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How Much Do Motorcycles Weigh? (And Do You Need to Hit the Gym)

It’s a common misconception that motorcycles are so heavy that you need bulky muscles to manage to ride one. But, motorcycle weights do vary, and you need a substantial amount of overall strength to stay safe while riding one. At the same time, there’s a lot of variation on the market, so it’s tough to respond to the question of how much do motorcycles weigh with a single answer. Here is a breakdown of motorcycle weight and what factors influence it, plus how to cut down on your bike’s bulk.

Factors Which Affect Motorcycle Weight

Engine CCs are the most common indicator of motorcycle size and, therefore, weight. But there are other factors which can influence how heavy your bike is. Here’s what to look at when considering a bike’s overall weight.

Intended Use

Not all motorcycles are the same, and each type of bike involves different designs and features which affect its weight. An off-road bike, for example, will often weigh less than a street cruiser because it must manage more obstacles. A dirt bike generally weighs less than 300 pounds and is ready to tackle challenging terrain without knocking parts off or taking a nap in the dirt.

Street bikes, on the other hand, need balance and heft to keep them on the road. You’ll also notice cruisers have more features, which can also add heft. Sport bikes focus on horsepower and speed, so they can be a bit trimmer than the alternatives.

A touring bike—think of a Honda Gold Wing or something similar—is also built for long-distance treks with a passenger, which means more bulk. And though it has better balance than a two-wheel bike, a 3 wheel motorcycle will be a lot heavier than its predecessors.

Onboard Equipment

Saddlebags are one item which can add a bit of bulk, if not weight, to your ride. Similarly, a bike with a full fairing and windshield is heavier versus one that has fewer square inches of glass, fiberglass, and plastic. Keep in mind, however, that the difference in weight will likely be small; maybe a few pounds at best.

CCs

It’s safe to assume that in general, a bike with lower CCs (a measure of engine capacity and performance) will have a lower weight. But with so much variation across brands, not much is consistent when it comes to bikes’ CC ratings and their general size.

And although many buyers consider the CC rating to reflect how much power a bike has, it isn’t the bottom line when it comes to choosing a motorcycle. Motorcycle values vary depending on CC level, mileage, maintenance history, and other factors, so looking at the bigger picture is always essential.

Helpful Tweaks for Cutting Your Bike’s Weight

If you already own a heavy bike—or you’re shopping for a specific model but want to cut the weight—there are a few ways to reduce the motorcycle’s overall weight. The result is a smoother ride and better fuel efficiency, and you’ll also notice benefits like better brake performance, faster steering response, and optimal acceleration—and you don’t have to buy a new bike to get the perks.

Remove Onboard “Comforts”

Saddlebags, backrests, windscreens, and other comfort features can add unnecessary weight to your ride. Especially if you’re hoping to enhance gas mileage for commuting, it makes sense to strip your bike down to basics.

Upgrade the Battery

Though motorcycle technology has come a long way, many bikes still run with lead-acid batteries. One option to cut weight from your bike is to invest in a lithium-ion battery instead. Lithium-ion batteries are as little as one-third the weight of standard batteries, giving you an easy if not a cost-effective way to remove some bulk.

Swap Out Other Performance Parts

Stock exhaust and sprockets can be heavier than aftermarket options, so if you’ve been considering an upgrade, now is the time to take on the project. Reducing the weight of your steel sprocket and removing your exhaust and grabbing a performance option can do wonders for your bike’s look and its heft.

Average Motorcycle Weights

Because there are so many types of motorcycles, it makes sense that the weights vary widely. Some sources say the “average” motorcycle weighs around 700 pounds, but the weight depends on the brand of the bike, the engine size, and the style—whether it’s a street, off-road, touring, cruiser, or sport bike, or something else entirely.

A standard street bike from Honda, for example, can weigh anywhere from 348 pounds (the Honda CB300F with a 286cc engine) to 540 pounds (the Honda CB1100 with a 1140cc engine). Conversely, a touring bike like the 2019 Honda Gold Wing has a 1833cc engine and weighs 787 pounds.

Harley-Davidson manufactures bikes between 540 and 905 pounds, with plenty of variation in between. The company holds the title for producing some of the heaviest bikes ever, including one which is close to 1,000 pounds.

For smaller riders or beginners, it’s easy to find a bike between 300 and 400 pounds with a low seat height and desirable handling. For bigger riders or those wanting a touring bike or one which can keep a passenger comfortable on long rides, there are bikes up to 1,000 pounds, too.

Keep in mind that although motorcycle manufacturers specify dry weights for their bikes, that’s the figure without gas or equipment on board. If weight is a deal breaker for you, make sure to factor in the bulk from your equipment and a full tank of gas when shopping for a bike.

Motorcycle Weight by Bike Size

Motorcycles for adults start at around 250cc size and range up to 1,200cc options. While there are smaller ones—think 50cc for a child learning to ride a motorcycle—we’ll focus on street bikes here to get an idea of what kind of heft you can expect for each cc level.

CC means “cubic centimeters” and refers to the volume of the cylinders in the motorcycle’s engine. While larger CC bikes tend to be bigger and bulkier, that’s more of a trend than a hard and fast rule. There are both heavy and lightweight bikes at all CC levels, but here we’ll look at some common measurements to get an idea of how much weight you can expect.

All of the below estimates come from a collection of sport bike test data, which listed each motorcycle’s make and model plus its dry weight.

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

250cc bikes were mostly around 350 pounds, while 300cc models were similarly sized. 500cc bikes were around 400 pounds, and 600cc samplings reflected an average of about 410 pounds from multiple brands.

800cc and 900cc bikes averaged around 430 pounds with most brands, and 1000-1100cc bikes ranged from 400 to almost 500 pounds. Most 1200cc motorcycles in the sample were more than 500 pounds, with some close to 600. The few 1300cc bikes came in at over 500 pounds, and some weighed more than 600.

Final Thoughts

It is worth noting that none of the bikes in the sample were Harley-Davidson models, but the averages give a good idea of what to expect depending on the engine size of the bike. Whether you’re a new rider or an experienced pro ready to level up, considering your bike’s weight is essential for your safety and enjoyment of each ride.