Motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes.
There’s a bike for various riding styles and riders, from big-bad-baggers to mini-crotch monsters, but how much weight can motorcycle pegs hold?
Let’s find out!
Here’s How Much Weight Motorcycle Pegs Can Typically Hold:
Stock motorcycle pegs use at least a 6 to 8mm diameter bolt, withstanding a minimum of 32,000 pounds per square inch. Converting that to the size of a peg’s bolt estimates, it allows the peg to withstand 1,400 pounds of force before the bolt snaps and the peg fails.
How Much Weight Can Motorcycle Pegs Typically Hold?
A motorcycle peg can hold significantly more than a motorcycle can—you’ll exceed your frame and tires weight limit before you exceed the weight limit of your footpegs, as the bolts used to mount them can withstand an estimated 1,400 pounds of force before they snap.
Typically, if you can ride a bike sitting down without jamming up the wheels and suspension, the pegs should have no problem supporting you, even if you’re standing up.
There’s no way moto-manufacturers could get away with putting pegs on a motorcycle that can’t withstand the bike’s weight limit.
So, when we find a motorcycle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating that fits our weight class, we can be sure its pegs are qualified to handle us sitting down and standing up.
Not to mention the fact that motorcycle pegs are mounted with bolts at least 6mm-8mm in diameter, which can withstand over a thousand pounds of force, in theory.
But to be sure, we hit the forums and dug up some real-life testimonies from some of our big-boned brothers and sisters who stand up on the pegs of their motorcycles or, in some cases, even their dirtbikes. When asked if motorcycle pegs could support someone who weighed 300+ pounds, here’s what they said:
- I am about 275ish with gear and stood on the stock pegs all of the time. I never liked the squishy rubber of the stock pegs so I got some Touratech pegs and after a short ride they feel better. The Touratechs feel very sold when you stand and vibes are minimal. I mean you can feel them in your toes if you try.
- I… weigh 275 with gear, but I chances are you will not outrun me. I have NEVER heard of the foot pegs on any bike breaking off in the way that you describe. I have taken sledge hammers to bent pegs and straightend them and Never broke a mount or bolt. These bikes are built for real riders, in real situations. I for one, don’t for see you having a problem.
- I do stand on my [Suzuki V-Strom]. But I did not like the stock pegs. The rubber made them feel squishy under my feet. I went with Moose Racing pegs that are stainless and have the off road grip. These feel solid as a rock under my feet. I have 0 problems with vibration. It may be the same for you. Maybe you feel the rubber move and it makes you feel uneasy. Try a set of solid steel pegs, you will like them!!
- I [weigh] about 300 [pounds] fully geared- I stand on the stock pegs all the time, never even thought about them breaking off. I have 1.5″ lowering brackets too, but they look pretty tough.
So based on these real-life testimonies, the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, and the physics associated with the mounting bolts used on the pegs, we can safely assume that the pegs on a motorcycle can handle more than the weight limit of the bike itself.
What Is the Max Weight Limit for Passengers Using the Pegs?
We can calculate the max weight limit for passenger pegs on a motorcycle by figuring out how much the mounting bolt on the bike can withstand.
They’re generally mounted with bolts that can hold over a thousand pounds on each bolt, meaning the tires would fail long before the passenger’s pegs.
So, if a 350-pound rider is riding with a 300-pound passenger, and each foot peg’s mounting bolt can hold, say, 1400 pounds, you’ve got plenty of support even if you are standing up.
Now let’s say you hit a pothole at high speeds; your tires would buckle under the shifting weight long before the peg bolts snapped off.
The pegs are the last things riders have to worry about regarding passenger weight. I’d be more concerned with weight distribution, as a gross variance in load between the rider and the passenger can hinder the moto’s stability in ways that will cause problems long before the foot pegs are at risk of snapping.
How Can I Know How Much Weight My Pegs Can Hold?
Calculating how much weight the peg’s mounting bolt can hold is the most accurate way to figure out how much your foot pegs can hold.
Your foot-pegs can take more weight than your motorcycle; checking your motorcycle’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, listed on the VIN plate on its frame, makes you aware of its limit.
Can You Install Pegs That Can Hold More Weight?
Motorcycle pegs are engineered to support the weight limit of the motorcycle. The mounting bolts used to install pegs determine how much weight force the peg can withstand, not the style of pegs attached.
That’s not to say that changing our bike’s foot pegs won’t make us more comfortable. Adding floorboards, for example, might not increase your motorcycle’s weight limit, but it’ll improve the ankle support and give the rider more position options and foot coverage.
So, while we can’t install pegs that hold more weight, we can install more supportive pegs to make us more comfortable.
Can You Stand Up on Motorcycle Pegs While Riding?
You can stand up on motorcycle pegs while riding, and there are situations in which it’s encouraged.
Most instructors and motorcycle safety courses require standing up on your pegs to get an M-Class license, because of its importance when riding over rough roads and train tracks.
Standing up on your foot pegs is also required for dirtbike riding, whether on off-road trails or stunt tracks. All riders should prepare riders to do some peg standing—your pegs are designed to take the weight even if you’re a large rider.
Learning to stand on your pegs is a requirement for most safety courses we’re aware of, but for those of you trying to get ahead of the game with it, let’s get into the basics of when, where, and how to stand up on your motorcycle pegs, regardless of how much you weigh.
For those of our readers who are dual-sport, adventure touring, or dirtbike riders, standing up on your motorcycle pegs will be commonplace, but the same logic applies to paved road ripping.
It starts with understanding the ins and outs of reading the trail and anticipating what’s ahead.
Some riders approach riding on their pegs like fun and games when they’re on a smooth stretch of terrain, but as soon as they encounter potholes, bumps, train tracks, or an off-road trail full of rocks, they take a seat.
The safe and proper way of riding is the opposite; you sit down when you have a short and easy ride, relaxing into the road and looking out ahead. At the first sign of uneven roads or technical trails, it’s time to lift yourself onto your pegs.
When should heavyset people stand up on their motorcycle pegs?
- Standing up on your pegs shifts weight off of your suspension, releasing your springs and forks and allowing them to absorb more of the shock.
- Standing up on your pegs while going over train tracks or potholes or on a rough stretch of trail prevents the shock to the seat from transferring up into your spine as it does when you’re sitting down in your saddle.
- It also stops you from being tossed around and up and out of your seat since you’re standing on your foot pegs, which, as we mentioned earlier, are bolted to your frame to support your weight just fine.
Another reason people stand up on their pegs is to have better control of the motorcycle over rocky roads. If this is the situation you’re in, you should be taking it once and easy in first gear, maybe second, depending on engine size.
If you’re standing on your pegs to get control over sketchy streets and rugged trails, you should keep it under 20 MPH to give yourself plenty of time to react.
Regardless of how much the rider weighs, the pegs can take the weight of you standing up. You should evenly distribute your weight across both pegs to maintain proper balance and moto-maneuverability.
As mentioned above, I stand up on my pegs to get a lay of the land and free up my suspension. But I follow the lead of the bike. Whether I’m on a sketchy off-road train on a dirtbike or ripping a Fat Boy over busted concrete, the approach is the same at 160 pounds as a decade ago when I weighed 230.
The bike will move from side to side and backward underneath me as the tires roll naturally over the rough road. My focus is on shifting your weight to keep it even as the bike shifts. Trust that the bike’s geometry is engineered to correct itself and stay upright while in motion.
In addition to maintaining balance and even weight distribution, I have a clear priority when standing on my pegs, keeping the bike in motion.
That means harmonizing my throttle input and the feathering of my clutch lever to make sure I’m staying in the friction zone so the wheels can roll along uninterrupted.
I find it necessary to relax into the standing position to help me follow the roadway’s natural path, whereas gripping the bars wicked tight and tensing up my legs puts me in a rigid stance counterproductive to bike operation.
As soon as I stand up, I’m sure to raise my arms with my upper body, as sagging your elbows down to the seated arm is a bad habit that leads to rigid and tired muscles.
Raising the arms engages the chest, taking the strain off your wrists, hands, and forearms.
When I relax my wrist as loose as possible while still maintaining grip and operational control, it permits my sheet arms and legs to follow suit.
In short, standing on your motorcycle pegs is safe, regardless of how much you weigh. Finding the appropriate standing position requires practice and experience on rough roads.
Take it nice and slow the first few times while you hang it. Swaying and shifting to the rhythm of the bike’s natural motion, maintaining balance and even weight distribution, and relaxing into the standing position rather than tensing up.
No matter how heavy you are, standing takes time to perfect. There’s no default; the correct way to stand on motorcycle pegs comes down to the feel of the road, the style and riding positions of the motorcycle you’re on, and the size and stature of the rider.
As a general rule, if you can ride a bike sitting down without hindering the wheels, you can ride it standing up on the pegs.