorcycling for Weight Loss
According to an article on The Riding Center, motorcyclists can burn up to 300 calories per hour. Not only that, but riding helps strengthen your core muscles with proper form. Furthermore, it’s low impact so it’s easy on your knees and joints. So, go ahead—ride your way to a slimmer you! Best. Workout. Ever.
In a Nutshell
Improved cognitive functioning, better concentration, less stress, better memory and reasoning, mind stimulation, and a great form of exercise—in other words—motorcyclists are just plain awesome!
Now, go forth and share your awesomeness with pride!
Check out this study to learn more about cognitive functions and motorcycling.