Planning to purchase your first motorcycle is a great feeling for any bike enthusiast. The question of the motorcycle weight must often cross your mind, as it should. It usually depends on the bike type, brand, engine size, along with a few other factors.
It’s always a good idea to be aware of the bike’s weight and whether or not you’ll be able to handle it. Also, if you need to load it in a trailer to tow it, this information will come in handy. Read on this article to get clarity on the motorcycle weight.
How much does a motorcycle really weigh?
The average weight of a motorcycle is approximately 700 pounds (318 kilograms). The weight varies according to the brand and model. Refer to this table to know the weight of different types of bikes.
Note: Manufacturers usually put down dry weight without gas and equipment on board. Therefore, you need to always consider the added weight when purchasing a bike.
|Type of motorcycle||Average weight in pounds||Average weight in kilograms|
|Adventure Bike||550 lbs||250 kg|
|Dirt Bike||220 lbs||100 kg|
|Sport Bike||400 lbs||180 kg|
|Chopper||700 lbs||315 kg|
|Touring Bike||900 lbs||400 kg|
|Scrambler||432 lbs||196 kg|
|Cruiser||550 lbs||250 kg|
|Moped||180 lbs||80 kg|
|Scooter||250 lbs||115 kg|
|Cafe Racer||450 lbs||200 kg|
|Bagger||750 lbs||340 kg|
As for the electric bikes, the average weight is 450 pounds (200 kgs). They are on the heavier side, mainly because of the products with high energy specifications and low energy battery capacities.
Why Does Motorcycle Weight Vary So Much?
Each motorcycle is designed to serve a different purpose and its weight is also decided according to the environment it is built for. For instance, a dirt bike is lean and lightweight to drive over dirt and difficult terrains. Smaller dirt bikes (50-125cc) weigh 100-200 pounds, while larger bikes (250-450cc) may weigh 300 pounds. They are easier to manage and ride, and you can select the bike size based on the area you are riding to.
It also depends on the size, shape, and accessories of the bike. The engine size, displacement, and components add to the motorcycle’s weight. Touring bikes, for example, can weigh up to 900 pounds due to their wheels, storage space, larger and more powerful engines, etc. They are built to travel on open roads and are suitable for longer journeys.
We also cannot overlook motorcycle designs that vary by brand. They have a signature design, and some models often have a hint of it, if not all. If the bike’s weight is not checked, it can affect the balance, stability, and even its performance as you ride it.
Factors That Affect Motorcycle Weight
A heavy motorcycle is difficult to control and uncomfortable to ride. Here are the key components that add to the weight of a motorcycle:
The engine is the motorcycle’s heaviest component. The larger the engine, the heavier the bike. Such bikes require larger frames and components to support the engine, which adds weight.
The engines range from 125ccs to 600ccs, with the latter obviously being the heaviest. CCs are a measure of engine capacity and performance. Bikes with lower ccs do have lighter engines, but there is a lot of variation across brands.
Heaver engines are found on adventure bikes, sports bikes, and cruisers. They are suitable for experienced and pro riders. Beginner motorcycles, scooters, and also dirt bikes have lighter engines. They are easier to ride and handle.
The material used to manufacture a bike decided its weight in many ways. Bikes like the older versions of cafe racers (scrambler) had a steel build. It made them quite heavier, with riders having to use their full strength while riding.
Currently, bikes are made of plastic and lightweight metal, making them lighter. It’s better to opt for the modern versions with less weight. A cafe racer weighs about 450 pounds on average.
A pannier is a hard plastic or metal basket or container that is attached to the sides of a motorcycle. They can be either permanent or removable. They are found in touring bikes and even on some adventure ones for the riders who spend the majority of their time on the road.
They may add around 10 pounds to the motorcycle weight. Having them on both sides is additional 10 pounds, which only increases when you store your riding essentials in them.
Fairings are the protective panels wrapped around the frame of a motorcycle. They are usually made up of hard plastic, fiberglass, or aluminum. Except for naked bikes, all motorcycles have fairings in them.
The hard plastic and carbon fiberglass fairing in the modern bikes add considerable weight, despite being “lightweight”. Older models have steel and aluminum fairings that can make it difficult for the rider to handle the bike.
How to reduce the weight of a motorcycle?
The weight of the motorcycle has a great deal of effect on its performance. It is better to choose a lighter model or get rid of the excess weight on the bike for better performance. Here’s how you can do that:
- Shorten your seat: If you are a solo rider, the long seat on your motorcycle is just extra weight you’re carrying around. Shortening your seat can help you shed some much-needed pounds from your bike, allowing you to handle it better.
- Choose lighter wheels: Heavier and thicker wheels add to the look of the bike but can affect performance with the unnecessary weight they add. Your bike will probably do better with lighter wheels, making the rides smooth. Also, consider replacing the metal rims with lighter ones to reduce the weight.
- Remove the tool container kit: Consider removing the toolbox from your bike, especially if it is new. Also, you might not need the tools for shorter trips. Do a thorough inspection of the bike, including a tightening of screws, before heading out. It will make the motorcycle much lighter. If it is absolutely essential, take important tools in your bag.
- Use a lithium-ion battery: Replace your lead-acid battery with a lithium-ion one to eliminate 8 pounds from your bike. It is lightweight and has the potential to improve the motorcycle’s performance. Ask the mechanic or a professional about the right kind of battery.
- Upgrade the exhaust: Upgrading your exhaust not only takes off the extra weight from your bike but also makes your bike sound better. Contrary to the rumors going around, lightweight exhausts are of good quality and durable. You won’t be compromising on the bike functions and safety by switching to them.
- Remove or replace the fenders: The fenders cover the front and back of the bike to keep dirt at bay as the tires rotate. If you wish to use the bike for short trips in the city, you can shorten the fender lengths. You can replace them with lighter ones or even choose to remove them completely.
Your riding gear and belongings also make the motorcycle heavier. It is best to keep them to a minimum in order to avoid adding unnecessary weight to the bike.
Dry vs Wet Weight
A dry motorcycle weight is the weight of a bike that does not contain any fluids. Wet weight means the motorcycle is ready to ride with the fluids inside it. This includes fuel, coolant, oil, the brake fluid, gear oil, fork oil, gasoline/petrol in the right places.
However, when it comes to the gas tank, some manufacturers weigh it with maximum capacity while others with the tank are half full. As per the Council Directive 93/93/EEC in the EU that wet weight is density in proper order. It includes the tool kit, windscreen, and 90% of the fuel in the motorcycle.
The fluids can add up to 45 pounds (20 kgs) to the bike’s weight, making it heavier. It’s better to know the wet weight as more often than not the bike has fluids in it. A test drive with all the fluids can help you get an idea of the motorcycle’s weight.
Dry and wet weights are also calculated while the bike is being towed in a trailer. One prefers a lighter vehicle for easier transportation.
A heavier bike may look cooler to ride, but a lighter one provides a smoother and safer riding experience. It’s better to compromise on the aesthetics than to injure yourself by falling in the middle of nowhere. Not to forget, it can be difficult to lift up a heavy bike without extra help, which you may or may not get.
Always do proper research and give the bike a test drive before making the purchase. Make your comfort your priority. If you already have a heavy bike, you can always reduce its weight by the aforementioned steps. A mechanic will help you better in making the desired changes.