Can I ride a motorcycle?

Inspired by this
trainwreck of a thread, I was wondering if I can legally and safely ride a motorcycle.

I’m just under 5’10" and right around 350 lbs.
I can find the load ratings of most passenger cars easily, and SUVs/trucks even easier, but I can’t find the load ratings of some motorcycles so easily.
Are there any motorcycles I could get on without violating the law or recommendations of the cyclemaker?
I know dirt bikes are right out, and I suspect that racing bikes would be too. Not sure about larger touring-style bikes…

I know bikes are definately rated for their load capacity, on Hondas you look under the seat and there is a label.

On the chainguard there is often a label which states the tyre pressures for riding solo and for two-up riding and this will usually give a weight limit.
Trouble is that this label can often have gone missing on older machines.

I would expect that something like a Harley would be well ok as long as its not one of the smaller ones.

Other than that, you probably would be fine with a BMW, or something like a Honda ST1100, or a Yamaha FJ 1200.

I suspect you would require a machine with a good deal of torque, or grunt, so large twins would be ok, or big fours, 900CC upwards.

You may find that you have to invest in a replacement spring for the rear shocks and probably for the forks too, especially if you expect to carry pillion.

I have seen larger persons riding scooters around town, so don’t completely write off smaller bikes, and as for traillies, how about a Triumph Tiger, or a Honda Varadaro etc, these would almost certainly be fine.

My old neighbor used to ride around with his wife on the back of his bike. He was probably 5’9" and 170 lbs., but his wife was easily over 3 bills. I think he was riding something similar to the Honda VTX series, but it could have been a Harley… it was several years ago.

I’ll never be able to understand how he navigated corners with all the weight on the back of the bike. I don’t think you’ll have much of a problem since your weight will be more or less centered on the bike.

I can’t imagine you having much of a problem on most bikes. I have a Honda Shadow 600 that will carry 350-400 lbs pretty easy. I can’t imagine many of the bikes that are 600+ CCs would give you any real problems.

My motorcycle, a 600cc sports bike, is rated for 180kg loading capacity. That equals, I think, 400 lbs.

Now I just have to convince Mrs. Slant I have a bona fide reason for purchasing a sport bike…

Note that load capacity includes everything, rider + passenger + cargo (the closer to the center of mass the better). Most sports bikes tend to be on the small side and can put stress on your legs/back/wrists, so you’ll have to look around to find one where you feel confortable. A larger touring/custom bike may be better suited to you. Also an engine with good torque on low revs, like casdave said. And of course you should be reasonably fit and healthy to ride a motorcycle. The fact that you’re not very tall for your weight is something to consider.

Finally, I’d advise you to do some basic tuning of the suspension system to your weight. Either tampering with pre-load or if that is not enough changing the springs and oil. Manufacturers have to compromise and design towards the average rider, which would be around 70-80kg.