Bike Weight Overrated?

My other hobby is cycling, where guys spend $20,000 to have a bicycle that weighs 2 lbs less than one that costs $5,000.  It's absurd, we are not like that, or are we?

Is weight really a major factor for bike 'performance' in the woods?  I realize all things being equal, less is more, I get it.  Things are not always equal, there are trade off's.  I notice that KTM, in particular, puts enormous emphasis on weight....whereas Yamaha WR450's weight north of 270 lbs!  In the day an age of getting bikes lighter, guys buying 150's because they are 'light and flickable' and weight being a major player...some manuf still just don't really care.  Guys still ride these heavy bike and do well. 

Lets leave the current fad of extreme/hard enduros out, which are essentially trials events for full size dirtbikes.  I can see how pivot turns, steep drops, pushing bikes up sections, constantly dabbing, etc would benefit riders with light bikes.

Then there is Scott Summers...old technology, heavy bike that has no place on single track...well we know the rest of the story.

Being that what it is, why does it really matter?

Edited by Oregon Comrade

The amount that it matters is relative to the individual, just like with bicycles, but there's no question that it's more dangerous to dab a leg with an XR600 than a YZ125. However, I do think that with the bulk of riders out there, the twenty pound gap between the lightest and heaviest bike in any given class doesn't really matter. 

I have always said that if someone wanted to play a trick on me and secure a 20 lb rock in my air box while I was taking a leak the joke would be on them because I wouldn’t even notice until it was time to clean the filter.

 

I do think it would be interesting if a magazine took a bike and fashioned up some sort of rack for holding 0.5lb weights in the air box. Let a fleet of test riders ride the bike with no extra weights on the rack to get a baseline. Then have the bike go behind the curtain where the mechanic could add or remove as many weights as they like and not disclose it to the test riders. Have the riders test and fill out a sheet with how much weight they think was added or removed. Hold 20-50 sessions or so then compare the sheets with the actual weight sheet kept by the mechanic. I bet the results would be surprising.

Weight distribution matters far more than weight.  A 220 lb. bike can FEEL lots heavier than a 250 lb. bike if the weight isn't distributed well.

Honestly I don't care about the weight of my bike.My brothers friend who is 12 tried to start my cr250 and I'm 15 by the way, well he was too small and when he jumped on the kicker he fell over and dropped the bike and he kept saying your bikes so heavy he was embarrassed,honestly weight only matters if you can't control it if you can handle it then your fine

I hope those airoh helmet boys don't read this. This is another scheme of the manufacturers and media for said activities to force their products on the consumers.  Weight only matters if you want it to. I never have.

V__744B.jpg

The only time I care is if I have to lift it... 

Bike weight is absolutely overrated when most riders could stand to lose the weight, instead of the bike.

3 minutes ago, CR250_182 said:

Bike weight is absolutely overrated when most riders could stand to lose the weight, instead of the bike.

Easier to complain than to not have a box of donuts or "get your money's worth" at a buffet.

8 minutes ago, Edgecombe said:

I hope those airoh helmet boys don't read this. This is another scheme of the manufacturers and media for said activities to force their products on the consumers.  Weight only matters if you want it to. I never have.

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Nice pic!  Love it...

The landing must have caused aftershocks?

21 minutes ago, woods-rider said:

I have always said that if someone wanted to play a trick on me and secure a 20 lb rock in my air box while I was taking a leak the joke would be on them because I wouldn’t even notice until it was time to clean the filter.

 

I do think it would be interesting if a magazine took a bike and fashioned up some sort of rack for holding 0.5lb weights in the air box. Let a fleet of test riders ride the bike with no extra weights on the rack to get a baseline. Then have the bike go behind the curtain where the mechanic could add or remove as many weights as they like and not disclose it to the test riders. Have the riders test and fill out a sheet with how much weight they think was added or removed. Hold 20-50 sessions or so then compare the sheets with the actual weight sheet kept by the mechanic. I bet the results would be surprising.

Good idea and I agree. 

Or have some way of testing 'weight distribution'.  Stand the bike up on both wheels balanced, the slowly tip it over incrementally and find out how much it's weight gets transferred to the rider interface (seat/bars).

28 minutes ago, corndog said:

The amount that it matters is relative to the individual, just like with bicycles, but there's no question that it's more dangerous to dab a leg with an XR600 than a YZ125. However, I do think that with the bulk of riders out there, the twenty pound gap between the lightest and heaviest bike in any given class doesn't really matter. 

I agree, but still feels like there is an arms race with some manuf.  My old KTM from 1996 had a steel subframe, heavy conventional forks and the thing was indestructible....and probably 250+ lbs.  I'd take some more of that durability in exchange for a slight weight penalty...I think.  It's been a while, maybe I'd regret it, but never really remember thinking weight was a big deal back then.  I'd never consider it 'light and flickable' but it never really needed to be, it was fast....

20 hours ago, CR250_182 said:

Bike weight is absolutely overrated when most riders could stand to lose the weight, instead of the bike.

lol The 2 are not the same.

I love a light bike, and will go silly to make what I have as light as possible (within reason). There are numerous advantages to it, the main one to me is that it requires less effort to throw around, which seems kinda silly with Me being fairly strong and all. But easier is easier, you don't get tired as quick, it's easier to haul out when you're stuck, it's easier to kick off when you're stuck under it etc etc.

As a side note, on a roadie, the difference in the amount of 'pushing' in corners is very noticeable between a lighter and heavier bike, maybe not as noticeable in the dirt, but I bet it's still there.

I strongly suspect that i it wasn't an advantage the race teams wouldn't spend zillions of dollars on lightweight exotica too.

All other things being equal I'll take lighter over heavier any day.

2 minutes ago, DEATH_INC. said:

lol The 2 are not the same.

I love a light bike, and will go silly to make what I have as light as possible (within reason). There are numerous advantages to it, the main one to me is that it requires less effort to throw around, which seems kinda silly with Me being fairly strong and all. But easier is easier, you don't get tired as quick, it's easier to haul out when you're stuck, it's easier to kick off when you're stuck under it etc etc.

As a side note, on a roadie, the difference in the amount of 'pushing' in corners is very noticeable between a lighter and heavier bike, maybe not as noticeable in the dirt, but I bet it's still there.

I strongly suspect that i it wasn't an advantage the race teams wouldn't spend zillions of dollars on lightweight exotica too.

All other things being equal I'll take lighter over heavier any day.

The only real advantage on a race bike is the hp to weight ratio.  That's why they spend all that money on weight.  HP to weight is speed and acceleration.

Right... but most are clueless and could never articulate the feeling they have about the bike.

Edited by DEMI
20 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

The only real advantage on a race bike is the hp to weight ratio.  That's why they spend all that money on weight.  HP to weight is speed and acceleration.

Not at all. Many other things are affected by weight.

 

As was said, it matters where that weight is (think mass moment of inertia). Just like a figure skater moves their arms toward their chest their is less resistance to rotation and they spin faster. On a motorcycle, keeping the mass close to its center of mass will do far more for the feeling of lightness than arbitrarily shaving a few pounds.

 

 

1 minute ago, DEATH_INC. said:

Not at all. Many other things are affected by weight.

 

Read.  I said real advantage.  Of course handling is affected, but the real world effect is in the hp to weight ratio.

Edited by cjjeepercreeper
20 hours ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Read.  I said real advantage.  Of course handling is affected, but the real world affect is in the hp to weight ratio.

Do you not think that braking would benefit as much?

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