Do you think your love of motorcycles is in the genes, handed down in DNA from grandfather to father to son – or daughter? Or perhaps you believe your choice of motorcycle has more to do with your personality.
The sneaky NS gene
Recent research points to both the gene factor, and the level of novelty-seeking in one’s personality, having a bearing on whether you ride a motorcycle, and the type of machine you ride. It doesn’t just determine your chance of becoming a Hells Angel either. The level of NS in your personality can help decide if you become a risk-taking adrenalin junkie or thrill seeker or get involved in extreme sports such as bungee jumping, or sky-diving. It can also influence whether you ride a fully loaded road-racer, or a more sedate touring bike.
Do you consider yourself the life and soul of the party? Are you up for trying new experiences when everyone else is shaking their head? Even low levels of novelty-seeking (NS) in the blood can turn you into an extrovert. You know, the guy everyone tries to avoid as the beer flows. It is also likely to make you less conscientious and take more risks on a day to day basis. Not the best trait for a young inexperienced motorcyclist.
Is your mid-life crisis a crisis?
We all know the labels. Think the young go-getting exec and his top of the range sports car, which increases the size of certain anatomical parts. In the biking world, with fifty being the new forty, it seems the mid-life crisis is also alive and well – for men and women.
Saga, the champion of the over fifties, has recently branched out into motorcycle insurance for the more mature male and female bikers, and with good reason. According to Saga, the over fifties now account for 30% of annual revenue generated in the motorcycle industry, over £300 million. They are also likely to replace worn motorbike parts sooner, take fewer risks, and buy higher quality helmets, jackets and boots.
New to biking – or returning
Although over 5,000 people passed their motorcycle test in 2017, many others were making a return to biking after years of relying on four wheels. As we get older that novelty-seeking gene is still sloshing around in the gene pool, but the sharp edges get smoothed off, and the thrill-seeking element begins to diminish.
With family and work commitments reducing, many find themselves at a loss with what to do with this extra free time. Modern cars aren’t built to be tinkered with over a wet weekend. Bikes though, especially classic bikes like the Triumph Bonneville or Norton Dominator, suit the bill admirably. Motorbike parts can be hunted down across the country and fitted in a warm dry garage over a winter’s weekend.
Whether you think your choice of machine is influenced by family, or down to your novelty-seeking personality, the thought of pulling off the driveway, and roaring up the road with ‘Born to be Wild’ blasting into your headset, will surely be enough to get everyone’s adrenalin flowing that little bit faster.