Have you ever found yourself wondering how heavy is a Harley-Davidson? Many bikers, including me, did. Many people struggle to work their way around a Harley-Davidson, and the bike’s weight is one of the first reasons.
The heaviness of a Harley-Davidson will depend on the model of the bike. On average, Harley-Davidson bikes weigh between 450-800lbs, but there are some that cross the 900lbs range or more.
Continue reading if you want to know the significance of weight in these bikes and why they are so heavy.
The significance of weight in a Harley-Davidson bike
Weight is an important factor that you should consider when buying a Harley-Davidson. There are many issues that play an integral role, with weight being one of them. First of all, it will affect the speed of your bike. Moreover, it’ll also affect your level of comfort and the general driving experience.
It is stated that when you’re buying a Harley-Davidson, purchase the lightest one you can get your hands on. This is the case because a heavy motorcycle will have a negative impact on just about every aspect of performance. A heavy Harley-Davidson bike will also be more difficult to ride and control. This makes heavy bikes harder for beginners to drive when they’re just starting to learn to ride bikes. In comparison, lighter Harley-Davidson bikes will be much easier to ride.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are popular for how convenient and powerful they are. These bikes are perfect for long drives and your driving experience. Touring bikes are the heaviest when it comes to different Harley-Davidson ranges. Some of the heavier models can surpass as much as 1000lbs.
Now comes the all-important answer, how heavy should a Harley-Davidson be when you’re going on long journeys? Harley-Davidson Sports bikes should not surpass the 450-550lbs range. In case they do, you’ll notice that the performance is being affected. In case you own a cruiser, they’re likely to be slightly heavier than sports bikes. For cruiser bikes, you should look for a bike that weighs around 700lbs.
While weight matters for Harley-Davidson bikes, different kinds of bikes will have a different range of weight. You shouldn’t go for a bike that is too heavy, or it’ll affect the performance.
How heavy is a Harley-Davidson motorcycle?
On average, the weight of a Harley-Davidson is around 700lbs. However, the number doesn’t have a lot of relevance, as there are some bikes that weigh as little as 400-450lbs. Similarly, there are bikes that weigh as much as 900-950lbs or more.
Instead of the weight, what matters more is the ability to match the weight to the motorcycle’s design. Sports bikes tend to fall on the lower end of the weight scale as they weigh around 450-550lbs. Weighing less will give these bikes a lot more maneuverability needed to perform better.
With an average weight of 700-750lbs, Harley-Davidson has a reputation for being a brand with pretty heavy bikes. Due to the high weight, the brand ranks in the upper end of any breakdown of weight classes. Harley-Davidson has also gotten notoriety for designing a few beasts that weigh close to or over 1,000lbs.
|Sport||450 – 500 lb.|
|Cruiser||500 – 580 lb.|
|Adventure Touring||500 – 550 lb.|
|Grand American Touring||750 – 830 lb.|
|Trike||1000 – 1020 lb.|
Six reasons why Harley-Davidson bikes are so heavy
To know the correlation between Harley-Davidson bikes and their weight, it is essential to know why they weigh so much. Here are six reasons why these bikes are so heavy.
#1: Harley-Davidson bikes have big engines
A key feature of the brand’s heritage is their air-cooled twin-cylinder engines having push-rod valve trains. It is mostly a look thing (big cooling fins with no fan and radiator). Because of the design of the Harley-Davidson engines, the motor will not rev very high. As power is a function of the engine’s RPM and torque, without RPMs, Harley-Davidson bikes will require a lot of torque.
To get these incredibly heavy machines running smoothly, big displacement engines are needed. These deliver a huge amount of torque that is low in the RPM range. Most Harley-Davidson bikes have a powerful engine with a 107cu (1,753cc), 114cu (1,868cc), or 117cu (1,917cc) motor. This is a lot more than the size of the 200mph engine that sports bikes have.
The engine and transmission are two of the heaviest components of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. A large displacement engine normally requires an equally big transmission. The engine layout is also a reason for the distinctive sound of the bike when idling.
#2: Harley-Davidson bikes offer luxury and comfort
Harley-Davidson bikes are designed primarily to look amazing and, when it comes to touring models, to look incredibly comfortable. Every additional part added to a Harley-Davidson bike will add to the weight of the bike These bikes normally come with long twin chrome pipes, big headlights, wide handlebars, and a big gas tank.
The heavier touring bikes come with massive fairings for wind protection, as well as luggage cases on either side of the comfortable seat. Safety features such as traction control, ABS brakes, and cruise control come standard on most high-end models. Further, extra components will add to the already high weight of the bike.
#3: A Harley-Davidson bike is a lifestyle bike for cruising and touring
It shouldn’t be hard to figure out, but Harley-Davidson bikes aren’t built for racing up on tracks and on mountains. Instead, Harley-Davidson bikes involve drivers cruising around the highways or on long journeys. The bikes are designed to sit comfortably at the speed, either in a straight line or slight bends.
Because of that, there isn’t a need to be nimble or shed any weight. You aren’t going to race with others or ride with your buddies to see who reaches the destination first. Everything will come at a slight compromise. If you need quick handling with a high top speed, you’ll have to sacrifice comfort. However, if looks and comfort are what you’re after, it wouldn’t matter how slow or heavy your bike is.
#4: Harley-Davidson bikes have extras
The official website of Harley-Davidson is full of custom accessories that you can get to fit on your bike. On high-end touring motorcycles, many of these parts are standard equipment. These parts include integrated speakers, radio, floorboards for your feet, a backrest for passengers, and a large trunk on the back of your bike with a luggage rack.
#5: Harley-Davidson bikes are positioned to be big
Harley-Davidson as a brand is popular for manufacturing loud and massive bikes. Despite Honda challenging Harley-Davidson with the CT 50 Super Cub that appealed to the average rider, Harley’s smallest bikes are still comfortably heavier than almost every other competitor in the market.
#6: Light-weight materials don’t come cheap
Harley-Davidson make use of steel tubing for chassis frames, whereas most Japanese motorcycles use aluminum frames. Most sports bikes and dirt bikes are built specially to offer agility and speed. Each part of these bikes is designed keeping weight-saving material and specifications in mind. Harley-Davidson bikes, on the other hand, prioritize strength and stylish looks instead.
Harley-Davidson also makes use of chrome. Handlebars, tail-pipes, wheels, mudguards, and more, it is used everywhere. In most parts of the bike, you’ll be able to see your face reflecting back in a chrome piece. These sleek-looking parts are comparatively heavier than plastics or carbon fiber. If Harley-Davidson bikes used lighter alloys and materials, it would have made an already expensive bike almost unaffordable.
Do Harley-Davidson accessories impact your driving experience?
The surge in accessories and ancillary equipment added to the Harley-Davidson bikes has been a trend in recent years. Unless you happen to be an old-school purist, you will find the days of bare-bones Harley-Davidson bikes long gone. Most Harley-Davidson enthusiasts fall in the other category, as they love to add accessories to their bikes. Brands today make a ton of money adding high-quality accessories, including additions like saddlebags, windscreens, larger seats, backrests, and more.
These items will add more weight to your already heavy motorcycle. It is important to keep track of the additional weight. It’s acceptable to add weight if you’re comfortable and the majority of your driving happens on an open highway. However, if you use it in other regions, and if you’re a beginner, you must keep extra weight in mind.
As for the tech accessories, it won’t be as important when it concerns weight. But it still matters. Turning your Harley-Davidson bike into a 2-wheeled entertainment center might be a lot of fun. However, the extra weight from the speakers and other gadgets will add and collectively contribute to the extra weight. There are a few simple ways that you can cut the weight of your Harley-Davidson bike. It might be a tough decision for some Harley-Davidson owners to make, but it’ll be very helpful. Cutting down on the weight will make your bike smoother, give improved brake performance, and offer better fuel economy. Add to that the fact that you’ll enjoy more responsive steering.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of how heavy is a Harley-Davidson. Harley-Davidson, as a brand, offers bikes that are comparatively heavier than competitors of other brands. The primary reason for that is the design, build, and priorities of the Harley-Davidson bikes. Harley-Davidson bikes are built for comfort and long rides, instead of prioritizing speed like sports bikes. The signature look and design of these bikes have made them so popular, and that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Considering how heavy these bikes are, it is essential to always wear safety gear and other equipment. A helmet, a thick jacket, gloves, and boots are a no-brainer. The hands are usually high on the injury data because of the natural reflex of the body during a fall.