Is your motorcycle over its weight limit?
It’s hard to resist the lure of the open road, especially when the weather warms up and the trees turn green. You’ll obviously need to take along some camping gear, food, water, and clothing to make the trip more comfortable, right? Pile it on! Why not? Because an overloaded bike is a dangerous bike. Motorcycles are manufactured to specific weight limits. Unfortunately, some manufacturers make it extremely difficult to determine safe weigh limits for their vehicles. Even worse, some weight limits are downright unreasonable for certain kinds of bikes.
For example, most big cruisers have an available add-on weight of about 400 pounds. So, if the operator is 225 pounds and the passenger is 150 pounds (including helmets, gear, boots, etc.), there are only 25 pounds left for additional gear and luggage before the weight limit is reached. Many riders of these big cruisers drive off the lot with their new bikes already overloaded and don’t even know it. It’s only a matter of time before a problem occurs.
The Safe Weight Calculator
We’ve developed a simple tool to help you quickly and easily determine the carrying capacity of your motorcycle. Just enter your bike’s model, year, and the weight of the driver and passenger to calculate how close you are to your bike’s limit (and how much weight you have available for gear). This simple test could save your life! VISIT THE WEIGHT CALCULATOR
Check the owner’s manual
If you don’t mind a little math, you can also calculate your bike’s weight limit using the owner’s manual. Some owner’s manuals list the “maximum weight limit” for all passengers and gear. Simply deduct the two passenger weights from this figure to determine how much gear you can load. Remember, passenger weights must reflect clothing, boots, helmets, etc.
Many owner’s manuals only list the bike’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). In this case, you must calculate what weight is available for passengers, gear and fuel. Here’s how to do it:
- Find the motorcycle’s GVWR among listed statistics in the owner’s manual. It is also printed on the vehicle-identification-number (VIN) plate (usually found on or near the steering head) on all current bikes.
- Find the motorcycle’s “as-shipped weight,” also known as “dry weight.” This is the bike’s weight alone, not including gas and other liquids. Sometimes, weight is expressed as “wet weight,” which is the weight of the bike plus all liquids. If there is no “wet weight” specified, add 50 pounds to the “dry weight” (a gallon of gas weighs about six pounds).
- Subtract the motorcycle’s “wet weight” from the GVWR. The result is the maximum amount of weight you can put on the bike, including passengers.
- Weigh the driver and passenger.
- Subtract this figure from the maximum weight figure (as described above.) This is the weight available for cargo and accessories.