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How to Calculate your Bike’s Load Limit

Posted on 14 Jun 2012 in Cruiser-Motorcycles, Goldwing, Harley-Davidson | 3 comments

There’s nothing like a long trip on a motorcycle with your favorite passenger. It’s a beautiful day, your bike is loaded with everything you will need, you have your significant other riding behind you, a full tank of gas, and the open road. Sounds perfect right? Well while you are enjoying your trip with a fully loaded bike, you could be doing serious damage to your motorcycle’s performance and its tires.

When packing your bike for a trip you are usually most concerned with what will fit, but you should really be focusing on how much everything weighs. Every bike comes with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) and you might be surprised how easy it is to exceed it. It may not seem like a big deal but overloading your bike can lead to loss of control and tire failure; two aspects that will easily lead to fatal accidents.

Worried you might be overloading your bike? Plug the numbers in the calculator below to determine your motorcycle’s load limit. Be sure to have a scale handy, you will be doing a lot of weighing.

This calculator can be found at Go here to find a larger PDF version of the calculator.

Now that you have calculated your load limit be sure to check your tire pressure. You can lose 80lbs. of carrying capacity per every 4psi of underinflation.

Have you been overloading your bike?



  1. JK / June 15th, 2012 12:53

    I use a small trailer when I travel. Hitch only carries 10% of total load. Sure saves the tires! Turns every mtorcycle ride into a comfortable camping trip. And when you get ready to leave in the morning, packing is so simple, instead of bunging all that crap onto the bike, just fold and stow. And even if you do a Hotel (like in Reno) unpack only what you need, lock the rest in the trailer in the parking lot and you are ready to ride with a “clean” bike.

    • Sarah / June 15th, 2012 15:26

      Great way to reduce the stress on your bike JK. Ride on!

      • DAVID OAKLEY / June 15th, 2012 19:47

        I’m with you JK. Have been towing a trailer since 1983, definitely the only way to go!


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