Motorcycle Weight: Why It Matters & It Affects Performance?

One of the most important factors you need to consider when buying a motorcycle is the weight of the motorcycle because it plays a huge role and affects many different parts of your motorcycle that you do not even know.

So, does my motorcycle weight matter? Yes, your motorcycle weight is a very important factor that affects every other thing in your motorcycle, such as speed, acceleration, ease of riding, comfortability, in short, all other parts of your motorcycle. Also, the lighter the weight of the motorcycle, the more the good effect it has on the motorcycle, so always remember to get the lightest motorcycle when buying.

You have to understand that your motorcycle weight is very important and make sure your motorcycle is light in weight as possible because a heavy motorcycle can be harassing and can have a negative effect on all the performance of the motorcycle. Even if you are a beginner rider, you’ll see that a heavy motorcycle is one of the worst things that will make it very difficult for you and affect your learning time. 

You may work hard and succeed in finding the perfect motorcycle that has great qualities, such as amazing design, excellent brakes, and high performance, if the motorcycle has a heavyweight, you will see that everything won’t work out well and the motorcycle will not be very fun and comfortable to ride.

So, if all the aforementioned interests you, then keep reading because, in this guide, I will explain to you what parts of your motorcycle is affected by the weight, what you can do if you already have a heavy motorcycle, what motorcycle weight is best for you, and why weight is so important.

So, let’s get started.

Does the weight of the motorcycle affect performance?

Unequivocally yes. Your motorcycle weight drastically affects performance, and not only the weight of the motorcycle affect performance but also the weight of the rider. So, it is important to choose the lightest motorcycle as possible.

In general, the average weight of motorcycles is 400 pounds (181 kg), so the lighter the weight of the motorcycle, the better its performance, especially for those who compete in races and competitions where it is super important that the motorcycle should have the lightest weight to get the ultimate performance.

What parts of the motorcycle are affected by the motorcycle’s weight and weight of the rider?

Acceleration & Maximum Speed 

The heavier the weight of your motorcycle and your weight, the slower the acceleration and the maximum speed, which is precisely why motorcycles with a 1000cc engine are slower than motorcycles with 600cc engine because 1000cc motorcycle engine is much heavier than 600cc motorcycle engine which adversely affects the acceleration and speed.

For example, if you have 2 motorcycles with a 300cc engine that has the same power and the first motorcycle weighs 300 pounds while the second motorcycle weighs 400 pounds, be sure that the one that weighs 300 pounds will accelerate and reach a higher maximum speed because it has less weight and is lighter.

Another example is that a car that has a 1000cc engine and can reach a maximum speed of over 80mph and a motorcycle that has a 300cc engine and can also reach a maximum speed of over 80mph. How does this happen that the bike can reach the same speed as the car when a 1000cc engine is larger and considered more powerful than a 300cc engine? This is simply because the motorcycle weighs lighter than the car. So, in general, cars weigh a lot heavier than motorcycles, which makes them slower in speed.

If these 2 examples are not enough, then here is another example. Suppose there is a rider weighing 80kg and there is another rider weighing 50kg, and both riders proceed to ride two different motorcycles of the same weight, then the rider weighing 50kg will achieve more maximum and high speed because the rider that weighs 80 kg put an extra load of 30kg on the motorcycle which makes him to be slower.

Handling and steering

Your motorcycle weight is a significant super factor that greatly affects the handling and steering of the motorcycle when riding on the road. When I say handling and steering, I mean the mode of conduct and comfort that the motorcycle provides when riding.

You need to understand that the heavier the weight of the motorcycle, the more uncomfortable the motorcycle will be while riding, which will greatly affect things such as mileage, comfort, riding ability, speed, braking and acceleration. This is very annoying; honestly, I personally cannot cope with a motorcycle that has a hefty weight.

However, the lightweight motorcycle is much more comfortable and fun to ride. There is much less load on the motorcycle when riding and you will also feel the ease, so it is very important to make sure the weight of your motorcycle is as light as possible.


You will be surprised to hear that the weight of your motorcycle also affects your safety. Yes, this is true. Know that the heavier the weight of the motorcycle, the longer it will take the motorcycle to stop when you apply the brake while if your motorcycle is light in weight, it will come to a stop immediately you apply the brake.

The logic behind this is that when you press the brake, the center of gravity of your motorcycle is moved forward which puts more weight, load and pressure on the front wheel and this leaves less weight on the rear wheel. So, if there is less pressure and load on the motorcycle, the brake will lock faster and otherwise if there is more pressure and load on the motorcycle.

I hope you understand the explanation because that is the technical part of it. Anyways, just simply know that the lighter the weight of the motorcycle, the faster it will come to a stop when you apply the brakes and more comfortably, which is another reason why you should get a lighter weight rather than a heavyweight motorcycle.

The convenience of control when riding

Riding a heavy motorcycle is very uncomfortable and sucks and makes riding just less spoonful for one reason: not agile and fast compared to a lightweight motorcycle that offers more fun and comfortability while riding.

Think about it; for example, if you are to go for a walk and you carry heavyweight camping equipment with you, will you enjoy yourself while walking? Obviously NOT. So, the same applies to a heavy motorcycle because you do not also enjoy yourself while walking, and for a heavy motorcycle, you constantly have to struggle to park, turn and even brake when riding.

Note that if you are a very strong and muscular person who exercises in the gym, there are chances that it will be easier for you to control a heavyweight motorcycle because you will have more muscles and power and will be very strong. But if you are not the type that exercises in the gym and not very strong or if you have an average body, then it will be much harder for you to ride a heavy motorcycle and won’t be comfortable and fun, especially if you are a beginner because you won’t get accustomed to controlling the motorcycle yet and controlling a heavy motorcycle can even hurt your pace.

In short, that is another reason why a heavyweight motorcycle is significantly compromising comfort and riding ability.

Easier to use = more fun

The weight of the motorcycle plays a huge factor in the fun you have when riding. It is more comfortable and easy to ride a lightweight motorcycle, and you can also ride it at much higher and faster speeds which is fun. So, the lighter your bike weighs, the more fun you have when riding it.

Fuel consumption

The weight of the motorcycle and the rider also affects fuel consumption and the rate at which you buy fuel. This is mainly because the more the load and weight on the engine, the higher and faster the engine will consume fuel. So, if your motorcycle weighs heavier, know that your engine will consume more fuel.

In addition, it is important to note that the more the load on the engine, the faster the engine heats up which, by the way, results in less engine efficiency and eventually reduce the life of the engine.  Therefore, this is a huge factor to consider before buying a heavyweight motorcycle.


The only advantage of heavy motorcycles is just stability because the heavier the motorcycle is, the more stable it is. This does not mean that lightweight motorcycles are not stable at all or fall easily but simply not as stable as a heavy motorcycle.

But in my opinion and with all the points mentioned above, heavy motorcycles have so many very significant drawbacks than the only stability it offers. Even though they a bit more stable than light motorcycles, I still do not justify them.

What weight is considered light or heavy for a motorcycle?

The average weight of a motorcycle is 400 pounds (181 kg) while a lightweight motorcycle is considered to be 300 pounds, but the truth is that even motorcycles that weigh up to 400 pounds are considered lightweight.

But for motorcycles that weigh more than 400 pounds, they are considered heavyweight while there are even motorcycles that weigh 800 pounds and even more. So, it is important to know what the weight of your motorcycle is, to be able to categorize it as light or heavy,

Know that these weights vary between each type of motorcycle because the average weight of each type of motorcycle differs from one another.  So, listed below is the average weight of each motorcycle type:

  • Moped – The average weight of Moped is 160-180 lbs (73-82 kg). Anything that goes over this weight or over 180 pounds is considered heavy.
  • Dirt Bike – Dirt bikes have an average weight of 100-250 lbs (45-113 kg). Anything close to 100 pounds is considered lightweight and as dirt bikes approach 250 pounds in weight, they are considered heavy.
  • Scooter – Scooter has an average weight of 200-300 lbs (91-136 kg) while in the case of Scooters, any Scooter that weighs 300 pounds is considered heavy while there are even Scooters that weigh 500 pounds which are considered very heavy.
  • Cruiser – Cruiser has an average weight of 400-700 lbs (181 to 317 kg). Any Cruiser that weighs close to 400 pounds is considered lightweight while those that weigh 650 pounds are considered heavy. I even know a Harley Cruiser that weighs over 900 pounds, which is crazy.
  • Bagger – Bagger is a crazy motorcycle that has an average weight of 700 to 850 lbs (318-385 kg). The truth is that there is no such thing as a Bagger that is light; all the Bagger is considered to be heavy.
  • Sports Motorcycles – Sports motorcycles are considered very lightweight while their average weight is about 300-500 lbs (136-227 kg). Any Sports Motorcycle that is close to 300 pounds is considered lightweight, while those that are close to 500 pounds are considered heavy.
  • Touring – Touring motorcycles are heaviest of all types of motorcycles and have an average weight of about 800-1,000 lbs (363-454 kg). They are very heavy and are considered to be heavyweight motorcycles — no such thing as Touring motorcycles that are lightweight.
  • Adventure bikes – Adventure bikes have a decent weight of 225-294 kg (500-650 pounds), so any adventure bike that weighs 600 pounds will be considered heavy.
  • Chopper – Chopper is quite heavy. Their average weight is 650-720 lbs (295-327 kg), while any Chopper that weighs over 750 pounds is considered heavy.

How to know if your motorcycle is heavy in weight?

If you are not sure if your motorcycle is really heavy or light, here are some signs through which you can tell if it is heavy or not.

Your motorcycle falls several times – If your motorcycle constantly falls and fails and do not stay steady when you put it down, that unequivocally means it is heavy. That is, it cannot stay stable because of its heavyweight, while a 400-pound motorcycle will certainly remain stable and will not fall.

You feel uncomfortable when riding your motorcycle – If you feel that your motorcycle is uncomfortable for you and difficult to ride, such as when moving your motorcycle and turning with it, then it is a sign that your motorcycle is heavy and weighs more than 400 pounds.

If your motorcycle is extremely damaged when it fell – If an accident has happened and your motorcycle accidentally fell to the ground and greatly got damaged, then that probably means it is not only heavy but extremely heavy.

Sparks when turning – The truth is that sparks do not happen when you are racing or when riding at high speeds. But if you start to get small sparks, this means that your motorcycle is heavy because it has too much pressure and load from the weight on the tires.

What do I do if my motorcycle is heavy?

If you found out that your motorcycle is very heavy, which worries you a lot and you think there is nothing you can do, worry no more because here are some methods through which you can lower and reduce the weight and load of your motorcycle.

Effective ways by which you can significantly lower your motorcycle’s weight

  • Losing your Weight– The best way by which you can reduce the weight of your motorcycle is to lose your weight by 5 to 20 pounds. Doing this, you will feel a huge difference in your motorcycle’s weight and make it lighter. It never hurt and you will also be a little healthier by losing weight.
  • Reduce the amount of fuel you ride with – Riding with a full fuel tank adds a lot of weight to the motorcycle, up to 20 pounds or more. So, if you know you’re not going to drive long distances, then fill only up to half of the fuel tank and refill when due. This will save at least about 10 pounds of weight.
  • Remove unnecessary accessories – Technological accessories also add some weight to the motorcycle, at least a few pounds, and the truth is, in most cases, people do not use these technological accessories. So, if you have all kinds of accessories such as bags, items, or even GPS, consider removing them to save weight.
  • Use Lightweight Safety Equipment – Your safety equipment adds a lot of weight to your motorcycle. And know that not only does safety equipment add more weight and make your motorcycle heavier, it also weighs you down and makes you feel less light and free when riding. So, if you haven’t bought your equipment yet, make sure your safety equipment is as light as possible.
  • Don’t drink before riding – I know this sounded strange but drinking water before riding adds a lot of weight to your body, so try to drink as little water as you can before long riding, and believe me, you will feel the difference in your ride.

Doing all these things is simply reducing the load on your motorcycle which significantly lowers your motorcycle’s weight. But if you are still not satisfied with the weight, then the best option is probably to sell your heavy motorcycle and buy a new one that is light.

But before you think about selling your motorcycle, first try these tips, and I am sure you’ll see a significant weight loss of your motorcycle.


For any questions, you may have or opinion on the post, feel free to write us a comment, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

 Thanks for reading, until the next post.


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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