Motorcycle Weight Comparison (With 329 Examples)

While the weight of a motorcycle doesn’t matter much once you are on the move, a heavy motorcycle can be very intimidating when you stop or ride slowly, especially for beginner riders. Apart from the size, the type of motorcycle will also determine the weight of the bike.

The average weight of any motorcycle is 430 lbs (195 kg). The lightest motorcycles are dirt bikes with an average weight of only 202 lbs (92 kg), while the heaviest bikes are touring motorcycles at 804 lbs (365 kg). The Yamaha Star Venture is the heaviest motorcycle of any bike at 963 lbs (437 kg) and the Yamaha PW 50 is the lightest at 90 lbs (41 kg).

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Motorcycle weight should not be the only factor to consider when you are buying a bike. The weight will, however, greatly influence how quickly you get comfortable on the motorcycle if you are a beginner rider. Many new riders drop their ride while practicing clutch and throttle control at low speeds. And if you are into adventure riding, dropping your bike is inevitable.

Dropped bike
My wife standing next to her bike in the middle of the Chalbi Desert in Northern Kenya

A heavy motorcycle is not only difficult to keep upright once it leans past the balance point, but it is very difficult and demotivating to pick up a heavy motorcycle on your own. My wife learned to ride on a 150 lbs Yamaha MR 50 before she upgraded to a heavy 421 lbs BMW F650 Funduro.

The only way to know which bike is best for you is to take it for a test ride. Second prize is to at least go sit on all the bikes on your shortlist. That will give you a feel for the the weight of the motorcycle and how easily you are able to balance it upright.

For more experienced motorcycle riders, the weight of the bike is almost totally irrelevant. It is during those early days while learning to master clutch and throttle control, and how to properly stop the motorcycle the right way, that the weight of your motorcycle may play an important role.

Weight of All the Motorcycles

The table below lists all the weights of all the major motorcycle manufacturers from the heaviest to the lightest in pounds (lbs) and in kilograms (kg). The weight listed here is the curb (or wet) weight instead of dry weight. Curb weight is the weight of the bike, fully fueled and ready to ride.

Motorcycle ModelCurb Weight (in lbs)Curb Weight (in kg)
Yamaha Star Venture          963          437
Harley CVO Limited          944          428
BMW R 18 Transcontinental          942          427
Harley Road Glide Limited          932          423
Harley Ultra Limited          917          416
Kawasaki VULCAN 1700 VOYAGER ABS          895          406
Harley CVO Road Glide          893          405
BMW R 18 B          877          398
Yamaha Star Eluder GT          877          398
Yamaha Star Eluder          875          397
Harley CVO Street Glide          866          393
Harley Electra Glide Revival          862          391
Harley Road Glide          855          388
Harley Road Glide Special          853          387
Honda GOLD WING TOUR AIRBAG AUTOMATIC DCT          847          384
Kawasaki VULCAN 1700 VAQUERO ABS          845          383
Honda GOLD WING TOUR AUTOMATIC DCT          838          380
Honda GOLD WING TOUR          836          379
Harley Street Glide          829          376
Harley Road King          828          376
Harley Street Glide Special          827          375
Harley Electra Glide Standard          820          372
Harley Road King Special          807          366
BMW R 18 Classic          805          365
BMW K 1600 Grand America          802          364
Suzuki BOULEVARD C90T          800          363
Honda GOLD WING AUTOMATIC DCT          800          363
Honda GOLD WING          787          357
BMW K 1600 GTL          772          350
Suzuki BOULEVARD M109R B.O.S.S.          764          347
BMW R 18          761          345
Suzuki BOULEVARD C90 B.O.S.S.          758          344
BMW K 1600 B          741          336
BMW K 1600 GT          736          334
Harley Heritage Classic          728          330
Suzuki BOULEVARD M90          723          328
Harley Fat Boy 114          699          317
Harley Sport Glide          699          317
Kawasaki CONCOURS 14 ABS (incl. hard cases)          690          313
Harley Low Rider S          679          308
Harley Fat Bob 114          676          307
Harley Softail Slim          671          304
Honda FURY          663          301
Harley Streetbob 114          659          299
Kawasaki VULCAN 900 CLASSIC LT          657          298
Harley Softail standard          655          297
Suzuki BOULEVARD C50T          644          292
Yamaha FJR1300ES          642          291
Kawasaki VULCAN 900 CLASSIC          620          281
BMW R 1250 RT          615          279
Suzuki BOULEVARD C50          611          277
Kawasaki VULCAN 900 CUSTOM          611          277
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-14R ABS          593          269
Suzuki BOULEVARD M50          593          269
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure          591          268
BMW R 1250 GS Adventure – Edition 40 Years GS          591          268
Yamaha Super Tenere ES          584          265
Suzuki HAYABUSA          582          264
Yamaha NIKEN          580          263
Kawasaki NINJA H2 SX SE+          578          262
Honda SHADOW AERO ABS          573          260
Kawasaki VERSYS 1000 SE LT+          567          257
Harley Iron 1200          564          256
Harley Iron 883          564          256
Ducati Multistrada Enduro           560          254
Honda SHADOW AERO          560          254
Harley Pan America 1250 Special          559          254
Harley Forty-eight          556          252
Honda AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS ES DCT          553          251
KTM 1290 Super Adventure R          551          250
BMW R 1250 GS          549          249
BMW R 1250 GS – Edition 40 Years GS          549          249
Honda SHADOW PHANTOM          549          249
Suzuki V-STROM 1050XT          545          247
Suzuki V-STROM 1050XT ADVENTURE          545          247
Yamaha Bolt R-Spec          542          246
BMW F 850 GS Adventure          538          244
BMW R 1250 RS          536          243
Harley Pan America 1250          534          242
Kawasaki Z H2 SE          531          241
Honda AFRICA TWIN ADVENTURE SPORTS ES          530          240
Kawasaki Z H2          529          240
BMW R 1250 R          527          239
Kawasaki NINJA H2          525          238
Kawasaki NINJA H2 CARBON          525          238
Honda AFRICA TWIN DCT          524          238
Suzuki V-STROM 1050          520          236
Suzuki V-STROM 1000XT          514          233
Suzuki V-STROM 1000XT ADVENTURE          514          233
Kawasaki NINJA 1000SX          514          233
Suzuki V-STROM 1000          511          232
Honda REBEL 1100 DCT          509          231
BMW F 850 GS          504          229
Harley Sportster S          502          228
Honda AFRICA TWIN          501          227
BMW S 1000 XR          498          226
Suzuki GSX-S1000GT          498          226
Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+          498          226
Kawasaki VULCAN S          496          225
Kawasaki VULCAN S CAFE          496          225
Kawasaki W800          496          225
BMW F 750 GS          493          224
Honda NC750X DCT          493          224
BMW R nineT Scrambler          492          223
BMW R nineTUrban G/S – Edition 40 Years GS          492          223
Honda REBEL 1100          487          221
BMW R nineT          487          221
Yamaha TRACER 9 GT          485          220
BMW R nineT Pure          483          219
Kawasaki KLR 650 ADVENTURE          483          219
BMW F 900 XR          482          219
Suzuki BURGMAN 400          481          218
Kawasaki VERSYS 650 ABS          476          216
Kawasaki VERSYS 650 ABS LT          476          216
Kawasaki NINJA H2 R          476          216
Kawasaki Z900RS CAFE          476          216
Suzuki V-STROM 650XT          476          216
Suzuki V-STROM 650XT ADVENTURE          476          216
Kawasaki Z900RS          474          215
Kawasaki Z900RS SE          474          215
Suzuki GSX-S1000F          474          215
Suzuki GSX-S1000F          474          215
Suzuki KATANA          474          215
Yamaha Tracer 900 GT          474          215
Honda NC750X          472          214
BMW C 400 GT          472          214
Suzuki GSX-S1000          472          214
Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ          472          214
Suzuki GSX-S1000FZ          472          214
Kawasaki KLR 650 TRAVELER          472          214
Suzuki V-STROM 650          470          213
Suzuki GSX-S750 ABS          470          213
Suzuki GSX-S750Z ABS          470          213
Kawasaki Z900 SE          470          213
Kawasaki Z900 ABS          468          212
Honda CB1000R BLACK EDITION          467          212
BMW F 900 R          465          211
Suzuki GSX-S750          465          211
Suzuki GSX-S750Z          465          211
KTM 890 Adventure R          463          210
Yamaha MT-10          463          210
Suzuki GSX-S1000Z          461          209
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10R ABS KRT EDITION          456          207
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10R ABS KRT EDITION          456          207
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-10RR          456          207
Kawasaki KLR 650 ABS          456          207
Honda CBR650R ABS          456          207
Yamaha Tenere 700          452          205
Yamaha YZF-R1M          450          204
Yamaha YZF-R1          448          203
Yamaha YZF-R1 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition          448          203
Honda CB650R ABS          445          202
Suzuki GSX-R1000R          445          202
Suzuki GSX-R1000RZ          445          202
Honda CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP          443          201
Suzuki GSX-R1000          443          201
BMW S 1000 R          439          199
Suzuki SV650 ABS          437          198
Suzuki SV650X          437          198
Honda CB500X ABS          434          197
BMW S 1000 RR          434          197
Honda CBR1000RR ABS          434          197
Honda CBR600RR ABS          434          197
Suzuki SV650          432          196
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-6R ABS KRT EDITION          430          195
Yamaha XSR900          430          195
Honda CBR1000RR          428          194
Kawasaki NINJA ZX-6R          426          193
Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS          423          192
Kawasaki NINJA 650 ABS KRT EDITION          423          192
BMW M 1000 RR          423          192
Honda CBR500R ABS          423          192
Honda CB500F ABS          420          191
Suzuki GSX-R750          419          190
Suzuki GSX-R750Z          419          190
Yamaha MT-09 SP          419          190
Yamaha YZF-R6          419          190
Yamaha MT-09          417          189
Honda REBEL 500 ABS          414          188
Yamaha YZF-R7          414          188
Yamaha YZF-R7 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition          414          188
Kawasaki Z650 ABS          412          187
Kawasaki Z650RS          412          187
Suzuki GSX-R600          412          187
Suzuki GSX-R600Z          412          187
Honda CBR600RR          410          186
Yamaha XSR700          410          186
Honda REBEL 500          408          185
Yamaha MT-07          406          184
Suzuki GSX250R ABS          399          181
Yamaha XMAX          397          180
Suzuki GSX250R          392          178
KTM 390 Adventure          387          176
BMW G 310 GS          386          175
BMW G 310 GS – Edition 40 Years GS          386          175
Kawasaki VERSYS-X300 ABS          386          175
Suzuki BOULEVARD S40          381          173
Yamaha YZF-R3          375          170
Yamaha YZF-R3 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Edition          375          170
Yamaha YZF-R3 World GP 60th Anniversary Edition          375          170
Yamaha MT-03          373          169
Honda REBEL 300 ABS          370          168
Suzuki DR650S          366          166
Kawasaki NINJA 400 ABS          366          166
Kawasaki NINJA 400 ABS KRT EDITION          366          166
Honda REBEL 300          364          165
Honda CBR300R ABS          364          165
Kawasaki Z400 ABS          364          165
BMW G 310 R          362          164
Suzuki BURGMAN 200          359          163
Honda CBR300R          357          162
Honda XR650L          346          157
Honda CRF300L RALLY ABS          337          153
Honda CRF300L RALLY          333          151
Yamaha SMAX          328          149
Yamaha V Star 250          324          147
Suzuki DR-Z400SM          322          146
Suzuki DR-Z400S          317          144
Honda CB300R ABS          317          144
Honda CRF300L ABS          311          141
Honda CRF300L          309          140
Kawasaki KLX300 SM          304          138
Kawasaki KLX300          302          137
Kawasaki KLX230 S          298          135
Honda ADV150          294          133
Kawasaki KLX230 ABS          293          133
Honda CRF450RL          291          132
Yamaha XT250          291          132
Honda PCX          288          131
Kawasaki KLX300R          282          128
Yamaha Zuma 125          282          128
Suzuki DR200S          278          126
Yamaha TW200          278          126
Honda CRF450X          275          125
Suzuki RMX450Z          272          123
Honda CRF250F          265          120
Yamaha WR450F          262          119
Honda TRAIL125 ABS          259          117
Yamaha WR250F          254          115
Yamaha YZ450FX          254          115
Kawasaki KLX230R          254          115
Kawasaki KLX230R S          254          115
Honda CRF450RX          251          114
Yamaha TT-R230          251          114
Honda CRF450-S          247          112
Suzuki RM-Z450          247          112
Kawasaki KX450 X          246          112
Yamaha YZ250FX          245          111
Yamaha YZ450F          245          111
Yamaha YZ450F MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION          245          111
Honda CRF450R          244          111
Honda CRF450RWE          244          111
Kawasaki KX450          243          110
Kawasaki KX450 SR          243          110
Husqvarna FC450*          242          110
Kawasaki KX250 X          240          109
Honda SUPER CUB C125 ABS          240          109
Honda SUPER CUB C125 ABS          240          109
KTM 250 SX-F Troy Lee Designs*          240          109
KTM 450 SX-F*          239          108
Honda CRF250RX          238          108
Husqvarna FC350*          238          108
Gas Gas MC450F*          237          107
Kawasaki KX250          237          107
KTM 350 SX-F*          236          107
Gas Gas MC350F*          236          107
KTM 250 SX-F*          235          107
Husqvarna FC250*          235          107
Gas Gas MC250F*          235          106
Yamaha YZ250F          234          106
Yamaha YZ250F MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION          234          106
Suzuki RM-Z250          233          106
Honda GROM ABS          231          105
Honda MONKEY ABS          231          105
Honda CRF250R          229          104
Yamaha YZ250X          229          104
Husqvarna TC250*          229          104
Gas Gas MC250*          228          103
KTM 250 SX*          228          103
Yamaha YZ250          227          103
Yamaha YZ250 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION          227          103
Kawasaki Z125 PRO          225          102
Kawasaki KLX140R F          218            99
Kawasaki KLX140R L          209            95
Gas Gas MC125*          209            95
KTM 125 SX*          209            95
KTM 150 SX*          209            95
Yamaha YZ125          209            95
Yamaha YZ125 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RACING EDITION          209            95
Yamaha YZ125X          209            95
Kawasaki KLX140R          205            93
Honda CRF125F BIG WHEEL          199            90
Yamaha TT-R125LE          198            90
Suzuki DR-Z125L          196            89
Honda CRF125F          194            88
Honda RUCKUS          194            88
Honda CRF150R          185            84
Honda METROPOLITAN          179            81
Honda CRF110F          170            77
Honda MONTESA COTA 4RT RACE REPLICA          170            77
Kawasaki KX100          170            77
Kawasaki KX112          170            77
Honda MONTESA COTA 301RR          169            77
Kawasaki KLX110R          168            76
Kawasaki KLX110R L          168            76
Kawasaki KX85          165            75
Yamaha YZ85LW          165            75
Gas Gas MC85 19/16*          162            73
Husqvarna TC85 (19/16)*          162            73
KTM 85 SX 19/16*          162            73
Suzuki RM85          161            73
Suzuki RM85          161            73
Yamaha YZ85          161            73
Gas Gas MC85 17/14*          159            72
KTM 85 SX 17/14*          159            72
Yamaha TT-R110E          159            72
Yamaha YZ65          134            61
Kawasaki KX65          132            60
Yamaha TT-R50E          128            58
Gas Gas MC65*          125            57
Husqvarna TC65*          125            57
KTM 65 SX*          125            57
Suzuki DR-Z50          119            54
Honda CRF50F          110            50
Gas Gas MC50*            97            44
Husqvarna TC50*            97            44
KTM 50 SX*            97            44
KTM 50 SX Mini            94            43
Yamaha PW50            90            41
Motorcycle seat heights comparison table (Source: Manufacturers’ websites)

Where there is an “*” next to the motorcycle model name, the curb (wet) weight was calculated from the dry weight by adding the weight of the gas, engine oil, and coolant. The capacities if each fluid were looked up in order to determine the quantities.

Some motorcycle brands were not included (e.g. KTM, Triumph, Ducati) due to the information not being readily available from the manufacturers’ websites.

Weights of Different Types of Motorcycles

Touring motorcycles and cruisers are the heaviest types of bikes, while dirt bikes and dual sports are the lightest. Modern adventure bikes are also getting heavier as the technology advances. The graph below shows the average, maximum and minimum weight of each type of motorcycle.

Average, maximum and minimum weights by motorcycle type

The weight of a motorcycle is more of a distinguishing factor than seat height. From the graph above it is clear that different types or categories of bikes differ greatly by weight. The difference if you compare the seat heights of various bike types is not that pronounced which can be seen in this post I wrote on motorcycle seat height.

Let’s have a brief look at the weights of each type of motorcycle, starting with the heaviest of them all:

Touring Motorcycle Weight

Touring motorcycles are by far the heaviest of all the different types of bikes. Touring bikes weight so much because of their large capacity engines (usually at least 100 cubic inches or 1 600 cc) and all the accessories fitted to them. These motorcycles are designed to keep you comfortable and protected from the elements at highway speeds. That requires large fairings and a tall windscreen, plush seats for the rider and passenger, and luggage systems.

The average touring motorcycle weighs a porky 804 lbs (365 kg). The heaviest touring motorcycle is the 1 863 cc Yamaha Star Venture that tips the scales at 963 lbs (437 kg). At only 474 lbs (215 kg), the Yamaha Tracer 900 GT is the lightest touring bike, thanks to a smaller engine and being more of a street bike with a hard luggage system as standard.

Cruiser Weight

Cruiser motorcycles are also heavier than most other categories of bikes. Cruisers are not designed for speed or handling, but instead go after mean looks, lots of bling, and a growling sound. Most cruisers share their looks with the original cruiser, the Harley Davidson. That means, large capacity, air-cooled motors with big transmissions that can handle the torque.

The average cruiser motorcycle weighs 593 lbs (269 kg) which is exactly the same as the heaviest street bike, the Kawasaki ZX-14R. The heaviest cruiser is the massive BMW R 18 Classic at 805 lbs (365 kg) and the lightest cruiser is the little Yamaha V Star 250 at only 324 lbs (147 kg).

The BMW R18 Classic is the heaviest cruiser
The BMW R 18 Classic is the heaviest of all the cruiser motorcycles (Image: BMW USA)

While the weight range of cruisers vary greatly thanks to a host of small, entry level cruiser bikes, most big cruisers need big, torquey engines to get going. To find out why most cruisers are so heavy, check out this detailed post I wrote on cruiser weight.

Adventure Bike Weight

Adventure bikes are meant to be as good in the dirt and on gravel roads as they are on the highways. Unfortunately, modern adventure bikes have favored the latter, as that’s where they spend most of their time. Bigger engines are used to deliver more power and higher top speeds.

To make these fast machines more ridable for new riders, and to ensure your safety when you do take them off-road, more and more technology is crammed into the bikes like ABS, traction control, cruise control, and a host of other (mostly electronic) features. All of these developments comes at a price. A heavy one. More weight.

The average adventure bike weighs 498 lbs (226 kg) which is heavier than 88% of all street motorcycles. Not surprisingly, the big BMW R 1250 GS Adventure is the heaviest adventure bike, tipping the weigh bridge at 591 lbs (268 kg), while the Suzuki DR 650 S is the lightest at 366 lbs (166 kg).

Yamaha T7
The Yamaha T7 is one of the few adventure bikes without electronic rider aids. That’s why I love it so much!

If you feel the DR does not count as an adventure bike (some feel it’s a dual sport), then the Kawasaki Versys X-300 is the lightest adventure bike at 386 lbs (175 kg) along with the BMW G 310 GS.

For everything you need to know on adventure bike weight, check out this comprehensive post.

Street Bike Weight

Street bikes vary greatly in weight due to the wide range of different bike models included in the list. Incidentally, the average street bike weight of 434 lbs (197 kg) is very close to the overall average weight of all types of motorcycles which is 430 lbs (195 kg).

The heaviest street bike is the super fast Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R at 593 lbs (269 kg). The lightest street bike is the entry-level Kawasaki Z125 Pro at only 225 lbs (102 kg). That’s even lighter than the toy bikes from Honda, i.e the Grom and the Monkey (both weighing only 231 lbs).

Scooter Weight

With only 10 scooters on our list, averages are rather meaningless. That said, the average scooter weighs 327 lbs (149 kg) with the heaviest being the Suzuki Burgman 400 at 481 lbs (218 kg). The Burgman 400 weighs more than 83% of all the street bikes in our table above. The lightest scooter is the Honda Metropolitan weighing only 179 lbs (81 kg).

Gilera GP800
The quickest and heaviest (518 lbs) scooter I’ve ever ridden is the Gilera GP 800 (not on my list above)

Dual Sport Motorcycle Weight

Classifying motorcycles are not always easy and no other category of motorcycle is as controversial as the dual sports. Depending on where in the world you ride, a dual sport motorcycle might mean something different for you. If you are unsure what we think, check out this post on the difference between an adventure bike and a dual sport.

Dual sport motorcycles are bikes that were designed to go off-road as well as on the street. They are generally much lighter than adventure bikes, but due to being road legal, heavier than dirt bikes. The average dual sport motorcycle weighs 303 lbs (137 kg).

The Honda XR 650 L is the heaviest dual sport motorcycle at 346 lbs (157 kg). That’s light compared to the competition in the 650 cc thumper class, but definitely a handful compared to a dirt bike. The lightest dual sport is the Honda Trail 125 at only 259 lbs (117 kg).

Adventure Bike Troop YouTube
Check out my YouTube Channel where I feature the heavy Honda XR 650 L quite extensively (Click on the image above)

Dirt Bike Weight

Dirt bikes are primarily designed to be light. These bikes are used for racing or riding through very technical terrain. A dirt bike needs to be able to accelerate very quickly out of tight turns and land massive jumps without falling apart. Riders also often drop their dirt bikes when riding in difficult terrain and a lighter bike is easier to pick up again.

In order to make a bike faster, you can either add more power – with a bigger and therefore heavier engine – or you can make the whole bike lighter. Every component on a dirt bike is designed with the latter strategy in mind.

Yamaha YZ250
Dirt bikes need to be light in order to shred like this (Image source: Yamaha USA)

Thanks to modern technology and materials, the average dirt bike only weighs 202 lbs (92 kg). That is lighter than the lightest street bike which we mentioned earlier.

The heaviest dirt bike is the Kawasaki KLX 300 R at 282 lbs (128 kg). It is more of a trail bike than a racing machine, but is still quite a bit lighter than your average dual sport. The lightest dirt bike is, unsurprisingly, the little Yamaha PW 50 kiddies bike at only 90 lbs (41 kg).

How Much Does Motorcycle Weight Matter?

The weight of a heavy motorcycle can be very intimidating, especially for new riders. If you stand the bike upright, it will be perfectly balanced, but tipping it just a few inches too far to either side will reveal its weight. Shorter riders may have an even harder time on a heavy motorcycle, where both feet can’t be planted firmly on the ground on either side.

My wife on her 1999 BMW F650
My wide was not able to plant both feet on the ground, which made the heavy BMW F650 intimidating

Once a bike starts moving faster than walking pace, it will self-balance due to the rake of the front fork. Even the heaviest motorcycles will feel light when you’re on the move. I remember the first time I got onto the liquid-cooled BMW R 1200 GS when it was launched. Even though it weighed 525 lbs (238 kg) it was easy to maneuver at crawling speed thanks to the low center of gravity.

While even the heaviest bikes can feel light and perfectly balanced while riding, certain circumstances will reveal their obesity. In a parking lot for instance, even a seasoned rider may have trouble moving a 787 lbs Honda Goldwing around. At least it has a reverse gear, but you still need to keep it upright.

Adventure bikes also suffer from weight problems. Yes, a 551 lbs KTM 1290 Super Adventure R feels nimble racing around the dirt and can even take some serious jumps, but try picking it up more than once on a hot day, playing in thick sand. Between the right legs, these heavy ADV bikes can go nearly anywhere, but for mere mortals like me, they are pigs in the dirt due to their weight.

For any type of off-road riding, weight is not your friend. And if you are just starting out (road or dirt), learn to ride on the lightest bike you can find. Not only will you have a lot more confidence and stress less, you will also learn a lot quicker and become a better rider faster.

My wife learned to ride on a 155 lbs Yamaha MR 50 and only later got herself a 420 lbs BMW F650. She dropped that BMW so many times (we often rode dirt and sandy roads) that she got fed up. So when we travelled from Cape Town to Cairo for three months, we decided to do it on two 245 lbs Chinese delivery bikes. They were slow, but so easy to keep upright in any condition. And my wife (at 5 ft 3) could pick up her own bike multiple times a day.

Dropping bikes in Western Tanzania
Picking up a small 250 lbs bike is so much easier than a porky BMW R 1250 GS Adventure

If you are new to riding and you recently purchased a heavy motorcycle, the best you can do is to learn the bike’s balance point. There’s no use in muscling a heavy motorcycle into line. You’ll just tire yourself out and start to resent the machine.

Start by standing next to the bike and taking it off the side stand. Get a feel for the balance point around the upright position. Once you are comfortable where the bike feels balanced, start by walking around the motorcycle holding it at different spots like the mirrors, handlebar tips, and rear luggage rack. As you gain confidence that the bike can balance mostly on its own, start using only one hand at a time.

By getting used to the bike’s balancing point, you’ll learn that you don’t need a lot of strength to keep a very heavy motorcycle upright. Next, you can start by practicing slow moving balancing. Ride figures-of-eight or tighter and tighter circles. The more you practice balancing the bike in different situations, the lighter it will feel.

Weight Reduction Tips and Techniques

There are many ways to reduce the weight of your bike. On some types of motorcycle it is more important and significant than others. Dirt bike and racing bike riders are always looking to shed some weight to get faster. Adventure bike riders want to reduce weight to make their machines (often loaded with luggage) easier to control in off-road situations.

The first place many riders start shedding weight is swapping the stock exhaust for an aftermarket free-flowing pipe like an Akrapovic exhaust (available on Amazon). Another quick and easy weight saver is switching to a lithium-ion battery. Just those two modifications will save you several pounds. From there, the diet depends on the weight of your wallet.

You can swap out a host of steel parts for aluminum alternatives, from foot pegs to sprockets. Although every little bit helps, I prefer shedding a few pounds around my waist as a cheaper and healthy option.


Motorcycle weight can be very intimidating to beginner riders, but as you gain confidence it matters less and less. An experienced rider that understands the balance of his or her motorcycle, will barely notice the weight (until he/she drops the bike and have to pick it up alone!).

Personally, I prefer the lightest bike I can find for off road and technical riding. On the street, it is much less of a concern. Regardless of what bike you are looking to buy, the most important thing you can do before you part with your cash is to go and sit on a few different motorcycles and ideally, take them for a spin.

Happy riding!

Francois Steyn

I've been riding motorcycles since I was in school and have traveled thousands of miles on various bikes through more than 10 countries. For more info, check out my about page:

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