How Much Does a Motorcycle Weigh?

If you’re trying to transport a motorcycle, it’s essential to know how much it weighs. For example, suppose you have a mini trailer that’s rated for 500 pounds. In that case, it makes a big difference whether your motorcycle weighs 450 or 550 pounds.

Before we begin, there’s one important thing we should note. There’s a common misconception that it’s hard to stand up a heavy bike, and that’s simply not the case. While it’s true that smaller motorcycles are easier to manage, modern motorcycles are designed to be righted easily in the event they are dropped. That said, you may still need to know your motorcycle’s weight if you need to tow, haul, or winch it for any reason.

We have created a short overview of the weight of different motorcycles and the factors that affect them. Let’s get started! 

Not All Bikes Are the Same

On average, most motorcycles weigh between 300 and 500 pounds, but that’s a gross generalization. A variety of factors affect a motorcycle’s weight, including the size of the engine, exhaust, and frame. Components like large batteries, heavier brakes, and steel rims (as opposed to aluminum), can all add significant weight to a bike.

The engine remains the primary factor. Suppose you go into a dealership looking for a cruiser in the 600-700cc range. While this may be considered a medium-sized motorcycle, it’s relatively large overall. You’re not going to find a 650cc cruiser that weighs 300 pounds.

The fact that this bike weighs more than 300 pounds can be good news or bad news. On the one hand, a heavier bike can be tougher to get on a trailer or load with a winch. On the other hand, heavier engines have their benefits. Besides the obvious speed and power advantages, they can also provide better stability, particularly on a bottom-heavy cruiser.

Generally speaking, smaller, lower-powered bikes tend to weigh less. Conversely, higher-powered performance bikes tend to weigh more. And much of the difference between them comes down to the weight of the engine.

Different Motorcycle Classes

If you want to know whether a bike is light or heavy, it first helps to know what type of bike it is. You would hardly expect a dirt bike to weigh the same as a heavy-duty touring motorcycle. With that in mind, here’s a quick look at what you can expect from different motorcycle classes.

How Much Does a Moped Weigh?

In many jurisdictions, mopeds are not even considered motorcycles because they’re both motorized and pedal-powered. Mopeds are designed for urban environments, with good acceleration and a minimal footprint.

Due to their small size and the fact that they aren’t designed for highway speeds, mopeds are exceptionally light. They typically weigh in at around 150 to 200 pounds, making them easy to handle and load into a trailer or truck bed.

How Much Does a Scooter Weigh?

Like mopeds, scooters aren’t technically motorcycles either, though they’re handled in much the same way. But being that most scooters are larger than a moped, they certainly merit a mention. Very lightweight scooters can be as small as 150 pounds, with the heaviest scooters weighing in at as much as 300 pounds or more.

How Much Does a Dirt Bike Weigh?

Dirt bikes are designed specifically for handling rough terrain and tend to be lighter than other types of motorcycles. But much like scooters, there’s a significant variance in size. Some dirt bikes have engines as small as 50-100cc and weigh as little as 100-200 pounds. On the flip side, larger 250-500cc dirt bikes will often weigh up to 300 pounds.

The largest types of dirt bikes, referred to as “adventure bikes,” are designed for long-range off-road trips and are less common. Their large, 750-1200cc engines make them considerably heavier, with most falling somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 pounds.

How Much Does a Sport Bike Weigh?

Sportbikes are built primarily for speed and maneuverability. Cargo capacity, off-road capability, and fuel efficiency all take a back seat to raw performance. As a result of their powerful motors, beefy brakes, and aerodynamic fairings, they tend to weigh more than other types of motorcycles in any given cc range. On average, sportbikes will fall in the 300 to 500-pound range.

How Much Does a Cruiser Weigh?

Cruiser bikes are designed for long-distance journeys and weekend pleasure rides. They typically have fewer fairings than sportbikes, with smaller brakes and fewer performance parts. As such, 300 to 500 pounds is the typical weight range of most cruiser bikes. However, larger power cruisers, like Harley-Davidsons, can weigh a bit more.

The heaviest cruisers are designed for long-distance travel and are known as touring bikes. These bikes have large engines of 1,000cc or more and are often equipped with sound systems, large seat backs, multiple storage containers, and other travel perks. For this reason, they can weigh as much as 800 to 1,000 pounds.

Motorcycle Wet vs. Dry Weight

When you’re shopping for motorcycles, you may see the terms “dry weight” and “wet weight” thrown around. What exactly does that mean? And what’s the difference?

Dry weight refers to the weight of the motorcycle without any fluids. This means no oil, coolant, final gear oil, brake fluid, or gas. Effectively, it’s the shipping weight of a fully assembled motorcycle. While this is valuable information for the manufacturer and shipping companies, it doesn’t do much for consumers.

Wet weight refers to the weight of the motorcycle with fluids. Unfortunately, manufacturers aren’t always clear on what this means exactly. In some instances, it’s the equivalent of automobile curb weight, with all fluids including gas. Other times, it’s based on weight with a half tank of gas, or no gas at all, or everything but gas and oil. It can be very confusing, and understandably so.

Because there’s no clear standard, even wet weight isn’t guaranteed to be 100% accurate. But for most practical purposes, it’s more than accurate enough.

How To Lighten The Load

A lighter bike isn’t just easier to handle - it’s also easier to transport and provides better fuel efficiency. If you want your bike to reduce the weight of your motorcycle, there are a few tricks you can use. 

The first thing you can do is buy a new battery. Many motorcycles still use lead-acid batteries, which are far heavier than they need to be. An aftermarket Lithium-ion battery can provide the same power at only ⅓ of the weight, which can significantly reduce the total weight of your motorcycle.

Another option is to upgrade your parts. For example, steel rear sprockets can be swapped out for lighter titanium replacements (which are also stronger!). They are not cheap, but they’ll shave a few pounds off the weight of your bike. You can also remove any unnecessary parts. Components like windscreens, saddlebags, and sissy bars are all examples of optional attachments, and each of them adds weight to the motorcycle. So while they are convenient in many ways, if you want the lightest ride possible, you’ll have to decide what you’re willing to sacrifice.

Summary

For most riders, it’s essential to understand the weight of a motorcycle before deciding which one to purchase. And while the weight of a bike can vary greatly (as referenced above), we can use a general range to help guide our decision-making, whether buying a bike or modifying one.