Why is riding a motorcycle so exciting and yet so relaxing - and why does this combination make so many riders feel so good?

Rather than ask "why," most motorcyclists and scooterists simply settle into the saddle, turn the key, grab the handlebars, and enjoy the experience.

Yet as Steven L. Thompson shows in Bodies In Motion, there are compelling reasons to ask "why." Writing in accessible language for rider and non-rider alike, the author helps to disentangle the psychobiological connections between motorcycle and rider from a complex mix of cultural elements as he explores what evolutionary science, psychology, human factors research, and engineering research can tell us about why some people ride and others do not - and why it all matters.

Thompson's groundbreaking ideas suggest an innate affinity between the motorcycle and the rider that goes beyond pervasive cultural norms. From a scientific perspective, he connects motorcyclists to their bikes using the fundamentals of evolutionary biology and explores the intricate brain chemistry behind the sensations of riding.

Why do some people ride motorcycles?

Nature? Nurture? Neither?

Why do some people NOT ride motorcycles?

It’s not because of Marlon Brando or Peter Fonda.

It’s because of our genetic and cultural evolution.

Bodies in Motion: Evolution and Experience in Motorcycling tells the story of why some of us love swinging through the corners on two wheels and others love it only on four wheels or not at all. It’s about art, music, science, engineering, and what it means to be human, on two wheels, four wheels, or none. It’s about us, revealed as you’ve never seen us revealed before. And it starts not on two-lane blacktop, but in the trees of Africa millions of years ago.

Come along for the ride and you’ll never look at motorcycles and their riders in quite the same way again.

“what I believe to be the most important book ever written
on the subject (of motorcycling)”

-- Melissa Holbrook Pierson - author of The Perfect Vehicle: What is it about motorcycles? and The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing

Bodies in Motion: Evolution and Experience in Motorcycling
The Science Behind the Storytelling
By Steven L. Thompson

Reviewers and Editors - click here for cover image (PDF)

Download and read the first 26 pages here! (PDF)

Read pp 41-45(PDF)

Read pp 61-64(PDF)

Read pp 116-117(PDF)

Read pp 125-126(PDF)

Read pp 154-155(PDF)