Motorcycle with too much Luggage

How Much can you Carry on a Motorcycle?

If you’re headed out on a longer adventure, you are likely taking motorcycle luggage and other supplies with you. How much can a motorcycle carry exactly? It’s important to consider how the extra weight will impact your safety on the road. This article aims to answer this question and provide you with some useful tips before you hit the road.

Man with Motorcycle Luggage

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 

Many motorcycles actually do have the ability to carry between 350-450 pounds, with the right equipment and weight distribution. You have to factor in the weight of fuel, cargo, and passengers. There is a specific calculation you can use to figure out how much weight your specific bike can carry: you take the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and subtract the wet weight (when the bike is filled with gas and all other necessary fluids). 

Where to find the GVWR:

  • Owner’s Manual
  • The manufacturer’s website
  • Service/Repair Manual
  • On the Vehicle-Identification-Number (VIN) plate. It’s typically located on the steering neck or a nearby frame
Motorcycle with too much Luggage

What happens if you overload? This can cause issues such as strain on your bike (suspension, brakes) as well as extra wear on your tires. In the long run, this could cause your bike’s functions to deteriorate, which can be dangerous.

Tips for loading and carrying cargo on your motorcycle:

  • Instead of using bungee cords, use ROK Straps. They’re a bit more pricey, however, they’re a lot more reliable and will safely secure your items.
  • Load the heaviest items first at the bottom of your bags
  • Make sure your motorcycle luggage has an even weight distribution on both sides
  • Avoid adding too much weight to the front of your bike (will affect steering ability)
  • If you’re a beginner, it’s better to skip using a trailer - it’s a lot more and pay attention to, so it’s better just to keep your cargo on your bike

If you know you’re going to be carrying a heavier load, it’s important to do a test run before and practice sudden stops, turns, and any other obstacles you may encounter on your trip (like hills). This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments. Also make sure the motorcycle isn't too back-heavy, as this can make it prone to unwanted wheelies. 

Yamaha Motorcycle with Cargo

Making sure you know how much your bike can handle is not only important for the motorcycle but for your safety! Always make sure to double check and go on a practice run before heading out on your adventure!

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Hopefully, it provided you with the information you need so you can safely carry what you need to on your bike. If you have any more questions, please leave your: name, email, and comment in the fields below. We’d love to hear your feedback.



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