If you love the thrills of motorcycling and the adventure of riding far and wide, it’s probably because you were born with it in your genes.
The reason is all very scientific and explained in the long-titled paper “Population Migration and the Variation of Dopamine D4 Receptor (DRD4) Allele Frequencies Around the Globe” published in 1999 by four UC Irvine scientists.
The paper studied the migration patterns and gene pool distribution of pre-historic human beings.
The scientists were trying to find links between dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) and Attention Deficit Disorder, but ended up finding that people with the DRD4 genes also tend to be thrill-seekers and travellers.
“As previous research has shown, long alleles of the DRD4 gene have been linked to novelty-seeking personality, hyperactivity, and risk-taking behaviours … It can be argued reasonably that exploratory behaviours are adaptive in migratory societies…usually harsh, frequently changing, and always providing a multitude of novel stimuli and ongoing challenges to survival.
“The findings revealed a very strong association between the proportion of long alleles of the DRD4 gene in a population and its prehistorical macro-migration histories.”
What that all means is that if you love to travel to exciting places on powerful motorcycles, then you probably have the DRD4 gene.
Psychologist and reborn rider Sharon Ledger says only a small portion of people have this “adventure gene” which is why motorcycling will always be a minority pursuit.
“Some people are born with the adventure gene, but they suppress it,” she says.
“I won’t go into the nature versus nurture debate, but the neural network is ‘plastic’ and can be adapted by our thinking. I’m not saying that if you don’t have the gene you can’t go riding, but it would be unusual.”
Meanwhile, Sharon suggests that for your good mental health, you should not fight the urge to seek thrills.
“You should satisfy your inner urges by going for a ride,” she says.