Motorcycle’s Keep us Young

By: Lisa Petrocelli

There was a scientific study done a year or so ago by Yamaha and Tohuku University, which showed that riding motorcycles helps keep drivers young by invigorating their brains. "The driver's brain gets activated by riding motorbikes" in part because it requires heightened alertness, Ryuta Kawashima said after his research team and Yamaha Motor conducted a string of experiments involving middle-aged men.

One experiment involved 22 men, all in their 40's and 50's, who held motorcycle licenses but had not taken a ride for at least a decade. They were randomly split into two groups -- one asked to resume riding motorcycles in everyday life for two months, and another that kept using bicycles or cars. "The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests," Kawashima said. In one test, which required the men to remember a set of numbers in reverse order, the riders' scores jumped by more than 50 percent in two months, while the non-riders' marks deteriorated slightly, he said. The riders also said they made fewer mistakes at work and felt happier. "Our final conclusion is that riding motorcycles can lead to smart aging."

My theory is much simpler. Take a minute to reflect back on your childhood and recall how it felt when your parents announced they were taking you to an amusement park. Your heart skipped a beat and the excitement started to mount. The roller coaster was calling your name and you knew you’d be hopping on anything else you were tall enough to ride. Remember that feeling of anticipation? That is the same feeling bikers experience when they prepare for their next ride. Remember the sheer joy on your face when you’re riding that Scrambler and squishing your brother or sister in the seat next to you, laughing so hard you could hardly catch your breath? When riding with other bikers, notice the expression on their faces when they are enjoying their time in the wind. You will see 10-year old smiles on those 40-something faces and these words will ring absolutely true.

Readers will subscribe to whichever study or theories sound most logical to them. However, this author’s final conclusion is, “Who needs a face-lift or a fountain of youth? BUY A HARLEY!”


  1. Great thoughts, Jovi! I might add that at age 66 and a half, I get an adrenaline rush when taking a trip in the motor-home. I do all of the driving and no matter where we are, that too, takes a great amount of awareness.

  2. I love this! Even we 50+ years olds get that rush. Wonderful thoughts to begin the day. Thank you Jovi!

  3. I think your post is right. I didn't ride my own until I was 50...and I feel like I am 30, well okay, 45ish ;) In any case, good post. I really believe that riding helps my memory and reactive thoughts. Good post!