Motorcycle ridingis a form of transportation that can be compared to physical exercise—riding a motorcycle requires upper and lower body strength to keep the motorcycle upright, steer it, push it backwards, and maneuver it through different types of terrains.

Riding Calories Per Hour

The number of calories you can burn riding depends on many things. Anything that makes you ride with more effort helps you burn more calories. For example, the heavier your motorcycle and the heavier your motorcycle gear, the more you burn. Motocross and off-road riding burn even more calories because of the challenges of maneuvering in rough terrain. In fact, motocross riding is equivalent to moderate swimming—a 230-pound dirt-bike rider can burn 400 calories in 1 hour.
Compare other forms of transportation with motorcycle riding (chart below) to see which is the biggest calorie burner.

Activity (1 hour for 150-pound person) Calories Burned
Riding a motorcycle 179
Driving an automobile or light truck 143
Driving a heavy truck, tractor or bus 214
Riding in a car, truck, or bus 0
Flying an airplane 143

How to Lose Weight Riding a Motorcycle

Here are the basics of weight loss: Your body weight reflects a balance between the calories you eat and the calories you burn. So if you start consuming less calories than you burn, you’ll start losing weight. Generally, if you consume 500 fewer calories than you burn every day, you will lose weight at a rate of 1 pound a week.
Now let’s create our motorcycle weight loss program for a 230-pound person.  If you weigh 230 lb, you will lose 1/2 lb per week ( burn 274 calories per day) provided that you ride a motorcycle one extra hour every day. (Extra hour because if you already ride 1 hour every day, your body weight is in balance.) Half a pound a week is not bad, but you can do better if you combine this with a slight reduction in calorie consumption.
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast and you want to lose weight also consider these activities:

  • Riding a dirt-bike off road—burns more calories than riding street bikes or cruisers.
  • Riding a pedal moped—burns more calories because of the extra energy you need to spend pedaling.
  • Bicycling—it is one of the biggest calorie burners. A 230 lb bicyclist riding vigorously can burn 1750 calories in 1 hour.

Compare other activities to motorcycle riding when it comes to burning calories (see chart below):

Moderate Physical Activities (1 hour for 154-pound person) Calories Burned
Hiking 370
Light Gardening (Yard Work) 330
Dancing 330
Golf (walking and carring clubs) 330
Bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour) 290
Walking (3 miles per hour) 280
Weight training (light workout) 220
Stretching 180

52 Responses to Riding a Motorcycle Riding Burns Calories

  1. MICHAEL says:

    I concur, track days are the worst. Maybe not as much as dirt but definitely close.

  2. FREDDIE L. BANKS says:


  3. Must ride more, much more

  4. Is there no end to the benefits of motorcycling?

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  6. joe john says:

    I Agree, i lost 60 lbs in one summer riding both dirt and street. went from 265 to 205. still riding, still dropping!
    dirt is definately more of a physical work out in my opinion, however the street will put not only your body to work, but mostly your mind in my opinion… takes a good amount of mental power not to panic in certain situations when pushing the limits of a streetbike on the track (or the street for that matter, but dont do that)

    I appolagize about the caps, for some reason it only will write in caps even with cap lock off

  7. ed says:

    It’s clear to see from this article, that the person who wrote this does not ride a sports bike. Light weight training 220, why bother. If you want to get the most from your bike you should be training to get fit, eat a controlled diet and be focused. Riding to get fit or weight lose does not work and should not be promoted. You should be training 3-6 times a day for 45-60 mins per work out. A prog designed to improve your strength, flexibility and stamina is the true way forward.

  8. elaine says:

    A good way to turn a daily commute into Part of a fitness program… And save gas.

  9. Deb says:

    Wow, Ed….you’re kind of a downer, aren’t you?

  10. Seth says:

    Doing a track day in a 100F+ weather works even better.

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