Study says biking is in the blood

Motorcycling runs in the family

ACCORDING to a study by bike insurer Bennetts the desire to ride motorcycles is in your DNA.

With input from a psychologist, the study has theorised that motorcyclists have a genetic predisposition in the form a of a 'novelty-seeking' (NS) gene, which brings out a tendency for impulsive, exploratory and risk-taking behaviour.

The research from Bennetts found that the majority of bikers, 85%, were introduced to two wheels by a family member, with 11% saying a friend and 4% responding that it was a non-relative, including a partner or colleague.

The findings also discovered that bikers had the matching personality traits associated with the NS gene, with risk-taking (72%), low boredom threshold (71%) and spontaneity (69%) amongst the responses.

It was also found that 68% of bikers were introduced by an immediate family member, 9% by an aunt, uncle or cousin and 8% by a grandparent.

Motorcycling often defines a person, and this was shown by nearly three-quarters (73%) admitting that their bike defines who they are. As many as 62% said they couldn’t live without their bike and others even revealed that they consider their bike a family member (61%) or an extension of their personality (70%).

Psychologist Donna Dawson said of the findings: “Psychologists know from studies on twins that up to 60% of personality traits are inherited; however, environment, in the form of upbringing and opportunity, also has a role to play.

"Our research tells us that most bikers were introduced to biking through a family member and that all questions related to the ‘NS’ gene personality traits (such as being a risk-taker) and the biker’s emotional attachment to his or her bike resulted in very high scores.

"This reveals that the majority of biking families will be passing on an ‘NS’ gene, which in turn is also being reinforced by an environment in which bikers are setting an example and sharing their love of biking - it’s certainly ‘in the blood’ from what I can see!”

How did you get in biking?