“It’s fun.” that’s ultimately what it comes down to, right? Even when we’ve got relatives or significant others slinging safety statistics or recounting the story of their aunt’s boyfriend’s brother who lost his elbow to a crash three summers ago, nothing can touch our reasoning. Motorcycles are fun. Fun things are good. Ergo, motorcycles are good.
When that doesn’t hold up, we turn to economics: how much we save on gas, tires, vehicle registration. Then it’s the ease of maintenance and parking. Still, our mothers remain unconvinced. If you’re thinking about relenting and parking your bike in the garage for the summer, think twice.
Here are four hidden benefits of riding a motorcycle.
1. Increases Your Physical Fitness
Riding a motorcycle has several important health benefits, like burning almost twice the calories as driving a car. While many bikers ride to decompress, it’s easy to see how it’s actually more strenuous than driving a car. Yes, you’re still sitting for a longer period of time, but the legwork required to back up your bike as well as the constant balancing act is a lot more work than lounging behind the steering wheel.
Furthermore, motorcycle riders have stronger cores, thighs, and necks, provided that they have adjusted the footpegs and handlebars to fit them. Otherwise, you could move certain crucial body parts out of alignment, so adjust the bike to fit you. Your core is strengthened while balancing, your thighs while backing up, and your neck just by wearing your helmet!
2. Betters Your Brain
A study conducted at the University of Tokyo by Dr. Kawashima and his colleagues indicates that riding a motorcycle isn’t just good for your body, but your brain as well. They asked subjects to repeat a set of numbers backwards, and motorcyclists’score increased by over 50% after two months, whereas the control group’s score actually decreased.
Riding a motorcycle forces you to focus in a way that driving doesn’t. You have to pay more attention to your surroundings. While you might be able to get away with texting and driving, they don’t even put out ads against texting and riding. No one is that stupid (well, hardly anyone). Actively focusing on a task is good for our brain, and riding a motorcycle necessitates that.
3. Stick It to the Man
Most riders know how much cheaper a bike can be than a car, but it could be even cheaper, depending on what state you’re in. Florida, among several others, doesn’t require insurance for motorcycles, although your license might be suspended if you are involved in a crash without one. It’s a gamble that many riders are willing to take. While insurance is certainly nice to have, for people in desperate financial situations, this is one more reason to ride not drive.
Motorcycles are also exempt from vehicle emissions tests in some states, which doesn’t save you too much, but that’s one less hassle. It’s the little things in life, I think we can all agree.
4. Red Lights? Pffft.
Motorcyclists are strangely exempt from various driving laws. For example, motorcyclists are permitted to treat red lights like stop signs in 15 states. Often times, motorcycles aren’t heavy enough to set off the sensors that tell a traffic light someone is waiting there, which would result in a tough choice for many bikers- wait around until a car comes along or risk it?
Well, motorcyclists in 35 states still have to make that “choice”, but it feels pretty damn good to zip through an intersection for the rest of us. Yeah, you still have to stop, but it reeks of rebellion. Even though it’s legal, there is still a thrill in being allowed to do something mostly taboo. It’s legal to ride a motorcycle, and we’re all still getting a little thrill out of that.
Now, none of these reasons are likely to convince your mom, but they are some added bonuses to riding. Who doesn’t want to be fitter, smarter, richer, and a little rebellious? We all do, but, honestly, we’d be riding regardless. I could’ve listed fifty reasons to ride, but we know it comes down to the same thing.