One of the most common things that confused lots of riders when buying a new motorcycle is whether to buy a light or heavyweight motorcycle. The truth about this is that you should choose the lightest motorcycle as much as you can.
So, yes, heavier motorcycles are undoubtedly harder to ride. The heavier your motorcycle is, the harder it is to ride, and it affects you in the areas of riding such as maneuvering, braking, or parking. It would even make you uncomfortable while riding because there is too much load on the motorcycle. Therefore, a heavy motorcycle is not recommended, especially for beginners.
Most people aren’t really aware of the advantages and disadvantages of a heavy or light weight motorcycle and don’t know how important the weight of a motorcycle is and its effect. So, before you continue reading this article, I recommend you check out the guide I wrote on motorcycle weight to show and explain everything you need to know about it click here to view.
In this post, I will show you everything you need to do about heavy motorcycles, its effect, what motorcycle weight is good for you, how to control a heavy motorcycle, and more. So, if all that interest you, keep reading.
Let’s get started.
Why is it hard to ride on heavy motorcycles?
Riding a heavy motorcycle is difficult for several reasons, but the main reason is the load being applied to the motorcycle and the truth is that you feel the load in every area of riding, like stabilization, speed, maneuvering, and others.
In general, remember that riding a heavy motorcycle will take a lot of effort and is uncomfortable, unlike a light motorcycle that is much easier and fun to ride.
Here are all the reasons why riding a heavy motorcycle is difficult:
It is harder to maneuver & control the motorcycle
The heavier the weight of the motorcycle, the harder it is to control and you will even feel it while riding, because it will require a lot of effort and focus, especially when riding at slow speeds.
But with all that, if you are physically fit and very strong, it may be easier for you because you will have more strength and energy than an average person, but for most people, it is more difficult to ride on a heavy motorcycle.
Heavy motorcycles require more effort
Heavy motorcycles require a lot of effort to ride because the tires have a lot of load on them. You will need to put more effort in every situation like turning, straight driving, and even when parking because a heavy motorcycle will fall if you don’t lean it against a wall, so you’ll have to put more effort when parking the motorcycle.
You need to invest more effort when braking
When riding a heavy motorcycle, you need to put more effort when braking because of the weight of the motorcycle. You need to brake more slowly, especially when riding at high speeds which requires more effort, unlike a lightweight motorcycle that is much easier and quicker to brake which is even safer.
It affects your learning time on a motorcycle
If you a beginner, choosing a heavy motorcycle for learning motorcycle riding will have a significant impact on your learning time because the weight will affect you and will make it difficult for you to grab faster. It will take you twice your learning time because a light motorcycle lets you feel free and allows you to learn and develop new skills easier and faster.
In general, those are the reasons why riding a heavy motorcycle is harder and less advantageous for you.
What is considered a heavy weight for a motorcycle?
You will be surprised to hear that there is no specific weight to show that a motorcycle is heavy. It varies depending on your engine size, so the larger your engine size, the heavier your motorcycle will be.
But I will show you the average weight for the most popular types of engines, and for each one, I will show you what is considered heavy and light weight.
The average weight of 125cc motorcycle – The average weight of a motorcycle with a 125cc engine is considered 150 pounds (68 kg). So, any 125cc motorcycle that weighs over 200 pounds is considered heavy and any 125cc motorcycle that weighs between 100 to 200 pounds is considered light.
The average weight of 250cc to 300cc motorcycles – The average weight of a 250cc to 300cc motorcycle is considered 350 pounds. So, anything over 420 pounds is considered heavy and anything below 420 pounds is considered lightweight.
The average weight of 500cc motorcycles – 500cc motorcycles have an average weight of 410 pounds. Any 500cc motorcycle that weighs over 450 pounds is considered heavy and any 500cc motorcycle that weighs below 450 pounds is considered lightweight.
The average weight of 600cc motorcycles – 600cc motorcycles have an average weight of 400-450 pounds. Any 600cc motorcycle that weighs over 450 pounds is known to be heavy, while below 450 pounds is known to be light.
The average weight of 800cc to 1300cc motorcycles – These are motorcycles with the craziest engine size and the truth is that any motorcycle that has an 800cc engine or above is considered heavy. The average weight of 800cc to 1300cc motorcycles is 500 pounds which is heavy. So, there is no such thing as a lightweight motorcycle with or above 800cc engine.
But with all that, what sometimes matter most to determine if your motorcycle is heavy or light is the feeling the motorcycle gives you while if you are still unsure if your motorcycle is heavy or light, here are some signs to know that your motorcycle is heavy:
- Your motorcycle falls when parked
- You are putting in too much effort than usual
- Your motorcycle causes damage to the ground when falling
- Your motorcycle sparks when turning
- You are uncomfortable while riding
- Your motorcycle isn’t balanced when riding on a slow speed
- It’s hard to ride your motorcycle
Why are motorcycles designed to be so heavy?
Most motorcycles in the market are considered lightweight, but there are instances whereby motorcycles are made very heavy, for example, Harley motorcycles. So, below are some reasons why motorcycles are made very heavy:
- People love it – I know this will surprise you, but there are lots of people who buy heavy motorcycles just because they love it. Some people just prefer more stability and like to feel a heavy motorcycle while riding. Take Harley motorcycles for instance, millions of people still buy them even though they are very heavy than other models. They just love Harley and nothing will not stop them from buying their products.
- To allow more accessories and give more Performance – If you don’t know, in most cases, a heavyweight motorcycle will provide you with more technology accessories and more performance. This is also one of the reasons why they are heavier, especially in the case of adventure and touring motorcycles where you need to ride for long distances. So, these types of motorcycles will not just weigh 800 pounds but also better in performance and sold more expensive, which explains why Harley motorcycles are one of the most expensive in the market.
- To accommodate two riders – In most cases, the heavier your motorcycle is, the wider and bigger its dimension, which means it will provide more space for two riders. So, this is another reason why lots of people want a heavier motorcycle.
- To give room for tall and wide riders – The heavier the motorcycle, the wider and more massive it is, which means that it is suitable and has more place for tall riders. And even more comfortable to meet their needs.
- To be able to add more weight easily – If you weigh very high that is even unusual, then the best option for you is to buy a heavy motorcycle because of its ability to receive more weight. Also, if you plan to use lots of gear on your motorcycle, you will need to get adventure or touring motorcycles weighing very high because lots of weight can be easily put on them. This is a huge advantage even if you need a motorcycle for transport.
In general, those are the tangible reasons why motorcycle companies produce heavyweight motorcycles and why people also buy them.
Can a weak person ride on a heavy motorcycle?
If you have an average body and you are generally healthy, but relatively weak and not too strong, you have no problem riding a heavy motorcycle. But that doesn’t mean it will be very easy for you because you may find it hard and need to put more effort, so take that into account.
However, if you are short, then riding a heavy motorcycle may be a bit of a problem for you mainly because your feet may not reach the floor. So, if your height is less than 1.55 meters, you will not be able to ride a heavy motorcycle. But for cruisers or adventure motorcycles, they are difficult to measure, so you need to sit physically in the motorcycle you want to buy and check if it fits right for you.
Generally, it is important to note that if you are weak or short, you can still ride a heavy motorcycle, but there are some cases where a heavy motorcycle can affect you badly and are:
Instances where a weak person will experience difficulties when riding a heavy motorcycle:
- When riding at slow speeds - Riding a heavy motorcycle at a slow speed generally requires you to put more effort and is even harder for a strong person. So, for a weak rider, riding at a slow speed on a heavy motorcycle is much more difficult because when riding at a slow speed, you have to work with all your body to stabilize the motorcycle as much as possible, which means you need to be strong. So, when riding at very low speeds of 5 to 10 mph, you may find it a lot more difficult.
- When braking to stop suddenly – The biggest and even dangerous problem with riding a heavy motorcycle is that when you suddenly stop such as at a traffic light or while parking the motorcycle or even in the middle of the road, you will not be strong enough to hold your motorcycle and you will see that the motorcycle will just fall to one side, especially if your motorcycle weighs very heavy. And the truth is that I myself saw riders who just stopped at a traffic light and started battling with the motorcycle because it is too heavy. So, if you are extremely weak, it will be very difficult to ride a heavy motorcycle, and because of that, you had better get a light motorcycle.
- When parking – A very annoying disadvantage of having a heavy motorcycle which I am sure is applicable to everyone, is that while parking a heavy motorcycle, you have a hard time trying to stabilize it so that the load on it doesn’t fall off. So, if you are a weak rider, you will find it harder.
- When moving the motorcycle in a difficult situation – Think about it that you are on a long ride with an adventure motorcycle weighing 1000 pounds, and while at the top of a mountain, your motorcycle gets stuck or run out of fuel, will you be able to move the motorcycle if you are weak? Or, in general, think of it where you have to carry the motorcycle, which can make you have back pain. So, it is important to take this into account if you are weak.
- After long rides – If you are physically weak and you ride a heavy motorcycle from home to work or school every day for a good number of hours, believe me, after an hour of each ride, you will start feeling weakness in your legs and whole body until you reach a level where you get exhausted. So, if you are weak and want to ride long distances, it is very important to get a lightweight motorcycle.
- When it falls – I assure you that the first time you prank a heavy motorcycle, it will lose stability and fall. And when it falls and you are physically weak, you will find it difficult to lift and you’ll also see how difficult it is to lift a motorcycle weighing over 800 pounds that even 2 people will not be able to. I experienced this from my friends that their motorcycle happened to fall and, for a long time, they tried to pick it up but didn’t succeed. So, you have to take this into account and always be careful with the motorcycle. I will advise you to buy a stand to help stabilize the motorcycle so that it doesn’t fall when you park it.
How to handle a heavy motorcycle
If you have already bought a heavy motorcycle and are having trouble riding it comfortably, here are a few tips and methods to help you control it in a more effective and comfortable way:
- Know how to park a heavy motorcycle – When it comes to heavy motorcycle parking, it is much more difficult and challenging. What you mostly have to pay attention to when parking is to make sure you are parking on a flat surface. If you prank your motorcycle by parking on an unstable surface instead, your motorcycle may look stable at first, but after a few minutes, it will just fall off. So, you have to make sure you park your motorcycle on a stable surface while I recommend buying a motorcycle stand so that it can lean on it and won’t fall.
- Keep your head up – A very common mistake made by riders who have a heavy motorcycle is that they constantly look down when riding because they think it will make them more stable. This is really wrong. Know that looking down when riding a heavy motorcycle lower your stability level, so always keep your head up to see where you are heading towards and to keep your body upright, which gives you extra stability.
- Sit upright and keep your elbows aside – The two best tips I can give you is to sit upright and put your elbows out, which will give you lots of stability on your heavy motorcycle
- Know how to use the brakes – I do not advise using the front brake when riding a heavy motorcycle because it can cause the front wheel to lock and slide due to the weight. So, when riding a heavy motorcycle, try not to use the brake frequently, and even when you brake, brake gently.
- Point your feet when turning – Sometimes, it can be very difficult and uncomfortable to turn with a heavyweight motorcycle, so the best tip I can give you when making a sharp turn is to put your feet to the side you are turning to. For example, if you want to turn to the left, make sure you point your left foot to the left side. This way, it will make it easier to turn and give you much more stability.
If you practice all these tips, trust me, you will find it easier to ride your heavy motorcycle.
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Thanks for reading, until the next post.