There are various styles, shapes, and sizes of motorcycles for all types of riding and for all types of riders.
If you have trouble handling, maneuvering, or riding your bike, it might be a sign that it’s not the right fit for your size and strength.
In this article, we’ll show you eight signs that your motorcycle is too heavy. The goal is to help you decide if you need to switch to a lighter bike or improve your skills and confidence on a heavy one.
Here are the 8 signs that indicate your motorcycle is too heavy:
1. Can’t Reach the Ground With Both Feet
If you can’t reach both feet on the ground when stopped at a red light, stop sign, etc., you might have a motorcycle that’s too heavy for you.
Being able to reach the ground with both feet is important for balancing, maneuvering, and stopping your bike safely and confidently. It can also prevent injuries and damage to your bike if you lose control or tip over.
That said, if you have trouble touching the ground with both feet, don’t worry. There are a few different solutions that can help you lower the seat height of your bike or increase your own height.
- You can adjust the suspension or the seat of your bike to make it closer to the ground.
- Or you can wear boots with thicker soles to give you some extra inches.
- Another option is to learn to ride with only one foot on the ground and use your body weight to shift the bike slightly to one side when stopping. This technique requires more skill and practice but can work for some riders and situations.
2. Struggle to Move, Push, Back Up, or Park
Another sign that your motorcycle is too heavy for you is if you struggle to move, push, backup, or park your bike. These everyday situations require you to use your physical strength and balance to maneuver your moto without the help of the engine.
If your bike is too heavy, you may find it hard to push it around, back it up into a parking spot, or even lift it off its side stand. Impaired movement can be frustrating, exhausting, and even dangerous if you lose control or drop your bike.
This is why you should never go over a motorcycle weight limits.
To avoid these problems, you can try some techniques to help you reverse and park a heavy bike more easily.
- For example, you can walk the motorcycle by standing next to it and grasping both hand grips from the left side, using your hips to support the bike as you walk.
- You can also assert your body weight by shifting the bike slightly to one side when lifting it off its side stand.
- You can practice using the rear brake and clutch smoothly to control your speed and balance when moving or backing up your bike.
Still, it’s important to note that these techniques may not work for everyone or every situation. So, you may want to consider getting a lighter bike if you still have trouble moving or parking your bike.
3. Trouble Lifting the Bike Alone When It Falls Over
A motorcycle can fall over for various reasons, such as losing balance, hitting a slippery patch, or getting knocked over by the wind. When that happens, you need to be able to lift your bike back up and continue your ride.
If your bike is too heavy for you, you may have trouble lifting it alone. This can be a problem if you are in a remote area or injured from a fall and don’t have anyone around to help you.
Additionally, lifting a heavy bike can also cause new injuries to your back, arms, or legs if you don’t use the proper technique.
Fortunately, there are some techniques you can employ to help you lift a fallen motorcycle by yourself.
- Use a Moto Winch to hoist your bike using a ratchet and a strap. You can also make one yourself in the field with a heavy-duty ratchet strap.
- Search online for a device called a Dirt Napper that can flip your bike upright using leverage and gravity.
- You can also learn how to lift your bike using your legs and hips instead of your arms and back.
- Turn the handlebars to full lock, sitting on the seat with your back against the bike, grabbing the handgrip and a hard part of the bike, and pushing with your legs until the bike is upright.
These solutions may not work for everyone or every situation. If they seem overwhelming, you may want to consider getting a lighter bike if you still have trouble lifting your bike when it falls over.
4. Challenging to Turn or Steer at Low Speeds
When you are riding below 15 mph, you need to turn the handlebar in the direction you want to go instead of counter-steering.
This requires more balance and control and more input from your clutch, throttle, and rear brake.
If your bike is too heavy for you, you may find it hard to tilt, lean, or maneuver it at low speeds. This can be a problem if you are riding in traffic, parking lots, or tight corners, affecting your focus and safety while riding.
To improve your ability to turn or steer a heavy bike at low speeds, you can practice the following techniques:
- Look where you want to go, not at your front wheel or the ground.
- When turning, use your body weight to shift the bike slightly to one side.
- You can also practice using the friction zone of your clutch, keeping a steady throttle, and applying light pressure on your rear brake to control your speed and balance.
Keep in mind that there is always a point where the bike is so heavy that situational physics makes employing these techniques impossible for someone in your weight class.
If you still have trouble turning or steering your bike at low speeds, consider getting a lighter motorcycle.
5. Feeling Tired or Sore After Riding for a Short Time
Riding a motorcycle is fun but also physically demanding for all riders, to some degree. This is why you need our article on what to do if you’re to overweight to ride a motorcycle.
Motorcyclists use their muscles, joints, and even their nerves to control their bikes often while facing the wind, sun, rain, and cold. They do these regardless of riding on bumpy roads, gravel, or rough pavement.
These factors can make you tired or sore after riding for a short time, especially if your bike is too heavy.
Feeling tired or sore while riding reduces your alertness, concentration, and reaction time. It also increases your risk of injury, cramps, or crashes, and affects your enjoyment of motorcycle riding.
To prevent or reduce feeling tired or sore when riding a heavy motorcycle, here are a few strategies to try before, during, and after your ride:
- Adjust your bike for your comfort.
- Wear protective gear.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy snacks.
- Take frequent breaks and stretch your muscles.
- Practice good riding posture and technique.
That said, these practices may not reduce fatigue for everyone or every situation; you might want to try a lighter bike if you prepare for your ride accordingly but still feel tired or sore after riding.
6. Lack of Confidence or Control While Riding
If your motorcycle is too heavy for you, it can feel like you don’t have enough control or skill to handle your bike in technical or low-speed riding situations.
You may also worry about dropping your heavy bike, crashing, or getting hurt. A lack of confidence or control can be a sign that your bike is too heavy for you. It could affect your safety and have a negative impact on your riding experience.
To gain confidence and control on a heavy motorcycle, there are numerous procedures you can walk through before, during, and after your ride.
- Ensure your bike is properly fitted for your size and comfort.
- You can also wear protective gear, such as a helmet, gloves, boots, and jacket, to increase your confidence.
- Practice safe riding in a low-traffic location where you can perfect all your maneuvers.
- Learn how to pick up your bike by yourself if it falls over.
- You can ride in a group, watching others’ techniques and gaining confidence as they give you tips and feedback.
- Ride defensively, anticipating potential hazards on the road.
We suggest you get a lighter motorcycle if you still lack confidence or control of your bike while riding.
7. Difficulty Balancing at Stops
Balancing a motorcycle at stops is a skill requiring your brakes, clutch, throttle, and body weight to keep your bike upright and stable.
You also need to be able to put your feet down firmly and quickly when you stop.
If you have difficulty balancing your motorcycle at stops, the bike may be too heavy for you.
Also, if it feels like the bike is leaning or tipping over or that you can’t reach the ground with both feet, you can practice some techniques that can help improve your balance at stops:
- Employ both front and rear brakes when stopping, and release the front brake when you are almost at a full stop.
- Keep your eyes forward and look ahead rather than at the ground when stopping.
- Use your body weight to shift the bike slightly to one side when stopping. Then put your left foot down first while keeping your right foot on the rear brake.
- Practice balancing your bike at low speeds and using the friction zone of your clutch to control your speed and support your balance.
Still, these techniques may not work for everyone or every situation. We suggest you try a lighter bike if you’re employing these stopping techniques and still have difficulty balancing at stops.
You might want to read about 11 typical reasons a motorcycle could start shaking.
8. Problems Braking or Accelerating Smoothly
Braking and accelerating smoothly help you control your speed, maintain traction, and avoid jerky movements.
If your motorcycle is too heavy for you, you may experience problems braking or accelerating smoothly.
This is because it can feel like the bike is lurching, skidding, or stalling when you apply or release the brakes or throttle if your weight doesn’t create the proper resistance to the its motion.
You can practice some techniques that can improve your braking and accelerating skills to determine if you can make your bike work or if a lighter motorcycle is necessary.
- Blip the throttle when downshifting to match the engine speed with the wheel speed.
- Apply pressure against the brake lever with your right-hand fingers when accelerating slightly to balance the amount of twist you give to the throttle.
- Practice using the friction zone of your clutch to control your speed and balance at low speeds.
If these braking techniques don’t change the feel of your acceleration and braking power, you may want to get a lighter motorcycle.
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