Heavy vs Light Motorcycle – Which One Should You Get?

A very important factor a lot of people don’t care about is the weight of the motorcycle. If you didn’t notice the weight when buying a motorcycle, it could be very annoying because while some people only fit on a heavy motorcycle, some had a very hard time riding a heavy motorcycle and can only ride on a light motorcycle.

So, which should I get, a heavy or light motorcycle? It varies and depends on you. While a lightweight motorcycle is recommended and designed for racers because it provides more speed, agility and acceleration, a heavyweight motorcycle is recommended for large and heavy riders who need a very heavy motorcycle to carry equipment or need more space for 2 people.

In general, no motorcycle weight is better than the other. The two types of motorcycle weights have different goals, and each one is suitable for various purposes.

But before you continue reading this guide, I highly recommend you click here to read the full guide I wrote about motorcycle weight and how it affects performance.

If you want to see the advantages, disadvantages and differences between light and heavy motorcycles, keep reading because in this guide, I will show you everything you need to know about them.

So, let’s get started.

Light motorcycles & who are they recommended for?

Light motorcycles are the best option for most people. They have all the things you need while riding and almost have no drawbacks. In my opinion, they are the best choice because they have more speed, acceleration, save fuel, easy to maneuver, and fun. They are also quicker and faster to brake than heavy motorcycles.

So, why does light motorcycles offer all these good things? The truth is that lightweight motorcycles are faster and easier to ride mainly because there is less load on the motorcycle itself, which makes it easier for most light motorcycles to be more efficient in most things than heavy motorcycles.

But there are 3 main disadvantages of lightweight motorcycles as listed below:

  • 1. Lightweight motorcycles are not capable of loading a lot of equipment like heavyweight motorcycles.
  • 2. Lightweight motorcycles aren’t fit for very large and tall riders.
  • 3. Lightweight motorcycles have less room for two riders.

In general, lightweight motorcycles averagely weighs under 400 pounds (181kg). The heaviest motorcycles in the market are adventure and touring motorcycles, chopper and cruiser, while sports motorcycles and dirt bikes are the lightest motorcycles in the market. 

By the way, if you want to know the weight of your motorcycle to determine whether it is heavy or not, I first recommend you let your feeling tell you what it feels like. But if you still don’t know, then I recommend talking with someone who understands motorcycles or ask in motorcycle forums.

In addition, if you want to read the full guide I wrote about why heavy motorcycles are difficult to ride, why light motorcycles are good and what is considered a heavy motorcycle, click here to view.

So, who are light motorcycles recommended for? Lightweight motorcycles are best recommended for sports racers because they need to ride fast. They are also recommended for those who are considered relatively weak or those who want to ride long distances because heavy motorcycles are very uncomfortable for long rides in the sense that after an hour ride, you will feel very tired. So, light motorcycles are designed for most average riders.

Pros of light motorcycles

  • More fun to ride
  • Easier to maneuver
  • Faster
  • Accelerates better and faster
  • More agile
  • More fuel-efficient
  • Brake faster
  • Great gas for mileage
  • Not tiring while riding long distances

Cons of light motorcycles

  • Less fit for tall riders
  • Ineffective in loading equipment
  • Provide less space for two riders
  • Less stable than heavier motorcycles
  • More expensive

Heavy motorcycles & who are they recommended for?

  • Lots of people think heavy motorcycles are just heavy and have no specific purpose. That is a very wrong thought because heavy motorcycles are designed to serve some specific purposes. Although they are heavy and have lots of drawbacks, many people will continue buying them because they love them and here are some reasons why people still buy heavy motorcycles:
  • Heavy motorcycles are designed for tall and fat people because they are wider and bigger. So, they allow more space for legs and body movement and give more freedom while riding. For tall and huge people, they aren’t a problem to operate because in most cases, they have much more physical power which makes it easier for them. But for short people, they find it much more difficult.
  • Heavy motorcycles can load much more equipment than light motorcycles because the heavier the weight of the motorcycle, the more the weight you can load on it, which by the way allows those that weigh higher to ride a heavy motorcycle comfortably.
  • Another benefit of having a heavy motorcycle is that, due to its big size, it has more space on the seat to accommodate two riders. Although a light motorcycle can also accommodate two riders, it is much less comfortable and even less secure.
  • In addition, heavier motorcycles are much harder to steal than light motorcycles because of their weight. That is, they are difficult to take from one place to another due to their stability and resistance. Normally, 2 people would not be able to lift a weight of 400 pounds and a heavy motorcycle weighs higher. So, that is a very big advantage of heavy motorcycles, but at the same time, it is also a disadvantage because if your motorcycle falls off, which is very common to heavy motorcycles, you will find it difficult to lift it. So, take that into account.
  • Lastly, heavy motorcycles are cheaper than light motorcycles which is a big benefit because it takes a lot of time and energy from the manufacturers to reduce the weight of the motorcycle parts to improve performance.

In short, heavy motorcycles are recommended for those who are tall and huge and those who want space for two riders but are ready to compromise on speed and want a cheaper motorcycle.

Pros of heavy motorcycles

  • More efficient in loading equipment
  • Designed for tall people
  • Cheaper
  • More difficult to steal
  • Capable of accommodating 2 people
  • Better protection from wind

Cons of heavy motorcycles

  • Slow
  • Difficult to maneuver
  • Less fun to ride
  • More chance to fall while parking
  • Less cost-effective in the long run
  • Not agile

Major differences between heavy and light motorcycles

1. Light motorcycles are costly than heavy motorcycles

I know you will be surprised to hear that light motorcycles are costly than heavy motorcycles because for some reason, most people think that the heavier and bigger the motorcycle is, the higher the price. But this is very wrong for several reasons.

First, light motorcycles deliver much better performance than heavy motorcycles and are very powerful, especially sports motorcycles designed for racing that deliver crazy performance, while heavy motorcycles are not really fast and deliver much less impressive performance, even the bigger engine size slows down the motorcycle due to its weight.
Another reason why heavy motorcycles are cheaper than light motorcycles is that manufacturers do not invest time and energy in reducing the weight of the motorcycle, which makes light motorcycles expensive.

2. Heavy motorcycles are costly in the long run

Although heavy motorcycles are cheaper than light motorcycles, they are much more expensive to maintain in terms of fuel and maintenance because they are less fuel-efficient and are less better on a mileage standpoint than a light motorcycle.

Also, be expected to make big repairs occasionally because heavy motorcycles tend to fall frequently. And when a heavy motorcycle falls to the ground, the damage can be very serious.

3. Heavy motorcycles require more effort to ride than light motorcycles

Heavy motorcycles require a lot of effort, especially from riders that are relatively weak to the point that it would be impossible for them to ride a long distance efficiently. And chances are that after half an hour, people who are weak will be very tiring from riding a heavy motorcycle mainly because of the weight, which makes it much slower and requires much more effort when riding.

However, a light motorcycle is much easier to control and not tiring like a heavy motorcycle because it requires less effort. So, weak riders suffer from riding a heavy motorcycle, and even if you are physically strong, it is still harder to ride a heavy motorcycle because you need a lot of effort when riding.

In addition, a heavy motorcycle also requires much effort in every situation, such as braking, turning, and even when parking the motorcycle.

4. Heavy motorcycles have better loading capacity than light motorcycles

Heavy motorcycles are much better and effective in carrying large loads than light motorcycles. So, if you are looking for a motorcycle to deliver food or carry heavy equipment, a heavy motorcycle is your choice.

In addition, when I say loading capacity, I also mean the weight of the rider because if you have much weight, you have to buy a heavy motorcycle so that you can feel comfortable. So, for those who weigh very heavy or those who generally want to carry heavy equipment, I would recommend buying adventure or touring motorcycles because they have a very big loading capacity.

For example, the GL1800 Gold Wing weighs 836 pounds and manages to carry 420 pounds of weight, compared to Suzuki DL1000 V-Storm that weighs 590 pounds and can only carry 375 pounds.

5. Light motorcycles are much faster & have better accelerators than heavy motorcycles

Light motorcycles are much faster than heavy motorcycles, especially super-fast sports motorcycles that reach crazy speeds and accelerate faster. These motorcycles are just crazy and whenever you compare a heavy motorcycle to a light motorcycle, you will see that a light motorcycle is much faster.

In addition, it is important to note that motorcycles that have a larger engine capacity are not faster, because large engines take up more space and are heavier, which is why large motorcycles are slow, and precisely why some 600cc motorcycles are faster than 1000cc motorcycles.

6. Light motorcycles are better for racing than heavy motorcycles

Light motorcycles are much more effective and good for racing, especially sports motorcycles, and this is the reason why adventure or touring motorcycles can never fit well into races.

And by the way, I personally haven’t seen someone that won a race with an adventure or 800-pound touring motorcycle after competing with 400-pound sports motorcycles.

7. Light motorcycles are more comfortable and fun to ride than heavy motorcycles

Light motorcycles are much more comfortable and fun to ride because of the lightweight, while heavy motorcycles are less fun and uncomfortable to ride.

Think about it, if you carry a bag full of heavy equipment while you walk, do you enjoy yourself and feel comfortable? The answer is no, and that is precisely why heavy motorcycles are uncomfortable to ride.

8. Light motorcycles are more efficient and easier to maneuver than heavy motorcycles

In my opinion, the biggest disadvantage heavy motorcycles have is that they are simply inefficient and very difficult to maneuver. Maneuvering is how the motorcycle behaves and deals with the terrain when riding.

Heavy motorcycles have a bad effect on maneuvering and you as a rider will feel it in almost every situation such as when riding, braking, during long-distance riding, and others. This will make you put twice the effort, which you won’t also enjoy.
But to face it all, if you are muscular and strong, you will find it easier to ride and handle a heavy motorcycle than someone who is physically weak. So, this is another thing to take into account.

9. Heavy motorcycles are difficult to park than light motorcycles

What frustrates me most about heavy motorcycles is that they are very complicated and difficult to park mainly because of the weight, which means they will always fall when you try to park them which sucks.

In addition, if a heavy motorcycle falls to the ground, it will have a lot of damage and will be very difficult to lift, which can be very annoying.

By the way, heavy motorcycles can also fall when riding at slow speeds, especially if you are not strong enough to control the motorcycle which can be very dangerous. So, take this into account.

10. Heavy motorcycles are harder to steal than light motorcycles

Heavy motorcycles are much more difficult to steal because it is very difficult to move from one place to another due to their weight. Even 3 people will not be able to mount a heavy motorcycle which is a big benefit. And in most cases, thieves refrain from trying to steal a heavy motorcycle because it will take them a long time.

But a light motorcycle is much easier to steal and will require you to buy theft prevention that includes locks and other things which can be very daunting. And the truth is that even if you use an alarm, chain locks, and all possible preventions, it still doesn’t stop thieves from stealing the motorcycle.

Related questions

  • Are heavy motorcycles faster than light motorcycles? No. Heavy motorcycles are very slow and accelerate slowly.
  • Why are heavy motorcycles unsuitable for racing? Heavy Motorcycles are unsuitable for racing mainly because of their weight and the load they have on them, which means that they are less fast and difficult to control. In short, they are ineffective for racing.
  • What is considered a heavyweight for a motorcycle? It varies and depends on motorcycle types, but generally, any motorcycle that weighs over 400 pounds is considered heavy.
  • What are the types of heavy motorcycles? The types of heavy motorcycles are mainly Turing, Cooper, and adventure motorcycles that weigh between 600 and 1000 pounds.
  • What is the lightest type of motorcycle? The lightest type of motorcycle is a sport motorcycle that weighs averagely between 350 and 500 pounds, which are considered lightweight and perform well in racing.

For any questions, you may have or opinion on the article, 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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