It turns out that riding your motorcycle can help keep your brain fit.
A study performed by Dr. Ryuta Kawashima of the University of Tokyo demonstrated that people who rode their motorcycles daily experienced improved memory and spatial reasoning capacity.
The study examined three groups. One group of riders had been riding their bikes daily for an extended period of time. The second was a group of former riders who had not been on a motorcycle in over 10 years. Each group had their brains scanned while riding and performing other activities. Finally, they examined a group that did not ride a motorcycle at all.
Interestingly, the images of each groups’ brains showed vast differences. When riding, the riders who had continuously motorcycled used the right hemisphere of the prefrontal lobe – the area associated with higher mental functions, such as speech, planning and motivation – and demonstrated higher levels of concentration. Those who had not been on a motorcycle for over 10 years did not.
The benefits of riding more do not stop once you get off your bike. Current riders experienced higher levels of cognitive faculties. Interestingly, at the end of the study, the former riders also experienced these benefits as compared to the control group which did not motorcycle.
These effects are vastly different that those generated from driving a car, which does not produce the same benefits. This is largely due to the fact that driving a car under normal condition does not create similar stimuli, or require the increased levels of concentration, as motorcycling.
An added bonus, all participants reported a more positive mental state and lower levels of stress at the end of the study.
As if you didn’t already need another reason to ride your motorcycle more!