If you don't have a motorcycle, you need one... for health reasons. A study funded by Harley-Davidson performed at UCLA actually proved that riding a motorcycle is physically and mentally healthy for you.
The wonderful people at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, at the University of California, Los Angeles (that's a mouthful) have studied more than 50 riders brain activity and hormone levels before, during, and after a motorcycle ride. As well as driving a car for comparison. What they found was something all riders have known: riding a motorcycle is healthy for you!
The researchers at UCLA found that there was a 28 percent decrease in biomarkers of stress, as well as an 11 percent increase in heart rate, and a 27 percent increase in adrenaline. They also found that the brain activity when riding showed that riders sensory focused was much more enhanced than when riding a car. This makes perfect sense, and is no surprise to anyone, but Harley-Davidson wanted to give actual proof for what motorcyclists everywhere already know.
Harley-Davidson has been struggling with sales and they have been trying to find new ways to attract the young riders. Heather Malenshek, Harley’s senior vice president of marketing stated “We’re leveraging the latest technologies as we shift our focus from exclusively motorcycles to growing ridership, so it only made sense to tap technology to explore the impact of riding itself.” I think that this is a smart move by Harley-Davidson. Many young riders, like myself, love to see scientific evidence and it's hard to argue with facts.
I really hope that this brings in more riders to the Harley-Davidson brand, and into riding in general. Harley-Davidson makes some truly incredible bikes, but people write them off because of a stereotype. I'm rooting for Harley-Davidson and I love that they funded this study. Thank you Harley-Davidson and thank you UCLA.