How Much Does a Motorcycle Weigh? What Impacts Weight?

How much does a motorcycle weigh? The answer to this question depends on a number of variables like intended use and size of the engine.

In this article, we will compare lightweight and heavyweight bikes, look at factors contributing to bike weight, and offer recommendations on how to make your bike lighter.

Why Motorcycle Weight Matters

Motorcycle weight can affect the performance and speed of the bike. Smaller bikes are faster, more maneuverable, and easier to control. Weight is not the only important factor to consider when buying a bike, though. There are several advantages and disadvantages to owning a lightweight bike:

Advantages:

  • Speed: Lightweight models tend to be much faster than heavier bikes. The reason for this is that they require less energy to move them.
  • Maneuverability: Since lightweight models move faster, they maneuver better. They have a quicker reaction time, which will allow you to move the bike in and out of turns quicker and more accurately.
  • Controllability: Lightweight motorcycles are much easier to control, as well. If you are a very small person or new to motorcycle riding, you will enjoy a lighter weight because it will be easier for you to control and move the bike.

Disadvantages:

  • Durability: A lighter motorcycle often sacrifices durability. This means that a lighter bike will not last as long as a sturdier model. If you want a bike for longevity, you will want to invest in a sturdier model.
  • Rider weight: Lightweight models require a smaller rider. If you are a larger person, you will need to look at sturdier or heavier motorcycles.
  • Riding time: Lightweight models are not designed for long-distance travel. If you want to use your motorcycle for long-distance riding, you should not get a lightweight bike.

Why Would I Want a Lightweight Motorcycle?

There are several reasons you would want a lightweight motorcycle:

  • Maneuverability: If you need a motorcycle to maneuver around many items, such as for off-roading, you will need a lightweight bike. Heavier bikes will not be able to move fast enough to maneuver around many items.
  • Controllability: You may want a lightweight motorcycle if you are a very small person or beginner at riding. It will make handling the bike much easier for you.
  • Looks: Lightweight motorcycles have a unique look. Some people simply want a lightweight bike for their style.

Why Would I Want a Heavier Motorcycle?

There are several reasons you would want a heavier motorcycle:

  • Durability: Sturdier bikes last longer. If you want to keep your bike for many years, you may want to invest in a heavier bike.
  • Long-Distance: If you want to do long-distance riding, you will want a heavier motorcycle. These motorcycles will be designed for longer rides and will probably come with some kind of storage rack for your items.
  • Affordability: Heavier motorcycles cost less than lightweight models. For this reason, you may want to purchase a heavy motorcycle to save on money.

heavier motorcycle

Factors that Contribute to Motorcycle Weight

Motorcycle weights cover a wide range. The average motorcycle weighs around 700 lbs., but bikes can run anywhere from 300 lbs. to 1,000 lbs.

There are several factors that contribute to a motorcycle’s weight:

Intended Use

The intended use of the motorcycle can affect the bike’s weight. The reason for this is that every bike type is designed differently. Certain designs require more material and features in order to maximize the bike’s intended performance.

Off-road bikes, for example, weigh less than street cruisers because off-road bikes must be able to maneuver around more items. Touring bikes, which often include three wheels, will be the heaviest models.

Equipment Onboard

Additional equipment adds to the weight of the motorcycles. Saddlebags, for example, add weight to the bike. You can substitute a saddlebag for a backpack. Full fairings and windshields also add to the motorcycle weight. These additional features add some weight to the bike, but the difference is very small.

CCs

You will want to watch the bike’s CCs when looking at weight. The CC is the size of the engine in cubic centimeters and tells the volume of the cylinders. Large cylinders can convert more energy per cycle. This fact makes bikes with larger cylinders more powerful.

Larger CCs will make the motorcycle heavier. If you care about weight over power, you will want a motorcycle with lower CCs.

CCs are the most common determiner of bike size. Here are the estimated bike weights based on bike size:

  • 250cc: 350 pounds
  • 300cc: 350 pounds
  • 500cc: 410 pounds
  • 600cc: 400-450 pounds
  • 800cc/900cc: 430 pounds
  • 1000/1100cc: 400-500 pounds
  • 1200cc: 500-600 pounds
  • 1300cc: 500-650 pounds

How to Lighten Your Bike

Overall, most small tweaks to your bike will not make a noticeable difference to the feel of the bike. Nevertheless, here are some helpful changes you can make if you want your bike to lose some weight:

  • Remove unnecessary items: The first step to making your bike lighter is removing any unnecessary items from the motorcycle. Saddlebags, backrests, and windscreens should be the first to go. Removing these items will not make much of a difference to the feel of the bike.
  • Upgrade the battery: Many motorcycles are designed with lead-acid batteries. These batteries are three times the size of lithium-ion batteries. If you want to reduce the bike weight, you can invest in a lithium-ion battery instead.
  • Swap out parts: To further lighten the motorcycle, you can swap out the stock exhaust and sprockets for lighter models.

lightweight motorcycle

Conclusion

How much does a motorcycles weigh? To answer this question, you must look at the intended use of the bike, equipment onboard, and CCs.

Though weight is not the only factor to consider when buying a motorcycle, there are things you can do to decrease the bike’s weight if you are looking for a lighter model.