Life on bikes

Scientifically proven: Motorcycling is good for you

New research by scientists at University California Los Angeles proves that motorcycling really does make you feel better.

UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior has looked into the effects of a motorcycle ride on the brain. The research found that riding helps reduce stress at the same time as increasing alertness.

Riders were hooked up to a portable electroencephalogram (EEG) that detects neural activity and monitored before, during and after a ride. The researchers also monitored the same subjects when driving a car and at rest.

The research, a joint initiative with Harley Davidson, found that when riding a motorcycle, participants experienced increased sensory focus and resilience to distraction. Riding also produced an increase in adrenaline levels and heart rate, as well as a decrease in cortisol metrics – results often associated with light exercise and stress-reduction.

Results Highlights:

● Riding a motorcycle decreased hormonal biomarkers of stress by 28%

● On average, riding a motorcycle for 20 minutes increased participants’ heart rates by 11 per cent and adrenaline levels by 27 per cent—similar to light exercise

● Sensory focus was enhanced while riding a motorcycle versus driving a car, an effect also observed in experienced meditators vs non-meditators

● Changes in study participants’ brain activity while riding suggested an increase in alertness similar to drinking a cup of coffee

Dr. Don Vaughn, the neuroscientist who led the research team, said, “The brain is an amazingly complex organ and it’s fascinating to rigorously investigate the physical and mental effects that riders report.”

“The differences in participants’ neurological and physiological responses between riding and other measured activities were quite pronounced,” continued Dr. Vaughn. “This could be significant for mitigating everyday stresses.”

It seems science has now caught up and discovered something every biker knows from the first moment they ever get on a bike: Motorcycling is good for you in more ways than non-bikers could ever imagine.

Get yourself sorted:
Go for a ride and start burning off calories:

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