Do You Have to Be Strong to Ride a Harley?


One common misconception about motorcycling, particularly when it comes to iconic brands like Harley-Davidson, is that it requires a significant amount of physical strength. Prospective riders often wonder if handling a Harley Davidson motorcycle is beyond their reach, given the brand’s reputation for producing substantial, powerful bikes. This article aims to dispel myths and offer insights into what it really takes to ride a Harley, highlighting how riders of all sizes and strengths can enjoy the thrill of the open road on a Harley-Davidson.

Understanding the Physical Requirements

Riding any motorcycle, including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, does require a basic level of physical fitness. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be exceptionally strong. Much of riding is about technique, balance, and understanding how to manage the bike’s weight, rather than brute strength.

Balance and Technique Over Strength

Successful motorcycle riding is more about mastering balance and leveraging the right techniques to handle the bike. For example, learning how to properly mount, dismount, and use body weight to steer and balance the motorcycle can make riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle manageable for people of varying physical strengths.

Weight Considerations

While it’s true that many Harley-Davidson models are heavier than the average motorcycle, the brand offers a range of sizes and weights across its lineup. Models like the Harley-Davidson Street 750 or the Sportster® SuperLow® are designed with lower seat heights and lighter frames, making them more accessible to a broader range of riders.

The Role of a Harley Davidson Motorcycle Dealer

For those concerned about handling a Harley due to physical strength limitations, visiting a Harley Davidson motorcycle dealer can provide clarity and confidence. Dealers are equipped to help you find a motorcycle that suits your physical capabilities and riding style.

Personalized Fitment

A Harley Davidson motorcycle dealer can offer personalized fitment sessions to match you with the right bike. They can adjust seat heights, handlebar reach, and foot control placements to ensure you can comfortably and confidently handle the motorcycle.

Test Rides

Taking a test ride at a dealership is invaluable. It allows you to feel the weight and balance of different models firsthand, giving you a realistic sense of what you can manage.

Training and Confidence

Building confidence through proper training is crucial for any new rider. Harley-Davidson’s Riding Academy is designed to equip riders with the skills they need to ride confidently and safely, regardless of their physical strength.

Skills Development

Rider training courses focus on developing skills like throttle control, braking, low-speed maneuvering, and emergency techniques. These skills are crucial for effectively handling a Harley Davidson motorcycle and can compensate for physical strength differences.

Continuous Learning

The journey of becoming a skilled rider doesn’t end with a basic course. Continuous learning and practice can further enhance your ability to ride with confidence, making the bike’s size and weight feel more manageable over time.


The notion that only the physically strong can ride a Harley is a myth. With the right techniques, a suitable model, and proper training, riders of all strengths and sizes can enjoy the independence and thrill of riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Visiting a Harley-Davidson dealership is the first step towards finding the perfect bike that you can handle with confidence and ease. Remember, the heart of motorcycle riding lies in the passion for the open road and the joy of the ride—elements that know no boundaries of physical strength.