• New Study Shows Just How Beneficial Motorcycles Are to You, The Environment and the Economy

There’s No Downside to Life on Two Wheels

We all know how motorcycling makes you feel better and less stressed but it seems that the benefits go much further than that, with positive effects on the environment and the global economy.

It’s Official: Motorcycling is Good For You and the Planet

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If you ride a motorcycle, you know how good you feel after a ride, whether it is at the weekend for fun or simply to make the journey to work that much less stressful.

Now, a study carried out by Oxford Economics has gone further and claims that riding a motorcycle has much further reaching benefits.

While the study is centred around the UK and European motorcycle industry, it is obvious that the same will be true for any country with a motorcycle manufacturing industry.

If we look at economics first, the study finds that the industry in the UK and Europe supports around 390,000 jobs in the fields of production and manufacturing of motorcycles, parts, accessories, clothing, accessories and research and development. This injects around $22 billion of GDP across Europe in 2019.

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Not only that, but a further $15 billion is generated by related activities, which include motorcycle events such as motorcycling trade fairs and manufacturers’ promotional events, that attracted 2.5 million people in 2019. The study found that about 5 million people attended sporting events, including 1.8 million to MotoGP races in Europes, which hosted 12 races in 2019.

Then there are the environmental benefits. Motorcycles produce much less carbon dioxide than cars, both in manufacture and operation. OE found that the average powered-two wheeler will emit about 99 g CO2/km, much less than the 210 g CO2/km emitted by the average car (petrol and diesel). Motorcycles up to 250 cc were found to emit on average 62 g CO2/km. This class of motorcycle accounts for 62% of Europe’s two-wheelers. Whilst that class might not have as large an impact on US motorcycling, even the largest Harley Davidson or Indian is using a lot less fuel than equivalent cars, with attendant reductions in CO2 emissions.

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Last, but by no means least, is the effect of riding a motorcycle on our mental health.

A recent study by the Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behaviour set out to find out if motorcyclists rode in fear of being involved in an accident. In actual fact, the study found the complete opposite. It found that levels of the hormone cortisol, which is released into the brain when we become anxious, is roughly a third less in motorcyclists than car drivers over the same route. This meant that riders were less stressed and more fulfilled by the journey. This leads to them being more relaxed and focussed, an important factor in reducing accidents or incidents.

New Study Shows Just How Beneficial Motorcycles Are to You, The Environment and the Economy
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The results found that when riding, participants in the study experienced increased sensory focus and resilience to distraction. Riding also produced an increase in adrenaline levels and heart rate, and a decrease in cortisol levels - what would be expected after an exercise session.

As motorcyclists, we know all about the mental and physical benefits, but it’s interesting to know that we’re also doing our bit for the economy and the environment at the same time.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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