You would think finding an answer to the question “how much does a motorcycle weigh?” would be as simple as asking the company who built it.
Unfortunately for you, manufacturers find clever ways to avoid publishing the actual weights of their motorcycles, so that’s rarely an option.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why weight matters, how motorcycles are “weighed” from the factory, and how you can cut through all the bad information and find out how much your motorcycle actually weighs.
Why Weight Matters
Motorcycles that weigh less accelerate quicker, are easier to maneuver at low speeds (like around crowded parking lots) and tend to handle better on curvy roads.
But knowing how heavy your motorcycle is doesn’t have to be all about performance. Knowing exactly how much your motorcycle weighs is an important part of making sure you don’t overload your tires on long trips with lots of gear and a passenger, too.
Whether you’re planning a long trip or beginning the never-ending journey of “lighter, faster,” knowing the real weight of your motorcycle is the obvious place to start.
So, why can’t you just look it up on the company’s website?
How Much Does a Motorcycle Weigh from the Factory?
Let’s say you recently found a killer deal on a 2018 Triumph Street Triple R.
It’s a great bike, does everything well, and feels light as can be.
You want to know just how light it really is, so you check Triumph’s website to find out and see that the 2018 Speed Triple R is listed with a “dry weight” of 366 lbs.
The “dry” weight that Triumph is referring to is the weight of the motorcycle before it has any fluids in it whatsoever. That includes the 4.6 gallons of gas in the tank, the 3.6 liters of oil in the engine, plus all of the coolant, brake fluid, and sometimes even the battery that the bike still needs before you can even turn the key.
Which would conservatively put your “366 pounds dry” Triumph at well over 400 pounds wet.
Now some manufacturers will list a “wet weight” or a “curb weight,” which is supposed to be the total weight of the bike in complete running order, ready to ride away from the dealership.
However, even this number can be misleading as the total weight is often calculated using an “approximate” weight of the sum total of the parts on the motorcycle, rather than simply putting the thing on the scale - which no one (except maybe BMW) seems to have thought to do.
Isn’t that convenient?
But, good news for you, if you want to know how much your motorcycle weighs, there’s no one to stop you from doing exactly that.
How Much Does your Motorcycle REALLY Weigh?
Finding the actual weight of your motorcycle is a lot simpler than you might think. In fact, you can find out how much your entire motorcycle weighs the same way you can find out how much you weigh with all your gear on.
Just put it on a scale.
As in, your bathroom scale. Yea, that one.
It may sound odd, but by simply putting your motorcycle onto your bathroom scale one wheel at a time, and then adding the two weights together, you get within a couple pounds of the actual weight of your bike with all its fluids, battery, gear, tools, etc.
And you might be shocked at just how far off that number is from the weight listed online.
Don’t like what you’re seeing on the scale? Here are a few ways to get a lighter (and faster!) motorcycle.
Weight Watchers for Two-Wheelers:
You don’t have to go out and spend a fortune on carbon fiber to drop a few pounds from your motorcycle (although, that certainly helps).
Here are some quick, cost-effective ways to drop several pounds in short order.
Pound-for-pound, there’s no cheaper or faster way to drop several pounds off your bike than by replacing an OEM lead-acid battery with a lithium-ion unit.
Lithium-ion batteries typically weigh less than two pounds and cost around $100.
Companies like Shorai make premium batteries that can be a little more expensive, but if you’re looking to save as much money as possible there are some newcomers like MMG who produce less-expensive options that get great reviews online.
New motorcycles often come with gigantic plastic license plate holders that stick out behind the rear wheel and weigh WAY more than you’d think a piece of plastic ever could.
Swapping out your factory plate holder for an after-market tail tidy drops a couple pounds and cleans up the look of your bike. Several even come with integrated taillights and turn signals to further reduce the weight and clutter on your rear end.
Stripping Your Bike
This one is free but be careful not to pull anything off your bike you need for safety or legal reasons.
That being said, removing your passenger pegs, grab handles, handlebar weights, foot peg inserts, and any unnecessary trim can quickly add up to several pounds on your garage floor.
This is going to be the most expensive item on our list, but for many of us swapping out a throaty, free-flowing exhaust is one of the most enjoyable upgrades we put on our motorcycles.
Stock exhaust canisters weigh a TON, and simply replacing them with a much lighter street legal exhaust can drop ten pounds or more from your motorcycle.
Companies like Mivv make simple, high-quality slip-on exhausts for around the $300 mark that subtract weight, add performance, and make you wonder why you ever rode without one.
Hitting the Gym…
This one is also free, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way sometimes…
Your bike’s ability to accelerate is affected by how much weight the engine has to pull.
So, unless Tesla comes out with an autonomous motorcycle in the near future, chances are that means you’re going to have to be sitting on your motorcycle if you want it to go anywhere.
When you drop five pounds off your body, that’s five fewer pounds your motorcycle’s engine has to pull.
So, while you’re saving up money for that sweet exhaust, consider running a few extra miles in the meantime. Your heart (and bike) will thank you.
Final Thoughts: How Heavy is a Motorcycle?
How much does your motorcycle weigh with a full tank of gas? Luggage? A roadside tool kit? Every rider should know, whether it’s for safety, performance, or bragging rights.
Give our suggestions a try and then share this article with your riding buddies today. You might just end up with the lightest bike in your pack!